Which one realizes they all have keys?
The BIS, the central bank of central banks, said in its quarterly report that Germany had $569bn of exposure to the quartet, France $380bn, and the UK $431bn.
A chunk of British exposure is on behalf of Mid-East and Asian clients banking through London. Italy has just $81bn at risk and seems uniquely insulated from the crisis all around it.
The geography of risk varies greatly. British-based banks and subsidiaries have $225bn at stake in Ireland, and $152bn in Spain, but little in Portugal or Greece. France is up to its neck in Greece with $92bn; a Benelux-led group has $180bn in Spain, and Spain itself has exposure of $109bn to Portugal.