Monday, June 23, 2008

Rosenberg on Banks

by Bill McBride on 6/23/2008 12:57:00 PM

In his daily Market Memo, economist David Rosenberg at Merrill Lynch writes: The bad news on the banks is definitely 'out there' (hat tip Bernie)

The WSJ may have well devoted a whole section to the sector's travails - "Investors Hide as Banks Come Knocking"; "Citi to Slash Investment Banking Jobs World-Wide"; "More Bank Bailouts Ahead?" and "Regional Bank Bargains". links added
We could add New Crisis Threatens Healthy Banks from the WaPo:
Increasing struggles by consumers and businesses to make payments on a variety of loans, not just mortgages, are setting off a new wave of trouble in the financial sector that is battering even institutions that had steered clear of the subprime-home-loan debacle.

Late payments on home-equity loans are at a record high, according to fresh data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The delinquency rates on loans for cars, small businesses and construction are spiking to levels not seen in a decade or more.
Rosenberg makes a similar point as the WaPo noting that "concerns are spreading" from mortgages to other consumer and commercial debt. Rosenberg adds:
... regional banks which may find it difficult to find suitors since accounting rules require that a takeover target's portfolio is marked to market at the time of acquisition ...
And that might just leave FDIC receivership as the only option for many banks. From the WSJ:
There is often only one option left for a capital-starved U.S. bank that can't attract a suitor -- receivership under the auspices of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. While hardly ideal, that works fine as long as only a few banks stumble. But if the pressures of the credit crunch cause too many to fail, the FDIC could be overwhelmed. ... No wonder FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair has said bank problems are giving her heartburn.