Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Which banks will fail next?

Mine is probably on that list. Except analysts are getting afraid to make lists because they will be sued.

The problem with any lists is that the real shocker about IndyMac is that the federal reserve never saw the failure coming. It was not on their 90 banks with problems list. (Amazing how we get under reported economic news from religious publications and not American media.)

Business Week
Wachovia Corp. reported a surprisingly large second-quarter loss Tuesday, deflating Wall Street's hopes that the nation's big banks are weathering the credit crisis well. The nation's fourth-largest bank by assets said it lost $8.86 billion, is slashing its dividend and eliminating 10,750 positions after losses tied to mortgages soared.

Even excluding one-time items, the results substantially missed Wall Street estimates.
What is really going on? Maybe we should blame Phil Gramm.

How many coming US bank failures - 1500?
There is $75 trillion in global real estate, $50 trillion in annual global GDP, and $675 trillion in derivatives - synthetic financial instruments loosely associated with the real world that, when inspected, prove to be worth a small fraction of their face value. Nine years ago Weathervane McCain’s chief economic adviser, Phil Gramm, got the Glass Steagall Act largely repealed. Investment houses engaged in an orgy of what can only be described as private money printing, taking real assets, puffing them up, marking them up, passing them around, and they kept at it until there were five or six dollars of funny money for every real dollar of stuff. Ssshhh, don’t anyone tell the pension funds ... The FDIC admits to prepping for a hundred, the highest estimate I've seen is 1,500 gone of the 8,500 [U.S. Banks].
He is a little over the top. The FDIC will bail out people up to $100,000 but they will do it the way they have been doing for the past year. They are running the printing presses at full blast and your dollars aren't going to be worth as much.

Some of the best commentary on what is going on is from outside the United States and from outside the official channels. No one with any sense really believes the official Washington figures now.

Market Oracle:
This is the first stage of the deep recession we've been warning you about. Banks have no choice but to deny loans to all but the most highly qualified borrowers; and as a result, corporations and consumers have no choice but to cut back on their spending.

Consumer confidence is the worst since 1980. Mortgage default rates are the worst since the 1970s. Even the government's highly suspect official numbers show that the growth of the U.S. economy is grinding to a halt.

This is also bringing the runaway inflation we've been warning you about, with oil and energy leading the way. This time, unlike the 1970s when we had artificial energy shortages created by OPEC or by Iran, the planet is confronting chronic, long-term energy shortages.

But at each step of the way, what truly angers me is that our government leaders — the very people we elect to protect our interests — continually minimize, downplay and sugarcoat this crisis.
The housing crisis is only a subset of the financial crisis but it becoming bigger than the Savings and Loan crisis of the 80's.

The price tag for the nation's housing crisis escalated again with reports Tuesday that a record number of Californians lost their homes to foreclosure in the last three months and that a potential bailout of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could reach $25 billion.

The figures were released as the House prepared to vote as early as today on legislation aimed at staving off foreclosures, stimulating the troubled housing market and providing a government backstop to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Who are the least worried - wealthy Americans who have secretly moved their money out of the country.

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