Overnight, yet another failed Italian bank was bailed out. As the FT reports overnight, Atlante, Italy's privately backed €5bn bank bailout fund which was created in April to stem the threat of contagion from struggling lenders and whose assets turned out to be woefully inadequate, took control of Veneto Banca after a €1bn capital increase demanded by EU bank regulators attracted zero interest.
Despite all the exuberance over the Brexit bounce in US (and UK) equities, never minds bonds, FX, and credit being far less enthusiastic, Deutsche Bank is plunging once again this morning. Having failed The Fed's stress test for the second year running and been diagnosed by The IMF as the world's most systemically dangerous financial entity, the giant Germanbank is getting slammed down almost 4% today, back near record lows as its 'Lehman-esque' path to devastation continues.
Day three of the post-Brexit rally continues, and after some initial weakness due to concerns about Chinese currency devaluation, both European stock and US equity futures were trading at session highs, facilitated by yesterday's stress test results which saw dozens of US banks unleash a tsunami of stock buyback announcement which in turn pushed S&P futures to new post-Brexit highs.
"Deutsche Bank appears to be the most important net contributor to systemic risks, followed by HSBC and Credit Suisse. The relative importance of Deutsche Bank underscores the importance of risk management, intense supervision of G-SIBs and the close monitoring of their cross-border exposures, as well as rapidly completing capacity to implement the new resolution regime."
The largest U.S. banks got permission from regulators to return profits to investors, but the U.S. banking units of Deutsche Bank and Banco Santander were held back again as the Federal Reserve released the final results of its 2016 "stress tests."
After failing the Federal Reserve's annual stress tests in March 2014, the WSJ reports that Citigroup hired multiple consulting firms, and spent about $180 million on stress tests during the second half of 2014 in order to address regulator's concerns. It turns out that banks are spending tens of billions in order to prepare for stress tests, creating quite a lucrative business for consultants.
For those 17-year-old hedge fund managers used to BTFD on hopes corporate buybacks will "have their back" and provide the bid on which momentum-chasing HFT algos will piggyback, we have some bad news and some worse news.
"Fortress balance sheets"? Brexit contagion is spreading as USD liquidity and counterparty risk in the interconnected global financial system has reached US banks with Goldman at 3 year lows and BofA and Citi plunging over 12%. This happens just two days after the Fed released its latest stress test results finding that none of the 33 banks tested would need additional capital in case of a "severe" financial crisis.
With global asset correlations once again approaching 1, overnight stocks have been trading in broadly "risk off" mode, following every twist of pound sterling and the rapidly deteriorating British financial situation as "chaos infects" virtually all markets, from China, to European banks, to US equity futures. As a result of ongoing aftershocks from the Brexit vote, coupled with the sudden political chaos in UK politics, where both parties now seem in disarray, with the pound has extended its selloff to a fresh 31-year low dropping below the Friday lows while European equities are dropping to levels last seen in February.
While hardly coming as a surprise to anyone, moments ago the Fed announced that all 33 banks have enough capital to withstand a severe economic shock, though Morgan Stanley trailed the rest of Wall Street in a key measure of leverage, Bloomberg reports. The biggest bank cleared the most severe scenario handily, with the exception of Morgan Stanley whose projected 4.9% leverage ratio tied for last place alongside a Canadian bank’s U.S. unit, falling within a percentage point of the 4 percent minimum. As a result of today's "test result" many banks will likely win regulators' approval next week to boost dividends.
ROYCE: So Madame Chair, is having a stable and rising stock market a third pillar or the Federal Reserve's monetary policy if I go back to what I originally heard Ben Bernanke articulate? YELLEN: It is not a third pillar of monetary policy. We do not target the level of stock prices. That is not an appropriate thing for us to do.
The true fear lies with those who stand to lose the most, in this case the countries who hold the Euro currency together with the thinnest of threads. As Britons head to the polling booths, they should hold their heads high, rightly insulted at the feigned notion that the UK cannot stand on its own. After all, much of the civilized world we take for granted today is rooted in the British rule of law.
"With the encouragement of regulators, some lenders, including HSBC, have even run modelling for the imposition of capital controls, according to people briefed on the exercise. Banks said regulators had demanded a stress test that modelled for a 20 per cent fall in sterling."