Chart Of The Day: Taper Fears Lead To Biggest Monthly Loss In Bank Securities Portfolios Since Lehman
Wondering how the blow out in interest rates is impacting commercial banks, which just happen to have substantial duration exposure in the form of various Treasury and MBS securities, not to mention loans, structured products and of course, trillions in IR swap, derivatives and futures? Wonder no more: the Fed's weekly H.8 statement, and specifically the "Net unrealized gains (losses) on available-for-sale securities" of commercial banks in the US gives a glimpse into the pounding that banks are currently experiencing. In short: a bloodbath.
After crashing from $15 billion to just $6 billion, the reported balance of net unrealized gains is barely positive for just the first time since April 2011. And to think this number had topped out at over $43 billion in December 2012. But the worst is that monthly drop in "gains" of $24 billion is the biggest by a wide margin since the Lehman collapse.
Note the crash in the long-term chart:
And zoomed in:
The skeptics will say: $6 billion? Big deal. The Fed did almost that much in its POMO last Wednesday. The issue, however, is that the AFS line, which runs through the Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income line as the last thing banks want is for MTM to crush their reported bottom line is merely a proxy for how rising rates impact on a snapshot basis the consolidated bank balance sheet of US banks, which at last check had $7.3 trillion in loans and leases (still below pre-Lehman levels) not to mention countless other undisclosed instruments that represent their "London Whale" equivalent prop positions, funded with customer deposits.
In other words, the shorthand is to look at the massacre that is going on in the AFS line and extrapolate it to all other levered commercial bank (and hedge fund) rate exposure. Expect math PhD-programmed GETCO algos that determine the marginal momentum of the S&P to figure this out some time over the next 2-3 weeks once banks begin reporting results that are not quite in line with expectations.
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