Following the debacle of free-and-easy mortgage money to anyone who could fog a mirror in the run-up to the last housing bubble (remember that was just 6 years ago), regulators proposed 'skin-in-the-game' rules which forced banks to hold certain amounts of the loans they made (as opposed to securitizing and selling off that yieldy risk to the next greater fool). Makes sense. However, in a major U-turn, with interest rates rising, mortgage rates spiking, and home prices now collapsing once again, it would appear the very same congress has folded. As the WSJ reports, more stringent lending standards on top of the market environment leave the watchdogs, which include the Fed and the FDIC, wanting to loosen a proposed requirement that banks retain a portion of the mortgage securities they sell to investors (representing a victory for an unusual alliance of banks and consumer advocates that opposed the new rules). Undermining the initial goal of imposing market discipline, former FDIC Chair Sheil Bair noted, "My sense is that Washington has lost its political will for serious reform of the securitization market." Indeed it has, Sheila.
We need to think about lessening the economic “skin-in-the-game” for RMBS and focusing anew on enforcing US securities laws...
We get to what is perhaps the most important topic related to the end game for the Fed. Oh, and MMT and a Sheila Bair interview too.
It is a “fraudulent transfer” to transfer assets with intent to leave the transferor with inadequate capital... Thus every bank “sale” done for the purpose of reducing regulatory capital is, by definition, fraud – a form of bank theft.
Presenting Dave Collum's now ubiquitous and all-encompassing annual review of markets and much, much more. From Baptists, Bankers, and Bootleggers to Capitalism, Corporate Debt, Government Corruption, and the Constitution, Dave provides a one-stop-shop summary of everything relevant this year (and how it will affect next year and beyond).
Will Congress go over the fiscal cliff? Yes, we've been going for decades, really since the social unrest of the 1970s.
- China carrier a show of force as Japan tension festers (Reuters)
- Draghi Rally Lets Skeptics Dump Spain for Bunds (Bloomberg)
- China’s Central Bank Injects Record Funds to Ease Cash Crunch (Bloomberg)
- Obama warns Iran on nuclear bid, containment 'no option' (Reuters)
- When Would Bernanke’s Successor Raise Rates? (WSJ) that's easy - never
- Italy's Monti Downplays Sovereignty Risk (WSJ)
- Portugal swaps pay cuts for tax rises (FT)
- Madrid faces regional funding backlash (FT)
- Berlin Seeks to Push Back New Euro-Crisis Aid Requests (WSJ)
- Race Focuses on Foreign Policy (WSJ)
- China Speeds Up Approvals of Foreigners’ Stock Investment (Bloomberg)
Too Big Leads To Destruction of the Rule of Law
So when you see Citi’s Q2 2012 earnings, remember that about ¼ of the number will come from non-interest bearing deposits covered by FDIC's TAG program.
Not very, I presume. Until shareholders see real dollars flowing back to the extent that dividends can be materially boosted, keep hope alive...
Over-collateralization rates for Spanish covered bonds goes into the stratosphere -- 200-300% -- a grim indication of loss given default.
In one of the most complete documentaries undertaken on the financial crisis, PBS Frontline's "Money, Power, & Wall Street" series stretches from the origins of the credit derivative business with a bikini-clad pool-side Blythe Masters and her JPMorgan colleagues to the scary (but absolutely true) fact that the financial crisis never ended. The four-part series (of which we present the first two below) continues tonight at 730ET and the entire set of 20 in-depth interviews with the various players (from Sheila Bair to Rodgin Cohen with a smattering of Jared Bernstein and Dick Fisher in between) can be found here. A must-watch series from beginning to end to get a grasp of how we got here (despite what Chairman Greenspan told us all this morning), where exactly we are now (in spite of today's FTMFW ISM print), and what we can expect in the next few years.
This one is actually quite funny, although we feel that the MMTers, the Neo-Keynesians, the Econ 101 textbook fanatics, and the government apparatchiks out there will fail to appreciate the humor. However, we are a little concerned how many of those in charge read into this a little too much, and decide to make this official policy...
Why are we not surprised at the fact, as reported by the WSJ, that Deutsche Bank AG changed the legal structure of its huge U.S. subsidiary to shield it from new regulations that would have required the German bank to pump new capital into the U.S. arm. The bank on Feb. 1 reorganized its U.S. subsidiary, known as Taunus Corp., so that it is no longer classified as a 'bank-holding company' (BHC). The technical change has important consequences. Taunus—which at the end of last year had about $354 billion of assets and 8,652 employees, making it one of the largest U.S. banking companies—won't have to comply with a provision of the U.S. Dodd-Frank regulatory-overhaul law that essentially forces the local arms of non-U.S. banks to meet the same capital requirements that American banks fact. A provision of the Dodd-Frank Act was going to require Deutsche Bank to infuse Taunus, which for years operated with thin capital cushions, with what executives feared could be as much as $20 billion. Taunus is no longer a bank-holding company and won't have to comply with the tougher capital rules, even though Taunus still houses Deutsche Bank's U.S. investment bank, making it unclear what jurisdiction the Fed will have to intervene in the investment-banking arm if it has concerns about how the unit is being run or whether it has adequate capital buffers. So much for all that systemic risk control and lessons learned as hey-presto - everything is sidestepped as the farce continues.
And end the Fed ...