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The global bank credit crisis

The global bank credit crisis

Globally, further falls in consumer price inflation are now unlikely and there are yet further interest rate increases to come. Bond yields are already on the rise, and a new phase of a banking crisis will be triggered.

This article looks at the factors that have come together to drive interest rates higher, destabilising the entire global banking system. The contraction of bank credit is in its early stages, and that alone will push up interest costs for borrowers. We have an old fashioned credit crunch on our hands.

A new bout of price inflation, which more accurately is an acceleration of falling purchasing power for currencies, also leads to higher interest rates. Savage bear markets in financial and property values are bound to ensue, driving foreign investors to repatriate their funds. 

This will unwind much of the $32 trillion of foreign investment in the fiat dollar which has accumulated in the last fifty-two years. And BRICS’s deliberations for replacing the dollar as a trade settlement medium could not come at a worse time.

Global banking risks are increasing

Gradually, the alarm bells over credit are beginning to ring. Monetarist and Austrian School economists are hammering the point home about broad money, which almost everywhere is contracting. It is overwhelmingly comprised of deposits at the commercial banks. And this week, even China’s command economy has had credit problems exposed, with another large property developer, Country Garden Holdings missing bond payments.

A global cyclical downturn in bank credit is long overdue, and that is what we currently face. Empirical evidence of previous cycles, particularly 1929—1932, is that fear can spread though the banking cohort like wildfire as interbank credit lines are cut, loans are called in, and collateral liquidated…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

“No Way Out” for Global Markets Trapped in a Doom Loop of Debt

“No Way Out” for Global Markets Trapped in a Doom Loop of Debt

In this compelling conversation with Wealthion founder, Adam Taggart, Matterhorn Asset Management principal, Matthew Piepenburg, addresses the current and vast range of headline market topics, signals and risks. Inflation, deflation, risk assets, bond stress, cryptos, war, bank failures, CBDC’s rise, trapped policy makers and, of course, the topic of precious metals are all carefully and plainly discussed.

Piepenburg’s broader views on current and future financial conditions are bluntly yet realistically presented as a “no way out” scenario for global economies distorted by cornered central bankers. The bottom line is as simple as it is incontrovertible: The global economy is stuck in a doom loop of debt.

Either central banks raise rates to allegedly “kill inflation” by killing the economy and markets, or they resort to more mouse-click money and kill the currency in your wallet.

Historically, all debt-cornered nations spur collapsing markets followed by collapsing currencies and inflation-driven social unrest. Leaders of all eras and stripes (left or right) then address this unrest with tighter, more centralized controls over our economies and lives. CBDC is a classic and modern symptom of this timeless pattern.  So is war. The current era will be no exception, as history (from ancient Rome to Chairman Mao, or Napoleon to the rise of fascist leaders of the 1930’s) offers no exception.

Piepenburg tracks the current evolution of this trend in a Federal Reserve that has tightened too fast and too high, breaking everything in its path in one dis-inflationary debt or banking crisis after the next, which are inevitably “solved” via more inflationary and mouse-clicked dollars. End result? Currency debasement, for which gold is one obvious and historical solution rather than “gold bug” apology.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Fed, Central Banks Created the Current Crisis and Are on Course to Making Matters Worse

Fed, Central Banks Created the Current Crisis and Are on Course to Making Matters Worse

The incompetence of our financial regulators, most of all the Fed, is breathtaking. The great unwashed public and even wrongly-positioned members of the capitalist classes are suffering the consequences of Fed and other central banks being too fast out of the gate in unwinding years of asset-price goosing policies, namely QE and super low interest rates. The dislocations are proving to be worse than investors anticipated, apparently due to some banks having long-standing risk management and other weaknesses further stressed, and other banks that should have been able to navigate interest rate increases revealing themselves to be managed by monkeys.

What is happening now is the worst sort of policy meets supervisory failure, of not anticipating that the rapid rate increases would break some banks.1 Here we are, in less than two weeks, at close to the same level of bank failures as in the 2007-2008 financial crisis. From CNN:

And even mainstream media outlets are fingering the Fed:


As we’ll explain in due course, the regulators’ habitual “bailout now, think about what if anything to do about taxpayer/systemic protection later” is the worst imaginable response to this mess. For instance, US authorities have put in place what is very close to a full backstop of uninsured deposits (with ironically a first failer, First Republic, with its deviant muni-bond-heavy balance sheet falling between the cracks). But they are not willing to say that. So many uninsured depositors remained in freakout mode, not understanding how the facilities work. Yet the close-to-complete backstop of uninsured deposits amounted to another massive extension of the bank safety net.2

The ultimate reason the Fed did something so dopey as to put through aggressive rate hikes despite obvious bank and financial system exposure was central bank mission creep, of taking up the mantle of economy-minder-in-chief.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Latvia Bank Crisis: Central Bank In Chaos As ECB Blocks Payments By Third Largest Bank

One day after we reported that the central bank governor and ECB Governing Council member Ilmars Rimsevics was detained by Latvia’s anti-corruption authority on Saturday on suspicion of accepting a bribe of more than €100,000, prompting both Latvia’s Prime Minister and the president to call on Rimsevics to resign, Latvia appears to have a full-blown banking crisis on its hands, after the European Central Bank froze all payments by Latvia’s third largest bank, ABLV, following U.S. accusations the bank laundered billions in illicit funds, including for companies connected to North Korea’s banned ballistic-missile program.

Latvia’s Central Bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics

The troubles started on February 14, when Latvia began investigating  ABLV over suspicions of illegal trading related to North Korea’s weapons system. The investigation was launched after the Treasury Department charged the bank with having “institutionalized money laundering as a pillar of the bank’s business practices,” which proposed preventing the bank from opening an account in the U.S.

That decision immediately made ABLV a pariah to other financial institutions, effectively cutting its access to the dollar and funding flows from the world’s most important market, and forcing it to rely exclusively on the ECB as it sole-source of funds.

As the WSJ reported, in proposing the ban on ABLV, Treasury said the bank managed transactions for clients connected to several long-sanctioned North Korean firms.

These include North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank, the institution that manages Pyongyang’s foreign-currency earnings, revenue that U.S. and United Nations officials say go directly to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

According to the Treasury, ABLV’s alleged illegal activity also included funneling billions of dollars in public corruption proceeds from Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine through shell company accounts.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Another Spanish Bank about to Bite the Dust?

Is Another Spanish Bank about to Bite the Dust?

Stockholders and junior bondholders fear a “bail-in.”

After its most tumultuous week since the bailout days of 2012, Spain’s banking system is gripped by a climate of fear, uncertainty and distrust. Rather than allaying investor nerves, the shotgun bail-in and sale of Banco Popular to Santander on Tuesday has merely intensified them. For the first time since the Global Financial Crisis, shareholders and subordinate bondholders of a failing Spanish bank were not bailed out by taxpayers; they took risks in order to make a buck, and they bore the consequences. That’s how it should be. But bank investors don’t like not getting bailed out.

Now they’re worrying it could happen again. As Popular’s final days showed, once confidence and trust in a bank vanishes, it’s almost impossible to restore them. The fear has now spread to Spain’s eighth largest lender, Liberbank, a mini-Bankia that was spawned in 2011 from the forced marriage of three failed cajas(savings banks), Cajastur, Caja de Extremadura and Caja Cantabria.

This creature’s shares were sold to the public in May 2013 at an IPO price of €0.40. By April 2014, they were trading above €2, a massive 400% gain. But by April 2015, shares started sinking. By May 2017, they were trading at around €1.20.

But since the bail-in of Popular, Liberbank’s shares have seriously crashed as panicked investors fled. Scenting fresh blood, short sellers were piling in. On Friday alone, shares plunged another 17%. At one point, they were down 38% before bouncing at the close of trading, much of it driven by the bank’s own share buybacks:

In the last three weeks a whole year’s worth of steadily rising gains on the stock market have been completely wiped out. The main causes of concern are the bank’s high risk profile and low coverage rate.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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