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The Incoming Commercial Real Estate Crisis No One Seems Prepared For

The Incoming Commercial Real Estate Crisis No One Seems Prepared For

It has been a year since a string of U.S. regional bank failures, together with the collapse of global heavyweight Credit Suisse, caused many to fear that a major financial crisis was imminent.

But, by the summer of 2023, the panicked withdrawals by frightened depositors largely subsided.

In February, however, New York Community Bank (NYCB) appeared to resurrect the crisis when it announced $2.4 billion in losses, fired its CEO, and faced credit downgrades from rating agencies Fitch and Moodys.

In what has become a familiar tale for U.S. regional banks, NYCB’s share price plummeted by 60 percent virtually overnight, erasing billions of dollars from its market value, and its depositors fled en masse.

“I think that there’s more to come,” Peter Earle, a securities analyst and senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, told The Epoch Times.

Underlying this year’s turbulence is the fact that many regional banks are sitting on large portfolios of distressed commercial real estate (CRE) loans. according to Mr. Earle. And many are attempting to cope through a process called “extend and pretend,” in which they grant insolvent borrowers more time to pay in hopes that things will get better.

“There is trouble out there, and most of it probably won’t be realized because of the ability to roll some of these loans forward and buy a few more years, and maybe things will recover by then,” he said.

“But all it does is it kicks the can down the road, and it basically means a more fragile financial system in the medium term.”

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

Bank Failures Begin Again: Philly’s Republic First Seized By FDIC

Bank Failures Begin Again: Philly’s Republic First Seized By FDIC

Who could have seen that coming? (hereherehere, and most detailed here)

Admittedly, we were a couple of weeks off, but trouble has been brewing in the banking sector and tonight – after the close – we get the first bank failure of the year.

Dominoes: After NYCB, Shares Of Japanese Bank Implode On Massive US CRE Writedown

Dominoes: After NYCB, Shares Of Japanese Bank Implode On Massive US CRE Writedown

Following a profit warning from New York Community Bancorp on Wednesday, partially attributed to turmoil in the commercial real estate sector, Japan’s Aozora Bank Ltd. slashed the value of some of its US office tower loans by more than 50%, according to Bloomberg.

New York Community Bancorp’s move to slash its dividend and bolster reserves led to a 38% plunge in its shares yesterday, also triggering the largest drop in the KBW Regional Banking Index since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last March.

Like rows of falling dominoes, Aozora Bank, the 16th largest in Japan by market value, recorded a 20% plunge in shares on Thursday after reporting a net loss of 28 billion yen ($191 million) for the fiscal year. This was in stark contrast to its earlier projection of a 24 billion yen profit.

Aozora wrote down the value of its non-performing office loans by 58%, including a 63% reduction in Chicago and between 51% and 59% in New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and San Francisco – all of these cities are plagued with violent crime and controlled by radical Democrats.

US office loans totaled about 6.6%, or approximately $1.89 billion. It said 21 office loans worth $719 million were classified as non-performing. It increased its loan-loss reserve ratio on US offices to 18.8% from 9.1%.

Several months ago, we pointed out: “Next bank failure will be in Japan.”

“It’s a shock,” said Tomoichiro Kubota, a senior market analyst at Matsui Securities Co., adding, “The expectation was the worst was over and that the bank had set aside enough provisions.”

For lenders, this development is a major warning sign that a tsunami of office loan defaults could be on the horizon. Many landlords struggle to repay or finance existing loans in an environment with high-interest rates. Some are simply walking away from properties.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

The Cycle of Evil


We are on the inevitable road to perdition for the world economy & financial system, ending in a potential global conflict of uncontrollable proportions. 

Evil begets evil as The Cycle of Evil hits countries at the end of an uncontrollable debt expansion.

The pattern throughout history has always been the same – countries and empires, without fail, become victims of their own success -failure, whether it was the Mongols, Ottomans or the British.

As real growth ceases, a country starts to finance expansion with debt until it cannot even afford the interest on the debt, never mind the capital which it has no intention to repay.

At some point, the people, fearing a war or terrorist attack will approve of the leader’s fear mongering by supporting unlimited debt issuance. This is now happening in the US with regard to Ukraine and Israel.

Neither the US nor Europe is taking a single step to remedy the situation. Both are now in the Cycle of Evil of more deficits, more debt, higher interest costs, leading to more deficits, more debt higher interest costs, leading to ……………..

The Cycle of Evil is also accompanied by decadence and moral decline where leaders invent problems that are not real such as climate change, ESG (environmental, social and governance), forced vaccines and incarcerations, 25 new genders and other woke issues etc. 

Few Americans understand that the next stage of the Cycle of Evil is about to hit them. 

And even fewer Europeans have a clue that they will be dragged down into the same debt collapse quagmire.

The next stage will involve many banks failing, more than the FDIC or government can afford to save without destroying both the Currency and the Bond Market,

A collapsing currency and sovereign debt paper that no investor wants to touch with a bargepole is hardly the right climate for massive debt issuance. 

…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…

Silicon Valley Bank Crisis: The Liquidity Crunch We Predicted Has Now Begun

Silicon Valley Bank Crisis: The Liquidity Crunch We Predicted Has Now Begun

There has been an avalanche of information and numerous theories circulating the past few days about the fate of a bank in California know as SVB (Silicon Valley Bank). SVB was the 16th largest bank in the US until it abruptly failed and went into insolvency on March 10th. The impetus for the collapse of the bank is tied to a $2 billion liquidity loss on bond sales which caused the institution’s stock value to plummet over 60%, triggering a bank run by customers fearful of losing some or most of their deposits.

There are many fine articles out there covering the details of the SVB situation, but what I want to talk about more is the root of it all. The bank’s shortfalls are not really the cause of the crisis, they are a symptom of a wider liquidity drought that I predicted here at Alt-Market months ago, including the timing of the event.

First, though, let’s discuss the core issue, which is fiscal tightening and the Federal Reserve. In my article ‘The Fed’s Catch-22 Taper Is A Weapon, Not A Policy Error’, published in December of 2021, I noted that the Fed was on a clear path towards tightening into economic weakness, very similar to what they did in the early 1980s during the stagflation era and also somewhat similar to what they did at the onset of the Great Depression. Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke even openly admitted that the Fed caused the depression to spiral out of control due to their tightening policies.

In that same article I discussed the “yield curve” being a red flag for an incoming crisis:

…click on the above link to read the rest…


What A Cashless Society Would Look Like

What A Cashless Society Would Look Like

Calls by various mainstream economists to ban cash transactions seem to be getting ever louder, while central bankers have unleashed negative interest rates on economies accounting for 25% of global GDP, with $5.5 trillion in government bonds yielding less than zero. The two policies are rapidly converging.

Bills and coins account for about 10% of M2 monetary aggregates (currency plus very liquid bank deposits) in the US and the Eurozone. Presumably the goal of this policy is to bring this percentage down to zero. In other words, eliminate your right to keep your purchasing power in paper currency.

By forcing people and companies to convert their paper money into bank deposits, the hope is that they can be persuaded (coerced?) to spend that money rather than save it because those deposits will carry considerable costs (negative interest rates and/or fees).

This in turn could boost consumption, GDP and inflation to pay for the massive debts we have accumulated (leaving aside the very controversial idea that citizens should now have to pay for the privilege of holding their hard earned money in a more liquid form, after it has already been taxed). So at long last we can finally get out of the current economic funk.

The US adopted a policy with similar goals in the 1930s, eliminating its citizens’ right to own gold so they could no longer “hoard” it. At that time the US was in the gold standard so the goal was to restrict gold. Now that we are all in a “paper” standard the goal is to restrict paper.

However, while some economic benefits may arguably accrue in the short-run, this needs to be balanced in relation to some serious distortions that could rapidly develop beyond that.

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

“Bank Failures and Systemic Breakdowns”: Regulator Warns on Autos, Subprime, Commercial Real-Estate…

“Bank Failures and Systemic Breakdowns”: Regulator Warns on Autos, Subprime, Commercial Real-Estate…

If you look at auto sales, which are flirting with all-time highs, and at commercial real-estate prices, which are way beyond all-time highs, and if you look at the loans, including subprime, that make it all happen, you’d think the US economy is in a white-hot economic boom.

But the economy is barely limping along. What’s booming is cheap but iffy debt that for the moment still looks good on the surface. And that is rattling bank regulators.

“We are clearly reaching the point in the cycle where credit risk is moving to the forefront,” explained Thomas Curry, Comptroller of the Currency, in a speech today. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) – one in the triad of federal bank regulators alongside the Fed and the FDIC – is fretting about banks’ exposure to the increasing risks of ballooning auto loans, particularly subprime auto loans, and commercial real-estate loans.

As they did in the run-up to the Financial Crisis, banks are “repackaging” these loans, including subprime loans, into highly-rated asset-backed securities, in face of “strong demand by investors” that are reaching for yield, in an environment where banks “are reaching for loan growth.” After having “already extended credit to their best customers,” they’re now lending to “less creditworthy borrowers, with all of the increased risk that entails.”

But the auto-loan binge is good for everyone. It’s good “for automakers and the economy,” he said. “It’s also good for banks,” whose financing made “this activity possible.” By the end of Q2, auto loans accounted for 10% of all retail credit in OCC-regulated banks, up from 7% in Q2 2011.

Total auto-loan balances outstanding shot up 10.5% in 12 months at the end of the second quarter and hit $1 trillion, according to Equifax. And 23.5% of new loans earlier this year were subprime, up from 22.7% a year ago.

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

Austrian Bad Bank “Black Swan” Bail-In Is Unconstitutional, Austria Declare

Austrian Bad Bank “Black Swan” Bail-In Is Unconstitutional, Austria Declare

The subject of bail-ins and bank resolutions is back in the news this month as every eurocrat in Brussels scrambles to determine the best way to recapitalize Greece’s ailing banking sector, which, you’re reminded, is sinking further into insolvency with each passing day thanks to the unyielding upward pressure on NPLs that’s part and parcel the country’s outright economic collapse.

And while you could be forgiven for focusing squarely on the trainwreck that’s occurring in Athens, it would be a mistake to ignore the fact that just a few months back, a black swan landed in Austria when a €7.6 billion capital hole was “discovered” in Heta Asset Resolution, the vehicle set up to resolve the now defunct lender Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank.

In short, the bad bank went bad, and when it became clear that no further state support was forthcoming, Heta Asset Resolution was itself put into resolution and a moratorium on bond payments was declared.

The debacle raised a number of troubling issues not the least of which involves the beautifully picturesquesouthern Austrian province of Carinthia, which had guaranteed some €10 billion worth of Heta debt despite the rather inconvenient fact that annual provincial revenues only amount to around €2.3 billion.


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

ECB Announces Stress Test Results: Here Are The 25 Banks That Failed | Zero Hedge

ECB Announces Stress Test Results: Here Are The 25 Banks That Failed | Zero Hedge.

As was leaked on Friday, when the market surged on news that some 25 banks would fail the ECB’s third stress test (because in the New Normal more bank failures means more bailouts, means the richer get richest, means more wealth inequality), so moments ago the ECB reported that, indeed, some 25 banks failed the European Central Bank’s third attempt at collective confidence building and redrawing of a reality in which there is about €1 trillion in European NPLs, also known as the stress test.

The ECB’s results as summarized by the central bank:

  • Capital shortfall of €25 billion detected at 25 participant banks
  • Banks’ asset values need to be adjusted by €48 billion, €37 billion of which did not generate capital shortfall
  • Shortfall of €25 billion and asset value adjustment of €37 billion implies overall impact of €62 billion on banks
  • Additional €136 billion found in non-performing exposures
  • Adverse stress scenario would deplete banks’ capital by €263 billion, reducing median CET1 ratio by 4 percentage points from 12.4% to 8.3%

The central bank’s punchline: “[the] Exercise delivers high level of transparency, consistency and equal treatment. Rigorous exercise is milestone for the Single Supervisory Mechanism starting in November.”

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

Europe, or The 28 Stooges – The Automatic Earth

Europe, or The 28 Stooges – The Automatic Earth.

Russell Lee Sharecropper mother teaching children in home, Transylvania, LA. Jan 1939

Europe is fast turning into a freak comedy show. Very fast. Or maybe we should say it’s always been one, and it’s just that the Larry, Curly and Moe moves are only now coming out in droves. Or maybe, what do I know, we’re just starting to understand how much talent for farce and slapstick the boys from Brussels have always had.

Just Wednesday, I wrote in 40% of Eurozone Banks Are In Bad Shape about a Reuters report based on Spanish source Efe, that claimed 12 banks would fail the ongoing stress tests, results of which are due this Sunday at 12pm CET (their daylight savings time will be over by then). I noted how the indignation expressed over the leaked data by Brussels seemed odd, since in 2014 everything leaks.

Then, I cited Pimco’s global banking specialist, Philippe Bodereau, saying he thought 18 banks would fail, and moreover, almost a third would narrowly pass. Something that according to several sources was important than who actually failed. Because all banks have had many many months to shore up their capital positions, and if they’re now still below or just above the dividing line today, that’s suspect at best.

…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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