The Ides of March… And college basketball time. Here in Kentucky (men #6 in the East, Louisville women’s team #5) I overheard someone on the phone. “Yesterday I saw a woman in Walmart with March Madness teeth. She was down to her final four.” March Madness is in full swing, whether it is hoops or bonds. Or bank stocks. Is this really a fundamental structural plunging of the United States’ financial system? Doubtful. Moody’s came out with a warning about downgrading certain banks in the United States. It is not 2008. How much of this is psychology? Tweeting causing a run on deposits? Banks everywhere are looking at their liabilities (deposits, since they owe their depositors money) and assets (the money lent out using their depositor’s money, or securities owned. “Lending long and borrowing short” works when banks can pay very little on their deposits (like checking accounts earning 0 percent) and take that money and earn 4 or 6 percent on securities. But when the deposit base becomes unstable, and a bank has to liquidate those securities at 80 or 90 cents on the dollar, it becomes a problem fast. (Much more below.) Today’s podcast can be found here and this week is sponsored by Richey May, a recognized leader in providing specialized advisory, audit, tax, technology, and other services in the mortgage industry and in banking. Today’s has an interview with Bank of England Mortgage’s Quinton Harris on the art and science of forecasting the housing, mortgage, and bond markets.
Source: Mortgage News Daily