Where are we now? Good question. It's a global rout, with worldwide governments pumping $3 trillion of rescue capital into the financial system. Will it work? We wanted to quantify the situation with a view to divining how much remaining exposure various financial companies have to potentially radioactive mortgage assets. For the brokerages, things probably can't get too much worse, but the banks may be another story, says Brad Hintz, a Sanford Bernstein analyst.
“For the survivors in the securities industry — that is, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — the remaining exposures to the residential mortgage market are relatively modest,” says Hintz. Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch argues that since it originated its own mortgages, these are in better shape than those of most banks: Merrill's retail clients have stronger credit histories than the average mortgage holder in the country, the firm claims.
That said, commercial mortgages continue to pose some risk to financial services firms. “The risk to Goldman and Morgan is that the slowing economy is going to have its own impact on the mortgage market,” continues Hintz. “Commercial mortgages haven't been a disaster yet, but they will get hit if the economy continues to slow. There will be some fallout, but it won't be life threatening.” For straight-up banks, credit cards and auto loans could become a problem, especially if these institutions weren't using mark-to-market accounting, Hintz says.
MORE TROUBLE AHEAD?
The major bank/brokerage firms are still carrying billions of dollars of potential junk on (and off) their balance sheets. (Data through Q3.)
|Total Mortgage-Related Assets||Sub-Prime Mortgage Assets||Commercial Mortgage Assets||Alt-A Exposure||Tier 1 Capital|
|Citigroup||N/A||$19.6 bn||$19.8 bn*||$13.6 bn||8.2%|
|Merrill Lynch||$72.5 bn||3.0 bn||19.2 bn||3.5 bn||8.7|
|Morgan Stanley||41.0 bn||4.9 bn**||7.7 bn||N/A||12.7|
|Goldman Sachs||27.4 bn||3.7 bn||14.6 bn||3.7 bn||11.6|
|UBS||N/A||6.7 bn||8.2 bn||6.4 bn||11.5 (Oct. 16)|
|Wachovia||312 bn||1.5 bn||45.8 bn||N/A||8.0|
|JPMorgan Chase||480 bn||73.1 bn||186.6 bn||5.8 bn||8.9|
|*From Q2. ** Gross|
|Source: Sanford Bernstein; company reports — UBS, JPMorgan and Wachovia numbers for Q2.|
Write-downs and Capital Raised
In $bn (as of October 6, 2008)
|Bank of America||21.2||20.7|
|IKB Deutsche Industriebank||14.8||12.2|
|Royal Bank of Scotland||14.1||23.1|
|Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce||7.2||2.8|
|Source: Bloomberg and Desjardins, Economic Studies|
Some Insight Into The Great Depression
Length of the Decline: According to NBER, the decline of the economy lasted 43 months. It would have begun in August 1929 and ended in March 1933.
Decline of GNP: According to the data published by Global Financial Data, the GNP declined by 45 percent between 1929 and 1933.
Stock Market Decline: According to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, an 89 percent decline between 1929 and 1932. According to the S&P 500 composite index, an 86 percent decline.
Unemployment Rate: According to Economic Report of the President data, the unemployment rate went from 3.2 percent in 1929 to 24.9 percent in 1933.
Employment: Employment declined by over 30 percent between 1929 and 1933.
Inflation: According to Global Financial Data, the price drop between the high of 1929 and the bottom of 1933 was in the -27 percent range. Between 1930 to 1933, the average yearly price fluctuation was -6.75 percent.
The Difference Between Today's Situation And The Great Depression
Central banks know much better how the economy works and the impact they can have on it.
During the Great Depression, the monetary policy remained very restrictive.
Today's central banks fulfill their roles as lenders of last resort.
Deposit insurance along with other measures help to maintain confidence in the financial system.
We are not forced to adhere to a fixed exchange rate tied to gold.
The market correction was much more important at that time (a negative wealth effect was more harmful to the economy).
Social safety nets are in place today.
Government expenditures increase in crisis situations.
Households can often count on more than one source of income.
Source: DesJardins Economic Studies
Government bailout package includes $250 billion to be invested directly in banks
The U.S. $700 billion TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) plan makes it possible to buy back problem securities. Of this amount, $250 billion are immediately available, a $100 billion extension is available without Congressional approval and another $350 billion could be granted, subject to approval. Nine companies, corresponding to two-thirds of the newly constituted banking system, have been initially selected to receive the first $125 billion in the following investments.
|Citigroup||JPM Chase||Wells Fargo||Bank of America||Goldman Sachs||Merrill Lynch||Morgan Stanley||Bank of New York Mellon||State Street|
|Gov. Invst ($bn)||$25||$25||$25 1||$15||$10||$10||$10||$3||$2|
|Market cap ($bn)3||$101.4||$106.5||$110.9||$133.1||$58.4||$32.7||$23.3||$39.8||$24.5|
|Headquarters||New York||New York||San Francisco||Charlotte||New York||New York||New York||New York||Boston|
|Notes: Bank of America is buying Merrill Lynch,1 =includes $5 bn for purchase of Wachovia; 2 =from most recently reported data, Q3 data for BofA, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley; all others Q2 data; 3 = closing price for 10/14 x shares outstanding.|
|Sources: USA Today, SNL Financial, Bloomberg News, Wall Street Journal, Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Dick Bove|
COMMERCIAL AND RETAIL BANK FAILURES
From 2003 to 2007, there were 10 bank failures in the U.S. Already, in 2008, 13 banks have failed, and that includes the biggest bank failure in American history — Washington Mutual's collapse on September 25. Before it went belly up, Washington Mutual was the sixth largest bank in the U.S.
|Bank||Failure Date ‘08||Location||Deposits||Assets||Full/Partial Acquirer|
|Douglass National Bank||1/25||Kansas City, Mo.||$58.3 mn||$58.5 mn||Liberty Bank and Trust|
|Hume Bank||3/7||Hume, Mo.||13.6 mn||18.7mn||Security Bank|
|ANB Financial||5/9||Bentonville, Ark.||1.8 bn||2.1 bn||Pulanski Bank And Trust Co.|
|First Integrity Bank||5/30||Staples, Minn.||50.3 mn||54.7mn||First International Bank and Trust|
|IndyMac Bank||7/11||Pasadena, Calif.||19.6 bn||32.01 bn||FDIC|
|First Heritage Bank||7/25||Newport Beach, Calif.||233 mn||254 mn FDIC, Mutual of Omaha Bank|
|First National Bank of Nevada||7/25||Reno, Nev.||3 bn||3.4 bn||FDIC, Mutual of Omaha Bank|
|First Priority Bank||8/1||Bradenton, Fla.||227 mn||259 mn||SunTrust Bank|
|The Columbian Bank and Trust||8/22||Topeka, Kan.||622 mn||752 mn||Citizens Bank and Trust|
|Integrity Bank||8/29||Alpharetta, Ga.||974 mn||1.1 bn||Regions Bank|
|Silver State Bank||9/5||Henderson, Nev.||1.7 bn||2 bn||Nevada State Bank, National Bank of Arizona|
|Ameribank||9/19||Northfork, W.Va.||102 mn||115 mn||Pioneer Community Bank, The Citizens Saving Bank|
|Washington Mutual||9/25||Henderson, Nev.; Park City, Utah||188 bn||307 bn||JPMorgan Chase|
|Main Street Bank||10/10||Northville, Mich.||86 mn||98 mn||Monroe Bank & Trust|
|Meridian Bank||10/10||Eldred, Ill.||36.9 mn||39.2 mn||National Bank of Hillsboro, Ill.|
|Source: Fierce Finance|
Non-bank financial firm rescues
|Rescued Firm||Acquirer||Deal Date||Stake||Total Deal Value||Sale price/share||8/31/07 price/share|
|Bear Stearns||JPMorgan Chase||3/24/08*||100%||$1.2 bn||$10||N/A|
|Fannie Mae||U.S. Treasury||9/7/08||79.9||100 bn**+||0.00001||$63.20|
|Freddie Mac||U.S. Treasury||9/7/08||79.9||100 bn**+||0.00001||54.97|
|Merrill Lynch||Bank of America||9/15/08*||100||50 bn||29||71.36|
|Morgan Stanley||Mitsubishi UFJ||9/29/08||21||9 bn||29||60.21|
|Goldman Sachs||Warren Buffett||9/23/08||16**||10 bn+||115||174.23|
|AIG||U.S. Treasury||9/23/08||79.9||122.8 bn++||N/A||64.27|
|Wachovia||Wells Fargo||10/10/08*+||100||15.4 bn||pending||46.43|
|UBS||Swiss government||10/16/08||9.3||6 bn||N/A||52.24|
|*Deal announcement date|
|*+Deal set, Citigroup bows out|
|**Including common stock and warrants for preferred shares|
|**+The U.S. Treasury initially bought $1 bn of senior preferred stock in each company, but has the option to purchase up to $100 bn of a special class of shares in each company.|
|+Includes $5 billion common stock and $5 billion warrants for preferred shares|
|++Government credit facility=$85 billion + 37.8 billion on 10/9/08|
|Source: Company reports|