Wednesday, November 23, 2011

B of A swirls toward the drain

The cost to insure Bank of America debt through credit default swaps has set a new high as it appears that BoA won't be allowed by banking regulators to transfer additional derivatives from its Merrill Lynch division to its banking arm. After a credit downgrade in September they have been effectively using  FDIC insured deposits as collateral to keep the counter parties on their $75 trillion in derivatives from demanding bankruptcy. The Federal Reserve that regulates the big zombie banks was okay with this, the FDIC who would need to cover all the insured deposits was not.

Even BoA says that they are in much worse shape than they thought. Another significant downgrade by the rating agencies require another 8 billion in collateral and will likely mean the end of BoA. This will be a crisis for the FDIC. With BoA holding 17% of all US deposits the cost could run several trillion. The tea baggers in Congress will need to decide if they are willing to pay for it or crash the banking system.

Germany was only able to sell 2/3 of the bonds that it tried to auction today and this does not bode well for the survival of the Euro. A collapse of the Euro could cascade into total economic collapse. News from China hasn't been all that good lately and given their Communist government, it's hard to gauge how well they would weather such a collapse either.

The need for help from food pantries has tripled as millions of former middle class workers burn through the last of their resources and have no choice but to start living the life of the extreme poor. Take those canned goods you've been hoarding down to donate before they expire and buy new ones.

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