- Astonishing Report from the FedRes Says US Banks Are Not “Sound”
by Simon Black, https://www.sovereignman.com/
Late last week, a consortium of financial regulators in the United States, including the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, issued an astonishing condemnation of the US banking system.
Most notably, they highlighted “continuing gaps between industry practices and the expectations for safe and sound banking.”
This is part of an annual report they publish called the Shared National Credit (SNC) Review. And in this year’s report, they identified a huge jump in risky loans due to overexposure to weakening oil and gas industries.
Make no mistake; this is not chump change. The total exceeds $3.9 trillion worth of risky loans that US banks made with your money. Given that even the Fed is concerned about this, alarm bells should be ringing. Bear in mind that, in banking, there are three primary types of risk, at least from the consumer’s perspective.
The first is fraud risk.
This ultimately comes down to whether you can trust your bank. Are they stealing from you? MF Global was once among the largest brokers in the United States. But in 2011 it was found that the firm had stolen funds from customer accounts to cover its own trading losses, before ultimately declaring bankruptcy. It’s unfortunate to even have to point this out, but risk of fraud in the Western banking system is clearly not zero.
The second key risk is solvency.
In other words, does your bank have a positive net worth? Like any business or individual, banks have assets and liabilities. For banks, their liabilities are customers’ deposits, which the bank is required to repay to customers. Meanwhile, a bank’s assets are the investments they make with our savings. If these investments go bad, it reduces or even eliminates the bank’s ability to pay us back.
This is precisely what happened in 2008; hundreds of banks became insolvent in the financial crisis as a result of the idiotic bets they’d made with our money.