Post Tagged with: "accounting"

Banks shedding asset management businesses

Banks shedding asset management businesses

Here is a chart showing the number of transactions that involve acquisitions of an asset management business by year. It tells us about a couple of trends developing in recent years.

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Economic and market themes: 2014-03-07

Economic and market themes: 2014-03-07

Themes for today:

The US faces political constraints in a cyclical downturn that will limit government response
The US private surplus is under assault
Europe is improving and upgrades to bank stocks are bullish
The Fed tends to tighten before wage growth becomes sustainedEM hidden external debt in eastern Europe makes Ukraine a potential point of contagion
EM hidden external debt is large in China, Brazil and Russia

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US commercial banks’ changing asset mix

US commercial banks’ changing asset mix

Loan growth rate in the US, while better than in the Eurozone, remains on a downward path. The latest figures suggest that loans are increasing at less than 2%, while deposits continue to grow at 6-7% per year.

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What do bank share prices tell us about growth?

What do bank share prices tell us about growth?

Owning shares in a bank is the functional equivalent of owning a call option on the bank’s future operational earnings, and if the share price contains little intrinsic value (i.e. the value of its assets does not exceed the value of its liabilities by a large margin, and may even be less than the value of liabilities), by definition most of its value consists of time value, and so is extremely sensitive to changes in expectations.

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Italy and Spain find creative ways to increase bank capital

Italy and Spain find creative ways to increase bank capital

European banks continue to be engaged in deleveraging. It is partly driven by new capital requirements and partly by preparing for the next year’s ECB’s asset quality review and stress test. The deleveraging process includes reducing assets and boosting regulatory capital. Italian and Spanish officials are finding creative ways to help the banks.

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Covenant-light loans are on the rise

Covenant-light loans are on the rise

The higher demand for leveraged loans is helping to gradually increase leverage of buyout transactions. But a more alarming trend is the sharp relaxation of lending terms – the so-called “cov-lite” (covenant-light) deals. Over 70% of recent deals for example have been structured as covenant-lite.

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FDIC: US banks reported a record $40.3 billion in accounting gains in Q1 2013

FDIC: US banks reported a record $40.3 billion in accounting gains in Q1 2013

Editor’s note: The following press release was issued by the FDIC last week regarding bank accounting gains in the quarter through 31 March.

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How QE works and what this means for asset prices and credit

How QE works and what this means for asset prices and credit

One of the most contentious topics in America is the impact of the Federal Reserve’s policy of “Quantitative Easing” – otherwise known as ‘QE’. The Federal Reserve has committed to spending $85 billion every month buying a wide range of bonds from banks, until such time as the US unemployment rate falls below 6.5 per cent. The Fed has implemented this policy because it believes it is the best way to stimulate demand in a depressed economy. Its critics oppose it because they believe this massive amount of ‘money printing’ must inevitably lead to ruinous inflation. I reckon they’re both wrong, and in a seriously wonky post I’ll try to explain why.

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On claims of depositors, subordinated and creditors and central banks in bank resolutions

On claims of depositors, subordinated and creditors and central banks in bank resolutions

Regarding Cyprus, recently I heard someone claim that depositors are not creditors of a bank despite the fact that deposits are bank liabilities. This is bollocks. Depositors are indeed creditors, particularly in Europe where they are legally pari passu with other unsecured creditors. Below is an extract from a presentation given by an ECB expert on bank resolution schemes addressing who gets preferential treatment in carving up the losses.

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Excess cash on the balance sheet is wealth destruction

Excess cash on the balance sheet is wealth destruction

Many of the largest technology companies are making so much money that they are rapidly accumulating cash on their balance sheets. While on could argue that this cash should be stripped off the balance sheet for valuation purposes, I would argue that the cash is worth less than face value because having excess cash on the balance sheet is an invitation to wealth-destroying acquisitions. The excess cash should be returned to shareholders as quickly as possible in the form of dividends or share buybacks to prevent such an outcome.

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Government deficits are the biggest driver of elevated corporate margins

Government deficits are the biggest driver of elevated corporate margins

I think it goes without saying for those of you who have been using the sectoral balances approach, government deficits are what have been driving corporate profits in the U.S. to record levels. Most analysts and news outlets focus on the micro factors, using a bottoms-up approach. But, looking at it top down from a macro perspective, it is significant […]

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Public pension accounting and low nominal GDP growth

Public pension accounting and low nominal GDP growth

I was reading through an article at Reuters on the problem that public pension plans are having with shortfalls that can only be made up via increased tax revenue, increased investment returns, or decreased benefits. The Reuters article says a recent study shows a shortfall of $1.2 trillion in public pension plans. This is a huge issue that is at […]

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