Bank Contagion

Booster Patrol may need to do another remake here soon, because it’s not looking good for Credit Suisse or for Santander in Spain.

Just got fired from this awful bank. There is literally no money. They’ve made awful investments in at least six countries and want to downsize to an online banking service should they get a bailout. They
are cutting credit card limits so people can’t withdraw money.

This is actually big. Unlike the banks that crashed already, Santander is an international bank that works with middle to lower class private citizens much more than business and rich people. The mood is awful. There is already talks of a massive recession all across the west. It is all but confirmed.

When even people who know nothing about economics are talking about a massive recession, you know you’re already in a serious depression. We have been since 2008, of course, but the declining economic activity been disguised by the combination of zero percent interest rates, government spending, and mass immigration.

Remember, GDP measures economic activity in the form of spending, so every time a Guatemalan enters the USA, receives $30,000 in state and federal assistance, and spends it at McDonald’s and wherever people buy cheap clothes these days, the economy grows!

Notice how it’s the international banks that are particularly struggling now, due to foreign investments that were absolutely unnecessary from the start. Because, as the investment bankers like to say, bears make money and bulls make money, but pigs get slaughtered.

UPDATE: UBS has offered to buy Credit Suisse for up to $1bn, with Swiss authorities planning to change the country’s laws to bypass a shareholder vote on the transaction as they rush to finalise a deal before Monday. The Swiss National Bank and regulator Finma have told international counterparts that they regard a deal with UBS as the only option to arrest a collapse in confidence in Credit Suisse and were working to reach regulatory agreement by Saturday night.

So the biggest banks get even bigger, and banking becomes more centralized and intrinsically more fragile. This is not a fix, this is just buying time until the next failure. Remember, it was UBS that had to be bailed out in 2008.

And notice how the rules are completely ignored. It would normally require a six-week period for UBS shareholders to consider the acquisition.

UPDATE: It looks as if the merger is off as the offer from UBS was rejected, probably because it was for about one-eight the market cap. Now the Federal Council is looking at nationalizing Credit Suisse, which is probably the right way to go. It’s certainly better than handing bankers a windfall while increasing the fragility of the system.

UPDATE: UBS is doubling the size of its offer, to CHF 2 billion, and it appears the offer will be accepted. $6 billion in market cap just vanished. This is what deflation looks like.