THE WOLF STREET REPORT: Free Money Turned Brains to Mush. Now Some Banks Fail

The Fed ended Free Money, and the only thing it broke is the consensual hallucination that spawned during the Free Money era. And look what we got.

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  208 comments for “THE WOLF STREET REPORT: Free Money Turned Brains to Mush. Now Some Banks Fail

  1. SoCalBeachDude says:

    It’s been an absolutely wonderful day for picking up fantastic going out of business fire sale bargains in the world of banking and UBS (the largest bank in Switzerland) scored big time with an 80% off book value ($8.9 billion) dollar deal to pick up Credit Suisse for only $2 billion this morning. Warren Buffet is now earnestly looking about around 200 mid-tier banks for some terrific bargains which may be announced as early as tomorrow morning! Warren will be shopping for banks all week and into the rest of this and if anyone knows about running banks and instilling expertise, it is certainly is Warren and crew!

    • Mike R. says:

      Any time Uncle Warren is “used” to instill faith in the system, its a pretty good indication that things are not going well.

      In this case, letting shareholders of these smaller banks know that should they sell their shares, Warren may be right behind buying the back up.

      • Leo says:

        +1 to Mike R, when long bloated valuations meet reality, it’s not called “cheap”, it’s called “corrected”.

      • Sacramento says:

        Bravo Wolf!!!!

        Brilliant video!

        • kam says:

          Consensual Hallucination is Heroin Addiction.
          Very, very difficult to change free-money drug addicts into working for a living, honest citizens.
          It is far, far easier to get hooked to addictive drugs than getting off.

        • NBay says:

          The choice of the word “mush” kinda takes it out of the moral realm and into the medical one, does it not?

          Guess “sick” is as good as “greedy”, and does open the door for medical treatment.

          Lobotomy charges should be based on ability to pay, though.
          Like putting them in a lock less Jail…..cheaper, less cost and less hassle. Balance of their wealth could pay for care.

      • Nate says:

        WB gets deals the public does not. So, it generally works out good for him to fill the jp Morgan role (google Morgan bank crisis)

        Not perfect on his trades. He famously bought euros and airlines before big declines, if my memory is correct.

    • old school says:

      Warren knows how to pick up a good financial company cheap. Picked up American Express shares fo $2 I think when they got caught up in a scandal. He is limited to 10% stake in a bank I believe.

      I feel like I can value Berkshire pretty good. Probably only mid single digit long term return at $300 per share. Need to pick it up during a recession to lock in hope of long term 10% plus annual returns. Anyway its a stock and nothing is guaranteed.

    • Flea says:

      Did Warren call and tell u this personally,or is it just speculative BS

      • Old school says:

        Its a little b.s. but Buffet has built a big lumbering compound machine of completely owned companies plus stocks. This year its operating plus what he calls look through earnings of the stocks he holds is about $38B and current market cap is $645B. That rounds to 6% if you pay today’s market price.

        To get long term 10% you need market cap to fall to about $380 billon and hope the long term compounding machine continues.

        • Moi says:

          Yeah he buys companies or muscle on the Board, doesnt piddle around with the peasants buying little paper stocks. Different world. But he came by it honestly good for him. If you or I as share owners of Coke went there we would be escorted off the property

        • David Chaney says:

          I think we should remember it was Warren Buffett who said something along the line of “I will tolerate mistakes, but if you ruin a company’s reputation I will be ruthless.” Well, he has a large stake in Wells Fargo and no company has done more to ruin their own reputation than Wells. Mr. Buffett appears to be pleased because to my knowledge he is at Max on Well’s stock.

          I have a personal experience with Wella. During my Chapter 11 BK in 2008 not helped by the rapaciousness of the lenders including Chase who put a receiver on a 5 unit building – unheard of in commercial lending. The BK judge gave it me since , as she said to Chase ,”all you are doing is taking the money. I have seen the pictures of Mr. Chaney’s other properties and you cannot say he doesn’t maintain them well.”

          snyhow, we had to cramdowns on several propertiesincluding one serviced by Wells (but title never transferred from a table lender that went of business 14 years ago ). My appraiser brought the property in at $765K – much to my chagrin. Wells came to the rescue. THEIR appraiser brought it in at $465K, $300k less. The judge agreed with us that we should go with the creditor’s evaluation, and this was the value set in the re-organuzation.

          Wells got mad, returned 5 years of payments every month in defiance of the Court’s order. They have refused to accept their cramdown value continuing to now. 15 years later. they’ve made three attempts at foreclosure, we are now engaged in our fourth battle. Wells did a paper servicing transfer to Special Loan Servicing {SLS) from Wells Fargo to SLS, another shadow “servicer” owned obliquely by Wells.. SLS in under a contempt agreement from the CFPB, and we fight on. We are suing for mortgage fraud to get this wrapped up.,,(I won,:t go back to BK Court. We reopened my BK in 2012 and tried to sue in BK Court to get Wells and Deutsche Bank Ocwen to accept my payments. While we were there the new BK judge let Chase foreclose on my property – at that point 3 years current and I had added $100k to the note to cover the $100k the receiver has stolen from us.) BK judges serve 13 years and then revolve out to “service” the bankster clients they help in court at $750K a year.) Anyhow we settled with Ocwen/ Deutsche Bank, but Wells refused. The judge was crooked so we closed the case, lest she give Wells my property, along with the Chase one.

          Back to Orifice of Omaha. He always has access to insider information, so I am not sure we can really evaluate his successes. On 2008 it was he loaned money to Bank of America at 8 percent just before then Secretary of Treasury Hank Paulson blackmailed Congress to switch the focus of TARP from rescuing homeowners to saving banks (resulting in the Back door $181B rescue of insolvent AIG’s counterparties for their tanked MBS swaps with AIG.

          This includes all big U.S. banks including American Big Banks and foreign banks too – including the Angelic Deutsche Bank and our new poster child Credit Suisse.)

          And let us not forget Buffett’s sage buy or loan of $5B or so the day before Treasury brought the investment banks into the “Too Big to Fail” tent of the FDIC.

          Buffett is the opposite of a “convenient idiot ” The Fed uses Buffett like a stalking horse bidder in bankruptcy cases to shore banks up. The fact he has gotten even richer by it, with no scrutin is s gift of crony capitalism.

          I was the victim of the Fed propping up Big Banks to screw us little capitalists and 10 million foreclosed on American homeowners who never had a chance of a fair deal. The government loaned and gifted and bought bank’s dreck to the tune of $29B government and Fed money. (One could argue one and the same n’est pas?) They used our taxpayer dollars to destroy us. Thanks “foam the runway” Geithner, “TARP”Paulson, and “Extraordinary Measures” Bernanke. They are all unrepentant as an NPR “Marketplace” interview showed in 2018, the years after the peak of the crisis. They have all landed at extraordinarily well paying revolving door perches. Walk Street is ruthless with powerless people, very kind to those who facilitate it’s frauds.

          But all roads lead back to Buffett, who is really more of an unindicted insider. So yes, you can follow Buffett’s footsteps because that is part of the master plan.

        • David Chaney: I have no argument with you.

  2. Longtime Listner says:

    These suckers are still waiting for the pivot, they feel entitled to it!

    • BENW says:

      Any investor (individual or professional) who bought 10/20/30Y treasuries back during the pandemic with ultra low rates & high prices were crazy. They should have known that it wouldn’t be long before the Fed started to raise rates, thus putting downward pressure on their bonds’ value. It was just CRAZY to buy into anything more than 1-2 year bills & notes. At least you’d have a better chance or letting them mature before you really needed the cash. Just absolutely horrible decisions to go so big into long-dated bonds with investments you know you weren’t going to hold to maturity.

      • Leo says:

        Yes, protecting these incompetent banks is equivalent of providing insurance to Fed Pivot bets.

        When stupid bets start making printed money through FDIC insurance claims, we can expect more stupid bets.

      • old school says:

        Buffet has pretty good logic about not buying long term treasuries. His logic seems to be if you are a company you can never run out of cash.

        If you borrow, borrow long so that you only have minimal servicing cost. Keep a huge chunk of money in t-bills in case banking system seizes up and for deploying in recessions. Long term investments should be in businesses that have the pricing power to keep up with inflation which a long term treasury does not have.

      • Seen it all before, Bob says:

        “Any investor (individual or professional) who bought 10/20/30Y treasuries back during the pandemic with ultra low rates & high prices were crazy.”

        That should have been obvious to everyone. Brains turned to mush.
        What did these investors think as long term bond and MBS rates dropped to close to an all-time record low of zero?? That they’d keep going into negative rates? I guess some of the most crazy thought negative rates were possible.

        What is really crazy is that the US government Fannie and Freddie assumed almost all of the risk for mortgages, They packaged them up into MBS’s and sold them to banks. Now the banks are still failing due to buying too many worthless MBS’s. Is this called irony or stupidity?

        The banks have a stormy future. They hold commercial loans that have low rates and many are defaulting due to WFH. They also purchased house MBS’s which put them in a riskier position earlier than if they actually held the mortgage.

        The geniuses at the banks decided to fight the Fed and they are losing. Actually, the bank officers won biggly and are walking away with all of their massive bonuses and stock options.

        • BENW says:

          In terms of MBS, you have it backwards. The Fed bought MBS from banks and from Fannie & Freddie. The Fed is now showing losses on their QT runoffs.

          Owners of MBS bought during the pandemic like SVB are sustaining losses like you suggest.

          Unlike the Fed, they can run out of money.

  3. Jackson Y says:

    Why the f is Too Big to Fail still a thing?

    Were Dodd Frank, Basel III, the yearly stress tests, living wills, etc. all for show?

    Credit Suisse just passed its 2022 stress test. Now it’s getting bailed out by UBS & the SNB because apparently a bank that’s been struggling for years and has already been priced for bankruptcy ($2/share) is “too big to fail.”

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Not a bailout for shareholders, LOL. Looks like shareholders are getting nearly wiped out. The offer values CS shares at CHF 0.76. On Friday it closed at CHF 1.86. So that would be a takeunder for shareholders, instead of a takeover.

      Back in 2007, shares were still at CHF 80.

      SNB offered some backstopping to UBS to take this thing. Too much uncertainty to evaluate the books over the weekend.

      Bargain hunting is a classic money-making activity. Nearly anything can be a bargain if you can buy it at the right price.

      I’m glad. It finally gets CS out of my hair. Four days ago, I wrote this in a comment:

      Credit Swiss has been teetering for years, for as long as I have had this site, which is over a decade, during which time is has been hobbling from scandal to scandal, each time losing billions along the way, and each time, its shares get beaten to a new record low. The SNB is not going to let it collapse, but they could bail in shareholders (there isn’t much left) and contingency convertible bondholders and other unsecured bondholders to recapitalize the bank and make it shrink further. TBH, after a decade of this same thing over and over again, I’m just tired of Credit Suisse. It needs to get out of my hair.

      • Jackson Y says:

        When politicians around the western world promised “no more bailouts” after 2008, it was understood to mean no stakeholder (equity holders, debt holders, employees, customers) of a failing institution would need to be backstopped, either explicitly or implicitly.

        I understand this time around, shareholders are eating the losses, but governments & central banks are still doing a lot of intervention.

        Private-sector bailouts (LTCM, First Republic Credit Suisse) are less offensive compared to taxpayer-funded rescues, but the whole purpose of stress tests & living wills is to make them unnecessary.

        • Bobber says:

          It’s frustrating that government always puts bad incentives in place, then looks to regulation to keep things under control, when they don’t have the smarts or budgets to regulate. It’s much simpler and less costly to take bad incentives out of the system in the first place.

          What the banking system needs is increased capital requirements, say 3x today’s levels. That would be more effective than 100,000 regulators.

        • old school says:

          I realized that I was one of the dummies that rode Credit Swiss down to sub $1. I always keep at least $20,000 in Vanguard Total International Fund to have some diversification out of USA. I didn’t work out my loss from the top but maybe somewhere around $100. Probably millions like me were shareholders without really thinking about it.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        CS should have been taken out the back and shot years ago. There isn’t a banking scandal in the world that CS wasn’t involved in, it seems. Their risk culture was simply beyond salvage.

        • fajensen says:

          Deutsche Bank says: “I have such sights to show you!” :)

          In most things today, there exists a strong “consultant culture”, expressed by proposing what is politically possible “to sell” instead of proposing what is required and necessary.

          “Politically possibly” is typically 30% underfunded, obviously things will keep blowing up going down the road. This is normal – and even expected. We might get used to it for an easier life!

      • Lune says:

        What do you think about the plan to wipe out the AT1 bondholders while still paying out shareholders $3bil? While I shed no tear for either one, it does seem unfair that shareholders get something (~40%) while bondholders who are nominally ahead of them in seniority get nothing.

        Even from a purely practical perspective, this jumping of seniority status reduces confidence in other bank bondholders probably leading to sales of the bonds and — more importantly — higher interest rates for banks that issue them. If you’re the Swiss authorities and you want to calm nerves about bank solvency, the last thing you should be doing is needlessly raising the cost of their capital…

        • Wolf Richter says:

          They’re wiping out shareholders too. That’s just pennies for each share, they’re down 99% from 2007.

          Those AT1 (additional tier 1) bonds — aka contingency convertible or CoCo bonds — are designed to get bailed in when the banks gets in trouble, like preferred shares (see SVB) in the US. And that’s why they typically pay a higher yield.

          Normally, holders of AT1 bonds get bailed in after shareholders got bailed in. That shareholders are getting a few pennies and AT1 holders aren’t even getting a few pennies is controversial and may eventually get litigated.

          Personally, I don’t care. We’re just talking pennies. I’m just glad CS will finally vanish.

        • jdoubleu says:

          Okay, what the hell.
          As I am soon-to-be-retired I’ve been looking at the yields on bonds recently and planning to go safer with my investments by purchasing some.

          I’ve never seen any reference to AT1 bonds, or co-co bonds as you called them, before reading these comments. I’ve been on the fixed income page of my investment account and see no bonds described as AT1.
          What makes these bonds so odiferous that commentators would cheer these bond holders getting wiped out?

        • Wolf Richter says:

          CoCo bonds are commonly used by European banks, and they count as regulatory capital (additional tier 1 capital). In the US, preferred stock is used in a similar way. They both pay higher yields than bonds that are higher up the capital structure, such as senior secured bonds. When the bank gets in wound down, they’re treated like shares usually, which are usually zeroed out. So the risk of getting wiped out is generally about the same as with shares, but you collect a higher yield as long as the bank is doing OK.

        • Flea says:

          My guess is they ripped off the saudis

        • Lune says:


          AT1 bonds are not marketed to retail investors. They’re supposed to be bought by “professional” investors i.e. hedge funds, insurance companies, etc. Some high net worth individuals, especially in the middle east and Asia had access to them through their private banking / wealth management accounts. But otherwise, very few individuals should be holding these bonds.

          Thank your lucky stars that you don’t have any as they’re all crashing today :-) As Wolf mentioned, these are perpetual (i.e. they never mature) bonds that are designed to be automatically bailed in. They have terms for automatic bail-in (e.g. when a bank’s capital ratio falls below say 7%) which get automatically triggered. This is to prevent bail-ins from becoming drawn out political battles like they were in 2007/8. In theory, if you buy a CoCo bond, the prospectus tells you exactly when the bond gets written down (or converted to near-worthless equity), and when that trigger happens, the conversion is automatic. No need to wait for a regulator to do it.

          The issue with CS’s bonds is twofold. First, it’s debatable whether the conditions for automatic writedown were met. CS still had healthy capital ratios. And technically, they didn’t get bankrupt; they got bought out. Sure, the Swiss govt had to step in with numerous guarantees, but does that mean CS is officially a “gone concern”? This will likely be litigated for years, by attorneys far above my pay grade. So we don’t know for sure whether the conditions were met or not.

          Secondly, even if the conditions were met, the general spirit of bankruptcy proceedings is that equity is the most junior (i.e. takes the first losses), and then the various bonds come next (based on their own seniority). That means that, even though AT1 bonds are the most junior of all bonds, they should still be senior to equity. The fact that equity got $3bil from UBS while AT1 bonds got none is what is throwing the bond market into turmoil. If both of them were written down to zero, there would be much less controversy. Or conversely, if that $3bil when to the bondholders. Or even if the bondholders got converted to equity, which then got a few pennies of that $3bil, I think most people would be okay. But a lot of AT1 bondholders right now (thankfully that should not include any individual retail investors) are consulting their securities lawyers and wondering how exposed they are to the next bank default.

      • kramartini says:

        While it is too early for anyone to have fully analyzed the UBS-CS deal, it is striking that the CS common shareholders are getting UBS shares while the CS AT1 bondholders are getting nothing. This is an inversion of the normal priority. Why is this happening?

        My thought is that there was no deal acceptable to UBS that would have not have resulted in a lawsuit from AT1 bondholders. Since UBS was going to get sued anyway, and any such lawsuit would probably get settled by negotiation, UBS thought it best to start the negotiations at zero.

        Does anyone else have any thoughts?

        • Wolf Richter says:

          That one gets a few pennies (-99% from 2007 price) and the other doesn’t even get a few pennies, when both should have gotten 100% wiped out, is going to get litigated.

        • Lune says:

          They would have had less of an issue if they just wiped out both. Then the bondholders couldn’t complain. Sure CS was trying to get something for their shares (probably since executives I’m assuming have a lot of previous compensation tied up in CS stock) but they weren’t exactly in a position to negotiate.

          The real question is why did FINMA allow UBS to pay the shareholders and not the bondholders. My two theories:

          1. CS shares are held by lots of Swiss retail investors. AT1 bonds are generally not sold to retail. They’re supposed to be held by professionals. So politically it’s easier to give a few pennies to Swiss voters than allocate it to hedge funds and other professional investors.

          2. The Saudis own 10% of the bank. Perhaps they felt the need to pay them back something.

          Wolf, you keep saying it’s pennies on the dollar regardless but that’s not quite accurate. CS share price months ago has been down 90% from 2007 i.e. most of the 99% decline you cite happened over years, leaving plenty of time for stock investors to get out. I believe the AT1 bonds are trading at close to par just a couple of weeks ago. So the loss definitely stings more.

          Regardless I guess I’m glad that both took a hit, as they should. But I wonder what these decisions will do to the bond market come Monday morning. Will any bank be able to issue AT1 bonds again? Who would buy them knowing they have less seniority than equity?

          They always seemed like a stupid buy to me (classic picking up pennies in front of a bulldozer) but now, they’re confirmed to be riskier then equity. I could easily see investors fleeing bank bonds thanks to the uncertainty now of where exactly in the seniority ladder they stand.

        • Bobber says:

          We live in a time when long-standing norms, social contracts, and promises are no longer respected. Instead of accountability and responsibility, we get hidden agendas and narratives.

        • TheReasonableMan says:

          Either way the CS deal has just killed off AT1s/CoCos and they are in for a dramatic repricing and/or will never be issued again in their current form

          Simplistically, UBS gets CS for -3 (equity) + 16 (AT1). If you accept that was a good deal, the old (well ~10 years old) bail-in hierarchy would suggest it should have been 0 (equity) + 13 for the AT1s.

          Where am I wrong that the current deal has upended central banks design of AT1s, presumably for political expediency (forget whether it’s a good or bad deal for a moment)

          What arguments will UBS put forward for legally rewriting the hierarchy. Time to get the legal popcorn ready for the fireworks show

        • kramartini says:

          The issue is not one of liability, but of damages. The AT1 bondholders should have been paid before the common shareholders. But how much?

          The common shareholders got $3.3 billion in UBS stock, compensation that should have gone to AT1 bondholders. So a reasonable outcome in the end would be for UBS to issue $3.3 billion in common shares to the AT1 bondholders…

        • SoCalBeachDude says:

          The Credit Suisse shareholders are being given the UBS shares on a 22 to 1 exchange basis as a mere tiny token in this deal.

        • kramartini says:


          $3.3 billion would represent about 20 cents on the dollar for the AT1 bondholders. A major loss, but still real money.

      • SoCalBeachDude says:

        Indeed, and $19 Billion in Credit Suisse Coco Bonds are now wiped out and worthless.

      • Catching a knife says:

        IMO – Nearly every publically traded company has been hobbling along via reverse splits, pulling off the shelf shares or merger for as long as there has been public trading stock operators.
        Each time the ‘public’ is fleeced in favor of the Kings and their Kings (who shall not be named).
        The PPT has become so front and center – no longer hiding – that the rug pull crypto reset is upon the public: if you let it. MadMax and Barterville was our future lesson: project plan.

      • sunny129 says:


        Isn’t 17.5 Billions (coco) bonds went zero but Equity holders got relatively with 1 share of UBS for 22 shares of CS.

        Bonds were always to get ‘any thing’ left before the Equity holders foe decades. NOW in the name of financial stability, they switched the rule in mid-game.

        How does it affect corporate bonds out there, now, small banks with wider exposed, with their large concentration of of loans in commercial RE sector, including offices.

        “Steven Blitz, chief U.S. economist at TS Lombard, pointed out the problem in a prescient report entitled “Is a Small Bank Problem Brewing?” weeks before the SVB debacle broke. Not only were these institutions more aggressive lenders than their larger peers, he warned, they also have a larger concentration of loans in commercial real estate, which has big problems, especially in the office-building sector. (h/t Barrons)

  4. SoCalBeachDude says:

    Yellen, Powell and Lagarde praise fast action by Swiss officials to ensure Credit Suisse deal

  5. Spencer says:

    Now Elizabeth Warren wants to raise FDIC insurance and premiums. That’s how the BOJ created a lost decade. It has unlimited deposit insurance. That destroys Vt.

    –Danielle Dimartino Booth’s book: “Fed Up”, pg. 218

    “Before the financial crisis, accounts were insured up to the first $100,000 by the FDIC. That limit kept enormous sums in the shadow banking system. After the crisis, the FDIC raised the insured account limit to $250,000.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Unrelated to this comment here… your comments fall into two categories: 1. excellent comments on various things; and 2. comments that promote some kind of crazy economic theory (that I cannot figure out where it’s coming from). And I block those comments.

      When I first started the predecessor site, and even in the early years of this site, I had lots of comments that promoted the principles of MMT (without actually naming MMT). I didn’t realize it for the first few years, but as I got wiser about this stuff, I saw the pattern. So I reached out to these commenters via their log-in emails. I suppose most of them were fake. But one of them actually worked. He replied back and said he was an old guy in Australia making a little money posting these comments. A paid MMT troll. They were swarming the blogs. That’s how MMT became a big thing in the blogosphere. I’ve been blocking all comments that promote MMT principles since then.

      But the theory you’re promoting is not MMT. I don’t know what it is. But it’s pretty crazy. Maybe some professor is trying to do with his theory what Prof. William Mitchell (University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia), was able to do with his MMT.

      Can you give me any clues, such as which economics professor is trying to promote what theory?

      • Xavier Caveat says:

        The MMT cult is pretty damned sure that a country can print till the cows come home, which has never had very good results.

        • elysianfield says:

          The key to MMT is not money printing, but rather requiring other nations to accept the currency printed.

      • Brian says:

        Blows my mind that MMT would have paid shills posting on blogs. I never really cared about MMT, since it just seemed like a philosophical take on the role of money or an explanation for why governments can get away with huge deficits. Then I’d hear it in popular media as a synonym for unlimited spending (“Bernie is going to do MMT”), which is kind of silly. Is there an article on these blog shills somewhere?

      • NBay says:

        Maybe start with all the badly NEEDED “modern miracles” we all now enjoy thanks to genius entrepreneurs getting filthy rich using…….drum roll…… FRACTIONAL BANKING?

        Just a crazy thought, I’m sure.

        Meanwhile, like any good consumer, I look forward to my self crashing car, huge new churches and homes, my talking refrigerator, drugs that cure ANYTHING, and long intelligent conversations with my AI box, to name just a FEW wonderful and exciting things coming…
        ……..on behalf of those not yet born, of course……

        • NBay says:

          So much for my Economic “situational awareness”, or as 91B20 might say, “recon in the smoke”. In my case the visibility is down to under 1″ and I’m deaf. But, I like following this ongoing “financial book” with many writers much better than other financial media, and it is a big aspect of life, not my favorite, but a big one.

        • NBay says:

          Another point. As a Biologist first and foremost, I think your body is the only “reality” you have, with a “gestation period” of about 4 Billion years. Our pathetic hominid cultural evolution pales in comparison, including our “thinking”.

          Alfred Korzybski proposed a theory of sanity in his general semantics. He believed sanity was tied to the logical reasoning about and comprehension of what is going on in the world. He imposed this notion in a map-territory analogy: “A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a ‘similar structure’ to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.”[3] Given that science continually seeks to adjust its theories structurally to fit the facts, i.e., improves its maps to fit the territory, and thus advances more rapidly than any other field, he believed that the key to understanding sanity would be found in the study of the methods of science (and the study of structure as revealed by science). The adoption of a scientific outlook and attitude of continual adjustment by the individual toward their assumptions was the way, so he claimed. In other words, there were “factors of sanity to be found in the physico-mathematical methods of science.” He also stressed that sanity requires the awareness that “whatever you say a thing is, it is not”[4] because anything expressed through language is not the reality it refers to: language is like a map, and the map is not the territory. The territory, or reality, remains unnamable, unspeakable, and mysterious. Hence, the widespread assumption that we can grasp reality through language involves a degree of insanity.

      • TrBond says:

        Wolf, A few years ago, when Biden was deciding on who would be Fed Chair, Lael Brainard wanted the job. She spoke favorably of MMT then .
        Perhaps she was currying favor with all the free money advocates in Congress.

        Nevertheless, she never got castigated for her those comments. Instead she got promoted, to Head of Biden’s Economic team.

        She needs to answer for that. Why do the Fed press always give her a pass?

        • Mike R. says:

          She’s one of the clan. Don’t fool yourself. She was moved to the White House so than when Powell has to be moved out due to economic calamity, she will not be associated with that (as far as the unsuspecting public goes),

    • Rogerlagerfeldt says:

      And npw unlimoted insurance

    • lordsunbeamthethird says:

      Not to defend the bankers, but aren’t they obliged by regulations and financially driven by the nominal risk weighting to hold treasuries? I kind of assumed banks (insurance companies, pension schemes as well) were forced to maintain treasuries as reserves irrespective of preference.

      • Nate says:

        I guess the stress tests that the tbtf banks have to do look at liquidity issues, and the shorter you are the more liquid you are, but wolf would know.

        Banks blowing up on bad bets have been around forever. They play stuffy and boring but happily will take on insane risks like anyone who is playing with someone else’s money, unless heavily regulated.

      • old school says:

        One thing that crossed my mind is if retail depositors are getting skittish and pulling funds from banks, then retail stockholders must be getting skittish too.

        • sunny129 says:

          That’s the next Domino fall in this on going CBers’ KABUKI circus. But any thing apparently solved, by ‘doing whatever’ needed’ under the fig leaf of ‘financial stability’

          I wonder what’s the end game here?

  6. Nevada22 says:

    When Bernanke became Fed Chairman in early 2006, Federal Reserve assets were $836B. Fed assets skyrocketed to $4.0 TN in Feb. 2014 by his departure. Fed assets peaked at $8.97 TN in April 2022.

    Federal Reserve Total Assets up $297 billion last week to $8.639 TN. While this is happening the, Treasury has drawn down its General Account over $611B since last April, almost exactly the amount of QT. The trends are basically unstoppable, and the prior peak in Fed assets is going to be soon bested. Look for $10-11T by year end.

    Unrestrained Fiscal spending, slowing economy hitting tax receipts, the already vast and growing tentacles of governenment loan guarantees, higher aggregate net interest rates paid on US debt as maturities roll forward, and more – Fed Money Printing over the long haul is basically unstoppable.

    Our entire economy and its long term and growing obligations, are tragically very similar to our current banking system:
    great credit ratings, with a terrifying mis-match of short term demand deposits(government spending) vs. long duration system assets(present value of future tax revenue vs. present value of future spending), going ever deeper in the red.

    • BENW says:

      As of last Thursday, the Treasury’s GA only has $285B, and it’s a long way until early June when D-Day arrives.

  7. Danno says:

    Worldwide “coordinated” USD swaps?

    The new pivot?

    When does inflation hit 15%.

    When does ole Yeller and Powster reign to Ms. Warren?

    • Arya Stark says:

      ZH is blasting non stop tweets about the fed capitulation and new qe. It’s nauseating. I rely on wolf for my sanity.

      • Fed up says:

        Yeah, I’ve had it with ZH anymore. They have been wishing and hoping for a pivot and spewing that BS for almost a year now. I used to like ZH, but something has changed.

        • grimp says:

          For a decade ZH blasted QE (rightly so).

          But when the FED raised rates, it was ZH that pivoted.

          Call it “non domestic” propaganda. Good riddance.

        • fajensen says:

          ZH needed money. Crypto-bro’s, Accellerationists and of course Russians/FSB had money. So ZH stopped cirkling and went down the drain for good.

        • CSH says:

          The other comments in reply to yours already covered most of the points that I would have made, but I would add that ZH had been in decline for a long time. You may recall that when it first was around from about 2009 until 2012, it had very high quality analysis. Then it went through a populist phase until about 2017, and the articles weren’t quite as high quality, but sometimes there were still good articles. Then during the Trump years and through the pandemic it really seemed to lose the plot. It reads more like propaganda / disinfo than news (sadly, a very common thing these days). Since the new era of the Fed starting last year they’ve been consistently wrong about everything. I don’t even visit the site anymore.

        • Mark says:

          Wolfstreet and Zero Hedge I say they’re the two best sites on the internet.

          Maybe I’m bi-polar ? ha

        • Cas127 says:

          In a true emergency, DC/Fed has *nothing* other than MMT/print
          …so they will *never* completely rule it out (they’ve been using it on an interim basis enough..

          But they also don’t talk about it because the more people think about it, for longer, the more people realize it is nothing more than G directed inflation, allowing DC to “save/redistribute/control” far beyond constitutional limits.

          It is the tool that dare not speak its name.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      1. Those swap lines have been open for many years, and I have been reporting on them monthly in my Fed balance sheet update for a LONG TIME. And now they’re new? LOL

      2. Swaps are not QE; they’re an exchange of currencies. 7-day swaps unwind after 7 days, the Fed gets its dollars back, and the other central bank gets its currency back.

      3. not “worldwide”: but Bank of Canada, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, ECB, and the SNB.

      4. Today they changed when the 7-day swaps can be initiated. Used to be once a week. They changed it to any day of the week.

      5. The change seems to be designed to give dollar liquidity to SNB (in exchange for CHF) for the UBS-CS deal on Monday.

      6. The SNB last used those swap lines in Oct 2022 to provide dollar liquidity to CS. After a few weeks, the last swap was unwound and the balance was 0.

      This is the exact wording from the Fed:

      “To improve the swap lines’ effectiveness in providing U.S. dollar funding, the central banks currently offering U.S. dollar operations have agreed to increase the frequency of 7-day maturity operations from weekly to daily. These daily operations will commence on Monday, March 20, 2023, and will continue at least through the end of April.”

      • Danno says:

        Thank you for setting me straight Wolf!

      • Whatsthepoint says:

        Wolf, you know I’m a total fin dummy, but per #2 above “the Fed gets its dollars back “, is that not inflationary for the US? Is that why you think rates will still go up? I’m confused..

        • Wolf Richter says:

          No, the Fed exchanges (“swaps”) US$ 1 billion with the SNB for CHF 925 million. Seven days later, the Fed gets the US$ 1 billion back and returns the CHF 925 to the SNB. The Fed charges some interest for this, currently ca. 4.8% APR. That’s all it is. But this way, the SNB can give temporary USD liquidity to CS. It did that last October for a couple of weeks. And it looks like they’re planning to do it for the USB-CS deal today.

    • Fed Up says:

      Pro pivot types are saying it’s capitulation with more to follow. It better not be. I’m sure Wolf will enlighten us.

    • Yannick says:

      There is no Fed pivot and no new QE.
      So far, QT is controlled demolition. Blowing up reckless bankers is what QT does. With ongoing QT, insolvent banks can now borrow at the BTFP. Expect reserves to decline further due to ongoing QT, an almost drained TGA account, and a rush to MMFs (look at past recessions; when unemployment rose, there was a flight to MMFs) and thus to RRP (further draining liquidity).
      Expect QT to further weigh on risk on assets in a risk-off environment (recession, unemployment) as the dash for cash takes over. This is not like 2018–2019, where despite QT, risk on assets rose. That was because there was no risk-off environment. The Fed had already announced the end of QT in December 2018, so risk on took over. The repo spike happened because risk on assets were bought despite declining liquidity. 
      This time it will not be repo spiking. The demand for cash in a risk-off environment with declining liquidity will eventually lead to a panic sell off in risk on assets. 

      • Old school says:

        It will be interesting if Fed can ease us out of the bubble. The French tried to ease out of their paper bubble in late 1700’s but confidence was totally lost in the paper. They even burned the paper instruments in the street to show the over supply was being extinguished.

        Its just human nature to panic when you fear your asset will lose most or all of its value.

        • sunny129 says:

          Old School

          “It will be interesting if Fed can ease us out of the bubble”


          Why do you think they created 3rd largest ‘everything’ bubble” as a cure to their previous bubbles (Boom-Bust cycles) in this century. They are using the SAME TOOLS!

          Using DEBT as a solution (even if it is temporary) for all the financial problems world wide, nearly 16 years after GFC and expect to succeed this time?

          The Total Global debt to GDP is now over 400% (450%?)
          What’s the END game?

  8. Phil says:

    Apologies if this was discussed in earlier posts. About the legislation passed in 2019 to change banks subject to stress tests – from minimum threshold of 10B to 250B. If that legislation had not passed, would SVB’s ‘problems’ been caught ahead of time? Would they have simply blown up sooner? Would they have had time to look for investors? Would it have been tamped down with phone calls to the right politicians? And, if that Legislation was indeed poorly thought out, who is to blame for passing it?

  9. SocalJimObjects says:

    The Fed has just opened daily US Dollar swap lines again, because there’s no issues whatsoever. Nothing to see here.

    • Danno says:

      I’t’s only paper Jim, only paper..

    • Wolf Richter says:

      1. Those swap lines have been open for many years, and I have been reporting on them monthly in my Fed balance sheet update for a LONG TIME. And now they’re new? LOL

      2. Swaps are not QE; they’re an exchange of currencies. 7-day swaps unwind after 7 days, the Fed gets its dollars back, and the other central bank gets its currency back.

      3. not “worldwide”: but Bank of Canada, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, ECB, and the SNB.

      4. Today they changed when the 7-day swaps can be initiated. Used to be once a week. They changed it to any day of the week.

      5. The change seems to be designed to give dollar liquidity to SNB (in exchange for CHF) for the UBS-CS deal on Monday.

      6. The SNB last used those swap lines in Oct 2022 to provide dollar liquidity to CS. After a few weeks, the last swap was unwound and the balance was 0.

      This is the exact wording from the Fed:

      “To improve the swap lines’ effectiveness in providing U.S. dollar funding, the central banks currently offering U.S. dollar operations have agreed to increase the frequency of 7-day maturity operations from weekly to daily. These daily operations will commence on Monday, March 20, 2023, and will continue at least through the end of April.”

  10. William Smith says:

    “highly paid geniuses” … also highly “educated” geniuses. Peter Theil said that “a degree is a dunce cap in disguise.” So what is the value of “ivy league?” I would say it has negative value. I would rather some average person be in charge of a bank than these pompous self-entitled “well educated” morons, as it would be hard to do much worse than has already been done. This proves that “education” endumbificates those that fall within its clucthes. Obviously I am ignoring deliberate criminal elements as I like to think that most people are basically decent. But just as in “medicine,” the “education system” is designed to weed out those with moral fibre, and develop and encourage sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies.

    • sufferinsucatash says:

      In medicine the education system used to flunk out the people who could not take the abuse. Because the job is abuse. It is the smartest people you will ever know being thrown at a person who is dying. They either need to be a navy seal of medicine or they will crack and get their azz sued off.

      Nowadays the medical education system was dummied down and you are getting Pansies. Any doc under 48 years old prob had a watered down residency, where they had breaks. Older than 48 and they are the Navy Seals. So it is best to ask for the older MD.

      It’s all about a hoover sound sucking the boomer’s fortune dry with nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Who legally need to be in the same building as their attending doc. But honestly they hardly supervise them. Pro tip: def ask for the MD or DO who graduated Med school in America and did their Residency here as well. Obviously Europe prob has similar standards, I’m just not familiar with it over there.


      • VintageVNvet says:

        Anecdotal based reply, far damn shore sufferer:
        Some of the best MD type docs of my, unfortunately long experience as one with multiple ”dis abilities” due to very bad auto type ”accident” 50 years ago,,, have been from India and other countries ”outside USA”….
        ALL of those MDs have been required and have done various and sundry ”USA” thorough ”vetting” exercises, including RE-doing their ”residences” and subsequent to be able to match their skills, many of which were very well earned in their countries of origin… to the ”absolute requirements” of USA…
        Just saying from personal experience,,, have absolutely ”no dog in this fight” for anything other than truth in this.

      • Cas127 says:

        Pls step us through the TGA/MMF/RRP process (no abbreviations).

        I basically get that you are discussing a shift to less risky assets (as Treasury yields rise) but those references TGA/MMF/RRP seem to be at different player levels, so it is hard to follow your risk-off flow argument.

        Just take us step by step through the flow to less risky assets (Treasuries ultimately I guess).

        I get the argument that riskier asset prices collapse as higher yielding 100 pct safe Treasuries yield much above nothing (see DCF formula too for same result, different angle) but you seem to be pointing to intermediate shift/flow stages that I don’t grasp.

    • Auld Kodjer says:

      Bill – I kinda half agree with you and kinda half don’t.

      Sure, some of the dumbest people I have met have PhDs.

      But I also agree with the old saying about “Education is the kindly of a flame”. And Cambodia / Kampuchea didn’t go so well in the late 70s.

      I don’t think education is the problem here.

      The problem is short-term bonus structures and the people with doctorates in shithouse cunning that manipulate those bonus structures for personal greed.

      • Sporkfed says:

        Bingo !

      • Been There says:

        Interestingly, many of the top Khmer Rouge leaders were French educated teachers. Toul Sleng was originally a school. One wonders what Lycée Sisowath Faculty Lounge politics had been like…or if they led to what came in 1975.

      • Antonym says:

        Excess clever personal greed is the problem, but it also the motor driving Capitalism. Homo sapiens’ nature needs a big change: the great apes already had emotional greed.

        • anon says:

          “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
          – Blaise Pascal

        • NBay says:

          The millions in jail in the US might differ with that. However they do provide a LOT of jobs….law and law enforcement is BIG BIZ! 100’s of Billions at LEAST, if not over a Trillion!
          Never thought of it as creating Buddhas, though……my longest stretch was 5 months.
          Maybe it helped me and I don’t know it?

          Nothing against you or Pascal, he was good at math….guess it’s just another one of those context things?

    • Flea says:

      Most really smart people ,have no common sense. I’ll take common sense anytime.

      • Joe says:

        Saint Thomas Aquinas divides the intellect into logical and practical. What you are calling “smarts” and “common sense” I guess. Yes there are plenty of people with strong former and weak latter. IMO the US education system at least fosters this.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          IMO as a teacher IN the CA system for a few years, although to be clear, in the ROP program designed to help those kids not really doing well in the ”Comprehensive Schools” at the time,,,
          It certainly seems to me that the entire USA ”education system” needs to go back to the base or basics of the HSs I went to in the fifties and sixties.
          Many, if not most, of my peers were mostly attracted to the ”hands on” type of education offered those days, and willing to ”put up with” the other stuff because they could see the math was going to help with their businesses based on their ability and skills at their business…
          Somehow and some when, WE, in this case WE the WORKERS who actually Make and DO stuff have been ”SUCKERED” into some very badly managed and manipulated current situation where,,, EVERYONE ”MUST” go to ”college.”

  11. Spencer says:

    Interest rate suppression was supposedly a product of the “wealth effect”. It was an attempt to drive staid funds towards riskier investments.

    Secular stagnation is just the deceleration in the transaction’s velocity of funds due to the impoundment of savings in the payment’s system.

    30 years after Pritchard said it, Dr. Philip George echoed it (see the Riddle of Money Finally Solved). The pundits are just astonishingly stupid.

  12. sufferinsucatash says:

    That was excellent!! I pointed at my head every time you said “brains turned to mush”. LOL

    I think we all have the neighbor or two who their brain is mush. They are still spending like there is no tomorrow, paid too much for their house and have a vacation house as well. I guess they will have to sell some things.

  13. Gary Yary says:

    I liked the “mush brain” analogy Wolf.

    Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck.

    It is not a duck.

    It is a Bull!

    And it flies to the moon!

  14. GringoGreg says:

    So, far the bond market is green, confirming Fed cuts in rates is in the cards!

  15. Fed up says:

    This just came out from Federal Reserve, “coordinated action to enhance the provision of liquidity via the standing U.S. dollar liquidity swap line arrangements ” Pro pivot types are calling it capitulation and saying rates cuts are soon to follow. God, I hope not. I’m so sick of all of it.

    • Fed up says:

      Opening daily Dollar Swap lines with all major central banks. I’m not sure what this will mean, but I’m sure Wolf will let us know.

      • butters says:

        Any deflationary impulse, they are quick to squash it…strange way to fight inflation, no?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Fed up,

      1. Those swap lines have been open for many years, and I have been reporting on them monthly in my Fed balance sheet update for a LONG TIME. And now they’re new? LOL

      2. Swaps are not QE; they’re an exchange of currencies. 7-day swaps unwind after 7 days, the Fed gets its dollars back, and the other central bank gets its currency back.

      3. not “worldwide”: but Bank of Canada, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, ECB, and the SNB.

      4. Today they changed when the 7-day swaps can be initiated. Used to be once a week. They changed it to any day of the week.

      5. The change seems to be designed to give dollar liquidity to SNB (in exchange for CHF) for the UBS-CS deal on Monday.

      6. The SNB last used those swap lines in Oct 2022 to provide dollar liquidity to CS. After a few weeks, the last swap was unwound and the balance was 0.

      This is the exact wording from the Fed:

      “To improve the swap lines’ effectiveness in providing U.S. dollar funding, the central banks currently offering U.S. dollar operations have agreed to increase the frequency of 7-day maturity operations from weekly to daily. These daily operations will commence on Monday, March 20, 2023, and will continue at least through the end of April.”

      • old school says:

        Hussman dropped his monthly article over the weekend. Always a good read when the Fed is active especially for peons like me trying to understand the banking system.

        Been seeing a some good charts out there on equity risk premium. Latest one was by Morgan Stanley I think. It kind of comes down to why do you want to hold equities with an earnings yield of 5% when you can get 5% risk free. Usually equity risk premium will rip higher (PE lower) very quickly.

  16. khowdung Flunghi says:

    Looking in the rear view mirror from 55 years ago…

    “On March 19, 1968, President Johnson signed a bill eliminating the gold cover for Federal Reserve notes and for United States notes and Treasury notes of 1890.”

    From there, it was off to the races!

    • Xavier Caveat says:

      Redemption of silver certificate banknotes for actual silver ended also in 1968 under lbj.

  17. old school says:

    Life is mainly about incentives and with free money the incentives are wrong.

    The Fed seems to be an echo chamber, where they can’t see the obvious. Seems like they would have old farts like Dave Stockman, Marc Faber or Jim Grant in the meetings once a year to give an alternate view of what the easy money policies might lead to. Maybe central bankers know all the downsides and its just a game for them in a representative democracy.

    The incentive for a central banker is there are millions waiting for them in a cushy job or speaking engagements or book deal if they play the role the way Uncle Sam needs. I am undecided on Powell. He appears to want to get us out of easy money, but it might be too late without imploding the economy like John Law.

    I don’t trust any companies or banks to put a long term stockholders interest first unless they have demonstrated it through good times and bad. Usually the signs are in the SEC filings on compensation and also how levered up the company is.

    • Spencer says:

      Jim Grant is a snitch.

      • longstreet says:

        “How can 4000 yr lows in interest rates be a good thing?”
        J Grant

      • old school says:

        I couldn’t remember the number, but I just read Yellen got a little over $7 million for giving a few speeches between being Fed chair and treasury secretary. That is at least the appearance of a conflict of interest. Print money and get it returned to you.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      best comment yet IMHO OS…
      thanks for your continuing to help WE the PEONs on ”Wolf’s Wonder.”
      PLEASE continue.
      Thanks again…

  18. phleep says:

    All this “free money” has turned into a heavy anchor on banks’ balance sheets dragging them toward the bottom. They did let it turn brains to mush. It is time for the reckless bankers to take the hit, to whatever degree that can be done, and shareholders, versus any other stakeholders.

    But this is like a hostage situation now. Bailouts sometimes must occur to avoid runs and systemic collapses. But the responsibility should be fixed where it belongs.

    • old school says:

      All my family and friends have been or are in process of moving money out of banks as the spread between t-bills/ mutual fund m/m got wide to deposits. Retail customers are known to be sticky, but now there is an alternative the deposits will flee and will not go back without being paid to move them back.

      • Bobber says:

        Banks and Credit Unions get a bird’s eye view of their own destruction. The money that moves into TreasuryDirect is transferred via direct debit.

        It must feel like being stuck in traffic, with nowhere to go, when suddenly the semi-truck in front of you starts backing up.

  19. longstreet says:

    What we are seeing in the way the Fed and Treasury are handling these bad decision making banks is akin to the decline of meritocracy.

    The consequences for making bad is getting closer to the benefits of making good. Cushioning and forgiving bad moves with unwarranted relief does little to deter further bad moves.

    • LK says:

      Meritocracy was always a bogus system at its core. There is no decline, only a pulling back of the curtain.

      • longstreet says:

        The markets are the blind arbiter of decision making.
        Those who make the best decisions SHOULD go forward with more good decision making. This makes things/markets more efficient.
        Those who make bad decisions should be reduced in their impact to the markets or eliminated.
        That is meritocracy in its purest form. No appointed panel deciding what is right or wrong……just a massive market of participants.

        • LK says:


          The markets are not some force separate from the agents participating or the regulators protecting it from itself, unless you want to cop to the Invisible Hand being subject to mass / group psychology.

          It doesn’t follow the “best” decisions, whatever THAT means, lead to more efficiency in the market, and how are we defining an efficient market in the first place? I’ll admit ignorance on that last point as it is traditionally understood.

          It feels like a tautology to say that those who make bad decisions should have bad outcomes …

          I don’t think “meritocracy” as you’ve implicitly defined it is something to be applied to a market of participants, that’s just making a case that people who are good at sales or brokers are going to do better in a market without saying anything about the legality or long term consequences of their work. It doesn’t say anything about the effects of collusion or collaboration in manipulating markets.

        • elbowwilham says:

          You created a stawman out of longstreet’s post.

          What’s your alternative to meritocracy? Nepotism and identity politics?

        • LK says:

          My alternative starts with the nuance that I am baselessly accused of lacking, but I’m not so foolish to think that a commentator on an independent blog has it all figured out.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        TOTALLY AGREE with the longstreet on this question LK:
        Unless and Until USA goes back to the very very clear situation that prevailed, far damn shore, from 7dec1941 until the end of world wide global WAR…
        WE will have NO peace and NOT MUCH prosperity in ”real terms”…
        Doesn’t matter much how many ” politically correct” so called solutions happen,,, USA MUST have meritocracy above all to continue to be the ”shining city on the hill” in spite of any attempts to do otherwise with various and sundry efforts to the contrary.

        • LK says:

          REAGAN talked a good GAME but the REALITY didn’t match his WORDS.

          If you want to go back to the Golden Age of Capitalism in the United States following WWII, then I suspect what you mean is decimating the world’s industrial base and making them dependent on U.S. exports and largesse while also rolling back civil rights for a vast majority of the population. If you mean how America conducted itself DURING the War, well, let’s start lobbing nukes willy-nilly while no one can fire back and setting up the internment camps, then.

          Back to reality, there is no going back, we live in a much different world where the U.S. wasted its economic gains, sold out its population, and abused its political leadership on the world stage. If you want to talk about Meritocracy, there are other countries that are kicking far, far more of our ass on a great deal many metrics when it comes to outcomes if one looks past American Exceptionalism and its blinders.

          Though I’m with you that egalitarianism in its purest form has its limits, but I’m not with the crowd that wistfully states that capitalism is incompatible with democracy.

    • Swamp Creature says:

      I wonder if there were any banks or investors who bought these long term Treasuries using 10 to 1 leverage? Say they took out $100,000 and bought a million dollars worth of Treasuries on margin to boost their return. If this occurred, some of these people may have done very well during the last 14 years but may have gotten hit in a whipsaw when the Fed started raising rates.

  20. Zero Sum Game says:

    From what I see the Fed is simply flipping tiny little clever liquidity switches on to backstop a troubled system in peripheral ways these past few weeks. Just various creative peripheral outlets which have no real bearing on the main theatre of QT and interest rates.

    • Prairie Rider says:

      “Negative feedback can reduce the total quantity of distortion, but it adds new components on its own, and tempts designers to use more cascaded gain stages in search of better numbers, accompanied by greater feedback frequency stability issues.

      The resulting complexity creates distortion which is unlike the simple harmonics of musical instruments, and we see that these complex waves can gather to create the occasional tsunami of distortion, peaking at values far above those imagined by the distortion specifications.”

      ‘Audio Distortion and Feedback,’ by Nelson Pass, 2008, audio engineer and businessman.

      It applies to banking and regulations too, I reckon.

      • old school says:

        Systems are nearly always complex. My son-in-law is a utility engineer. Evidently what happens on a transmission line is a whole lot mere complicated than a simple 60 Hz sign wave like I had in my mind.

        Read somewhere that a plucked guitar string has some pretty complicated harmonics too.

        • Prairie Rider says:

          old school,

          Yes, the electric lines feeding your appliances and A/V gear are anything but 60 Hz sine waves. And, on a 15 amp breaker panel line, what one thing does can affect what the other things on the same line see.

          I use a 15 amp line conditioner for my main A/V system. It has a dedicated high current outlet set of lines for my amp and powered subwoofers, and it has “noise filtration” to avoid bounce-back from components. Works quite well, and not that expensive.

          Zero Sum Game’s comment immediately brought to mind the feedback loops used in many electric systems. All these bank’s derivative swaps and interest rate swaps strike me as feedback loops. They seem to work well at first, but can get out of hand quickly and somewhat unpredictably.

          However, Wolf’s remark is that SVB should have used interest rate swaps as a protective hedge. But, to me, buying long term Treasuries when interest rates are zero, and sitting tight on them as the Fed is indicating it will–and then does–raise rates is just stupid.

          I recall Forrest Gump saying something about stupid …

    • DawnsEarlyLight says:

      In other words, you think it has minimal effect on the banking system, or is a zero sum game. I wonder where you got that idea from?

      • Zero Sum Game says:

        I didn’t say these steps weren’t important to banking’s internal financial plumbing; I simply said they are peripheral actions against the main theatres of interest rates and QT.
        In other words it’s going to be far more important for Powell to continue fighting inflation than saving regional banks.

  21. SoCalBeachDude says:

    FDIC: Subsidiary of New York Community Bancorp, Inc., to Assume Deposits of Signature Bridge Bank, N.A., from the FDIC

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) entered into a purchase and assumption agreement for substantially all deposits and certain loan portfolios of Signature Bridge Bank, National Association, by Flagstar Bank, National Association, Hicksville, New York, a wholly owned subsidiary of New York Community Bancorp, Inc., Westbury, New York.

    The 40 former branches of Signature Bank will operate under New York Community Bancorp’s Flagstar Bank, N.A., on Monday, March 20, 2023. The branches will open during their normal business hours. Customers of Signature Bridge Bank, N.A., should continue to use their current branch until they receive notice from the assuming institution that full-service banking is available at branches of Flagstar Bank, N.A.

    Depositors of Signature Bridge Bank, N.A., other than depositors related to the digital banking business, will automatically become depositors of the assuming institution. All deposits assumed by Flagstar Bank, N.A., will continue to be insured by the FDIC up to the insurance limit. Flagstar Bank’s bid did not include approximately $4 billion of deposits related to the former Signature Bank’s digital banking business. The FDIC will provide these deposits directly to customers whose accounts are associated with the digital banking business. Questions may be directed to (866) 744-5463.

    As of December 31, 2022, the former Signature Bank had total deposits of $88.6 billion and total assets of $110.4 billion. Today’s transaction included the purchase of about $38.4 billion of Signature Bridge Bank, N.A.’s assets, including loans of $12.9 billion purchased at a discount of $2.7 billion. Approximately $60 billion in loans will remain in the receivership for later disposition by the FDIC. In addition, the FDIC received equity appreciation rights in New York Community Bancorp, Inc., common stock with a potential value of up to $300 million.

    The FDIC estimates the cost of the failure of Signature Bank to its Deposit Insurance Fund to be approximately $2.5 billion. The exact cost will be determined when the FDIC terminates the receivership.

    • Flea says:

      One phone number,you will never get through ,what a joke

    • Prairie Rider says:

      10,000 fully insured FDIC accounts at $250,000 each = $2.5 billion.

      An interesting number for the cost of failure estimate of Signature Bank, no?

  22. JHall says:

    When this is all said and done, the American banking system will look like the Japanese circa late 1990s: a few quasi-governmental mega banks swallowing up all the other banks.

  23. Bobber says:

    Who would’ve thunk a US treasury bond would be one of the worst investments to hold last year?

    Treasury notes aren’t supposed to skyrocket or plummet in value. Everything went downhill shortly after the Fed began to tinker with QE and the money supply after 2008, like a kid with matches.

    • longstreet says:

      “Who would’ve thunk a US treasury bond would be one of the worst investments to hold last year?”

      All bonds fall when rates rise. And there were worse investments.

    • Lune says:

      Who wouldve thunk it? Anyone with half a brain cell. Powell was basically yelling from the rooftop that he was going to raise interest rates. If supposedly intelligent bank CEOs refused to believe it, or didn’t understand the simple effect that would have in their asset base, then they should be fired.

    • Bobber says:

      My point is that treasury bonds shouldn’t drop 40% in a year. It’s proof that monetary policy was severely mismanaged by the Fed for a long time.

      For decades, the Fed swept moral hazards under the cabinets and shelves, and just about everywhere except the trash can. Now, the roaches are coming out.

      We used to be able to take monetary governance for granted, and it was a background activity. Now, we can’t trust the judgement and tinkering of monetary authorities, so the markets put them front and center.

    • Old school says:

      Makes me wonder what is coming down the pike with bonds and loans that actually have credit risk if banks are failing with treasury bonds.

      One thing I haven’t heard discussed I don’t believe is if most banks transferred their duration risk on treasuries, who is underwater on those hedges. Is it someone who doesn’t have to mark it to market value?

    • Swamp Creature says:


      Treasuries are a good investment even when interest rates rise. Only, you’ve got to make sure they are of short duration, like 6 months or less. I have a short term Treasury Bond fund which is doing very well in the current environment.

  24. Lauren says:

    Can someone give an example of how the bankers could have hedged the interest rate/duration risk (not including paying higher interest on deposits)?

    • sine99 says:

      When people talk about “hedging” they’re probably trying to seem like geniuses with all their option trading on fancy derivative instruments (or they take on short positions). Seems to me the common sense thing to do is just buy 3 month or 6 month t-bills instead of >10yr bonds that you try to “hedge.”

      • Rob says:

        To give you an example: you have fixed term investment, let’s say a bond or MBS. You enter into an interest rate swap where you pay fixed (paying out what you get from the investment) and receive floating rate. Had SVB done that not only wouldn’t they had mark to market losses (as losses on bonds would have been offset by gains on swaps) but they would have been getting market interest on floating leg of the swaps instead of paltry 1.6% of similar they locked in on their investment.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Interest rate swaps.

    • longstreet says:

      Sell 30yr bond futures on the CME

  25. blank says:

    zero percent interest rates? Yea sure.

  26. Michael Engel says:

    Investors will do what it take to avoid the 10Y. They will park in the front
    The 10Y will rise above the 3M and the 2Y, cancelling the yield inversion.

    • SoCalBeachDude says:

      If that happens, then interest rates will soar to the sky on 10 year and 30 year US Treasuries.

    • Einhal says:

      Only if they’re convinced no pivot is coming. That’s the reason they’ve bought the 10 year at such poor rates. They’re convinced ZIRP and happy days will be back in less than a year.

  27. Seba says:

    I’m wondering what the knock on effects of the SVB collapse might be on the tech sector. I’ve been reading that a lot of startups preferred SVB due to the ease of securing loans there. I know deposits were made whole but if all these companies have to do business with more conservative banks moving forward is that going to strangle the cash flow some of them depend on to keep operating?

    • NYguy says:

      I think it’s going to accelerate their demise. Tech, fintech, biotech – all the profitless unicorns are headed to the glue factory.

      Also noticed credit Suisse offered 7% short term notes to try and attract capital. Are the people that bought those toast? I would think so.

    • SoCalBeachDude says:

      Many if not most of those so-called tech companies such have never been able to obtain bank loans in the first place.

    • random guy 62 says:

      We are closely involved with a startup as a business partner and investor. They actually had an account at SVB. A few investors on their board are involved in a handful of other startup businesses too.

      On our investor update call a few weeks ago, more than one board member said that the startup funding environment has dried up since late summer ’22. Good ideas can still find money, but the cash taps have been turned down to a trickle after being wide open for a few years.

      I think this trend is just starting to show with the CVB collapse and news of layoffs in tech. There are a lot of cash-burning businesses are going to have to find a solid business model or close up shop.

  28. drifterprof says:

    “Silicon Valley Bank CEO sold $3.5M in shares just two weeks before collapse” (MSN)

    “Two of Silicon Valley Bank’s top chiefs dumped millions of dollars worth of stock just two weeks before the firm collapsed Friday, records show.

    CEO Greg Becker offloaded over $3.5 million worth of stocks … according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing. That same day, the bank’s third-in-command CFO Daniel Beck sold $575,180 in stocks, Newsweek reported.”

    So, they can skate with that? No claw back?

    btw, a photo of Beck in the MSN article makes him look like a goofball.

    • longstreet says:

      Look at the bonuses in the US and in Europe.
      Unconditional bailouts …. just like in 2008.
      If I were king, any bank getting a bailout would have past salary clawbacks of say 50% and all bonuses clawed back for a year.
      There must be some consequence for tapping into the FDIC.

      Uninsured deposits were a form of market discipline…….in a world long ago and far away.

  29. Depth Charge says:

    I wonder if the CEO of SVB was secretly shorting the stock after selling all of his shares before the crash. Seems like just the kind of guy to do such thing.

    Since he was also on the SF FED, maybe he got a bunch of them to short it with him, too, sharing insider info. This is how much I trust these vipers.

    • NYguy says:

      Couple days before the end someone bought around $7500 in put options on SVB. Very unusual trade and was recognized as insider trading when it was recorded. They made millions.

    • LK says:

      “Or do you too believe, as do the many, that certain young men are corrupted by sophists, and that there are certain sophists who in a private capacity corrupt to an extent worth mentioning? Isn’t it rather the very men who say this who are the biggest sophists, who educate most perfectly and who turn out young and old, men and women, just the way they want them to be?”

      — Plato, The Republic

  30. phleep says:

    I see a parallel to eh pre-2008 subprime mortgage mania: it was a money-machine created by financial engineering. The money appeared as free money endlessly spewing out of houses (and a chain of deals ending at the other end in sucker investors), until the bill came due. A big phrase back then (in hindsight) was, “risk was mispriced.”

    Then came the cheap money decade. The mania went back into asset bubbles: houses, tech stocks, crypto. The Ponzi dynamics were there again. Last bagholder to leave the burning theater, gets burned. But the mania still persists (IMO) in equities and currently bitcoin. Now it is based on the (not entirely irrational) hope of a pivot. Now markets are more seriously playing chicken with Powell (and indirectly, us).

  31. phleep says:

    Google news now knows I go to Wolf Street. It regularly posts links for me to this site (even though I am never logged into google while there). It trackers have been upgraded.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Google News sends me a lot of traffic. Please don’t complain 😎

      • LK says:

        I for one appreciate seeing a Wolf Street article on my Google News feed. Far more value than the junk articles from sites I never heard of telling that could be AI-generated clickbait for all I know.

      • bki says:

        Google News is how I found Wolf Street because I read too much on the subject.

        BTW, what doomsday line has to be crossed before this mess is officially called a BankDemic? I have a container full of toilet paper that I’ve been holding for three years waiting for another panic-buying x-demic event. Your call Wolf?

      • VintageVNvet says:

        GOOGLE news KNOWs how valuable IS WS, in spite OF, or perhaps because of the daily wisdom IMHO…
        Keep on clicking on WS when seen on Google…
        Under Stand that HOPE is not a policy/strategy,,, but it certainly IS support for some of us,,, eh?
        Thanks again for the CLARITY Wolf!!!

        • sufferinsucatash says:

          Read The Art of SEO, its just a wee little book.

          A short bathroom read, if you will. ;)

      • Doolittle says:

        Do you pay for gn’s distribution of your content?

        • Wolf Richter says:

          No. I had to apply for it, and they approved it. They have some criteria that your stuff has to meet, in terms of newsworthiness, reliability, or whatever. I don’t remember. This was like in 2017 or 2018.

          But I only allow Google News to link to my articles.

          The big — and controversial — thing is the Google News app that actually runs publishers’ content on Google’s site (in the Google app), and Google shares ad revenues with publishers. I refuse to do that. I want my stuff to run on my site, not on Google’s site. So I’m pleased Google News approved my site and links to my articles, but I will not allow Google to run my articles on its site.

  32. Xavier Caveat says:

    Free range banking was all the rage.

  33. longstreet says:

    So now it is likely the Fed may balk, pause, or be impeded in their program for fighting inflation.
    People will be subjected to the ill effects of inflation for longer at GREAT CONSEQUENCE.
    All because of bad decision making in a gunslinging bank that will meet with LITTLE CONSEQUENCE.
    Seems a bit unfair, doesnt it? Wrong people being punished.

    • JG says:

      WOLF – the FED looks to be cracking under political and “their to blame” pressure. A “pause” on their rates hikes, QT, and MBS sales (oh wait that’s right, they never did any mbs sales) is here. FED Team 2023 – Rate Pause up to bat, QE is in the on deck circle, with Rate Cuts batting cleanup. CPI over 6% and this FED still cannot get positive real rates without everything falling apart. So sad for the USA and everyone having to eat it on inflation for years to come. The FED has surrendered to their inflation master after a weak “fight”.

    • longstreet says:

      The pill may be bitter, but the poison is in the sugar.

    • ru82 says:

      I don’t think anyone saw this banking run coming. Specifically when they were invested in one of the safest assets out their.

      I am thinking if the FEDs raise another .5%, there has to be some Hedge funds or private equity out there that have much more risky leveraged bets when compared to the regional banks that are going to implode. Maybe in CMBS or Credit default swaps, etc.

      I have to think the FED never thought SIV and a handful of banks would fail because of their interest rate hikes.

      Maybe I am wrong and the FED thought that having some bank runs will help slow inflation?

    • Fed up says:

      There is a lot of propaganda out there to that effect, especially from pro pivot sites like Zerohedge. It’s doubtful the Fed will capitulate, at least I hope not.

  34. Michael Engel says:

    1) The Fed will raise rate by 0.25% to fight the hyperinflation.
    2) Investors will avoid the 10Y to avoid unrealized losses. They will park in the front end, taking less risk to avoid SVB bank problems.
    3) The 3M might rise to 5.5%/6% anchored to Fedrates, the 2Y will dive and
    the 10Y will rise above the 3M and the 2Y, ending the yield curve
    4) When the 10Y reach 8%/9% investors will move in and take it down. The yield curve will be a flat line tilting up.
    5) During the next recession all rate will tank, the middle will dive the most and the 30Y will be at the top.
    6) The Fed will win the war against debt and inflation during the next severe recession.

  35. Einhal says:

    The nonsense narratives from CNBC are getting worse. Headline today:

    “Dow rises 200 points as investors hope Credit Suisse rescue stifles bank crisis”

    A bank crisis being “stifled” would be the WORST thing for the stock market, as it means that the Fed and other central banks can go back to fighting inflation, raising rates, and continuing QT.

    Who writes these asinine headlines?

    • butters says:

      Make it 300.

      Not sure who’s buying…gotta be the pivot hopefuls. May be they know something we don’t.

      • butters says:

        Amazon to fire additional 9K employees.

        That will do it. This info should be good enough for 2% gain by eod.

        • longstreet says:

          The overall workforce peaked in March 2022 at around 1.6 million workers (this also includes warehouse workers).

        • LK says:

          They aren’t budging on the WFO Directive. Whether intended or not, that edict is going to reduce headcount.

    • longtimelistener says:

      As for narratives, did you see the news “Morgan Stanley’s Mike Wilson says this is the beginning of the end for the bear market”

      From a long term perspective, the market has essentially gone sideways, and this guy calls bottom because a handful of banks caught up in the froth have been managed?

      Meanwhile the fed will continue QT and raise rates, but okay… sky is the limit when you bet with other peoples money!

  36. Bobber says:

    This last decade will go down as the greatest monetary debacle in history, but will that be enough for Congress to take a look at the effectiveness of our monetary framework, as well Federal Reserve governance?

    It’s time.

    • LK says:

      Nope, too busy distracting the population with non-issues, faux grandstanding, media appearances, and podcasting.

      The American people, generally speaking, desire angertaintment from their elected officials. They are for the most part oblivious to the nuts and bolts of governance or malfeasance until it hits them personally or splashes across enough headlines to move the needle.

  37. WB says:

    Thank you for this video. I have some questions. The members of the FOMC are preternaturally wise men and women. Why did they believe that they could keep interest rates low forever? Why did they think it was desirable to do so? Why do they refuse to acknowledge the existence of bubbles before the bubbles burst? And finally, if faced with the choice of saving the banks and their wealthy depositors, and saving the American people from inflation, what will they do?

    • jon says:

      The Fed REs Bank are bunch of private bankers who has been given power to print money out of thin air by Congress.
      These people first serve the rich and elite then the common American people.
      Don’t believe what they say or are mandated to do. Believe what they are doing.

      Hope this answers your questions.

  38. Ernest Shen says:

    Frontline just released a ~2-hour documentary, “Age of Easy Money”, which provides a nice summary of what Wolf has been writing about for years. It is on Youtube now, and I highly recommend it as a primer for anyone trying to get caught up on the years of excellent writing happening here.

    • Swamp Creature says:

      They should be making a sequel to the “The Big Short” titled “The End of Easy Money, and the fall of SVB”. They could use employees of SVB as actors and save money. The movie would be a great hit and gross millions.

  39. Spencer says:

    The upshot is that you know the FED, under Powell, is going to screw up.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      They screwed up hugely by repressing interest rates and by buying securities. Now we have the results of 14 years of this failed policy.

      BTW, thanks for the explanation to my question yesterday.

      • Swamp Creature says:

        Wells Fargo had me in a “High Performance Money Market Fund” a few years ago that was yielding .05% interest. To lable .05% interest high performance was a serious joke. I closed out the fund. Most of my funds are now in my local Credit Union. I’m receiving 4% on my 6 month CDs and they will rollover in the fall at a higher rate.

    • Swamp Creature says:


      They sure screwed savers like myself for 14 years. I got nothing on my investments and nothing from my bank. Inflation wiped out 30% of my savings purchasing power.

  40. Nate says:

    I don’t feel much sadness for all the regional banks seeing their business customers flee. Essentially SVB was a giant infomercial that (a) banks gamble the deposits — it’s how they make money off of them, and (b) if your deposits are above the FDIC insurance limits, then your money’s fate becomes a decision for DC on a case-by-case basis.

    Everyone knows this if they are paying attention. The clear solution was to raise FDIC limits but the midsized banks lobbied against it because then they would have to pay the fees and potentially be more regulated.

    So, since the TBTF are more likely to see their deposits be saved by DC, businesses are playing the odds.

  41. Hillel says:

    Why do you think the bankers that ran banks like SVB should go to jail?

  42. TheReasonableMan says:

    For those that are interested, buried deep in the CS AT1 terms it seems there are clauses such as below which may help to explain the strange goings on with the capital hierarchy of CS

    A “Viability Event” will occur if either:
    (a) the Regulator has notified CSG that it has determined that a write- down of the Notes, together with the conversion or write-down/off of holders’ claims in respect of any and all other Progressive Component Capital Instruments, Buffer Capital Instruments, Tier 1 Instruments and Tier 2 Instruments that, pursuant to their terms or by operation of law, are capable of being converted into equity or written down/off at that time is, because customary measures to improve CSG’s capital adequacy are at the time inadequate or unfeasible, an essential requirement to prevent CSG from becoming insolvent, bankrupt or unable to pay a material part of its debts as they fall due, or from ceasing to carry on its business; or
    (b) customary measures to improve CSG’s capital adequacy being at the time inadequate or unfeasible, CSG has received an irrevocable commitment of extraordinary support from the Public Sector (beyond customary transactions and arrangements in the ordinary course) that has, or imminently will have, the effect of improving CSG’s capital adequacy and without which, in the determination of the Regulator, CSG would have become insolvent, bankrupt, unable to pay a material part of its debts as they fall due or unable to carry on its business.

    It would look like the (b) part was likely triggered and it thus also appears that the common equity bought by UBS doesn’t even come into the equation. In other words these AT1’s were NOT higher up the hierarchy, they essentially “dangled” in mid air awaiting being “called” by (a) or (b) above …..and all this in exchange for a higher yield to those that bought them – madness

    If this goes to court, the argument would likely focus on whether the Viability Event actually took place, or was merely “gaming” to deliver (b) and then whether the correct procedures were followed.

    It just goes to show that the “devil is in the detail” and preconceived opinions on hierarchies is ….preconceived, as it was in my case

    • VintageVNvet says:

      Some continue to insist that the devil, or whatever, is in the detail(s), t r m,,, But many others continue to insist that GOD, or THE GREAT SPIRITS, or Cosmic Consciousness, or whatever is in those same details…
      Not only a conundrum never to be finalized in any way, but not at all important to WE the PEONs who must put up with such ”stuff” totally out of touch with our day to day lives…
      And, to be sure, the majority of equally out of touch global ”religionists”, by recent count, believe either GOD is within each and every one of us and all sentient beings, or something very similar, as to include ALL living things, vegetable or animal, and perhaps even some rocks, waiting with the consciousness of waiting their turn,,, keeping always in mind the laws of physics, including especially thermodynamics…
      Old Albert E had it right w regard this question IMO.

  43. VintageVNvet says:

    Not at all contesting your comment CL, but wonder if the various statistics could be ”normalized” as per the last one?
    Truly challenging to get any hold on maternal deaths ”actual causes” these days due to the very conflicting data due to drug influences, both legally prescribed synthetic pharmaceuticals, and illegal drugs of various and sundry and now clearly more deadly and clearly more readily available cheap and cheeper…
    A very old and dear friend’s grand daughter just bought something black market and cheep to kill pain from trauma and died the next day, bringing home the current challenging drug black markets.
    May the GREAT SPIRITS bless and keep us all!!!

  44. rojogrande says:

    Fortunately, the preliminary figure for 2022 is back down to 733 deaths. In line with 2019 and 2020, though still too high.

    According to Statista, the European rate can better be described as between 2 and 10 per 100,000 births in 2019. (Netherlands 5.3, Austria 5.9, Switzerland 6.8, France 7.6, Finland 10.9, Hungary 11.2, Portugal 11.5)

    In 2019, the US rate was significantly higher at 17.4 per 100,000. Given the preliminary number of deaths in 2022 of 733 (slightly below 2019’s 754), it looks like the rate will be about the same in 2022 as it was in 2019, and much lower than 2021.

  45. sunny129 says:

    This may violate some of your rules on this site. Nevertheless I will take a chance. Free free to delete. Thank you

    Bond ALWAYS been the seniority to Equity, for the last several decades.

    By reversing this, all corporation/Bank/Ins Bonds are at risk

    They change the RULES at whim, all in the name of stability

    Bank ‘bailouts’ reflect a colossal failure of Bank(s) regulatory failure, World wide

    CBers have decided to bailout banks instead of containing the inflation. The 5th QE or QE extra lite has wiped out the last 4 months of QT

    Why would any one buy Any kind of non-governmental bonds, when BOND is subservient to EQUITY.

    They are creating Govt bonds – Treasury, bonds, notes by printing out of thin air, just like before.

    The total Global DEBT to GDP is over 400% (450%?) . The whole banking system has become fragile and on thin ice, worse than in 2008.

    How much more will it get worse, before becoming better?

    May be some one there see a ‘silver’ lining amidst these issues

  46. Swamp Creature says:

    If was reported on CNBC this evening that US banks collectively, are sitting on 19 trillion in long term Corporate and Treasury securities. If the interest rates keep going up, there is no doubt that these bonds will continue to go south. The banks that own these securities are already probably looking at big loses if they were forced to sell today and bigger ones in the future. Not a pretty picture. I wonder if there is any way to confirm this 19 Trillion figure?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      “US banks collectively, are sitting on 19 trillion in long term Corporate and Treasury securities.”

      Look this stuff up before spreading this BS on my site.

      Total securities (Treasury securities, agency securities, MBS, and corporate securities): $5.4 trillion.

      • Swamp Creature says:

        Given the more accurate 5.4 trillion of total securities (Treasury securities, agency securities, MBS, and corporate securities) figure Wolf quoted above, I wonder if there is any risk to the whole banking system if there is a sudden rapid unexpected increase in inflation followed by continued plummeting of bond prices on long term bonds, and MBSs followed by massive withdrawal by depositors ( a la SVB, 1st Republic) who have uninsured deposits at large regional banks, followed by forced selling of these long maturing securities at a loss by the banks to get the cash to cover the withdrawals. The capitol losses would be massive. I wonder how many people with deposits over $250,000 in any regional bank or even any money center bank panic would withdraw funds if this scenerio started to unfold, especially after Janet Yellon’s statement that only those banks that posed serious risk to the overall financial system would be bailed out. She essentially said, the big guys get bailed out and the little guys lose their money.

      • Expat says:

        Could that larger number include various derivatives? Or is that already included in “Other Assets Including Trading Assets/Liabilities”?

        Of course, CNBC might be using the word “bank” very liberally. Where do hedge funds and other quasi-banks land in the Fed report? or don’t they?

  47. Swamp Creature says:

    Thanks for the correction. You can’t believe anything you hear on the business media anymore. That’s why I follow Wolf Street.

  48. Sledge says:

    Since “he who panics first panics best,” do banks that fail first fail best?

  49. Rico says:

    You have to look at these financial problems with an eye towards corruption and deal with it. That why it continues with bailout after bailout.

  50. Winston says:


    LONGWave – 03 08 23 – MARCH – All Economic Indicators Don’t Lie

Comments are closed.