Skip to comments.Bank stocks plunge on fresh insolvency fears
Posted on 01/15/2009 3:02:01 PM PST by gpk9
NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of major U.S. banks plunged Thursday as the government mulled giving Bank of America Corp. a fresh multibillion-dollar aid package, raising fears on Wall Street that the battered financial sector may need an even bigger bailout.
Bank of America shares fell as much as 28 percent -- dropping to their lowest level in 18 years -- on news that the bank may seek another capital injection to manage losses from its takeover of Merrill Lynch. Citigroup Inc. shares fell to a near 16-year low as investors braced for horrible fourth-quarter earnings due Friday. And JPMorgan Chase & Co. added to the pessimism with a grim earnings outlook. Shares of all three banks came off their lows later in the day as part of a broad market turnaround.
Still, the carnage fanned investor fears that mounting bank losses and a darkening economic outlook are thwarting government efforts to resuscitate the banking sector. It raised the distinct possibility that the largest financial rescue package in history may swell even further.
"The perception on Wall Street is that things are getting worse and that the banks are bearing the brunt," said Jack A. Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
Credit Suisse was up 4%
>>Bank of America shares fell as much as 28 percent — dropping to their lowest level in 18 years — on news that the bank may seek another capital injection to manage losses from its takeover of Merrill Lynch.<<
This one particularly stinks - bailing them out not because of economic conditions but because they paid too much for a brokerage.
The idea is to add liquidity when interest rates drop to zero and can go no lower, which is where we are now. The original helicopter analogy comes from Milton Friedman, a favorite of most conservatives.
They control Congress. The people who run financial firms these days are more Randian looters than capitalists.
QUESTION: Was BOA the bank that was handing out credit cards and banking accounts to people who could not prove they were legal cititzens and no credit history needed?
What happened? That last bailout was supposed to get us though the election to the end of the Bush administration!
The banks going bust would be much, much worse than inflation induced by the bailout cost. The govt. would be on the hook for much larger sums, through FDIC. We’re between the devil and the deep blue sea, but the sea is preferable.
Ask Bush. Why blame his underlings?
They agreed to take over ML and its CRA cr*p at the request of the govt., so the extra bailout money is perhaps only fair.
That may be the case. But, there have been some news items stating that, before the deal was done, BAC went to the Fed (or Treasury, I'm not sure) and said that they might need backstopping, because Merrill's book was tanking worse than they had bargained for, and if they didn't get it, they would scotch the deal. In that case, the Fed/Treasury's desire to get someone behind Merrill may be a key factor, and now their private guarantee is coming due.
I hope we find out the whole story soon.
>>They agreed to take over ML and its CRA cr*p at the request of the govt., so the extra bailout money is perhaps only fair.<<
Did we really do that? I guess you have a point if they did it at our request....
It will help when the junk is cleaned out of the financial system, and Bernanke is the one leading the effort. It would be going a lot better if the chief clown, W, and his sidekick Paulson hadn’t dropped the ball.
I’m really beginning to wonder if we’re going to see runs on banks and bank “holidays” in 2009.
How can Chase go insolvent? I’ve been a responsible mortgage and credit card customer with them for years. Never a missed or late payment, and in fact I always pay extra...
If they go insolvent, does that mean that my mortgage and any balance on my credit card are forgiven? I mean, since I seem to be far more responsible then the people in charge at the bank...
Of does it just mean I’m screwed and a sucker for always playing by the rules and have been responsible... The government is rewarding incompetence and failure, and punishing people for their achievements.
My guess is yes. How bad remains to be seen.
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