The feds are worried about the CRE crash:
Banks in the U.S. “are slow” to take losses on their commercial real-estate loans being battered by slumping property values and rental payments, according to a Federal Reserve presentation to banking regulators last month.
The remarks suggest that banking regulators are girding for a rerun of the housing-related losses now slamming thousands of banks that failed to set aside enough capital during the boom to cushion themselves when the bubble burst. “Banks will be slow to recognize the severity of the loss — just as they were in residential,” according to the Fed presentation, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
In other cheerful news:
A year after Washington rescued the big names of American finance, it’s still hard to get a loan. But the problem isn’t just tight-fisted banks.
The continued disarray in debt-securitization markets, which in recent years were the source of roughly 60 percent of all credit in the United States, is making loans scarce and threatening to slow the economic recovery. Many of these markets are operating only because the government is propping them up.
But now the Federal Reserve has put these markets on notice that it plans to withdraw its support for them. Policy makers hope private investors will return to the markets, which imploded during the financial crisis.
The exit will require a delicate balancing act, government officials said.
“You do it incrementally, where and when you think you can, and not sooner,” said Lee Sachs, a counselor to the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner.
The debt-securitization markets finance corporate loans, home mortgages, student loans and more. In good times, they enabled banks to package their loans into securities and resell them to investors. That process, known as securitization, freed banks to lend even more money.
Many investors have lost trust in securitization after losing huge sums on packages of subprime mortgages that had high default rates. The government has since spent more than $1 trillion trying to restore the markets, with mixed success.
And until something is done to reshape the market does business, no one in their right might would trust this stuff. At any rate, it is going to be both tragic and funny to watch Atrios and the rest of the DFH crowd be right about a double-dip recession.