Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 24 May 2024

The Incoming Commercial Real Estate Crisis No One Seems Prepared For

It has been a year since a string of U.S. regional bank failures, together with the collapse of global heavyweight Credit Suisse, caused many to fear that a major financial crisis was imminent.

But, by the summer of 2023, the panicked withdrawals by frightened depositors largely subsided.

In February, however, New York Community Bank (NYCB) appeared to resurrect the crisis when it announced $2.4 billion in losses, fired its CEO, and faced credit downgrades from rating agencies Fitch and Moodys.

In what has become a familiar tale for U.S. regional banks, NYCB’s share price plummeted by 60 percent virtually overnight, erasing billions of dollars from its market value, and its depositors fled en masse.

I think that there’s more to come,” Peter Earle, a securities analyst and senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, told The Epoch Times.

Underlying this year’s turbulence is the fact that many regional banks are sitting on large portfolios of distressed commercial real estate (CRE) loans. according to Mr. Earle. And many are attempting to cope through a process called “extend and pretend,” in which they grant insolvent borrowers more time to pay in hopes that things will get better.

“There is trouble out there, and most of it probably won’t be realized because of the ability to roll some of these loans forward and buy a few more years, and maybe things will recover by then,” he said.

“But all it does is it kicks the can down the road, and it basically means a more fragile financial system in the medium term.”

NYCB’s problem was an overwhelming exposure to New York landlords who were struggling to stay solvent. At the start of this year, the bank had on its books more than $18 billion in loans to multifamily, rent-controlled housing developments.

This situation was particularly concerning given that NYCB had been the safe-haven institution thatrescued Signature Bank, another failing regional bank, in March 2023.

Much of what took down banks such as Signature Bank in last year’s banking crisis was an unmanageable level of deposits from high net worth and corporate clients that were too large to be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

In Signature Bank’s case, about 90 percent of its deposits were uninsured, and depositors rushed to withdraw their money when the bank came under stress from losses in the cryptocurrency market.

Another source of stress for regional banks was their inability to cope with an aggressive series of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve to combat inflation. Many banks that held large bond portfolios yielding low fixed rates found that the value of these portfolios declined sharply, creating unrealized losses.

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