Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bloomberg: Next Bubble to Burst Is Banks’ Big Loan Values:

Jonathan Weil writes

"It’s amazing what a little sunshine can accomplish.

Check out the footnotes to Regions Financial Corp.’s latest quarterly report, and you’ll see a remarkable disclosure. There, in an easy-to-read chart, the company divulged that the loans on its books as of June 30 were worth $22.8 billion less than what its balance sheet said. The Birmingham, Alabama-based bank’s shareholder equity, by comparison, was just $18.7 billion.

So, if it weren’t for the inflated loan values, Regions’ equity would be less than zero. Meanwhile, the government continues to classify Regions as “well capitalized.”

The rest of the article outlines some of the weird things going on with accounting and loans. This is an echo to what Elizabeth Warren has been saying.

Scott Dauenhauer CFP, MSFP, AIF