Friday, April 4, 2014

This Week in Bank Failures

New evidence that the AIG bailout was a mistake: AIG has sued New York state, asking a court to find that the insurance giant is exempt from the enforcement of laws meant to prevent fraudulent insurance marketing practices. Well, if having an office on Wall Street doesn’t place you above the law, then I don’t know what does.

U.S. student loan debt has shot past the $1 trillion mark, in part because college graduates from the last 7 years are having difficulty finding the kind of professional employment that would allow them to repay their loans on schedule. Student loan debt would jump higher under the House budget plan. The budget resolution that the House passed without irony on April Fool’s Day would limit college grants and raise the interest rates that students pay while they are still in school.

As China moves away from its past practice of propping up every bonehead business, banks are recording more bad loans than ever, $10 billion in 2013, still not a large amount in the scheme of things, but perhaps enough to get banks to start taking underwriting seriously. China says bank stress tests will be coming in the near future.

The Russian Central Bank said today it may “temporarily” close most of the banks in Crimea because of liquidity problems there.

Cyprus is working on legislation to make it easier for banks to foreclose when borrowers stop making payments on loans. The head of the central bank says it is the key step needed to speed up the recovery of the country’s banks, but everyone agrees it won’t be easy legislation to write.