Tags: roubini | banks | failure

Roubini: U.S. Banks Already Toast

By Dan Weil   |   Tuesday, 10 Mar 2009 09:16 AM

NYU economist Nouriel Roubini, widely credited for predicting the current crisis, says government aid to banks isn’t enough to hide the fact that they’ve failed.

“Even with the $2 trillion of government support, most of these financial institutions are insolvent,” he writes on Forbes.com.

“Delinquency and charge-off rates are now rising at a rate — given the macro outlook — that means expected losses for U.S. financial firms will peak at $3.6 trillion.”

Bottom line, Roubini says: “In simple words, the U.S. financial system is effectively insolvent.”

He says the debate on bank nationalization is crazy.

The U.S. government already has committed, between guarantees, investment, recapitalization and liquidity provision, about $9 trillion to the financial system. And it already has spent $2 trillion of that total.

“Thus, the U.S. financial system is de facto nationalized, as the Federal Reserve has become the lender of first and only resort… and the U.S. Treasury is the spender and guarantor of first and only resort,” Roubini writes.

“The only issue is whether banks and financial institutions should also be nationalized de jure.”

For example, at Citigroup, the government already has a huge ownership stake, the largest of any shareholder. It could end up with 40 percent.

“Citi is already effectively partially nationalized; the only issue is whether it should be fully nationalized,” Roubini says.

Investor Jim Rogers, too, says the banks as insolvent.

“They're ruining the U.S. economy, they're ruining the U.S. government, they're ruining the U.S. central bank,” Rogers told CNBC.

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NYU economist Nouriel Roubini, widely credited for predicting the current crisis, says government aid to banks isn’t enough to hide the fact that they’ve failed.“Even with the $2 trillion of government support, most of these financial institutions are insolvent,” he writes...
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2009-16-10
 

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