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Incredibly Good Article in The Economist About the Banking Crisis

Incredibly Good Article in The Economist About the Banking Crisis

March 22, 2023 9:04 pm by IWB Chris Black

This article from the Economist ( gives the best summary of the banking crisis I’ve seen so far for those of you struggling to wrap your heads around it. 

Basically the Federal Reserve has put in place a financial asset buyback program to prevent any more US banks from collapsing SVB style by buying back assets at inflated prices despite their market price collapsing in recent months.

This would allow banks to deposit high-quality assets, like Treasuries or mortgage bonds backed by government agencies, in return for a cash advance worth the face value of the asset, rather than its market value. Banks that had loaded up on bonds which had fallen in price would thus be protected from SVB’s fate. The Fed and Treasury’s interventions were the sort which would be expected in a crisis. They have fundamentally reshaped America’s financial architecture. Yet at first glance the problem appeared to be poor risk management at a single bank. “Either this was an indefensible overreaction, or there is much more rot in the American banking system than those of us on the outside of confidential supervisory information can even know,” says Peter Conti-Brown, a financial historian at the University of Pennsylvania.

The article explains that research suggests the US banking system’s assets have a market value about $2 Trillion less than their “face value,” and that if half the currently uninsured deposits in the US banking system were withdrawn the total assets held by the entire US banking system wouldn’t be enough to cover them.

The newfound ability to swap assets at face value, under the Bank Term Funding Programme, at least makes it easier for banks to pay out depositors. But even this is only a temporary solution. For the Fed’s new facility is something of a confidence trick itself. The programme will prop up struggling banks only so long as depositors think it will. Borrowing through the facility is done at market rates of around 4.5%. This means that if the interest income a bank earns on its assets is below that—and its low-cost deposits leave—the institution will simply die a slow death from quarterly net-interest income losses, rather than a quick one brought about by a bank run.

So basically the Fed has put a mechanism in place which will simply slow down the crisis rather than solve it.

This is why Larry Fink, boss of BlackRock, a big asset-management firm, has warned of a “slow-rolling crisis”. He expects this to involve “more seizures and shutdowns”. That high interest rates have exposed the kind of asset-liability mismatch that felled SVB is, he reckons, a “price we’re paying for decades of easy money”.

Interest rates were jacked up to slow down the inflation unleashed by the covid stimulus expanding the money supply at record rates, so the Federal Reserve feels unable to reduce them again to re-inflate asset prices. And if they were to reduce interest rates it would reinforce the impression that we are in a financial crisis and undermine the ‘confidence trick’ the Fed is trying to pull here. Basically the Fed is between a rock and a hard place and trying to buy itself time, but this might be a crisis to which there is no solution in the final analysis.

Mr Conti-Brown of UPenn points out that there are historical parallels, the most obvious being the bank casualties that mounted in the 1980s as Paul Volcker, the Fed’s chairman at the time, raised rates. Higher rates have exposed problems in bond portfolios first, as markets show in real-time how these assets fall in value when rates rise. But bonds are not the only assets that carry risk when policy changes. “The difference between interest-rate risk and credit risk can be quite subtle,” notes Mr Conti-Brown, as rising rates will eventually put pressure on borrowers, too. In the 1980s the first banks to fail were those where asset values fell with rising rates—but the crisis also exposed bad assets within America’s “thrifts”, specialist consumer banks, in the end. Thus pessimists worry banks now failing because of higher rates are just the first domino to collapse.

So yeah, even if crisis has been averted this week, it looks like a global recession is inevitable.

But how can they call on him (Jesus Christ) to save them unless they believe in him (Jesus Christ)? And how can they believe in him (Jesus Christ) if they have never heard about him (Jesus Christ)? And how can they hear about him (Jesus Christ) unless someone tells them?” —Romans 10:14

In His Service,

Night Watchman

Paul Rolland

Night Watchman Ministries

Make Your Decision for Christ NOW!!!!!!! Time is Up!!!!!!!

Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:

The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)

A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.

. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.

. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).

. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).

. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).

. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).

. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).

. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).

. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).

. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).

. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).

True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:

 Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Romans 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

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