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An interesting comment on the most recent FDIC bank closure from Jeff Nielson over at Seeking Alpha ...

The bankruptcy of Colonial Bank (CNB) was the largest bank-bankruptcy in the U.S. since several large, U.S. financial institutions collapsed last year – with the most recent being Washington Mutual, last fall. However, there is one huge difference between the mega-bankruptcies of last year and the collapse of Colonial Bank a week ago.

During the large bank-failures of 2008, the acquiring institutions wrote-down the “assets” on the books of these banks by an average of 18% - according to a Bloomberg article. However, when BB&T Corp purchased Colonial, it immediately wrote-down Colonial's assets by 37%, double the amount of discounting done last year.

What has changed between now and then? The legitimizing of fraudulent accounting, when the supposed “watch-dog” of U.S. accounting, the Financial Accountability Standards Board brought in new “mark-to-fantasy” accounting rules in the U.S. this spring ( see “FASB strong-armed into mark-to-fantasy accounting”).

As the Bloomberg article points out, all U.S. bankers lie about the value of their assets – specifically the quantum of their future losses. The more they underestimate future losses, the less they put aside as “loan-loss reserves”. The less they put aside as reserves, the bigger they can pretend the bank's profits were. The larger the phony “profits”, the more they can give themselves as “performance bonuses”.

This is not a new phenomena. In fact, U.S. bank-lying was found to have severely aggravated their last “banking crisis” in the 1990's through also consistently under-estimating/under-reporting the deterioration of their “assets”.

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As I have observed previously, the “performance bonuses” which Wall Street hands out are rewarding one aspect of their performance: the ability of these career-criminals to lie. As Bloomberg wrote, the bigger the lies, the bigger the bonuses.

Not surprisingly, bank-fraud rose by double-digits last year in the United States. However, what is a truly remarkable feat for this cast of compulsive liars is that despite the fact there were millions fewer mortgages financed last year, mortgage-fraud jumped 23% from 2007. It takes a truly dedicated group of criminals to achieve that sort of year-over-year gain in a collapsing market.

However, the significance of this new level of lying in the U.S. financial sector goes beyond stealing all of the money from their own corporations – and calling it “performance bonuses” (Goldman Sachs is set to hand out more than 100% of its “profits” as “performance bonuses” this year). It once again raises the issue of bank-solvency for the sector, as a whole, and once again illustrates that the Geithner “stress tests” were nothing but a ludicrous sham.

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If the lies which the management of Colonial Bank were telling concerning their “assets” were twice as large as the average magnitude of bank-lying last year, then what does this tell us about the “stress-tested”, Wall Street fraud-factories? Having just finished scamming investors and institutions all over the world for trillions of dollars (leaving many of them in financial ruin), is there the slightest doubt that these champion-liars would be engaging in much greater falsification in their accounting than Colonial Bank?

The difference in the U.S. now from a year ago is that every single category of bank loans are experiencing much higher rates of defaults and much higher rates of delinquencies than a year ago, yet in the fantasy-world of Wall Street accounting, suddenly almost all these banks are “profitable” again?

Previously, critics of the new “mark-to-fantasy” accounting rules in the U.S., had to rely upon only overwhelming logic to discredit the claims of “profitability” from these professional liars. However, Colonial Bank provides us with the much sought-after “smoking gun”.

As I wrote less than a week ago in “U.S. Banking crisis just BEGINNING”, with all categories of delinquencies near or at all-time records, and with a huge spike in mortgage-resets about to kick-in over the next two years, there was never a possibility that the U.S. financial crime syndicate had miraculously returned to “profitability”.

Indeed, as I wrote less than a month ago (“Credit-risk spike means continued collapse for U.S. economy”), credit-reporting agency, TransUnion, recently released a report showing that its “credit risk” index just hit a new, all-time record in July. Much like loan delinquencies are a highly accurate indicator for future defaults, the soaring reading in “credit risk” is a highly accurate indicator of a pending rise in delinquencies.

Thus, despite the constant stream of delusional hype which emanates from the U.S. propaganda-machine, there has never been the slightest doubt that the only possible direction for the U.S. financial sector (and the economy, as a whole) is down.