Fourth quarter operating results opinions are available for Morgan Stanley and Suntrust for paying subscribers(File Icon STI 4Q09_Review

and File Icon MS 4Q09 result).

Of particular note is the difference between some readers perception of the Suntrust results and mine. If you take a close look at the results, you will see credit performance and asset quality is still deteriorating. The perception of a reprieve or moderation is potentially misleading due to the fact that Suntrust (like most other large banks) is actively shrinking their loan portfolio and transferring bad assets from one category to another.

To the credit of the CEO, he actually appears to tell it like it is and does not appear to be on a marketing binge to sugarcoat reality. This is an impressive, and increasingly rare trait among the C-suite crowd!

Some highlights from the Sun Trust Review: 

Fourth quarter operating results opinions are available for Morgan Stanley and Suntrust for paying subscribers(File Icon STI 4Q09_Review

and File Icon MS 4Q09 result).

Of particular note is the difference between some readers perception of the Suntrust results and mine. If you take a close look at the results, you will see credit performance and asset quality is still deteriorating. The perception of a reprieve or moderation is potentially misleading due to the fact that Suntrust (like most other large banks) is actively shrinking their loan portfolio and transferring bad assets from one category to another.

To the credit of the CEO, he actually appears to tell it like it is and does not appear to be on a marketing binge to sugarcoat reality. This is an impressive, and increasingly rare trait among the C-suite crowd!

Some highlights from the Sun Trust Review: 

Tuesday, 15 December 2009 19:00

How Regulatory Capture Turns Doo Doo Deadly

First off, some definitions:

  • The Doo Doo, as in the Doo Doo 32: A  list of 32 banks that I created on
  • Regulatory capture (adopted from Wikipedia): A term used to refer to situations in which a government regulatory agency created to act in the public interest instead acts in favor of the commercial or special interests that dominate in the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is an explicit manifestation of government failure in that it not only encourages, but actively promotes the activities of large firms that produce negative externalities. For public choice theorists, regulatory capture occurs because groups or individuals with a high-stakes interest in the outcome of policy or regulatory decisions can be expected to focus their resources and energies in attempting to gain the policy outcomes they prefer, while members of the public, each with only a tiny individual stake in the outcome, will ignore it altogether. Regulatory capture is when this imbalance of focused resources devoted to a particular policy outcome is successful at "capturing" influence with the staff or commission members of the regulatory agency, so that the preferred policy outcomes of the special interest are implemented. The risk of regulatory capture suggests that regulatory agencies should be protected from outside influence as much as possible, or else not created at all. A captured regulatory agency that serves the interests of its invested patrons with the power of the government behind it is often worse than no regulation whatsoever.

About a year and a half ago, after sounding the alarm on the regionals, I placed strategic bearish positions in the sector which paid off extremely well. The only problem is, it really shouldn't have. Why? Because the problems of these banks were visible a mile away. I started warning friends and family as far back as 2004, I announced it on my blog in 2007, and I even offered a free report in early 2008.

Well, here comes another warning. One of the Doo Doo 32 looks to be ready to collapse some time soon. Most investors and pundits won't realize it because a) they don't read BoomBustblog, and b) due to regulatory capture, the bank has been given the OK by its regulators to hide the fact that it is getting its insides gutted out by CDOs and losses on loans and loan derivative products. Alas, I am getting ahead of myself. Let's take a quick glance at regulatory capture, graphically encapsulated, then move on to look at the recipients of the Doo Doo Award as they stand now...

A picture is worth a thousand words...

fasb_mark_to_market_chart.png

Tuesday, 15 December 2009 19:00

How Regulatory Capture Turns Doo Doo Deadly

First off, some definitions:

  • The Doo Doo, as in the Doo Doo 32: A  list of 32 banks that I created on
  • Regulatory capture (adopted from Wikipedia): A term used to refer to situations in which a government regulatory agency created to act in the public interest instead acts in favor of the commercial or special interests that dominate in the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is an explicit manifestation of government failure in that it not only encourages, but actively promotes the activities of large firms that produce negative externalities. For public choice theorists, regulatory capture occurs because groups or individuals with a high-stakes interest in the outcome of policy or regulatory decisions can be expected to focus their resources and energies in attempting to gain the policy outcomes they prefer, while members of the public, each with only a tiny individual stake in the outcome, will ignore it altogether. Regulatory capture is when this imbalance of focused resources devoted to a particular policy outcome is successful at "capturing" influence with the staff or commission members of the regulatory agency, so that the preferred policy outcomes of the special interest are implemented. The risk of regulatory capture suggests that regulatory agencies should be protected from outside influence as much as possible, or else not created at all. A captured regulatory agency that serves the interests of its invested patrons with the power of the government behind it is often worse than no regulation whatsoever.

About a year and a half ago, after sounding the alarm on the regionals, I placed strategic bearish positions in the sector which paid off extremely well. The only problem is, it really shouldn't have. Why? Because the problems of these banks were visible a mile away. I started warning friends and family as far back as 2004, I announced it on my blog in 2007, and I even offered a free report in early 2008.

Well, here comes another warning. One of the Doo Doo 32 looks to be ready to collapse some time soon. Most investors and pundits won't realize it because a) they don't read BoomBustblog, and b) due to regulatory capture, the bank has been given the OK by its regulators to hide the fact that it is getting its insides gutted out by CDOs and losses on loans and loan derivative products. Alas, I am getting ahead of myself. Let's take a quick glance at regulatory capture, graphically encapsulated, then move on to look at the recipients of the Doo Doo Award as they stand now...

A picture is worth a thousand words...

fasb_mark_to_market_chart.png

I received this message the other day through the messaging system in my site:

"I read your article from early Sept about the next four banks likely to fail. I writing to let you know we filed our thrid quarter call report but more importantly, we are filing our earnings release today, It should be out there within the hour. I know your article was based on call report data and you can't base your analysis on other factors that you don't have, but I think the title of your article was a stetch and way too provacative. It probably helps sell your services but is a great diservice to those struggling daily to clean up the mess. I hope after your read the new informtion you'll write an article closer to reality and retract anything you may have said that isn't likely. Thanks, Very Interested Party, United Security Banchares "UBFO""

I removed his identity since he contacted me privately and didn't expressly communicate he wanted his opinion published. He is far from a disinterested party though, and is referring to an article that I wrote on the Doo Doo banks in September, "More Doo Doo Banks Available to the Public". For those of you who do not know, I used this term to coin the list of banks that I predicted may hit the fan in the spring of 2008 - "see 32 banks in deep doo-doo". If one peruses the list of the Who's Who in Doo Doo, one can see that it appears that I had a valid point as many of those banks collapsed or had to be rescued. In re-reading the article, I don't think the title of the article was a stretch at all, nor too provocative, considering the path of previous banks with similar metrics have taken. In addition, I never said these banks were likely to fail. They are in trouble, though. I understand his point, but I do not agree with it. I am sure if he viewed this from outside the bank as compared to inside, he would consider his bank's numbers to be precarious as well. 

I received this message the other day through the messaging system in my site:

"I read your article from early Sept about the next four banks likely to fail. I writing to let you know we filed our thrid quarter call report but more importantly, we are filing our earnings release today, It should be out there within the hour. I know your article was based on call report data and you can't base your analysis on other factors that you don't have, but I think the title of your article was a stetch and way too provacative. It probably helps sell your services but is a great diservice to those struggling daily to clean up the mess. I hope after your read the new informtion you'll write an article closer to reality and retract anything you may have said that isn't likely. Thanks, Very Interested Party, United Security Banchares "UBFO""

I removed his identity since he contacted me privately and didn't expressly communicate he wanted his opinion published. He is far from a disinterested party though, and is referring to an article that I wrote on the Doo Doo banks in September, "More Doo Doo Banks Available to the Public". For those of you who do not know, I used this term to coin the list of banks that I predicted may hit the fan in the spring of 2008 - "see 32 banks in deep doo-doo". If one peruses the list of the Who's Who in Doo Doo, one can see that it appears that I had a valid point as many of those banks collapsed or had to be rescued. In re-reading the article, I don't think the title of the article was a stretch at all, nor too provocative, considering the path of previous banks with similar metrics have taken. In addition, I never said these banks were likely to fail. They are in trouble, though. I understand his point, but I do not agree with it. I am sure if he viewed this from outside the bank as compared to inside, he would consider his bank's numbers to be precarious as well.