Visitors Now:
Total Visits:
Total Stories:
Profile image
By Mark Wadsworth blog
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Financial Contagion (2)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 4:50
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

I offered an explanation as to why falling house prices end up harming the real economy (despite logic saying they ought to help it) recently, nobody came up with anything better so it'll have to do for now.

To cut a long story short, when house prices fall, people want to withdraw money from banks which are overweight in mortgage lending (which is most of them) because the banks' collateral value is falling. Most banks have about 80% of their lending on mortgages and 20% to the real economy (business loans, overdrafts, credit cards, HP deals/personal loans etc).

It is impossible to make mortgage borrowers repay any faster than under the terms of their mortgage, so the quickest source of cash is to call in business loans, cancel overdrafts, cut credit card limits and stop offering HP deals/personal loans. So the real economy is starved of credit/finance, things which oil the wheels, and it grinds to a halt.

TBH emailed me an article about new revelations on the most extreme real life example of this i.e. the RBS Global Recovery Group which operated on a slash and burn basis. It upped fees and charges, deliberately bankrupted businesses and then a different RBS department acquired their land and buildings at undervalue 'off the market' (can't have forced sales depressing open market prices!). This is a very short term thing and must harm RBS profitability in the long run, but that's not how bankers think; it's only this year's bonus that matters.

I thought that everybody knew this, but apparently not – the BBC re-ran the story (giving due credit to Buzzfeed who uncovered it).

There's no point me summarising, it makes for very interesting reading if you have time.

The point being that without the house price falls, depositors wouldn't have demanded cash, RBS wouldn't have done the slash and burn, and had other banks been expanding their business loans or offered easy remortgages, RBS borrowers would have simply taken their business elsewhere. As things stood, RBS had them by the throat.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.