Barclays slump 25pc in last hour , and more than 40pc last week

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by Doji7, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. Doji7


    :eek: :confused: :eek: :eek:

    Barclays shares tumbled in the last hour of trading on the FTSE 100, leaving the stock down 25pc on the day and more than 40pc last week
  2. oriol88


    Market Movers
    by Felix Salmon

    Jan 16 2009 4:20PM EST
    More Arguments for Bank Nationalization

    Why have shares in Barclays suddenly cratered? No one really knows, but it's surely not a complete coincidence that the short selling ban on UK financials expired today.

    On the other hand, maybe Barclays shareholders were reading Willem Buiter, who put up a blog entry today headlined "Time to take the banks into full public ownership". Buiter's argument -- which applies just as much to the US as it does to the UK -- is that the only way to get banks lending again is to nationalize them. Otherwise, they'll simply hoard liquidity in a desperate attempt to avoid being nationalized.

    Buiter notes that the enormous practical problems associated with the creation of a "bad bank" simply disappear if the entire holding company is 100% owned by the government: "It would be a redistribution of wealth from one state-owned entity to another state-owned entity", with no fiscal cost at all and no problems associated with the value placed on the bad bank's assets.

    Having the government take over the banks -- as the US government should do with Citi and Bank of America -- also elegantly puts to an end the ludicrous situation whereby shareholders, whose holdings have been effectively wiped out already, still nominally control the entire company. Having already suffered nearly all their maximum downside, shareholders of an insolvent bank have every incentive to support hail-Mary passes and any policy which creates a chance, however small, that their equity will be worth more than zero in the future. But a sensible too-big-to-fail bank can't be run on such a basis.

    So long as the big banks aren't nationalized, they will be hobbled both at management level and in the stock market by the fear that they might be nationalized. Since no government can -- nor should it -- credibly promise not to nationalize its biggest banks, the only sensible option is to just go ahead and do it already. The only question is what price to pay, and whether to make preferred shareholders whole.
  3. Barclays, for example, is in a position analogous to Citigroup and Bank of America. In 2007 close to half its profits came from "investment banking", now so perilous for its American counterparts. Barclays is the leader in so-called corporate "synthetic" structured investment vehicles - complex and even more dodgy than the securities that have brought low Citigroup and Bank of America. On Friday credit-rating agency Moodys announced new and more demanding criteria for how "synthetics" will be valued in future - implying that bank guarantors will need to find billions extra in capital to support them. Barclays could have to raise up to another £10bn capital to support its investment bank operation; impossible, except from the taxpayer. With the ban on short selling lifted on Friday - an asinine genuflection to the interests of hedge funds - it was an obvious target. The bank rushed out a statement late in the evening declaring good 2008 profits and solid capital ratios. But the issue is 2009, given the new rules. A taxpayer bail-out for Barclays - a view shared by a growing number of officials, if not all - is close to inevitable.
  4. CDNtrader, how about HSBC?

  5. rumor fri was they needed to raise 30 bil to cover current losses.
  6. Yes I heard that you think they can survive without government support?

  7. that is "THE" question isn't it? Only time will tell. You'd have to know what's on the books and how the market dynamics will play out over the next few years to know the answer.

    Level 3 assets are the great "mystery" of our time.
  8. Maybe the time will come we will start to wonder if these banks can survive with government support or have we passed that station already as well?