A little over a week ago we wrote that in order to mitigate problems arising from record debt and soaring NPLs, the G-20 had a modest proposal for global banks: more debt. Specifically “in November said leaders will agree “that the world’s top banks must issue special bonds to increase the amount of capital which can be tapped in a crisis instead of calling on taxpayers to come to the rescue, industry and G20 officials said.” In other words, suddenly the $2.8 trillion in Fed injected excess reserves, split roughly equally between US and European banks, are no longer sufficient, and while regulators are on one hand delaying the implementation of Basel III and its tougher capital rules, on the other they are tactically admitting that whatever “generous” capital buffer banks have on their books right now will not be sufficient when the next crisis strikes.”
The proposal for the first time introduced GLACs, or bonds known as “gone concern loss absorption capacity”, seen by regulators as essential to stopping the world’s 29 biggest lenders from being “too big to fail.”
Some of our thoughts at the time: “according to the G-20, instead of having to collapse liabilities to offset that scourge of the New abnormal, namely Non-Performing Loans, banks are hoping to lever up, pun intended, the current scramble for yield and instead beef if up their cash asset, even if it means increasing the liability side of the balance sheet by issuing more debt. Because really all the GLAC do is limit how the banks may use the proceeds from such bond issuance. Then again, these being banks, one can be certain that the moment the GLAC cash is wired in, the funds will be used to ramp risk instead of sitting in a drawer somewhere, awaiting rainy days. Because nobody in a bank is paid for avoiding a crisis, and everyone is paid to generate a return even if it means making the systemic bubble even bigger.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/03/2014.