Are 100% mortgages the problem? Is LTV a symptom or a cause?

An article in the Independent yesterday pointed toward 100% mortgages being a significant attributer to the bubble, I would wager it was a symptom rather than a cause, the IBA meanwhile has called for all mortgages to be made on a non-recourse basis.

The good thing is that people and organisations are trying to find a way to avoid a repeat of the property bubble, and they are not one off events as the UK can testify.  There are however, significant factors contributing to what happened.

1: lenders didn’t price risk, they didn’t even ‘price at all’: Banks have utterly failed to do the job they were designed to do, namely that of profitable intermediation, we had huge amounts of competition on lending, that drove down criteria requirements and also compressed margins, then along came trackers, these had low margin price promises – Bank of Scotland brought them into Ireland and have since left. I spoke with a Bank exec. yesterday and he …

Read More

Irish Banking. How does it play out?

I used to be in a Chess Club, and one thing it taught me (apart from how to lose using the Kings Gambit) is that you can often see a general result long before you see it exactly, when you are a piece down and can’t control the centre of the board you know you are in trouble, but how and where the checkmate occurs is unknown, game theory can’t tell you precisely and reverse integration from the end game may not bring you to where you started from, but the player knows instinctively that they are up against the wall.

Sometimes appearances can be deceiving, you might think you are fine and you are not (2003-2009), other times you can get caught up about losing a pawn but you are in fact gaining ground (2010), albeit painfully and slowly.

I believe the same can often apply to markets. Today we will look at the reasons for why we believe the banks are going to survive and furthermore, what the results will be of their survival.

The core belief in …

Read More