EFX: Good afternoon, Mr. Croal Dude. We see you have maxed out your credit cards and your home equity line of credit. We are putting you on notice that if you don’t call Chase and get those limits increased, we will have no choice but to drop your credit score.
CroalDude: Yeah, yeah, I know. I am in the process of cancelling my yardman, my bug guy, the alarm monitoring that I never set, and cuttin’ off my no-good brother-in-law. Therefore I will be reducing my expenses so paying those bills won’t be a problem.
EFX: With all due respect, Mr. Croal Dude sir, that’s just not good enough. We need you to increase your lines so you can spend more. We’ll be watching you and don’t make us lower your credit score even if you can pay your bills.
It kind of reminded me of S&P’s warning on the U.S. debt ceiling.
Speaking of S&P, now there’s a crackerjack bunch of bean counters! Don’t you wish you had those guys on your credit admin team underwriting C&I loans? Totally missed the subprime housing bust, had Lehman at triple-A before they failed and now gave the good ole’ US of A the AA+ finger.
Speaking of Chase, I thought it was quite hypocritical that the one and same Mr. Jamie Dimon who sent me a letter in 2009 lowering my credit limit would now send a letter to Obama and crew demanding the debt limit be raised. And I wasn’t borrowing anywhere near 40 cents of every dollar I was spending.So how are we GonzoBankers to prepare for the possibility of the September Deal-or-No-Deal briefcase coming up empty and introducing more carnage into the markets? If you haven’t seen this coming like a 200-car Union Pacific transport on an Old Faithful schedule, unlike waiting until the Cat 5 is kissing the shores of Old Mexico to develop a hurricane plan, it’s not too late to put a contingency plan together. Heck, even if you start tomorrow you’ll still beat the OCC out the door with a plan.
First, the good news. If the price of Treasuries drops because of a flight-FROM-junk as a result of a credit grade lowering, then the yields would go up so the variable rate loan portfolio tied to Treasuries will contribute to a nice little bump in margin. Of course, those creative and out-of-the-box Treasury-indexed CD and savings programs created by that rookie M.B.A. marketing hired last summer will also increase, offsetting some of the better margin. But, hey, you can’t have everything go your way.
Second, more good news. If granny’s social security check ever gets delayed by a couple of days the next time the well runs dry, that ought to cause some increased overdraft fees. Hip, hip, hooray for the return of non-interest income! And if you have a big exposure to a customer segment highly dependent on government checks like the military or federal contractors, they might also see a slowdown in payments, resulting in more NSF/OD income. Man, this just keeps getting better the more I think about it – if you don’t consider the loan losses or delinquencies that will come back in force.Third, more good advice from the federalies. I expect some “left-leaning be nice” guidance to all the “big mean nasty banks” to be forthcoming should the feds ever really run out of cash. Once you whip out the Little Orphan Annie secret decoder ring the gist of the message will be, “Just because Congress has proven time and again that they can’t manage their own personal checkbooks and are totally inept at managing the checkbooks of the U.S.A., as a result of their inability to get granny’s social security check to her on time we expect the big mean nasty banks to take on more risk and pay her worthless checks and don’t charge her any fees.” Lovely, huh?
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