Saturday, July 12, 2008

What About the FDIC?

If you think Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are under capitalized, then how about this very rough, and very non analytical back of the envelope capitalization for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance deposit fund.

Combined Deposit Insurance Fund Balance - $ 52.8 billion (before Indy Mac failure).
Insured Deposits $4.4 trillion.
Reserve Ratio - 1.19%.

Of course I am sure there is more to it than that. The FDIC can raise premiums, and ultimately, the U.S. Government is there.

Here are some historical nuggets that I gleaned from the same page:

1) The chart goes back to 1990, which is the year that failed assets peaked at $145.339 billion. Indy Mac has $32 billion in assets so we are already at 20% of the 1990 peak.

2) The fund balance went negative in 1991, at $6.9 billion.

3) The current reserve ratio of 1.19%, is the lowest since 1995, when it was 1.08%. This is calculated before the latest bank failure. If we use the mid point of the estimated losses of $4-8 billion, then the fund balance falls to $46 billion, and the reserve ratio falls to approximately 1.04%.

I don't understand why the FDIC let the reserve ratio run down from a high of 1.38% in 1999, considering that everyone and their mother saw this storm coming. During the good times is when they should have over assessed the banks to prepare for this.

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