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Refinancing Risk Runs Rampant…Get To Higher Ground!

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 6th, 2009 10:27 AM |

The key for the global markets and economy is the ability to refinance outstanding debt. In the absence of a viable asset securitization market, will banks provide financing for current loans to be refinanced as they come due? Please remember the asset securitization market represented approximately 40% of total lending, so we are talking about a MAJOR segment of the market.

As banks assess applications for loan refinancings, they will impose ever more stringent underwriting standards as they will most likely put these loans on their books. Consumers, small businesses, and major corporations that do not have solid balance sheets and income statements will NOT get new financing. What happens to the existing loans that can’t get refinanced?  The process is as such:

1. loan becomes delinquent
2. loan defaults
3. lender forecloses and takes possession of asset
4. lender attempts to liquidate asset via sale, pressuring valuation of assets in that sector.
5. original lender books loss on non-performing asset

What does it all mean?  Losses on asset classes across the board. Can government programs plug the holes in the refinancing markets? Well, the Federal Reserve is known as the lender of last resort but their loans extend primarily to the banks themselves to plug holes in their balance sheets. The other governmental programs (TALF, PPIP) will hopefully restart the asset securitization markets and bring liquidity back in for refinancing. Will these programs hold the waves behind the dike? To a certain extent, but my recommendation is . . . get to higher ground. (more…)






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