Banking System Grows More Unstable

  • The threat of a banking crisis caused by the failing commercial real estate sector is increasing
  • Academic and Government research points to a growing number of banks vulnerable to failure
  • Americans are seeking to shelter their assets in physical gold and silver before the chaos erupts

Bank Risks Increase

High interest rates and plummeting demand have put the commercial real estate sector on the edge of collapse. As overexposed regional banks teeter on the brink of crisis, studies show large banks are also at risk. Things look like they are going to get worse before they get better as the prospect of a full-blown banking meltdown emerges. Americans are seeking to shelter their assets in physical gold and silver before the chaos erupts.

Regional banks have been at increasing risk from the collapsing commercial real estate (CRE) market since the Fed started their aggressive rate hikes. The risks stem from the repricing of CRE loans at higher rates as the real estate cycle turns. Banks are stuck holding mortgages and construction loans that are underwater compared to plunging property values.
Now, that risk seems to be spreading to larger banks.

Banking System Grows More Unstable1

While not to the extent as regional banks, big firms are exposed to CRE risk from direct loans. But they are also at risk by indirect lending to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). REITs are firms that buy and operate commercial real estate, selling shares to investors who want to gain exposure to the space.

However, these vehicles are often debt dependent. They are vulnerable to high interest rates. With higher-for-longer rates depressing revenue, investors are antsy to get their money out. With the rise in redemption requests, the REITs have tapped the banks for more credit. The number of REIT credit lines extended is increasing faster than other forms of borrowing. The lenders are putting themselves in a dangerous position if a crisis hits.

A new study says the greater exposure to commercial real estate debt increases overall systemic risk. When commercial real estate REITs heavily draw on credit lines during widespread financial stress, it can seriously impact the largest banks. This means that the overall risk from commercial real estate is likely much higher than what the banks’ direct exposure suggests. REIT loans raised the largest bank’s exposure by about 40%.2

More Banks at Risk

A Florida Atlantic University study found a growing number of banks facing failure due to the exposure to commercial real estate. They identified that 67 of the largest US banks have CRE loans exceeding 300% of their total equity capital. Regulators consider that level excessively risky. 3

The study cited Flagstar Bank and Zions Bancorporation as the highest risks. Flagstar’s CRE portfolio comprised a stunning 553% of its equity. Zions was 440% of its equity. Both banks rely heavily on uninsured deposits. This makes them extremely vulnerable to bank runs.

“Should another bank fail, depositors may pull money from these highly exposed banks, potentially triggering a banking panic reminiscent of last year,” study authors warned. 4

Banking System Grows More Unstable

The FDIC Sees Risk

The government is recognizing the growing risk of a banking crisis. The Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) increased the number of banks on its “Problem Bank List.” It went up from 52 to 63. The number of banks on the watch list is 60% greater than the quarter preceding the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The bank run on SVB triggered a national panic. It helped fuel the collapses of First Republic and Signature Banks.

The FDIC found the amount of exposed assets rose to $82.1 billion. Alongside the increase in endangered banks was an increase in the number of unrealized losses. More than $517 billion in losses are now being held. 5

Wall Street Weighs In

Morgan Stanley warned commercial real estate prices could crash 40% in a disaster worse than the financial crisis of 2008.

“More than 50% of the $2.9 trillion in commercial mortgages will need to be renegotiated in the next 24 months when new lending rates are likely to be up by 350 to 450 basis points,” their analysts said. High borrowing costs and tighter credit conditions could raise difficult hurdles for big real estate investors as they seek to refinance a mountain of loans.

Morgan Stanley says the damage won’t stay contained to the property owners and banks. It will extend to “interconnected business communities, private capital funders and owners of any underlying securitized debt,” they note. “The tech and consumer discretionary sectors will not be immune.”6


High interest rates and plummeting demand are devastating the commercial real estate sector. No longer limited to regional banks, its collapse threatens to spark a full-blown banking crisis. The impact of which could undermine the entire financial system in a way not seen since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. That crisis caused retirement savers to lose up to 50% of their funds. With the writing on the wall, now is the time to protect your portfolio with physical precious metals. A Gold IRA from American Hartford Gold can help secure your financial future. Call 800-462-0071 to learn how today.

1. https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/iNNwTUUX4yY4/v3/620x-1.jpg
2. https://www.businessinsider.com/commerical-real-estate-crisis-bank-debt-contagion-reits-cre-lending-2024-5
3. https://www.mpamag.com/us/specialty/commercial/commercial-real-estate-loans-put-67-banks-at-risk-of-collapse/492047
4. https://www.mpamag.com/us/specialty/commercial/commercial-real-estate-loans-put-67-banks-at-risk-of-collapse/492047
5. https://dailycaller.com/2024/06/04/regulators-announcement-red-flag-banking-industry/
6. https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/commercial-real-estate-prices-outlook-crash-financial-crisis-morgan-stanley-2023-4?_gl=1%2A171pvcl%2A_ga%2AMTY0OTQ1MjIyNS4xNjU2NTA4ODQ3%2A_ga_E21CV80ZCZ%2AMTY4MDY5MDY4Ny44NjkuMS4xNjgwNzAyMzc0LjYwLjAuMA..&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=yahoo.com


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