Forget too-big-to-fail, new concern is that many banks are too-weak-to-survive

Firms with over $11 trillion in assets would remain troubled even if interest rates rise, IMF says in new report

A third of biggest banks in the world’s richest countries are so weak their problems could not be solved even by a recovery and rising interest rates, the International Monetary Fund said in a new report released Wednesday.

About a third of European banks, with $8.5 trillion in assets, and a quarter of U.S. banks, with $3.2 trillion in assets, are in this too-weak-to-recover category, the IMF said. Continue reading

IMF Warns Next Financial Crash Is Only a Matter of Time

With interest rates at a 5,000-year low, are we really surprised that a crash is coming?

The International Monetary Fund (imf) is warning that a financial crisis is practically guaranteed, and it’s just a matter of time before it strikes. The organization’s newly released Global Financial Stability report is sobering reading. The flaws in the global financial system have not been fixed, it says.

It highlights soaring global debt, particularly in emerging markets. The implication is that we could see a repeat of the 1997 currency crisis also known as the “Asian Flu,” which saw massive currency devaluations, contractions in global trade, economic turmoil, and social instability.

But conditions are much more dangerous today than back then. Virtually the whole world is teetering on recession, the West and Russia are back in Cold War mode, the Middle East is engaged in actual war in Syria, and the world is more interconnected than ever—potentially making the transmission of financial diseases much quicker. Continue reading

Portugal: ‘IMF: Order to kill’

The IMF report on Portugal’s implementation of an EU-brokered bailout plan aims to throw off the country’s constitutional court, says i.

Instead of including reforms in the 2014 state budget, the IMF wants to push directly into structural reforms, which assumes to be the most difficult part of the Portuguese adjustment program. Continue reading