Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Uh-Oh, Jamie Dimon mentions the "S" word.

Mish recently pointed out that Ally Financial's profits are falling quickly.  What's Ally financial you might ask and if you did then the answer is that it's the new-ish marketing name for GMAC.  That's right, an automobile finance bank.  Essentially, when no real bank will loan someone money to buy a car, GMAC fills the void in order to make it easier to get into debt servitude for up to 8 years these days.  For a car.

Folks, parking lots full of new and late model used cars are jam packed full right now.  It's called stuffing the channel and the automakers do it every time leading up to a recession because they book the sale for putting a car into a holding lot some place.  Thus, when the car makers begin to stumble it is a canary in the recession coal mine and when car financing stumbles it is a sign that car makers won't be far behind.

But none of that is why I am writing this post.  I am writing it because the first words out of JP Morgan con man in chief Jamie Dimon's mouth were that we should not worry because the issues at Ally are not systemic.  So that is what we are reduced to now as an economy folks - whether or not a bank's leverage is so extreme as to be able to take down the whole house of cards should it fail.

You know, back when I was a young man we never heard anyone talk about this or that being "systemic".  Nobody could get that big.  But as the debt has been ratcheted 10,20,30+x of the monetary base, yes, plenty of systemic risks exist.  That's why Jamie had to say, paraphrased, "yeah but Ally's not one of them".  And he now considers that kind of talk normal if not in some way helpful or necessary.

This may seem a small thing to many people but it tells me that risks are popping up again on the RADAR of the likes of Jamie Dimon and he is grading them in real time.  Sooner or later that systemic risk is coming home to roost.  Count on it.

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