Fox Business reporter Charlie Gasparino said Thursday that multiple sources told him that over a dozen regional banks are “very impaired” in the wake of First Republic Bank’s collapse.
“The big banks, I believe, the J.P. Morgans, the Bank of America, CitiGroup, Wells Fargo, they’re well-capitalized, they’re diversified and do different things, but we have a problem with regional banks,” Gasparino told “Fox News Tonight” host Lawrence Jones. “And what is the problem? The problem is we printed a ton of money, we spent a ton of money from the federal government. Those banks went out on the spectrum, as gamblers always do, when you give them free money, and they invested in risky stuff. They loaded up on capital at the top of the market.” (RELATED: ‘Uncle Sugar’: ‘Generous’ Spending During COVID Pandemic Led To Bank Failures, Bill Maher Says)
“When you put those two things together, you have a real hole in the balance sheet of many of these regional banks,” Gasparino continued. “Now if you’re at a regional bank, should you be worried? I would say yes, you should be worried.”
Federal regulators shut down First Republic Bank early Monday morning and sold it to J.P. Morgan Chase weeks after it received a $30 billion infusion from multiple lenders in order to stave off contagion following the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in March.
Gasparino blamed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and the Biden administration for the crisis faced by regional banks, citing inflation, government spending and the Federal Reserve’s decision to increase interest rates ten times since March 2022, taking them to levels not seen since the months prior to the 2008 financial crisis, echoing criticism and warnings from Obama administration officials.
Larry Summers, who served as secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration and as an economic adviser to former President Barack Obama, warned about potential inflation in a Feb. 24, 2021 op-ed in The Washington Post, while former Obama administration official Steven Rattner warned about the inflationary risks of Biden’s spending in multiple 2021 op-eds in The New York Times.
“We’re in a pickle now and by the way, it was created by the man you just listened to. I mean, se printed money, the federal government, Janet Yellen, the treasure secretary spent money, created a situation where we had massive risk taking and inflation,” Gasparino said. “How do you reverse that? Well, you have to raise interest rates. When you start raising interest rates, all bank balance sheets get crushed.”
President Joe Biden claimed that banks “are in pretty good shape” March 24, in the wake of the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.
“The regional banks are the least able to handle that crush. J.P. Morgan can handle it better and that’s what you have now,” Gasparino said. “Now my sources are telling me there’s about two dozen banks that are very impaired. Now whether they go under or not, I don’t know.”
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