Thursday, October 16, 2014

One of the best articles I’ve read on how to value a bank

From Bloomberg view:

So if you count the changes in value of some of Bank of America's assets (along with the fees and interest and so forth that are more straightforwardly "income"), you get income of positive $168 million, or negative $70 million, depending. If you count the changes in value of some more of those assets, you get negative $636 million. If you count the changes in value of all of Bank of America's assets, you get a number that hahahahahahaha come on, you are not going to find in any accounting statements, that is crazy. That is the most secret of secret sauces, plus it's not like Bank of America knows that number either.

The follow up question would be, given the amount of flexibility in defining whether the bank is making money, how bad do things have to get before they go and ask the government for a bailout?

Given how much of the European rescue of 2012 was accomplished by accounting changes and promises that were never delivered on, what is going to be left once these optimistic assumptions get tested?

Maybe we’ll find out soon.

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