Principles of Banking and Finance

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What does Sub-Prime Crisis means? Sub Prime lending which is also known as near-prime, non-prime and second chance lending, means lending to people who might have trouble repaying the loan due to income ability or credit ratings which previously would not have been available to them. Credit ratings that might be not favorable to them with the standards set up initially by Financial Institutions slowly dwindle to less strict under-writing of loans. which could also due to an influx of foreign capital making lending easier to these group of people, the investment banks that sold the repackage mortgages to the consumers which is one of the way to fund for capital, and the Housing Urban Development of America policy to ensure that its citizens has access to mortgage loans easily. The cheaper interest rate packaged by the Financial Institutions which seems more affordable for the consumer for the first 1 to 5 years and the thereafter interest rate would have jumped significantly. The loans here generally referred to mortgage loans. The Crisis started or snowball into what it was in 2007 in my opinion was due to greed. Greed into thinking that the property boom would continue in perpetuity so that the borrowers could cash out more from their current property market valuation, with this cash out in terms of personal loan they could fund or finance their lifestyle be it buying a new property for investment purposes, to flip or for rental. For the luxury in life they choose to enjoy now, spending future money. As the economy slowed, jobs are being taken away from corporation in America to other countries which have a cheaper source of overhead expenses and manpower. People are being retrenched thus causing them to start defaulting on their loan repayments. A statistic done has shown that the American households do not have any savings but was laden with debt instead. The housing bubble burst, the market does not have that much capital as it used to have to continue to push property prices up anymore, thus causing the market to slow overall, foreclosures of their properties was happening. Consumers was also unable to obtain a refinancing which they had planned previously to lower their interest rate again when it went up, as financial institutions feel the pinched and controlled its lending. How did the Financial Institutions played a part in this? In the past banks have financed their mortgage lending activities through the deposits they receive from their customers. This has confined the amount of mortgage lending they could do. In recent years, banks have designed a new model where they repackage these mortgages to be sold to the bond markets. This has made it a lot easier to fund additional borrowing from the investors and interest rate was low. But it has also led to abuses as banks no longer have the incentive to check carefully the mortgages they issue to the lenders. The failure to check and curb lending in return for the possibility of profit was one of the causes. The first sign of the sub-prime crisis was as early as 2007 when HSBC Finance which is part of the banks north American subsidiary has to write off 880 million in sub-prime lending. The business has become unsustainable as borrowers started to default. The new model which we have come to know is known either as Mortgaged backed Assets or Collateral Debts Obligations. The repackage mortgages are being sold to the bond markets, before they can be sold, credit rating agency will determine and give the model a rating. A credit rating for an issuer takes into consideration the issuer's credit worthiness example its ability to pay back a loan, and affects the interest rate applied to the particular security being issued. These MBS or CDOs as it has come to know are usually marketed to countries which has a surplus in its balance sheet as it was generally known that Asians believe in savings rather than spending future money thus the products were usually marketed in...
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