This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Great Credit Crunch Issues Remain Five Years After Start

Stocks in this article: BAC C JPM STSA WFC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- This week marks the fifth anniversary of when the banking regulators finally realized that the Great Credit Crunch was a real and current danger to the banking system and hence the U.S. economy.

Today, the National Association of Home Builders, or NAHB, reports its Housing Market Index for September. The reading for August was a multi-year high of 59, well above the neutral 50 reading. This reading was just 17 and on the way to a record low of 8, in January 2008.

Five years ago, the federal funds rate was at 2%, lowered to that level on April 30, 2008. On Oct. 8, the rate was cut to 1.5% then to 1% on Oct. 29, and then to 0% on December 16, where it remains today. In my opinion, this rate should never have been taken below 3%, as savers have been pinched for five years now.

In mid-September 2008, initial jobless claims were 488,000 and this statistic did not peak until March 2009, at 651,000. Last week, this reading was below 300,000. The four-week moving average was 321,250, below the recessionary threshold of 350,000.

The "too big to fail" money-center banks began to get bigger in January 2008, when Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) bought Countrywide Financial. Then in mid-September, it took over Merrill Lynch. Next week, the company gets booted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, despite being up 56.2% over the last 12 months.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) took over Bear Stearns in March 2008, after the Federal Reserve stripped out the toxic assets. Then in late-September, it added Washington Mutual. JPMorgan is the only money center and major regional bank with a buy rating, according to ValuEngine, but it appears to be on the cusp of a downgrade to hold. Today the banking giant faces a fine of up to $800 million in settlement of the legal issues associated with the $6 billion loss from the "London Whale" trade.

Citigroup (C - Get Report) appeared to have added Wachovia in an FDIC-led merger on Sep. 29, 2008, but was left at the merger altar when Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report) bought Wachovia with a much better bid on Oct. 3, 2008.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,678.70 +6.10 0.03%
S&P 500 2,057.09 +5.27 0.26%
NASDAQ 4,771.7630 +13.8840 0.29%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs