What’s Going on with Small Banks?

Apr 17, 2023 | Finconomics 101, No Bull Economics

Small Banks Post Banner

While there has been a lot of concern that a deposit run on small banks would put them out of business, a little history provides important context to their circumstances.

Small Banks’ Bond Investments and Fed Rate Hikes: Impact on Deposits and Borrowing

  • The table below provides a good indication of how much deposits have grown at small banks since covid, as Americans apparently felt safer with their money in bank deposits (no matter how low yielding) relative to the uncertain stock market.
  • In turn, small banks invested these deposits into safe government backed bonds which, no matter how low yielding, were profitable given a small yield premium compared to the zero-funding cost of their deposit base. This investment decision reflected a higher demand for deposits relative to loans, indicative of a country reeling from covid lockdowns.
  • In any case, Fed rate hikes caused the value of these bond portfolios to plummet. Fortunately, the small banks were able to bring the bonds to the Fed as collateral for loans (borrowing below) at full par value (essentially wiping out their bond losses).
  • What is interesting from the data below is that deposits at the small banks have only decreased by -4% during the year-to-date (YTD) period ending 4/5/23. Notably, this is not very traumatic and hardly qualifies as a loss of confidence in these depository institutions.    
Small Banks Chart
Marketing NFS Graphic Updated
NoBull Posts Thumbnail
Restaurant Research

Email Sign-up

15 Second Posts

Darden 1Q24: Sales +11.6% Y/Y, Comps +5.5% Y/Y

Darden reported that industry same-restaurant sales increased +0.9% and industry same-restaurant guest counts decreased -4.2% during its fiscal 1Q24. The chain’s comps outperformed the industry by +4.1% and its traffic outperformed by +4.3% (= flattish traffic for Darden during the quarter).

Job Market Looks Solid

In this chart, we subtract total quits from total hires. The excess of hires over quits looks very good relative to the historical level even though the positive gap recently dipped slightly. Workers are staying at their jobs longer even as they continue to have new employment opportunities.

The Economics of Politics

As the U.S. gears up for the 2024 elections, it is important to consider changes to our elections and governance that can unite the citizens of this great country.

2Q23 Retail Same Store Sales

NoBull’s Retail Same Store Sales Report benchmarks 80+ large consumer retail companies by domestic same store sales including annual (2019 – 2022) and quarterly results (2Q22 to 2Q23).

Walmart Investor Presentation: Inflation Here to Stay

While general merchandise prices are lower y/y, they remain elevated compared to 2 years ago. As Walmart does not believe general merchandise and food (dry grocery) & consumable prices are ever going to completely disinflate, management suggests the need for a country-wide wage increase rebalancing.

Interesting Conversation with Fed Chair Powell

Okay, Powell didn’t actually take our call, but we offer a transcript of a potential discussion between the Fed Chair and John Q. Public. It’s very insightful, so please read on.

The Problem with Investment Diversification

Every investment advisor and business student knows that portfolio diversification is key to wealth building. Show me an investor who can beat the S&P 500 Index by buying a few handpicked stocks and I will show you a hedge fund manager in the making. However, there is a huge problem with this strategy that no one is talking about.

Part 3: Analyzing Performance of Low-Income Oriented Retail Companies

We created an index for the financial performance of 5 low-income oriented retail companies to assess the health of this demo. While we recognize that these companies have benefited from the trade-down of higher-income consumers, things look reasonable at least through calendar 2Q23. 

Part 2: Incremental Interest Payments Squeeze Disposable Income

In this post, we quantify the pressure on disposable income driven by credit card & auto loan payment increases since the onset of the Fed rate hikes in early 2022 in addition to the impact of the coming resumption of student loan payments in October 2023.

Part 1: Keeping an Eye on the Consumer’s Top-Line

The consumer’s top-line benefits from a high employment rate, generous raises, and a healthy savings rate which indicates an income surplus.

Digital Marketing Opportunities
Restaurant Research

A Restaurant Research LLC Company