Jay Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, stated yesterday that the American banking system is “sound and resilient.”
The big picture: It was comparable to a sports team owner endorsing the head coach. If you must admit it, things aren’t going well at all.
A possible sale is one of the strategic options PacWest is reportedly looking into, admitting that “discussions are ongoing” with “several potential partners and investors.”
As of yesterday’s market close, shares of the Los Angeles-based lender were down 71% on the year; at today’s open, they were down even more.
Behind the scenes: The FDIC isn’t involved in either situation. At least not yet.
Remember, both Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic also at first sought private market solutions.
Several other regional banks are also under stock price pressure, including Comerica and Zions Bancorp.
What to know, per Axios’ Felix Salmon: If there’s a change of control (e.g., a sale) then all of a bank’s loans must get marked to market. So, instead the banks are looking for minority investments or other solutions that allow them to keep their loans booked at par.
Macro: The Fed yesterday raised interest rates by a quarter percentage point, but hinted that a pause could be forthcoming as it continues to monitor economic and financial data.
That last part makes sense in light of the regional banking issues. On the other hand, that monitoring will be done by the exact same crew that just called the U.S. banking system “sound and resilient.”
Elsewhere: Canada’s Toronto-Dominion Bank said it no longer will buy Memphis-based First Horizon, citing a lack of clarity of regulatory approvals.