Flat White

Safe as houses. Oh…

22 March 2020

5:36 PM

22 March 2020

5:36 PM

Only a few short weeks ago, the big banks were virtue signalling by adopting rainbow coloured versions of their logos for the Mari Gras.

Now, the new virtue signalling involves flagging six month mortgage holidays.

Given that all too many of us have got ourselves in debt up to the eyeballs in pursuit of the perfect Harvey Norman lifestyle or consider three investment properties a fundamental human right, big whoopie-do.

If you’re already hard pressed to meet your debts, matters will be much, much worse in six months. Even if you’re on top of things now, that may well not be the case come October.

Call me a cynic, but talk of mortgage holidays looks more like six months for the banks to prepared for all the looming bankruptcies and non-performing that are inevitable.

As soon as customers take advantage of loan holidays, the banks will red-flag their files. They know immediately that there’s a good chance the client is or soon will be in financial difficulty.

But — call me doubly cynical — it will also give the banks the opportunity that they played nice; that they gave their poor customer a chance.

Of course, the truth is that we have been borrowing too much and the banks have been happy to lend too much, often to people they shouldn’t — hence the mad asset bubbles, particularly in housing.

But if you’re cashed up with liquid assets mark October, the end of the holiday, in your diary.

Thanks when the distressed property selling of the type that swept America in the wake of Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac and the GFC will begin in earnest.

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