Here’s Bloomberg’s Jonathan Weil two weeks ago (note that BofA shares are now at $6.51 a share):
At $9.85 a share, down 26 percent this year, Bank of America finished yesterday with a market capitalization of $99.8 billion. That’s an astonishingly low 49 percent of the company’s $205.6 billion book value, or common shareholder equity, as of June 30. As far as the market is concerned, more than half of the company’s book value is bogus, due to overstated assets, understated liabilities, or some combination of the two.
Now that 49 percent number, “astonishingly low” just two weeks ago, is at 32 percent of book value.
Meantime, five years into its downturn the housing market—the root of this crisis—is still in a shambles with no end in sight.
Watch the bank stocks in the coming days and weeks. They’re signaling that things are not well with the financial system.