The Wall Street Journal reports FDIC to Delay Bank Plan.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said it would put off a planned premium increase on banks as it held steady its projected losses for the government fund that covers bank deposits.

The FDIC staff on Tuesday advised the agency’s five-member board to delay a premium increase of three one hundredths of a percentage point scheduled for Jan. 1 because it expects bank failures to begin trailing off next year. The higher assessments will be put off until some unspecified date.

The FDIC expects bank failures to begin to peak this year. It has set aside $40 billion to cover failures from March 2010 through March 2011. Beyond five years, the FDIC expects the pace of bank failures to return to the very low levels that preceded the financial crisis.

In 2008, the FDIC adopted a plan to rebuild its fund in order to restore the ratio of reserves to covered deposits above 1.15%–the minimum required by law. By 2012, the FDIC expects its deposit insurance fund to turn positive again, with the reserve ratio rising above the statutory minimum by the first quarter of 2017.

The whole banking system is still insolvent and will remain insolvent for years to come. That the FDIC will at some point simply choose to pretend that banks are well capitalized and the economy will eventually bail them out is not surprising.

Nearly everyone is overly optimistic on how the rest of this decade will play out in terms of jobs, corporate profits, and bankruptcies.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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