After the turmoil surrounding Silicon Valley Bank, politicians and financial supervisors have repeated it like a prayer wheel: There are no risks of contagion, the big banks are now much more resilient. But the storm has not yet passed the financial markets, as the fall in the price of Credit Suisse shares now shows.
This time, however, it is not a medium-sized institution with a special business model and Silicon Valley Bank. Now a major bank is in the fire, of which there should be no doubt due to the strict capital and liquidity requirements. But investors are increasingly mistrusting the institute. This can be seen not only in the fall in the share price, but also in the soaring risk premiums on the bond market. These now signal increased default risks on the part of the bank.
Credit Suisse's crisis of confidence is certainly due to many shortcomings that have been avoided in other financial institutions. However, Credit Suisse is not an isolated case because it has stuck to investment banking for too long. Deutsche Bank found itself in a similar situation not so long ago. She had to make a deep, painful cut and has now regained her footing.
Deep cuts are also needed at Credit Suisse, but time seems to be running out. Should the major Swiss bank falter, given its size and importance on the capital market, it could trigger a financial crisis like the one after the Lehman collapse in September 2008. Then the resilience of the banks would truly be put to the test.
It is to be hoped that Credit Suisse leadership and supervisors in Switzerland will finally become aware of their responsibility. After all, the crisis of confidence surrounding Credit Suisse has been smouldering for too long.