Will someone please talk me down off the ledge with respect to Wells Fargo (WFC)? I don't understand why the bank is being treated with kid gloves through the current credit crisis. Yes, it is better capitalized than its failed mortgage drug-dealers, and yes, it didn't have as much exposure to some of the more deranged crap, like Option ARMs. And that's good.
But consider the issues. I have been spending an inordinate amount of time examining Wells' origination geographies, the $24-billion in mortgage-related Level 3 assets, the historically low loan loss provisions, the construction loan portfolio, the exposure to a weakening consumer economy, etc. I just don't understand why so many people are seemingly so sanguine about WFC. Granted, issues there will happen in a different way and at a different speed, but that's not the same thing as saying that the company is adequately provisioned for problems ahead.
Another tip-off, at least for me: The company has yet to buy any of the broken banking assets on the market. While some might chalk that up to conservativism, I'm more concerned that it's a nervous company seeing a weakening balance sheet ahead and that it doesn't want to make larger commitments.
Can someone talk me down off the ledge here? Thanks.