Mending the banks
It's another big week in the rebuilding of our battered banking industry.
British banks will start to liquefy, or turn into cash, their hard-to-refinance mortgages by taking advantage of the new collateral swap offered by the Bank of England.
And my sense, from talking to the banks, is that there is going to be something of a stampede to exchange mortgage-backed securities for easy-to-refinance Treasury bills.
In fact, the £50bn mooted as initial demand by Mervyn King, the governor, is likely to be exhausted within a few short weeks.
Which shows you the severity of the cash shortage in the banking system, since the Bank of England is not giving the money away.
So Mervyn King and the chancellor will have to decide whether to formally announce that drawings on the facility are quite rapidly expected to exceed £100bn.
This is taxpayers' £100bn, which means they'll be under some political pressure to do so.
By British corporate standards a £4bn rights issue would be one of the biggest ever - though it is a fraction of the £12bn being raised by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The needs of our biggest mortgage bank are a bit different from Royal Bank's.
It starts with more capital relative to its assets - or, to put it another way, it is already quite a bit stronger than Royal Bank.
But that strength is being undermined by an estimated £3bn of markdowns or losses on its investments linked to US residential mortgages.
What's irksome for HBOS is that it largely avoided the sub-prime debacle. But it has not been insulated from the fall in the market price of securities backed by so-called Alt-A assets (the grade above subprime) and prime assets.
However the main reason it wants the money is that it believes that in the difficult market conditions that all banks face, fortune will favour the strong.
That's what its advisers, Morgan Stanley and Dresdner Kleinwort, will tell underwriters of the new shares in the City today, in the hope that investors put a positive gloss on the fund raising - and see it as a constructive move to generate future profits, rather than an admission of past failure.