Brexit could trigger a $500 trillion derivatives meltdown, by forcing the EU to allow insolvent member governments and banks to write down debt. Italy is in financial crisis and is already petitioning for that concession. How to avoid collapse of the massive derivatives house of cards? Alternatives are considered.
While the mainstream media focus on ISIS extremists, a threat that has gone virtually unreported is that your life savings could be wiped out in a massive derivatives collapse. Bank bail-ins have begun in Europe, and the infrastructure is in place in the US. Poverty also kills.
On the weekend of November 16th, the G20 leaders whisked into Brisbane, posed for their photo ops, approved some proposals, made a show of roundly disapproving of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and whisked out again. It was all so fast, they may not have known what they were endorsing when they rubber-stamped the Financial Stability Board’s “Adequacy of Loss-Absorbing Capacity of Global Systemically Important Banks in Resolution,” which completely changes the rules of banking. Continue reading
Increased regulation and low interest rates are driving lending from the regulated commercial banking system into the unregulated shadow banking system. The shadow banks, although free of government regulation, are propped up by a hidden government guarantee in the form of safe harbor status under the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act pushed through by Wall Street. The result is to create perverse incentives for the financial system to self-destruct.
Far from reducing risk, derivatives increase risk, often with catastrophic results. — Derivatives expert Satyajit Das, Extreme Money (2011)
The “toxic culture of greed” on Wall Street was highlighted again last week, when Greg Smith went public with his resignation from Goldman Sachs in a scathing oped published in the New York Times. Continue reading
Nov. 2, 2009
Last month, when the a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the derivatives market, Robert Johnson was the only non-industry expert invited to speak. The former economist at the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Budget Committee was invited just sixteen hours before the hearing. His testimony was cut short after five minutes by Congresswoman Melissa Bean, and the committee has since refused to post online his full testimony along with the statements of the other panelists. Robert Johnson comes on Democracy Now! to explain what he tried to tell Congress. [includes rush transcript]
Recent attempts by corporate media to explain the nature of our economic meltdown have left me ready to bite the ears off mice. They’ve been superficial, profoundly misleading and, above all, apologias for the likes of
Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner. So, having spent every spare moment over the past three years studying the debacle that many saw brewing, here’s the simplest explanation I’ve come up with: