Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. 2019 From A Fourth Turning Perspective - James_Quinn
2.Beware the Young Stocks Bear Market! - Zeal_LLC
3.Safe Havens are Surging. What this Means for Stocks 2019 - Troy_Bombardia
4.Most Popular Financial Markets Analysis of 2018 - Trump and BrExit Chaos Dominate - Nadeem_Walayat
5.January 2019 Financial Markets Analysis and Forecasts - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Silver Price Trend Analysis 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Why 90% of Traders Lose - Nadeem_Walayat
8.What to do With Your Money in a Stocks Bear Market - Stephen_McBride
9.Stock Market What to Expect in the First 3~5 Months of 2019 - Chris_Vermeulen
10.China, Global Economy has Tipped over: The Surging Dollar and the Rallying Yen - FXCOT
Last 7 days
Next Recession: Finding A 48% Yield Amid The Ruins - 22nd Mar 19
Your Future Stock Returns Might Unpleasantly Surprise You - 22nd Mar 19
Fed Acknowledges “Recession Risks”. Run for the Hills! - 22nd Mar 19
Will Bridging Loans Grow in Demand and Usage in 2019? - 22nd Mar 19
Does Fed Know Something Gold Investors Do Not Know? - 21st Mar 19
Gold …Some Confirmations to Watch For - 21st Mar 19
UKIP No Longer About BrExit, Becomes BNP 2.0, Muslim Hate Party - 21st Mar 19
A Message to the Gold Bulls: Relying on the CoT Gives You A False Sense of Security - 20th Mar 19
The Secret to Funding a Green New Deal - 20th Mar 19
Vietnam, Part I: Colonialism and National Liberation - 20th Mar 19
Will the Fed Cut its Interest Rate Forecast, Pushing Gold Higher? - 20th Mar 19
Dow Jones Stock Market Topping Pattern - 20th Mar 19
Gold Stocks Outperform Gold but Not Stocks - 20th Mar 19
Here’s What You’re Not Hearing About the US - China Trade War - 20th Mar 19
US Overdosing on Debt - 19th Mar 19
Looking at the Economic Winter Season Ahead - 19th Mar 19
Will the Stock Market Crash Like 1937? - 19th Mar 19
Stock Market VIX Volaility Analysis - 19th Mar 19
FREE Access to Stock and Finanacial Markets Trading Analysis Worth $1229! - 19th Mar 19
US Stock Markets Price Anomaly Setup Continues - 19th Mar 19
Gold Price Confirmation of the Warning - 18th Mar 19
Split Stock Market Warning - 18th Mar 19
Stock Market Trend Analysis 2019 - Video - 18th Mar 19
Best Precious Metals Investment and Trades for 2019 - 18th Mar 19
Hurdles for Gold Stocks - 18th Mar 19
Pento: Coming QE & Low Rates Will Be ‘Rocket Fuel for Gold’ - 18th Mar 19
"This is for Tommy Robinson" Shouts Knife Wielding White Supremacist Terrorist in London - 18th Mar 19
This Is How You Create the Biggest Credit Bubble in History - 17th Mar 19
Crude Oil Bulls - For Whom the Bell Tolls - 17th Mar 19
Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 17th Mar 19
Why Buy a Land Rover - Range Rover vs Huge Tree Branch Falling on its Roof - 17th Mar 19
UKIP Urged to Change Name to BNP 2.0 So BrExit Party Can Fight a 2nd EU Referendum - 17th Mar 19
Tommy Robinson Looks Set to Become New UKIP Leader - 16th Mar 19
Gold Final Warning: Here Are the Stunning Implications of Plunging Gold Price - 16th Mar 19
Towards the End of a Stocks Bull Market, Short term Timing Becomes Difficult - 16th Mar 19
UKIP Brexit Facebook Groups Reveling in the New Zealand Terror Attacks Blaming Muslim Victims - 16th Mar 19
Gold – US Dollar vs US Dollar Index - 16th Mar 19
Islamophobic Hate Preachers Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins have Killed UKIP and Brexit - 16th Mar 19
Countdown to The Precious Metals Gold and Silver Breakout Rally - 15th Mar 19
Shale Oil Splutters: Brent on Track for $70 Target $100 in 2020 - 15th Mar 19
Setting up a Business Just Got Easier - 15th Mar 19
Stock Market Elliott Wave Analysis Trend Forercast - Video - 15th Mar 19
Gold Warning - Here Are the Stunning Implications of Plunging Gold Price - Part 1 - 15th Mar 19
UK Weather SHOCK - Trees Dropping Branches onto Cars in Stormy Winds - Sheffield - 15th Mar 19
Best Time to Trade Forex - 15th Mar 19
Why the Green New Deal Will Send Uranium Price Through the Roof - 14th Mar 19
S&P 500's New Medium-Term High, but Will Stock Market Uptrend Continue? - 14th Mar 19
US Conservatism - 14th Mar 19
Gold in the Age of High-speed Electronic Trading - 14th Mar 19
Britain's Demographic Time Bomb Has Gone Off! - 14th Mar 19
Why Walmart Will Crush Amazon - 14th Mar 19
2019 Economic Predictions - 14th Mar 19
Tax Avoidance Bills Sent to Thousands of Workers - 14th Mar 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Stock Market Trend Forecast March to September 2019

Derivative Monster Alive and Kicking Despite Financial Reforms

Stock-Markets / Derivatives Jun 29, 2010 - 08:23 AM GMT

By: Martin_D_Weiss

Stock-Markets

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAnyone who thinks the new financial reform law will save us from the next debt disaster must be dreaming. Here are the facts …

Fact: The U.S. derivatives that helped cause the last debt crisis are merely being shifted around like deck chairs on the Titanic.


Fact: Nothing whatsoever is being done about the derivatives monster overseas, which is more than TWICE as big.

Fact: Most important, despite months of debate and thousands of pages of legislation, the two biggest risk-mongers of all — the Treasury and the Fed — didn’t even get a slap on the wrist. They got more power.

Little has been done to address the huge derivatives risks that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) warned about 16 years ago in its landmark study, Financial Derivatives, Actions Needed to Protect the Financial System.

And nothing has been done to address the risks we warned Congress about 15 months ago in our white paper, “Dangerous Unintended Consequences.”

Need proof? Then read on …

Fact #1 Derivatives at U.S. Banks to Be Shifted Like Deck Chairs on the Titanic

In its latest update, the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) reports that the national value of derivatives held by U.S. commercial banks is $216.5 trillion, or nearly FIFTEEN times the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

Moreover, instead of diminishing, they’re getting larger, up by $3.6 trillion — the equivalent of one full quarter of GDP — in just the most recent three-month period.

Yes, regulatory reform takes some steps in the right direction, such as getting a piece of this monster off the street and under the roof of exchanges. But how far is that going to go toward protecting investors if the beast keeps growing bigger?

Despite the new reforms, derivatives will continue to grow in size. And they will continue to be highly leveraged investments that put financial institutions, their trading partners, individual investors, and the entire financial system at risk.

Congress knows — or should know — what these risks are; the GAO explicitly warned about them 16 years ago, long before the 2008 debt crisis began. Derivatives create massive exposure to:

(a) credit risk, defined as “the possibility of loss resulting from a counter party’s failure to meet its financial obligations”;

(b) market risk, “adverse movements in the price of a financial asset or commodity”;

(c) legal risk, “an action by a court or by a regulatory or legislative body that could invalidate a financial contract”;

(d) operations risk, “inadequate controls, deficient procedures, human error, system failure, or fraud”; and

(e) system risk, a chain reaction of financial failures that could threaten the national or global banking system.

Are these risks addressed in financial reform? Only marginally.

Moreover, the GAO warned that a handful of big players accounted for the overwhelming bulk of the derivatives trading — a dangerous concentration of risk.

Has this risk diminished since then? No, it is even more deeply entrenched today: The latest OCC tally of the largest 25 banks (Table 1, pdf page 23) shows that …

  • Just FOUR of the largest commercial banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, and Goldman Sachs — control $205.3 trillion in derivatives, or 94.9 percent of the total held by all U.S. banks.
  • Only 25 of the top banks control $216.1 trillion in derivatives, or 99.82 percent of the total. In other words, for every $100 of derivatives, the big banks hold $99.82; while all the rest of the banks hold a meager 18 cents’ worth.

Does the new regulatory reform address this intense concentration of risk? Hardly. In fact, I fear it could have precisely the opposite effect, tacitly giving the government’s rubber stamp of approval to this dangerous oligopoly.

Fact #2 The Derivatives Monster Overseas Is Twice as Big. But Nothing Whatsoever Is Being Done to Tame It.

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) reports that, at year-end 2009, the total notional amount of derivatives traded on the over-the-counter market globally was $614.7 trillion.

In addition, the total traded on organized exchanges was $21.7 trillion in futures contracts and another $51.4 trillion in options.

Grand total globally: $687.8 trillion.

Problem: At this juncture, strictly the portion held by U.S. banks (the $216.5 trillion tabulated by the OCC) has anything to do with the new legislation. The balance of $471.3 trillion — TWICE as much — remains outside the realm of any reforms.

Fact #3 Financial Reform Does Nothing to Curb The Two Biggest Risk-Mongers of All: The Treasury and the Fed

The financial reform bill grants both the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve new powers and responsibilities to control and monitor the risk-taking of large financial institutions.

What’s ironic, however, is that these are precisely the agencies that have created — and continue to create — the greatest systemic risks of all:

  • The Treasury, by running the largest federal deficits of all time, exposes the U.S. bond market to the same kind of contagion risk that recently struck Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Hungary. And …
  • The Federal Reserve, by massively increasing the U.S. monetary base, helps create the same kind of speculative bubbles that caused the debt crisis in the first place.

Clearly, Congress has done little more than tinker — fighting the last war, even as it sits on the powder keg of the next one.

My recommendation: Stay safe. And if you have speculative fund available, start now to stake out positions that stand to profit from the consequences of our government’s failure to act decisively — higher interest rates and lower equity prices.

Good luck and God bless!

Martin

Weiss and Weiss Research analysts offering the latest investing news and financial insights for the stock market, including tips and advice on investing in gold, energy and oil. Dr. Weiss is a leader in the fields of investing, interest rates, financial safety and economic forecasting. To view archives or subscribe, visit http://www.moneyandmarkets.com.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules