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A Bank With 49 Trillion Dollars In Exposure To Derivatives Is Melting Down Right In Front Of Our Eyes

A Bank With 49 Trillion Dollars In Exposure To Derivatives Is Melting Down Right In Front Of Our Eyes

Could it be possible that we are on the verge of the next “Lehman Brothers moment”?  Deutsche Bank is the most important bank in all of Europe, it has 49 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives, and most of the largest “too big to fail banks” in the United States have very deep financial connections to the bank.  In other words, the global financial system simply cannot afford for Deutsche Bank to fail, and right now it is literally melting down right in front of our eyes.  For years I have been warning that this day would come, and even though it has been hit by scandal after scandal, somehow Deutsche Bank was able to survive until now.  But after what we have witnessed in recent days, many now believe that the end is near for Deutsche Bank.  On July 7th, they really shook up investors all over the globe when they laid off 18,000 employees and announced that they would be completely exiting their global equities trading business

It takes a lot to rattle Wall Street.

But Deutsche Bank managed to. The beleaguered German giant announced on July 7 that it is laying off 18,000 employees—roughly one-fifth of its global workforce—and pursuing a vast restructuring plan that most notably includes shutting down its global equities trading business.

Though Deutsche’s Bloody Sunday seemed to come out of the blue, it’s actually the culmination of a years-long—some would say decades-long—descent into unprofitability and scandal for the bank, which in the early 1990s set out to make itself into a universal banking powerhouse to rival the behemoths of Wall Street.

These moves may delay Deutsche Bank’s inexorable march into oblivion, but not by much.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Paul Singer Warns A 40% Market Crash Is Coming

Paul Singer Warns A 40% Market Crash Is Coming

Earlier today, in a stark reversal from its traditionally cheerful demeanor, a Goldman Sachs strategist warned that  “purely based on elevated equity valuations, as measured by the S&P 500 Shiller P/E, and current growth, according to our US Current Activity Indicator (CAI), the risk of an equity drawdown of more than 10%”, i.e. a sharp market drop, or for lack of a better word, crash, “is the highest since the GFC.”

Well, Goldman wasn’t the only one to see a major market selloff in the coming months.

Speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival, billionaire investor and Elliott Management founder, Paul Singer, warned that the global economy is heading toward a “significant market downturn” cautioning that “the global financial system is very much toward the risky end of the spectrum.”

While Paul Singer’s traditionally downcast outlook is hardly surprising, as it permeates every investor letter published by the successful investor who has been particularly clear in the past decade that the Fed’s monetary experiment will end terribly, he sees two particular reasons why the economy is approaching a tipping point: “global debt is at an all-time high. Derivatives are at an all-time high and it took all of this monetary easing to get to where we are today and I don’t think central bankers, or policymakers or academics are in any better shape to predict the next downturn and I think we are the high end of the risk spectrum.” 

He then ominously added that “I’m expecting the possibility of a significant market downturn.”

How bad would the crash be? According to the Elliott Management CEO, there will be a market “correction” of 30% to 40% when the downturn hits, although unlike Goldman – which gave a timeline of 12 months in which the next major market will materialize, Singer said he couldn’t predict the timing.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Free-Riding Investors Set up Markets for a Major Collapse

Free-Riding Investors Set up Markets for a Major Collapse

Free riding is one of the oldest problems in economics and in society in general. Simply put, free riding describes a situation where one party takes the benefits of an economic condition without contributing anything to sustain that condition.

The best example is a parasite on an elephant. The parasite sucks the elephant’s blood to survive but contributes nothing to the elephant’s well-being.

A few parasites on an elephant are a harmless annoyance. But sooner or later the word spreads and more parasites arrive. After a while, the parasites begin to weaken the host elephant’s stamina, but the elephant carries on.

Eventually a tipping point arrives when there are so many parasites that the elephant dies. At that point, the parasites die too. It’s a question of short-run benefit versus long-run sustainability. Parasites only think about the short run.

A driver who uses a highway without paying tolls or taxes is a free rider. An investor who snaps up brokerage research without opening an account or paying advisory fees is another example.

Actually, free-riding problems appear in almost every form of human endeavor. The trick is to keep the free riders to a minimum so they do not overwhelm the service being provided and ruin that service for those paying their fair share.

The biggest free riders in the financial system are bank executives such as Jamie Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan. Bank liabilities are guaranteed by the FDIC up to $250,000 per account.

Liabilities in excess of that are implicitly guaranteed by the “too big to fail” policy of the Federal Reserve. The big banks can engage in swap and other derivative contracts “off the books” without providing adequate capital for the market risk involved.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Gold Yuan Crypto

George Caleb Bingham The verdict of the people 1854
It’s been a while since we last heard from Dr. D, but here he’s back explaining why neither gold nor the yuan nor cryptocurrencies can or will replace the dollar as the reserve currency, but together they just might:

Dr. D: “Some debts are fun when you are acquiring them, but none are fun when you set about retiring them.” –Ogden Nash

Over the last year or two there’s been discussion about the U.S. Federal spending moving beyond $4 TRILLION dollars, and whether a $1+ trillion dollar annual deficit, on top of a $20 Trillion national debt – Federal only – is sustainable. It isn’t.

“What can’t go on, doesn’t” is the famous quote of economist Herbert Stein. Since a spiraling deficit of $1 trillion deficit on a $20 trillion debt can’t go on, what will we replace it with when it very soon doesn’t? Historically gold. Whatever gold exists in the nation’s coffers, whether one coin or 8,000 tons, is used to as the national wealth, and fronted by paper to re-boot the currency. With some additions such as oil and real estate, this was the solution in Spain, France, Germany, and the Soviet Union among hundreds of fiat defaults. Why? Because at a time of broken promises — real goods, commodities that can be seen, touched, and used – are the tangible proof of wealth, requiring no trust, and from which the human trust system of paper and letters of credit can be rebuilt.

But in these complicated, digital times perhaps that’s too simplistic. Perhaps we have grown smarter than all our fathers and this time it will be different. Will it really be the same? Let’s look at how the system works now.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Alarm Bells Sounded on Wall Street’s Derivatives

Alarm Bells Sounded on Wall Street’s Derivatives

Andy Green, Managing Director, Economic Policy , Center for American Progress

Andy Green, Managing Director,  Economic Policy Center for  American Progress

On February 14, the week after the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced two separate days of more than 1,000-point losses, the House Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities and Investment convened a hearing to discuss various legislative proposals to return to the wild west era of derivatives trading on Wall Street. (Many, including Wall Street On Parade, believe that we’ve never left that era – the risks have simply been hidden behind a dark curtain. See related articles below.)

One lonely voice for sanity on the witness panel, which was stacked with industry trade groups, was Andy Green, Managing Director at the Economic Policy Center for American Progress. Green’s written testimony stated that the legislative proposals “slice, dice, or otherwise poke holes – sometimes large holes – in the firewalls placed in the derivatives markets by post 2008 reforms….”

Green also reminded the Congressional members present that the “unregulated OTC derivatives market was at the heart of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, which cost 8.7 million Americans their jobs, 10 million families their homes, and eliminated 49 percent of the average middle-class family’s wealth compared with 2001 levels.”

Green provided a litany of the derivative horrors that led to panic and financial contagion during the financial crisis. The collapse of the giant insurer AIG from credit default swap derivatives and its role as counterparty to some of Wall Street’s largest banks. (In response to the AIG collapse, the U.S. government bailed out the company to the tune of $185 billion. Half of the bailout money effectively went in the front door of AIG and then out the backdoor to the big Wall Street banks and hedge funds that had used AIG as their counterparty to guarantee their bets on Credit Default Swaps.)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ray Dalio’s Shorting The Entire EU


Salvator Rosa Heroic battle 1652
A point BOE Governor Mark Carney made recently may be the biggest cog in the European Union’s wheel (or is it second biggest? Read on). That is, derivatives clearing. It’s one of the few areas where Brussels stands to lose much more than London, but it’s a big one. And Carney puts a giant question mark behind the EU’s preparedness.

Carney Reveals Europe’s Potential Achilles Heel in Brexit Talks

Carney explained why Europe’s financial sector is more at risk than the UK from a “hard” or “no-deal” Brexit. [..] When asked does the European Council “get it” in terms of potential shocks to financial stability, Carney diplomatically commented that “a learning process is underway.” Having sounded alarm bells about clearing in his last Mansion House speech, he noted “These costs of fragmenting clearing, particularly clearing of interest rate swaps, would be born principally by the European real economy and they are considerable.”

Calling into question the continuity of tens of thousands of derivative contracts , he stated that it was “pretty clear they will no longer be valid”, that this “could only be solved by both sides” and has been “underappreciated” by Europe . Carney had a snipe at Europe for its lack of preparation “We are prepared as we should be for the possibility of a hard exit without any transition…there has been much less of that done in the European Union.”

In Carneys view “It’s in the interest of the EU 27 to have a transition agreement. Also, in my judgement given the scale of the issues as they affect the EU 27, that there will ultimately be a transition agreement. There is a very limited amount of time between now and the end of March 2019 to transition large, complex institutions and activities…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

3 Uncommon Signs that an Economic Collapse Could Happen Soon

3 uncommon signs of economic collapse

As stocks continue to climb and the U.S. economy sustains its third longest period of expansion in history, market forecasters are seeking clues for when our next crisis may strike. So far, three uncommon signals have them worried.

Here’s an explanation of the three uncommon signs causing alarm, and what they mean for your savings…

Sign #1: Resurgence of Synthetic CDOs

The riskiest plays on Wall Street are made using financial instruments known as derivatives.

Derivatives are named for how they “derive” their value from the underlying assets on which they’re based. They give investors the ability to leverage assets — that is, control large quantities of an asset without actually buying or selling it.

Depending on how the underlying asset performs, derivatives can generate either massive gains or crushing losses.

But it’s when big banks and financial institutions start gambling in derivatives that things become especially dangerous. And that’s exactly what happened in the case of our last crisis: A slew of “too big to fail” organizations took on excessive risk through derivatives (mortgage-backed securities and others), and they couldn’t shoulder their losses when the bets went bad.

Now one of the most potentially destructive derivatives is regaining popularity after being shunned by Wall Street for years because of its role in the 2008 collapse.

The derivative is called a synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO), and Citigroup is spearheading its resurgence.

Granted, post-2008 regulations do make the market for these kinds of derivatives less liable to spark another collapse, and Citigroup executives claim to be pursuing this endeavor responsibly (we can trust them, right?). But Bloomberg reports the positive trend toward CDOs is still a negative sign (emphasis ours):

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fall of the Great Pumpkin

Welcome to the witching month when America’s entropy-fueled death-wish expresses itself with as much Halloween jollity and merriment as the old Christmas spirit of yore. The outdoor displays alone take on a Babylonian scale, thanks to the plastic factories of China. I saw a half-life-size T-Rex skeleton for sale at a garden shop last week surrounded by an entire crew of moldering corpse Pirates of the Caribbean in full costume ho-ho-ho-ing among the jack-o-lanterns. What homeowner in this sore-beset floundering economy of three-job gig-workers can shell out four thousand bucks to decorate his lawn like the set of a zombie movie?

The overnight news sure took on that Halloween tang as the nation woke up to what is probably a national record for a civilian mad-shooter incident. So far, fifty dead and two hundred wounded at the Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest Festival (one up in fatalities from last year’s Florida Pulse nightclub massacre, and way more injured this time).

The incident will live in infamy for maybe a day and a half in the US media. Stand by today as there will be calls far and wide, by personas masquerading as political leaders, for measures to make sure something like this never happens again. That’s rich, isn’t it? Meanwhile, the same six a.m. headlines declared that S &P futures were up in the overnight markets. Nothing can faze this mad bull, apparently. Except maybe the $90 trillion combined derivatives books of CitiBank, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs, who have gone back whole hog into manufacturing the same kind of hallucinatory collateralized debt obligations (giant sacks of non-performing loans) that gave Wall Street a heart attack in the fall of 2008.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Derivatives Trading Legend: “As Little As A 4% Decline In One Day Could Start A Critical Crash”

Derivatives Trading Legend: “As Little As A 4% Decline In One Day Could Start A Critical Crash”

After building out Merrill’s mortgage trading floor basically from scratch, then moving to the buyside at Pimco, several weeks ago Harley Bassman, more familiar to many traders as the “Convexity Maven” – a legend in the realm of derivatives (he helped design the MOVE Index, better known as the VIX for government bonds) – decided to retire (roughly one year after his shocking suggestion that the Fed should devalue the dollar by buying gold).

But that did not mean he would stop writing, and just a few days after exiting the front door at 650 Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach for the last time, Bassman wrote his first full article as a “free man”, in which the topic was, not surprisingly, derivatives and specifically the recent collapse in vol – and convexity – what prompted it, but most importantly and what everyone wants to know: what threshold would be sufficient to finally launch the next “critical mass” market move (i.e. crash) and, just as importantly, what could catalyze it.

He answer all of the above in his latest fascinating note.

Bassman’s full thoughts below:

“Rambling near the Edge”

Last month I attended the EQD (Equity Derivatives) Conference in Las Vegas. Diverse speakers opined upon a variety of topics, but a common theme was noting the near record low of both Implied and Realized Volatility in the financial markets. But despite the VIX kissing its nadir, realized volatility has plumbed even lower depths, and thus it was reported that strategies that engaged in selling Equity Volatility had both superior returns as well as the loftiest Information (Sharpe) Ratios among the dozens of strategies offered.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

I’m in Awe of How Fast Deutsche Bank is Falling Apart

I’m in Awe of How Fast Deutsche Bank is Falling Apart

Counterparties lose confidence, withdraw cash.

Deutsche Bank, with $2 trillion in assets, amounting to 58% of Germany’s GDP, one of the most globally interwoven banks, with gross notional derivatives exposure of €46 trillion, right at the top along with JP Morgan (booked as €41 billion in derivative trading assets after netting and collateral) – this creature of risk and malfeasance, is finally starting to scare its counterparties.

This is how Lehman came unglued. Slowly and then all of a sudden.

Bloomberg News today:

[S]ome funds that use the bank’s prime brokerage service have moved part of their listed derivatives holdings to other firms this week, according to an internal bank document seen by Bloomberg News. Millennium Partners, Capula Investment Management, and Rokos Capital Management are among about 10 hedge funds that have cut their exposure, said a person familiar with the situation….

So far, these are just the first of Deutsche Bank’s 200 hedge-fund clients that use it to clear their derivatives transactions. Banking is a confidence game. When confidence sags, the whole construct comes tumbling down. And the first movers have a big advantage in getting their cash out in in time. Bloomberg:

Clients review their exposure to counterparties to avoid situations like the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and MF Global’s 2011 bankruptcy when hedge funds had billions of dollars of assets frozen until the resolution of lengthy legal proceedings.

As the leak ricocheted around the world, Deutsche Bank shares plunged 6.6% in late trading today in Frankfurt to €10.25, having been down 8% at one point earlier. Shares are at the lowest level since they started trading on the Xetra exchange in 1992. They’re down 68% from April 2015. Just before the financial Crisis, they briefly traded at over €100 a share. By that measure, they’re down over 90%!

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Deutsche Bank Collapse: The Most Important Bank In Europe Is Facing A Major ‘Liquidity Event’

Deutsche Bank Collapse: The Most Important Bank In Europe Is Facing A Major ‘Liquidity Event’

toilet-paper-stock-market-collapse-public-domainThe largest and most important bank in the largest and most important economy in Europe is imploding right in front of our eyes.  Deutsche Bank is the 11th biggest bank on the entire planet, and due to the enormous exposure to derivatives that it has, it has been called “the world’s most dangerous bank“.  Over the past year, I have repeatedly warned that Deutsche Bank is heading for disaster and is a likely candidate to be “the next Lehman Brothers”.  If you would like to review, you can do so herehere and here.  On September 16th, the Wall Street Journal reportedthat the U.S. Department of Justice wanted 14 billion dollars from Deutsche Bank to settle a case related to the mis-handling of mortgage-backed securities during the last financial crisis.  As a result of that announcement, confidence in the bank has been greatly shaken, the stock price has fallen to record lows, and analysts are warning that Deutsche Bank may be facing a “liquidity event” unlike anything that we have seen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers back in 2008.

At one point on Friday, Deutsche Bank stock fell below the 10 euro mark for the first time ever before bouncing back a bit.  A completely unverified rumor that was spreading on Twitter that claimed that Deutsche Bank would settle with the Department of Justice for only 5.4 billion dollars was the reason for the bounce.

But the size of the fine is not really the issue now.  Shares of Deutsche Bank have fallen by more than half so far in 2016, and this latest episode seems to have been the final straw for the deeply troubled financial institution.  Old sources of liquidity are being cut off, and nobody wants to be the idiot that offers Deutsche Bank a new source of liquidity at this point.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

After Crashing, Deutsche Bank Is Forced To Issue Statement Defending Its Liquidity

After Crashing, Deutsche Bank Is Forced To Issue Statement Defending Its Liquidity

The echoes of both Bear and Lehman are growing louder with every passing day.

Just hours after Deutsche Bank stock crashed by 10% to levels not seen since the financial crisis, the German behemoth with over $50 trillion in gross notional derivative found itself in the very deja vuish, not to mention unpleasant, situation of having to defend its liquidity and specifically assuring investors that it has enough cash (about €1 billion in 2016 payment capacity), to pay the €350 million in maturing Tier 1 coupons due in April, which among many other reasons have seen billions in value wiped out from both DB’s stock price and its contingent convertible bonds which are looking increasingly more like equity with every passing day.

DB did not stop there, but also laid out that for 2017 it was about €4.3BN in payment capacity, however before the impact of 2016 results, which if recent record loss history is any indication, will severely reduce the full cash capacity of the German bank.

From the just issued press release:

Ad-hoc: Deutsche Bank publishes updated information about AT1 payment capacity 

Frankfurt am Main, 8 February 2016 – Today Deutsche Bank published updated information related to its 2016 and 2017 payment capacity for Additional Tier 1 (AT1) coupons based on preliminary and unaudited figures.

The 2016 payment capacity is estimated to be approximately EUR 1 billion, sufficient to pay AT1 coupons of approximately EUR 0.35 billion on 30 April 2016.

The estimated pro-forma 2017 payment capacity is approximately EUR 4.3 billion before impact from 2016 operating results. This is driven in part by an expected positive impact of approximately EUR 1.6 billion from the completion of the sale of 19.99% stake in Hua Xia Bank and further HGB 340e/g reserves of approximately EUR 1.9 billion available to offset future losses.

The final AT1 payment capacity will depend on 2016 operating results under German GAAP (HGB) and movements in other reserves.

The updated information in question:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

David Morgan: We Are On The Precipice

David Morgan: We Are On The Precipice

Derivatives threaten to topple the global financial system

Precious metals guru David Morgan returns to address the great threat to the global financial/monetary system from derivative risk. He sees the world at an unprecedented moment in history where the interconnected nature of the global economy makes all players vulnerable to the mind-boggling volume of outstanding derivatives, which makes the sum of all world equity + debt look tiny in comparison (if you haven’t seen it yet, look at this visual from The Money Project):

I want to give a very clear example that comes from gaming theory and I think this is a very concise and easy way for most people to understand our derivative risk exposure .

There are all kinds of gambling programs out there but one of the simplest ones before any computers was: you are at the roulette table (or you could be wherever, but roulette serves as the best analogy), and you bet a dollar on black and you lose. Then the next bet, you bet $2.00 and you lose. And then the next bet, you bet $4 and you lose. And the next bet, you bet $8 and you lose. The idea is that you keep betting on black, and eventually that’s going to come up and you’re going to win on the roulette table. The problem with that is this. You start to bet 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256 and on and on, and what you are doing is you are betting $256. For what? To win a dollar. That is what you are doing. And that, Chris, I think is the best example I can give to the listeners about what we are doing in these derivatives.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Russia Breaking Wall St Oil Price Monopoly

Russia Breaking Wall St Oil Price Monopoly

465456455655Russia has just taken significant steps that will break the present Wall Street oil price monopoly, at least for a huge part of the world oil market. The move is part of a longer-term strategy of decoupling Russia’s economy and especially its very significant export of oil, from the US dollar, today the Achilles Heel of the Russian economy. 

Later in November the Russian Energy Ministry has announced that it will begin test-trading of a new Russian oil benchmark. While this might sound like small beer to many, it’s huge. If successful, and there is no reason why it won’t be, the Russian crude oil benchmark futures contract traded on Russian exchanges, will price oil in rubles and no longer in US dollars. It is part of a de-dollarization move that Russia, China and a growing number of other countries have quietly begun.

The setting of an oil benchmark price is at the heart of the method used by major Wall Street banks to control world oil prices. Oil is the world’s largest commodity in dollar terms. Today, the price of Russian crude oil is referenced to what is called the Brent price. The problem is that the Brent field, along with other major North Sea oil fields is in major decline, meaning that Wall Street can use a vanishing benchmark to leverage control over vastly larger oil volumes. The other problem is that the Brent contract is controlled essentially by Wall Street and the derivatives manipulations of banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP MorganChase and Citibank.

The ‘Petrodollar’ demise

The sale of oil denominated in dollars is essential for the support of the US dollar. In turn, maintaining demand for dollars by world central banks for their currency reserves to back foreign trade of countries like China, Japan or Germany, is essential if the United States dollar is to remain the leading world reserve currency.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The Catastrophic Threat of Bail-Ins

The Catastrophic Threat of Bail-Ins - Jeff Nielson

It has now been more than two and a half years since the Cyprus Steal , the first “bail-in” perpetrated in the Western world, occurred. Before reviewing the history of this newest financial atrocity, it is necessary to define the terms.

The term “bail-in” describes a scenario in which a bank confiscates private property to indemnify itself for losses it has suffered. A bail-in is a totally lawless theft of assets, as there is no principle of law (of any kind) that could authorize such a seizure of private property. And in fact, there are many principles of law that demonstrate the lawlessness at work here. As with much of the financial crime jargon, “bail-in” is simply another gibberish euphemism like “quantitative easing” or “derivatives.”

As custodians of the financial assets of their clients, banks represent a form of trustee. The purpose of any trust relationship is to provide absolute security to the beneficiary of the trust (i.e., the legal owner of the property). Thus, one of the most fundamental principles of our legal system is non-encroachment regarding the property held in the custody of a trustee.

From a legal standpoint, it is like there is an invisible and impenetrable wall that surrounds the trust property. The only exceptions to this wall (ever) occur when the trust beneficiary makes a legal request for some disbursement or related transaction, when the trust itself directs some form of action (in the interests of the trust beneficiary), or when the trust allows the trustee to manage the trust assets on behalf of the beneficiary.

The idea of trustees using assets for their own benefit or (worse) claiming ownership of any trust assets represents one of the most serious forms of financial crime in Western civilization. Given this context, how did the government of Cyprus respond when its own Big Banks whined and claimed that they “needed” to confiscate deposits in order to pay off their own gambling debts? It meekly rubber-stamped the lawless theft.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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