Posts tagged derivative bubble
The fed is planning moves that would more than double its balance-sheet assets by September to $4.5 trillion from $1.9 trillion. Whether expressing approval or concern over the fed’s intentions, most commentators fail to understand the real magnitude of the projected expansion of the US monetary base because they don’t take into account the amount of dollars circulating abroad.
At least 70 percent of all US currency is held outside the country, and this means the US monetary base is considerably smaller than the fed’s overall balance sheet. Take, for example, the true US domestic money supply at the beginning of September 2008, before the fed started its quantitative easing. From the Federal Reserve’s website, we know that currency in circulation was 833 Billion. This translates as 583 Billion dollars circulating abroad (70 percent), and 250 Billion dollars circulating domestically (30 percent). Since the bank reserve balances held with Federal Reserve Banks were 12 billion, that gives us a 262 Billion domestic monetary base as of September 2008. Now compare that to the projected US domestic monetary base for September 2009 which is 3,818 billion (4,500 billion – 583 billion (dollars circulating abroad) – 99 billion (other fed liabilities not part of the money supply)). The fed’s planned balance sheet expansion results in a 15-fold increase in the base money supply.
262 Billion = US monetary base as of September 2008 (minus dollars held abroad)
3,818 Billion = projected US monetary base in September 2009 (minus dollars held abroad)
3,818 Billion / 262 Billion = 15-Fold Increase in US monetary base
The situation was already out of control to begin with. Now it is SEVERELY spiraling out of control. Whenever the counter-parties of these transactions fails to pay, it means the FED has to print up more money to bail them out. If they aren’t bailed out, then the whole charade crumbles to the ground, taking the rest of us with it as the economy swirls down the toilet bowl.
This is a situation that has no reasonable solution except, imo, to scale down these derivative positions. They are going to have to be made illegal, but the people that have them already have to be grandfathered in so that the system doesn’t collapse.
Total Notional Value Of Derivatives Outstanding Surpasses One Quadrillion
The notional value of all outstanding derivatives now totals approximately $1.144 QUADRILLION.
This appears to be Bank of International Settlement Spin to announce the largest gain in derivatives outstanding since they started to report. As of the last report it appeared that both listed and OTC derivatives was under $600 trillion. Now listed credit derivatives alone stood at $548 Trillion. The OTC derivatives are shown as $596 billion notional value, as of December 2007. One can only imagine what number they are at now.
Well we hit a QUADRILLION. We have more than $1000 trillion dollars in all derivatives outstanding. That is simply NUTS because notional value becomes real value when either counterparty to the OTC derivative goes bankrupt. $548 trillion plus $596 trillion means $1.144 quadrillion. (more…)
I don’t know whether to lie awake at night worrying about over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives or not, so I lie awake at night worrying about whether to lie awake and worry.
I should just buy a worry default swap and go back to sleep. But what happens if the counter party can’t pay? Who IS the counter party? And how many trillions of worry default swaps are out there, ready to collapse like an Egyptian block of flats and turn my dreams to nightmares?
The Bank of International Settlements says there are $US681 trillion worth of over-the-counter derivatives in the world, which sounds like rather a lot. Is that more than there are stars in the sky and grains of sand on the beach?
In any case, what does it mean? Should I worry about that number, or is it like saying there were 59.6 billion cappuccinos produced in the world last year. Is that concerning or not?
Last month the Financial Stability Forum (FSF), which was set up in 1999 as an inter-government body to promote international financial stability, solemnly presented a paper to the G7 in which it recommended, among other things, reform of the OTC markets. (more…)