The Oil-Price-Shock Contagion-Transmission Pathway

Courtesy of Zerohedge:

As we noted previously, counterparty risk concerns (and thus financial system fragility) are starting to rear their ugly heads. In the mid 2000s, it was massive one-way levered bets on “house prices will never go down again.” When the cracks started to appear, the mark-to-market losses in derivatives led to forced liquidations and snowballed systemically. In the mid 2010s, it is massively levered one-way asymmetric bets on “commodity prices [oil] will never go down again.” Meet WTI-structured-notes… the transmission mechanism for oil-price-shocks blowing up the financial system.

Because nothing says exuberant ignorance like limited upside, unlimited downside OTC (illiquid) derivatives…

Here’s BNP Paribas’ 1-Yr WTI-linked notes that collapse if oil drops below $70…

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Presenting The $303 Trillion In Derivatives That US Taxpayers Are Now On The Hook For

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Courtesy of The Hedge:

Courtesy of the Cronybus(sic) last minute passage, government was provided a quid-pro-quo $1.1 trillion spending allowance with Wall Street’s blessing in exchange for assuring banks that taxpayers would be on the hook for yet another bailout, as a result of the swaps push-out provision, after incorporating explicit Citigroup language that allows financial institutions to trade certain financial derivatives from subsidiaries that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, explicitly putting taxpayers on the hook for losses caused by these contracts. Recall:

Five years after the Wall Street coup of 2008, it appears the U.S. House of Representatives is as bought and paid for as ever. We heard about the Citigroup crafted legislation currently being pushed through Congress back in May when Mother Jones reported on it. Fortunately, they included the following image in their article:

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THE MANIPULATORS WILL LOSE THEIR #GOLD WAR: GATA’S BILL MURPHY

Courtesy of Inteligencia Financier Global:

Bill Murphy
The Inteligencia Financiera Global blog (Global Financial Intelligence Blog) is honored to present another exclusive interview now with GATA’s Bill Murphy.

Thanks Bill for accepting this interview.

-Maybe most of people in the gold world know about you and GATA. Nevertheless, for those who don’t know: Who is Bill Murphy? Where do you come from a financial point of view and what did motivate you to found the Gold Anti- Trust Action Committee (GATA)?

Hello Memo.

Thanks so much for your interest in what GATA has to say. I have a Wall Street background and worked for Shearson Hayden Stone and Drexel Burnham Lambert in Manhattan in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. At one point I became a limit position trader in the copper market after forming my own company, so I am very versed in how the futures market works in the US. In 1998 I realized the Internet was going to be a big deal and opened up http://www.LeMetropoleCafe.com as a subscription website which would focus on the gold/silver markets, as well as provide coverage of the US and world economies. Soon after opening up for business, the famed hedge fund Long Term Capital Management blew up. They were known to be short hundreds of tonnes of gold and that would have to be covered. However, it was clear that bullion banks such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Deutsche Bank were capping the price around $300 in a collusive manner. My future colleague Chris Powell had anti-trust experience via his newspaper business. He suggested we try and stop it, so GATA was formed.

-In our last interview, Hugo Salinas Price told us that only a blind or a Harvard economist with a doctorate would not see the gold market is being manipulated. Do you agree? As I understand it, one of the main purposes of GATA is to communicate this fact to as many people as possible, and end this manipulation, but, Bill, isn´t it a lost war? Aren’t the manipulators “too strong to be stopped”?

Yes, Hugo is right on the money. It could not be more obvious. So much so that James McShirley, a speaker at GATA’s London conference in 2011, has written in advance at times what the gold will do on a given day. From a bigger picture someone only need to appreciate what the price of gold did last year compared to the DOW on the same quantitative easing news. The DOW went up 3,000 points and the gold price went down $600. That would have made no sense to anyone ahead of time. Gold went lower as it did because “The Gold Cartel” forced the price down with massive raids in the derivatives paper market, often when few traders were around. Continue reading

Derivatives and the Real World Implications

The derivatives market is part of the financial system which operates behind the stock market and shadow banking system. It essentially leverages bets (forward, option or swaps) on the value of commodities, stocks, bonds, interest rates, currencies and anything else they can think of. The value of the market which is hard to nail down but estimates at $700 trillion-$1.4 quadrillion, considering the worlds GDP is about $65 trillion a year, its rather under reported.

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Straight from wiki:

“A derivative is a financial instrument which derives its value from the value of underlying entities such as an asset, index, or interest rate. “A derivative is a financial contract whose value is derived from the performance of underlying market factors, such as interest rates, currency exchange rates, and commodity, credit, and equity prices. Derivative transactions include an assortment of financial contracts, including structured debt obligations and deposits, swaps, futures, options, caps, floors, collars, forwards, and various combinations thereof.”

Why is this relevant? Silverdoctors broke the news below and were subsequently hacked. Here’s a slice:

In the introduction, the resolution informs readers that the FDIC and the Bank of England have been working together to formulate the new bail-in model for future bank failures:

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Bank of England—together with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Financial Services Authority— have been working to develop resolution strategies for the failure of globally active, systemically important, financial institutions (SIFIs or G-SIFIs) with significant operations on both sides of the Atlantic.

The goal is to produce resolution strategies that could be implemented for the failure of one or more of the largest financial institutions with extensive activities in our respective jurisdictions. These resolution strategies should maintain systemically important operations and contain threats to financial stability. They should also assign losses to shareholders and unsecured creditors in the group, thereby avoiding the need for a bailout by taxpayers.

The joint US/UK resolution states that depositor haircuts are already legal in the UK thanks to the 2009 UK Banking Act:

In the U.K., the strategy has been developed on the basis of the powers provided by the U.K. Banking Act 2009 and in anticipation of the further powers that will be provided by the European Union Recovery and Resolution Directive and the domestic reforms that implement the recommendations of the U.K. Independent Commission on Banking. Such a strategy would involve the bail-in (write-down or conversion) of creditors at the top of the group in order to restore the whole group to solvency. And that the legal authority has already been given in the US buried in Dodd-Frank Act.

In Laymans terms, if and when a systemic crash happens, customers accounts will be raided!

But today it was revealed that Deutcshe Bank and not JP Morgan, who has the highest derivatives exposure in the world. Located on page 87 of the annual 2012 report it states that its derivatives exposure is €55,605,039,000,000.

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Convert that into USD at the current EURUSD exchange rates 29/4/13, it amounts to $72,842,601,090,000…About $2 trillion more than JPMorgan. Through the magical and mythical accounting procedure of netting, this number collapses into €776.7 billion in positive market value exposure (assets), and €756.4 billion in negative market value exposure (liabilities). Rather than magic I’d like to call it what it is, ACCOUNTING FRAUD.

What does that much exposure look like compared to the German GDP?

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It’s worrying that big banks can have so much exposure to highly leveraged instruments and when it goes South, Mr Joe Public will have to take the hit, Cyprus was just a try out and it’s coming to a bank near you!

The question is how to protect yourself? Hard assets like land, property and precious metals such as gold or silver would be a good investment and act as a hedge against a bank collapse, as well as inflation. Having a supply of fiat currency would also help protect you if the banks decided to carry out a bail-in.

Testing times are ahead of us.