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marc
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A trillion euro bail-out to save the EU’s single currency is in danger of unravelling after Germany’s central bank warned that the rescue measure was too dependent on the high-risk deals that caused the economic crisis.

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As interest rates begin to rise worldwide, losses in derivatives may end up bankrupting a wide range of institutions, including municipalities, state governments, major insurance companies, top investment houses, commercial banks and universities.

Defaults now beginning to occur in a number of European cities prefigure what may end up being the largest financial bubble ever to burst – a bubble that today amounts to more than $600 trillion.

marc
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Goldman Sachs Derivative Liability = 33,823% Of Assets!

I have spoken at length here about the insidiousness of derivatives and Credit Default Swaps. So this new statistical reference frankly awed me. It is from a Levy paper on the recent shift over the last 50 years to a shadow banking system, that has largely replaced bank balance sheet lending with Money Managers. As I read this paper, while I am also reading ‘This Time is Different – eight centuries of financial folly’, there is little to feel good about in the apparent economic rebound that the government keeps telling us about.


The data on derivatives is impressive. JPMorgan Chase, for example, held derivatives worth 6,072 percent of its assets at the peak of the bubble in 2007. The other two giants, Citigroup and Bank of America, although still far behind Chase, had 2,022 percent and 2,486 percent respectively. Goldman Sachs, the other giant, had an astonishing amount of derivatives on its balance sheets: 25,284 percent of assets in 2008 and 33,823 percent as of June 2009. Citigroup and BOA now have more of this risk on their books than before the crisis (FDIC SDI database).