Tag Archives: derivatives collapse

The Financial System Is On The Cusp Of Collapse

DB stock is now in a full panic sell-off as I write this.  It just hit another new all-time NYSE low on by the heaviest volume ever in the stock since its 2001 NYSE listing.  It’s currently down almost 10%.  No doubt the Central Banks will try to bounce it.

Deutsche Bank may well be the scapegoat this time around just like Lehman was the scapegoat in 2008. Central Banks in collusion can prevent just one bank from collapsing. It was the co-collapsing of AIG and Goldman Sachs that prompted then-Secretary of Treasury, ex-Goldman CEO Henry Paulson, to put in motion the bailout of the U.S. and European banking system.

Yesterday it was reported that the rate the Fed charges the banks to borrow collateral surged to its highest rate in 7 years – LINK. The rush to borrow collateral was no doubt prompted by OTC derivatives-related counter-party collateral calls. A collateral call is like a margin call in a stock account. This occurs when a derivatives trade goes south for an entity that is on the long side of the derivatives bet – a bet that Deutsche Bank won’t default, for instance – and the counterparty to that trade demands more collateral to be posted in order to insure that the bet can be paid off if the “long side” loses.

Now multiply that concept across thousands of derivatives trades involving hundreds of hedge fund and bank counterparties totalling $100’s of trillions. It does not take too many collateral calls before counterparties and Central Banks run out of collateral that can posted against these OTC derivatives margin calls. That’s happening now.

This is 2008 redux – only this time the damage inflicted by derivatives counterparties collapsing will be much worse because the size and scale of the problem is much larger.

Deutsche Bank is at the center of focus, but there’s no question that U.S. Too Big To Fails are in similar financial condition.  If that’s not the case, then why won’t Fed unwind the “QE” that created the $2.3 trillion in bank “excess reserves” sitting at the Fed?  Pull this rug out from under Goldman, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, B of A etc and the entire U.S. banking system will collapse.   But that will happen at some point unless the Fed cranks up the printing press again.

Deutsche Bank may well be the catalyst that throws a “spark” that lights the fuse on $100’s of trillions of financial weapons of mass destruction.  It was just reported that DB’s hedge fund clients are rushing to draw all excess cash held at the bank.  That’s how the run begins.   DB’s stock is down 8% right now on 33 million shares.  This is 3x the 10 day average trading volume and over 6x the 90 day average – with 2 hours left in the trading day. It’s as if someone turned on the light in the kitchen and the cockroaches are running for cover.

Make no mistake, DB is not the only big bank in trouble right now.  I have no doubt the phone wires between the U.S. and European Too Big To Fails are sizzling.  This is also the reason the manipulators have been throwing a “scorched earth” attempt to push gold and silver lower.  Again, this is just like 2008 when the manipulators took the price of gold down from $1020 to $700 – right before the entire banking system de facto collapsed.

Deutsche Bank may well be the “canary” but the “coal mine” is the banking system – European and U.S. – and there will be plenty of dead birds before this is over.

For additional insight on the DB saga, see Eric Dubin’s:  Deutsche Bank Is Imploding.

Global Economic And Banking Collapse On Deck

Always love your analysis. A friend shared with me one week of your short sellers journal and I was impressed. GLNG took an extra week after you published it but it did start dropping.  I’m very experienced in options. Just ordered it for your short picks…I don’t really need the info of how to play options… just like your research and analysis. – “Colin” – SHORT SELLER’S JOURNAL (link)

All eyes are focused on Deutsche Bank.  Rightly so, for the most part.   “As you said, Deutsche Bank is blowing up” (Dr. Paul Craig Roberts in an email to me this morning).  It was reported this morning that the bank’s CEO released a memo to employees in which he assured the “troops” that everything was fine.   Most people do not remember this but I’ve been cursed with a great memory for certain details.  Jimmy Kayne, the CEO of Bear Stearns, when Bear blew up gave the same type of pep talk to Bear employees shortly before Bear was flushed down the toilet.  Reaching even further back in the annals of epic corporate fraud induced collapses, Ken Lay gave the exact same kind of pep talk to his people right before Enron collapsed.

As the adage goes, once a rumor is denied at least three times, the fact-basis of the rumor has been confirmed.

But it’s not just DB – it’s the entire western banking system.  While DB stock was getting pummeled yesterday, it escaped everyone’s attention that Morgan Stanley stock was down over 7% as well.   Bank of America stock was hit 5.4%.  Goldman Sachs as drubbed Untitlednearly 6%.  Today Credit Suisse stock is getting hit 7.7%.   These banks all have one common denominator:  an exceedingly high degree of exposure to Euro-debt credit default swap counterparty risk.   Include RBS and Barclays on that list as well, both of which are headed for the credit default swap waste bin unless the Fed and the ECB decide to print enough digital money to keep them alive.   The most stunning collapse in stock price is perhaps Credit Suisse (green line) which had been the best performing stock among the group until mid-July.  Wonder what changed?   Nearly as a notable as CS is Morgan Stanley (dark purple), which has managed to stay out of the media but it clearly exhibiting signs of extreme underlying financial distress.  Most might not remember, but Morgan Stanley should have been one of the primary casualties of the 2008 de facto collapse but it was quietly re-monetized so that it could continue fleecing the public by raking in big fees from the huge volume of “Club Med” European credit default swaps that it sells.

It’s nearly impossible to identify the specific root cause of the obvious banking system melt-down that is occurring. By design the use of OTC derivatives  by the banks has been completely obscured and hidden from sight.   As was evident from Jamie Dimon’s admissions during the “London Whale” crisis at JPM, even the people running these banks do not have a full understanding of the magnitude and degree of risk buried in the big bank balance sheets.  Since the Central Banks get their bank-specific information from the banks, it means that Central Banks therefore do not fully understand the scope and severity of the problem either.

That fact alone should be enough to frighten anyone paying attention out of the banking system and into the relative safety of precious metals.

I was chatting with a close friend of mine in NYC.  He lived with me through the turbulence at Bankers Trust (Proctor and Gamble derivatives lawsuit, Long Term Capital exposure, etc).  He stayed on and worked at Deutsche Bank and then at Lehman.  He knows when something is irrevocably wrong at these banks.  His comment to me this morning was that “something is blowing up behind the curtain in the banking system and it has to be the derivatives.”

Of course, the reason the derivatives are blowing up is because the underlying credit instruments from which they are “derived” are melting down as well.  We know about energy, industrial commodities and high yield – all of which the banks above have heavy exposure – but I would also suggest that auto loans and mortgage paper (luxury housing bubble pops) are starting to crack hard too.  Banco Santander has been one of the more aggressive auto finance lenders and its stock has is down 50% since April and down 38% since early October.  Capitol One down 25% since early December.

The message is clear:   the credit markets are beginning to accelerate in their collapse.