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The REAL Reason Ben Bernanke Leaves a Paperweight on the “Print” Button When His Finger Gets Tired
ZeroHedge ^ | 2/6/2011 | Phoenix Capital Research

Posted on 02/07/2011 1:08:03 PM PST by FromLori

We’ve been over the numerous BS excuses that US Dollar destroyer extraordinaire Ben Bernanke has made for QE enough times that today I’d rather simply focus on the REAL reason he continues to funnel TRILLIONS of Dollars into the Wall Street Banks.

I’ve written this analysis before. But given the enormity of what it entails, it’s worth repeating. The following paragraphs are the REAL reason Bernanke does what he does no matter what any other media outlet, book, investment expert, or guru tell you.

Bernanke is printing money and funneling it into the Wall Street banks for one reason and one reason only. That reason is: DERIVATIVES.

According to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities for the Second Quarter 2010 (most recent), the notional value of derivatives held by U.S. commercial banks is around $223.4 TRILLION.

Five banks account for 95% of this. Can you guess which five?

Looks a lot like a list of the banks that Ben Bernanke has focused on bailing out/ backstopping/ funneling cash since the Financial Crisis began doesn’t it? When you consider the insane level of risk exposure here, you can see why the TRILLIONS he’s funneled into these institutions has failed to bring them even to pre-Lehman bankruptcy levels.

Ben Bernanke is a stooge and a fraud, but he is at least partially honest in his explanations of why he wants to keep printing money. The reason is to try to keep interest rates low. Granted he’s failing miserably at this, but at least he understands the goal.

Of course, Bernanke tells the public and Congress that the reason we need low interest rates is to support housing prices. He doesn’t mention that $188 TRILLION of the $223 TRILLION in notional value of derivatives sitting on the Big Banks’ balance sheets is related to interest rates.

Yes, $188 TRILLION. That’s thirteen times the US’s entire GDP and nearly four times WORLD GDP.

Now, of course, not ALL of this money is “at risk,” since the same derivatives can be traded/ spread out dozens of ways by different banks as a means of dispersing risk.

However, given the amount of money at stake, if even 4% of this money is “at risk” and 10% of that 4% goes wrong, you’ve wiped out ALL of the equity at the top five banks.

Put another way, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Goldman, and Citibank would CEASE to exist.

If you think that I’m making this up or that Bernanke doesn’t know about this, consider that his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, knew as early as 1999 that the derivative market, if forced into the open and through a public clearing house would “implode” the market. This is DOCUMENTED. And you better believe Greenspan told Bernanke this.

In this light all of Bernanke’s monetary policies and efforts are focused on doing one thing and one thing only: trying to shore up the overleveraged, derivative-riddled balance sheets of the Too Big to Fails.

The fact that the bank executives taking this money and using it to pay themselves and their employees record bonuses only confirms that these folks have NO interest in taking care of shareholders or their businesses. They’re just going to take the money and run for as long as this scheme works.

I don’t know when this will come unraveled. But it WILL. At some point the $600+ TRILLION behemoth that is the derivatives market will implode again. When it does, no amount of money printing will save the Too Bloated To Exist banks’ balance sheets.

At that point, it’s game over for Wall Street and the Fed.

Best Regards,

Graham Summers


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: derivatives; economy; fed

1 posted on 02/07/2011 1:08:06 PM PST by FromLori
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To: FromLori

Lori, Link doesn’t work but the article sounds accurate.


2 posted on 02/07/2011 1:12:33 PM PST by happydogx2 (If you can't "Live Aloha" get a puppy. It's the next best thing to lighten your heart.)
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To: FromLori

But I thought he was supposed to be a genius at preventing great depressions?


3 posted on 02/07/2011 1:15:55 PM PST by screaminsunshine (Surfers Rule)
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To: happydogx2

Are derivatives insurance policies?


4 posted on 02/07/2011 1:17:18 PM PST by screaminsunshine (Surfers Rule)
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To: happydogx2
A better link: http://www.zerohedge.com/article/real-reason-ben-bernanke-leaves-paperweight-%E2%80%9Cprint%E2%80%9D-button-when-his-finger-gets-tired
5 posted on 02/07/2011 1:17:49 PM PST by KarlInOhio (Washington is finally rid of the Kennedies. Free at last, thank God almighty we are free at last.)
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To: screaminsunshine

In bailing them, he’d rather destroy everyone else.

Let them all fail. Sure, it will be difficult, but the alternative is even worse.


6 posted on 02/07/2011 1:19:20 PM PST by BenKenobi (one of the worst mistakes anybody can make is to bet against Americans.")
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To: FromLori

FOOD, GUNS & AMMO, EXTRA CLOTHING, TOOLS, SILVER, GOLD (Get ‘em while you still can)


7 posted on 02/07/2011 1:20:54 PM PST by oneolcop (Lead, Follow or Get the Hell Out of the Way!)
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To: happydogx2

Oh I wonder why sorry here is the link again

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/real-reason-ben-bernanke-leaves-paperweight-%E2%80%9Cprint%E2%80%9D-button-when-his-finger-gets-tired


8 posted on 02/07/2011 1:22:44 PM PST by FromLori (FromLori">)
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To: FromLori

Idiotic article. “Derivatives” are zero sum. They are economic non-events because the same money remains in the overall economy.


9 posted on 02/07/2011 1:24:28 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: screaminsunshine

Some genius his printing is hurting the rest of us with inflation and it’s killing savers he is also helping to cover up.

‘Toxic’ Assets Still Lurking at Banks

“During the financial crisis, investors fretted over “toxic,” hard-to-value assets that banks were carrying. Those fears have faded as bank profits have rebounded, loan delinquencies have declined, and bank stocks have soared 25% in the past five months.

Some banks have yet to reckon with all their “toxic” assets, among them mortgage-backed securities, whose values took a hit when the housing market cratered. Above, construction on a home in Phoenix.

But banks still hold plenty of the bad assets that once spooked investors: mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and other risky instruments. Their potential impact concerns some accounting and banking observers.

Continue

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704570104576124701144189910.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


10 posted on 02/07/2011 1:26:36 PM PST by FromLori (FromLori">)
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To: screaminsunshine
"Are derivatives insurance policies?"

They can be. They are any financial instrument that is based on another financial instrument. Options, futures, futures options, credit default swaps, hedge trades, repackaged cash flows from mortgages marketed as bonds, are all "derivatives".

They often utilize a great deal of leverage, though not always.

11 posted on 02/07/2011 1:36:19 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN

So they bet one way and then Bernake has to deliver. Hmmm. We are screwed. I bet food will double again. Wonder what the end game is? War?


12 posted on 02/07/2011 1:49:07 PM PST by screaminsunshine (Surfers Rule)
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To: Southack
Idiotic article. “Derivatives” are zero sum. They are economic non-events because the same money remains in the overall economy.

I hope nobody is paying you for your understanding of exotics.


Today is a good day to die.
I didn't say for whom.

13 posted on 02/07/2011 1:55:18 PM PST by The Comedian (Muslim Brotherhood = A.N.S.W.E.R = Soros = Obama)
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To: screaminsunshine
Wonder what the end game is? War?

It always is.

14 posted on 02/07/2011 2:33:10 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: FromLori

Debt Deflation on Steroids.


15 posted on 02/07/2011 3:28:15 PM PST by Mariner (USS Tarawa, VQ3, USS Benjamin Stoddert, NAVCAMS WestPac, 7th Fleet, Navcommsta Puget Sound)
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To: FromLori
the notional value of derivatives held by U.S. commercial banks is around $223.4 TRILLION.

A lot of this is pure hype garbage! Let's see, I am a bank. I have 1000 short soybean contracts and 1000 long soybean contracts on my books. OH MY GOD! A NOTIONAL VALUE OF 2000 contracts X 5000 bushels/contract X the current price of soybeans. THAT IS A BAZILLION!

No not really, the bank is flat, the contracts offset each other.

16 posted on 02/07/2011 3:34:52 PM PST by MrDem (Founder: Democrats for Cheney/Palin 2012)
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To: FromLori

$223.4 Trillion owed to banks - $223.4 Trillion owed to other banks = $0


17 posted on 02/07/2011 4:19:52 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi (Moutaineers are Always Free)
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To: FromLori
Some banks have yet to reckon with all their “toxic” assets, among them mortgage-backed securities,

Housing prices have continued to fall in many locations after FASB switched to mark to myth back in APR 09 to stabilize the financial sector. The argument made at the time was housing prices had overshot to the downside and didn't reflect true value.

18 posted on 02/07/2011 4:54:12 PM PST by EVO X
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To: Mariner

Yes but it’s terrible what it is doing to the rest of us how many times and how many ways do we have to end up paying.


19 posted on 02/07/2011 6:34:37 PM PST by FromLori (FromLori">)
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To: The Comedian
"I hope nobody is paying you for your understanding of exotics." - The Comedian

LOL!

You so funny!

20 posted on 02/07/2011 9:58:31 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: MrDem
"A lot of this is pure hype garbage! Let's see, I am a bank. I have 1000 short soybean contracts and 1000 long soybean contracts on my books. OH MY GOD! A NOTIONAL VALUE OF 2000 contracts X 5000 bushels/contract X the current price of soybeans. THAT IS A BAZILLION!

No not really, the bank is flat, the contracts offset each other."
MrDem

Indeed. That's called "zero-sum." Economic non-events...but in contrast to your factual explanation above, some people online want hype! DISASTER! NEWS! SCOOP!

It's the "I'm bored, alone, and want to get my adrenaline-rush on-line" syndrome.

21 posted on 02/07/2011 10:00:59 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack
Yeah, I didn't think so.


Today is a good day to die.
I didn't say for whom.

22 posted on 02/08/2011 6:12:55 AM PST by The Comedian (Muslim Brotherhood = A.N.S.W.E.R = Soros = Obama)
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To: The Comedian; Southack; MrDem; MontaniSemperLiberi; DannyTN; screaminsunshine
Zero sum only works if the counter parties, the five banks, have $223.4 trillion in assets.

Here's the assets, in trillions, (rounded up to the nearest 100 million) that each bank shows on its latest balance sheet.

JPM 0.0021
BAC 0.0023
C 0.0019
GS 0.0009
HTB 0.000094
Total 0.007294


Unfunded liability 233.4 - 0.007294 ~= 233.4 trillion

These banks committed felony fraud by collecting billions in premiums while lacking the assets to perform. In the end, it's all about performance, therefore Bernanke's greenbacking machine to the rescue.
23 posted on 02/08/2011 6:42:41 PM PST by Milhous (Lev 19:18 Love your neighbor as yourself.)
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To: Milhous
*Thank* you for explaining the basics when I don't have the patience.


Today is a good day to die.
I didn't say for whom.

24 posted on 02/08/2011 7:03:56 PM PST by The Comedian (Muslim Brotherhood = A.N.S.W.E.R = Soros = Obama)
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To: Milhous

Thanks you saved me the time. And these numbers aren’t the worst of it.


25 posted on 02/08/2011 7:12:43 PM PST by surfer (To err is human, to really foul things up takes a Democrat, don't expect the GOP to have the answer!)
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To: Milhous; The Comedian
"Zero sum only works if the counter parties, the five banks, have $223.4 trillion in assets." -Milhous

Incorrect. Zero Sum means that the *same* money stays in the economy. Moving the same money between Buyer A and Insurer B is Zero Sum because no wealth was added or lost, just moved.

In contrast, if Insurer B defaults, then no money moved, and the same money still exists in the overall economy (because no wealth was added or lost, or in that case even moved).

In fact, "not having the assets" or defaulting on a contract is the same as if no derivative was ever purchased.

That's why derivatives are economic non-events: they are Zero Sum.

26 posted on 02/08/2011 10:22:51 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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