‘Foreign shocks’ could harm US financial stability: Lew

If “all hell breaks loose” you could expect the EU to face serious turmoil and possibly crumble. If Greece can’t make a payment, then Germany can’t get paid. Germany’s Deutsche Bank has $72.8 trillion in derivatives exposure while its GDP is roughly $2.7 trillion.  The contagion would then spread to South America (think Venezuela/Argentina defaults) because of the interconnectedness of investments and would head north all the way up to Mexico for another default. When the wave hits Mexico, America has two weeks before its collapse.

 

Washington (AFP) – US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned Congress on Wednesday that foreign turmoil, such as Greece’s debt crisis, could destabilize the US financial system.

“In today’s globally integrated financial markets, foreign shocks have the potential to disrupt financial stability in the United States,” Lew said in testimony to the House of Representatives financial services committee.

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U.S. debt default? Asian policymakers ready $6 trillion forex safety net

As the U.S. struggles to avert a debt default, Asia’s policymakers have trillions of reasons to believe they may be shielded from the latest financial storm brewing across the Pacific.

From South Korea to Pakistan, Asia’s central banks are estimated to have amassed some $5.7 trillion in foreign exchange reserves excluding safe-haven Japan, much of it during the last five years of rapid money printing by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Data this week showed those reserves continued to pile up, with countries having added an estimated $86.7 billion in the July-September quarter, according to data for 12 Asian countries whose reserves are tracked by Reuters. Continue reading

U.S. Treasury, Fed planning for possible default – source

U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve officials worried about the growing possibility of a catastrophic default are crafting contingency plans to mitigate the economic fallout if Congress fails to extend America’s borrowing authority, a source familiar with the plans said.

With just eight days before the Treasury Department says the U.S. will hit its $16.7 trillion (10.46 trillion pounds) borrowing limit, lawmakers and the White House remain far from a deal to extend it. Officials are examining what options might be available to calm financial markets if a U.S. debt payment is missed.

The specifics of their planning remain unclear, but the source said an area of special focus is a key bank funding market known as the tri-party repurchase agreement, or repo, market, where banks often use Treasury bills, notes and bonds as collateral for short-term loans from other banks and big money market funds. Continue reading

First a default, then a depression? Some think so

It wouldn’t only cause a depression or another Great Depression, but the Greatest Depression.

Thursday brought a change to that trend, though, as investors heeded a dire message from President Barack Obama, who intimated in a CNBC interview Wednesday that Wall Street was taking the crisis too lightly.

Consequently, stocks sold off sharply and the Treasury Department warned of the dire consequences that might result from a full-blown debt default.

Picking up on that message, Bove said the situation could be more dramatic: A Depression that would cause severe and lasting economic damage.

“The devastation to the United States would be so severe that it would take decades to recover from the Depression caused by a default and the attendant dumping of trillions of dollars of U.S. Treasury securities on the global financial markets,” said Bove, vice president of equity research at Rafferty Capital Markets. Continue reading