Financial Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Top 25 US Banks Have 222 Trillion Dollars Derivatives Exposure

 

The recklessness of the “too big to fail” banks almost doomed them the last time around, but apparently they still haven’t learned from their past mistakes.  Today, the top 25 U.S. banks have 222 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives.  In other words, the exposure that these banks have to derivatives contracts is approximately equivalent to the gross domestic product of the United States times twelve.  As long as stock prices continue to rise and the U.S. economy stays fairly stable, these extremely risky financial weapons of mass destruction will probably not take down our entire financial system.  But someday another major crisis will inevitably happen, and when that day arrives the devastation that these financial instruments will cause will be absolutely unprecedented.

During the great financial crisis of 2008, derivatives played a starring role, and U.S. taxpayers were forced to step in and bail out companies such as AIG that were on the verge of collapse because the risks that they took were just too great. Continue reading

The subprime mortgage is back: it’s 2008 all over again

State income loans, otherwise known as “liars loans”.

 

Apparently the biggest banks in the US didn’t learn their lesson the first time around…

Because a few days ago, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and many of the usual suspects made a stunning announcement that they would start making crappy subprime loans once again!

I’m sure you remember how this all blew up back in 2008.

Banks spent years making the most insane loans imaginable, giving no-money-down mortgages to people with bad credit, and intentionally doing almost zero due diligence on their borrowers. Continue reading

Wells Fargo Reduces 66% of Credit Lines to Oil and Gas Players

Around 66 percent of Wells Fargo’s credit lines to energy exploration and production companies have been reduced as a result of the two-year drop in oil prices, The Street reported.

The E&P loans make up more than half of the San Francisco-based bank’s US$17.8 billion in loans to oil and gas ventures. Just under half of the outstanding loans have been vetted so far, according to a presentation by CFO John Shrewsberry on Tuesday. Continue reading

US banks not prepared for another financial crisis, say federal regulators

We also shouldn’t forget that the FDIC is helpless and broke itself, which compounds the problem and shows a double standard on their part. They FDIC will ironically be the one raiding the banks during the next crisis but like to heap burden on them because passing blame is the game today.

 

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Five out of eight of the biggest US banks do not have credible plans for winding down operations during a crisis without the help of public money, federal regulators said on Wednesday. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

 

Some of the US’s biggest banks still lack a proper plan for bankruptcy, in the event of another major financial crisis, US regulators said on Wednesday.

In the wake of the great recession banks were required to come up with “living wills” to prove they had a credible plan for bankruptcy that would not require another bailout from the taxpayers.

Continue reading

China is on a massive gold buying spree

Not only who’s buying it, but who’s selling it? It’s likely the United States.

Video at the source.

 

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China’s government doesn’t share exact figures, but the vast majority of gold heading into mainland China passes through Hong Kong, which does make its records public.

Gold imports to China have surged over 700% since 2010, according to the latest data from Hong Kong. Continue reading

Big banks brace for oil loans to implode

Big banks are cringing as crude oil is crumbling.

Now that the oil glut has caused prices to crash below $30 a barrel, turmoil is rippling through the energy industry and souring many of those loans. Dozens of oil companies have gone bankrupt and the ones that haven’t are feeling enough financial stress to slash spending and cut tens of thousands of jobs.

Three of America’s biggest banks warned last week that oil prices will continue to create headaches on Wall Street — especially if doomsday scenarios of $20 or even $10 oil play out. Continue reading

Warren Buffett: Derivatives Are Still Weapons Of Mass Destruction And ‘Are Likely To Cause Big Trouble’

After all these years, the most famous investor in the world still believes that derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.  And you know what?  He is exactly right.  The next great global financial collapse that so many are warning about is nearly upon us, and when it arrives derivatives are going to play a starring role.  When many people hear the word “derivatives”, they tend to tune out because it is a word that sounds very complicated.  And without a doubt, derivatives can be enormously complex.  But what I try to do is to take complex subjects and break them down into simple terms.  At their core, derivatives represent nothing more than a legalized form of gambling.  A derivative is essentially a bet that something either will or will not happen in the future.  Ultimately, someone will win money and someone will lose money.  There are hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of these bets floating around out there, and one of these days this gigantic time bomb is going to go off and absolutely cripple the entire global financial system. Continue reading

Half of American households can barely save a nickel

Please see the source link for the video.

 

Brother, can you spare a nickel?

For roughly half of American households they answer is “barely,” according to the results of a new survey by Bankrate.com. About half reported they are setting aside no more than 5 percent of their income in savings. One in five said they’re not even able to save a penny.

The highest savings rates were reported by those in the middle of the income ladder; more than a third of households earnings between $50,000 – 75,000 said they’re saving more than 10 percent of their incomes, a higher rate than those in the highest-income bracket. Continue reading

Treasury Department Seeking Survival Kits For Bank Employees

Emergency masks, solar blankets to be delivered to every major bank in the U.S.

The Department of Treasury is seeking to order survival kits for all of its employees who oversee the federal banking system, according to a new solicitation.

The emergency supplies would be for every employee at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which conducts on-site reviews of banks throughout the country. The survival kit includes everything from water purification tablets to solar blankets. Continue reading