The U.S. is increasing its oil production faster than ever and U.S. drivers are guzzling less gas. But you’d never know it from the price at the pump.
After the shot across the bow in 2008, you might have expected that regulators and market participants would use the experience to change for the better, to become more prudent, and to reduce the sorts of risky behaviors that almost crashed the entire system.
Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.
LTCM and Moral Hazard
In 1998, there was a firm called Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM, as it is commonly referred to today), staffed by the best of the best, including one of the very top bond traders that Wall Street ever produced as well as two future Nobel laureates.
LTCM boasted of its use of complex models that were supposed to generate outsized returns while operating with a risk-minimizing profile that, mathematically, was only supposed to experience severe losses so infrequently that the periods between them would be measured in the thousands of years.
Unfortunately for LTCM, their models badly underestimated real risks, and their leverage was such that their original $1 billion in capital turned into total losses of $4.6 billion in a little over four years, nearly dragging down the entire financial system in the process.
Congress Did Nothing to Rein In One of the Main Causes of the Financial Crisis … and Is About to Let Things Get Even MORE Insane
Out-of-control derivatives were largely responsible for the 2008 financial crisis … and still pose a massive threat to the economy.
Unchecked derivatives are so harmful to the economy that:
- Warren Buffet called them “weapons of mass destruction”
- A Nobel prize winning economist who helped develop derivatives pricing said some of them were so dangerous that they should be “blown up or burned”
- Newsweek called them “The Monster that Ate Wall Street” after the financial crash
This is especially true since the big banks are manipulating the hundred trillion dollar derivatives market.
No, the big “financial reform” bill passed in the wake of the financial crisis didn’t fix anything. We noted last year:
No, there have not been any reforms or attempts to rein in derivatives, and the Dodd-Frank financial legislation was really just a p.r. stunt which didn’t really change anything.
Harold Bradley – who oversees almost $2 billion in assets as chief investment officer at the Kauffman Foundation – told the Reuters Global Exchanges and Trading Summit in New York that a cabal is preventing swap derivatives from being forced onto clearing exchanges:
There is no incentive from the moneyed interests in either Washington or New York to change it…I believe we are in a cabal. There are five or six players only who are engaged and dominant in this marketplace and apparently they own the regulatory apparatus. Everybody is afraid to regulate them.
A pan global collapse is inevitable.
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CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
Two-thirds of the time rising wedges break to the downside. (Nasd Comp/upper left).
Has the NDX 100 made “TOO” perfect of a head & shoulders topping pattern as the left and right shoulder are the same distance apart? (upper right chart)
Oracle is breaking down and Cisco is creating lower highs?
Should tech be concerned about what is ahead of it?
“People are acting fearfully, or you could almost say rationally in a way,” because it’s not surprising they change their dining habits when they feel less confident as once again it’s the middle class that appears under pressure. Casual dining is “definitely being squeezed” because “it’s not food on-the-go and it’s not high-end food for people trying to treat themselves.”