EU Banking Crisis: Towards the “Leveraged Breakup” of Euroland?
by Bob Chapman
December 17, 2011
The Fed’s third quarter audit data shows a total system debt of 355% and of GDP, in spite of so-called de-leveraging. It is down from the second quarter’s 375% of GDP, but up from 264% a dozen years ago. Financial sector borrowing fell almost 50% in the quarter but non-financial debt increased while financial debt fell – a push so to speak. Unfortunately most of the debt growth emanated from Washington. That growth was $557 billion, of at a 14.1% annualized rate. Of course, what the federal government is doing is the antithesis of what they should be doing. Will these borrowings and debt continue, of course they will.
In 13 quarters Treasury debt is up $100 trillion an increase of almost $4.9 trillion, or by 92%. In three years Treasury debt rose from 16.2% of non-financial debt to 26.7% and total federal debt has increased from 46% of GDP to 78% of GDP. In 2007 federal non-financial debt grew from 3.3%. In 2010 it was 113%. Year-on-year total compensation rose only 2.8% as real inflation grew 11.6%. During that period corporate earnings set records. For the most part those earnings were achieved via layoffs. From the second thru the third quarters household debt fell 1.2% from a minus 0.6% and mortgage debt fell 1.8%, as consumer credit rose 1.2%.
Funding especially foreign funds of US bank branches has been wild and the Fed has done its best to obscure what they are up too. It looks like these foreign bank balances grew about $2.6 trillion.
The result is that pressure was relieved in Europe and the US went sideways in spite of massive increases in money and credit. Fed issuance is in a bubble and it is only a question of when it pops. It is not surprising that the American public believes we are headed in the wrong direction, some 70%. Only 39% approve of the administration’s financial policies. The GOP frontrunner Gingrich, if he ran against Obama today would lose 50% to 41%. It shows you how dumb Republicans are. Nominating a crook who is a guaranteed loser.
As we pointed out earnings were the highest in four years. Layoffs were part of that, plus a lowering of loan reserves, bank lending and possible losses were virtually unchanged and the to-big-to-fail banks were able to borrow money at no cost, while the public pays up to 35% for funds.
European banks are struggling to raise capital under BIS dictates. In that process they are selling off their best assets. Normally they would sell the worst assets, but presently losses would worsen their balance sheets, so they are forced to sell best assets to bolster the balance sheet to meet the reserve figures demanded by the Bank for International Settlements the banker’s bank. These sales tend to negatively affect markets. The higher the leverage, the worse the effect.
Via the Patriot Act the US government has declared war on Iran by invoking sanctions. This is under the guise of Iran supposedly having nuclear weapons, which is a figment of colonial Washington’s imagination. The elitists in Washington want to isolate the Iranian banking system and as a result Iran is preparing to shut off 40% of the world’s oil by shutting the Straits of Hormuz. The reason added to these actions by Treasury Secretary Geithner is that Iran is a primary money launderer. We see Iran’s being cut off from western banking providential, considering the state of western banking today. The Fed and the IMF are again scurrying around trying to save Europe from itself, a place where few are capable of making decisions. We call that contagion and Iran could be spared that. The drones are being shot down over Iran and the US keeps sending them. Next it will be air combat where the loss of life and equipment will be high.