While the sobering news from Europe has finally started to weigh on US stocks, I thought I’d add gasoline to the fire and remind everyone of the twisted morass that’s our own domestic financial situation.
The top 5 banks in the US now account for a massively disproportionate amount of the derivative risk in the financial system. Specifically, of the $250 trillion in gross notional amount of derivative contracts outstanding (consisting of Interest Rate, FX, Equity Contracts, Commodity and CDS) among the Top 25 commercial banks (a number that swells to $333 trillion when looking at the Top 25 Bank Holding Companies), a mere 5 account for 95.9% of all derivative exposure.
The top 4 banks: JPM with $78.1 trillion in exposure, Citi with $56 trillion, Bank of America with $53 trillion and Goldman with $48 trillion, account for 94.4% of total exposure. As historically has been the case, the bulk of consolidated exposure is in Interest Rate swaps ($204.6 trillion), followed by FX ($26.5TR), CDS ($15.2 trillion), and Equity and Commodity with $1.6 and $1.4 trillion, respectively.
And that's your definition of Too Big To Fail right there: the biggest banks are not only getting bigger, but their risk exposure is now at a new all-time-high.
Good thing Backstop Ben and Congress are always ready with their catcher’s mitt.
Trade well and follow the trend, not the so-called “experts.”
Behold the age of infinite moral hazard! On April 2nd, 2009 CONgress forced FASB to suspend rule 157 in favor of deceitful accounting for the TBTF banking mafia.
President & Founder - TradingAdvantage http://www.tradingadvantage.com