Back in 2008 we were held hostage as a people and eventually wound up forking nearly $17 Trillion dollars over to the banks after their casino games failed. We were told if we didn’t the world economy would collapse. These banks were just too big to fail. So now over five years have passed and our miserable congress failed to enact any meaningful legislation to prevent a repeat situation from occurring. Where the money really went will be an upcoming article, but for now let’s just look at those banks to see how big they are today. The numbers will shock you.
First the only banks that did not survive were the community banks serving their local communities. In 1985, there were more than 18,000 banks in the United States. Today, there are only 6,891 left. The six largest banks in the United States (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) have collectively gotten 37 percent larger over the past five years.
The U.S. banking system has 14.4 trillion dollars in total assets. The six largest banks now account for 67 percent of those assets and all of the other banks account for only 33 percent of those assets. JPMorgan Chase, alone, is roughly the size of the entire British economy. The five largest banks now account for 42 percent of all loans in the United States.
Well, since they gotten bigger, they must be in better shape, right? Wrong again. Right now, four of the “too big to fail” banks each have total exposure to derivatives that is well in excess of 40 trillion dollars. That’s $160 Trillion dollars! Their exposure is over TWICE the global GDP and 14 times larger than the US GDP! The total exposure that Goldman Sachs has to derivatives contracts is more than 381 times greater than their total assets.
Just think about from your personal financial perspective. If you were in that situation, it would mean your debt was 381 times your assets. In the US, Americans tend to have a low net worth. According to Social Security numbers those under 25 has a net worth of $1475, 25-34 has $8525, 35-44 has $51575, 45-54 has $98350, 55-64 has $180125. So let’s take the 35-44 number of $51575. This would mean you would have debts that totaled $19,650,075! Until you understand this from that perspective you cannot appreciate how totally insane this whole house of cards really is in truth.
The fact is these guys are totally and criminally out of control and no one is doing a single thing meaningful about it and now it is so nuts anyone who would be contemplating action is absolutely fearful to even speak about this insanity.
According to the Bank for International Settlements, the global financial system has a total of 441 trillion dollars worth of exposure to interest rate derivatives, which is nearly 6 times global GDP. Most governments’ coffers have been drained and most pension plans and investment pools are also tapped out. The FED’s answer to this mess is just to keep printing money at the rate of about $40-60 Billion every month. This is only delaying the inevitable collapse that must come and folks are starting to get antsy that this is going to happen soon, very soon.
The only sane approach here is to have a global financial reset and the sooner the better. We can demolish this mess with a single global jubilee along with breaking these behemoths back down to a size where if they wish to act in a risky manner, they will live or die on their sword and the world will continue on without them. This would also eliminate these world-wide austerity programs and allow countries to get back to using their tax dollars for infrastructure, health care, education, and basic science research that will benefit all mankind.
It is important that we all understand these facts and are prepared to act when the time comes again when these con artists and habitual gamblers once again come begging with threats to blow up the economy. We should all just say to our representatives no way will we allow you to use one more penny of our money. We should be willing to look them straight in the eye and say “Blow it up”! It is only then can we begin to construct a global economy based on honesty, transparency, sound fiscal decisions, and truly market driven economic activity. Don’t buy into the fear factor this time around.