Dear Mr Tan,
Somebody put it in a nutshell on how the fortune of this world's musical money chair came to a grid lock.. called the Ponzi Scheme! Simple anedotal way to explain a complex situation... please publish it for the benefit of those who read your blogs. Thank you!
The Ponzi Scheme
The crux of the fraudulent Ponzi scheme is the twin pillars of:
) Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac – the two giant mortgage corporations of USA
2) The Derivative financial tool known as Credit Default Swap (CDS)
Once you have a grasp of these two concepts, you cannot but agree that we are facing total global banking collapse. Why? Because the entire global banking system has been built on these two financial pillars! But the system became irreparable in the last 7 years when CDS became the linchpin in the massive expansion of derivative trading and financial engineering.
1. Banks became greedy and were unwilling to earn safe and steady profits from mortgages for housing and commercial properties which usually spread over a period of between 5 to 30 years.
2. Banks wanted massive profits in the shortest period of time and the ability to lend massive amounts and not be regulated as to how to do it.
3. The crooks devised a scheme. It was a simple idea.
4. Banks will provide mortgages to all and sundry.
5. I am going to use a simple example and using small numbers to illustrate for ease of calculation. Thus, assuming the Bank gave out US$1 million to finance mortgages, bearing interest at 10%.
6. The bank then sold the mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a discount. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being Government Sponsored Companies (GSCs) are able to get cheap financing to purchase these mortgages as they were assumed to be "guaranteed by the US Government".
7. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac then package these mortgages into all sorts of structured financial products and these were sold to investors (private as well governments) . Central Banks hold massive amounts of dollar reserves and they need to find a safe haven for them. Hence, and invariably, Central Banks invest their reserves in US Treasuries and financial "mortgage-backed" products issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as other US financial institutions.
8. With the payment of US$ 1 million by Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac, the bank by law, can lend ten times the amount after keeping 10% reserves i.e.US$100,000. Therefore, the bank can lend US$9 million by "creating money out of thin air" i.e. by crediting the borrowers in their loan accounts in amount of the loans extended. These US$9 million loans secured by mortgages are then sold to Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac again.
The cycle keeps repeating and the banks keep creating more and more loans.
It was so easy that the banks decided to create dubious loans called "Liars Loans" whereby the borrower need not state the actual income and or ability to repay.
9. As more and more of these loans were created, investors (government and private) demanded assurances that these loans were good for investments. The rating agencies (e.g. Moodys, Standard & Poor and Fitch etc.) who in collusion with banks, gave AAA ratings to what were essentially junks. This fraud led investors to believe that these financial products were good investments.
10. The rating agencies were only too aware that this scheme needed something more concrete to prolong the fraud and induce the investors to part with their monies.
11. The insurance companies like A.I.G. came into the picture. They were seduced by the idea that if they can insure against risks of accidents, storms etc., they could also insure risks against default by the mortgage holders. Thus was born the financial innovation – Credit Default Swap (CDS). Any financial product with a sound CDS would be rated AAA. It was as good as being guaranteed by Uncle Sam. Central banks all over the world fell for it – hook, line and sinker.
12. The scheme works out like this – AIG sells protection – i.e. in the event there is a default, AIG will pay out to the buyer who buys the protection (the CDS) in exchange for the payment of premiums covering the period of protection not unlike your usual insurance policy. It was easy money for everyone.
The banks get to sell their loans and have the liquidity to create more loans.
Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac and other financial institutions get the opportunity to repackage these loans / mortgages and sells them to investors with a tidy profit.
The investors are happy with their so-called guaranteed returns. The insurance companies, investment banks and other players get their premium income for selling protection. It was old fashion mafia loan sharking and protection business dressed up in modern financial jargon and everyone was too arrogant and greedy to see through the fraud.
13. When loans default and continue to be delinquent, the law (depending on each country) provides that if the loan is in default for 90 days or more, it should be declared a Non-Performing Loan (NPL) and banks must provide reserve to cover the loss.
14. What happened was banks were covering the defaults and kept them on the books for two years or more in the hope that no one would be wiser and interest income from new loans would cover the defaulted old loans – the classic ponzi modus operandi.
15. When the two years default reached critical proportions starting with the sub-prime loans, the fraud began to unravel. Investors began demanding their protection money for the losses arising from these defaults. It has been estimated that the market value of the CDS was in excess of US$60 trillion but the capital of the insurance companies like AIG are only in the billions. It is therefore a physical impossibility to make good the demand for payment for the defaults.
16. If AIG the No. 1 insurer in US and the world is in default, it means the rest are in deep shits. You can take it as a given that no one and no one has good coverage and protection anymore.
17. When there is no coverage and protection, how can there be AAA ratings for new issues of such financial products? Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac etc. cannot package these products for sale to investors and if they cannot sell, they will have no funds to buy more dubious mortgages from corrupt and fraudulent Wall Street banks. With no additional funds, these crooks in JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Lehman Bros., Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, UBS, Barclays, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, etc. will have difficulty extending new loans.
The "Musical Money Chair" will have to come to a complete halt. The entire system gets into a gridlock.
Given the above explanation, can the US government and the Fed continue to bail out banks and other financial institutions? When US is in deficit in both the budget and current accounts, where else can they get the extra monies except by creating out of thin air (virtually by keying digits into computers) or print more dollars.
If you are a sovereign lender or a private hedge fund, knowing the situation, would you lend more monies to the US Treasury knowing that each dollar issued (whether digitally or in printed notes) are not worth the value stated therein.
These dollars ARE NO BETTER THAN TOILET PAPER.
The bulk of our reserves are in US dollars. Our trade – petroleum products, palm oil and other exports are mainly traded in dollars. When the dollar dives into the cesspool of waste, what then?
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