# Derivatives Debacle Deciphered

#### chess9

##### Elite member
http://www.npr.org/templates/s...=102325715&ft=1&f=1032

No one really knows the total value of all derivatives, but this guy's guess should be given some credence since he worked for Morgan Stanley and now teaches law. Yeah, yeah, I know, he climbed from the gutter into the sewer.

Anyway, he makes a strong case for NOT bailing out these guys. So, why is Obama doing it? What's the evidence for bailing them out? Where are the numbers supporting the bailout? All I've heard is the sky is falling and premonitions of doom if the rich thieves aren't bailed out. But, are they being bailed out because they've bought and paid for Congress and our President?

I voted for Obama, but I think he's going in the wrong direction. Someone please pull up on the reins of that outta' control horse!

-Robert

#### Udgnim

##### Diamond Member
Originally posted by: chess9
http://www.npr.org/templates/s...=102325715&ft=1&f=1032

No one really knows the total value of all derivatives, but this guy's guess should be given some credence since he worked for Morgan Stanley and now teaches law. Yeah, yeah, I know, he climbed from the gutter into the sewer.

Anyway, he makes a strong case for NOT bailing out these guys. So, why is Obama doing it? What's the evidence for bailing them out? Where are the numbers supporting the bailout? All I've heard is the sky is falling and premonitions of doom if the rich thieves aren't bailed out. But, are they being bailed out because they've bought and paid for Congress and our President?

I voted for Obama, but I think he's going in the wrong direction. Someone please pull up on the reins of that outta' control horse!

-Robert
should change Obama to politicians, but it's because of the term "too big to fail"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_big_to_fail

#### Lemon law

##### Lifer
What my gut tells me is that the derivatives and the credit default swaps are the root of this financial crisis and that there is not enough money in the universe to even try to bail them out. And therefore we should just call them null and void, tell the investors they bought garbage, and stop all future sales of such garbage. And concentrate on bailing out mortgages which are backed by real assets.

That is what my gut tells me, my problem is I am not privy to the real data that will prove or disprove the assertion.

But the truth will set us free, now basically six months in, why is not the real deal data available to general public experts?

#### chess9

##### Elite member
Originally posted by: Udgnim
Originally posted by: chess9
http://www.npr.org/templates/s...=102325715&ft=1&f=1032

No one really knows the total value of all derivatives, but this guy's guess should be given some credence since he worked for Morgan Stanley and now teaches law. Yeah, yeah, I know, he climbed from the gutter into the sewer.

Anyway, he makes a strong case for NOT bailing out these guys. So, why is Obama doing it? What's the evidence for bailing them out? Where are the numbers supporting the bailout? All I've heard is the sky is falling and premonitions of doom if the rich thieves aren't bailed out. But, are they being bailed out because they've bought and paid for Congress and our President?

I voted for Obama, but I think he's going in the wrong direction. Someone please pull up on the reins of that outta' control horse!

-Robert
should change Obama to politicians, but it's because of the term "too big to fail"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_big_to_fail
That's a great article, but its example is one bank. When you have about 15 of the top banks teetering on the brink of collapse because of THEIR OWN NEGLIGENCE AND GREED, it is an entirely different kettle of fish. First of all, the USA cannot protect the dollar if we were to try to borrow \$10 Trillion MORE dollars on international markets. The Chinese are clearly worried already, and they are not alone. Bondholders in England, Japan, Germany, and many other countries are scared shitless about the value of the dollar. The only thing saving our asses is the dollar is still the most respected currency in most of the world! But, if confidence in the dollar wanes, we are fucked. Secondly, the bank in the example was a victim of extrinsic economic forces, not its own greed and stupidity. Are we going to welcome greed and stupidity with cash infusions from the US Treasury? Apparently so.....

Thanks for the article!

-Robert

#### chess9

##### Elite member
Originally posted by: Lemon law
What my gut tells me is that the derivatives and the credit default swaps are the root of this financial crisis and that there is not enough money in the universe to even try to bail them out. And therefore we should just call them null and void, tell the investors they bought garbage, and stop all future sales of such garbage. And concentrate on bailing out mortgages which are backed by real assets.

That is what my gut tells me, my problem is I am not privy to the real data that will prove or disprove the assertion.

But the truth will set us free, now basically six months in, why is not the real deal data available to general public experts?
Those all should have been PRIVATE losses. Yes, you are absolutely correct!

We complain about giving welfare mothers WIC money and Section 8 housing grants, yet we are giving away trillions to the uber rich? We have a torn and insubstantial social safety net in this country, yet we will gladly spend money to shore up people whose conduct is borderline CRIMINAL?

Really, this whole thing is like a bad acid trip. Is Timothy Leary running Treasury?

-Robert

#### Craig234

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: chess9
Originally posted by: Lemon law
What my gut tells me is that the derivatives and the credit default swaps are the root of this financial crisis and that there is not enough money in the universe to even try to bail them out. And therefore we should just call them null and void, tell the investors they bought garbage, and stop all future sales of such garbage. And concentrate on bailing out mortgages which are backed by real assets.

That is what my gut tells me, my problem is I am not privy to the real data that will prove or disprove the assertion.

But the truth will set us free, now basically six months in, why is not the real deal data available to general public experts?
Those all should have been PRIVATE losses. Yes, you are absolutely correct!

We complain about giving welfare mothers WIC money and Section 8 housing grants, yet we are giving away trillions to the uber rich? We have a torn and insubstantial social safety net in this country, yet we will gladly spend money to shore up people whose conduct is borderline CRIMINAL?

Really, this whole thing is like a bad acid trip. Is Timothy Leary running Treasury?

-Robert
The left is largely suspicious of Obama on his taking care of the big banks, as I've posted with any articles, while supporting him on other areas.

We can hope it's the better case that his motive is that the bailouts are in the interests of the recovery of the economy, but the worse possibility is too much political power by them.

What we needed was to use the crisis to undo some of the massive concentration of wealth increase that's happened in the last 25 years. That's only slightly happening.

And remarkably, some of the big banks are well positioned to come out of this stronger than before.

One commentary I posted said Obama is actually institutionalizing the big bank power so much as to threaten democracy's ability to rein it in. He says otherwise... we'll see.

But I think the public shouild get informed and tape steps towards forcing, as economists now recommend, the financial industry to distribute power to more, smaller, banks.

#### chess9

##### Elite member
Originally posted by: Craig234
Originally posted by: chess9
Originally posted by: Lemon law
What my gut tells me is that the derivatives and the credit default swaps are the root of this financial crisis and that there is not enough money in the universe to even try to bail them out. And therefore we should just call them null and void, tell the investors they bought garbage, and stop all future sales of such garbage. And concentrate on bailing out mortgages which are backed by real assets.

That is what my gut tells me, my problem is I am not privy to the real data that will prove or disprove the assertion.

But the truth will set us free, now basically six months in, why is not the real deal data available to general public experts?
Those all should have been PRIVATE losses. Yes, you are absolutely correct!

We complain about giving welfare mothers WIC money and Section 8 housing grants, yet we are giving away trillions to the uber rich? We have a torn and insubstantial social safety net in this country, yet we will gladly spend money to shore up people whose conduct is borderline CRIMINAL?

Really, this whole thing is like a bad acid trip. Is Timothy Leary running Treasury?

-Robert
The left is largely suspicious of Obama on his taking care of the big banks, as I've posted with any articles, while supporting him on other areas.

We can hope it's the better case that his motive is that the bailouts are in the interests of the recovery of the economy, but the worse possibility is too much political power by them.

What we needed was to use the crisis to undo some of the massive concentration of wealth increase that's happened in the last 25 years. That's only slightly happening.

And remarkably, some of the big banks are well positioned to come out of this stronger than before.

One commentary I posted said Obama is actually institutionalizing the big bank power so much as to threaten democracy's ability to rein it in. He says otherwise... we'll see.

But I think the public shouild get informed and tape steps towards forcing, as economists now recommend, the financial industry to distribute power to more, smaller, banks.
Yes, the left is having Obama induced indigestion, bordering on nausea.

The pie is only so large, though Obama hasn't figured that one out yet. If you give 90% of the pie to the uber rich, how are we going to maintain a safety net for the very poor. Right now, two dozen states, at least, are nearly bankrupt. That means food stamps could stop going out, Medicaid and WIC payments stopped, etc. if the Feds don't up their share and soon. Wait til you have to wait two months to re-new your driver's license! Or, can only take the bar exam every other year? Or, they stop investigating bad doctors, bridges, hospitals, etc?

This isn't ONLY about the uber rich near criminals getting a bundle of cash from Uncle Sam, it's about the lower end of our social strata being at risk of not getting services or getting sub-standard and fatal services.

Here's an example: One third of all EMS stethoscopes are infected with MRSA. Who is going to ensure that when the ambulance arrives it isn't full of pathogens?

-Robert

#### GeezerMan

##### Platinum Member
Listen to the audio interview too. Paints a bad picture of the lobbyists. Good thing Obama promised lobbyists won't have a job in his White House....:thumbsup:

Oh, wait..

#### Craig234

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: chess9
Yes, the left is having Obama induced indigestion, bordering on nausea.

The pie is only so large, though Obama hasn't figured that one out yet. If you give 90% of the pie to the uber rich, how are we going to maintain a safety net for the very poor. Right now, two dozen states, at least, are nearly bankrupt. That means food stamps could stop going out, Medicaid and WIC payments stopped, etc. if the Feds don't up their share and soon. Wait til you have to wait two months to re-new your driver's license! Or, can only take the bar exam every other year? Or, they stop investigating bad doctors, bridges, hospitals, etc?

This isn't ONLY about the uber rich near criminals getting a bundle of cash from Uncle Sam, it's about the lower end of our social strata being at risk of not getting services or getting sub-standard and fatal services.

Here's an example: One third of all EMS stethoscopes are infected with MRSA. Who is going to ensure that when the ambulance arrives it isn't full of pathogens?

-Robert
Good points. The question is, will the public come to better understand the need for government to invest in some areas that help the nation prosper?

We've had radicals on the right who have been blindly following an anti-government ideology that threatens to cripple the nation's prosperity. People need to learn that better.

And not just the total numbers - it's possible to have a wealthy economy in which few get all the rewards and there's a terrible situation for others. That's not a good economy.

#### alchemize

##### Lifer
What does Robin Hood do when he opens his bag of loot to dispense to the poor, and it's filled with IOU's?

#### Craig234

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: alchemize
What does Robin Hood do when he opens his bag of loot to dispense to the poor, and it's filled with IOU's?
Raise taxes on the rich. What do Republicans do? Congratulate themselves on keeping labor costs down.

#### JS80

##### Lifer
The root of the problem was not derivatives. Derivatives are zero sum. The problem was super leverage and the pop of the real estate bubble. That is global wealth destruction (American's loss in value of homes, and foreign investors' loss in MBS). Loss in derivatives is wealth transfer.

#### Lemon law

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: JS80
The root of the problem was not derivatives. Derivatives are zero sum. The problem was super leverage and the pop of the real estate bubble. That is global wealth destruction (American's loss in value of homes, and foreign investors' loss in MBS). Loss in derivatives is wealth transfer.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bullshit, derivatives are not a zero sum game, they became an illusion that no matter what risky bet an investor made, they could buy some super low cost insurance to transfer the risk to some other fool.

As long as the merry go round kept going, the other fool simply put the insurance premiums in their pockets, because they too bought insurance from some other fool who put their premiums in their pockets.

As long as the merry go round kept going, it lead to a culture that assumed no bet could fail, but as soon as the system got exposed to stress, we discovered no one ever bothered to back their obligations. And the whole house of cards came falling down.

How anyone can call that a zero sum game is a total mystery to me.

##### Golden Member
Originally posted by: Lemon law
Originally posted by: JS80
The root of the problem was not derivatives. Derivatives are zero sum. The problem was super leverage and the pop of the real estate bubble. That is global wealth destruction (American's loss in value of homes, and foreign investors' loss in MBS). Loss in derivatives is wealth transfer.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bullshit, derivatives are not a zero sum game, they became an illusion that no matter what risky bet an investor made, they could buy some super low cost insurance to transfer the risk to some other fool.

As long as the merry go round kept going, the other fool simply put the insurance premiums in their pockets, because they too bought insurance from some other fool who put their premiums in their pockets.

As long as the merry go round kept going, it lead to a culture that assumed no bet could fail, but as soon as the system got exposed to stress, we discovered no one ever bothered to back their obligations. And the whole house of cards came falling down.

How anyone can call that a zero sum game is a total mystery to me.
Can't agree with Lemon Law more. Also, the guy who came up with the phrase "sub-prime mortgage" instead of "give your money to losers who'll never pay it back" (which would have fully quantified the real risk involved), should be taken out the back door and shot. But I'm sure he's lying on some Caribbean beach sipping Martinis and thinking "Suckers".

#### rchiu

##### Diamond Member
Originally posted by: Lemon law
Originally posted by: JS80
The root of the problem was not derivatives. Derivatives are zero sum. The problem was super leverage and the pop of the real estate bubble. That is global wealth destruction (American's loss in value of homes, and foreign investors' loss in MBS). Loss in derivatives is wealth transfer.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bullshit, derivatives are not a zero sum game, they became an illusion that no matter what risky bet an investor made, they could buy some super low cost insurance to transfer the risk to some other fool.

As long as the merry go round kept going, the other fool simply put the insurance premiums in their pockets, because they too bought insurance from some other fool who put their premiums in their pockets.

As long as the merry go round kept going, it lead to a culture that assumed no bet could fail, but as soon as the system got exposed to stress, we discovered no one ever bothered to back their obligations. And the whole house of cards came falling down.

How anyone can call that a zero sum game is a total mystery to me.
While derivates are not zero sum game like you said, they are nothing more than just another financial instruments. You say derivates are just illusion? Isn't commodity like oil, gold, silver just another illusion as well? They can be hundreds of dollar one day and drop like a rock in another.

The problem is not the valuation of derivatives, the problem is the reckless leverage and lack of risk management at the investment firms. It's like you put your 401k on penny stock and blame the stock when you loss everything.

My points is don't blame the derivatives, blame the people who made reckless investment decisions. And by the way, investing in things you cannot value or you don't understand count as reckless investment decision. There is no doubt that derivatives market need to be regulated. New instruments need to be approved and whoever invest/buy/use those instrument need to clearly disclouse risk, and market value of those investment.

And oh yeah, about the stuff in OP's link. Those story don't just happen to derivatives traders, it happens in every high dollar business deal/trading or whatever. All those high dollar wheeling and dealing are filling with macho guys/gals who think they own the world. Go work for high end consulting/investment banking....etc and you know what I am talking about. So don't just put up some juice story about derivatives trades and make it sound like all derivates are funny money. They are not, they have a role, but they just need to be better regulated.

#### JEDIYoda

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: alchemize
What does Robin Hood do when he opens his bag of loot to dispense to the poor, and it's filled with IOU's?
Robin Hood grabs his cell phone and calls you!!

#### StageLeft

##### No Lifer
Originally posted by: Lemon law
What my gut tells me is that the derivatives and the credit default swaps are the root of this financial crisis and that there is not enough money in the universe to even try to bail them out. And therefore we should just call them null and void, tell the investors they bought garbage, and stop all future sales of such garbage. And concentrate on bailing out mortgages which are backed by real assets.

That is what my gut tells me, my problem is I am not privy to the real data that will prove or disprove the assertion.

But the truth will set us free, now basically six months in, why is not the real deal data available to general public experts?
It does seem that way, that there's no real way to bail these things out. If you could have \$1T in bad loans creating magnitudes of that in insurance liabilities, how can you possibly bail them all out? The thing was a joke and should be just cancelled out. Think of it like when, some years ago on Anandtech, that one company had monitors going for way cheaper than they should have. People ordered them, the company realized its mistake, and most people didn't get their monitor. Many cried but many others knew it was a gamble from the get-go.

#### chess9

##### Elite member
Originally posted by: alchemize
What does Robin Hood do when he opens his bag of loot to dispense to the poor, and it's filled with IOU's?
Exactly! The irony of a Democratic Party President destroying the social safety net would be funny if it weren't so bloody tragic.

-Robert

#### chess9

##### Elite member
Originally posted by: rchiu
Originally posted by: Lemon law
Originally posted by: JS80
The root of the problem was not derivatives. Derivatives are zero sum. The problem was super leverage and the pop of the real estate bubble. That is global wealth destruction (American's loss in value of homes, and foreign investors' loss in MBS). Loss in derivatives is wealth transfer.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bullshit, derivatives are not a zero sum game, they became an illusion that no matter what risky bet an investor made, they could buy some super low cost insurance to transfer the risk to some other fool.

As long as the merry go round kept going, the other fool simply put the insurance premiums in their pockets, because they too bought insurance from some other fool who put their premiums in their pockets.

As long as the merry go round kept going, it lead to a culture that assumed no bet could fail, but as soon as the system got exposed to stress, we discovered no one ever bothered to back their obligations. And the whole house of cards came falling down.

How anyone can call that a zero sum game is a total mystery to me.
While derivates are not zero sum game like you said, they are nothing more than just another financial instruments. You say derivates are just illusion? Isn't commodity like oil, gold, silver just another illusion as well? They can be hundreds of dollar one day and drop like a rock in another.

The problem is not the valuation of derivatives, the problem is the reckless leverage and lack of risk management at the investment firms. It's like you put your 401k on penny stock and blame the stock when you loss everything.

My points is don't blame the derivatives, blame the people who made reckless investment decisions. And by the way, investing in things you cannot value or you don't understand count as reckless investment decision. There is no doubt that derivatives market need to be regulated. New instruments need to be approved and whoever invest/buy/use those instrument need to clearly disclouse risk, and market value of those investment.

And oh yeah, about the stuff in OP's link. Those story don't just happen to derivatives traders, it happens in every high dollar business deal/trading or whatever. All those high dollar wheeling and dealing are filling with macho guys/gals who think they own the world. Go work for high end consulting/investment banking....etc and you know what I am talking about. So don't just put up some juice story about derivatives trades and make it sound like all derivates are funny money. They are not, they have a role, but they just need to be better regulated.
Yes, those issues arise in many high dollar transactions where the boys with more testosterone than brains play. I agree all derivatives aren't funny money, and never said that. But, on one level, almost all speculation, whether in stocks, derivatives, commodities like gold and oil, or real estate by a homeowner, IS funny money, i.e., a certain amount of risk is assumed. For the homeowner, we hope the risk is small, but if you trade in gold futures, well, you'd better have deep pockets and lots of Zoloft. Agreed that derivatives need better regulation, and I think that's the essence of the piece.

-Robert

#### wwswimming

##### Banned
Originally posted by: chess9Those all should have been PRIVATE losses. Yes, you are absolutely correct!

We complain about giving welfare mothers WIC money and Section 8 housing grants, yet we are giving away trillions to the uber rich? We have a torn and insubstantial social safety net in this country, yet we will gladly spend money to shore up people whose conduct is borderline CRIMINAL?

#### Craig234

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: wwswimming
Originally posted by: chess9Those all should have been PRIVATE losses. Yes, you are absolutely correct!

We complain about giving welfare mothers WIC money and Section 8 housing grants, yet we are giving away trillions to the uber rich? We have a torn and insubstantial social safety net in this country, yet we will gladly spend money to shore up people whose conduct is borderline CRIMINAL?
Sadly, yes there is for most of it. While several hundred went to jail in the S&L situation, they got what they wanted to do legalized this time.

The logic for deregulation by getting rid of 60 year old laws was quite solid, such as 'let's get rid of these laws because they're 65 years old, and we haven't had a crash.'

#### nobodyknows

##### Diamond Member
Originally posted by: Craig234
Originally posted by: wwswimming
Originally posted by: chess9Those all should have been PRIVATE losses. Yes, you are absolutely correct!

We complain about giving welfare mothers WIC money and Section 8 housing grants, yet we are giving away trillions to the uber rich? We have a torn and insubstantial social safety net in this country, yet we will gladly spend money to shore up people whose conduct is borderline CRIMINAL?
Sadly, yes there is for most of it. While several hundred went to jail in the S&L situation, they got what they wanted to do legalized this time.

The logic for deregulation by getting rid of 60 year old laws was quite solid, such as 'let's get rid of these laws because they're 65 years old, and we haven't had a crash.'
And at the same time they were getting rid of these laws the sheeple on the right were claiming a crash couldn't happen because there were regulations in place to prevent it.

#### Craig234

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: nobodyknows
And at the same time they were getting rid of these laws the sheeple on the right were claiming a crash couldn't happen because there were regulations in place to prevent it.
I've seen less of that particular argument, than of simple assetions that the deregulation provided the 'freedom to compete and generate wealth' - and the protection against a crash came from 'the rational market', i.e., that the people in the market didn't want it to crash, so they wouldn't pick policies that would crash it. This belief is one Greenspan said he believed in for decades while backing deregulation, and that he now sees was wrong.

See my thread with the 2005 article for some of the justifications people gave.

Anyone suggesting the deregulation posed a threat of a crash was dismissed as some fringe commentator, and they were steamrolled by the monied interests who wanted it.

As it turns out, economists offering warnings have a very small megaphone compared to the people who have billions. That's a failure of our political system.

Our right to free speech did give us the right to the columns we can now link to of warnings, but the fact is, they were ignored because the flaws in our politics.

#### BoberFett

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: Lemon law
What my gut tells me is that the derivatives and the credit default swaps are the root of this financial crisis and that there is not enough money in the universe to even try to bail them out. And therefore we should just call them null and void, tell the investors they bought garbage, and stop all future sales of such garbage. And concentrate on bailing out mortgages which are backed by real assets.

That is what my gut tells me, my problem is I am not privy to the real data that will prove or disprove the assertion.

But the truth will set us free, now basically six months in, why is not the real deal data available to general public experts?
I agree 100%. Too big to fail my ass, if they're too big to fail then they're too big to prop up.

The reason everything is still very private is because the money grab isn't over yet. Once the governmental redistribution of wealth to the financial sector is complete the "crisis" will be over, everybody will have government jobs with which they use 100% of their income to pay off their debts, living paycheck to paycheck, and the middle class will live in perpetual servitude to the banks.

And yes, I am wearing tin foil.

#### BoberFett

##### Lifer
Originally posted by: Craig234
Originally posted by: chess9
Yes, the left is having Obama induced indigestion, bordering on nausea.

The pie is only so large, though Obama hasn't figured that one out yet. If you give 90% of the pie to the uber rich, how are we going to maintain a safety net for the very poor. Right now, two dozen states, at least, are nearly bankrupt. That means food stamps could stop going out, Medicaid and WIC payments stopped, etc. if the Feds don't up their share and soon. Wait til you have to wait two months to re-new your driver's license! Or, can only take the bar exam every other year? Or, they stop investigating bad doctors, bridges, hospitals, etc?

This isn't ONLY about the uber rich near criminals getting a bundle of cash from Uncle Sam, it's about the lower end of our social strata being at risk of not getting services or getting sub-standard and fatal services.

Here's an example: One third of all EMS stethoscopes are infected with MRSA. Who is going to ensure that when the ambulance arrives it isn't full of pathogens?

-Robert
Good points. The question is, will the public come to better understand the need for government to invest in some areas that help the nation prosper?

We've had radicals on the right who have been blindly following an anti-government ideology that threatens to cripple the nation's prosperity. People need to learn that better.

And not just the total numbers - it's possible to have a wealthy economy in which few get all the rewards and there's a terrible situation for others. That's not a good economy.
Great observation sock puppet. This is all the fault of the radical right. The radical right who completely control the executive and legislative branch right now.