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Biderman Vs. Spiderman (Towels)

Tyler Durden's picture


Despite the failure of the generous offer of Spiderman towels from the recently 'stress-test'-proof-but-now-busted Bankia, today's market suggests there is still hope. The public estimate of loan losses for Spanish banks stands around EUR225 billion (EUR 125bn known and an additional EUR100bn estimated) which, as Charles Biderman of TrimTabs notes "is so big as to be practically unsolvable" as he details the total and utter lack of trust of Spain and Spanish banks that is spreading not just across Europe but around the world. The installation of six of the largest global consulting firms (and the IMF) to begin audits of the Spanish banks, as Reuters reports today, should tell everyone (especially those who bid them up 7-10% today) just how terrible the situation is. Biderman begins to go ultrasonic as he expects real losses for Spain to be in excess of EUR300 billion and this is just Spain! Who knows how big the losses are for the rest of Europe? He does not believe Germany, or anyone else, will put up the EUR300 billion for Spain (or a trillion for the rest of Europe) and sees at best a 50% chance that the entire Euro banking system will go down leaving a much smaller Euro-zone behind (and a 25% chance of a non-panic mode restructuring).



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Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:32 | 2501113 resurger
resurger's picture

Situation Normal All Fucked Up

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:38 | 2501141 Ag1761
Ag1761's picture


Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:51 | 2501184 idea_hamster
idea_hamster's picture

You know, I bet that when we're all on a gold standard, that Bankia Spiderman towel is going to be a sought-after collectible.  

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:55 | 2501202 flacon
flacon's picture

Believe it or not, you might be right. Zimbabwe dollars are still in demand. In fact, I want one of those $100,000,000,000,000 to keep to show my kids what a F'd up society they were born into. 

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:22 | 2501263 Knobbius
Knobbius's picture

I've got a few 100T Zimbabwe dollars.  They're actually not a bad looking banknote.  Ironically, they are worth far more as curios than they were as monetary instruments.  I think they go 6 or 7 bucks apiece, check amazon....




Wed, 06/06/2012 - 20:02 | 2501520 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

when he can't talk about how bad things are without cracking up you know we're in some real shit.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:10 | 2501370 MayerRothschild
MayerRothschild's picture

You can get them on eBay pretty cheap

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 00:38 | 2502260 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Hmm, could the Zim government still be printing and selling them on eBay as novelties? Exporting your own dead currency as a revenue stream.  But continued printing would, as we know, drive the price down requiring the printing of a new, higher demonination note. 

Edit: Wasn't there a short story, Mark Twain maybe, where a couple artists faked the death of one, because art prices go up after the artist dies, yet he kept painting and generating income after his "death"?

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:53 | 2501193 flacon
flacon's picture

Free gold for your deposit of e300

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:07 | 2501224 ThirdWorldDude
ThirdWorldDude's picture

All Hail Discordia!

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:49 | 2501497 Blotsky
Blotsky's picture


Wed, 06/06/2012 - 23:59 | 2502175 financial apoca...
financial apocalyptic contagion's picture


Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:34 | 2501127 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Anyone see Jim Grant on CNBS before? Awesome interview


Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:39 | 2501146 junkyardjack
junkyardjack's picture

He cracks himself up....

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:40 | 2501154 BandGap
BandGap's picture

He's laughing because, really, there's zero logic being used anymore. I started laughing with him.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:55 | 2501201 GubbermintWorker
GubbermintWorker's picture

I started laughing too but thought it was from a couple of hits I just took.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:52 | 2501503 TJ00
TJ00's picture

I think he is laughing because either you laugh at the insanity or you get depressed and suicidal over it, laughing at it is much better, but remember to laugh after you're prepped.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 21:36 | 2501836 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Hes laughing because its the only thing left he and we can do...

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:39 | 2501148 BandGap
BandGap's picture

I love me a Biderman

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:45 | 2501172 Killer the Buzzard
Killer the Buzzard's picture

Massive man-crush on Biderman.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:47 | 2501176 LeisureSmith
LeisureSmith's picture

The Euro really do not look healthy at all.Terminal.

Junkies tend to over do things.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:49 | 2501181 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Well...what a day.  What to say?  Seriously, markets are so fucked up at this point, it is hard to watch...even though this time...this time, the market carried my longs to brilliant finishes.  Good grief.

I go back to fundamentals that matter.  They are the same two I have been posting for months now.

First up, Ceridian.  Indeed, it posted a gain, but if you report to the below link, you will see what your trillions of bailout dollars have bought you in real economic terms.  Note the highs we experienced prior to collapse...and then the meager levels we are at now:

Second up, demand for gasoline.  If there ever was a truth detector on this completely bullshit market and the desperate powers that be all engaged in QEing their way to salvation, this chart marks the sheer level of non economic activity currently going on in the US economy.  You cannot lie your way out of this fundamental fact.  As the chart clearly shows, for all of your wasted green backs, there is no fucking recovery at all:

As an aside, a big FUCK YOU to Guy Adami of the Nanosecond [sooon to be unemployed] Money Crew...whose trading range on the S&P...short term 150 points wide [or 1205-1350].  Nice.  Way to win the BlowHorn [CNBC] fucking idiot of the week award.

Good luck out there.  We are clearly in the hands of matter which way you turn.  Thank God for ZH.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:15 | 2501244 GubbermintWorker
GubbermintWorker's picture

Hey, thanks, that was good.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:18 | 2501401 MarsInScorpio
MarsInScorpio's picture

Thanks for the chart on gasoline consumption.


Once again, this is why you read ZH everyday - there is always someone out there with some niche knowledge that you can use to better understand what is happening, and why.



Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:28 | 2501432 gjp
gjp's picture

I don't know, there is something wrong with that chart.  I've seen lots of indications that demand is down this year, but nothing like a 50% drop in the last five years, after no growth for the previous 30, even as population and economy grew and we went from compact cars to SUVs.  That chart doesn't comport with reality ... maybe something about imports or some other non-refiner sector filling the gap?

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:46 | 2501488 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Ummm...imports?  The chart is of GALLONS of gas delivered by refineries to domestic gas stations.  Pretty simple.

What this chart is revealing is the true unemployment rate currently being masked  by our brave central planners in DC via the BLS.  The Ceridian index is about to confirm the gasoline lack of demand story, as less and less merchandise is shipped cross country.

Deal with it.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:58 | 2501514 machineh
machineh's picture

Then we need to look at total retail sales of gasoline, including imports, for a true picture.

Excluding gasoline imports is the same trick the BLS uses to exclude 'discouraged workers' from the unemployment calcuation.

Hey, you're not from the BLS, are you?

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 20:17 | 2501571 Cdad
Cdad's picture

In regards to your import query, the survey says, "blip."

Nice try.  However, there is no need to confuse supply with in the new economy, supply and demand, as well as price, having nothing to do with one another.  Sales is the original chart I linked you to.  Sales is pretty definitive, don't you think?

Again, deal with it.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 00:37 | 2502267 Knobbius
Knobbius's picture

Actually, the label on the Chart says "U.S. Total Gasoline Retail Sales by Refiners".  That could also mean "Gasoline sold by Shell at its Retail Outlets."  Recall that many refiners have slowly pulled back from the gasoline retailing game in the last 10 years, because the margins are so brutal.  Also in the last 10 years we've seen the rise of Walmart/Sam's Club/Corner Grocery-R-US selling gas as a loss leader to get people into their stores.  Are Walmart's gas sales counted in this chart?  Clearly they are not a refiner, and they do engage in retail gasoline sales.  Their gas is wholesaled from Shell or Valero or whoever, maybe that's the confusion.


I'm certainly willing to believe a a 10-20% drop in gas demand over that time frame, but a 50% drop in overall demand simply doesn't square with crude usage over that time interval in the U.S.  We went from a peak of 21.5 million BPD of crude usage in Dec. 2005 to 18.2 million BPD in March of 2012.  That's a drop of about 15%.  

I think the chart we would all like to see is


This chart shows total gasoline delivered to the US market.  Again the peak of deliveries of gas occured in Jul 2007, at 9.6 million barrels per day of gasoline.  In March 2012 we only used 8.6 million barrels, not a 50% drop but something like 10%.


I think we need to use the right chart to make the right point....



Thu, 06/07/2012 - 08:56 | 2503082 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Ummm...where do you think Sams Club and Costco get their gasoline...if not from a refiner?  I believe their practice is to buy from multiple refiners based on cost.

On the issue of using the "Product Supplied" category, I believe you would have to subtract this category.  Check out that rampage...and ask yourself why we are exporting our gasoline to record levels.

Not sure why you are struggling so much with the concept of collapsing domestic sales of gasoline...unless you do not like the message.  As for me...well...I'm just the messenger, so...

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 09:35 | 2503232 Knobbius
Knobbius's picture

FIrst of all, I'm not struggling with anything except your mis-use of the data.  The terms on the chart you showed said "US Total Retail Sales by Refiners".  Sams Club is not a refiner.  And their gas isn't purchased on a retail basis from refiners, they buy it wholesale.  SO my original question is still valid.

Second, our exports of gasoline are fairly small compared to our production of gas.  400,000 BPD vs. 8.6 Million BPD is not that remarkable.  And irrelevant to the point I was making anyhow.


ANd what do you mean "subtract this catagory"?  What should be subtracted from what, exactly?


I don't care one way or another what the message is, as long as it's accurate.



Thu, 06/07/2012 - 09:41 | 2503274 StackAttack
StackAttack's picture


Cdad is right.  This chart is retail sales by refiners.  Most of our imported oil is crude and gets refined here in the states, so that refinery number should include most of the oil that we import from foreign sources.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 20:06 | 2501522 Bear
Bear's picture

Something happened between Sept 22 and Oct 11 ... monthly gas sales went down 23% in one month. Maybe they changed how they recorded th data?

Jul-2011 42,448 -0.1 Aug-2011       42,352 -0.2 Sep-2011 41,973 -0.9 Oct-2011 32,015 -23.7 Nov-2011 30,972 -3.3 Dec-2011 30,414 -1.8 Jan-2012       28,390  -6.7 Feb-2012 29,547 +4.1 Mar-2012 29,513 -0.1
Wed, 06/06/2012 - 21:15 | 2501766 Cdad
Cdad's picture

I'm pretty sure you can spot the reason here:;range=2y;compare=;indicator=stochasticslow(12,3)+volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on;source=undefined;

Extrapolating from that October low point, I'm pretty sure that you will be able to spot that the criminal syndicate has once again reflated assets...while the economy, of course, remains in the tank...which is pretty much my point in reposting this gasoline sales chart.

However, I could be wrong, and maybe it is just a charting error.  But then again, you would also think the error would have corrected itself by now...but alas...sales continue on in their downward spiral.


Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:53 | 2501507 machineh
machineh's picture

Same comment as gjp -- not possible that gasoline volume could be cut in half. 

Traffic on roads is down a bit, but not by fifty freaking percent.

Something is wrong with, or excluded from, the EIA chart.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:38 | 2501470 Bear
Bear's picture

Wow ... How could we have cratered to 50% of 2009 gasolene consumption when gas (RBN12) is at $2.70, retail is at $3.50, and crude at $85.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 21:02 | 2501717 Cdad
Cdad's picture

Answer:  The criminal syndicate known as Wall Street.  It has broken all relationships between supply, demand, and price.  Toss on top the fact that the US never left its recession of 2008-2009 and viola!


Thu, 06/07/2012 - 00:42 | 2502287 Knobbius
Knobbius's picture

Again, starting from the right data you would need to modify your narrative.  Our usage is down 10-15% in petroleum products over the last 5 years, not 50%.  That's still shitty, and is still indicative of serious continuing economic dislocation.  But it aint 50.



Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:49 | 2501183 Arnold Ziffel
Arnold Ziffel's picture


We call those "Bonuses" where I come from.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:56 | 2501203 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

Krugman towelettes or better yet Krugman TP

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 20:00 | 2501518 machineh
machineh's picture

Kurgman panty liners.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:57 | 2501206 LeisureSmith
LeisureSmith's picture

If we all jump at the same time, maybe we can knock the punchbowl down from the table so everybody can see the 

turd thats been floting around in there all evening.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 17:58 | 2501210 veyron
veyron's picture

Biderman how is your FB call?  Did you sell or did you hang on?

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:12 | 2501238 BigMike
BigMike's picture

Indeed. That whole 'this might be the first trillion dollar market cap' can be dismissed now I suspect. Long XOM <-- first trillion market cap 

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:09 | 2501234 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Biderman is another "disheveled" bear mired in mediocre economic circumstances, never able to match the life of luxury which the PigMen enjoy.

Bernanke is Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, and Matt Kemp all rolled into one

There is not a single MVP pro athlete in world history who has pulled off the Herculean feats that Bernanke has.

In a nutshell, Bernanke could win the Nobel Prize for Economics with his deft handling of the economy.

He is now so powerful, just the mere utterance of a suggestion moves markets.

He doesn't even have to do anything or say he is going to do anything, just suggest it.

And the Wildebeest Herd moves instantaneously whichever way he directs them to go.

He has 100% control of equities

He has 100% control of interest rates

He has 100% control of the CRB Index

With Draghi, he has 100% control of currency markets.

Now all he has to do is using his "Magic Wand" and boost stocks so businesses start hiring and unemployment goes down.

If he is able to pull that off prior to the November elections, then the Washington Monument will surely be re-named the Bernanke Monument and relocated to the front steps of the Fed building.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:25 | 2501269 GrinandBearit
GrinandBearit's picture

Your brain is disheveled.  

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:30 | 2501274 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Well Ben still has a way to go before he really controls markets like my buddy Benito M and Adolphe H, Joseph S and Mao T. He's really in the bush league compared with those superstars who also controlled wages, prices, labor laws, exports, imports, government spending the armed forces and the dept of secret police and unmentionables

Come back and talk to me when Ben's utterances can provoke a riot, a mass rally and an invasion in the same week

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:33 | 2501282 Burnbright
Burnbright's picture

Still beating the same shtick all by yourself I see robo. 


On second thought was it Robotrader or RobotTrader. What evs.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:10 | 2501368 Terrorist
Terrorist's picture

Please consult with MDB before posting.
Thanks, T

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:27 | 2501428 reTARD
reTARD's picture

RT, at least nobody mentioned "basement" yet. ;-)

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:34 | 2501452 zorba THE GREEK
zorba THE GREEK's picture

Robot, I gave you an up vote because I miss Million $ Bonus.

Are you and he related?

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 20:57 | 2501681 skepticCarl
skepticCarl's picture

RT, don't forget Geithner, who is Robin to Batman Bernanke.  Timmay just succeded in turning Germany's "nien" into "ja!".  That about-face will allow the ECB to print to their heart's (and the GIPS) content, and will enable Europe to muddle through for another 1/2 generation, ala Japan and the U.S.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 02:28 | 2502478 LudwigVon
LudwigVon's picture

Bair Market Post - Best Ever RT !!

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 04:53 | 2502601 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

What you're saying is that there is 100% correlation between Fed funds and the market(s). Hard to argue that. But what you're also demonstrating is that capitalism has fallen on such hard times over the past decade that the only thing propping up our economies is action by the Fed. That's not heroic, that's tragic.

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 09:44 | 2503293 StackAttack
StackAttack's picture

Take a trolling lesson from MDB. He is much better at it.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:15 | 2501243 LeisureSmith
LeisureSmith's picture

Its not beacause bernanke is strong, its beacause markets are weak. Magic Wand?

You mean the Contol Rod? Toxic shit.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:17 | 2501249 booboo
booboo's picture

"Bernanke is Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, and Matt Kemp all rolled into one"

Hahahaha! Three wounded washed up turds all rolled into one flour tortilla.

Toe Jam Raider is shakin, shittin and sweating for some juice man. a

Ben, save his life and hit the print button once for Toe Jam


Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:20 | 2501260 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

A missive, straight from our hearts:

Dear Ben, thanks for saving us! Thanks for saving the world once again and thanks for saving us from our selves, for we are the ignorant masses who need you to tell us what is good from bad, gold from crap (excuse the reference to gold as something desirable and valuable). 

I am such a fan that I hope someday to meet you in person and get your autograph, and maybe a pic tha I can post on Facebook. It would be the greatest moment of my life! 

-Sincerely: Humble American with aspirational goals 

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:33 | 2501280 LeisureSmith
LeisureSmith's picture

Meet in person? I dont think his mantits is anywhere as goodlooking as the ones in the picture.

Maybe hes digital singnature will suffice, and while your at it why dont you get his bankdetails as well?

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:45 | 2501302 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Oh I hope so, I really do! I would consider my life complete with an email from Ben, our great savior. 


Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:50 | 2501322 LeisureSmith
LeisureSmith's picture

HaHa, I thought you ment robotrader..but Benocides autograph would be pretty neat.Great conversation starter:

One day i met Bernanke, i called him over, slapped him in his face and callenged him to a duel.Or somthing like that.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:24 | 2501267 reader2010
reader2010's picture

It was entirely done by design.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:49 | 2501314 pmm009
pmm009's picture

OK, I'm going to say it:  Do you think Bankia is paying WB or whomever royalties or just printing these babies up? 

The irony here is off the charts.  A towel, so people can go to the beach...well they probably don't have a job anyway.  And even though the young have a 50% unemployment rate, I just don't see most 19 year olds taking the Eurorail to Switzerland for the weekend to deposit a few thousand or a few hundred Euros.

My guess is that this towel story really pisses off the Germans who know exactly what Spain and Greece are good for.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 18:53 | 2501329 the 300000000th...
the 300000000th percent's picture

I'm not too far from sausalito i should go have lunch with Biderman one day

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:06 | 2501358 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Beiderman should be ashamed of himself for ridiculing Spanish bankers. How should they know how much money they lost?

Isn't that why they hire those big titted tellers?

You know, to count the money and everything?

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 21:22 | 2501391 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Biderman Vs. Spiderman

Ha! - A friend of mine once wrote a skit about aging, washed-up super heroes who were really just a bunch of paunchy Jewish guys hanging around a poolside bar in Florida: Murray Superman (pronounced: Supa-min), Sid Spiderman, Benjamin Aquaman (bad, orange hair dye job, flaking scales) etc.

 They sat around talking about their salad days, ribbing each other and casting spite at Bernie Batman and his *ahem* consort Robin who had somehow finagled a tremendous amount of fame, business dealings and a luxury lifestyle for themselves.

The Euro crisis would have made a great comeback, call-to-arms episode.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:34 | 2501455 reTARD
reTARD's picture

Spiderman towels might be cool (one has to be cool), but I'd take my funny money to open an account at a money-changer institution, I mean bank, if they were giving away SnorgTees.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:45 | 2501481 poldark
poldark's picture

Spiderman beach towel now on eBay - £6.00

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 21:02 | 2501716 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

If it is a Bankia I would snap it up.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 19:57 | 2501512 GtownSLV
GtownSLV's picture

I bought the entire series of zimbabwe notes from 1 to 100 trillion. The million to 100 trillion were all printed in with 18 months. Things go to shit faster than people think.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 20:03 | 2501524 janus
janus's picture

nice show and nice shirt, B.

one thing, i don't think you understand the average no-account liar:

humans tend to operate in 3's -- this is a difficult theory to explain; so just trust me...or don't.

so, based on my estimates of human nature (and nothing else), i'd say it's easily over 750...but, before you accept that, you've got to understand the number 3.

but JPM's loss at 3X -- forget about it...these guys are mega-liars; gotta go with scientific notation there.

yes it is; it's a magic number,


Wed, 06/06/2012 - 21:06 | 2501733 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

your crazy man

have you met slewie?

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 00:55 | 2502317 janus
janus's picture


Wed, 06/06/2012 - 20:18 | 2501534 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture



I just watched this about two hours ago on his site. My take was his emphasis on the audit. My puzzling thought, why so many auditors? And each auditor is going to be checked by another firm. Then the light bulb went on when he said, he banks on the German auditor firm only.  

Then I began thinking about the media/auditor news information filters we live in today. Suddenly, his words all made sense to me. I'll leave it at that for now. Still need to think about this a bit further. This was my initial reaction.

Wed, 06/06/2012 - 20:35 | 2501625 jmc8888
jmc8888's picture

These estimates are FAR too low.  Banco Santander ALONE has 800 billion in bad debts. 


Wed, 06/06/2012 - 21:10 | 2501748 world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture

Audit the Fed Res and DC

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 00:58 | 2502322 theTribster
theTribster's picture

Love Biderman, his laugh is great. I still find this hard to believe, the fact that the technocrats would let this spin so out of control with no formal position on what they are doing or might be doing. We'll get the same shit from Bernanke tomorrow that we got from Draghi today, "We're ready to act", "Politicans must take the lead", etc. etc. This is more or less what we'll hear fmor Bernanke.

The markets are up YTD now or real close, that doesn't justify another round of QE. I think tomorrow post 10am is going to be a bummer in the markets but I won't bet on it, easier to just wait and see then react. Spain is a joke and their leadership are a bunch of comedians, everytime I heard Rajoy say "we're good" I thought,  you asshole. For that I'd like to see them hang him out to dry but he is their guy so this is just scripted theater.

I'm hearing on the financials that lots of people are ready to call it a bottom and we're now off to the races. We'll see, Asia is up across the board tonight and Europe's looking to pop at the open as well. Will we get anything out of Europe today? probably not. It actually looks like we won't see anything formalized until after Greece votes, even for Spain. Risky....


Thu, 06/07/2012 - 01:09 | 2502345 Maos Dog
Maos Dog's picture

Something not mentioned:


There is no fucking possible way you can do a real audit of a multi-billion dollar entity of any type in under four weeks. 


All numbers from any of these audits will be bullshit. 

Thu, 06/07/2012 - 02:59 | 2502507 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

In a Debt-Based, fiat, Fractional Reserve Banking system where currency is only pretended to be "lent" and that no money (capital) is actually lent, then what, pray tell me, constitutes a "loss"? How can you lose something you never had? This seems to me to be a pure accounting gimmick. Any thoughts?

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