Putting It Into Perspective: Bruno Iksil's $100 Billion Position Makes Him The Seventh Largest Bank Holding Company By CDS Exposure
With the story of Bruno Iksil refusing to be swept under the rug (for now), we had the urge to show just how his position stacks up in comparison to the CDS holdings for all the bank holding companies tracked by the Office of the Currency Comptroller. Recall: "Iksil may have built a position totaling as much as $100 billion in contracts in one index, according to the market participants, who said they based their estimates on the trades and price movements they witnessed as well as their understanding of the size and structure of the markets." We used a log scale index although even in simple linear terms the story is quite straightforward: we are not sure what is worse - that one trader may have amassed a CDS position (with an associated VaR that is in the billions) which is greater than the combined holdings of all except for 6 banks (and is greater than the combined CDS exposure of a Wells Fargo among others), or that the top 5 banks together account for 96.5% of all CDS holdings? One thing we are certain of, is that JPMorgan's $71 trillion in assorted derivatives is all purely for hedging purposes. After all Dick Bove just said so.