The Scramble For US Safety, As Europe Imploded, Offset The $357 Billion Plunge In Q3 Shadow Banking

Tyler Durden's picture

In continuing our exclusive analysis of the periodic variations in the by now all important shadow banking system, we next look at the change in third quarter (3 Months ended 9/30) shadow liabilities as disclosed by the just released Flow of Funds (Z.1) report by the Fed. As by now should have been made all too clear, if there is one threat above all to the monetary regime, primarily of the US but by extension, global, it is the ongoing collapse in shadow banking, which is simply an unregulated pass-thru funding conduit for all the non-traditional banks and bank holding company firms which perform one or all of the three banking functions: maturity, credit and liquidity transformations. As such these are critical because having peaked at $21 trillion, the shadow banking system was always substantially larger than the traditional banking system since Q4 of 1990 when it finally overtook in terms of total notional, and provided far more broad "credit-money" liquidity to the global financial system than regulated (and we emphasize this word with bold and underline) entities. And since the burst of the credit bubble, the liquidity is now evaporating on a quarterly basis. So cutting to the chase, in Q3, US shadow banking declined by $357 billion to $15.2 trillion in liabilities, a decline of $654 billion in 2011 YTD, and a drop of $5.7 trillion from the $20.9 trillion peak in March of 2008. Such an uncontrolled ongoing collapse, primarily brought by the disappearance of dumb incremental (marginal) money originating in Germany (Landesbanks) and Spain (Cajas), as well as various Asian sources of dumb money, is beyond a shadow of a doubt the biggest deleveraging threat to the global monetary system bar none. And here is where the central banks step in.

As it turns out, and as was discussed previously, Q1 ended up being the first quarter which saw a sizable increase in consolidated shadow and traditional liabilities, primarily due to the impact of QE2 which culminated in Q1 of 2011. Afterwards, we saw a quarter in which there was no net consolidated change, courtesy of a rebound in traditional banking and now we analyze Q3, in which the abovementioned plunge in shadow liabilities was once again more than offset by a $388.5 billion jump in traditional liabilities. Yet what caused this spike in offsetting liquidity? Why none other than the Fed, via its latest preferred conduit: foreign banks, a topic discussed extensively first by Zero Hedge back in June. Because of the $624 billion increase in traditional liabilities in Q2 and Q3, the bulk, or $415 billion is courtesy of "Foreign Banking Offices in U.S." aka table L.111 in the Z.1. Said otherwise, in the most ingenious scheme to date, the Fed managed to pump reserves into foreign banks (or rather their US-based offices), and hence back into the US system, as these intermediaries promptly turned around and used said reserves as source of precious liquidity even as the rest of the shadow world was collapsing around them, courtesy of lack of demand for unregulated paper out of Europe. Ironically, it turns out that a collapsing European continent does as good a job, if not better at offsetting shadow leverage as quantitative easing.

Unfortunately, for the Fed, reserve reallocation is only a stop gap measure, which in the absence of incremental liquidity will merely shuffle the chairs on the deck of the Titanic, while at the same time non-shadow European banking is caught in the "Death Spiral" discussed previously. Needless to say, should Europe collapse, the bulk if not all of shadow banking will go up in smoke with it due to the unregulated yet explicit daisy-chaining of Euro-facing transactions, and thus transatlantic counterparty risk.

At that point not even the Fed will be able to offset the momentous collapse in nearly $15 trillion in gross shadow liabilities, or $7.5 trillion excluding GSE liabilities currently held with an implicit guarantee of the US itself. Because should the Fed have to ramp up its balance sheet from the current $2.7 trillion to $$10 trillion overnight, the resulting hyperinflation will be the least of everyone's worries. Yet that is precisely what the Fed has to do each and every time there is a collapse in shadow liabilities! Forget anything else you may hear about the justification for "printing money" and remember this: the Fed's one and only directive is to offset the massively deflationary and increasingly more rapid deleveraging of shadow liabilities, which incidentally consist of money markets, GSEs, Agency Mortgage Pools, ABS Issuers, Funding Corporations, Repos and Open Market Paper: these are the various components that can be tracked via the Z.1, and which cause sleepless nights for the 10 voting members of the FOMC committee.

One key component that can not be tracked, primarily since it is domiciled in the UK due to an enabling regulatory regime, are the liabilities generated by hypo/rehypo and hyper-hypothecation, courtesy of lax UK supervision standards allowing up to infinite rehypothecation of the same asset in what could become the daisy-chain from hell of linked serial counterparty exposure. According to IMF estimates, this vehicle, which does not exist anywhere in the Z.1, accounts for an additional $4-6 trillion in shadow liabilities. Yet it is the marginal rate of change that interests us, and as such it relies almost primarily on the $9 trillion in levered hedge fund assets which subsequently are (re)hypothecated by Prime Brokers.  In other words, should the hedge fund industry be decimated in 2011, as it likley will be, and if the $3 trillion or so in HF AUM collapses by a third, there goes another $3 trillion in hypo-associated shadow liabilities... with who knows how much real assets pledged as collateral. But that is a tangent to this story, which is that regardless of what is happening in the hypothecation vertical, a fascinating story in its own right, the "traditional" shadow liabilities (pardon the pun) continue to collapse and collapse. And unfortunately, in Q4 domestic offices of foreign banks will not help the US as any minute now, these same banks will be forced to commence an epic wave of deleveraging to the tune of up to €2.5 trillion... Which means that once again without halting the shadow banking collapse, it is QE (and we mean hardcore LSAP monetization - none of this sterilized amateur stuff) or bust.

So for our visual readers, here is what all of the above means graphically.

First, total Shadow liabilities on a quarterly basis, ex-rehypothecated. Note the peak and subsequent slide.

Next, we present a breakdown by key shadow components.

The sequential change shows that the attempt to arrest the decline failed in Q1 of 2011 and has since picked up speed once again.

Yet "shadow" is only half the battle. Don't forget the traditional stuff (aka U.S.-Chartered Commercial Banks, Foreign Banking Offices in U.S. and Bank Holding Companies). This area is the primary beneficiary of Fed QE largesse, typically via reserve accumulation. As can be seen while shadow liabilities collapse, it is the forced deployment of reserves into US and foreign banks that has done miracles to offset a consolidated crunch via the traditional banking pathway.

And the kicker: even without QE, the Fed has managed to sequester liquidity in the US via foreign banks (which accounted for $291 billion of the $389 billion in total traditional liability expansion) courtesy of the sovereign and financial crisis in the Europe which has peaked in 2011.

So will the Fed, and global central banks, be able to continue to offset the evaporation in shadow liquidity: certainly not, at least not without another massive large scale asset purchasing episode. Which, once Europe-based deleveraging picks up, is guaranteed. After all, there is nothing easier for the Fed than to push a button, and to add a zero to every banknote in circulation, or every checking account in the continental (and offshore) US.

But that, like every other thing, will take the market some time before it is fully processed.

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macholatte's picture

Imploded? Really? Maybe not quite yet.

macholatte's picture

Why is the Fed so anxious to throw the American tax payer under the bus in order to save the Euro? Is that some kind of obligation that has been delegated to the reserve currency? Seriously. Because I cannot see the Europeans lifting a finger to save the USA (or China) in the event the shoe was on the other foot.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

thus why the shoe is not on the other foot

max2205's picture

As long as they don't cross beams Ben should be ok.....NEVER cross beams.

Chief KnocAHoma's picture

You mean "cross streams".

"Never cross the streams... it woulb be very bad!"

"Could you explain that a little more. I'm kinda fuzzy on the whole good bad thing."

LeBalance's picture

someone is seriously in illusion land.

"Why is the Fed so anxious to throw the American tax payer under the bus in order to save the Euro?"

you are kidding right?"

"Because I cannot see the Europeans lifting a finger to save the USA (or China) in the event the shoe was on the other foot."

There are no Europeans involved here, no Americans either.  The folks that are involved here have left the Foolish divide and conquer nationalistic masturbation "mine bigger than yours" horseshit at the door.  Its just 3 guys in a room in Geneva.  Or NY. Or wherever.

The so-called Europeans are j6p just like the so-called Americans.  And neither of those groups is doing and Lifting in these matters.

Lifting as in Theft.

Seriously you must be waving the flag chanting USA USA USA and watching miracle on ice on a loop tape.

anonnn's picture

There are modern peer-to-peer barter systems that could be established so all productive efforts would participate in the benefits...  without any need for biased "money" forms. Switzerland's WIR  is one form.

WIR=Wirtschaftungsring--search it for details. It's a realtime working example.

RichyRoo's picture

Barter is to currency as windmills are to coal power plants.

Just because the elite want to take the world backwards into 'simpler times' (i.e neo feudalism) doesnt mean its a good idea.

guiriduro's picture

What?  Cleaner and sustainable?  Doesn't sound so bad to me.

New_Meat's picture

" Doesn't sound so bad to me."

But you have to have your computer turned off ~60% of the time.  A random 60% as well.

- Ned

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

"There are modern peer-to-peer barter systems that could be established so all productive efforts would participate in the benefits... "

....................................

Even more modern is the proposal to use the Higgs - Bosun as money. Of course, we are not certain that this particle exists but ongoing efforts at CERN might find the particle in future. It would be impossible to inflate Higgs - Bosun money, for it only exists for nanoseconds. The concern among some at BIS is that Higgs - Bosun currency might be deflationary, difficult to lever, and difficult to hypothecate. Some members of the BIS point out that Higgs - Bosun money would be no more difficult to use than fiats now in use, for they are all simply computer key strokes... these same members claim that we can go ahead and begin using the Higgs - Bosun and it doesn't matter a whit if we find the particle or not since no one can prove it doesn't exist.

Another slight problem... France would be in control of the newly discovered money and the last Frenchman (Corsican) to establish a sound money, free of fiat, was Napolean... His currency worked well for France, but it aparently made him unpopular with other European/British soverigns, who favored proto-Keynes money.

More details here at The Spoof... http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s3i102539

Sziget's picture

Silvio Gesell's freigeld is what the world needs right now.

Keynes said "I believe that the future will learn more from Gesell’s than from Marx’s spirit."

Keynes and Marx got their time, Gesell would deserve some too.

macholatte's picture

Put your blather on the coffee table for a few minutes and grasp a different perspective just for fun. We (U and Me) R not at odds regarding your comment because I, myself, do see that it is possible that the dealer in this game is looking at the cards before the spread and Jokers are abundant. Nevertheless, there is the delusion that exists which might require some kind of either moral or legal justification for the actions of the Fed. And that is the crux of my question. In the shadow of all the talk about replacing the USD as the reserve with either China or the EU, there remains the void as to what the responsibilities, if any, of the reserve currency are. So, if China became the reserve, would it be obliged to bail out the European banks while the USA was merely an observer, or not?

 

Western's picture

It has something to do with the Zionists not wanting an amalgamated currency to collapse, the Euro. It would look bad to any future endeavour that would want to fuse countries into fiscal and economic integration. If the Euro does collapse, then when the Amero (future Canada-USA-Mexico currency) comes along anyone can just point to the failed Euro as reason to not partake.

That's what some people think, I don't see many other reasons other than this is the theft of wealth of every fucking person on the planet.

Michael's picture

Our federal government turned our republic into a crony capitolist fascist state.

Happy Now?

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

"If the Euro does collapse, then when the Amero (future Canada-USA-Mexico currency) comes along anyone can just point to the failed Euro as reason to not partake."

...................................

The Amero??? Uh Oh... Does this mean the US and Canada will be dependent on those lazy Mexicans for continuing US Gov transfer programs like SS, Medicare, etc? Or, are the social programs in the US and Canada going to be implemented in Mexico?

Inquiring minds want to know...

 

zhandax's picture

I think you can draw a similar comparison when J.P. Morgan (the live version) bailed out the banking system in 1907.  It was for no love of the American taxpayer, or for that matter for any altruistic sentiments whatsoever.  It was simply bad for business to allow a nationwide bank run to develop because JPM's interests could get sucked into the downdraft.  Let a fire get too hot, and your fur can get singed.  Motivated self interest never gets put on the back burner in this crowd.  The chair of the reserve currency (whose position was created to take J.P.'s place in the inevitable next crisis) is simply making those efforts required to remain the reserve currency because of the benefits thus inured.  They are sure to make painfully obvious the suffering their 'subjects' have to endure to convince China they do not want the role.  Like they have 'subjects' other than in their minds or that they give a fuck if they did.

Michael's picture

Ron Paul said he'd accept $39,000 for his pay, the median American income. I think he should take the difference, like $360,000 and have a gold statue for the Whitehouse commissioned.

It would be like 100 ounces of gold, and it could be a plaque of the Bill of Rights or something like that, and put it in The Green Room as a gift to the house.

zhandax's picture

Short memory?  You expected something else?

Michael's picture

Featuring Homey Clause, in keeping with the festive season, enjoy.

Homey D. Clown Don't Play That Police State Shit Thus Revolution

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaebXLxuxmY&feature=plcp&context=C292cfUDOEgsToPDskLwhl85-BUM8P68IIrAunPX

zhandax's picture

I think he should take the difference, like $360,000 and have a gold statue for the Whitehouse commissioned.

I would far prefer that he simply insure that the gold we think we have, is actually there.  Put 100oz gold anything in the white house and you just insure Hillary, or her next counterpart, takes that home as a souvenir instead of the dinnerware silver.

Michael's picture

It's money bomb Friday for Dr Ron Paul this coming Friday. I hope ZH makes an honorable mention of this event. And I say event because the last time we raised a record $6 million for Dr Paul. Maybe this time we can raise $25 million.

The day of the original event in 2007 was the birth date of the modern day Tea Party movement.

It's nice to know what your original roots were.

 This whole thing was pulled off by armatures, and I'm glad I was a part of that group of amateurs participating. 

grey7beard's picture

>> the original event in 2007 was the birth date of the modern day Tea Party movement.

I hope he does well and I'll make a point of donating.  I would hope he'd firewall his candidacy from the Tea Party movement.

Bobbyrib's picture

I agree, the Tea Party has become the Repbulican Party. Herman Cain was once their leading candidate..

falak pema's picture

Hey, your expose is based on one historical fallacy : 1971; "Our money your problem. Exorbitant privilege for us and monetary debasement for you every time our reserve currency moves". SO, since those days the US has NOT been protecting the value of other people's money; they have been the main architects of fiat devaluation, that got ratcheted up BIG TIME when Reaganomics were invented to transfer the inflation mecanism to risk assets, not people's salaries. Thatcher and Volcker made sure THEY were decoupled from inflation in 1979.

So its this FAILED system that is now causing all the trouble. Don't quibble about the RESPONSIBILITIES about the new money for the world. As the OLD money, the good aulde USD + Petrodollar fractional reserve production, notably in CITY via offshore PDs since the 70s, was NOT a responsible way to run the financial world. The shadow banking pile up  today and the Eurozone debt hole are eloquent demonstrations of "fat cat" first world living on borrowed money. They, the new inventors of eventual reserve currency, can't do any worse in IMO. Its only the first step, the second will be to wipe out debt and reset to a world of responsible living; Dream on! 

StychoKiller's picture

"The Gamesters of Triskelion", enthusiastically wagering "quatloos" on which Thrall will defeat the other...

Milestones's picture

Without a "homoonized" Europe, the world empire is not possible. The dream has come apart and we are going to be left with the rubble.

This next year is going to be a real rip snorter.         Milestones

topcallingtroll's picture

Thus why the world grumbles about usa hegemony but voluntarily gave us the duty.

Everyone knows only the usa would try to rescue the world. Everyone else is too tribal.

ndotken's picture

The Americans wanted to be the world's reserve currency ... and with those responsibillities come the obligations of saving the world's financial system from collapse (no matter how futile the efforts will be).  

Moon Pie's picture

Just another day in the life of the fraudster, fookers, no allegiance banksters assault on anything and everything just and right. 

Work+sweat+sales=good.  Fraud+bribery+sales=shite.  Simple. 

What a farce.  Aesop or Plato could not concoct what is unfolding before us.

Sheesh.

Moon Pie's picture

Altho Solomon might have something to say....

Legolas's picture

Thanks Tyler.  I haven't been the same since the rehypothecation article. 

I'm taking all the Christmas presents back to the store now and exchanging them for beans and rice (the new gold).

Knowledge is power.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

if you want to go all the way buy seeds

RafterManFMJ's picture

 

 

Non hybrid, btw. Heirloom, we calls them, my precious.

topcallingtroll's picture

Hehe.

Dont make fun of the recently paranoid. They are still fragile you know. Their previous world view crumbling around them.

By the way do not buy vacuum packed seeds such as emergency essentials. Seeds need air to survive. Store sealed in a cool dry place, but do not allow dessication either. Need to maintain a stable moisture vontent.

However a year supply of food is more practical. And dont forget the coffee. Man does not live by hard red wheat alone, but by every cup flowing from his automatic drip.

Hard core survival tip. Ilex vomitoria is the only temperate climate source of caffeine that will grow in america. If someone knows another i would appreciate it. Southerners poured hot water over loose roasted leaves during the civil war.

topcallingtroll's picture

You know a hard core survivalist because of the yaupon holly (I vomitoria) is his main landscaping plant along with daylillies. Both are sources of food and drink most people wont notice.

Chain Gun Smoke's picture

If you are planting flowers for SHTF you are already fucking dead. I bet you are also stocking up on tampons preparing to trade them in the barter town of 2012.

Capt Tripps's picture

Caffeine is what got us in this mess in the first place.

topcallingtroll's picture

I think it was prozac.

People became too exuberant and lost their sex drive. All their time, new found energy, and optimism went into excessive credit expansion these last twenty five years.

El Viejo's picture

Agreed, we should embargo the entire Middle East and only let em have decaf. We would have world peace inside of a month.

Cyrano de Bivouac's picture

Not true. In a hermetically sealed container, such as a Kilner Jar, seeds will last forever.

EverythingEviL's picture

Whoa guy! A year supply of food? What are you? A fucking terrorist???? Aaaaagh!

New World Chaos's picture

In the desert you can find Mormon tea, which contains small amounts of ephedrine- good for a boost, plus it stops you from giving away your position by sneezing.  I can vouch for the plant working as well as coffee if you chew a big wad of it.

TuesdayBen's picture

Don't forget the coffee? Um. Er. I guess you must be shorting SBUX?

bonderøven-farm ass's picture

I suggest you store your seeds unsealed, in glass jars with sand covering them in an unheated outbuilding that will allow the seeds to stratify before next years planting.  NEVER store your seeds 'sealed'......

Teamtc321's picture

"Forget anything else you may hear about the justification for "printing money" and remember this: the Fed's one and only directive is to offset the massively deflationary and increasingly more rapid deleveraging of shadow liabilities, which incidentally consist of money markets, GSEs, Agency Mortgage Pools, ABS Issuers, Funding Corporations, Repos and Open Market Paper: these are the various components that can be tracked via the Z.1, and which cause sleepless nights for the 10 voting members of the FOMC committee."

 

Z.1? Please share a link or explain, curious mind's would like to follow as well.