Gross OTC Notional Picks Up, $605 Trillion (10% Increase) In Gross Notional Derivatives Outstanding

When we dissected the BIS OTC derivatives numbers two weeks ago, we were expecting the release of the updated semiannual report to be released shortly. Luckily the BIS did not make us wait too long: the latest data indicate that the progression toward wanton expansion of risk continues unabated. Total gross notional increased by 10% from the prior reading to $605 trillion, mostly as a function of an increase in Interest Rate derivatives. Yet courtesy of an artificially "stable" and undervolatile environment based on a unprecedented extra liquidity which drowns all secondary risk indicators, the net notional risk exposure (market values) declined by 21% to $25 trillion.

Total Reserves Hit All Time High

Total Reserves of depository institutions hit an all time high, just shy of $1 trillion. Who says the banking system isn't lending. Oh wait...At least, one can hope all that money is not being used to buy CIT stock. Alas, we will never know.

SEC Begging For Real Time CDS Pricing Terminal

Securities Industries News discloses that the SEC has requested it be granted authority to have "direct access to real-time data" on CDS and other derivatives. One wonders how the SEC was operating up until this point without this information. Yet of course, this is merely just another pretext for the SEC to deflect allegations about its utter uselessness, with claims that "lack of such information hampered its efforts to investigate potential fraud and market manipulation in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets during last fall’s financial crisis." Well, duh. The SEC is finally realizing that the credit market is, oh, about 10 times bigger than equities, and that virtually everyone trades CDS now over cash products. CDS is, incidentally, also where all the insider trading occurs these days, a fact abused all too well by CDS traders, who have known about the SEC's inability to closely track the action in the credit market. This is also why if the SEC were to look at CDS buying action of LBOs names in 2006/2007 it may actually find some amusing results. In the meantime, the SEC should spend $10,000 a year and get a MarkIt subscription.

Overview Of Goldman Sachs Electronic Trading: Part 1

Zero Hedge is starting a multi-part overview of Goldman Sachs' Electronic Trading client-focused product suite, to demonstrate just how extensively embedded in modern market architecture are Goldman's various DMA and "liquidity" facilitation schemes, and the depths of dark pool domination via Goldman's global order router, and other specific topical offerings.

Guest Post: The Global Carry Trade And The Crimes Of Patriots

If the American people want to get the US financial system under control, then the first areas of investigation, we submit, must be fiscal and monetary policies. And if Americans do not soon get control over the habit of borrow and spend practiced by the Congress and facilitated by the Fed, then end result must be a populist backlash against Washington and incumbents in politics and the corporate world. As Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) writes in his latest book, End the Fed: "Nothing good can come from the Federal Reserve… It's immoral, unconstitutional, impractical, promotes bad economics, and undermines liberty."

Leo Kolivakis's picture

Fired Up? Ready to Go?

A year after Lehman collapsed, what have they learned on Wall Street? Absolutely nothing. That's pretty much what I see on Wall Street and at the large "sophisticated" Canadian public pension funds. Behind the rhetoric, it's business as usual. Who needs risk management when the markets are on fire and you're looking to shoot the lights out?

Guest Post: What The Heck Is Going On With China

Gold, and the companies that produce it, have enjoyed a brisk runup of late, as the metal mounts yet another assault on the beckoning, symbolic $1,000 level. How much of this can be traced to what China has done, is doing, or may yet do? We don’t know, but we suspect it’s not entirely coincidental. All rumor and speculation aside, as China clearly turns more and more bullish on gold, so will everyone else.

Guest Post: Lehman Anchoring Belies Systemic Risk

Counterparty risk is considerably below its peak levels surrounding the September 2008 systemic crisis anxiety. However, while the CDR Counterparty Risk Index (CRI) is trading back to July 2008 levels (post Bear Stearns), cognitive biases to anchor on the worst case are misleading as the largest 14 OTC derivative counterparties remain 5-10 times more risky than early 2007.

Project Mayhem's picture

Presently many otherwise intelligent and capable individuals in America do not seem to understand the origins of the financial crisis -- and the multiple aspects (or shall we say 'tentacles'?) of its origination.