The Derivatives Bubble

I hope to provide a simple summary of what I understand about financial derivatives from various good articles and YouTube videos in the net. I hope to explain my God given conviction of an economic flood or reset that the world will face soon with current observation of events in the financial markets. Will the pandemic be the catalyst that cause it through the unraveling of the derivatives bubble ?

The real cause of the 2008 financial crisis was the proliferation of unregulated derivatives during that time. These are complicated financial products that derive their value from an underlying asset or index.  Let us look at the housing mortgage backed securities (MBS) as the asset example.

The US housing mortgages were sold to Fannie Mae to relieve the banks of more funds for lending.  Fannie Mae resold them in a package of other mortgages in the secondary market.  A hedge fund or investment bank then divided the MBS into different portions because of different default risks and then combined with other similar risk levels of other MBS into a tranche and resold that tranche to other hedge funds.  Then the mortgage defaults happened and caused the 2008 crisis. These financial products were so complicated that nobody knew which part of the MBS was toxic, so nobody knew the actual value of the MBS.  The secondary market shut down and banks and hedge funds were unable to sell the derivatives that were declining in value. Soon, banks stopped lending to each other altogether to conserve cash.

This financial derivatives market is complicated and unregulated.  The value of these products are difficult to ascertain.  It probably started as a financial tool to mitigate risks but has now turned into one monstrous gambling game.  Since the 2008 financial crisis, nothing much has changed as far as regulation is concerned. The speculation in the financial derivatives has risen to new heights as a result.  Presently, by some estimates, the derivatives bubble can be anywhere between USD 600 trillion and USD 1.4 quadrillion.  The exposure of the major banks to this bubble is staggering. Warren Buffet called these derivatives financial weapons of mass destruction. And IMF stated that the Deutsche Bank is the biggest threat to the global financial system.  Watch the following video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSsH2dsW5-c

After The Pandemic, What’s Next ?

The following article on Foreign Policy website gave the predictions of 12 leading thinkers from around the world concerning the global order after the pandemic.

These are the main predictions in the authors’ own words that I gleaned from the article :

  1. The pandemic will strengthen the state and reinforce nationalism. Governments of all types will adopt emergency measures to manage the crisis, and many will be loath to relinquish these new powers when the crisis is over.
  2. The coronavirus pandemic could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back of economic globalization.
  3. The COVID-19 pandemic will not fundamentally alter global economic directions. It will only accelerate a change that had already begun: a move away from U.S.-centric globalization to a more China-centric globalization.
  4. Given the economic damage and social collapse that is unfolding, it is hard to see anything other than a reinforcement of the movement toward nationalism, great-power rivalry, strategic decoupling, and the like.
  5. COVID-19 is undermining the basic tenets of global manufacturing. Companies will now rethink and shrink the multi-step, multi-country supply chains that dominate production today. Governments will intervene forcing what they consider strategic industries to have domestic backup plans and reserves. Profitability will fall, but supply stability should rise.
  6. Given the scale of financial market losses the world has experienced since February, companies are likely to come out of this pandemic decidedly gun-shy about the just-in-time model and about globally dispersed production. The result could be a dramatic new stage in global capitalism, in which supply chains are brought closer to home and filled with redundancies to protect against future disruption. That may cut into companies’ near-term profits but render the entire system more resilient.
  7. I would expect many countries will have difficulty recovering from the crisis, with state weakness and failed states becoming an even more prevalent feature of the world.

If failed states and partial deglobalisation are a reality after the pandemic, let Christendom in each country discern how it will affect them and prepare to weather it. Because not all will be living in cities that make their living by the sea. Rev 18:17.  Or living in cities that are major manufacturing hubs.  Rev 18:15.

Zeph 2:3

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,
you who do what he commands.
Seek righteousness, seek humility;
perhaps you will be sheltered
on the day of the Lord’s anger.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/20/world-order-after-coroanvirus-pandemic/

The Coming Economic Flood (Update)

After Sep 2015 in which USD 11 trillion dollars were wiped out of the global stock markets and the markets recovered strongly from then,  I sought the Lord whether the economic flood would be the next.  (I was given the vision of 911 attack in Sep 2001, the vision of the global recession in Sep 2008, and the global market crisis in Sep 2015 as recounted in my book, The Coming Economic Flood.)

(http://www.jcmanifesto.org/when-will-the-global-financial-system-finally-collapse/ )

I was told to read on the parable of the vineyard and it was only after three attempts in failing to recover the rent proceeds from the tenants that the landowner finally came and destroyed all these wicked tenants.   I am now wondering if this pandemic is the catalyst that will cause the economic flood.  Whether this coming flood is the final flood that causes the global economy to collapse,  it is definitely unprecedented in history.  (God is ever so patient and He may give some more time for some to come out of Babylon before the plagues of mourning, death and famine hit.  2 Chron 7:13-14.)

With many countries in lockdown for weeks now, if not months of partial lockdown,  it is clear that their economies will suffer recession.   But looking at the various problems that are already surfacing before the end of 2019,  the likelihood of it escalating to a depression is very probable.

Here is an article that believes the corporate debt reckoning is coming.

Quote

“Total U.S. non-financial corporate debt sits at just under $10 trillion, a record 47% of GDP. One in six U.S. companies is now a zombie, meaning their interest expenses exceed their earnings before interest and taxes. As of year-end 2019, the percentage of listed companies in the U.S. losing money over 12 months sat close to 40%. In the 12 months to November, non-financial S&P 500 cash balances had declined by 11%, the largest percentage decline since at least 1980…With economic uncertainty at an extreme and yields spiking, who is going to lend to zombies right now? Exacerbating that problem, we are now at the start of the debt-maturity wall we’ve warned about for years. Roughly $840 billion of bonds rated BBB or below in the U.S. are set to come due this year…

Corporate debt was the defining excess of the past decade’s bull run. Buybacks were funded by debt — over the past half decade, S&P 500 companies have issued $2.5 trillion in debt to afford $2.7 trillion in buybacks. Debt has subsidized the skyrocketing salaries of CEOsCheap debt has enabled private equity to take over and financialize Main Street. How severe the consequences will be obviously depends on how long COVID-19 keeps the world locked down. However, a reckoning with debt-fueled corporate greed is coming, regardless of Fed bond buying or government stimulus.”

Unquote

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/corporate-debt-reckoning-coming

Here is another article tracking the unemployment figures right now and comparing with the Great Depression in the 1930s.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/03/recession-depression-data-coronavirus

Whether it is a great recession or a depression,  these are times of testing whether we are truly wise and faithful servants to other servants or sheep to the least of the brothers.  All praise and glory to our Lord.

 

The Lord Is My Rock And My Fortress

Psalms 18: 1-2

Verse :

I love You, Lord, my strength and my rock,

You are my fortress, and my deliverer.

I love You, Lord, my strength and my rock,

You are my fortress, and my deliverer.

Chorus :

My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,

My shield, my stronghold, the horn of my salvation.

Verse :

I love You, Lord, my strength and my rock,

You are my fortress, and my deliverer, O my Lord.