Tag Archives: TBTF

Timeline For “Bail-In” Of G20 Banking System

14 Jul

This-Is-What-It-Feels-Like-To-Have-Your-Life-Savings-Confiscated-By-The-Global-Elite

How did it happen?

How did we come to a place where an unknown, unelected body of bankers and bureaucrats — chaired since its inception by former Goldman Sachs men — has duped the G20 heads of government into endorsing a scheme to “bail-in” the insolvent private sector banking system by stealing the savings of taxpayers?

Financial Stability Board: Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions, October 2011 (click to enlarge)

Financial Stability Board: Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions, October 2011 (click to enlarge)

How did we come to a place where the European Union, the UK, the USA, Canada, and now Australia and New Zealand, have all begun implementing a new regime for “addressing the problem” of “moral hazard” associated with government bail outs for “too-big-to-fail” financial firms — supposedly “without exposing the taxpayer to the risk of loss” — by stealing the savings of taxpayers?

FSB – G-SIFI, Nov 4, 2011 (click to enlarge)

FSB – G-SIFI, Nov 4, 2011 (click to enlarge)

Here is the timeline to date (click the links to verify original sources):

FEBRUARY, 1999 – Following recommendations by then President of the Deutsche Bundesbank (German central bank) and later the Vice-Chairman (2003-present) of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Hans Tietmeyer, G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors endorse the creation of a new body, the Financial Stability Forum (FSF). It is funded by the BIS, and based in Basel, Switzerland.

Former Goldman Sachs vice chairman and managing director, and now President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, is appointed the first chairman of the FSF. Its stated purpose is to promote stability in the international financial system“:

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30 MAY, 2006Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs from 1999-2006, Henry “Hank” Paulson, appointed Secretary of the Treasury by George W. Bush. During his tenure at Goldman, it became a major player in the creation and sale of collateralised debt obligations (CDO’s), including subprime mortgage-backed securities ($135 billion from 2001-2007). A tax loophole introduced under former President George HW Bush enables Paulson to meet the conflict of interest preconditions for assuming a government position, by “divesting” most of his $700 million fortune in Goldman Sachs’ stock, tax-free.

During Paulson’s first 15 months as Secretary of the Treasury, Goldman Sachs sells $30 billion in toxic mortgage products to pension funds, foreign banks and other investors (including a 59% increase in 2006), and makes billions betting against its own products. In 2006 and 2007, as the housing bubble bursts, Goldman distributes $22.3 billion in year-end profit-sharing rewards to its 31,000 employees and $112 million in bonuses to Paulson’s successor, Lloyd Blankfein.

15 SEPTEMBER, 2008Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy; credit crunch; stockmarket panic; Global Financial Crisis:

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21 SEPTEMBER, 2008 – On a Sunday, Goldman Sachs is authorised to change its investment bank status, and becomes a traditional bank holding company, thus making it eligible for bailout funds.

26 SEPTEMBER, 2008 – French President Nicholas Sarkozy says “we must rethink the financial system from scratch”.

29 SEPTEMBER, 2008 – USA’s House of Representatives rejects the $700 billion Wall Street bank bailout bill promoted by Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) index plummets 777 points:

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1 OCTOBER, 2008 – US House of Representatives agrees to “bail out” Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail (TBTF) banks, passing amended Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, including the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) enabling the government to purchase up to $700 billion in “toxic assets” such as mortgage-backed securities (derivatives) from private sector banks. Despite being a prime cause of the subprime meltdown, Goldman Sachs is the largest individual recipient of public funds ($12.9 billion) from the bailout of insurance giant, AIG, makes $2.9 billion from “proprietary trades” on its own AIG account, and receives a further $10 billion directly from the US Treasury as an “investment” in preferred stock:

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7 OCTOBER, 2008 – World Bank President Robert Zoellick calls for “a new multilateral network for a new global economy”, says that “We will not create a new world simply by remaking the old”.

13 OCTOBER, 2008 – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says “We must create a new international financial architecture for the global age”, and that “We are proposing a world leaders’ meeting in which we must agree the principles and policies for restructuring the financial system across the globe”.

15 NOVEMBER, 2008 – First ever summit meeting for heads of government of the Group of Twenty (previously, a G20 summit of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors held since 1999). Titled the “Leaders Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”, the Washington Summit agrees on an “Action Plan” for financial market reform. It includes an expansion of the Financial Stability Forum to include emerging countries such as China:

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2 APRIL, 2009 – G20 London Summit Declaration on Strengthening the Financial System gives the freshly renamed Financial Stability Board (FSB) a “broadened mandate” and “enhanced capacity”:

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8 NOVEMBER, 2010 – FSB report to the G20 Progress since the Washington Summit on the Implementation of the G20 Recommendations for Strengthening Financial Stability states that “Good progress has been made in defining a policy framework to address the moral hazard risks posed by systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs)”, and that “The FSB is submitting to the G20 Seoul Summit a set of recommendations and timelines for implementation of this framework”:

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Within the “recommendations”, for the first time the spectre of “bail-in” of banks is formally (though blink-and-you-miss-it briefly) mentioned —

“…higher loss absorbency could be drawn from a menu of viable alternatives and could be achieved by a combination of capital surcharges, contingent capital and bail-in debt:

FSB_Update_bail-in

11-12 NOVEMBER, 2010 – G20 Seoul Summit endorses “the policy framework, work processes and timelines proposed by the FSB to reduce the moral hazard risks posed by systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs) and address the too-big-to-fail problem”, “without… exposing the taxpayers to the risk of loss”:

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4 NOVEMBER, 2011 – Former Goldman Sachs co-head of sovereign risk and managing director of investment banking, chairman of the Bank for International Settlements’ Committee on the Global Financial System, and Governor of the central Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, is appointed the new chairman of the Financial Stability Board. He replaces fellow Goldman Sachs alumnus and current European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi.

4 NOVEMBER, 2011 – FSB states that “the development of the critical policy measures that form the parts of this framework has now been completed. Implementation of these measures will begin from 2012:

FSB_Implementation_from_2012

The FSB’s Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions expressly identifies “bail-in” of banks as one of the “powers” that must be given to a single “Resolution authority” for each nation (G20) or jurisdiction (EU):

Financial Stability Board: Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions, October 2011 (click to enlarge)

Financial Stability Board: Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions, October 2011 (click to enlarge)

In the preamble, it is stated that one of the objectives is to make it possible for “unsecured and uninsured creditors to absorb losses”:

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Each nation or jurisdiction is required to set up a “Resolution authority”, which is to be “responsible for exercising the resolution powers over firms…”:

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The Resolution authority is to be given power to “transfer or sell assets and liabilities, legal rights and obligations, including deposit liabilities and ownership in shares, to a solvent third party,”without consent:

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Key Attribute 3.3 clearly states that any transfer of a bank’s assets or liabilities (ie, deposits) by the Resolution authority “should not require the consent of any interested party or creditor to be valid”, and, that any such action will not be deemed a “default” of the bank’s legal obligations –

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25 JUNE, 2012 – Government of Cyprus requests bailout from the EU, due to losses in its banking system associated with the Greek debt crisis.

10 DECEMBER, 2012 – A joint paper by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (USA) and the Bank of England (UK) titled Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions states that “the authorities in the United States (U.S.) and the United Kingdom (U.K.) have been working together to develop resolution strategies that could be applied to their largest financial institutions”:

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FDIC and BoE: Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions, December 2012 (click to enlarge)

FDIC and BoE: Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important,
Financial Institutions, December 2012 (click to enlarge)

It further identifies that “This work has taken place in connection with the implementation of the G20 Financial Stability Board’s Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions”:

FDIC and BoE: Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions, December 2012 (click to enlarge)

FDIC and BoE: Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important,
Financial Institutions, December 2012 (click to enlarge)

The paper explains that its focus is “the application of ‘top-down’ resolution strategies that involve a single resolution authority applying its powers to the top of a financial group”, and how such a strategy could be implemented “for a U.S. or a U.K. financial group in a cross-border context”:

FDIC and BoE: Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions, December 2012 (click to enlarge)

FDIC and BoE: Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important,
Financial Institutions, December 2012 (click to enlarge)

With regard to the USA, it explains that “the strategy has been developed in the context of the powers provided by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, and that such a strategy would “assign losses to shareholders and unsecured creditors (meaning, bank depositors):

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With regard to the UK, it explains that “the strategy has been developed on the basis of the powers provided by the U.K. Banking Act 2009 and in anticipation of the further powers that will be provided by the European Union Recovery and Resolution Directive, and that the strategy would “involve the bail-in (write-down or conversion) of creditors at the top of the group in order to restore the whole group to solvency”:

FDIC and BoE: Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions, December 2012 (click to enlarge)

FDIC and BoE: Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important,
Financial Institutions, December 2012 (click to enlarge)

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The paper expressly identifies the origin of the “framework” for the bail-in strategy as being the FSB —

“It should be stressed that the application of such a strategy can be achieved only within a legislative framework that provides authorities with key resolution powers. The FSB Key Attributes have established a crucial framework for the implementation of an effective set of resolution powers and practices into national regimes”:

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14 MARCH, 2013Reserve Bank of New Zealand releases draft Open Bank Resolution policy, which includes “bail-in” for failing banks using depositors’ money.

16 MARCH, 2013 – Cypriot Government agrees to EU-imposed conditions for receiving bail out funds, terms which include “bail-in” of Cypriot banks using depositors’ savings.

Cyprus is widely seen as a template for similar actions throughout the EU and the world. Forbes magazine states that “A new strategy has been unveiled around the world, with the first test run in Cyprus. Despite early denials, the ‘bail-in’ strategy for insolvent banks has already become official policy throughout Europe and internationally as well.”

21 MARCH, 2013 – Canadian Government’s Economic Action Plan 2013 states that “The Government proposes to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks”, aimed at recapitalising failing banks by “the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital”. It further states that “This will reduce risks for taxpayers”:

Canada Budget 2013 Economic Action Plan, March 21, 2013, page 145 (click to enlarge)

Canada Budget 2013 Economic Action Plan, March 21, 2013, page 145 (click to enlarge)

14 MAY, 2013 – Australian Government Budget 2013-14 Portfolio Budget Statement for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority identifies implementation of the FSB-directed bank bail-in regime as a key strategic objective for 2013-14 —

“consolidate the prudential framework by enhancing prudential standards where appropriate, in line with the global reform initiatives endorsed by the G20 and overseen by the Financial Stability Board:

page 134, Portfolio Budget Statements, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Australian Government Budget 2013-14, 14 May 2013 (click to enlarge)

page 134, Portfolio Budget Statements, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Australian Government Budget 2013-14, 14 May 2013 (click to enlarge)

20 MAY, 2013 – The European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs committee issues a press release stating that “The case in Cyprus showed how important it is to have clear procedures for making shareholders, bondholders and ultimately depositors foot the bill”.

Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker says that draft EU bank rescue laws would be a milestone towards “a global system”.

JUNE, 2013 – Reserve Bank of New Zealand releases its Open Bank Resolution (OBR) Pre-positioning Requirements Policy, stating that the OBR provides the flexibility to assign losses to creditors (meaning, bank depositors):

Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Open Bank Resolution (OBR) Pre-positioning Requirements Policy, June 2013 (click to enlarge)

Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Open Bank Resolution (OBR) Pre-positioning Requirements Policy, June 2013 (click to enlarge)

In Definitions, the OBR states that “‘Customer account’, ‘customer liabilities’, or ‘customer liability accounts’ are unsecured liabilities of the bank represented by a range of products such as cheques, savings and other transactional accounts and including term deposits, and that these are considered “in-scope for pre-positioning”:

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The OBR further states that “The Implementation Plan is a key part of the documented evidence that pre-positioned arrangements to quickly close the bank, freeze a portion of customers’ claims to meet potential losses, and reopen the next business day and continue banking services, are in place”:

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The first requirement for “Pre-positioning” is stated as being “That the bank can be closed promptly at any time of the day and on any day of the week, freezing in full all liabilities and preventing access by customers and counterparties to their accounts”:

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27 JUNE, 2013 – The European Union agrees on “bail-in” rules as part of the Bank Resolution and Recovery Directive.

1 JULY, 2013 – Mark Carney appointed to a second term as chairman of the FSB; also becomes Governor of the Bank of England.

3 JULY 2013 – The Financial Times warns that the EU’s newly agreed ‘Bank Resolution and Recovery Directive’ “swings Europe from one extreme – a system laden with implicit government guarantees that protected bank creditors from bearing losses – to the other”, and “risks old-style bank runs”.

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To be continued…

Observant readers will note that the G20 heads of government endorsed the FSB’s “recommendations” (Seoul, Nov 2010) a full year before the FSB actually completed their “framework”, and finally documented that the power to bail-in the banks using depositors’ savings would be a requirement (“Key Attributes…”, Nov 2011). Prior to this, the only reference to the possibility of bail-in (with no mention of depositors) was one obscure, and very brief, reference in the FSB’s 2010 “Progress…” report to the G20 Seoul Summit; the report on which the G20 leaders based their decision to formally endorse, and implement, the yet-to-be-completed FSB framework —

“…higher loss absorbency could be drawn from a menu of viable alternatives and could be achieved by a combination of capital surcharges, contingent capital and bail-in debt.”

Amidst all the celebrity shoulder-rubbing, champagne, caviar, and photo ops, I wonder how many of the G20 leaders actually read the document, much less noticed that tiny part.

Or — if any of them did — if any had the first clue what it meant.

See also:

G20 Governments All Agreed To Cyprus-Style Theft Of Bank Deposits … In 2010

Australia Plans Cyprus-Style “Bail-In” Of Banks In 2013-14 Budget

But The Sheep Don’t Scatter: Banks Say “Sophisticated” Customers Have “Less Stable” Deposits

The Bank Deposits Guarantee Is No Guarantee At All

Think You’ve Got Cash In The Bank? Think Again

Growing Political Deception On Bank Deposits Theft

4 Jun

Truth-Lies

On All Fool’s Day 2013, this blog published the exposé — since cross-posted on globalresearch.ca — that G20 Governments All Agreed to Cyprus-Style Theft Of Bank Deposits In 2010.

It is telling to observe how politicians (and the media) worldwide are using the deceitful art of sophistry to obscure this truth.

As they all begin to pass the necessary legislation to enact what they have already agreed to — in secret, without providing clear and transparent advice to the public — they are seeking to subtly imply that these measures are needed as a result of what happened in Cyprus.

When the truth is, little Cyprus was just the first test case for implementing the Goldman Sachs-headed internationalist Financial Stability Board’s new bank “bail-in” regime, agreed to by all G20 Prime Ministers and Presidents nearly 3 years ago.

Ponder carefully the emphasised passage in the following Reuter’s news story:

EU draft bank rescue law would not shield big deposits

(Reuters) – A draft law that a group of European Union lawmakers voted for on Monday would shield small depositors from losing their savings in future bank rescues, but customers with more than 100,000 euros in savings when a bank failed could suffer losses.

A group of lawmakers in the European Parliament’s economics committee overwhelmingly voted that, from 2016, large depositors in the EU might suffer losses if a bank gets into serious trouble. The plan was similar to a deal in Cyprus, where wealthy depositors at two banks took hits to save the country from bankruptcy.

Under the EU proposal, a bank would dip into large deposits of over 100,000 euros once it had exhausted other avenues such as shareholders and bondholders. But deposits under 100,000 euros would be spared.

“The case in Cyprus showed how important it is to have clear procedures for making shareholders, bondholders and ultimately depositors foot the bill,” a press release from the committee said after the vote.

See what I mean? The Cyprus “bail-in” test case, deceitfully used as an example of why governments supposedly need to pass legislation for “similar” actions in their own countries … legislation that they already agreed to pass anyway, nearly 3 years ago.

EU finance ministers agreed last week that large, uninsured depositors should be subject to losses but some countries may still seek some flexibility on how they wind down their banks.

The “finance ministers” agreed, “last week”?

This is a deception.

As shown previously, the Prime Ministers and Presidents of the G20 nations all agreed to the policy framework laid down by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) at the Seoul G20 Summit, way back in 2010.

A framework that explicitly includes “bail-in” of banks, using the deposits (i.e, savings) of bank “creditors”:

“Carry out bail-in within resolution as a means to achieve or help achieve continuity of essential functions…”

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There is something else that is very important to note.

The FSB, politicians, bankers, and bureaucrats all want you to believe that these new procedures might only place at some risk the savings of so-called “large” or “big” depositors.

This is untrue.

The FSB-recommended “powers” for the G20 nations’ new bank “resolution authorities” exhibit Orwellian deception and moral relativism at their finest. Embedded within their recommended “Safeguards”, is a caveat allowing those “resolution authorities” to act with impunity when it comes to the theft of depositors’ money:

“Resolution powers should be exercised in a way that respects the hierarchy of claims while providing flexibility to depart from the general principle of equal (pari passu) treatment of creditors of the same class…”

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In other words, whether you have more than (say) 100,000 Euro/Dollars/Pounds deposited in a bank, or less, it is recommended (by Goldman Sachs’ FSB) that G20 governments legislate powers enabling their “resolution authorities” the “flexibility” to treat you any way they see fit.

“Equal treatment” is only a “general principle” to these people.

You may be wondering, if G20 governments all agreed to this way back in 2010, then why are we only now seeing nations from Canada to Europe beginning to draft and pass bank “bail-in” legislation, behind a smokescreen of lies and deceit?

As can be seen from the FSB press release of November 2011:

“Implementation of these measures will begin from 2012. Full implementation is targeted for 2019.”

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Some nations’ politicians are simply moving faster than others, in the coordinated drive towards the ultimate goal of stealing your savings, in order to “bail-in” so-called “systemically important” banks:

Earlier on Monday, Bank of England Deputy Governor Paul Tucker said the EU law on bank recovery and resolution would be a milestone towards a global system.

If The CIO Of The World’s Biggest Bond Fund Doesn’t Trust The Global Banking System, Why Do You?

19 Apr

From CNN Money (h/t MacroBusiness reader “Mav”):

When Wall Street nearly collapsed

Would panic prevail? That was the question gripping the world in the days surrounding the fall of Lehman Brothers on Sept. 15, 2008. One year after that terrifying Monday, the people who struggled to cope with the financial crisis share what they were thinking as chaos broke out.

Mohamed El-Erian: Hit the ATMs

mohamed_el-erian

Chief Executive and Co-Chief Investment Officer of PIMCO

On the Wednesday and Thursday after Lehman filed for Chapter 11, I asked my wife to please go to the ATM and take as much cash as she could. When she asked why, I said it was because I didn’t know whether there was a chance that banks might not open. I remember my wife sort of pausing and saying, “Are you serious?” And I said, “Yes, I am.” We had long felt that the world was increasingly in disequilibrium, and by March of 2008 we decided that things were critical and that the unthinkable was thinkable…

The firm had been preparing for catastrophe for a long time, but even so, there was a sense of apprehension because things were accelerating very, very quickly.

See also:

* Think You’ve Got Cash In The Bank? Think Again
* Our Banking System Operates With Zero Reserves
* The Bank Deposits Guarantee Is No Guarantee At All
* G20 Governments ALL Agreed To Cyprus-Style Theft Of Bank Deposits … In 2010
* The World’s Most Immoral Institution Tells You How

G20 Governments All Agreed To Cyprus-Style Theft Of Bank Deposits … In 2010

1 Apr
FSB - G-SIFI, Nov 4, 2011 (click to enlarge)

FSB – G-SIFI, Nov 4, 2011 (click to enlarge)

November 11-12, 2010.

Armistice Day.

That is when all the major governments of the G20 first agreed to implement the new, Cyprus-style “bail-in” regime, at the direction of the internationalist Financial Stability Board under its new, GFC-enabled “broadened mandate”

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The pretext?

Financial stability, of course.

“Addressing the ‘too-big-to-fail’ problem”.

With a “new international standard”.

Specifically, “to enable authorities to resolve failing financial firms in an orderly manner without exposing the taxpayer to the risk of loss.”

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One cannot help but laugh at the Orwellian doublespeak slogans used by the architects of this new regime.

To address the problem of “systemically important” banks, “without exposing the taxpayer to the risk of loss,” our puppet politicians have agreed to confiscate … the savings of taxpayers.

Yes, today is All Fools’ Day. And no, you can’t make this $h!t up.

You may be thinking that this excerpt from an FSB press release does not prove that the G20 have specifically agreed to confiscation of bank deposits. And you would be correct.

As with all such schemes, it is not intended that the public will easily discover what has been planned. You have to wade carefully through all the verbose (and deliberately obtuse) technocrat-ese, and cross-reference the supporting documents (and their annexes), in order to discover just what our G20 attendee politicians – geniuses like “World’s Greatest Treasurer” Wayne Swan – have actually signed up to.

And to find the smoking gun.

One with the word B A I L – I N stamped clearly on its barrel.

cartoon_stickup-cyprus-bank_robbery_of_the_cypriot_people

First, in the FSB press release of 4 Nov 2011 we are told that the G20 allegedly “asked the FSB to develop a policy framework to address the systemic and moral hazard risks associated with systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs).”

Next, in Seoul 2010, “G20 leaders endorsed this framework and the timelines and processes for its implementation.”

That framework is set out in the FSB’s “Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions” (pdf).

In the preamble of that document, we learn that one of the objectives is to make it possible for “unsecured and uninsured creditors to absorb losses.”  Meaning, if your savings are not covered by some form of government guarantee or federal insurance (for all that is worth) – or if, as in Australia, the government bank deposits guarantee is limited to an amount significantly less than (ie, 1/10th) the total of actual bank deposits held by the public – then your bank account can be made to “absorb losses”. And as we will see shortly, this can be done entirely without your consent –

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In the sub-points of the preamble, we see that G20 governments are expected to “have in place a recovery and resolution plan (“RRP”) … containing all elements set out in Annex III.”

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Each jurisdiction is required to set up a “Resolution authority”, which is to be “responsible for exercising the resolution powers over firms…”

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The Resolution authority’s powers are most interesting. For example, we can all applaud the idea that such an authority could (not that they actually would) “claw-back” bankers’ bonuses –

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What is of serious concern though, is its power to “transfer or sell assets and liabilities, legal rights and obligations, including deposit liabilities and ownership in shares, to a solvent third party,”without consent

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This is confirmed in Key Attribute 3.3, where it is clearly stated that any transfer of a bank’s assets or liabilities (ie, deposits) by the authority “should not require the consent of any interested party or creditor to be valid”, and, that any such action will not be deemed a “default” of the bank’s legal obligations –

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Now if you are still sceptical that all this means the G20 have specifically agreed to a new regime that might include provisions for a Cyprus-style “bail-in” using depositors’ savings, then perhaps it is because you – like me – would be looking for this exact phrase in order to be fully convinced.

Yes, it is there. 

Lucky number (ix) in the “powers” (page 7-8) of the Resolution authority that each of the G20 governments agreed to establish, back in 2010 –

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Note that not only can the Resolution authority use a “bail-in” to support “continuity of essential functions” of a failing bank; it can also do so in order to finance the setting up of a new third party or “bridge” institution, into which the failed (“non-viable”) bank’s assets or liabilities (ie, your savings) can be transferred. Not so you can get your money back, but for the purpose of “capitalising” the new institution.

At that other elite lucky number (xi), we see another power; to shut banks, suspend payments to customers (except for payments to “central counterparties”, ie, to central banks, quelle surprise), and impose a “stay” on actions by creditors (eg, deposit holders) to “collect money”

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You may have noticed that the “bail-in” power at (ix) referenced Key Attribute 3.5. There, we see that the power to carry out a bail-in “should” (how comforting) be performed “in a manner that respects the hierarchy of claims in liquidation.” This no doubt will reassure the more gullible reader that there is nothing nefarious in this plan; that it is clearly intended that the traditional hierarchy of claims in a bank insolvency would be respected

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So, what exactly is the “hierarchy of claims” under this new FSB-dictated regime? Again we have to refer to another section (Key Attribute 5.1) to find the answer.  Which does indeed appear to support the traditional hierarchy of claims. Except for this stunning caveat –

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It is worth repeating –

“Resolution powers should be exercised in a way that respects the hierarchy of claims while providing flexibility to depart from the general principle of equal (pari passu) treatment of creditors of the same class…”

Moral relativism at its finest.

This is what has happened in Cyprus. While the final details are still evolving as to exactly how much Cypriot depositors holding more, or less, than €100k will have stolen from them, what is clear is that this FSB template for bail-ins in G20 nations or “jurisdictions” (EU), is the one being followed.

What is also clear, especially in light of recent revelations that Canada has expressly identified “bail-in” procedures in their 2013 Budget, is that all Western governments have, unbeknown to their citizens and without their consent, agreed to the imposition of the same new regime for managing insolvent banks.

A regime devised, and dictated by, an unelected central body.

Feel free to check these documents for yourself, here (pdf) and here (pdf).

Are you wondering who and what is the Financial Stability Board?

According to their website:

The FSB has been established to coordinate at the international level the work of national financial authorities and international standard setting bodies and to develop and promote the implementation of effective regulatory, supervisory and other financial sector policies. It brings together national authorities responsible for financial stability in significant international financial centres, international financial institutions, sector-specific international groupings of regulators and supervisors, and committees of central bank experts.

A list of institutions represented on the FSB can be found here .

The FSB is chaired by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada. Its Secretariat is located in Basel, Switzerland, and hosted by the Bank for International Settlements.

Got that?

A kind of “super regulator”. Chaired currently by a Goldman Sachs man. With membership comprising the central bankers, treasury department heads, and prudential regulators of 24 nations, along with the IMF, World Bank, and a cavalcade of others.

Including – and “hosted by” – the central bank of central banks.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

According to its Articles of Association, the FSB is also funded by the BIS –

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According to its updated Charter (pdf), the FSB received its original mandate from the central bankers and Finance Ministers of the G7 nations in 1999.

It then received a “broadened mandate” from the “Heads of State and Government of the Group of Twenty” at a meeting in London on April 2, 2009 –

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At the same meeting, another now-infamous Goldman Sachs alumnus and current President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, was appointed Chairman of the FSB

FSB - History (click to enlarge)

FSB – History (click to enlarge)

So… the hapless G20 heads of government, panicking in the midst of the GFC, gave the fonts of central banking wisdom at the FSB a “broadened mandate”, and “asked” them “to develop a policy framework to address the systemic and and moral hazard risks associated with systemically important financial institutions”, did they?

And under the consecutive chairmanships of Goldman Sachs men, these unelected bankers and bureaucrats – not one of whom warned of the approaching GFC – devised this “bail-in” policy for the whole of the G20, to solve the problem of Too-Big-To-Fail banks?

As the Machiavellian-minded so often say:

“Never let a good crisis go to waste”

See also:

Imagine A World With No Banks

The People’s NWO: Every Man His Own Central Banker

Cyprus, This Is How To Deal With Bankers Who Want You To Take A Loss

20 Mar

From the movie “Casino”. How appropriate.

WARNING: Strong language –

“We know what you do, don’t we Charlie. You f**k people out of money and get away with it.”

Infographic: Visualising The Size Of Australia’s Carbon Derivatives Time Bomb

24 Apr

On July 1, 2012, the government’s Clean Energy Future scheme will officially begin.

You know it as the carbon “tax”. It has been called a “tax” over and over and over again, by politicians, economists, bankers, and other vested interests, for a simple reason.

There are many who want you to think that the scheme to “put a price on carbon” is safe; that the government’s implementation of a “carbon price” is careful, methodical, and prudent.  A “fixed price” on carbon dioxide for 3 years. And only after 3 years, a transition from a fixed price to a “floating price” emissions trading scheme.

But there is something very important that they are not telling you.

There is a Ticking Time Bomb Hidden In The Carbon Tax.

It is called “derivatives”.

Carefully buried in 1,000+ pages of legislation, just 2 tiny, opaque clauses (109A and 110) have been included that allow the banks to immediately begin creating and trading unlimited quantities of unmonitored, unregulated carbon “securities” (another term for “derivatives”).

What are “derivatives”?

SHORT STORY: Pick something of value, make bets on the future value of “something”, add contract & you have a derivative. Banks make massive profits on derivatives, and when the bubble bursts chances are the tax payer will end up with the bill. This [graphic below] visualizes the total coverage for derivatives (notional). Similar to insurance company’s total coverage for all cars.

LONG STORY: A derivative is a legal bet (contract) that derives its value from another asset, such as the future or current value of oil, government bonds or anything else. [Example] A derivative buys you the option (but not obligation) to buy oil in 6 months for today’s price/any agreed price, hoping that oil will cost more in future. (I’ll bet you it’ll cost more in 6 months). Derivative can also be used as insurance, betting that a loan will or won’t default before a given date. So its a big betting system, like a Casino, but instead of betting on cards and roulette, you bet on future values and performance of practically anything that holds value. The system is not regulated what-so-ever, and you can buy a derivative on an existing derivative.

Most large banks try to prevent smaller investors from gaining access to the derivative market on the basis of there being too much risk. Deriv. market has blown a galactic bubble, just like the real estate bubble or stock market bubble (that’s going on right now). Since there is literally no economist in the world that knows exactly how the derivative money flows or how the system works, while derivatives are traded in microseconds by computers, we really don’t know what will trigger the crash, or when it will happen, but considering the global financial crisis this system is in for tough times, that will be catastrophic for the world financial system…

Australia’s banks already trade in derivatives. Most of their derivatives bets are on movements in Interest Rates and Foreign Exchange Rates. And they have a total exposure to just these forms of derivatives, that is truly mind-boggling.

The numbers are so big, that no one can comprehend them.

You have to see it for yourself.

First, via the superb demonocracy.info website, here is an infographic to help you visualise what $1 Trillion looks like (click image to enlarge):

Click to enlarge | Graphic source: demonocracy.info

Got that?

$1 Trillion is a lot of money*.

The value of all Australians’ superannuation savings combined, is about $1.3 Trillion. As is the claimed annual “GDP” of the Australian economy.

Now, here is an infographic showing the Australian banks’ recent record high total “Off-Balance Sheet” derivatives exposure.  Remember, this is before the official start of a “price on carbon” allows the banks to start creating and trading carbon derivatives too (click image to enlarge):

Click to enlarge | Graphic source: demonocracy.info | Data source: RBA statistics

I want to emphasise the point made earlier.

Almost everyone incorrectly believes that no trading will happen until 2015. But the truth is, the banks can begin creating and trading in carbon derivatives from Day 1. Even though the scheme is supposed to be a “fixed price” scheme for the 3 years up to 2015.

Those 2 little clauses I mentioned earlier (109A and 110), are the reason why trading will begin from Day 1. Trading in carbon derivatives, that is.

They are opaque, easy-to-overlook clauses stating that the Clean Energy Future legislation does not prevent the creation of and trade in carbon “securities”.

The designers of the legislation (no, not the politicians), know full well that the banking industry can and does create and trade derivatives on everything.

Including the date of your death. That’s right. We have previously documented how banks are trading in Death Derivatives.

All that is needed, is for there to be a “price” put on some thing, effectively making that thing a “commodity”.

Once there is an underlying price, then banks can create a derivative.

Provided there is no law specifically preventing them from doing so.

It is that simple.

And that is why the Clean Energy Future scheme has those two little clauses buried inside. As Explanatory Memorandum 3.36 confirms, they are “included for the avoidance of doubt” that the government does NOT wish to prevent the banks creating carbon derivatives.

That is also why, just 3 days after the government released its draft legislation for “putting a price on carbon”, it was reported that:

Australian banks are eyeing opportunities to cash in on the proposed carbon tax by developing new financial products and services that capitalise on a market seen to be worth billions of dollars annually, according to a report by the Australian Financial Review.

Australian financial firms that have experience in European carbon markets, such as Macquarie Group Ltd, Westpac Banking Corp Ltd and ANZ Banking Group Ltd are particularly keen to establish their presence in the Australian market….

ANZ’s head of energy trading said the value of the derivatives carbon market would dwarf the $10 billion initially raised by the government, according to the AFR.

You have now seen just how mind-bogglingly enormous is our banks’ exposure to (mostly) Interest Rate and Foreign Exchange Rate derivatives.

$17.93 Trillion is equivalent to nine (9) skyscrapers made of pallets of $100 bills, each towering more than twice the height of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The $10 billion that the government will raise from forcing companies to buy carbon permits – the basic mechanism for “putting a price on carbon” – is almost nothing compared to the value of derivatives that banks will create and trade.

Unmonitored.

Unregulated.

Off-Balance Sheet.

The government’s claimed $10 billion in expected revenue from the Clean Energy Future scheme, is equivalent to just one (1) of the 10 x 10 squares of pallets forming the base of one (1) of those derivatives skyscrapers pictured above.

That’s one (1) storey in two hundred (200).

I hope that you now have a better idea – a clear picture in your mind’s eye – of what the ANZ Bank’s head of energy trading meant, when he gleefully said that the value of the carbon derivatives market would dwarf the $10 billion initially raised by the government.

A government that has followed the lemming-like lead of Ireland, by explicitly and implicitly putting taxpayers on the hook for the deeds (and misdeeds) of the banks, by placing the nation as guarantor for the solvency of the Australian banking system.

Meaning, just like the rest of the West, our banks are Too Big To Fail.

And from July 1, thanks to the Clean Energy Future scheme and those two little clauses, the government has handed the banks a licence to print.

It is really a licence to kill.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

* If you wonder how it is possible that banks can have so much money just in derivatives bets, you might like to learn the truth. The “money” does not really exist. Almost all of the “money” in the world, is just electronic code in computers. And banks truly rule the world, by creating “money” (digits in computers) out of thin air, and lending it to you, at interest. Even the biggest central bank in the world, the Federal Reserve Bank, has admitted that this is how banking works. Learn more here.

David Murray Shows The Greens And MSM Are Clueless. Again.

18 Apr

Former chairman of the Future Fund, David Murray, ruffled lots of establishment feathers during his tenure, particularly for his scathing criticism of the Warmageddonist movement.

Now, he has shown up the Greens – and, the entire lamestream economics and political media contingent – with his astute comments about the real reason why the government must balance the nation’s books.

From the Australian (emphasis added):

FORMER Future Fund chairman David Murray has accused the Greens of making “ill-advised” demands on the federal budget, declaring the priority should be to protect the government’s credit rating as the global financial system remains under strain

Mr Murray, former chairman of the nation’s $73 billion sovereign wealth fund and a former Commonwealth Bank chief executive, said he was concerned about the Greens’ suggestions that curbing government spending was not important, given the woes in the global economy and the size of the blow-out in the budget at the peak of the global financial crisis.

“What’s at risk here is that with very significant offshore borrowings and a shaky world for raising capital, if the commonwealth in particular can’t hold its ratings, that will affect the ratings of the banks, that will affect the cost of debt, and it also means that the commonwealth is not there in the same measure as a backstop if things go wrong again and the banking system can’t fund itself offshore,” Mr Murray told The Australian.

That’s the higher risk that has to be managed at the moment. We don’t control what happens in the rest of the world. You need the commonwealth rating as a backstop because of what’s going on elsewhere in the world. You can’t put that at risk. To do that you have to achieve a budget that is cash-neutral at least, so that the debt stabilises and within that cash neutral position you can pay interest.”

Exactly right.

As we have seen here at barnabyisright.com for many months now, the government (and the economy) are now trapped by the errors and abject stupidity of the past.

The credit ratings agencies have put our government on notice that the credit rating of the government – and more importantly, of the banking system – is contingent on the government showing a credible path back to balanced budgets. Why? Because in the GFC, the government explicitly and implicitly guaranteed our hugely overleveraged, foreign-debt dependent, housing market exposed banking system, using the sovereign balance sheet.  If the government can not promptly curb its ever-rising debt and deficits, then the government guarantee propping up the banks will lose credibility.

On the other hand, if the government does attempt to achieve an actual surplus in 2012-13, and not just a forecast for one on May 8th, that spells disaster for the economy too.

How so?

See for yourself – Labor’s Inbred, Debt-Fed Chickens Coming Home To Roost.

We are Ireland Mk 2.

The Only Thing Preventing An End To World Poverty

9 Apr

There is only one (1) thing preventing an end to world poverty.

You.

Your ignorance. And your cowardice.

These are the facts.

According to UN special advisor Jeffrey Sachs, author of bestseller The End Of Poverty, described by Time magazine as “the world’s best known economist”, it would take $175 billion per year to end “extreme” poverty in the world.

According to the US Federal Reserve Bank, between 2007 and 2010 they created $1.7 Trillion per week out of thin air to prop up so-called “Too Big To Fail” banks around the world.

$1.7 Trillion per week is five hundred and twenty (520) times more than the amount of money needed to end world poverty.

Conclusion.

If, according to bankers and politicians, it was “urgent” and “necessary” for one central bank to create $Trillions per week ex nihilo just to bail out greedy, arrogant, reckless, parasitic bankers – The World’s Most Immoral Institution – then it is infinitely more urgent and necessary for you and I to demand that all central banks create ex nihilo the mere $billions needed per year to bail out every single human being living in poverty.

It is that simple.

Now, you know the facts.

You are no longer ignorant.

You are just a coward.

cow·ard [kou-erd]
noun
1. a person who lacks courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition, pain, etc.; a timid or easily intimidated person.

RBA & Treasury Coverup – Data Culled At Behest Of Banks

6 Dec

Being the first Tuesday of the month, there’ll be lots of attention on the Reserve Bank today, with many hoping for another cut in the official interest rate in time for Christmas.

So I thought that today, we might take a closer look at the RBA too.

Remember that critical joined-at-the-hip relationship between our Big Four banks, and the government’s balance sheet, that your humble blogger has been banging on about lately?

The relationship that means our government must get its budget back in shape, else its guarantees that are the only thing propping up our zombie banks will lose credibility with the ratings agencies?

Michael West at The Age has been looking at those government guarantees too. His investigation has dug a little deeper into the dark heart of our government-banker kleptocracy (my emphasis added):

Public information turns confidential – RBA culls data

The Reserve Bank of Australia and federal Treasury have been systematically purging public information from their databases at the request of the big banks.

During the course of an investigation into the wholesale funding guarantee, BusinessDay found large swathes of information relating to the use of the guarantee had been expunged from the http://www.guaranteescheme.gov.au website.

This culling of public data follows revelations here last year that the corporate regulator, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) had been deleting evidence of the waivers it had provided to liquidators.

Commitment to transparency?

Now the RBA and Treasury appear to have made an even greater mockery of the government’s “commitment to transparency and accountability”. The funding guarantee scheme is an unprecedented concession for the banks – they are underpinned by the taxpayer and, thanks to sovereign largesse, cannot go bust.

Nonetheless, almost all detail relating to more than $100 billion in taxpayer-guaranteed funding has vanished. Only the details of current guarantees survive.

We can only surmise that both the government and the banks are trying to pretend there was never any corporate welfare in the first place. For the banks’ part, it is harder to justify $10 million executive salaries for running a taxpayer-guaranteed institution.

And for the government’s part, the censorship can only be put down to an obsequious backpedalling on previous public commitments in order to appease the powerful banks.

Unconvincingly trying to rationalise their role in the purge, Treasury responded that public information about sovereign support for the banks had suddenly become confidential.

“Further data on liabilities issued under the Scheme by individual participating institutions is not provided on the Guarantee Scheme website for reasons of confidentiality,” a spokesman told BusinessDay.

It was the sort of line which would have made Sir Humphrey Appleby proud.

With Europe in disarray, and the impending prospect of further taxpayer support for the banks – the RBA has recently foreshadowed relaxing the rules on what assets banks can swap for RBA cash – this is hardly the time for there to be any question over the integrity of public institutions and their information.

[click the link to read the entire article, including how the RBA and Treasury tried to cover-up in response to Mr West’s investigations]

None of this should come as any surprise to regular readers of barnabyisright.com.

There are already very big questions over the “integrity” of our public institutions.

As we saw in Funding For Policy Scandal – Australia Is A Kleptocracy, our very system of government means that our political parties depend on bank loans to fund their election campaigns.

Why?

It is because the parties do not receive their multi-million dollar handouts from the public trough – a distribution which is based on % of the popular vote – until after the election, when the actual number of votes received by each party is confirmed.

So, they have to go hat-in-hand to the banks, begging for loans, in order to mount their campaigns in the first place.

If that is not a relationship of dependency that is absolutely ripe for corruption, then I don’t know what is.

There really is “An Unholy Alliance Of Politicians And Bankers Versus Ordinary People”

Our “Lehman Moment” Near – S&P Downgrades Banks

4 Dec

Just four days ago, your humble blogger noted that our mainstream news media, financial commentariat, and blogosphere, have (again) overlooked the key issue, in their reporting of Treasurer Swan’s MYEFO budget update.

Once again, they have all overlooked the critical economic risk; the joined-at-the-hip relationship between our Big Four banks, and our government’s financial position, as perceived by the major credit ratings agencies.

To wit, back in May this year Moody’s Ratings agency essentially declared our Big Four banks are Too Big To Fail. And in downgrading the Big Four’s credit ratings, Moody’s tacitly warned the government that it must maintain the implicit and explicit government (taxpayer) guarantees propping up the Big Four, else Moody’s will cut their ratings by another 2 notches.

By inference, this means that Moody’s was also warning the government that it must achieve and maintain a pristine government sector balance sheet, in order to support the plausibility of its guarantees for our Ponzi banking system.

If the government cannot reverse the direction of its ever-rising debt trajectory, and demonstrate a plausible path back to achieving an annual budget surplus (in order to start paying off the gross debt), at some point in the not-too-distant future their failure to manage the debt will be taken as a sign that our government’s guarantees of our banking system are less than reliable.

Wayne’s (unreported) MYEFO prediction of a 57% blowout in net public debt this year alone, will only hasten the arrival of that day.

As will his blowing through our third increased debt ceiling in just 3 years, by around mid-2012.

Commonwealth Government Securities On Issue | Source: Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM)

Inevitably, our banks will have their credit ratings cut further.

They will find it increasingly difficult to attract funding from international money markets, upon whom the banks are dependent for around 40% of their wholesale funding. (Indeed, as we saw on Wednesday, the yield spread on Aussie banks’ bonds compared to non-financial Aussie corporate bonds, has just hit an all-time high).

Funding costs for the banks will rise.

Interest rates for Australian borrowers debt slaves will rise. (Or at the very least, RBA interest rate cuts will not be passed on).

Availability of loans to businesses will fall even further, choking the economy.

Unemployment will rise.

Bad loans (defaults) will increase.

Our housing bubble’s gentle 10-month price deflation, will accelerate.

Our economy will crash.

Our banks will collapse like the Ponzi house of cards that they are.

And the all-time record debt-soaked government taxpayer …

Click to enlarge

… will be obliged to bail out the banks, as per the Government Guarantees.

Now, we have a further red flag that my Missing The Key Economic Point For Dummies blog was right.

From The Australian (emphasis added):

Australia’s major banks are confident the first ratings downgrade by Standard & Poor’s in two decades will not have a major impact on their funding costs, despite the ongoing volatility created by the European sovereign debt crisis.

The share prices of the major banks — Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and National Australia Bank — rose by 1.5-2 per cent, despite the one-notch ratings downgrade from AA to AA- as the overall market rose 1.4 per cent for a sparkling weekly gain of 7.6 per cent…

… The banks’ ratings were last cut in the early 1990s as the Australian economy struggled with recession.

S&P defended the ratings downgrades, which it attributed to Australian banks’ heavy reliance on wholesale funding markets.

And from ABC News (emphasis added):

BBY banking analyst Brett Le Messurier says the downgrade is not too serious but could lead to higher borrowing costs in the long term.

Mr Le Messurier says the big four banks still have plenty of liquidity to help them “ride out the current turmoil in Europe for some time”.

“In and of itself it doesn’t matter that much, but if another one follows then they get into the “A” category,” Mr Le Messurier said.

“And that is going to lead to increased wholesale funding costs over and above what’s resulted from the current European crisis and therefore that will ultimately feed through to consumers.”

And from the Wall Street Journal (emphasis added):

When it comes to Australia’s banks, don’t listen to the spin.

Late last night, Standard & Poor’s cut its rating on all of the big 4 — Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac and National Australia Bank — warning about rising costs and a continued increase in wholesale funding costs. Given Australia’s banks predominantly fund themselves offshore, the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis has raised concerns about the contagion possibilities…

… The moves come about six months after Moody’s did almost exactly the same thing and predictably, just like then, each of the banks have come out today to defend their balance sheets and businesses.

But while ratings agencies certainly don’t carry the clout they used to, make no mistake, there are a stream of issues for Australia’s banks.

For one, a credit facility from the Reserve Bank of Australia, or RBA, established to help banks satisfy new global banking rules, known as Basel III, are certain to lower each of the banks’ risk-taking possibilities and profits.

But actions speak louder than words and when the RBA cut its key cash rate a month ago, NAB refused to pass on the favor in full. If Europe gets worse, and the RBA cuts a few more times, all those banks that today are talking about their strong balance sheets will change their refrain when they decide to hold back on passing those cuts on.

The NZ Herald’s Liam Dann debunks the spin, and explains why the banks’ attempt to downplay the ratings cuts masks an important truth (emphasis added):

You can say all you like about yesterday’s banking downgrade being “anticipated”, “reflecting methodology changes” and not “impacting on consumers” – but down is still down. It’s the wrong direction.

So despite the spin suggesting this is no big deal, the big Australasian banks should hopefully be paying close attention to the Standard & Poors review which saw their ratings cut from AA to AA-…

… taking a step back from the technical stuff, it’s important to recognise that this methodology change is not some just arbitrary fiddling with numbers.

It’s grounded in the very real increase in risk to lenders that has occurred since the global financial crisis struck.

The changes stem from the failure of the ratings agencies to identify that crisis in 2007 and 2008.

So, in some respects, this downgrade represents the credit agencies doing their job properly – finally.

The big shift in the way S&P now looks at banking risk is that it has weighted its focus away from the cyclical ups and downs which are reflected in an institution’s quarterly financial performance and towards the underlying structural risks of a region’s banking sector.

So now, S&P is analysing first the structural risks in the Australasian banking system as a starting point, and then assessing the relative position of each bank’s performance within that context.

And finally, from Ireland’s The Journal (emphasis added):

S&P said the decision was based on the cost posed by sourcing cash from overseas markets and the country’s foreign debt.

Following the crash of Lehman Brothers in 2008, which S&P failed to foresee, the agency revised its rating criteria – and it is in the context of these new considerations that the banks were downgraded, reports The Australian.

Meanwhile, rival rating agency Moody’s said it would keep the banks on their AA rating and retain their outlook as positive.

Experts have warned that a continuing European debt crisis could expose the banks to a further downgrade.

As noted in Wednesday’s blog, our Net Foreign Debt is yet another key factor that our politicians (on both “sides”) and lapdog media studiously avoid focussing any attention on. Why? According to the latest RBA data, our Net Foreign Debt at June 2011 was a whopping $675 billion. More than 50% of GDP. So naturally, noone in positions of power want to mention it, even though it is a very serious structural problem, and one that is now fundamental to triggering negative consequences such as this S&P rating downgrade.

Break out the popcorn folks.

It has begun.

As usual … Barnaby is right:

“If you do not manage debt, debt manages you” – Feb 2010

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