So here we have a system where you can 1) make up your own rules, 2) establish any value for any asset you choose, 3) inflate that value a hundred fold based on ostensible future value and returns, 4) leverage that inflated value another thousand or a million fold simply on your say-so, enough to buy up multi-billion dollar firms if you choose, 5) lean on taxpayer bailouts when you get into trouble, and 6) do this without any disclosure or accountability, all based upon a self-interested formula you concoct to enrich yourself. (from must-read commentary posted on zerohedge: LINK)The biggest farce of the week/month is the Fed's declaring that JP Morgan passed the stress tests and is allowed to buy back stock and pay dividends. How could the Fed have possibly even bothered to test JPM's enormous OTC derivatives book? Seriously. JPM has the biggest OTC derivatives exposure of any bank on the planet. There is no f-ing way in hell that the Fed can go on the assumption that JPM's OTC book is immune because of "netting."
The biggest and most efficient stress test possible is reality. Let's look at the evidence: Long Term Capital, Enron, Refco, Amaranth, AIG. Need I say more? AIG's "netting" ended up costing the U.S. Taxpayers $100's of billions in taxes to keep the system from collapsing. I don't know of anyone who disputes that fact. Reality stress test? Ben Bernanke never held a job in his entire life outside of academia and the Fed. His knowledge of reality stops at the back cover of the textbooks he studies and the ridiculous theory-based papers he has written.
The blow-ups from derivatives keep getting bigger and more expensive for the Taxpayers. And yet Congress, and therefore the public, continues to enable the this grand scale theft. And now it's continuing with JP Morgan. I know, it's all okay as long we know that Snooki is losing weight and the bank gave some additional availability on our credit card.
So now we're left with the fact that JP Morgan can continue operating on the assumption that its balance sheet is ultimately immune from some kind of financial/economic catastrophe, can continue pretending its derivatives exposure is hedged, and can therefore go ahead and start draining cash from it's operations and pay it out to the shareholders. Who benefits from this? Not the little odd lot shareholders or the people who have de minimus exposure to JPM's stock by virtue of having a 401k fund that owns some JPM stock. It's the large individual shareholders and the upper management, who get paid in big chunks of stock that they unload as soon as it vests.
This is nothing more than a grand scale maneuver to pull cash out of a de facto insolvent entity by the elitists and leave behind a worthless corporate corpse that the Taxpayers will have the pleasure of bailing out again. What is Obama's take on this - the man who rode into the Oval Office on definitively stated promises to clean up this blatant fraud and corruption? "I am just following orders."