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JPMorgan, Goldman Keep Italy Debt Risk in Dark

Posted by: Ben Vickers on November 16, 2011


The European debt crisis lurches on as the uncertainty around government finances continues. Yet how much do banks know and choose not to disclose about the state of the debt markets? In this report, Christine Harper and Michael J. Moore show how investors aren’t being told the risk banks face in the case of a default on European sovereign debt.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., among the world’s biggest traders of credit derivatives, disclosed to shareholders that they have sold protection on more than $5 trillion of debt globally. Just don’t ask them how much of that was issued by Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

The euro crisis is being prolonged by doubts over governments’ ability to repay debt. However, banks may have more visibility on that than on the ability of their competitors to settle accounts in the case of a default.

(Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

Reader Comments

Firozali A.Mulla DBA

November 16, 2011 11:56 AM

Wednesday, 16 November 20117:53:16 PM The world is made of deadly secrets. We are surrounded by them, enveloped in them, yet are seldom able to see them for what they are ... and when we do see them, it is a scarring, revolting, horrifying experience of revelation. The child rape scandal still unfolding at Penn State University is a case in point. I have friends and family who attended that school, who love the place with all their hearts, and when the gruesome secret of Jerry Sandusky's barbaric behaviour exploded on to the front pages of every newspaper, a little piece of their hearts died forever. It scalds when you find out you've been deceived, when something you loved and trusted is revealed as being rotten straight to the core, but it is better to know than to be in the dark. Jerry Sandusky's power over the children he molested came from the secrecy he operated in. As soon as that secrecy was removed, his power over those children was ended. No matter how sickening the details may be, how heart-wrenching it is to hear and read what nothing is more or less than the stuff of nightmares, it is always better to know. The world is made of secrets, kept by powerful people as a means of maintaining their ascendancy, but removing that secrecy removes their power. The illegal machinations on Wall Street, the inside baseball of corrupt politicians, the true motives behind "mainstream" news media manipulations, all are insulated behind a wall of secrets. How pleasant it is for a father to sit at his child’s board. It is like an aged man reclining under the shadow of an oak which he has planted.
Walter Scott
noun: A rude, rowdy youth.
Coined by reversing the spelling of the word boy. Earliest documented use: 1859.
There are not a lot of words in the English language that are coined from the backward spelling of another word. Another example is mho, the unit of electrical conductance, coined by reversing ohm, the unit of resistance. Fiction writers sometimes come up with names for their characters by spelling another name or word backwards.
"Like a yob who starts a fight in a pub by saying you have spilled his pint, the Russians offered pretexts that both parties knew were ludicrous."
A.D. Miller; A First-Hand Account of Life in Modern Russia; The Guardian (London, UK); Oct 21, 2011.
Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. -Oprah Winfrey, talk show host and philanthropist (b. 1954) I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DVA Business Secretary Vince Cable slammed Germany's position on an EU financial transactions tax as "completely unjustified" on Wednesday, raising tension between Britain and Germany days before their leaders meet to discuss the euro zone debt crisis. Cable responded sharply to a senior member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc who accused Britain on Tuesday of selfishness over its rejection of a European Union-wide financial transactions tax, which Germany backs. A Financial Transactions Tax will hurt nearly everyone in Britain. This is because ALL costs of the tax will simply be passed down by the Institutions to the investor. This will damage ALL pension funds (including Government, Local Authority and other Public Pension pots!), as well as Private Pension and Employer's Pension Funds. It will also DISPROPORTIONATELY DAMAGE small investors and savers like pensioners- who can least afford to have their nest-eggs stolen. It is a tax on prudent Britons which will be used to bail out profligate Southern Europeans. The Big Institutions won't care- the money will come from the punters not them, and if they wish they can relocate to anywhere in the world! I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA


November 16, 2011 9:14 PM

How about the Vatican secrets, Yob?

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