Monday, November 28, 2011

Why You Really, Really Want to Listen to the Bank for International Settlements

On June 26, 2007 (i.e. pre-"Quant-quake", pre-Bear Stearns, pre-ought-eight-near-catastrohe) we posted a short little piece:
"(Off-topic) Banks' banker warns of downturn":
THE risk of a 1930s-style economic slump has been heightened by "euphoric" markets tapping cheap global credit, one of the world's pre-eminent financial institutions has said.

In its annual report, the Bank for International Settlements noted that the conditions that led to the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Asian crises in the 1990s reflected the current environment.
From The Age
On April 28, 2010 it was Greece: "Exposure fears weigh on French, German banks"
From MarketWatch:

Banks with local subsidiaries, government-lending exposure most at risk
Banks in France and Germany have the biggest exposure to Greece of non-Greek lenders are also heavily exposed to other potentially at-risk countries, with those firms that operate local subsidiaries or with big local-authority funding activities likely to face the heaviest losses, analysts said.

The latest figures from the Bank for International Settlements show French banks have $75.2 billion of exposure to Greek borrowers, while the industry in Germany has an exposure of $45 billion. The U.K. trails a relatively distant third, with exposure of $15.1 billion....
There is a reason the BIS is known as the "Central banker's central bank".
Here's their website. I try to visit a couple times per month.