Articles tagged with: Lehman Brothers

Facing a world economic crisis

18 September 2008 Sören Zschoche 55 Comments Economy

In 2006 the German economist Max Otte published a book with the title “The crash comes“, in which he pointed up the risks of the present housing bubble in the U.S. and the fact that most of these houses were sold on credit to people who actually couldn´t afford such high debits. He also predicted an enormous fall in the value of the dollar and a new world economic crisis in which all finally ended. When I read his book one year ago I thought either this guy is a bit crazy or this book is one of the most ingenious ones I ever read, nowadays I´m more given to the latter case.

Only now many people understand how serious the crisis is and the wishful thinking that governments could´t rescue every bank like they did in the case of Bear Stearns, Fanny Mae or Freddie Mac slowly disappears. But what are the consequences when the once fourth biggest investment bank of the U.S. files under chapter 11? First of all the stock quotation falls and many bank employees who believed their company are loosing everything their savings and later their jobs. That sounds bad but the real problem is another one, for example Lehman Brothers has a value of nearly 700 billion Dollars on the passive side securities, bonds, mortgages all these things are on the active side of other bank, funds or insurance companies. So if one bank falls under chapter 11 it´s logical that others will follow, but others could also be insurance companies like AIG although I´m not sure at this moment if the FED really has the nerve to let the biggest insurance company of the U.S crash. Sure this goes on so long till the market has adjusted all overratings and bad credits. That´s also why the governments won´t help the banks anymore, because they wouldn´t solve the problem and unless they help the faster the “crisis” or adjustment will be over, so we could say the crisis has just begun.

However let´s get back to the world economic crisis because a world financial crisis doesn´t absolutely have to be a world economic one, it´s just an actuator. The problem is that the people have forgotten that the international money supply has achieved absurd high worth, during the world industrial production stayed relative constant. So what did we do with all that money hadn´t that inevitably lead into an super inflation ? The answer is no because we always found ways to invest our money and funny bubbles like the Asia, DotCom or commodity-bubble arise which always burst again. By the way one reason for the incredible high money supply is also the fact that the issue banks always pumped more money into the system when a bubble burst so that the investors aren´t so gloomy. However these bubbles weren´t a big problem but the people have disregarded that since more than 10 years there accrued a new bubble, a super bubble, the housing bubble, founded on weak mortgages worth 9000 trillion U.S. dollar. This bubble burst now and what we are facing is the situation that the people have to find a new thing to invest in, before they realise that there is actually too much money in the system and this brings us to a very big danger because in my opinion the new investment target will be gold. But when the gold price will achieves to 2000-3000$ per unce the issue banks won´t be able anymore to cover the banknotes they printed. Finally the people will loose their trust in money and a super inflation coupled with a deep recession would lead into a financial failure.