Big Debt Plus Rising Interest Rates = Big Danger

If there is anything Wall Street banks crave is relief. Primarily relief from the potential for failure and, next, relief from holding much, if any, equity capital. These banks like their capital tiny and their profits huge. Losses should be socialized. After all, we want the ATMs to keep spitting out cash. 

debt

The SLR will be allowed to expire at the end of this month before most of us knew what it was—"supplementary leverage ratio."  When covid hit the fan last March, as the WSJ explains, “The ratio measures capital—funds that banks raise from investors, earn through profits and use to absorb losses—as a percentage of loans and other assets. Without the exclusion, Treasurys and deposits count as assets [not equity].” 

No SLR means less leverage and lower profits for the big banks. But, the Federal Reserve must be careful, the yield on the US ten-year note has exploded to 1.72 percent. 

Not everyone would see it this way, however, Larry McDonald, who publishes the Bear Traps Report, told Ed Harrison on Real Vision, over the “last 10 years, just about everything they've [The Fed] done from a monetary point of view has been deflationary.”

He continued, “The problem is there's 64 trillion of GDP outside the United States, 20 trillion in and the amount of global debt on the planet Earth is denominated in dollars, especially in EM [emerging markets] countries, it's at least 13 trillion, 15 trillion bucks.” 

Sixty percent of global trade is in dollars. 

You may think, rates are still very low, however, McDonald explained, “a 50 basis point move today in yields relative to 10 years ago wipes out literally the entire budget of the marines, the navy and the army. In other words, because there's so much debt today relative to 10, 15 years ago, a small debt, a small move in yields, 50 basis points in yields today is equivalent to 2% 15 years ago.” 

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