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Thursday, August 2, 2012

"Derivative" versus "Underlying"

The EZ's debt represents the derivative; the national economies of EZ-countries are the underlying.

Question: why does all the brainpower go into derivatives instead of going into the underlyings?

If the underlyings are not addressed, it is very simple to calculate the money requirement to solve the Eurozone's debt problems: add up all the bank deposits and foreign debt of the problem countries and you get the money requirement.

As a further possible step: add up all the deposits of those banks which are heavily exposed to the problem countries and add that amount to the total money requirement.

And, in a final stage: add up all the debt of EZ-countries and all deposits or EZ-banks and tell the rest of the world that this is the amount of money they will have to come up with.


  1. Indeed, the important point is to rev up the economies again! Without this, it will be almost impossible to put the finances on a sustainable foundation. And that's why managers should lead the rescue plan process and not bankers. Hmm, isn't this somewhat contradicting what you wrote in the following blog post, where you emphasize the role of the bankers?

    1. I will research immediately. I simply cannot believe that I ever wrote anywhere that bankers or other financiers are part of the solution for problems of the real economy. Having spent 40 years in that industry, this would probably be the last argument I would ever make (except, perhaps, for those local and regional bankers who still know that their salaries are paid by customers in the real economy and not by some abstract financial markets). On the contrary, my argument is that many problems would be solved by now if the decision makers had a little bit of the common sense thinking which entrepreneuers in the real economy have to apply every day in order to stay in business!

    2. Oh, hey, Klaus, rereading this, I see it was based on my misinterpretation of "What is the plan???". We already settled this, thanks. My fault.

      Btw, I thought along the same lines as you, regarding derivatives vs. underlying, in discussions recently, when questioning that an "unlimited" guarantee of bonds makes no sense and is only a PR stunt when so obviously the reality is that the economic output of the Eurozone nations is limited, indeed. Which reasonable investor will buy bonds in amounts that vastly exceed the economic capabilities of the underlying economies? Are those who seriously propose this pseudo-solution under the impression the world is full of suckers who desperately want to buy Eurobonds, no matter what?