‘Perfect storm’: Global financial system showing danger signs, says senior OECD economist

 

It’s been nice to emerge from the bunker for a bit. But it’s not like all that Quantitative Easing, years and years of QE, isn’t going to have downstream consequences. It will.

Still my “spidey sense” isn’t going off just yet. It’s usually pretty good.

(From The Brisbane Times)

“All the market indicators right now look very similar to what we saw before the Lehman crisis, but the lesson has somehow been forgotten,” said William White, the Swiss-based head of the OECD’s review board and ex-chief economist for the Bank for International Settlements.

Professor White said disturbing evidence of credit degradation is emerging almost daily. The latest is the disclosure that distressed UK construction group Carillion quietly raised £112 million ($195 million) through German Schuldschein bonds. South African retailer Steinhoff also tapped this obscure market, borrowing €730 million ($1.11 billion).

Schuldschein loans were once a feature of rock-solid lending to family Mittelstand companies in Germany. The transformation of this corner of the market into a form of high-risk shadow banking shows how the lending system has been distorted by quantitative easing (QE) and negative interest rates. Professor White said there was an intoxicating optimism at the top of every unstable boom when people convince themselves that risk is fading, but that is when the worst mistakes are made. Stress indicators were equally depressed in 2007 just before the storm broke.

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