From the article:
You may find this article by modern monetarist Peter Stella to be interesting: What Economists Need to Know About the Modern Money Creation Process
"Rehypothecation is a practice that occurs principally in the financial markets, where a bank or other broker-dealer reuses the collateral pledged by its clients as collateral for its own borrowing.
In it Mr. Stella describes how the banking system routinely pledges the same piece of collateral over and over again without a properly risk adjusted diminution of value. No wonder the housing market is in such a mess, with the concept of title to property having been reduced to a financialized abstraction.
"In the traditional money creation process, collateral consists of central bank reserves; in the modern private money creation process, collateral is in the eye of the beholder. Here is an example.
A Hong Kong hedge fund may get financing from UBS secured by collateral pledged to the UBS bank’s UK affiliate – say, Indonesian bonds. Naturally, there will be a haircut on the pledged collateral (i.e. each borrower, the hedge fund in this example, will have to pledge more than $1 of collateral for each $1 of credit).
These bonds are ‘pledged collateral’ as far as UBS is concerned and under modern legal practices, they can be ‘re-used’. This is the part that may strike non-specialists as novel; collateral that backs one loan can in turn be used as collateral against further loans, so the same underlying asset ends up as securing loans worth multiples of its value. Of course the re-pledging cannot go on forever as haircuts progressively reduce the credit-raising potential of the underlying asset, but ultimately, several lenders are counting on the underlying assets as backup in case things go wrong."
The final word: it's another form of Ponzi scheme. I get that financiers love this because of the profits, but there simply has to be an adult somewhere that puts a stop to this insanity. Since there isn't, it will naturally be on our backs when this all blows.
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