BIS Slammed Federal Reserve and Other Central Banks for Blowing Bubbles and then “Using Gimmicks and Palliatives” which “Will Only Make Things Worse”

If you have any doubt that the Fed and other central banks should have known that a crash was coming, all you have to do is look at this June 2007 article from the Telegraph:

The Bank for International Settlements, the world’s most prestigious financial body, has warned that years of loose monetary policy has fuelled a dangerous credit bubble, leaving the global economy more vulnerable to another 1930s-style slump than generally understood…

The BIS, the ultimate bank of central bankers, pointed to a confluence a worrying signs, citing mass issuance of new-fangled credit instruments, soaring levels of household debt, extreme appetite for risk shown by investors, and entrenched imbalances in the world currency system…

The bank said it was far from clear whether the US would be able to shrug off the consequences of its latest imbalances …

“Sooner or later the credit cycle will turn and default rates will begin to rise,” said the bank.

A year later, in June 2008, the Telegraph wrote:

A year ago, the Bank for International Settlements startled the financial world by warning that we might soon face challenges last seen during the onset of the Great Depression. This has proved frighteningly accurate…

[BIS economist] Dr White says the US sub-prime crisis was the “trigger”, not the cause of the disaster.

Indeed, BIS slammed the Fed and other central banks for blowing the bubble, failing to regulate the shadow banking system, and then using gimmicks which will only make things worse. As the 2008 Telegraph article notes:

In a pointed attack on the US Federal Reserve, it said central banks would not find it easy to “clean up” once property bubbles have burst…

Nor does it exonerate the watchdogs. “How could such a huge shadow banking system emerge without provoking clear statements of official concern?”

“The fundamental cause of today’s emerging problems was excessive and imprudent credit growth over a long period. Policy interest rates in the advanced industrial countries have been unusually low,” he said.

The Fed and fellow central banks instinctively cut rates lower with each cycle to avoid facing the pain. The effect has been to put off the day of reckoning…

“Should governments feel it necessary to take direct actions to alleviate debt burdens, it is crucial that they understand one thing beforehand. If asset prices are unrealistically high, they must fall. If savings rates are unrealistically low, they must rise. If debts cannot be serviced, they must be written off.

“To deny this through the use of gimmicks and palliatives will only make things worse in the end,” he said.

In other words, BIS slammed the easy credit policy of the Fed and other central banks, and the failure to regulate the shadow banking system.

More dramatically, BIS slammed “the use of gimmicks and palliatives”, and said that anything other than (1) letting asset prices fall to their true market value, (2) increasing savings rates, and (3) forcing companies to write off bad debts “will only make things worse”.

This is, of course, what Marc Faber and many other economists have said for years.

But Bernanke and the other central bankers (as well as Treasury and the Council of Economic Advisors and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and the others in control of American and British and French and Japanese and German and virtually every other country’s economic policy) ignored BIS’ advice in 2007 and 2008, and they are still ignoring it today.

Instead, they are doing everything they can to (2) prop up asset prices by trying to blow a new bubble by giving banks trillions, (2) re-write accounting and reporting rules to let the big banks and other giants keep bad debts on their books (or in sivs or other “second sets of books”) and to hide the fact that they are bad debts, and (3) encourage consumers to spend spend spend!

“The world’s most prestigious financial body”, “the ultimate bank of central bankers” has condemned Bernanke and all of the other G-8 central banks, and stripped bare their false claims that the crash wasn’t their fault or that they are now doing the right thing to turn the economy around.

Update: As Spiegel wrote in July of this year:

White and his team of experts observed the real estate bubble developing in the United States. They criticized the increasingly impenetrable securitization business, vehemently pointed out the perils of risky loans and provided evidence of the lack of credibility of the rating agencies. In their view, the reason for the lack of restraint in the financial markets was that there was simply too much cheap money available on the market…

As far back as 2003, White implored central bankers to rethink their strategies, noting that instability in the financial markets had triggered inflation, the “villain” in the global economy…

In the restrained world of central bankers, it would have been difficult for White to express himself more clearly…

It was probably the biggest failure of the world’s central bankers since the founding of the BIS in 1930. They knew everything and did nothing. Their gigantic machinery of analysis kept spitting out new scenarios of doom, but they might as well have been transmitted directly into space…

In their report, the BIS experts derisively described the techniques of rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s as “relatively crude” and noted that “some caution is in order in relation to the reliability of the results.”…

In January 2005, the BIS’s Committee on the Global Financial System sounded the alarm once again, noting that the risks associated with structured financial products were not being “fully appreciated by market participants.” Extreme market events, the experts argued, could “have unanticipated systemic consequences.”

They also cautioned against putting too much faith in the rating agencies, which suffered from a fatal flaw. Because the rating agencies were being paid by the companies they rated, the committee argued, there was a risk that they might rate some companies too highly and be reluctant to lower the ratings of others that should have been downgraded.

These comments show that the central bankers knew exactly what was going on, a full two-and-a-half years before the big bang. All the ingredients of the looming disaster had been neatly laid out on the table in front of them: defective rating agencies, loans repackaged to the point of being unrecognizable, dubious practices of American mortgage lenders, the risks of low-interest policies. But no action was taken. Meanwhile, the Fed continued to raise interest rates in nothing more than tiny increments…

The Fed chairman was not even impressed by a letter the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America (MICA), a trade association of US mortgage providers, sent to the Fed on Sept. 23, 2005. In the letter, MICA warned that it was “very concerned” about some of the risky lending practices being applied in the US real estate market. The experts even speculated that the Fed might be operating on the basis of incorrect data. Despite a sharp increase in mortgages being approved for low-income borrowers, most banks were reporting to the Fed that they had not lowered their lending standards. According to a study MICA cited entitled “This Powder Keg Is Going to Blow,” there was no secondary market for these “nuclear mortgages.”…

William White and his Basel team were dumbstruck. The central bankers were simply ignoring their warnings. Didn’t they understand what they were being told? Or was it that they simply didn’t want to understand?


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  • http://classlink.lcusd.net/classlink/viewfiles.php?pid=4096 Carl Herman

    Excellent, GW :) You know, I tell my economics students that in one sense, this world is perfect. If the point of life is evolution (social and gradual physical) and service, then our being played again and again and again and again… is exactly what is required for us to collectively evolve. If anyone wants to read the most powerful historical quotes from some of our most brilliant minds in explanation of economic manipulation, click my name and read that section in "The Heart of Economics." Another great way to see the principle in action is to watch the 5-minute cartoon, "Pingu goes fishing" here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTWv63RyLP8The cartoon is poignant; it has my HIGHEST recommendation :)

  • http://rid-of-debt.com/deflation.html Gary Anderson

    Clearly the fed is trying to inflate. But the interest rate hawks appear to be out in force. High rates, high commodities, high taxes, high gasoline will all have the potential to make the day of reckoning a very painful one. It appears to be an inevitable one as well.

  • http://www.infowars.com/worlds-largest-science-group-rejecting-man-made-climate-fears/ Dan P.

    Good post. Of course they knew the crash was coming. They created the bubble. All the more ludicrous then that these same people are now in charge of "fixing" the problem.

  • http://Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com Anonymous

    The role of the Bank of International Settlements is to consolidate financial power into a few private hands – referenced in “Tragedy and Hope,” by Dr. Carrrol Quigley.“The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.”Professor Quigley, who was Bill Clinton’s mentor at Georgetown University, claimed to be an insider and evidently knew his subject. See “BIG BROTHER IN BASEL: BIS FINANCIAL STABILITY BOARD UNDERMINES NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY.”http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/big_brother_basel.php

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11177843065194019676 Mary Lorraine and Alayna

    If you’re interested you can watch “Dr. Doom,” Marc Faber, of the “Gloom, Boom and Doom Report” and Nouriel Roubini, of “RGEMonitor.com” discuss the economy with CNBC. Check it out here:Thanks!

  • http://bank-abuse.com/banksters.html Gary Anderson

    I have learned that the Bank of International Settlements allowed off balance banking on their watch. I have learned that the BIS is the central bank of the central banks in much of the world and that it certainly did not force the Federal Reserve to stop the ponzi in the US from happening. I view the BIS as an enemy to the United States of America and my complete statement is found at my link.

  • Pingback: Government Leaders Said Bailouts Were Needed Because “The House Next Door Was Burning Down” . . . Were They Right? - Washington's Blog

 

 

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