You have been programed to believe there was only 4Bn Derivatives tied to Greek Debt, but a new report says that its not.
The report says that when Carlo Ponzi, a dishwasher from Parma, Italy, immigrated to the United States in 1903, he had $2.50 in his pocket and a million-dollar dream in his head. He was able to fulfill that dream, at least temporarily.
Ponzi promised people that he would multiply their money in a miraculous way: by 50 percent in six weeks. With his carefully parted hair and charming accent, Ponzi beguiled investors and fueled their avarice. The first investors raked in fantastic returns. What they didn’t know was that Ponzi was simply using the next investors’ money to pay them their profits.
The scheme continued. Ten investors turned into 100, and 100 investors turned into 1,000, until the scam was discovered.
Ponzi spent many years in prison, and he died a pauper in 1949. But his name remains important to every criminologist today — and every economist. Economists use the term “Ponzi scheme” to describe a disastrous mechanism in which someone pays off old debt by constantly taking on new debt.
The repayment of the debt — the most recent loans, plus interest — is deferred into the distant future, fueling an eternal process of debt refinancing.It’s the classic pyramid, or snowball scheme, practiced by thousands of con artists after Ponzi.
The most spectacular case was that of New York financier Bernard Madoff, who was responsible for losses of about $20 billion by 2008. Snowballs are set into motion, becoming bigger and bigger as they roll along.
In the worst case, they end in an avalanche that takes everything else with it.Western economies have not acted much differently than the fraudster Madoff. In 2011, they were virtually inundated with bad news and old sins. Almost everyone — in Europe and in the United States — has been living beyond their means, from consumers to politicians to entire countries. Governments have become servants to the markets upon which they have become dependent.
Bigger SnowballsOn an almost weekly basis, the reports have become more worrisome and the sums of money involved more staggering. Many are now concerned that, as 2012 begins, the snowballs will only get bigger — and roll faster:
There are the banks in Europe, which will have to repay about €725 billion in combined debt in 2012, including €280 billion in the first quarter alone. With the private market largely off-limits to them, the banks have had to rely on the European Central Bank (ECB) to bail them out. The ECB is now lending them fresh money — as much as they want — at minimal interest rates.
There is a country like Italy, which has an exorbitant amount of debt to service at the beginning of the year. About €160 billion in debt will mature between January and April; the total for the entire year is about €300 billion. The government in Rome is already having trouble finding buyers for its bonds.
There is the ECB, which is creating billions essentially out of nothing. On an almost weekly basis, it is acquiring bonds that no one else would buy from Portugal, Spain and Italy and, in the process, it is turning into a reluctant financier of nations. (Source)