A Wunch Of Bankers
By Jerry Bullivant at Jun 27, 2009
Entfesselung des Unsinns...
...Unleashing the Nonsense.
In an infinitely plastic system that is a slave to some defunct economist, there is, as Starobinsky said, "an instinctive taste for the echo."
Day by day, the market parallels between the 1930s and the 2000s continue to agglomerate.
Nothing is learnt.
The Wunch of Bankers who pied-pipered us into this Depression are happily grabbing the few short-termist profits still available in what used to be a dysfunctionally operating globalised marketplace.
It is now no longer operating at all, of course.
As with the 30s, the architects of the catastrophe are consolidating their gains.
But this greed is best demonstrated not by the mainstream actions of the banks, the 'new' IMF, sovereign wealth funds or the battered hedge fund and private equity sectors, but in another place entirely.
And, you know what?
The exact same Ponzi matrix is, yet again, the substitute for dialectical reasoning.
The Life-Settlement industry speculate on mortality.
2 million "emerging sector" children are going to die as a result of this Depression.
So, wasn't it ever so?
Ah! But our system depends on pretence, the spectacle, the unreality; any linkages that engender cause and effect are buried beneath these hyperrealities.
Life-settlement on the other hand, in the words of Lifeline Program, suffers from "headline risk."
"We are waging in death futures" joked a speaker at a recent conference of these morbid marketeers.
The industry targets are the ill and the rich from the grievously indebted nations (US, EU). Age need not be a parameter as the entire sector surfaced in response to the opportunity to make a profit out of the AIDs crisis in 1980s America, where sufferers were enticed to part with their life assurance policies in return for cash for treatment.
The gamble is, in its basic form, simple.
As The Economist explains: "The buyer [life-settlement firm] takes over the payments of the premiums in return for the payout when the policyholder dies."
Now, in that public trust of financiers of all hues is at an all-time low, it is probably of concern that this industry sector "...gives investors a financial interest in the seller's death."
As incentives, and the skewing thereof, dominate the psychopathic marketplace, would you want a former investment bank like Goldman Sachs having a financial stake in your demise?
From an analytical point of view, the 'skill' - these things are considered as talent in the financial centres - is to isolate those rich who will do the decent thing as quickly as possible.
But the terms of agreement eradicate any possibility of those with life assurance "taking the michael" out of this Wunch of Bankers, as the deal is so tilted that only extreme longevity seriously damages the providers.
And, of course, the longer you live, the greater incentive for death to be 'encouraged'.
And the market sector is highly developed, if not yet overly liquid.
As The Economist gushes: "Now they can wager on death as well as default."
And they are correct as there is already a credit-default swap market in "death derivatives".
The free-marketeers reached further levels of orgasmic excitement once they realised that "Death, like destruction, should be largely uncorrelated with the vagaries of financial markets."
It must feel really good to feel that one's tumour is helping the portfolio diversification of some Wunch of Bankers.
Of course, being a Friedmanian template, there is no regulation and the US Senate is demanding some change in this hilarity.
From mortgages to mortality, the Wunch of Bankers sideline any worry over reputational risk out of their greed to grab the last few chips on the hyperpoker table.
Thank goodness we bailed these people out.
Whatever will they think of next?
"Onward to the Russian dolls" - Jean Baudrillard.