A Too-Big-To-Fail Whale Tale, a Lousy Jobs Report, and "Lazy Methodology"

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Welcome to Capital Account. Last week we told you about the “London Whale” – the London-based Bruno Iksil of JP Morgan Chase. He has reportedly amassed derivative positions so large that he’s driving price moves in the $10 trillion market for credit derivative indexes. Is this yet another sign that too big to fail banks are taking outsized risks with federally insured money? Would they take this huge positions that have the ability to drive price movements in this fashion if they didn’t know that their very existence was subsidized and that they had an implicit backstop from the central banks? Does this make the case for the Volcker Rule, and if not, what does it make the case for? We will speak to author and financial commentator Karl Denninger about it during the show.

And US stocks fell today after the S and P closed out its worth week of 2012. Media reports are saying it is the reaction to a bad jobs report. We’ll back up and look at the big unemployment picture with Karl Denninger, and get his take, as he has been writing about this since last week. And speaking of economic problems, 60 minutes ran a piece this weekend that we took a little offense at, namely the perpetuation of this myth that Greeks are “lazy.” In one part of the erroneous segment, the reporter claimed that “in the past, if Greece found its accounts overdrawn it would simply print more money in order to accommodate the relaxed Greek lifestyle.” This is ABSURD. It shows a complete lack of understand of monetary policy. The only way that a country can subsidize its lifestyle by printing money is if its currency is the global reserve currency. Ergo, the United States. When the united states prints money, it steals purchasing power from people all over the world who hold dollars. When the Greek government would print Drachmas, there were no foreign holders of that currency to rob from. The effect was only to steal money from the industrious Greeks in the private sector and transfer the wealth over the public sector. If there were any “lazy Greeks” who were being subsidized, it was at the expense of the “industrious Greeks.”