Corporations hide their balance sheet debt routinely, with their lenders, advisors, auditors, rating agencies and media sycophants abetting their collective efforts in maintaining the image of not only solvency, but of nonstop growth.  Trouble is, sometimes this banal financial alchemy catches up with them, and then crises happen, whether limited to the firm, or in much more widespread economic fashion a la ten years ago.  Past companies such as Enron, WorldCom, AIG, Lehman Brothers and many others ultimately either went under, or needed drastic bail-outs, due partly to hiding the true nature of their financial conditions from directors, regulators, investors, auditors and the press, and with sophisticated tools of the trade, which more often than not tend to come vetted by none other than central banks themselves.

Well, the central bank to seemingly all central banks just put out a telling indictment of specific types of trades used for skewing debt listings on balance sheets, and yet, the US Fed practically mandated the use of said trades for supposedly prescribing liquidity efforts in the years following the 2008 Financial Crisis.  Who’s minding the store?  Generally speaking, is hiding company debt dangerous and to be shunned across finance?  Or is that simply for theoretical & academic pondering while business as usual proceeds at a different pace of accounting and oversight coordination?

In this 24th episode of Money & Fear, and as always, in the show’s detailed Show Notes listed under the videos on our website, we’ll review the aforementioned firms’ disastrous flirtations with debt hiding as part & parcel of their paths to bankruptcy or taxpayer salvation, along with how the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland and its acolyte, the US Fed, view debt juggling via repurchase agreements – or repos.  All the while asking critical questions over past habits, current practices, and future expectations over the nature of financial regulation, disclosure & oversight responsibilities.  Fun stuff, especially if you plan on navigating around the second leg to the 2008 Financial Crisis dropping over the next few lunar phases…

If you’re not a Newsbud member yet, please join and tell others.  It costs practically nothing, yet gives you information you’re not supposed to know, thus empowering you to stay ahead of the herd … and think … like these financial alchemists – and just plain, rotten grifters – think.  The time is now to support independent, nonpartisan media, so please consider joining the worldwide Newsbud community today and tell other genuinely curious friends & family out there as well!

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Show Notes

Repurchase Agreement – Repo

Banks May Be Using Lehman-Style Trick to Disguise Debt

Some European Banks May Be Using Lehman Brothers-Style Trick to Hide Debt

How big is the repo market?

Bank for International Settlements – website

BIS Confirms Banks Use “Lehman-Style Trick” To Disguise Debt, Engage In “Window Dressing”

Report Details How Lehman Hid Its Woes

Ernst & Young settles with N.Y. for $ 10 million over Lehman auditing

Why Barclays is in a pickle: Meet the Martin Act

Accounting for Lehman, or Enron Pt 2

7 banks found to help Enron disguise debt

REGULATION FAIL: MF Global Used The Same Trick To Hide Debt As Lehman Used

Was Jon Corzine a True Gambling Addict?

The MF Global Gamble and Jon Corzine’s Lost Weekend

WTF Chart Of The Day: Fed Soaks Up Record $ 200 Billion In Year End Excess Liquidity

Window Dressing On, Window Dressing Off… Amounting To $ 140 Billion In Two Days

Month-End Window Dressing Sends Fed Reverse Repo Usage To $ 208 Billion: Second Highest Ever

WTF Chart Of The Day: “Holy $ 340 Billion In Quarter-End Window Dressing, Batman”

Report Details How Lehman Hid Its Woes

FSB publishes Global Shadow Banking Monitoring Report 2017

Moon Phase Impact on the Stock Market

Lehman Auditor May Face Fraud Charge

Repo Men: Big Banks Hide Debt

Repo 105: Lehman’s ‘Accounting Gimmick’ Explained

Banks Bet Greece Defaults on Debt They Helped Hide


Full Metal Jacket – Pyle’s Beating / “Soap Party”


Annual Economic Report – Bank for International Settlements -June 2018

Global Shadow Banking Monitoring Report 2017


Alchemists of Loss: How Modern Finance and Government Intervention Crashed the Financial System by Kevin Dowd & Martin Hutchinson

Collusion: How Central Banks Rigged the World by Nomi Prins

*For additional footnotes and links refer to the Newsbud article link above

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