Yesterday I began this two part blog by noting an important article that appeared in Bloomberg Business Weekly, authored by Vernon Silver and Elissa Martinuzzi, concerning how Deutsche Bank made billions disappear from its books. At the end of that blog, I noted the banker deaths that mysteriously surrounded the Deutsche Bank transactions with Michele Faissola and the Italian Banca dei Paschi di Sienna, a bank in continuous operation since the Renaissance. I also noted Bloomberg's "take" that this transaction was a microcosm of Deutsche Bank's other operations. Finally, I noted that the banker deaths were not confined to associations with Deutsche Bank, but that they engulfed other prime banks and even some insurance institutions in the Western financial system, among them J.P. Morgan Chase. So to refresh our memory, we have the following elements:
(1) Derivatives trade, which comprise in part mortgage-based securities, that are tied to "triggers" such as interest rates;
(2) Deutsche Bank's role in helping rig the LIBOR(London Inter-Bank Offered Rate), one such "trigger";
(3) the global phenomenon of banker deaths, which I now hypothesize is an indicator that Deutsche Bank's practices are, indeed, not confined to that bank alone but part of a systemic "operating procedure" for purposes yet to be speculated about; and,
(4) the details of the Deutsche Bank-Banca dei Paschi di Sienna transaction, currently being investigated and adjuticated in Italy.
Let us refresh our memory on the details of that last point, for they bear directly on today's high octane speculation, which I have titled "I PROMIS you it will Float":
That’s typically a red flag to auditors and regulators, and it took almost a month for Deutsche to alter the deal so it contained a small amount of actual risk. The bankers did this by mixing in two interest rate triggers—that is, prices to be fed into a formula that would determine how much money the participants in the trade had to pay or receive from each other. But that created a slight possibility that Paschi could win both sides of the bet. To mitigate this potential Deutsche loss—as much as €500 million—Deutsche added a third trigger. Underlying the now complex flowcharts of rates, payments, and triggering events was the asset on which the transactions were to be based: about €2 billion in Italian government bonds.
Further illustrating the incestuousness of the deal, Paschi would need to buy the bonds and hand them over to Deutsche as collateral. Deutsche, for the sake of its own accounting, would need to sell the bonds to come up with cash that it then would give right back to Paschi to pay off the Santorini loss. And Paschi would buy the bonds in the first place from a third bank that had bought them from Deutsche.
Now notice that this is simply a circular "triangle" designed to facilitate the accounting practice that would allow the whole transaction to be kept off the balance sheets:
Deutsche also benefited from the way it accounted internally for its side of the deal. That complex shuttling of Italian bonds? The bank decided that all of the back-and-forth maneuvers canceled themselves out and did not need to appear on its balance sheet. Deutsche began to apply the practice to transactions around the world, totaling more than $10 billion that never showed up on its books and making the bank look smaller and less risky than it really was.
But what is really going on? I suspect it has a great deal to do with a method of generating money and keeping that money off the books, a method known as the "float." (There are actually two kinds of floats here, but we're only considering one of them in this exercise of high octane speculation). Investopedia defines the first type of float this way:
Money in the banking system that is briefly counted twice due to delays in processing checks. Float is created when a bank credits a customer’s account as soon as a check is deposited. However, it takes some time for the check to be received from the payer’s bank. Until the check clears from the payer’s bank, the amount of the check appears in the accounts of both the recipient’s and payer’s banks.(See Investopedia: What does "float" mean?)
Notice that money deposited in an account appears on the bank's books as a liability of the bank; however, prior to actual clearing of the transaction, both at the paying and receiving end, that money is in a kind of accounting limbo, during which time it can actually function as a "hidden" reserve, allowing the bank to use it for very quick transactions on which it will earn more money, before the transaction is cleared.
In this case, the Deutsche Bank-Banca dei Paschi di Sienna triangular transaction created an enormous float, which could be conveniently tracked in real time by...oh, say, a database management software program like PROMIS, brainchild of Inslaw Corporation and its founder, William Hamilton. As most readers here are aware, Inslaw's software was stolen by the Reagan Justice Department, modified with several backdoors, and then covertly marketed by the American intelligence community to a variety of countries. As I noted in Hidden Finance, Rogue Networks, and Secret Sorcery, this software could track anything - including financial flows - in real time through a variety of databases.
Such money generated by this practice may, or may not, be entered on the bank's books. In the latter case, it would constitute a "hidden reserve", so to speak, which can then be used to create even more liquidity. As I've noted above, coupling this practice to the derivatives and to mortgage fraud - think only of Catherine Austin Fitts' story detailing massive mortgage fraud in the Department of Housing and Urban Development when she was assistant secretary there, and one creates an enormous hidden financial system with a volume of liquidity that would probably boggle the mind, liquidity that in turn can be covertly used for a variety of purposes, from manipulation of markets of all sorts - commodities, bullion, interest rates and so on - to covert funding mechanisms for covert operations and, given the sheer scale of the system, funding for expensive black projects research and technologies, and even as a mechanism to fund "off world" projects and trade. Keeping the float secret is, I am arguing, a fundamental component of this hidden system of finance, and it would be a national security secret worth keeping at any price, including the murder of those who, working in management positions of large prime banks or insurance companies, might learn key details of its operation.
And in order to make that system work, one would have to have "control" files on the personnel participating in it, as well as cloaking that national security interest behind a wall of "plausible deniability" by having the key component of such a system - the real time tracking of financial flows (and floats) - the software itself, locked in private corporate control of key governmental departments. Think only of former Defense Secretary Donal Rumsfeld not being able to answer Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's questions about missing money, because corporate contracts govern those databases. (See also this important video, shared by many regular readers here, and while I don't normally link videos, this one is important to consider as context to today's high octane speculation:
So why is the Deutsche Bank story important? It is not simply, as the Bloomberg article suggested, because it is a microcosm of its wider operational practice, but rather, because it is a thread which, if those Italian courts and investigations pull long and hard enough, could conceivably unravel a picture of that hidden system, its extent, and its casualties.
But they will have to move quickly, because all indications are that "they" are moving quickly to take whatever connections of that hidden system to the national security structure and sever them completely. That vast pile of liquidity appears to be set for moving back into North America, and it is perhaps worth noting, in this regard, Mr. Trump's agenda to make space a number one priority, with talks with private companies to go out and develop the resources of space.
It's interesting, too, to note that Deutsche Bank's woes appear to have begun with the Wall Street "capture" of that institution, and to contemplate the idea that what is going on is also some form of subtle economic warfare between the USA and Germany.
In short, this is in my opinion, a huge story, and one to watch in coming years.
See you on the flip side...