# News Global Derivatives Market now valued at $1.14 Quadrillion 1. Apr 20, 2009 ### Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus I have a friend who claims that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg wrt the global derivatives market. I am posting this because I don't know enough about his concerns to address subject - I don't know if this is a credible concern or not. His perspective is that, less China, global financial collapse is all but a certainty. http://jutiagroup.com/2008/07/24/global-derivatives-market-now-valued-at-114-quadrillion/ Also, I didn't spot a good answer to this. Does anyone have a good link showing the US dollar equivalent of ~ all of currency that exists globally, at this time. My assumption has been that there are derivatives, and then there are unfunded derivatives. His understanding is that we have a quadrillion dollars in unfunded or highly leveraged derivatives, which far exceeds the global gdp. He claims that the true scope of the problem is not being reported. Last edited: Apr 21, 2009 2. Apr 21, 2009 ### russ_watters ### Staff: Mentor Does he have more up to date numbers than that because an awful lot of value was lost over the past 9 months and the number in the link is 16 months old. And the question you are asking, about currency that exists - do you mean actual cash or GDP or what? A google for "world gdp" yields$55 Trillion for 2007.

3. Apr 21, 2009

### LowlyPion

I'm sure this is the case.

4. Apr 21, 2009

Here's a link that says the sum of all the world's assets was $167 Trillion in 2008: http://www.slate.com/id/2202263/ It also has some insight as to the meaning of that number you had, Ivan. 5. Apr 21, 2009 ### Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Thanks, Russ. Yes, the total value of the world's assets was what I was looking for. As for the link that I posted, I just grabbed what looked like a respectable report of the numbers. 6. Apr 21, 2009 ### mheslep In particular: The difference between notional and market valuations of derivatives is commonly understood by people working in the business (not me), and would be communicated to any Congressman spending 5 minutes on the phone with knowledgeable people, so my take is that when (if) a Harkin uses those the notional numbers he's intentionally being misleading on the subject. 7. Apr 21, 2009 ### mgb_phys Is that really a problem? These are closed deals that go round in circles between a few institutions - do they really matter? I sold my dog a$1Tr futures contract on next weeks dog food, he leveraged that with the cat who sold it back to me. It doesn't mean that the economy is down $1Tr if the cat doesn't pay (which he won't - he only ever coughs up hairballs). 8. Apr 21, 2009 ### misgfool But you are not seeing that the cat sold$9Tr to your neighbors too. Now the economy isn't down, if the neighbors haven't used the imaginary $9Tr to increase their gdp. 9. Apr 21, 2009 ### Phrak Does increasing their GDP mean adding numbers to one side of a ledger sheet? How is this a problem? 10. Apr 22, 2009 ### misgfool No. This goes a bit offtopic, but if you must know, a black hole emerged and ate the futures contract papers. 11. Apr 22, 2009 ### Vanadium 50 Staff Emeritus Indeed, this would be called not 1 but 3 trillion - three separate 1T transactions. That's why I feel market value makes more sense. 12. Apr 22, 2009 ### WhoWee This was Warren Buffets analysis last year (his letter to investors in 2008 using 2007 stats)...demonstrates some interesting comparisons. http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/derivatives-new-ticking-time-bomb/story.aspx?guid={B9E54A5D-4796-4D0D-AC9E-D9124B59D436} " In short, despite Buffett's clear warnings, a massive new derivatives bubble is driving the domestic and global economies, a bubble that continues growing today parallel with the subprime-credit meltdown triggering a bear-recession. Data on the five-fold growth of derivatives to$516 trillion in five years comes from the most recent survey by the Bank of International Settlements, the world's clearinghouse for central banks in Basel, Switzerland. The BIS is like the cashier's window at a racetrack or casino, where you'd place a bet or cash in chips, except on a massive scale: BIS is where the U.S. settles trade imbalances with Saudi Arabia for all that oil we guzzle and gives China IOUs for the tainted drugs and lead-based toys we buy.
To grasp how significant this five-fold bubble increase is, let's put that $516 trillion in the context of some other domestic and international monetary data: * U.S. annual gross domestic product is about$15 trillion
*
U.S. money supply is also about $15 trillion * Current proposed U.S. federal budget is$3 trillion
*
U.S. government's maximum legal debt is $9 trillion * U.S. mutual fund companies manage about$12 trillion
*
World's GDPs for all nations is approximately $50 trillion * Unfunded Social Security and Medicare benefits$50 trillion to $65 trillion * Total value of the world's real estate is estimated at about$75 trillion
*
Total value of world's stock and bond markets is more than $100 trillion * BIS valuation of world's derivatives back in 2002 was about$100 trillion
*
BIS 2007 valuation of the world's derivatives is now a whopping $516 trillion Moreover, the folks at BIS tell me their estimate of$516 trillion only includes "transactions in which a major private dealer (bank) is involved on at least one side of the transaction," but doesn't include private deals between two "non-reporting entities." They did, however, add that their reporting central banks estimate that the coverage of the survey is around 95% on average. "

13. Apr 22, 2009

Staff Emeritus
The $516T is telling us something - it's telling us that notional value isn't the right way to evaluate this. Let's consider a very simple derivative - the option. Suppose you have an option to buy 1000 shares of XYZ Corp at$99/share. Further suppose that XYZ is trading at $100/share. How much are the options worth? I think most of us would say$1000 - one could exercise the options and buy 1000 shares for $99,000 and turn around and sell them for$100,000. Actually, it's probably less than this, when you consider transaction fees, but let's ignore that.

The notional value of these options is not $1000, though. It's$100,000 - the value of the underlying securities. I don't think anyone would say this derivative is worth $100,000. But that's how these quadrillion dollar numbers are calculated. 14. Apr 22, 2009 ### mheslep A fine, very clear example V 50. I'm afraid you are swimming against the tide though, some folks just like horror movies. 15. Apr 22, 2009 ### mheslep Sorry to quibble, but you rounded off$500B off the budget there (budget 2009 passed at $3.5T) and rounded$800B high on GDP (2008 dollars) which is ~falling. Just couldn't see sliding past that much money yet.

Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
16. Apr 22, 2009

### mgb_phys

The real problem is the leveraged derivatives - a bet on the ratio or difference between two shares.
So if one share is $10 and the other is$9, your contract is for 10x the difference - what is it worth if the second share becomes a penny stock.

17. Apr 22, 2009

### WhoWee

Those stats were quoted from Warren Buffets letter to his shareholders in 08 and based on 07 figures.

Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
18. Apr 22, 2009

### mheslep

oh, yes I see now.

19. Apr 22, 2009

Staff Emeritus
Thanks. I hope it's right.

The place I am not sure of is because it requires two transactions to exercise the option, the notional value may actually be $200,000. I think it's not, because the same 1000 shares are involved, but I am not 100% sure. I'm more worried about the number of decimal places than the first digit anyway. That example is actually another reason not to confuse notional value with market value. If the second stock becomes worth a penny, the market value of this contract is -$99.90 per share. The notional value is the value of the underlying security - in this case, a penny.

Which number better reflects the risk?

20. May 6, 2009

### Phrak

I ask several days ago, but got blown-off.

To be more precise, how is the Volume Bubble in the leverage market a problem?. How is volume, or whatever, an economic problem waiting to happen?