Over at The Cobden Centre, my friend and colleague, financial engineer Gordon Kerr, explains how to destroy the British banking system through the use of derivatives which take advantage of the regulatory system, then sets out four measures to solve the problem:
Nine years ago I worked as a structuring engineer in a three-man team within the investment banking unit of a major British bank. One of us was very bright. He stunned me one day with an idea as to how we could:
Produce immediate (but illusory) substantial profits for our bank, thus ensuring that we would enjoy generous personal remuneration;
Generate ‘virtual’ share capital to boost our bank’s capital reserves;
Leave the actual investment risk exposure and profit expectation of our bank almost exactly the same after the transaction as before it.
Was this idea the kind of rocket science derivative engineering that justifies master of the universe labels for the three of us who designed and implemented it? No: it was extremely simple. Here’s how it worked. We transmuted some loan assets into a derivative transaction for regulatory purposes, whilst leaving the actual loan arrangements unaltered.