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Nouriel Roubini.

But if you think that $2 trillion is already huge, our latest estimates RGE Monitor (available in a paper for our clients) suggest that total losses on loans made by U.S. financial firms and the fall in the market value of the assets they are holding will be at their peak about $3.6 trillion. The U.S. banks and broker dealers are exposed to half of this figure, or $1.8 trillion; the rest is borne by other financial institutions in the US and abroad. The capital backing the banks assets was last fall only $1.4 trillion, leaving the U.S. banking system some $400 billion in the hole, or close to zero even after the government and private sector recapitalization of such banks. Thus, another $1.4 trillion will be needed to brink back the capital of banks to the level they had before the crisis; and such massive additional recapitalization is needed to resolve the credit crunch and restore lending to the private sector. So these figures suggests that the US banking system is effectively insolvent in the aggregate; most of the UK banking system looks insolvent too; and many other banks in continental Europe are also insolvent.


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