Shadow Banking

Bill Gross of PIMCO, the world’s biggest bond fund:

“The levered global economy long ago morphed from a banking-dominated regime to one that hid behind securitized lending and structures resembling a ‘shadow banking’ system. SIVs, hedge funds, CDOs and increasingly levered mortgage and investment banks fueled asset appreciation in all investment markets, which in turn propelled real economic growth and employment to unsustainable levels. But, with U.S. housing prices as its trigger, the delevering process did a Wile E. Coyote and headed over the cliff in mid-year 2007, dragging down almost all asset prices except government bonds….

Those who argue strongly for a recapitalization of the banking system, however, may be missing the distinction between the banking system as we once knew it, and the “shadow banking” system that superseded it.”

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