and one Trillion there and soon enough you have this picture (click on it for full size)
I caught that yesterday through econbrowser and this morning it is on the cover of the FT. It is "AS-OF DATE" report by the IMF on the damage. This morning the econ blogs are discussing the numbers. I find confusion in the coverage.
The chart shows $100-130B CASH on the BANKS. Crisis to date the banks have already declared about 125 of losses. It isn't clear from reading the blogs this morning whether this is a "TO-DATE" or "FINAL" number. From the surface I would say "TO-DATE". The rest of the cash losses would be on the insurance companies, funds and govt agencies. The financial system has disclosed in time.
The majority of the losses ($750) are MARK TO MARKET losses. Meaning losses in the current market that are not REALIZED yet and will not be realized until the assets sell. This reflects extreme illiquidity rather than fundamentals. If you bought your house for 1M and it is worth 800k today, because no one is buying, have you lost money? yes and no, in mark to market you have lost 200, but you can hold on the asset and hope for the price to go back up. In short, your losses aren't "real" until you realize them.
There could be legislation to bypass the mark to market legislation known as FAS157. People are calling for a suspension of mark to market. Read this morning that apparently there is talk to allow the stricken firms to bundle the assets in trash can, off balance SIVs, and bypass FAS157 that way. Kinda makes Japanese sense. Of course selling those SIV to govt would be another solution.
In short, those losses are "real" and "not real" at the same time, they are almost quantum mechanical in the way I think about them (the schrodinger cat isn't dead until you observe it) and the only real way to value them is to average out the noise. If we apply 0.5 prob on the outcome (it either happens or it doesn't :) then the real losses are $525M (250 + 750/2). Still huge and really indicating "halfway" but not "doomsday". A big portion of it is still within stabilization range of the FEDs balance sheet, albeit FULLY committed.
Buckle up dorothy the cylons bankers are firing another salvo.