From 2002 to 2007, the amount of credit in the United States went from $22trn to $37trn – a 70 per cent increase.
The rise and rise of crowdfunding. From late 2010 to the second quarter of 2013, the three major peer-to-peer lenders in the UK – Zopa, Rate Setter, and Funding Circle – lent a total of £378m. In the US, the Lending Club, founded in 2007, has originated over $2bn in personal loans.
In 2013, the world’s largest reinsurer, Munich Re, predicted that from 2012 to 2020 the property-casualty insurance market would grow by 50 per cent to €1.85trn, and the life insurance market by two-thirds to €3.1trn. Giving a global insurance market pushing the €5trn mark.
King of the Ponzi. On 11 December 2008, FBI agents arrested Bernie Madoff, financial adviser and investment manager. Madoff was charged with one count of securities fraud. The net amount lost due to fraud is estimated to be between $10bn and $17bn. On 29 June 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison.
When the trillion-dollar global financial service industry misfires it causes a lot of damage. In an effort to keep the Eurozone together, and prop up the European banking system, the European Union and IMF have bailed out several nations, most notably Greece to the tune of €246bn, with a third tranche of funding still to come.
On 27 June 2013 Barclays Bank was fined just over £290m by UK and US regulators for its involvement in the attempted manipulation of the Libor and Euribor interest rates. It was not just Barclays, either. Eighteen banks were on the panel for setting Libor. Of those banks UBS has also been fined, and other fines may follow as investigations continue.
In 2012 the financial and insurance services sector contributed £109bn to the UK economy (gross value added) and accounted for over 10 per cent of total UK tax receipts.
Hedge funds have had a huge impact on the investment world, enjoying vast growth in the 1990s. In June 2013, the total of funds under management was estimated at $2.4trn globally.
Now regulators in Shanghai have agreed to allow six hedge funds from the US and the UK to raise $50m each from Chinese institutions to invest around the world, in a move that signals the continued opening up of the Chinese financial markets.
That’s a one with a lot of zeros – 15 to be precise. Add a Yen currency sign and you have the Japanese debt milestone passed in August 2013. That’s over 200 per cent of Japan’s annual economic output, and has prompted a massive financial stimulus programme, dubbed Abenomics, aimed at reflating Japan’s economy and improving the country’s debt ratio.
Global financial services giant JP Morgan Chase agreed to pay four regulators in the UK and US, fines totalling $920m. The fines relate to oversight failings as the firm racked up $6bn plus derivative losses in 2012, known as the “London Whale” trades, after the nickname of a trader involved.
A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas estimates that the 2007-2009 financial crisis cost the US between $6trn and $14trn. Or, in figures easier to relate to, the equivalent of $50,000 to $120,000 for every American household.
The Third Basel Accord (Basel III) is a global regulatory standard on banking capital requirements, liquidity and leverage ratios, designed to avert a rerun of the recent banking crisis – assuming that it is implemented. Originally due by 2015, its full introduction has been pushed back until 2019.
A package of financial services regulatory reforms came into effect in the UK in 1986, following changes to the London Stock Exchange’s rules on 27 October 1986. Known as the Big Bang, it transformed the global financial services industry and, some say, was one of the main catalysts of the financial crisis.
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