Thursday, June 09, 2011
Apocalyptic financial numbers
Here's a comparison for James Taranto's Best of the Web Today column:
Barack Obama's worst week was about more than bad data. The two great legislative monuments to the first Obama term, the remaking of the health-care industry and the Dodd-Frank financial reform, look like they've got serious structural cracks. A McKinsey report estimates that a third of employers will abandon their health-insurance plans come 2014. On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the failure (or inability) of Dodd-Frank's regulatory arm to write new rules for the $583 trillion derivatives market has the financial sector in a panic over its legal exposure.
— Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2011.
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association said Tuesday that the true size of the global over-the-counter derivatives market is closer to $401 trillion, not the $583 trillion estimate given by the Bank for International Settlements late last year.
— Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2011.
I don't know about you, but I feel much better after reading that second blurb. $182 trillion difference here, $182 trillion difference there, and pretty soon you're talking about some real money!
(This discrepancy aside, the Henninger article is well worth your read, and scary as hell.)
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Editing note: I don't claim to know which number is the correct one, so I changed my original word "goof" in the last (parenthetical) sentence of this post to "discrepancy."
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