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Let's start with some definitions:
Speculative or theoreticalDerivatives:
(from wikipedia) are financial contracts, or financial instruments, whose values are derived from the value of something else (known as the underlying). The underlying on which a derivative is based can be an asset (eg commodities, equities (stocks), residential mortgages, commercial real estate, loans, bonds), an index (eg interest rates, exchange rates, stock market indices, consumer price index (CPI) — see inflation derivatives), or other items (eg weather conditions, or other derivatives). Credit derivatives are based on loans, bonds or other forms of credit.OTC:
Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives are contracts that are traded (and privately negotiated) directly between two parties, without going through an exchange or other intermediary. Products such as swaps, forward rate agreements, and exotic options are almost always traded in this way. The OTC derivative market is the largest market for derivatives, and is unregulated. According to the Bank for International Settlements, the total outstanding notional amount is $596 trillion (as of December 2007). Of this total notional amount, 66% are interest rate contracts, 10% are credit default swaps (CDS), 9% are foreign exchange contracts, 2% are commodity contracts, 1% are equity contracts, and 12% are other. OTC derivatives are largely subject to counterparty risk, as the validity of a contract depends on the counterparty's solvency and ability to honor its obligations.BIS Bank for International Settlements
- The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international organisation which fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks.
- Currently more than 5,000 senior executives and officials from central banks and supervisory agencies participate in meetings organised by the BIS every year.
- Other meetings of senior central bank officials focus on the conduct of monetary policy, the surveillance of international financial markets and central bank governance issues.
According to the BIS, the notional amounts outstanding and gross market values for derivatives in June 2008 (total contracts) is 683,725 billions of US dollars. This is 683 725 000 millions or 683 725 000 000 000 US dollars. To put this in perspective, this is equivalent to:
- 11.4 million schools of 2000 students or schools for 22.8 billion people. We are 6.8 billion now. We could multiply this number by 6 since we spend around 1/6 of our life in school.
- We could build 27 million km of MagLev train or enough to circle the earth 682 times.
- We as Canadian, spend on average 14kW of energy in real time, all sources included. Since a kW/h cost around 0,07$, we than need around 1$ per hour of energy or 8760$ per year or for an average lifespan of 80 years, it would cost around 700,800$. If you take that big number of derivatives, we could supply all the energy needed for a long life to 975,634,988 people or 975 million people.
- According to many studies, the amount in dollar of infrastructure is equal to 4x the GDP of a country. The world GDP is around 65, 000 billion. That give a total world infrastructure value of 260,000 billion.
- 10x the total GDP of the world or
- 2.6X the total amount of infrastructure of the world, this include your house and car.