The system of "shadow banking," blamed by some for aggravating the global financial crisis, grew to a new high of $67 trillion globally last year (more than the total economic output of all the countries in the study!), a top regulatory group said, calling for tighter control of the sector.
A report by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) on Sunday appeared to confirm fears among policymakers that shadow banking is set to thrive, beyond the reach of a regulatory net tightening around traditional banks and banking activities.
The FSB, a task force from the world's top 20 economies, also called for greater regulatory control of shadow banking.
"The FSB is of the view that the authorities' approach to shadow banking has to be a targeted one," the group wrote in a report, noting the current lax regulation of the sector.
The study by the FSB said shadow banking around the world more than doubled to $62 trillion in the five years to 2007 before the crisis struck.
But the size of the total system had grown to $67 trillion in 2011 — more than the total economic output of all the countries in the study.
The multitrillion-dollar activities of hedge funds and private equity companies are often cited as examples of shadow banking.
But the term also covers investment funds, money market funds and even cash-rich firms that lend government bonds to banks, which in turn use them as security when taking credit from the European Central Bank.
What a tangled web of lies, business & political corruption, and greed.