Derivatives are not assets. Derivatives are pieces of paper on which is placed some ink that is adjusted into particular patterns. The adjusted ink is arranged so as to refer to some other thing, the supposed underlying asset, or worse, another derivative. All a derivative can do is refer to that other thing. It is not that other thing and cannot be traded for that other thing. Therefore, derivaties are not fungible, as they cannot be turned into any other thing of value. This is because derivates are intrinsically worthless. They may as well be printed on toilet paper.
Derivates are accorded a "notional" value, which really reveals that there is no actual value, just an idea of some value. The notional value of the derivates created out of the recent mortgage bubble is -- steady now -- $1.2 quadrillion! Since global GDP is about $64 trillion, that means the pile of derivative toilet paper has a notional value 20 times bigger than the entire global GDP. An entire generation's worth of global economic output.
There is no way on Earth that such a mess can be bailed out or bought out. There simply is not that much money in the world! This is what results from a culture of greed.
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