A new report by Barclays Capital says that because of 'monoline' deals, which involve insuring against bad debts, the banks need at least $143 billion in fresh capital to cover the losses - but where are they going to get it?
Few people have even heard of 'monolines' even though they are one of the foundations of global capitalism. Basically they are one of banker's favorite alchemical spells for turning lead into gold, having made several pacts with the devil. But now to their horror, the 'gold' is turning back into lead - and then evaporating into massive losses.
• Societe Generale, the French bank at the center of the worlds biggest 'rogue trader' scandal is said to be one of the European banks most exposed to the looming monolines crisis.