On both sides of the Atlantic, the big banks are highly leveraged, they have taken on a ton of risk and they are very deeply exposed to derivatives. It is as if virtually nobody learned any lessons during the financial crisis of 2008. Once again we are facing a situation where if a couple of financial dominoes fall it could send dozens of others tumbling to the ground.
Some very significant things happened on Monday. But the media has gotten so used to reporting on tremendous financial instability that Monday's events mostly got brushed to the side. Instead, Amanda Knox captured most of the headlines.
But the reality is that some really, really monumental stuff has been going down.
The following are 14 facts that just might scare the living daylights out of you....
#1 On Monday, the Dow was down 258 points. Lately it seems as though the Dow has been going up or down by several hundred points almost every single day, and that much volatility is not a good sign for the health of the financial system.
#2 Shares of Wall Street banking giant Morgan Stanley fell by another 8 percent on Monday. Overall, shares of Morgan Stanley have declined by more than 50 percent since February.
#3 Bank of America stock dropped down to $5.53 a share on Monday. Just a few years ago, it was trading for more than $50 a share.
#4 There are reports that Goldman Sachs may actually show a loss for the third quarter of 2011 and that yearly bonuses for employees may be slashed to next to nothing. Yes, not too many people are going to have sympathy for Goldman Sachs, but this just shows how bad things are getting out there for the big Wall Street banks.