James Saft Great Debate – James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

The shadow banking system in Europe isn’t so much dead as being kept on life support by banks and central banks in what amounts to a desperate but risky attempt to avoid the reckoning.

You might be forgiven for thinking that the biggest single month ever for securitization in Europe and Britain was sometime before we all realized that we were in a credit bubble, sometime like the sunny days of 2006.

In fact, the biggest month ever, by some margin, was December 2008, when more than 212 billion euros of securitizations were issued in Europe.

One small problem however is that there was almost no demand for them, with only about 8 billion euros in public deals intended to be bought by actual investors wanting to take on actual risk.