Forex Blog - Credit Spreads Blown Out, Worse Than Last Thursday
With Congress and White
House/Tsy teed up for a $700bln bank rescue package (trust me it is in the bag,
all the hearings are for show back home) and Warren Buffet putting down $5bln
on Goldman preferred, credit is blowing out today, worse than last Thursday.
This is not because the credit market thinks Congress will block the Treasury
bill. No the US government response exposed the global nature of the
problem. At first the package was for just US financial firms. Then
the phone started ringing at the Fed and Tsy and it was all the foreign banks
with US presence saying what about us? I suspect
that Fed and Tsy felt that foreign banks had done the bulk of their write downs
and this rescue exposed a new worst of all possible world outcomesâ€¦they have
written off very little. Why else would US banks still not want to lend or trade with each
other for anything beyond overnight 13 months into massive liquidity injections
from the Fed (and other central banks â€“ access to ECB in European banking
operations)? Banks are hoarding cash. Firms are starting to hoard
cash. How long before people start hoarding cash?
The credit market is not
quaking today because it is worried Congress may not pass the Paulson-Bush
bailout plan. I think most see the bill passing in a revised form with
much of the meat on the bones from the initial bill. What credit markets
are saying is this $700bln is not enoughâ€¦where is the EU $700bln bailout
fund? Where is the BOJ $10bln bailout fund?
G7 needs to hold an
emergency conference call and get at the very least verbal commitment to do
what the Treasury is trying to do and will have in place by Friday or Saturday
and pronto. Even if European Union is unable to respond quickly enough
and requires individual state responses at the very least a public political
commitment to the process is a necessary if not sufficient condition. And
as a temporary stop gap measure I suggest the ECB commit its currency reserves
(over $200bln) to set up a toxic waste fund immediately with a temporary lifespan
until the governments of the Euro Zone and EU come up with the funds and pay
the ECB back for whatever reserves are used to buy bad assets.
The banking system is badly
broken and stocks and the dollar are not worth looking at for a read on how
badly banks are no broken.
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