Sunday, November 18, 2007


David Seaton's News Links
There is a wonderful saying in Spanish, "eramos pocos y parió la abuela", which translates literally as, "there were only a few of us and grandmother gave birth" and means, "it was the last straw". Obviously the English version gives none of the surreal exasperation of the Spanish original.

This saying comes to my mind constantly when I put the economic news alongside the geopolitical stuff. So many calamities taken all together become a thing to itself, the quantity turns into a quality, something called a "tipping point".

Tipping into what? That is the question. DS

Nouriel Roubini says:

I now see the risk of a severe and worsening liquidity and credit crunch leading to a generalized meltdown of the financial system of a severity and magnitude like we have never observed before. In this extreme scenario whose likelihood is increasing we could see a generalized run on some banks; and runs on a couple of weaker (non-bank) broker dealers that may go bankrupt with severe and systemic ripple effects on a mass of highly leveraged derivative instruments that will lead to a seizure of the derivatives markets (think of LTCM to the power of three); a collapse of the ABCP market and a disorderly collapse of the SIVs and conduits; massive losses on money market funds with a run on both those sponsored by banks and those not sponsored by banks (with the latter at even more severe risk as the recent effective bailout of the formers’ losses by theirs sponsoring banks is not available to those not being backed by banks); ever growing defaults and losses ($500 billion plus) in subprime, near prime and prime mortgages with severe known-on effect on the RMBS and CDOs market; massive losses in consumer credit (auto loans, credit cards); severe problems and losses in commercial real estate and related CMBS; the drying up of liquidity and credit in a variety of asset backed securities putting the entire model of securitization at risk; runs on hedge funds and other financial institutions that do not have access to the Fed’s lender of last resort support; a sharp increase in corporate defaults and credit spreads; and a massive process of re-intermediation into the banking system of activities that were until now altogether securitized. READ IT ALL

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