Monday, 17 March 2008 05:00

Additional points to look at as trading starts

One thing of note - The Fed's attempts to prop up the market should
help most banks, but the issue is that the bank's problems are that of
solvency and not liquidity. Liquidity problems have popped up, but they
are a consequence of the market being fearful of insolvency. The Fed
has created a limited backstop against general liquidity issues, but if
there is another run on the bank the Fed will not be able to afford to
stop it. Even if they could, they can't stop all of them by supplying
money. If there is a run on the bank, Lehman is next in line. I mention
this because if you really read my pieces - Banks, Brokers, & Bullsh1+ part 1
and Banks, Brokers, & Bullsh1+ part 2 you should walk away appreciating the risk between large private
investors and the I Banks. The I banks are starving for liquidity to
balm their solvency issues, so if they get money from the Fed you can
bet your booty that they will not be lending it back out (I was told that the banks were told by the Fed to allow their clients to borrow through them to the Fed window, but seeing is believing). They will
also be very jittery about collateral and credit risks, which means
more margin calls. The calls will be devastating. That means that if or
when banks start calling in collateral, the crash just may occur in the
hedge fund/private institutional investor arena before the actual I
bank arena. I that happens, the collateral will devalue futher as
deleveraging occurs, and it will put a liquidity strain on the I banks
again as they bang against the Fed's lending facility. I can't
guarantee this will happen, but it is a distinct possibility.

Last modified on Monday, 17 March 2008 05:00