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Friday, November 7, 2008

Credit Crunch Roundup — November 7, 2008

Items of Interest:

Planet Finance has diedNiall Ferguson / Vanity Fair:
Wall Street Lays Another Egg -- Not so long ago, the dollar stood for a sum of gold, and bankers knew the people they lent to. The author charts the emergence of an abstract, even absurd world—call it Planet Finance—where mathematical models ignored both history and human nature, and value had no meaning.

This year we have lived through something more than a financial crisis. We have witnessed the death of a planet. Call it Planet Finance. Two years ago, in 2006, the measured economic output of the entire world was worth around $48.6 trillion. The total market capitalization of the world’s stock markets was $50.6 trillion, 4 percent larger. The total value of domestic and international bonds was $67.9 trillion, 40 percent larger. Planet Finance was beginning to dwarf Planet Earth.

Planet Finance seemed to spin faster, too. Every day $3.1 trillion changed hands on foreign-exchange markets. Every month $5.8 trillion changed hands on global stock markets. And all the time new financial life-forms were evolving. The total annual issuance of mortgage-backed securities, including fancy new “collateralized debt obligations” (C.D.O.’s), rose to more than $1 trillion. The volume of “derivatives”—contracts such as options and swaps—grew even faster, so that by the end of 2006 their notional value was just over $400 trillion. Before the 1980s, such things were virtually unknown. In the space of a few years their populations exploded. On Planet Finance, the securities outnumbered the people; the transactions outnumbered the relationships...

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Lynn Thomasson / Bloomberg:
U.S. Stocks Tumble in Market's Worst Two-Day Slump Since 1987 — Nov. 6 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks slid, sending the market to its biggest two-day slump since 1987, after jobless claims jumped and the shrinking economy crushed earnings at companies from Blackstone Group Inc. to News Corp...
Discussion:
Allahpundit / Hot Air: Dow tanks again, biggest two-day drop since 1987
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Propublica.org:
Bailout Bucks to Banks -- Here’s our running tally of the banks that have announced preliminary approval by the Treasury Department for participation in the capital injection program. We'll update as more names come in. And if you're heard of new recipients, drop us a line. Total amount committed for investment so far: 170.8476 billion
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Reuters:
Chrysler cash drains away as crisis deepens -- Chrysler LLC is rapidly burning through cash and being driven to prepare for a possible break-up if it can't clinch a merger with General Motors Corp or get government funding needed to ride out the economic crisis, people with knowledge of the situation said...
Related:
Knowledge@Wharton:
Are The Big 3 Running Out of Time--and Options?
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zero hedge

Calculated Risk

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

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