Tuesday, December 2, 2008

[Latest Endogenous Liquidity Index: -66.3%; latest Global Dollar Liquidity measure: +40.3%]

. Credit spreads I. The Moody's Baa spread trades at 601 bps. Difficult to feel too bullish about risky assets with such level of credit spreads. [Selected Interest Rates]

. Credit spreads II. Blackrock's Owen Murfin warns: the information-value of credit spreads is distorded (and undermined) by liquidity considerations, i.e. people being forced to sell corporates. I know that already: market-based indicators are not perfect. But they are doing a heck of a job all the same. [Sophia Grene: "Bond spread not as scary as it first seems", Financial Times]

. Liquidity & checks and balances. Countries with political checks and balances have the best credit systems. The same principle operates at a micro-economic level. Citigroup had no independent risk analysis system in place. What a mess! [Eric Dash & Julie Creswell: "Citigroup Saw No Red Flags Even as It Made Bolder Bets", The New York Times]

. Ben Bernanke on private credit markets. "The Federal Reserve's liquidity programs ... have not yet returned private credit markets to normal functioning". Now that's an understatement! (The Endogenous Liquidity Index is now 66.3% below last year's level). [Ben Bernanke: "Federal Reserve Policies in the Financial Crisis"]

. RBA cuts rates. The Reserve Bank of Australia cuts its target for the cash rate by 100 bps, down to 4.25%. Good news! [RBA]


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