Anorak News | The Money Markets Are Dead

The Money Markets Are Dead

by | 1st, October 2008

This afternoon, as reported in the Newy York Times, the money markets ceased to exist.

“The money markets have completely broken down, with no trading taking place at all,” said Christoph Rieger, a fixed-income strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort in Frankfurt. “There is no market any more. Central banks are the only providers of cash to the market; no one else is lending.”

That’s the bad news.

The really bad news is that the SEC has taken leave of what little sense it possesses and put out a new accounting standard on how financial concerns have to value their assets. The reality is that many of the assets have very little value because no-one will buy them; these are the toxic debts that Congress was asked to subsidise.

The new accounting standards will allow the financial concerns to pretend that the debts have some market value, even though there is no market for them.

The reason that there is no market for them is because they have no value.

The SEC seems to be hoping that pretending valueless assets have a value will make everyone happy again, so that people will start lending money again, and all the businesses that rely on borrowing money to meet pay rolls and other expenses won’t go bust.

Of course, what is likely to happen is that people will be more scared than ever of just what is in those bank vaults…

– Chenier

Posted: 1st, October 2008 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink