Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Some data

I want to talk soon about the equity/credit dislocation I discussed earlier in the year and whether the events of the last few weeks have closed it. But first a few other market datapoints.

First Baltic Dry. This is one interesting indicator of economic activity. Bloomberg shows that the Greenspan Boom has now fully bust:Meanwhile Reuters reports that:
The spread curve of Europe's main credit derivatives index inverted for the first time in its history this week, indicating a higher cost for buying credit protection in the short term as dealers priced in the potential for a shock default by an investment grade company
Individual curves have been inverted in the past - Fiat had a massive inversion when the market was trying to guess whether it would fail quickly or get a bailout - but an inverted iTraxx curve is unprecedented.

The TED spread has contracted slightly, down from a high of 4.63% to 4.36%. If the bailout is working, we will see it come back in to 1.5% or less. But certainly the current level indicates interbank lending is still frozen.

And of course the Crunch has moved into the real economy. The IHT reports:
Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said... "I've seen a lot of crisis, but I've not seen anything quite like this one," ... "I don't think we can escape damage to the real economy. I think we almost inevitably face a considerable recession."
All of this is negative for equity. I'm with FT alphaville's bull-bears: Monday was not the bottom.

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