So here is what I think is a very important and interesting speech given by the European Central Bank - ECB - president, Jean-Claude Trichet .
"A long phase of heightened risk tolerance in our economies has come to an end. To the extent that the more recent turns in the markets correct past excesses, this is a welcome – if painful – process that we had anticipated and asked market participants to prepare for in past interventions."
Market participants have been warned, and I do hope that they don't forget to warn the locomotive of the economy - the citizen. It is true by having high interest rates, it gives the message that now borrowing is not a good idea, but if you do, so you will pay a high price for it.
"To the extent that this interpretation has some merit, a less fortunate string of shocks could always bring more ample swings in economic conditions – looking forward – than we have grown accustomed to from past experience. And this could entail repercussions for the valuation of investment risk in various financial markets. In this case a return to historical valuations for risk would imply large negative returns for a possibly extended period of time"
He makes very interesting point, saying that "we have grown accustomed to from past experience" i.e stock and housing just go one direction: UP. Ask that to the japanese, they grew accustomed that housing go only one direction: DOWN. Although it's unfair to compare Europe or the US to the Japan experience....
What could be seen as worrying is what he says after, "In this case a return to historical valuations for risk would imply large negative returns for a possibly extended period of time"
I'm not sure about what he means that an "Extended period of time", is that 2 years or two decades?
"Gordon Nixon, CEO at Royal Bank of Canada, the nation's biggest bank by assets, called conditions the worst since the Great Depression and said lack of liquidity, rather than credit quality, is a bigger issue.
Bank of Nova Scotia CEO Richard Waugh said the global credit crunch is 'the worst we've ever seen' and that liquidity had been mispriced for years without enough regard for risk.
A multi-decade era of relatively easy credit is 'over' and borrowing will be tougher, Nixon said, forcing lenders and companies that borrow to adjust their business models accordingly."
Indeed Stocks and Housing hase been growing steadely, even if bumps were on the road. In the past 3 years it seems that this environment has changed. As usual, the U.S. is ahead in term of business cycle and adjustement - they saw their housing and stock readjusting.
The process of delevering, how can it be better said by the bigger Bond investor and GURU, PIMCO's Bill Gross.
How about Mr Greenspan (ex- 18 years - Fed Chairman of the American Federal reserve) view about the current situation - come on try to be positive - ...
"Let's recognize that this is a once-in- a-half-century, probably once-in-a-century type of event" — the worst "by far" in his career, Greenspan said.
"There's no question that this is in the process of outstripping anything I've seen, and it is still not resolved," Greenspan said in an interview today on ABC's
I don't even talk or mention Lehman brothers, should they fall, like a domino, it's the whole shadow banking system that will collapse (Merril Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs etc...). Unstable? you said...not sure where is the floor...I just hope that the American fed will use the American public money (socialize the losses) in order to rescue the rest - the world.
Update: Well, lehman this morning has gone bust. World wide stock market are slumping. In fact, it looks like we are slowly seeing the end of the current crisis as the weakest player are disapearing while the stronger will manage to survive: it's a painful but healthy happening.