Friday, March 21, 2008

Features of the week

Welcome to this Friday's edition of, "Features of the week".

1. The financial system: What went wrong. Economist report.

2. "Ask the oil producers to rescue Wall Street". FT Comment piece notes that, "banks' appetite for risk-taking has vanished", and that the recent crisis could signal, "the beginning of a massive global credit crunch".

A key paragraph explains the recent shift in risk appetites:

"Banks want to shrink risk exposure, not maintain or expand it. Liquidity support by the Fed is an invitation to borrow from the central bank for on-lending to others – that is, to expand balance sheets. On the contrary, the banks and brokers want to contract their balance sheets."

For more on this, see the following item.

3. "Can't get a loan? You're not alone". A follow-up to our recent post, "Money is cheap and unavailable", that explains why credit is suddenly so tight.

4. FT's John Authers on the recent drop in commodity prices.

5. NY Times on a global need for grain that farm's can't fill.

6. The Oil Drum looks at food to 2050.

7. Marc Faber on the problem with artificially low interest rates.

8. Politicians can get away with starting wars, but not with hiring a prostitute. Think about that one.

9. A new Great Depression? It's different this time. See also, "Here come the modern 1930s".

10. The bottom will remain elusive. Chris Puplava's recent FSO market wrap up.

11. Nimble and bold bond managers take advantage of mispricings.

12. "The time is now...Here's what to do...". The Financial Philosopher on living life in the present moment.

Thanks for reading Finance Trends Matter. Enjoy your holiday weekend.