Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Viscious cycle

Yves Smith looks at the downward momentum that builds as a a firesale of assets leads to additional deterioration of balance sheet of other financial institutions.

NAB and the Australian stockmarkets were directly affected by the Merrills move, which reflects the US banker's desperate desire to quit as much of its toxic subprime mortgage related investments as it can, without regard to the flow on impact to other banks and markets.

In effect Merrill's move to sell these holdings of CDOs to a distressed debt fund investor, forced the NAB to write-down the value of its holding in the CDOs, a move which triggered a huge sell-off of Australian bank shares Friday and yesterday. Yesterday the ANZ revealed a completely unrelated set of write-offs and provisions, butr these had more to do with the slowing Australian economy.

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