The Phaserl


Fragility: What Has the Watchers Worried In the US Debt Markets

from Jesse’s Café Américain:

As you know I am on the lookout for a ‘trigger event’ that might spark another financial crisis, given the composition of the economy and the financial markets.

In the last financial crisis 2008, it was the failure of the two Bear Stearns hedge funds that exposed the grossly mispriced risks in mortgage backed financial assets, and the generally flawed nature of the market’s collateralized debt obligations. This led to a cascade of failures in fraudulently priced assets, and resulted in increasingly large institutional failures, including the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

One can draw some parallels with the financial crisis before that, which was the gross mispricing of risk and inflated values of internet-related tech companies that had grown to obviously epic proportions by 2000. A failure of several key tech bellwethers to make their numbers, and some negative results in the economy, showed the flaws in the underlying assumptions in what was clearly an asset bubble. And once the selling started, it was Katy-bar-the-door.

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