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Buried in the financial news – a positive sign?

By Brian | October 20, 2008 | Share on Facebook

From this morning’s Yahoo Business Report:

Strains in credit markets continued showing signs of easing after a raft of bailout measures by governments around the world, including a joint U.S. and European plan to buy stakes in private banks to boost their lending. Demand for Treasury bills, regarded as the safest assets around, lessened Monday but remained relatively high in a sign that there was still much fear in the markets.

While we’re not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination, this is an very good sign. As I said in my lengthy post, What Happened? A Summary of the Financial Crisis:

But more importantly, watch the credit markets. These are not nearly as widely reported, but if you read market commentary sites, it will almost always mention how well credit is flowing. . . . When you see credit returning to the market place, that will be the first real sign that this crisis is coming to an end. Also, remember that it will be several weeks or months before the Treasury’s $700 billion starts to get spent. The markets will price it in from an expectations point of view today, but real buying power will not begin to materialize until this starts to happen.

Confidence is still shaky, of course, and with every senator, congressman and media pundit screaming “financial crisis like we haven’t seen since 1932!”, any hiccup in the markets can freeze up the credit markets again. But for now, the creditors are dipping their toes in the pool, and the water isn’t so cold as to send them running.


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