Friday, October 17, 2008
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes in the Telegraph of the post-Lehman Brothers world where nearly everyone is fearful and so many on Wall Street don't know quite what to do (no, I'm not talking about this guy).
The failure of the fabled investment bank has led not only to an escalation of the credit crisis, but to a literal explosion of photos on the internet for one of its most prolific scapegoats, former Lehman CEO Dick Fuld.
There's a pretty good picture in the story below, but look what you can find on the internet and assemble with just a little effort on a relatively quiet Friday afternoon.
Anyway, here's Ambrose who, not surprisingly, is fearful of what might be in store for the once robust market for Credit Default Swaps.
Fears of Lehman's CDS derivatives haunt marketsIt looks like next week will be just another week, part of the "new normal".
It is a full week after bankers gathered in New York to start sorting out the derivatives mess left by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. We still do not know who is on the hook for some $360bn of default insurance, or how much they will have to pay.
Those on the wrong side of these Lehman debt contracts - known as credit default swaps (CDS) - must come up with the money by Tuesday, the next D-Day in the ever-fraught calendar of the credit markets. There has been a deafening silence so far.
There is no easy way of finding out who they are, so every bank and insurer is suspect. The $55,000bn CDS market is "completely lacking in transparency and completely unregulated" in the words of Chris Cox, the chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Chris Whalen, head of Institutional Risk Analytics, says this creates a huge moral dilemna. Why should taxpayers now responsible for AIG foot the bill for huge windfall transfers to hedge funds?
"We need to shut this whole thing down. The people who don't own the underlying collateral and were just betting should be flushed away. It would be grotesque if the US authorities were now to subsidize speculators. The US political class is waking up to this," he said.