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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Beyond the Wall of Worry: The Pier of Pain

by Tanta on 7/31/2007 09:00:00 AM

Via Bloomberg, "Bear, Lehman, Merrill, Goldman Traded as Junk, Derivatives Show":
Bonds of U.S. investment banks lost about $1.5 billion of their face value this month as the risk of owning the securities increased the most since at least October 2004, according to Merrill indexes. Prices of credit-default swaps based on the debt imply that their credit ratings are below investment grade, data compiled by Moody's Investors Service show.

The highest level of defaults in 10 years on subprime mortgages and a $33 billion pileup of unsold bonds and loans for funding acquisitions are driving investors away from debt of the New York-based securities firms. Concerns about credit quality may get worse because banks promised to provide $300 billion in debt for leveraged buyouts announced this year.
Tanta's Muddled Metaphor Index registers in the Severe Danger Zone:
``We have been adding, I wouldn't say we've been power- lifting,'' Kiesel said. ``You want to leave some powder dry as you've got an unprecedented amount of high-yield supply that's hitting the market. That's a train coming down the tracks. So stepping in front of that takes some guts.''