Wednesday, December 12, 2007

This is Not Good

Consider these two facts:

The biggest act of international economic cooperation since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is being put in place after demand for cash caused borrowing costs to rise. Banks and securities firms around the world have written down about $76 billion of assets this year after the market for mortgage-backed securities disintegrated.

The market for U.S. asset-backed commercial paper backed by assets such as mortgages and credit-card loans has shrunk for 17 straight weeks to $801 billion, falling 33 percent from its peak on Aug. 8, as structured investment vehicles continued winding down, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Those two pieces of information should scare the snot out of everyone.