Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Be very scared says IMF

Credit Crisis Is Broadening;
Credit deterioration, which was first evident in the U.S. subprime market, is now showing up in higher-quality residential mortgages, U.S. commercial real estate, and the corporate debt markets, according to the GFSR. These concerns are further exacerbated by a drop in valuations of structured credit products and a dramatic drying up of market liquidity.

Uncertainty about the size and distribution of bank losses, reduced capital buffers, and the normal reduction in credit as the cycle turns are also likely to weigh heavily on household borrowing, business investment, and asset prices. This, in turn, would affect employment, output growth, and balance sheets—thereby creating worrying macroeconomic feedback effects.

This feedback dynamic is potentially more severe than in earlier credit cycles, as it was fueled by a proliferation of new credit products that allowed more people to obtain credit, the report said. "Thus, it is now clear that the current turmoil is more than simply a liquidity event, reflecting deep-seated balance sheet fragilities, which means its effects are likely to be broader, deeper, and more protracted," it added.

Global Financial Stability Report interview

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