Tuesday, November 24, 2009
TOO BIG TOO FAIL? BABELNOMICS CON'T
NYT--The United States government is financing its more than trillion-dollar-a-year borrowing with i.o.u.’s on terms that seem too good to be true.
But that happy situation, aided by ultra low interest rates, may not last much longer.
Treasury officials now face a trifecta of headaches: a mountain of new debt, a balloon of short-term borrowings that come due in the months ahead, and interest rates that are sure to climb back to normal as soon as the Federal Reserve decides that the emergency has passed.
WSJ-- Banks have spent the past year dealing with a mountain of bad assets. Now attention is turning to trillions of dollars of debt they have maturing over the next few years.
Banks unable to maneuver around the challenge could be forced to refinance their debt at sharply higher costs.
The situation was caused by banks engaging in cheap borrowing during the credit-market boom that began in the middle of the decade and lasted through 2007. As financial markets hit crisis mode, banks were propped up by government guarantees that enabled them to keep selling debt -- but with much shorter maturities.
NYT--The government-administered insurance fund that protects depositors fell $8.2 billion into the red for the first time since the fallout from the savings-and-loan crisis of the early 1990s as the pace of bank failures accelerated in the third quarter.