Wednesday, October 29, 2008

>Credit Virus spreads worldwide

Back in 1997, a minor currency crisis in Thailand rattled a few regional market players. But the rest of the world ignored it ... at first. They said it wouldn't matter to the U.S. and would be just a blip on the radar screen.

But soon the decline in Thailand's currency, the baht, accelerated. It went from a gentle slide to a full-scale rout. Before long, currencies in the Philippines, Indonesia, and South Korea began to fall out of bed.

Then regional stock indices later crashed. Our Dow suffered what was then one of the largest point declines on record. And the International Monetary Fund was forced to step in and bail out several economies — to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.

It was a scary time. But compared to what is happening now, the 1997 crisis looks like a day at the beach. Right now ... in far-flung corners of the world as diverse as Iceland, Hungary, Argentina, India, and elsewhere ...

Currencies aren't just declining. They're crashing.

Stock markets aren't just falling. They're collapsing.

Foreign investors aren't just walking for the exits. They're running ... and trampling anyone in their paths.

You may not keep a chart of the Hungarian florint, that nation's currency, on your screen. You probably don't look at Argentina's Merval Index very often, if ever. And you may have never touched an Icelandic krona in your life.

Crisis in Hungary, Argentina, Iceland, oh my!

In Hungary, the currency has been plunging for weeks on end as global investors pare risk and withdraw funds from higher-risk emerging markets. The forint recently traded at 214 against the dollar, a huge decline from the 143 level back in July. In other words, one U.S. dollar buys many more forints than it did a few months ago.

That prompted a serious reaction from the Magyar Nemzeti Bank, Hungary's central bank this week. It jacked up the nation's benchmark rate to 11.5% — an increase of a full three percentage points — to defend the currency and stem the flight of capital.

Meanwhile, in Argentina, the country said it plans to seize $29 billion of private pension funds. This caused bond yields in the country to surge. The Merval stock index plunged 11% on Tuesday, then another 10% on Wednesday. It is down more than 55% on the year.

The government last raided pension fund investments to service its debt in 2001. But it didn't help. Argentina then defaulted in a move that sent shockwaves throughout the global capital markets.

As for Iceland, the market has all but collapsed. The country's three biggest banks have been nationalized. Its currency has lost more than half its value in the past two years. It's being forced to pursue a multi-billion dollar bailout from its Scandinavian neighbors and the IMF.

The most shocking of all: Its benchmark stock market gauge, the OMX ICEX 15 index, has plunged 89% year to date! To put that in perspective, if our Dow did the same thing this year, it would be trading around 1,460.

Back home here in India, we are too running into trouble. Overseas funds dumped a record $12 billion of Indian shares so far this year. Foreign exchange reserves have dwindled by $42 billion as the Indian rupee has imploded. It recently slumped from 39.20 against the dollar to 49.50 — a record low.

Bottom line: The credit virus is now spreading its sickness to the four corners of the world.
Iceland's stock market has all but collapsed as the credit virus spreads worldwide.

I remember till about a month back FM was quite confident about INDIAN MARKETS he used to address the press with the same statement again and again "We are insulated to credit crisis"
Presently hes not to be seen since last few days where we lost 10-20% in a matter of days.

The most recent comment of PM "yes credit crisis is hurting INDIA".
Well why all this when we have plunged,Why they were so confident a month back?

Try to find answers:)
Comments welcome.



Anonymous said...

Good One...kEeP it Up!!

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