Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New light

Two very interesting little facts from September came out this week. The first was that Morgan Stanley was forced to inject $23-billion into its money market funds to keep them liquid and avoid breaking the buck. All by itself, that pretty much explains the sudden Federal guarantees of the money market funds. The second was that Goldman approached Citicorp about a link up. A move like that has only one explanation, and it speaks volumes for just how dicey things have gotten. There are times you want to win the race, and there are times you just want to get off the horse.

Information in real time vs. information with a lag. In happier days long ago (well, a year or so) the Fed's pressing issue was transparancy and self-regulation in principles-based regulatory schema were argued as a legitimate alternative to groady rules-based compliance. And now a decent cloak of obscurity is pretty useful when nasty things need to be done to keep the sun shining.

That all seems like a long time ago. But it's still interesting how the passage of a little time and a little more information can put things in a new light.

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