Thursday, 15 November 2007
Sorry to all my bloggees who have missed the latest updates. Times are turbulent out there as the financial system tries to cope with the redit crunch. So what is happening? Today Barclays have written down their holdings of US securitised mortgage stock by £800million. This is a large number but given that it is not as large as some commentators were suggesting last week the market has not taken fright. Our problems in the UK are not as severe as in the US but Northern Rock still continues to go South as the auction for the bank draws to a close this Friday. The problem is that NR is unlikely to be able to repay the loan from the Bank of England anytime soon and is the Bank willing to underwrite new owner's for the next 3 years at least? Not likely - so this saga has a lot of time to run. My guess is that NR will be broken up - its mortgage book sold off in bite sized chunks and the shareholders left with not very much at all. Its a grim business - political ineptitude, media hype, European (gold plated by HMG) transparency rules, the FSA not knowing its A*** from its E***** and a central bank not as nippy on its feet as it might be. If it wasn't for the poor bloody infantry (us) the country would be in a real mess.