The ‘Minsky moment’ continues

More banks disappeared in Europe and the USA over the weekend:

Bradford and Bingley, one of the UK’s largest mortgage lenders was nationalised. The government will now pay $18bn to Spanish bank Santander to enable a transfer of retail deposits to take place
Fortis, Belgian’s biggest bank, has been partly nationalised by the Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg governments at a cost of $11bn
Wachovia, the leading US bank, will be rescued by Citigroup with the assistance of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

As the blog noted earlier this month, the deleveraging process is now unstoppable, and we have reached the ‘Minsky moment’. Investors have recognised they overpaid for assets over the past few years, and a ‘rush for the exits’ is underway, causing ‘distress sales’ to take place due to an absence of new buyers.

Currently, this process is focused on the financial sector. The blog’s fear is that investors’ attention may soon turn to other areas, including chemicals and key customer industries.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. Paul is also an invited member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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