Wednesday, July 16, 2008

U.S. Faces Global Funding Crisis: Merrill Lynch

As we said in "Oil Price Shock Means China at Risk of Blowing Up":

We are fans of Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Whenever we feel too chipper a dose of A.E.-P. calms us right down. From our post "Barclays warns of a financial storm as Federal Reserve's credibility crumbles":

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard grooves on this kind of story and because he looks for them, he finds them. It was he who brought us RBS's warning "Royal Bank of Scotland: Global Stock and Credit Crash Alert". He's useful for putting stuff on the radar, not so much for inflection/turning points.
From the Telegraph:
The US Treasury may have just days to act before foreign patience snaps, writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Merrill Lynch has warned that the United States could face a foreign "financing crisis" within months as the full consequences of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage debacle spread through the world.

The country depends on Asian, Russian and Middle Eastern investors to fund much of its $700bn (£350bn) current account deficit, leaving it far more vulnerable to a collapse of confidence than Japan in the early 1990s after the Nikkei bubble burst. Britain and other Anglo-Saxon deficit states could face a similar retreat by foreign investors.

"Japan was able to cut its interest rates to zero," said Alex Patelis, Merrill's head of international economics....MORE

HT: Naked Capitalism who writes:

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard appears to be trying to corner the market in apocalyptic financial news. But his sources aren't evangelicals, survivalists, or even goldbugs. The experts he cites are with respected financial firms, meaning they don't sound alarms casually. Even more significant, the terms they are using to describe what might be coming are uncharacteristically dire....