As of April 1; Jeff has the story.
I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have, but nothing much should change about the blog bar the URL, and in no way should this reflect badly on Portfolio.com, which has been an absolutely wonderful home to me for the past two years and which I’m genuinely sad to be leaving. Some things, however, are just too exciting to resist. More anon.
Contracts on the Markit iTraxx Financial index of credit-default swaps linked to the senior debt of 25 banks and insurers were more expensive today than the Markit iTraxx Europe corporate index. That hasn’t happened since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. went bankrupt in September and, before that, JPMorgan’s takeover of Bear Stearns, according to BNP Paribas. It reflects “systemic stress” in the financial system.
David Reilly crunches the numbers:
Of the $8.46 trillion in assets held by the 12 largest banks in the KBW Bank Index, only 29 percent is marked to market prices, according to my analysis of company data. General Electric Co., meanwhile, said last week that just 2 percent of assets were marked to market at its General Electric Capital Corp. subsidiary, which is similar in size to the sixth-biggest U.S. bank.
I’m back from England, which is clearly a country where the populace is highly aware of international exchange rates. The pound has imploded of late, which is why you see ads like this at Heathrow’s Duty Free shop ("At current exchange rates, it pays to buy before you fly"):
There have been some scary figures about the destruction of global wealth being bandied about in the past couple of days. First the Asian Development Bank put out a report by Claudio Loser along with an associated press release headlined "Global Financial Market Losses Reach $50 Trillion, Says Study". And then Steve Schwarzman said that "between 40 and 45 percent of the world’s wealth has been destroyed in little less than a year and a half".