Zeitgeist check

February 27, 2009

Some more bits and bobs to capture the current mood among investors.

–  So far, 2009 is worse than 2008 for stock investors. MSCI‘s main world index is down around 17 percent in January and February.  A year ago, it had lost around 8 percent.

– Eastern and central Europe are the new worries because of bank exposure to troubled economies.  ”The travails in the east, like the vampires of folklore, are sucking the lifeblood from European markets and investor sentiment,” State Street suggests.

– Cross-border flows into the euro zone hit record lows in February,  the same firm says.

– Denmark and Sweden join the gloomy gang. Year-on-year Swedish GDP lost 4.9 percent in Q4 2008 and Denmark’s was down 3.9 percent.

– We have just had the worst month ever for global corporate earnings revisions, according to Societe Generale number maestro Andrew Lapthorne. “Earnings estimates for 2009 saw a 14 percent cut last month, a rate of downgrades twice that seen during the worst moments of the early 1990s recession,” he says.

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