Global Investing

And the next Iceland is…

If there’s one thing you don’t want to be, it’s the next Iceland.

Since its currency, colossally indebted banking sector and economy collapsed in spectacular fashion in October, the country has become a byword for an economy that has truly hit the rocks.

Within weeks, banking problems and currency falls meant Hungary was being hyped as a “second Iceland”, at least until a joint International Monetary Fund and European Union rescue package restored some stability.

Next to win the unwanted comparison was Ukraine.  Having lost at one stage half its value, the currency has somewhat stabilised — although most foreign investors are very hesitant to hold Ukrainian assets again.  And like Iceland itself, Ukraine is now dependent on an IMF lifeline.

Now, it is Britain in the limelight.  The New York Times as well as Britain’s Observer and Daily Telegraph newspapers have all made the comparison in recent days.

Not everyone a fan of the ‘Paulson plan’ to mop up toxic debt

Wall Street’s cheering the Paulson Plan – a multi-billion-dollar taxpayer-funded effort to contain the credit market crisis. But a backdraft is underway in the blogosphere. Strategist-blogger Barry Ritholtz lays it out here in The Big Picture:

We now see that the grand experiment of deregulation has ended, and ended badly. The deregulation movement is now an historical footnote, just another interest group, and once in power they turned into socialists.

paulson2.JPGComments rolling into Calculated Risk are uniformly negative, with the two presidential candidates coming in for some scorn for supporting the asset relief plan.