Credit teams are the real villians of the financial crisis

Photo of Bank of America ATM Machine by Brian ...Image via WikipediaWas it short sellers that prompted panic about bank collapses or might the withdrawal/reduction of credit lines from commercial banks played a greater part? Merrill Lynch confirmed that Bank of America had cut its' credit lines to Merrill in the week preceding its' acquisition.

Credit lines are an essential part of the liquidity portfolio for brokers and if they are removed that does two things
A weakened share price by itself does not cause a company to fail. However, the indirect effects are usually
Had Lehman had an abundance of credit, it wouldn't have collapsed - it was its' liquidity [or lack thereof] that prompted the end of the firm.

In case you think I am picking on commercial banks, brokers have their own credit teams who do the very same thing and will readily cut the trading lines of a client if there is a hint of a problem.
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posted by John Wilson @ 8:26 AM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


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