Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Debts of the Spenders: Investment Grade CDX Trades Below 100 Basis Points

There's a reason I have a print subscription to the Financial Times. So, after reading the article, I just had to see it for myself. See attached chart (the red line for those who don't follow).

As you can see, basis pt. spreads tend to widen during periods of fear - as you can tell back in March earlier this year when rumors of bank nationalization were rampant. Conversely, they narrow during periods of capital markets confidence.

IMPORTANT POINT - Confidence in capital markets does not necessarily equal confidence in the economy. Regulators, loan adjusters, and economists believe that these are interchangeable proxies. But the real economic participants - everyday mom and pop stores, laid off employees, and disaffected recent grads - know better.

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