Ripples and TSUNAMIS by ProQuest


When three of the five major Wall Street investment banks disappear within a year, you can call it an earthquake in the financial markets. We know that the leasing and finance industry has been feeling the effects of that earthquake, and will continue to. The question is, will all the ripples combine into a credit tsunami that will swamp the industry? If the author were to wait a week, or maybe a day (an hour doesn't seem so absurd right now), I have no doubt the macro-economic background for this article would be entirely different. However. . .at this writing, Lehman Brothers has just filed for bankruptcy, the Federal government has bailed out AIG and is planning to become the world's largest owner of distressed assets, and following the Dow is like watching a Yo-Yo champion. Congress and the presidential candidates are scrambling to say something relevant to the situation, and it's probably been a fortnight since anyone at Treasury or the Federal Reserve has slept. Just about everyone with a stake in the markets has the word scary not far from the tip of their tongues. You also hear phrases like, this is new territory, and I've never seen anything like this before. In a sense, none of this is surprising. The crisis has developed in slow motion. It's been at least 18 months since the first real sub-prime shockwave hit. Some companies have already closed their doors, and for no other reason than an inability to fund their business. There's a sad irony in the current situation: the equipment finance industry is suffering a situation not of its own making.

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