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Friday, August 17, 2007

Following the markets today

As I hoped and more than half expected, the major Western markets are recovering from some of their fright. The FTSE has passed 6,000 again and at the time of writing, the Dow is back above 13,000. Those chest pains will eventually be laughed off as a bout of indigestion, and it'll be back to the fags and booze after a while.

The subprime mess was well-telegraphed, if ignored by many, and although we still don't know the full cost, it seems that yet again, the central banks are willing to pump money into the system, rather than reform it. Marc Faber's view that the crisis should be allowed to burn through and eliminate some of the players, is too gritty for the banking establishment.

My take on this is that it's an opportunity for those still in the market to quietly come out without panicking everybody else. The rise of the dollar and the temporary sharp falls in precious metals, are reminders that in a crisis, cash is king; though given Ben Bernanke's statement about dropping dollars from helicopters, maybe king for a day.

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