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股市债市双俯冲 创危机以来新低

发表于 2008-11-20 17:56:29 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Stocks, Bonds Tumble to New Crisis Lows

Stock and bond markets fell to their lowest levels since the outbreak of the economic crisis, as worries about rising defaults by borrowers drove a new wave of concern about the financial system's health.

The stock market's fall to a 5½-year low was led by the credit markets, where prices of corporate and real-estate bonds fell to their lowest levels in more than 20 years.

Banks, brokers and insurance companies, all big holders of these bonds, bore the brunt of the selling, falling more than 10% overall. Citigroup Inc. lost nearly a quarter of its value in its biggest one-day decline ever, adding to the woes of the bank and its chief executive officer, Vikram Pandit. Citigroup shares last hit this price on May 2, 1995.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 427.47 points, or 5.1%, to 7997.28, its lowest close since March 31, 2003. The market is now down 43.5% from its all-time high hit just over a year ago. The recent decline wipes out nearly all the gains from the last bull market, which lasted from October 2002 to October 2007.

At the market's peak, financial stocks were the biggest sector, accounting for a fifth of the market's value. After Wednesday's declines, the sector was the fifth biggest, after basic consumer goods, and made up only 12% of the market's value.

In a sign of the nervousness in the markets, investors once again are willing to accept nearly no interest in order to hold the safest securities around -- short-term Treasury bills. The yield on the three-month T-bill Wednesday reached 0.07%, its lowest level since mid-September, amid a wave of failures in the financial system.

Money managers around the world are reporting that investors are clamoring to cash out of risky assets. That is leading them to sell stocks and bonds to raise the cash needed to repay their investors. Some of these investors, especially hedge funds, used borrowed money to buy assets, adding to the pressure to sell.

'It's a toxic mix when everyone that borrowed money has to unwind their positions and sell assets,' says Thomas Priore, chief executive of ICP Capital, a New York fixed-income investment firm. Mr. Priore says that he recently met with around 80 investors during a recent trip to Europe, 'and nearly all of them talked about the sizable redemption requests they have made.'

Wednesday offered fresh grim economic news as well. Top executives from the flailing U.S. auto industry suffered through a second day of grilling by lawmakers, who appeared unlikely to offer a rescue to the sector. Minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting showed that policymakers expect the economy to be in recession through the middle of next year, and maybe longer.

By some measures, bonds were hit harder than stocks. Worries about a slowing economy and the U.S. government's recent decision to scrap its plan to purchase troubled assets from financial firms helped drive the selloff.

The hardest-hit market on Wednesday was for debt tied to shopping malls, office buildings and other commercial property. The value of bonds tied to such property hit new lows, pulling down shares of real-estate investment trusts, banks and insurance companies that own these securities. Bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also weakened. Yields on their two-year notes, which move in the opposite direction of prices, rose to around 1.8 percentage point above yields on Treasury securities -- a wider gap than before both companies were taken over by the government in September.

Unrelenting declines in corporate 'junk' bonds have pushed yields on these riskier securities to over 20% on average, a record. Many hedge funds have been forced by their lenders to sell junk bonds and corporate loans to meet demands that they post cash backing for their borrowings, and they don't see a respite anytime soon.

Meanwhile, as more financial institutions try to offset the risk of their investments in bonds and other forms of debt, the cost of insuring such debts is spiking. It now costs more to insure a wide range of investment-grade corporate debt than during the jittery days after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed in mid-September. Even Berkshire Hathaway Inc., considered one of America's strongest companies, saw an increase in the cost of protecting against its obligations.

'Selling is begetting more selling as we enter the last 45 gory days of 2008,' says Geoffrey Gwin, principal of Group G Capital Partners, a New York credit hedge fund.

Some of the steep price declines can be traced to last week's decision by the Treasury to scrap its plan to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions. That effectively pulled the rug out from under parts of the mortgage market, because investors had expected the plan to help support the values of securities tied to commercial mortgages and home loans.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson defended the switch, saying in an interview that putting capital into financial institutions 'is more powerful, but then these institutions are still clogged with these assets. They're going to need to write them down, sell them over time, take losses.'

The Treasury is working with the Federal Reserve to develop a new lending facility that would essentially provide financing for investors who want to buy assets securities backed by credit cards, auto loans and mortgages.

Such a program would allow investors to 'borrow against high-quality mortgages,' and create a market for the distressed assets, he said.

Stocks also suffered a broad decline. The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index fell 52.54 points, or 6.12%, to 806.58, putting it just 30 points above its low from the last bear market, reached in October 2002.

General Motors Corp. fell 30 cents to $2.79, its lowest close since Jan. 20, 1943, based on data from the CRSP U.S. Stock Database. Ford Motor Co. fell 42 cents to $1.26, its lowest close since Nov. 24, 1982.

Compounding matters is the approaching year-end. That's leading commercial banks to cut back on lending and hoard cash in order to shore up their balance sheets and improve their financial picture going into the next fiscal year.

The $800 billion market for commercial mortgage-backed securities is the latest shoe to drop. The likely default of two large loans made by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. last year totaling $334 million added to worries about surging defaults on commercial real-estate loans. These loans had so far sailed through the weakening economy with few losses.

As of the third quarter, a dozen big banks -- including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG -- had nearly $140 billion worth of commercial real-estate debt on their books. Companies with the biggest holdings in these areas were among the biggest decliners in the stock market.

The recent wave of turmoil has also led to disruptions in the world's largest safe haven: the $4.5 trillion market for U.S. Treasury securities. Foreign central banks and financial institutions are hoarding large quantities of Treasury notes, making it difficult for others to obtain these securities in the overnight lending markets.

Investors lend out Treasuries overnight in the so-called repo market, and get the bonds and a small interest payment back the next day. Now, in the past seven weeks, borrowers have been paying the interest but holding on to the bonds, leading to failures on over $1 trillion of loan agreements in that span, according to Federal Reserve data. As a result, Treasury holders are balking at lending, and the market is freezing up.

The high levels of failures in the repo market 'pose a risk to Treasury market function,' says William Dudley, who heads up the New York Fed's Markets Group. The Fed's markets group last week endorsed a plan to fix the problems with higher penalty rates for failure to deliver the bonds, among other initiatives.

下一篇:花旗股价暴跌 投资者信心尽失


 楼主| 发表于 2008-11-20 17:56:51 | 显示全部楼层


大量持有此类债券的银行、券商以及保险公司均受困于此番抛压,其整体股价跌幅超过了10%。花旗集团(Citigroup)股价跌去将近四分之一,为该股史上最大单日跌幅,收盘创1995年5月2日以来新低;令人们对花旗以及首席执行长潘伟迪(Vikram Pandit)未来命运更感担忧。





纽约固定收益投资公司ICP Capital的首席执行长托马斯·普里奥尔(Thomas Priore)说,当每一个借钱投资的人都不得不平仓、抛售资产时,就会造成雪上加霜的局面。他说自己近期到欧洲出差时接触了大约80位投资者,几乎每个投资都说自己已提出大规模的赎回要求。



周三,遭受最沉重打击的是与商场、办公楼及其他商务房产相关的债券。与此类地产有关的债券价格创下了新低,令那些持有该类别债券的房地产投资信托、银行及保险企业的股价随之走低。房利美(Fannie Mae)和房地美(Freddie Mac)所发债券亦双双下挫。其两年期债券的收益率较同期限美国国债的风险溢价升至约1.8个百分点,较9月份政府宣布接管两家公司之前均有所扩大。


同时,随着越来越多的金融机构试图抵消其在债券等其他形式债务中的投资风险,这类债务的保险成本也大幅飙升。如今,为各类投资级公司债券投保的成本比9月中旬雷曼兄弟(Lehman Brothers)崩溃后动荡不安的时期还要高。即使是被视为美国最有实力公司之一的伯克希尔哈撒韦公司(Berkshire Hathaway)的债务保险成本也上升了。

纽约信贷对冲基金Group G Capital Partners负责人格温(Geoffrey Gwin)说,随着我们进入2008年最后45个惨不忍睹的日子,抛售导致了恶性循环。


财政部长鲍尔森(Henry Paulson)为计划的取消进行了辩护,他在采访中说,向金融机构注资虽然更有效,但是这样做却无法让这些机构摆脱不良资产的困扰;它们需要冲销不良资产、逐渐卖掉这些资产、承受损失。




通用汽车(General Motors)跌0.30美元,收于2.79美元;美国芝加哥大学证券价格研究中心(CRSP)美国股市数据库的信息显示,这一水平创下了1943年1月20日以来的最低收盘价。福特汽车(Ford Motor)跌0.42美元,至1.26美元,为1982年11月24日以来的最低收盘点位。


总值8,000亿美元的商业抵押贷款担保证券市场是又一坏消息的源头。摩根大通(J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.)去年总价3.34亿美元的两笔大规模贷款可能出现违约,进而增加了外界对商业房地产贷款违约剧增的担忧。尽管经济不断走软,这类贷款目前为止却几乎毫发无损。

截至第三季度,包括花旗、高盛集团(Goldman Sachs Group Inc.)和德意志银行(Deutsche Bank AG)在内的十几家大银行帐面上已经有近1,400亿美元的商业房地产债务。持有这类资产最多的公司都站到了股价大跌者的行列中。



纽约联邦储备银行市场组负责人杜德利(William Dudley)说,回购市场的高违约率对国债市场的运转带来了风险。该小组上周批准了一项计划,其中的一项措施是通过提高相关违约罚款来解决问题。
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