Fed cuts rates; crisis over?

Peter Kilander peterk at enteract.com
Sun Oct 18 12:04:09 PDT 1998

My two cents on the state of the "crisis":

I see two problems as still unresolved, storm clouds on the horizon if you will. (forgive me for being dramatic)

One: American consumer debt. It's at the highest levels ever and needless to say, if Americans slow their rate of buying, profits decrease, etc.

Two: Brazil as firebreak. Will the bailout be enough? Will a devaluing be damaging?

I realize a lot depends on the whimsical ways of investors and how banks will hold up in light of the LTCM fiasco. Greenspan is worried enough to have done a rate cut before the next Fed meeting. Maybe he sees something we don't. (Again, forgive the melodrama) I read that he probably had wanted to do a .5er the first time but the hawks wouldn't let him, so he just delayed the second half of it.


PS and even if nothing dramatic happens, Republicans want harsher terms on IMF loans which will exacerbate things for borrowers. I've seen more and more complaning from conservatives about the Mexican Peso bailout and the recent wave of bailouts. One writer suggested that IMF donations should be counted as part of the Federal budget so that taxpayers will realize what is going on.

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