Prof. Jayanth R. Varma's Financial Markets Blog

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Prof. Jayanth R. Varma's Financial Markets Blog, A Blog on Financial Markets and Their Regulation

© Prof. Jayanth R. Varma

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Wed, 22 Oct 2008

Comments have been enabled again

I am happy to inform my readers that I have finally enabled comments once again on my main blog site. I had to disable comments temporarily last month after somebody starting spamming me at the rate of one spam comment every minute. It took me 45 minutes to realize what was happening and disable comments. It took much longer to manually take out the offending comments. Had he done it at a time when I was not watching, he might have had a comment spam on every one of my blog posts!. I used to think that my CAPTCHA’s will stop spam, but they stop only automated spam. They do not stop somebody who starts spamming manually.

It took me a lot longer to write some code in my blogging software to allow comments to be moderated. I have now done this and tested it out. It seems to work. Please email me if there are any problems.

It is my intention to use moderation only to filter out spam. I do not mince words on my blog and I do not expect you to mince words in the comments. Comments are also moderated on my Wordpress mirror.

Posted at 17:40 on Wed, 22 Oct 2008     View/Post Comments (0)     permanent link

India is now in September 2007

In terms of the financial crisis in India, I believe we are where the US and Europe were in August/September 2007. This is how the comparative chronology stacks up.

US and Europe: August/September 2007 India: October 2008
August 9/10, 2007. Liquidity strains in the money market becomes acute. ECB injects liquidity of € 95 billion. Fed injects $ 38 billion. October 10, 2008. Liquidity strains in the money market become acute. RBI injects liquidity of Rs 600 billion by cutting the cash reserve ratio (CRR).
September 18, 2007. Fed cuts Fed funds target by 50 basis points (0.5%). It also cuts discount rate by 100 basis points (1%) including a cut a month earlier. October 20, 2008. RBI cuts repo rate by 100 basis points (1%).
Q3 2007. Real estate prices (Case Shiller index) after peaking in the second quarter of 2006 has been declining for five quarters but has fallen by only 5% from the peak. October 2008. Real estate prices in India probably peaked in late 2006 or early 2007 and has also been declining unofficially for several quarters, but the sticker price has not yet fallen significantly.
Q3 2007. The ABX index of AAA rated sub prime securities indicates losses of only 5-10% of par value. Actual defaults and even downgrades of AAA securities are yet to come: the infamous downgrade of nearly 2,000 AAA securities over a mere two days came only in April 2008. October 2008. Lenders still believe that the best real estate lending will hold up reasonably well and think that losses will be confined to the really low quality loans.

If we assume that the peak to trough decline in real estate prices in India will be comparable to what we have seen in the US, then it is clear that most of the pain still lies ahead.

Posted at 11:11 on Wed, 22 Oct 2008     View/Post Comments (4)     permanent link