Monday, October 15, 2007

More M-LEC news

While Bloomberg is reporting that only Citi and B of A are putting together a fund of $80 billion; The Wall Street Journal is still reporting that JP Morgan Chase would participate in the creation of a $100 billion fund.

The Journal article adds quite a bit of useful background and a good framework for understanding the intent of this effort. Among the statements in the WSJ article is the following:

According to people familiar with the matter, the Treasury hopes the plan, which could be announced as early as this morning, will jump-start demand for commercial paper, which froze up this summer amid the credit crunch that roiled global financial markets.

Companies depend on commercial paper to finance day-to-day expenses like payroll and rent. Some financial commercial paper -- known as asset-backed paper -- has been able to find buyers in recent weeks. But investors have remained skeptical of other types, including paper issued by certain bank-affiliated investment funds.

The lack of buying signaled that the markets weren't working properly, despite the efforts of central banks, and that investor confidence was low, since commercial paper typically is considered a safe investment.

We will see what is reported later today.

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