Thursday, December 18, 2008

ABCP Smackdown: Mark Carney vs Jim Flaherty

CAITI Online Poll On Asset Backed Commercial Paper (ABCP) Bailouts.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney:

The response to the recent turbulence in financial markets should reaffirm that market participants are fundamentally responsible for their actions. For example, investors must understand the price dynamics and liquidity risks of the products they buy, rather than relying solely on credit-rating agencies. The market is beginning to lead many of the necessary changes, as institutions are improving their liquidity management and credit discipline and as originators and distributors of new loans are beginning to adjust their products to standardize terms and, importantly, align incentives. At the same time, accurate and timely information about underlying risks is essential for the market to differentiate and properly price risk. Thus, as Governor Dodge highlighted in September, enhanced disclosure and transparency remain crucial. Standing Committee on Finance December 5, 2007

In comments following an address to a business luncheon in Toronto on Wednesday, Mark Carney said the Canadian economy is strong enough to withstand the collapse of the massive restructuring, which has come under huge pressure as a result of the financial crisis. National Post December 17, 2008

Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty:

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in Saskatoon that he and some of his provincial counterparts are discussing a plea from the investor committee overseeing the restructuring for as much as $9.5-billion in backstop credit lines, but no decision had been made.

The fact that Mr. Flaherty is even considering the request is a significant development, given that until recently his position was hands-off. Globe and Mail December 18, 2008

BoC Governor Mark Carney said "There was not going to be any public money put behind any of this [ABCP rescue plan] because these are decisions of financial market participants." Jim Flaherty now proposes to rescue these same financial market participants.