Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Credit Crisis will Extend to 2009 - Meredith Whitney

The U.S. credit crisis will extend into and even beyond 2009 as banks will write off more than $170 billion of additional reserves by the end of next year, according to Oppenheimer & Co. estimates.

``The real harrowing days of the credit crisis are still in front of us and will prove more widespread in effect than anything yet seen,'' analysts led by Meredith Whitney wrote in a research note today. ``Just as strained liquidity pushed so many small and mid-sized specialty finance companies to beyond the brink, we believe it will do the same with the U.S. consumer.''

"... in our opinion the "next shoe to drop," is what became an over-reliance on the securitization market for consumer liquidity. Herein, we draw a direct correlation between a shutdown in securitization volumes and accelerating losses on bank balance sheets. As we see no near or medium term come back in securitization volumes, we believe losses will only accelerate further and far worse than even the most draconian estimates."