Here’s the difference the “it isn’t Lehman this time” crowd are counting on: The alphabet soup of government programs came after Lehman croaked and JPMorgan stuffed Bear Stearns in its pocket at a Wall Street flea market.
Moreover, there is the belief that in 2008 there was an actual liquidity problem, whereas this time it’s more of a perception.
Banking analyst Meredith Whitney explained to me in a series of email exchanges that “there is so much more liquidity in the system today” and the real problem is one of currency diversification.
What is still unclear is why, if there is all this liquidity and, as some suggest, no reason to fear widespread contagion problem, that Greece simply can’t go ahead and restructure its debt, as it ultimately must.
Only when (yes, when) Greece actually does default will we truly know if this is a real Lehman moment.
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