Financial Innovation in Desperate Times

But these are initiatives of (increasingly desperate) governments, not financiers.

First, from The Observer (London):

Bank Chiefs Ordered To Cut Home Evictions

Survey Shows Start of Brown Revival
Cameron Urges Business Tax Break

Gaby Hinsliff and Toby Helm

The Observer, Sunday, October 19, 2008

Banks will face new curbs on home repossessions to prevent families from being evicted when they fall into financial difficulties, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has promised.

The pledge was made by Yvette Cooper in an interview with The Observer as the government braces itself this week for official confirmation that Britain is entering recession for the first time since the early Nineties.
Rising unemployment is expected to trigger a wave of mortgage defaults as people who lose their jobs find themselves unable to keep up payments on their homes. Repossessions have already increased to 19,000 in the first half of this year – a 40 per cent increase on the previous six months. Experts believe the figure will climb to 26,000 in the second half of 2008. The total number of people suffering negative equity is expected to rise to around two million as house prices plunge

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Second, from the New York Times. Remember that South Korea’s currency has been under severe pressure during the past week.

October 19, 2008
South Korea to Guarantee Bank’s Foreign Currency Debt
Filed at 7:28 a.m. ET

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea announced measures Sunday to shore up its banks by guaranteeing their external debt and pumping more money into the financial system amid the global credit crisis.

The government said it will provide up to $100 billion to secure banks’ maturing foreign currency debt for three years on loans taken out from Oct. 20 this year until June 30, 2009.

The announcement came as analysts have questioned South Korean banks’ ability to acquire dollars to pay off maturing foreign loans amid the global credit crunch.

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