Monday, August 18, 2008

Morgan Stanley, Goldman: We Are Going To Take Care Of Ourselves First

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are responding to the credit crisis with systems that use the market's view of their own creditworthiness as a basis for lending decisions.

The message is that "if our firm is in trouble, we would rather fund ourselves than fund you [hedge funds]", a brokerage executive told FT. He added: "We would only use it if there were a real issue."

Morgan Stanley is essentially tying its promise to provide financing to hedge fund clients to the prices of credit insurance on its own debt. If the cost of the protection rises to a certain level, that would trigger a reduction in Morgan Stanley commitments to hedge funds. Goldman Sachs is understood to have a similar arrangement that uses its bond prices as a reference point for credit commitments to hedge fund clients.

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