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In order to write this, four people are currently holding my head to keep it from spinning. The pace of new information and real volatility in global financial markets is simply dizzying and even nauseating. I’ll attempt to provide some perspective and guidance here at the risk of everything changing by the time you get to read this.

Libor rates are way out of whack. When global banks cut rates (including 50 basis points by the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee) in a coordinated fashion this month, Libor actually went up. This global money interbank lending rate shows that banks don’t trust each other enough to lend to each other. Liquidity provided by central banks simply sticks to the arteries of the banks’ balance sheets–it is not moving into any type of lending activity. Banks are concerned about deposit runs and adding bad mortgage loans that cannot be refinanced.

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