Q: So what is anchoring the markets today?
A: We're seeing a much-needed recapitalization. Over the past decade you've seen the balance sheet of the emerging markets get recapitalized. Then it was the turn of the U.S. corporate and industrial sector on the back of Enron and WorldCom. Today we're seeing the recapitalization of the U.S. financial system. A massive amount of capital has been issued in the past two weeks, some in the form of preferred stock. Once we get through [this period], we'll all look back and realize that it's positive.
Q: Is the worst behind us?
A: We're three-quarters through a major dislocation that has repriced the U.S. financial system. The risk going forward is less about Wall Street and more about the small and midsize banks. They missed much of the current crisis because they never really got into structured products. But they're heavily tied to commercial real estate and the consumer.
~ Mohamed El-Erian, Pimco, "A Peek at Pimco's Long View," BusinessWeek, May 19, 2008