Risk aversion and rising uncertainly were back in play on Monday after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said some financial institutions will still need substantial government aid, an implication that the financial crisis which began in August 2007 is far from being over.
“Some banks are going to need some large amounts of assistance,” Geithner said yesterday on the ABC News program “This Week.”
Also hurting sentiment was the ouster of GM CEO Rick Wagoner by the Obama administration, which said today that GM as well as Chrysler have one last, limited chance to “fundamentally restructure.”
“We cannot, we must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish,” the president said after announcing new and final deadlines for GM and Chrysler to remake themselves. “But we cannot continue to excuse poor decisions. And we cannot make the survival of our auto industry dependent on an unending flow of taxpayer dollars.”
Investors were also pondering why Wagoner was forced to resign while CEO's at the nation's largest banks, which actually helped to cause the crisis, have not been similarly pushed aside.
The dollar surged against the higher-yielders and the yen gained against everything as investors looked for safer-havens. The greenback was booking gains of 1.06% against the euro and 1.12% on the pound and the Australian dollar while it declined by 0.55% against the yen. Japan's currency was gaining 1.51% on the euro, 1.41% against the pound and 2.58% on Australia's dollar.
The DOW was trading lower by 3.26% while the S&P lost 3.23% and the NASDAQ fell 3.07%.
Crude oil and gold were both declining as the dollar gained, with falls of 2.94% and 0.83% respectively.