Follow the paper, commercial paper, to assess the damage

If you’re not holding securities backed by subprime mortgages, that is if you’re 98% of all investors, this summer has been a wacky ride for your portfolio but hardly a killer. The major stock indexes are still in positive ground for the year and Treasury bonds have done great. Even if you were in a money market fund with subprime exposure, there aren’t any losses yet. So why care at all? Isn’t this just the usual ups and downs the markets suffer now and then? Could be. On the other hand, problems like this have ways of spreading in the modern, interlinked global economy.

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