Final Word from Monday, July 30, 2007

Cyclists and other overambitious sportsmen get their fix by doping, while overambitious investors and borrowers get theirs by entering into imprudent financial transactions. It's not so surprising that the Tour de France and subprime-mortgage crises are coming to a head at the same time. They're both part of a something-for-nothing culture that must eventually end with someone paying a big price. Cyclists are paying the price by losing their eligibility, sponsors and airtime. In the financial markets, the outcome is a credit crunch. The markets might rebound this week without most vacationing Czechs ever noticing that there was a slump. It would be a good time, though, for both lenders and borrowers, no matter how large or small, to re-examine their exposure. A gentle pullback now would be much better for everyone - except the vultures - than an uncontrollable slide later.[Czech Republic crisis lending]


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