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Marine industry watches for fallout from market intervention

Marine industry leaders are taking a wait-and-see attitude on how they may be affected by the latest federal buyouts to help shore up lending institutions and financial markets.

“It’s early yet, but I’m encouraged by the way the markets are reacting,” Jim Coburn, president of the National Marine Bankers Association, told Soundings Trade Only this morning. “[The markets] are reacting favorably.”

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve put forth a plan aimed at bolstering the nation’s $2 trillion of assets in money market funds. According to newspaper reports, the Treasury will tap into a Depression-era fund to provide guarantees for the money market mutual funds.

The central bank plans to purchase short-term debt obligations issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks.

“Any time there’s uncertainty in the financial markets, it causes concern at all levels,” Massachusetts boat dealer Larry Russo said this morning. “The question is how will it affect lending?” he added.

Russo says it’s too early to tell what effect the bailout will have on lending practices. He questions whether it will have any effect on the marine industry, which lost several financial institutions in the last year or so, including National City Bank and Wachovia.

“Our industry already has been picked clean,” he said. “I wouldn’t anticipate this is going to change the landscape [for the marine industry].”

For more coverage, click here.

— Melanie Winters
m.winters@tradeonlytoday.com

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