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By Eric Jacobson | 11-20-2008 11:53 AM

This Patient Still in ICU

BlackRock's Peter Fisher--reported as possible choice for NY Fed--says the banking system is still ailing.

Eric Jacobson: Hi, I'm Eric Jacobson. I'm a fixed-income specialist with Morningstar, and we're fortunate enough today to have a guest from BlackRock. Peter Fisher is the co-head of fixed income at BlackRock, and also a member of their executive committee.

Prior to joining BlackRock, Mr. Fisher was the Undersecretary for Domestic Finance of the United States Treasury Department. Peter, thank you very much for joining us today.

Peter Fisher: My pleasure, nice to be here.

Eric Jacobson: So, as you know Peter, this has been another tumultuous week in a string of them. We've had some pretty big marquee events from announcements made by Citigroup through to the meetings on the Hill with the automakers, and the market hasn't been all too happy with a lot of these developments.

So, I was hoping you could sort of give us your sense of what's been happening this week, and kind of an overall sense of where do you think things stand and how those events play in or aren't as important as they may look?

Peter Fisher: Well, there are a couple of different things that have all been coming together at once. First, we knew the fourth quarter was going to be very choppy in fixed income and all our capital markets.

The whole banking system has been on a race to try to slim down their balance sheets. So, on the other side of their annual statement dates, they won't have dubious assets on their books, and their balance sheets will look as clean as they can get them.

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