Meredith Whitney: "The worst is ahead of us"

Meredith Whitney became one of the most feared analysts on Wall Street in 2007 when she advised her clients at Oppenheimer & Co. to sell Citigroup. Last night, Charlie Rose asked her what she thinks lies ahead:

CHARLIE ROSE:  Listen, you saw this early certainly in terms of the banks, and you got a lot of credit for that.  Have we not seen the worst?  Is the worst still to come, or have we passed some point of beginning to understand and just waiting for the plan to get us back on track?

MEREDITH WHITNEY:  I really believe the longer we wait, the longer we head down this path — well, the math is the worst is ahead of us.  And…

CHARLIE ROSE:  So the end of 2009 or beyond?

MEREDITH WHITNEY:  At least the end of 2009.  Look, you have credit continuing being pulled from the system, and until it stabilizes, there is nowhere to go but down.  And from an unemployment perspective, no one is pricing in low, mid teens unemployment in any of their assumptions.  So it
is just a question of not if the banks need to raise capital, it’s when, and, you know, let’s get some capital back in the system by looking at who can provide it, like the local banks.  We will go back to a time that was and not try to preserve a system that is and — or was more recently and will never be again.

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