Back in September the "financial system essentially seized up and we had a system-wide crisis," Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson told an audience at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Nov. 20. "Credit markets froze and banks substantially reduced interbank lending," he continued. And in testimony before the House Budget Committee on Oct. 20, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that "conditions in the interbank lending market have worsened, with term funding essentially unavailable."

Octavio Marenzi, head of Oliver Wyman Group's Celent and author of "Flawed Assumptions about the Credit Crisis," begs to differ. "While there is no denying that we are mired in a very serious financial crisis," Marenzi writes, "this does not yet appear to have been transformed into a general credit crisis. In aggregate, credit and lending markets appear to be functioning well, and in many cases are actually operating at historically high levels."

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