Jubliation has replaced fear, and the consensus is now that the second-worst bear market in US history ended on March 9th and it’s all champagne and roses from here.
In the meantime, let’s review what happened after the two other biggest bear market bottoms of the past century, 1932 and 1974 (see Prof Shiller’s chart above). In both cases, as now, the market had a sharp rally off the lows.
In real terms (after adjusting for inflation), the 1932 market almost doubled in a year. The 1974 market, meanwhile, jumped about 35% over two years.
But it’s what happened after that that matters now.
After doubling off the low, the 1930s bear market pushed another 50% higher over the next three years to 1937 (not bad!). But it then got cut in half again, and it remained below the 1937 peak for 15 years. In 1949, 17 years after the 1932 bear-market low, when the next secular bull market finally began again, the market was 50% below the 1937 rebound peak and about 70% below the 1929 bull-market peak.
In 1974, the market rebounded 35% in a couple of years. In 1982, however, eight years later, when the actual bull market began, it was back below the 1974 low. The 1973 peak, of course, was lower than the 1966 high, so the bear market that ended in 1982 was actually 16 years long.
That’s why they call them "secular" bear markets.
So even if March 9th was the bottom of a Great Bear Market that took stocks down 60%+ in 9 years from the 2000 peak (in real terms), let us not celebrate too much about what is likely coming next. As Jeremy Grantham has said, the great bear markets don’t hurry, and this one probably has a long way to run.
Here’s Merrill strategist David Rosenberg on this topic. Rosenberg, by the way, thinks the bear-market rally has now run its course and we’re going to quickly retest the March lows:
At this time, we believe it is necessary to provide clients with some historical
perspective from the last colossal credit collapse in the 1930s, understanding that
RealPoint provides a comprehensive April CMBS delinquency report. A must read for both our readers and Merrill Lynch REIT analysts. Main charts extracted below. Most notable is the explosion in 90+ day delinquencies for March relative to April. In fact the deterioration is accelerating across all metrics: no second derivative green shoots anywhere in sight in CRE land.
The roasting is to be expected, the seating of CNBC propaganda machine Jim Cramer next to chief of staff and apparent media liaison Rahm Emanuel (fwd to 7:02 and 10:47) not so much, although not that very surprising.
Deepak Moorjani shares the below letter, which initially appeared in NYT’s DealBook, but subsequently was taken down for reasons known, and now only a big gaping 404 hole remains in its place (http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/another-view-deutsche-banks-culture-of-risk/). Moorjani, who is currently involved in litigation with Deutsche Bank, shares his perspectives on his former firm’s risk policies and the culture and reward structure that encouraged these with Zero Hedge readers. The story is all the more relevant as it intersects a core theme for Zero Hedge, that of commercial real estate and the skewed risk/return investment perspective from the bubble years, which we may very well be returning to if the administration gets its releveraging ways.
When speaking about the banking sector, many people mention a “subprime crisis” or a "financial crisis” as if recent write-downs and losses are caused by external events. Where some see coincidence, I see consequence. At Deutsche Bank, I consider our poor results to be a “management debacle,” a natural outcome of unfettered risk-taking, poor incentive structures and the lack of a system of checks and balances.
In my opinion, we took too much risk, failed to manage this risk and broke too many laws and regulations.
For more than two years, I have been working internally to improve the inadequate governance structures and lax internal controls within Deutsche Bank. I joined the firm in 2006 in one of its foreign subsidiaries, and my due diligence revealed management failures as well as inconsistencies between our internal actions and our external statements.
Beginning in late 2006, my conclusions were disseminated internally on a number of occasions, and while not always eloquently stated, my concerns were honest. Unfortunately, raising concerns internally is like trying to clap with one hand. The firm retaliated, and this raises the question: Is it possible to question management’s performance without being marginalized, even when this marginalization might be a violation of law? Two years later, our mounting losses are gaining attention, and I offer my experiences and my thoughts in the hopes of contributing to the shareholder and public policy debate.
Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, I was infused with Midwestern values of hard work, individual responsibility, honesty, quiet integrity and fiscal prudence. After careers in New York City and Menlo Park, Calif.,
There has been some media and political debate lately over who if any entities may have profited from a Chrysler bankruptcy due to CDS holdings. As is often the case, when you get the mainstream media entering the ever so slightly more complex world of CDS contracts, many of the theories that develop have the same "logic" that is underpinning the current market rally.
A little due diligence in this case reveals relevant facts. The 2019 White & Case filing from the Chrysler docket has some critical disclosure:
4. None of the Chrysler Non-TARP Lenders hold any credit default swaps or hedges with respect to their holdings of Senior Debt.
In other words, the original Non-TARP holdouts, who owned $295 million of Senior Debt, did not have one Chrysler Credit Default Swap to their name. Thus, being unhedged they did not stand to benefit at all from a Chrysler bankruptcy and any claims that they implicitly or explicitly pushed the company into bankruptcy are nonsensical (granted the question stays open of whether they had CDS at any point in the past, although that can not be gleaned from the filing).
If there really are CDS holding culprits (and we really are talking LCDS here) they would be in the non-holdout creditor camp. But most likely, CDS holders did not have secured long positions in the first place, and bankruptcy beneficiaries would likely not be found anywhere in the list of secured or unsecured creditors. However, due to the LCDS nature of the holdings, this is a case unlike GM or the recent finance company bankruptcies. Now, in GM things will likely get more interesting, as DTCC reports that the company has roughly $33.6 billion and $2.4 billion in gross and net CDS exposure, respectively.
As for any allegations that AIG was a taxpayer funnel again, this is not the case, as AIG rarely if ever underwrote single-name CDS (and much less LCDS). Thus comparing the AIG gift to banks in early 2009 with fund flows in the Chrysler and, soon to be, GM bankruptcies is in the apples and oranges realm.
According to The Fed’s "More Adverse" scenario prime delinquencies will reach 3-4%.
Well, how about this?
(Click for a larger image)
Note that the PRESENT serious delinquency rate on Fannie’s credit book for single family homes is at 3.15%, up from 2.42% last quarter.
What’s worse is that a lot of the paper Fannie holds was written before the bubble. If you look at only the "bubble-era" paper (e.g. ALT-A) or even prime paper written in 05, 06 and 07 the numbers are going to be far worse.
We have the largest lender in the United States reporting current "prime" serious delinquencies, almost all of which will end up as foreclosures, equal to the most serious stress tested level right now and twice the so-called "baseline" scenario.
Furthermore, Fannie’s credit-related expenses nearly doubled quarter/over/quarter and was 2/3rds of the full year 2008 expense in one quarter alone!
Folks, there is absolutely nothing to support any claim that these "stress tests" were or are realistic when market performance in the nation’s largest lender and one that allegedly has written all "prime" mortgages states (not "suggests") that their credit book delinquency rate has reached the "more adverse" stress level already.
Nowhere in the "mainstream media" (e.g. CNBC, etc) has this been mentioned but it is literally right in your face while reading the Fannie quarterly report.
Everyone is entitled to be optimistic.
But nobody, especially not anyone in the government, has the right to intentionally mislead the markets and investors as to the validity of what they’re allegedly doing.
Given the Fannie report, which was known to the government (since it is under conservatorship) for a significant amount of time prior to being filed, there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for The Fed’s "Stress Test" report to be published without a footnote indicating that the "most adverse" metrics had been proved met by the largest prime mortgage lender and guarantor in the United States already.
Investors deserve a government that does not intentionally mislead them.
If you are buying into this rally and the recovery of the
Tyler Cowen says congress is letting others take the responsibility – and the potential blame – for decisions it ought to be making:
There’s Work to Be Done, but Congress Opts Out, by Tyler Cowen, Economic View, NY Times: The longer the financial crisis runs, the more policy makers at the Treasury, the White House and the Federal Reserve are working around Congress rather than with it. It’s not that anyone is behaving illegally or unconstitutionally, but rather that Congress seems to want to be circumvented and to delegate more power to the executive branch as well as to the Fed, at least temporarily.
While Congressional leaders are consulted on the major policies, Congress is keeping its distance, perhaps to minimize voter outrage. This way, Congress can claim credit if a recovery comes, but deny responsibility if the price tag ends up higher than advertised or if banks seem to be receiving unfair benefits from the government.
Trillions of dollars of financial commitments have been made without explicit Congressional approval. … The traditional division of labor among policy makers was that the Fed determined the quantity of money in the economy — it set monetary policy — and Congress decided precise government expenditures — it handled fiscal policy. These new programs blur that distinction and, in essence, the Fed is running some fiscal policy. … A full description of important financial policies handled outside of Congress would more than fill this column and would add up to trillions of dollars in potential commitments and guarantees…
Both Democrats and Republicans are at fault for this apparent abdication of responsibility. The Republicans are focused on blaming the Democrats for bailouts, since they know the policies can go through without their support. The Democrats want to enjoy the benefits of making commitments and guarantees without accepting accountability or responsibility for them.
It’s a common theme in American history that crises expand the power of the executive branch of government, and that is part of what is happening here. Even the Federal Reserve, which … is supposed to be quasi-independent, has ceded much of its power to the Treasury. … Just as the Bush administration brought a growth of executive power in foreign policy and
The State’s revenues continued to deteriorate in April. Total General Fund revenues were down $1.89 billion (-16%) from the latest estimates found in the 2009-10 Budget Act.
Personal income taxes were $1.06 billion below the estimate (-12.6%), corporate taxes were below the estimate by $831 million (-35.6%) and sales taxes lagged the estimate by $108 million (-19.9%).
Some of April’s sales tax receipts were pushed into early May, but declining taxable transactions still drove sales tax receipts well below the Budget Act projection. While California’s sales tax rate went up April 1, revenues from the new rate will not be seen until May.
Compared to April 2008, General Fund revenue in April 2009 was down $6.3 billion (-39%). The total for the three largest taxes was below 2008 levels by $6.3 billion (-40.3%). Sales taxes were $452 million lower (-50.9%) than last April, and personal income taxes were down $5.7 billion (-43.6%). Corporate taxes were $142 million below (-8.6%) April of 2008
Sales tax collections year to date are short $327 million (-1.8%) from the 2009-10 Budget Act. Income taxes were $653 million lower (-1.7%) than expected, and corporate taxes were $788 million lower than expected (-9.5%).
The State’s other revenue streams were $299 million below (-6.7%) the estimates. Because the 2009-10 Budget Act contained actual revenue through February 2009, these disparities only occurred in the months of March and April.
The propositions to raise taxes are already short, and borrowing money from the lottery is sheer madness. California citizens have a chance to tell the spendthrifts to go to hell. All it takes is an appropriate NO vote on 5 of 6 California 2009 ballot propositions on May 19.
[Every year at Thanksgiving-time I resurrect a column written by a fellow teacher, Kent Dillon, about the real reason we celebrate this holiday. It is a story no longer told in the textbooks because it is thoroughly unPC, and undermines the idea that government is the solver of all problems. We were teachers, as well as part of the crew, at The Flint School, a private, academic boarding school aboard two large sailing ships, and we used the world as a campus. Kent wrote this for the students’ parents 45 years ago, so they would know what their c...
This year has been a wild ride for Chinese stocks, something that long-time investors have come to expect from a country that's seen 55 bull and bear markets since the ruling Communist Party first allowed equity trading in 1990. As the Shanghai Stock Exchange celebrates it's 25th anniversary on Thursday, here's a look at some of the key milestones on China's path from equity-market upstart to $7 trillion behemoth.
In my article from November 17, I touched on the growing number of retailers that report shrinking traffic and disappointing sales:
Our consumer-driven economy is not getting any help from suddenly sober shopaholics. In the most recent report, the Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose by a measly 0.1% in September. And it didn’t matter whether you wear Gucci loafers or Red Wing work boots.
Since then, the retail landscape has gotten even muddier.
The Commerce Department reported that retail sales increased by a miserly +0.1% in October, be...
Holiday trading kicked into gear, although volume for the S&P managed to push into a technical accumulation day. Things are likely to remain quiet through to next week and any sharp moves at this stage have a high risk of failure.
The top performing index on the day was the Russell 2000. It managed to add another decent gain o keep the string of higher closes running. It didn't quite close above 1,200, but it may do so Friday (with the aforementioned caveat of holiday trading). Overall action in this index has been positive, and relative performance to other indices continues to improve.
Some weeks when I write this article there is little new to talk about from the prior week. It’s always the Fed, global QE, China growth, election chatter, oil prices, etc. And then there are times like this in which there is so much happening that I don’t know where to start. Of course, the biggest market-moving news came the weekend before last when Paris was put face-to-face with the depths of human depravity and savagery. And yet the stock market responded with its best week of the year. As a result, the key issues dominating the front page and election chatter have moved from the economy and jobs to national security and a real war (rather than police ...
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I've decided to build our startup - Veritaseum, a peer-to-peer financial services platform, directly on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain. Many queried why I would voluntarily give up a lucrative advisory and consulting business to chase virtual coins in cyberspace. That's exactly why I decided to do it. That level of misunderstanding of what is essentially the second coming of the Internet gave me a fundamental advantage over those who had deeper connections, more capital and more firepower. I was the first mover advantage holder.
You see, Bitcoin is not about coins, currency or price pops. It is a massive computing net...
1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...
Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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