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Archive for 2009

European Banks Face Devastating Exposure to Emerging Markets

Grateful Dead on the international financial ruin.

Driving that train, high on cocaine,
Casey Jones you better watch your speed.
Trouble ahead, trouble behind,
And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

Trouble with you is the trouble with me,
Got two good eyes but you still dont see.
Come round the bend, you know its the end,
The fireman screams and the engine just gleams…

European Banks Face Devastating Exposure to Emerging Markets

LondonCourtesy of Jesse’s Café Américain

This view from the City of London is interesting, given the devastation that permeates their own surrounding landscape. The Anglo-Americans seem to be throwing down the gauntlet. What now, Monsieur Trichet?

The European banking system is certainly a mess, and if there was a case to be made for pursuing the ‘Swedish option’ of nationalizing the banks in a crisis of their own making this is it.

One sentence in this was especially eye-catching.

"We are nearing the point where the IMF may have to print money for the world, using arcane powers to issue Special Drawing Rights."

Problem -> Reaction -> Solution.

There always seem to be some arcane powers ready to solve the unexpected crisis.

UK Telegraph
Failure to save East Europe will lead to worldwide meltdown
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

If mishandled by the world policy establishment, this debacle is big enough to shatter the fragile banking systems of Western Europe and set off round two of our financial Götterdämmerung.

Austria’s finance minister Josef Pröll made frantic efforts last week to put together a €150bn rescue for the ex-Soviet bloc. Well he might. His banks have lent €230bn to the region, equal to 70pc of Austria’s GDP.

"A failure rate of 10pc would lead to the collapse of the Austrian financial sector," reported Der Standard in Vienna. Unfortunately, that is about to happen.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says bad debts will top 10pc and may reach 20pc. The Vienna press said Bank Austria and its Italian owner Unicredit face a "monetary


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America vs. the Oligarchs

Very interesting, an intriging expose questioning who’s in charge?  (The video‘s well worth watching too!)

America vs. the Oligarchs 

Courtesy of Jesse’s Café Américain

Bill Moyers has an interview with former IMF Chief Economist and MIT professor Simon Johnson that puts forth the notion that there is a small group of financial oligarchs essentially holding the country hostage.

Simon Johnson’s premise is that the big Wall Street banks represent an oligarchy that is exerting undue influence and control on our government and the economy. They are turning this crisis to their advantage, and circumventing the democratic process.

What we are seeing looks to Simon Johnson like a financial coup d’etat.

Now is the time to break up the big money center banks. Now is the time to reinstate Glass-Steagall. We must demand the reforms for which we elected the Obama Administration.

Watch this interview. Think about it. Let other people know. Write your congressmen.

And be prepared to act on a larger scale in a peaceful way to get the point across that we value our liberty and we will stand for justice. We are not optimistic that the government will do the right thing without more prodding and significant support from the public.

"I think I’m signaling something a little bit shocking to Americans, and to myself, actually. Which is the situation we find ourselves in at this moment, this week, is very strongly reminiscent of the situations we’ve seen many times in other places.

But they’re places we don’t like to think of ourselves as being similar to. They’re emerging markets. It’s Russia or Indonesia or a Thailand type situation, or Korea. That’s not comfortable. America is different. America is special. America is rich. And, yet, we’ve somehow find ourselves in the grip of the same sort of crisis and the same sort of oligarchs…

But, exactly what you said, it’s a small group with a lot of power. A lot of wealth. They don’t necessarily – they’re not necessarily always the names, the household names that spring to mind, in this kind of context. But they are the people who could pull the strings. Who have the influence. Who call the shots…

…the signs that I see this week, the body language, the


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Weak Weekly Wrap-Up

Another disappointing week!

Once again it was only what we expected so no big deal as we went into last weekend ready for the bear if the stimulus plan failed to give us a boost.  Even so, finishing back near the November lows is downright depressing.  On Friday, the 6th I said the energy sector could be a drag on the markets and the dollar bouncing back could exert additional downward pressure and you can see from these charts, we got our dollar bounce AND the energy sector was a serious underperformer and, unfortunately, acting like a weight around the neck of the broader indexes.  We’ve been discussing this for weeks – The XLE alone is now 14% of the S&P.  Coupled with the OIH group makes over 20% of the market then energy sector, which dropped a combined 7% last week, accounting for over 1.5% of the total market drop

The financials are still 10.23% of the S&P as of Friday but they started the week at 11.25% and knocked a full point off the markets in just 5 days as they fell 10% for the week.  Healthcare (XLV, 16%), which we’ve been playing for a few weeks now, actually outperformed the indexes last week as has technology (XLK, 21%), which we play through the Qs and has quietly crept up to become the new leaser of the S&P by a pretty good gap.  THIS, people, is the rotation we have been playing for.  I did not sugar-coat it – I said it would be painful but it is what we wanted – the end of the endless moving about of shiny bits of metal and worthless pieces of paper that siphoned money away from the many to the very, very few and left us with nothing but a bubble economy, sucking jobs and capital out of real industries that we are supposed to build an economy on.

This is not the end of capitalism – this IS capitalism.  Survival of the fittest, of the companies that actually provide goods and services people want, triumphing over the middlemen who seek to tack on commissions and fees to every possible step in the transactions which they add nothing to.  Of course a fee is deserved for going to the great effort of taking a company public, but should it really be 10% of the offering?  Commodities aren’t supposed…
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Cumulative Bank Failures Over Time

Amidst a growing number of bank failures, Mish predicts there will be hundreds more.

Cumulative Bank Failures Over Time

Courtesy of Mish 

The FDIC has a report called the Failed Bank List. Here is a partial listing that shows the most recent 20 bank failures.

click on chart for sharper image

"Fish Gone Bad" sent me the following chart showing cumulative bank failures over time.

While a logarithmic chart might be better, and perhaps will be necessary in a short period of time, the chart does depict what is happening.

Looking at the period of no bank failures in the above chart reminded me of something.

$VIX: The Calm Before The Storm

click on chart for sharper image

While not calling for the $VIX to do anything in particular other than not head back below 10 for years, it is a near certainty that bank failures are going to soar. There are easily hundreds banks that are insolvent right now. The only question is how long the FDIC continues to hide that fact.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
 

 





Sunday Morning Coffee

What is the fair value of the market, and perhaps more importantly, does it matter? Random Roger shares his thoughts on Barry Ritholtz’s fair value argument.

Sunday Morning Coffee

Courtesy of Roger at Random Roger’s Big Picture

Barry Ritholtz has a post up spelling out a simple argument for fair value for the S&P 500 being at 440. There has been a little bit of chatter about this in one or two other places as well.

Fair value is not a simple concept. The math is simple; whatever number you want to use for earnings and then whatever multiple you think is correct.

Where it gets a little more complicated is that fair value doesn’t usually end coinciding with any sort of stopping point in either direction nor is their any sort of indication of how long stocks might stay above or below fair value.

If Barry is right there is nothing to say that stocks go anywhere near that low or conversely that a massive decline would somehow stop at 440. Maybe I have this wrong but I can’t recall a time where a fair value number has been a primary factor for the market. There is utility in knowing whether the market is relatively expensive or inexpensive. Generically speaking if the market is expensive the risk of a decline might be a little higher.

The current state of the market however is not generic. The market has had a massive decline and has been stumbling along the bottom for several months now. Based on the market action thus far the days of massive declines could be behind us until the next cycle. Now factor in the fundamentals and the never ending bad news and uncertainty and going down a lot more is certainly possible.

I continue to believe the low is in, give or take a few percent, that there will be more ups and downs but no violation to the downside and I also think we still have a massive bear market rally in here soon as well. I’ve been whistling this tune for a while as some may know. But since I first piped up on this idea the news has continued to get worse yet the market is churning around the same range as opposed to following the news lower. This


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Wall Street Can’t Count

And neither can I, sorry.  H/T to Barry Ritholtz for finding. – Ilene

Wall Street Can’t Count

By Robert X Cringely, at I, Cringely

This post first ran on January 29th on my mortgage blog.  It got some traction there and a few mentions in the press so, lazy bastard that I am, I’m reproducing it here in a slightly improved form that corrects my own math error.

Take a look at this chart that someone sent to me a couple days ago.  I’m making it big so you can see as much detail as possible.  Have a look and then come back, okay?

Pretty scary, eh?  It’s a chart showing the deterioration of major bank market caps since 2007.  Prepared by someone at JP Morgan based on data from Bloomberg, this chart flashed across Wall Street and the financial world a few days ago, filling thousands of e-mail in boxes.  Putting a face on the current banking crisis it really brought home to many people on Wall Street the critical position the financial industry finds itself in.

Too bad the chart is wrong.

It’s a simple error, really.  The bubbles are two-dimensional so they imply that the way to see change is by comparing AREAS of the bubbles.  But if you look at the numbers themselves you can see that’s not the case…

And who was that someone? Me!  A nobody.  Or at least someone unimportant enough not to be asking for a Federal bailout….

No wonder we’re in a global financial crisis.

Full article here.

*****

Here’s a more accurate chart (but no promises) posted by Rene Korda in Barry’s comments section.  Click on chart for a larger image. 

 

 





GM Go Boom?

Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker discusses the UAW halting negotiations with GM,.. what are they thinking? 

GM Go Boom?


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Big Numbers

Here’s a report from Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon on our federal government’s obligations exceeding the world GDP. Jerome Corsi asks, paraphrasing, are you terrified yet? 

Big Numbers

Courtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon

There’s no question that we’re talking big numbers — with plenty of zeros — when it comes to efforts to "rescue" the U.S. economy. But it didn’t take the latest wave of profligacy to prove that Washington has a serious spending problem. That fact was obvious to anyone who was familiar with the all-in cost of the government’s retirement safety net. In "Federal Obligations Exceed World GDP," WorldNetDaily’s Jerome R. Corsi covers the issue in frightening detail.

Does $65.5 trillion terrify anyone yet?

As the Obama administration pushes through Congress its $800 billion deficit-spending economic stimulus plan, the American public is largely unaware that the true deficit of the federal government already is measured in trillions of dollars, and in fact its $65.5 trillion in total obligations exceeds the gross domestic product of the world.

The total U.S. obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits to be paid in the future, effectively have placed the U.S. government in bankruptcy, even before new continuing social welfare obligation embedded in the massive spending plan are taken into account.

The real 2008 federal budget deficit was $5.1 trillion, not the $455 billion previously reported by the Congressional Budget Office, according to the "2008 Financial Report of the United States Government" as released by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

The difference between the $455 billion "official" budget deficit numbers and the $5.1 trillion budget deficit cited by "2008 Financial Report of the United States Government" is that the official budget deficit is calculated on a cash basis, where all tax receipts, including Social Security tax receipts, are used to pay government liabilities as they occur.

But the numbers in the 2008 report are calculated on a GAAP basis ("Generally Accepted Accounting Practices") that include year-for-year changes in the net present value of unfunded liabilities in social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Under cash accounting, the government makes no provision for future Social Security and Medicare benefits in the year in which those benefits


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Asia’s Export Economies In Free Fall

Mish to Obama and Geithner – be careful what you ask for.

Asia’s Export Economies In Free Fall; Protectionism On The Rise

Courtesy of Mish 

Inquiring minds are looking into details of Asia’s Export Economies.

Staggering falls in exports across Asia have shocked economic analysts and ended all claims that the global slump may be nearing its bottom. The IMF’s growth forecast for Asia this year is just 2.7 percent—less than a third of the 9 percent growth rate of 2007. The prediction is a full percentage point less than during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

IMA Asia analyst Richard Martin commented in the Australian: "It’s a bit like watching a train wreck in slow motion. North Asia is suffering the biggest collapse in demand since World War II." Westpac bank’s Richard Franulovich said that the "speed of the decline embedded in the latest Asia data is on par with the collapse in the US during the 1930s Depression."

Asia Export Economy Details

  • Japanese exports fell 35 percent in December from a year earlier. Industrial production plunged a record 9.6 percent, month on month, in December. 
  • Chinese exports declined for the third consecutive month in January, falling 17.5 percent from a year earlier, after a 2.8 percent decline in December. Imports plunged even further—43.1 percent, twice as much as December’s 21.3 percent year-on-year drop.
  • More than 20 million Chinese migrant workers have lost their jobs so far, with some analysts warning of 50 million more job losses if the economy deteriorates further. 
  • India exports fell 24 percent in January. According to official data, one million Indian workers in the export sector have lost their jobs since September. Another half a million workers are expected to lose their jobs by March.
  • New Delhi’s public debt stands at 75 percent of its GDP, compared to just 18.5 percent in China, leaving less room for large stimulus packages. 
  • South Korea’s exports, the main driving force of the economy, plunged 32.8 percent in January. Finance minister Yoon Jeung-hyun warned on Tuesday that the fourth largest economy in Asia would shrink by about 2 percent this year. Credit Suisse has projected as much as a 7 percent contraction. 
  • Taiwan, the sixth largest Asian economy, saw its exports fall


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Why Fair Value For The S&P 500 Is Not 440

Chad Brand takes issue with Barry Ritholtz’s valuation of the S&P 500. Both viewpoints appear to incorporate assumptions about the future which influence their present case argument.

Why Fair Value For The S&P 500 Is Not 440 

Courtesy of Chad Brand at The Peridot Capitalist

Barry Ritholtz, market veteran and blogger over at The Big Picture postulated today that fair value for the S&P 500 might be 440. He got there by taking trailing 12 month GAAP earnings of $28.75 and applying a 15 P/E ratio to them.

Personally, I expect more from Barry given how strong much of his market and economic analysis has been over the years, but there are glaring flaws in this valuation methodology. First, I don’t know very many market strategists who believe fair value on the S&P 500 should be based on the earnings produced by the index’s components in the depths of a deep recession. Most people agree that fair value should be based on an estimate of normalized earnings, not trough (or near-trough) profit levels.

Imagine you owned a Burlington Coat Factory retail store. You are ready to retire and have a business person interested in buying your store. What would your reaction be if this person took your store’s profit for the month of June, multiplied it by 12, and based his offer price on that level of projected annual profits. Clearly that figure does not give an accurate representation of how much money your store earns in a year because June is probably one of your worst months of the year for selling coats!

The same flaw exists in valuing the stock market based on current earnings. Doing so implies that earnings today represent a typical economic climate, which is clearly not the case.

The second issue with Barry’s analysis is the use of “as-reported” GAAP earnings. The reason GAAP earnings have fallen so fast is that they include non-cash charges such as asset impairments. It is common these days for companies to report cash earnings of $1 billion but a GAAP loss of $5 billion due to a $6 billion asset impairment charge. In such a case GAAP earnings (which include the non-cash charge) are understated by a whopping $6 billion. Why should asset impairments be excluded? A stock’s value is based on the present value of future…
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Insider Scoop

Rovi Announces Sale of MainConcept Businesses

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related ROVI U.S. Court Of Appeals Sides With Amazon In Rovi Lawsuit Market Wrap For April 8: Markets Bounce Higher As Earnings Season Begins

Rovi Corporation (NASDAQ: ROVI), a global leader in entertainment discovery, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its DivX and MainConcept businesses. Rovi had previously announced its intent to sell the DivX and MainConcept businesses by the end of the second qua...



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Zero Hedge

PaGiNG DR KRuGMaN...

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.

Paul dabbled in the occult
The spirit of Keynes he'd consult
He was told in a trance
To help debt advance
With a system collapse the result
The Limerick King

...

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Market Shadows

Canary In the Yen Shaft: $10 trillion JGBs; No Bids!

Two guest authors, David Stockman and long-time contributor John Rubino, write about the current state of Abenomics. 

Canary In the Yen Shaft: $10 trillion JGBs; No Bids!

By  

This one matters a lot. Abenomics was predicated on a lunatic notion—namely, that the economic ills from Japan’s massive debt overhang could be cured by a central bank bond buying spree that was designed to be nearly 3X larger relative to its GDP than that of the Fed. Yet anyone with a modicum of common sense and market...



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Chart School

Historical Market Comparisons Are Meaningless

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

As Chief Strategist for STA Wealth Management, I start each and every day by consuming copious amounts of a heavily caffeinated beverage and a data feed from a litany of web and blog sites. Over the last couple of days in particular, they have been numerous articles on whether the market is currently in a bubble. Here are a few as an example that I just grabbed from RealClearMarkets.com:


Is This a Bubble Market? There's One Way to Tell

...



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Option Review

Wild Ride For Chipotle

Shares in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (Ticker: CMG) opened higher on Thursday morning, rising more than 6.0% to $589.00, after the restaurant operator reported better than expected first-quarter sales ahead of the opening bell. But, the stock began to falter just before lunchtime on concerns the burrito-maker will increase menu prices for the first time in three years. The price of Chipotle’s shares have since fallen into negative territory and currently trade down 3.5% on the session at $532.89 as of 1:50 p.m. ET.

Chart – Shares in Chipotle cool by lunchtime

...

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Phil's Favorites

The Best of TRB 2014 - Investing and Psychology

 

The Best of TRB 2014 – Investing and Psychology

Courtesy of 

This week I’m in Disney World with the family, our first proper vacation all together in years. As such, I’m off the grid and away from computers of any kind (I’m trying to stay married, you guys). But while I’m gone, I’ve left you some stuff to catch up on…

These were the biggest posts – as read and shared by you – during the first quarter of this year. The theme of today’s collection is good investing and understanding the psychological forces at work when we commit capital. No matter how long I’m doing this...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Sabrient

What the Market Wants: Positive News and Stocks at Bargain Prices

Courtesy of David Brown, Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Last week’s market performance was nasty again, especially for the Small-cap Growth style/cap, down 4%.  Large-caps faired the best, losing only 2.7%.  That’s ugly and today’s market seemed likely to be uglier today with escalating tensions over the weekend in Ukraine. 

But once again, positive economic trumped the beating of the war drums. Retail Sales jumped up 1.1% over a projected 0.8% and last month’s tepid 0.3%, which was revised up to 0.7%.  While autos led, sales were up solidly overall.  Business inventories were about as expected with a positive tone.  Citigroup (C) handily beat estimates to add to the morning’s surprises.  As a result, the market was positive through most of the day, led by the DJI, up 0.91%, and the S&P 500, up 0.82%.  NASDAQ had a less...



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Digital Currencies

Facebook Takes Life Seriously and Moves To Create Its Own Virtual Currency, Increases UltraCoin Valuation Significantly

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

The Financial Times reports:

[Facebook] The social network is only weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that would allow its users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange money with others, according to several people involved in the process. 

The authorisation from Ireland’s central bank to become an “e-money” institution would allow ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of April 14th 2014

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here is the new Stock World Weekly. Please sign in with your user name and password, or sign up for a free trial to Stock World Weekly. Click here. 

Chart by Paul Price.

...

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Promotions

See Live Demo Of This Google-Like Trade Algorithm

I just wanted to be sure you saw this.  There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.

If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.

Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.

Follow this link to register for their training webinar where they’ll demonstrate the tested and proven Algorithm powered by the same technological principles that have made GOOGLE the #1 search engine on the planet!

And get this…had you done nothing b...



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Pharmboy

Here We Go Again - Pharma & Biotechs 2014

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.

And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.  Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014?  The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.

As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...



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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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