Archive for 2010

Chinese growth in 2011

Courtesy of Michael Pettis of China Financial Markets

A Chinese man walks past the new, yet-to-open China Central Television headquarters, originally scheduled to open during the 2008 Olympics, in Beijing December 16, 2010.   UPI/Stephen Shaver Photo via Newscom

For the past two months there have been very strong rumors in the markets that next year’s new lending quota was going to be set somewhere between RMB 6.5 trillion and RMB 7.0 trillion.  For comparison’s sake, total new lending last year amounted to RMB 9.6 trillion, and this year the quota was RMB 7.5 trillion.

But to me RMB 6.6-7.0 trillion seemed likely to be low (and ”low” is a relative word here – compared to the years before 2009 these are actually very large numbers).  We have been telling clients for months, for example, that even ignoring the reportedly large amounts of loans shifted off bank balance sheets this year, it was very unlikely that 2010 would end with new lending below the RMB 7.5 trillion quota.  In fact by the end of November we were already over RMB 7.4 trillion, so I suspect we are going to finish the year with total new lending at pretty close to RMB 8 trillion.  Add in the loans taken off bank balance sheets and we have easily blown through the 2010 quota.

Tuesday’s South China Morning Post has an article suggesting that we may have been right:

China will probably target a limit of about 7.5 trillion yuan (US$1.1 trillion) in new loans next year, the same as this year’s target, a leading official newspaper reported on Tuesday, an indication that policy could be slightly looser than expected.  Control of credit issuance is one of the most important monetary policy tools in China and many in the market had assumed that Beijing would lower the new lending objective next year as a way of tamping down on inflationary pressures.

But the report on the front page of the China Securities Journal, citing an unnamed source described as authoritative, suggested otherwise.  “The Chinese economy is very big now and a target of 7.5 trillion yuan in new loans will not trigger all-round inflation,” the newspaper quoted the source as saying.

The quota hasn’t been set, and may even be set at RMB 8 trillion, but even this number is, I suspect, going to be lower than the reality.  It is proving very difficult to keep growth up in China except with massive increases in bank-driven investment, even though this year China got a lot of help from the surge in…
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Credit Default Swaps PIIGS vs CINN Group (California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey)

Courtesy of Mish

In response to European Sovereign Debt Crisis in Pictures; PIIGS Spreads to Germany at or Near Record Levels I received this chart from Chris Puplava at Financial Sense.

click on chart for sharper image

Chris writes "In addition to foreign credit risk (Greece, PIIGS), I’m seeing my CINN STATE (CA, IL, NY, NJ) Credit Default Swap (CDS) composite moving higher again."

Mike "Mish" Shedlock





European Sovereign Debt Crisis in Pictures; PIIGS Spreads to Germany at or Near Record Levels

Courtesy of Mish

The sovereign debt crisis in Europe is still simmering. Country by country, spreads to German debt are at or near record levels.

Chart follow snips from German Bonds Climb in 2010 as Fiscal Crisis Roils Euro Area

German bunds climbed this year, the best performance since 2008, as the fiscal crisis that roiled the euro area’s most-indebted nations drove investors to the safest fixed-income assets in the region.

Top-rated euro-denominated securities from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and France led gains in 2010, while the debt of Greece and Ireland, which sought bailouts this year, had the biggest losses among 26 markets tracked by Bloomberg and the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies.

German bonds returned a profit of almost 6 percent this year, according to the Bloomberg/EFFAS data, compared with a 20 percent loss on Greek debt, a 14 percent slump in Irish securities and an 8 percent decline for Portuguese securities. Spanish and Italian bonds also made a loss as investors demanded increasing yields to own the debt of the euro area’s high-deficit nations.

As borrowing costs climbed again amid a wave of sovereign downgrades that saw Greek debt cut to non-investment grade at Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s, Ireland opted on Nov. 28 to follow Greece, accepting an 85 billion-euro bailout. That, too, failed to prevent the spread of the debt crisis, fueling investor concern that Europe’s stronger nations may be unwilling or unable to foot the cost of future rescues.

The extra yield investors demand to hold Greek 10-year government bonds instead of German bunds, Europe’s benchmark government securities, surged to a euro-era record of 973 basis points on May 7, and was at 953 basis points today. It started the year at 239 basis points. The difference in yield, or spread, between German bonds and 10-year debt from Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy also reached euro-era records.

Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Greece Sovereign Debt Yields

click on chart for sharper image

France, Spain, Belgium, Italy Sovereign Debt Yields

click on chart for sharper image

Sovereign Debt Spread to Germany
Country Jan 01 May 07 Dec 30
Belgium 0.3% 0.7% 1.0%
France 0.2% 0.4% 0.4%
Greece 2.4% 9.7% 9.5%
Ireland 1.4% 3.1% 6.0%
Italy


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Zero Hedge’s Top 10 Most Popular Posts In 2010

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

As we wrap up 2010, the last thing left to do is to recall the stories that generated the most buzz on Zero Hedge. With stories touching on everything from the flash crash, to JPM’s silver market manipulation, to the scramble for physical metals, to capital controls, to the manipulated (and successful) push to get Americans out of Money Market accounts, here are the top to stories of the past year (and stunningly all click-bait, slideshow free).

  • In tenth place, with 80,842 reads, “The Hindenburg Omen has Arrived” is the story that Zero Hedge brought to the surface as soon as the H.O. was confirmed on August 12, and ended up making waves for the balance of the summer. According to some, it was the concerns about the Hindenburg Omen’s self fulfilling prophecy that cemented the Chairman’s resolve to proceed with the Wood’s Hole speech two weeks later on August 27, which made QE2 a certainty.
  • In ninth place, with 80,942 reads, “MUST HEAR: Panic And Loathing From The S&P 500 Pits” is the definitive, and most visceral, recollection of the terror that had gripped each and every single momo trader as the Dow briefly dropped by 1,000 points on May 6. One thing is certain: as the SEC has taken absolutely no proactive steps to address the conditions that generated the record Dow drop, this is just the first of many “flash crashes” for US stocks.
  • In eighth place, with 82,232 reads, posted on February 11, and long before it became apparent just how insolvent Europe was, “Just How Ugly Is The Sovereign Default Truth? How Self Delusions Prevent Recognition Of Reality” – our summary of Dylan Grice’s phenomenal analysis on the cognitive dissonance when it comes to that last bastion of backstops: sovereign insolvency. The analysis is even more relevant now than it was almost a year ago and we urge readers go through it one more time now that its argument has been fully borne out.
  • In seventh place, read 82,297 times, and appearing almost a year ago, “This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied” discussed the government’s stealthy plans to force ordinary US citizens and corporations to force the move of as much money as possible out of money markets and into riskier


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Bill Gross Telling Bloomberg To “Avoid Dollar Denominated Government Debt” Probably Means Bond Rout Is Over

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

When Nassim Taleb and Marc Faber say that US government debt is a suicide investment, one can be allowed some skepticism. After all, they are likely just talking their book. On the other hand, when the manager of the world’s biggest bond fund, whose flagship fund Treasury holdings amount to almost $80 billion goes on Bloomberg and says to “avoid dollar-denominated government debt” better known as US Treasuries, and instead recommends viewers invest in “stable” currencies like the Peso, the BRL or the CAD, then you know the bottom in bonds is in. So in addition to dumping fixed rate bonds (which means Pimco will again be able to buy on the cheap ahead of QE3, which as Larry Meyer has by now likely advised Pimco is a sure thing), Gross also told Bloomberg that his other two strategies are to buy floating rate debt (over fixed), and lastly recommend credit spreads over interest rate duration risk. For those who find something troubling with a $1 trillion fixed income manager talking down his investments, and are still wondering whether or not QE3 is coming, we suggest putting one and one together. And while at it, they should also consider that Pimco now holds over $100 billion in MBS: a notional amount last held just as QE1 was announced.

full clip after the jump.





Imax Surges on Sony Buyout Talk

 Today’s tickers: IMAX, HIG, VRGY, TOL & WM

IMAX - Imax Corp. – Earlier today you’d have needed more than just 3D-glasses to see the trail left behind by a near 20% surge in shares of the movie-theater corporation. Rumors have emerged that Japan’s Sony Corporation is set to make a $40-plus bid for the company enamored by its growing popularity amongst movie theater-goers. With more films built using 3D-technology shares in the company had already tripled this year in anticipation of growing revenues. Earlier in the week we witnessed what appeared to be a delta-neutral strategy that would have benefitted perfectly from the surging share price, which has subsequently halved its intraday gain. An investor sold stock at around $25.00 and bought call options at the $30 strike expiring in March. As the shares jump in value, the delta on the option swells to give the investor a far-greater long exposure to the stock hugely eclipsing losses from the short position. But is looks like this trader is sitting pretty today as developments unfold and there is no action at that strike price. Rather investors appear to be more concerned with an imminent Sony bid and have targeted the January expiration $35 strike, which has traded in a range spanning 40-cents to $1.10 per contract as the share price digests today’s news. Trading currently at 60-cents the contract would make money by expiration only if shares in Imax surged by more than 18.6% based upon a share price at $30.00.

HIG - Hartford Financial Services Group. – Earlier in the month it appears that an options trader took to a bullish call strategy on the multi-line insurer. December 8 was a high volume day for the stock but also saw around 7,500 calls expiring in January 2011 trade at a 55-cent premium. The strike price of $27.50 was above the closing share price that day by exactly 10%. Just nine days ago the share price hit home lifting the premium to 90-cents. Since then and…
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Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places? Contrary Investor Examines Misguided Fed and Obama Admin. Efforts to Increase GDP Via Increased Consumption

Courtesy of Mish

The latest Contrary Investor Subscriber Report contains an interesting set of charts and commentary that shows just how misguided Fed and Obama administration focus on supporting consumption as the means to improve GDP.

Their analysis is always well written, so inquiring minds may wish to take a closer look.

I have permission to do occasional clips so please consider this clip from Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places?

Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places?…You are all very much aware of the change in market tone and sentiment over the last four months. Strategists and investors fretting over rapidly deteriorating macro leading economic indicators (remember the ECRI reaching levels always consistent with recession?) and contemplating the possibility of a double dip has given way to these same folks now trying to one up each other in putting forth ever higher domestic GDP growth estimates for the new year. Goldman (Jan Hatzius) has been a poster child example of this about face, but they have plenty of company. The transition is not hard to understand. With the heavy POMO started in September, followed up by QE2, and now the tax cut extension legislation that should add about $400 billion of "new" fiscal stimulus in 2011, we better have an improved outlook. Certainly THE issue as we move into 2011 is the potential for organic economic growth, or otherwise. Personally, we just can’t put a big "multiple" on marginal stimulus (read borrowed money) additions to macro near term economic expansion. But this issue will not become relevant until 2011 is well underway.

As we see it, one of the really big keys for economic and we believe ultimately financial market performance in the new year will be first, whether corporations spend their currently amassed "savings". It’s more than well known that through both operations and borrowing in a generationally low interest rate environment, corporations are sitting on top of a boatload of cash at the moment. We’re already seeing the M&A deals primarily in tech and health care sectors taking place. Secondly, again if QE2 is to be effective, corporations must spend their cash domestically, and not let that cash "leak" into foreign direct investment and/or capital markets. Preferably, corporations would spend their cash domestically on productive investment. Even we’ll admit, that would be bullish. And crazily enough, it would be in stark


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Guest Post: Just Where Is The Equity In All Of This?

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

From the Contrary Investor

Just Where Is The Equity In All Of This?

Little Dent In The Story?...Recently demographer Harry Dent and Dave Rosenberg have been discussing the fact that as we look ahead over the next 12 years or so, the 45-55 year old population segment in the US is set to decline.  It’s the population wave coming after the boomers and before the gen-xer’s.  Of course, and as the graph below so eloquently displays, following the boomers in terms of a population bubble is one hard act as you can see what the boomers did to the 45-55 year old population segment in terms of growth from the early 1980′s until literally now.
            

For anyone who has been a demographics devotee, this should not be new news at all.  As you know, Dent has made a very nice living as demographer and financial market commentator, basing his ongoing economic and financial market outlook on forward demographics.  To be honest, there is a lot of validity in his approach and we suggest his comments be included as one tool in the greater toolbox of longer term decision making.  As both Dent and Rosenberg have recently pointed out, and as the graph above unmistakably presents, the last time we saw a decline in the 45-55 year old US population segment was from the mid-1970′s to the early 1980′s.  Specifically, this population group peaked in March of 1973 and then troughed in July of 1983 before literally exploding higher until just recently when we have again seen yet another peak for now.  Dent expects a steady 45-55 year old population segment decline into the 2021-22 period.  Both Dent and Rosenberg suggest investors focus in on this fact intently as it’s the 45-55 year old age bracket that is the largest consumer segment, the largest investor segment, etc.  If indeed nominal body count decline lies ahead, then just what does that say for the US economy and financial asset prices that theoretically are a reflection of the real economy? 

In the following table, we basically singled out the period described above of covering the peak and trough of this population segment in the 70′s and 80′s.  And what we are looking at is the increase in real US GDP over the 3/74 to 7/83 period.  For a bit of compare…
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ScotiaMocatta Sells Out Of Silver Bars

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

And an appropriate story to end 2010 with: ScotiaMocatta, one the world’s biggest bullion banks, is now sold out of all silver bars.

Carry on

h/t Omega3ala

 





MACRO THOUGHTS….

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Some excellent thoughts on the macro economy courtesy of Warren Mosler:

The relatively modest recovery remains on track.

Left alone, I see GDP in the 3.5%-5.5% range for next year, and possibly more.

Though they didn’t add much, the latest tax adjustments did take away the down side risk of taxes going up at year end.

I do, however, see several negatives with maybe up to 25% possibilities each, meaning collectively the odds of any one of them happening are a lot higher than that.

The new Congress is serious about deficit reduction. The risk is they will be successful, and it seems they even have the votes to get a balanced budget amendment passed.

China could get it wrong in their fight against inflation and cause a pretty severe slump. In fact, I can’t recall any nation that didn’t cause a widening of their output gap in their various fights against inflation.

The ECB’s imposed austerity in return for funding at some point reverses the current modest growth of that region. Not to mention the small but real risk the ECB decides to not buy any more member nation debt in the secondary markets.

While a less important economy for the world, the UK austerity looks ill timed as well.

The Saudis could continue to hike their posted prices which could reduce US demand for domestic output. The spike to the 150 level in 08 was a significant contributor to the severity of the financial collapse that followed.

There are also several lesser factors I’ve been listing the last few weeks that could cause aggregate demand to disappoint.

On the positive side is always the possibility of a private sector credit expansion taking hold.

Traditionally that would be borrowing to spend on housing and cars.

Federal deficit spending has done its job of restoring incomes and monetary savings, and will continue to do so.

Financial burdens ratios are down, car sales are showing some modest growth, and housing looks to have at least bottomed. And both are at low enough levels where there could be a lot of growth and they’d still be very low, especially housing.

I don’t see inflation as a risk (unless crude spikes a lot higher), nor deflation (unless one of the above shocks kicks in).

And I do see the ‘because we think we could be


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Zero Hedge

Trump's Appointments - What Do They Mean?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

Before I give an explanation, let’s be sure we all know what an explanation is. An explanation is not a justification. The collapse of education in the US is so severe that many Americans, especially younger ones, cannot tell the difference between an explanation and a defense, justification, or apology for what they regard as a guilty person or party. If an explanation is not damning or sufficiently damning of what they want damned, the explanation is interpreted as an excu...



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ValueWalk

Simon Property Group (SPG): A Blue Chip REIT Down Over 20% Since July

By Simply Safe Dividends. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs, are a great way for long-term income investors to gain exposure to real estate without the hassle that comes with actually owning, maintaining, and managing rental properties.

In fact, REITs, if carefully chosen, can help you achieve the ultimate form of financial freedom; being able to live off pure dividend income during retirement, including early retirement.

Of course with so many REITs out there investors can have a tough time choosing where to invest their hard earned money.

Let’s take a look at one of the largest blue chip REITs, Simon Pr...



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Phil's Favorites

A Very Concise Explanation Of Why The Democrats Lost (And Will Keep Losing)

 

Thomas Frank: A Very Concise Explanation of Why The Democrats Lost, And Will Keep Losing

Courtesy of Jesse's Cafe Americain

"This whole 'red scare' thing has become so thoroughly ridiculous, so blatantly propagandist and overblown, so pervasively passed around by mainstream media outlets without serious investigation, so obviously picked up off a shelf in ad hoc convenience, and so completely hypocritical by the professional elite, that I am tempted to write it off and forget about it. But I should probably be deeply troubled for other reasons.

It is a sign of the establishment going further off the deep end, and further dropping its pretenses. It is a sign of...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock/Bond Ratio back at 2007 highs, different results this time?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the S&P 500/Govt Bond (TLT) Ratio over the past 12-years

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

The S&P 500/TLT ratio is now back at 2007 levels. Double Top or Breakout Time.

Do find this interesting at this time, bullish sentiment on $TLT now stand around the 10% level, which happens to be the same level it was in mid 2007!

Different this time???  Always fun friends!!!

...

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Market News

Breaking News And Best Of The Web

Courtesy of John Rubino at Dollar Collapse

OPEC agrees to cut output. Oil jumps, stocks rise, gold falls. The political focus shifts to upcoming Italian, French and Austrian elections, all of which could go against the establishment. India’s war on cash may turn into war on gold. Political class still searching for an explanation (see “Best of the Web”). Trump’s cabinet takes shape, with mostly old and a few new faces.  

Best Of The Web

A new look – NYSE margin debt and the market – Financial Sense

The guys from ‘Government ...



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Chart School

Semiconductors Hit Hard

Courtesy of Declan.

Internet troubles have limited me tonight, but the one chart I want to show is the near 5% loss in the Semiconductor Index.  Having escaped relatively unscathed from recent day's selling it was a whirlwind of action for the index today.


This had obvious consequences on the Nasdaq. The Nasdaq did relatively well to suffer just over a 1% loss.  However, there were 'sell' triggers for On-Balance-Volume and Directional Index. There was also an acceleration in the relative underperformance of the index to the S&P. ...

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Members' Corner

Second Hand Stink?

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

In what seems to be a recurring scatological humor theme, aka our "Toilet Thursday's" or "Thursday's in the Loo" of the past few weeks, we follow up on The Story of Poo-Pourri.

In Second Hand Stink?, men are not so subtlety reminded that an odiferous fog wafting from the bedroom loo, can indeed kill the moment. 

...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of November 28th, 2016

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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Digital Currencies

Largest US Bitcoin Exchange Is "Extremely Concerned" With IRS Crackdown Targeting Its Users

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Last Thursday we reported that in a startling development seeking to breach the privacy veil of users of America's largest bitcoin exchange, the IRS filed court papers seeking a judicial order to serve a so-called “John Doe” summons on the San Francisco-based Bitcoin platform Coinbase.

The government’s request is part of a bitcoin tax-evasion probe, and se...



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Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...



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Biotech

Epizyme - A Waiting Game

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

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan 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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Promotions

PSW is more than just stock talk!

 

We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more!

PhilStockWorld.com features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...



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