The BIS recently released an excellent paper comparing the current crisis to the Nordic crisis. This is a particularly interesting case study because the Nordic credit crisis was relatively clean for a credit crisis. Perhaps most interesting is the fact that their crisis was unfolding at the same time as the Japanese crisis. The results, however, were dramatically different. I believe the thoughts from the BIS are particularly interesting as I was a proponent of the harsher Swedish Model - a bit more of an Austrian economics approach to the crisis as opposed to the Japanese model of trying to ensure capitalism without losers. In recent months the USA is looking more and more Japanese and the BIS believes it is due to our flawed response:
“Our analysis indicates that current policies have followed those (Nordic) principles in some respects, but have fallen short in other, arguably more important, ones. If anything, the authorities have intervened even earlier than in the Nordic precedent. In the current episode, the down-leg of the financial cycle had not proceeded as far and banks were further away from the point of technical insolvency. However, the underlying weakness in balance sheets has not been recognised as fully. Efforts to write down assets and induce underlying adjustment in the sector have not been as extensive. Impaired assets have been kept on balance sheets at highly uncertain, and possibly inflated, values. The conditions attached to financial support have not been as strict with respect to asset and cost reductions; if anything, they have been designed with an eye to sustaining lending. The need to reabsorb the sector’s excess capacity has taken a back seat. All this has tended to slow down resolution.
In other words, the zombie banks live on just as they have in Japan. But perhaps most important is the fact that the losers have not been allowed to lose. Government intervention has only kicked the can down the road. The BIS detailed the successful principles involved in a swift crisis response and sustainable recovery:
Principle 1: Early recognition and intervention
P1: The nature and size of the problems should be recognised early and intervention should follow quickly.
The purpose of early recognition and intervention is to avoid a hidden deterioration in conditions that could magnify the costs of the
ANF - Abercrombie & Fitch Co. – Shares in teen retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch Co., are getting hammered today, down 10% at $48.92 in early-afternoon trading after the company reported a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss and missed topline estimates, lowered its full year earnings forecast and said same-store sales would be down slightly for the rest of the year. A review of pre-earnings report activity in Abercrombie options yesterday indicates one trader was prepared for the pullback today. It looks like the strategist initiate...
Two days ago we suggested that "they better pray there is no short squeeze." Today, following the just released latest CFTC Commitment of Traders data which showed that the Comex gold short position grew once again to a new all time high of 79,416 shorts, all prayers are now off. If we may be so bold as to we suggest, the time has come to upgrade to the sacrificial slaughtering of at least a lamb on the altar of Saint Ben, because even the tiniest hint of a forced cover will now result in the biggest rip your face off levered short squeeze seen in the history of the yello...
Durable Goods for April came in above expectations before the market opened, but the S&P 500 opened lower and slipped to its -0.89% intraday a little over 30 minutes later. The remainder of the day was a steady struggle higher with a touch of drama in the final hour of trading. The index closed the day with a modest loss of 0.06%, which tallies to a 1.07% loss for the week. This is the first negative week after five weekly gains.
The real drama this week was on Wednesday, which had the fourth highest intraday range of 2013. Why? Confusion over the Fed's strategy for tapering QE. On Tuesday two of the Fed Presidents made dovish sounds, and Chairman Bernanke's congressional testimony on Wednesday morning was harmoniously dovish. But the post-testimony Q&A sent mixed messages about the odds of near-term tapering, and the 2 PM release of the FOMC minutes add...
While the S&P 500 has had quite a year already the Nikkei has been the story of the globe as they are performing acts of central banking that even put the U.S. Fed to shame. And Japan's central bank can buy ETFs and REITs directly per their charter versus the U.S. bank. Combined with a yen in free fall it's been a heck of a move for the Nikkei since last November. I noted last week we were seeing extremely rare weekly and monthly type overbought readings on bo...
Few stocks have attracted more news over the last six months than nutritional supplement maker Herbalife (NYSE: HLF).
Even casual market observers are aware of the circumstances surrounding the the initial bout of extreme volatility in the name back in December 2012. The shares went into free-fall at the end of the year after hedge fund manager Bill Ackman revealed in typical sanctimonious fashion that his firm Pershing Square Capital Management was short around $1 billion worth of the stock.
Amid much pomp and circumstance, Ackman laid out his short thesis at a New York investment conference and...
The market went through some gyrations on Wednesday in reaction to Fed Chairman Bernanke’s testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. He first defended continued quant easing by warning, “A premature tightening of monetary policy could lead interest rates to rise temporarily but also would carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery.” Stocks dutifully rallied and all major indexes hit new intraday highs.
But alas, consensus is apparently not a given over the longer term. The minutes hinted that a tapering off could start sooner, “A number of participants expressed willingness to adjust the flow of purchases downward as early as the June meeting if the economic information received by that time showed evidence of sufficiently strong and sustained growth.” So …...
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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).
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I am going to share with you how I manage my IRA and the power of reducing your cost basis. My goal each year is a 20% return in my IRA. Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don't, but I believe that all of my success is due to reducing my cost basis. To illustrate the power of reducing your cost basis here are some trades we did last year. These trades are taken from an educational portfolio we ran in a paper-trading account for a little more than a year.
We bought RIG on 5/15/2012 for $44.13, sold it on 1/18/2013 for $46 but booked a profit of $1,154.
We bought MT on 1/4/2012 for $19.24, sold it on 12/21/2012 for $15 but booked a profit of $454.
We bought CHK on 1/27/2012 for $21.93, sold it on 10/19/2012 for $18 b...
Stock market posts another record setting week, but the big news came after Friday’s close.
Courtesy of NASA
The stock market put on another record setting show with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) closing at a record high 15,118 and the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) closing at 1633.70, another all time closing high.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) gained 1%, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) climbed 1.2%, the Nasdaq Composite (NYSEARCA:...
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Well, well, well....it is good to know that there are others in the scientific arena who believed that YMI Bioscience's data (cough - Gilead) is a better drug than Incyte's Jakafi. Now, the definitive data are still unknown, but there was enough evidence from a Phase 2 trial to take a small risk for a huge reward. So, let's forget about Apple (AAPL), and do nothing but biotechs from now until Congress passes universal health care coverage for prescriptions....and drive the prices down so that research and development is no longer feasible to conduct in the US. Even Seattle Genetics (SGEN) has been on a tear as of late...
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