One of the things I’m increasingly dismayed to learn is that no matter how much detail, data, and qualification I might include in these commentaries, my conclusions will often be summed up by writers or bloggers in a single sentence that often bears no relation to my point. For instance, my view that quantitative easing will trigger a "jump depreciation" in the dollar has evidently placed me among analysts warning of hyperinflation and Treasury default (a club whose card is nowhere in my wallet).
To clarify once again – I emphatically do not anticipate inflationary pressures until the second half of this decade. As I’ve repeatedly emphasized, the primary driver of inflation – historically and across countries – has been growth in government spending for purposes that do not expand the productive capacity of the economy.
Quantitative easing does not pressure the dollar by fueling inflation. It has a much more subtle effect (but one that can be expected to be amplified if fiscal policy is long-run inflationary as it is at present). Normally, equilibrium in capital flows between countries is achieved through changes in interest rates. As a result, countries with greater capital needs or higher long-run inflation tendencies also have higher interest rates. If interest rates can adjust, exchange rates don’t have to. But notice what quantitative easing does: by sitting on long-term bond yields (and creating a negative real interest rate differential versus other countries), quantitative easing prevents bond prices from acting as an adjustment factor, and forces the burden of adjustment on the exchange rate.
While some observers have noted that the value of the Japanese yen did not deteriorate dramatically over the full course of quantitative easing by the Bank of Japan – from its beginning until it was finally wound down
Although the data doesn’t necessarily indicate that a double dip is here (just a slowing of the expansion so far), there is no doubt that mentally, we’re collectively urging it on.
Stocks suck, commodities have all been schmeissed (even gold last week), housing is going through another leg down (yanking the $8,000 tax credit sure didn’t help), the bond market is screaming (under 3% yield on the ten year!) and everyone is getting themselves liquid again.
While I understand that it’s only natural, at least historically, for the expansion to cool off from the initial rip-roaring pace, it is impossible to ignore how pathetically quickly we’ve lost what little momentum our trillions of dollars have gotten us.
Zero percent interest rates forever, tax credits for cars and homes, infrastructure spending, stimulus after stimulus – and it’s starting to feel like we fired a cap gun at a charging elephant.
Here’s some reading on the latest in Double Dip-ology. Hopefully they’re wrong, but the stock market doesn’t seem to think they are…
Mark Cuban once remarked something to the effect of "stocks that don’t pay dividends are like baseball cards – only worth what you could convince the next guy to pay for them."
Floyd Norris looks at some statistics on dividend declarations last year:
Will stock investors who like receiving quarterly dividends have better news this year? S&P thinks yes, according to the article:
“The fourth quarter was in no way a good period for dividends, but compared to recent history it marks a significant improvement, and when added to the stabilization in increases, supports our belief that the worst is over for dividends,” said Howard Silverblatt, the senior index analyst at S.& P.
“Standard & Poor’s believes that the dividend recovery will be slow, and that it will take until 2012 to 2013 to return to where we were in 2007 and 2008,” he added.
The dearth of positive dividend news becomes even more vexxing in the context of our zero interest rate environment so let’s hope the rebound in payout increases happens.
By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.
China Strengthens Its Silk Road Influence With Natgas Mega-Project
Big news in energy project finance this week. With a mega-project that no one thought could succeed coming through with a massive finance package.
That’s the Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in northern Russia. A multi-billion dollar development that appeared dubious just a few months ago — as sanctions against Russia seemed to be preventing project financing from going forward.
But Yamal’s Russian owners confirmed over the weekend that they have just put together a significant portion of the funds needed to build the terminal. From a place where sanctions have little meaning — China.
Yamal’s Director General said that the project consortium signed a loan agreement Frida...
Stocks are having a rough open this morning and the Nasdaq is leading the carnage. The tech component of the Nasdaq looks even worse.
Tech is important for the market. It’s the source of a lot of the dividend growth and earnings growth that investors are expecting. It’s one of the only areas capable of secular revenue growth in a time of global sluggishness. It’s comprised of the highest profile companies that are changing our world.
And it’s a massive weighting in the S&P 500.
There are other sectors within the NDX, like consumer discretionary and biotech, that also have many stocks breaking lower. But tech is still the big wheel.
Jon Krinsky at MKM Partners points out the relative weakness in the NDX that’...
Note: This update incorporates lasat week's Advance Estimate of Q1 GDP.
Market Cap to GDP is a long-term valuation indicator that has become popular in recent years, thanks to Warren Buffett. Back in 2001 he remarked in a Fortune Magazine interview that "it is probably the best single measure of where valuations stand at any given moment."
The four valuation indicators we track in our monthly valuation overview offer a long-term perspective of well over a century. The raw data for the "Bu...
Or, as Bespoke Investment Group put it in a note Monday, "Both reported demand and reported supply of C&I loans are suggesting that credit will stop flowing to business from banks in the near future, if history is any guide."
Over the past 12-15 months, the majority of global stock markets have been in a down trend, creating a series of lower highs and lower lows. The German Stock market peaked around 6-weeks ahead of the S&P 500 last year and could be considered a global trend leader, creating a domino effect.
Below updates the pattern in the DAX index-
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
The DAX index remains inside of long-term rising channel (A), no doubt ...
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Remember this? It was Monday. PRGO is down from around $130 to under $100 since I started following it LAST WEEK. That's down almost 25% in a week, and almost 50% in the last year. So I wrote,
"Perrigo CEO Joseph Papa leaves Perrigo (PRGO) to lead Valeant (VRX) while PRGO issues a warning about missing earnings expectations. Not surprisingly, PRGO stock plummeted today.
Robert Ingram, Chairman of the [Valeant] Board, stated, "The Board has conducted a thorough search process and believes that Joe is the ideal leader for Valeant at this time. He has a strong shareholder orientation,...
Although we try to stay focused on finding and managing promising trade ideas, the comments in the comment section sometimes take a political turn (for access, try PSW — click here!). So today, Jean Luc writes,
The GOP debate last night was just unreal – are these people running to be president of the US or to lead a college fraternity! Comparing tool size? The only guy that looks semi-sane is Kasich. The other guys are just like 3 jackals right now.
And something else – if Trump is the candidate, that little Romney speech yesterday is probably already being made into a commercial. And all these little snippets from the debate will also make some nice ads! If you are a conservative, you have to be scared now.
Phil writes back,
I was expecting them to start throwing poop at each other &n...
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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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