Posts Tagged ‘Casey Research’

Vintage Wine Turns Sour for Financiers

Vintage Wine Turns Sour for Financiers

By Alex Daley and Doug Hornig, Casey Research

Shopping basket red wine bottles

When the folks at a private equity firm gather at the holiday party refreshment table to talk about “vintage,” they aren’t commenting on the Château Pétrus.

The world of private equity financing doesn’t have high visibility, but it is big business behind the scenes. Unlike venture capital outfits – which provide startup money to very early-stage companies – those who play this game grab existing private companies, often through leveraged buyouts (LBOs). Each year’s investments are referred to as vintages, with some being more highly drinkable than others.

Now, some of the recent vintages look like they’ll turn out to be little more than vinegar.

Private equity investing has never been for the faint of heart. But investors continue to engage in it, because the payoff can be substantial. And for the first few years of the new millennium, it was a go-go place to be. With so much easy money sloshing around, the number of PE deals exploded, totaling over half a trillion dollars at the manic peak in ’07.

Then came the crash:

                                                                                                

It’s important to remember that credit was not a single bubble. It was a bubble machine. It created the housing bubble, which fueled the personal debt bubble (which in turn popped the housing bubble, but that’s another story). The mortgage market gave birth to a whole new range of derivatives, things like collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), and the rest of the acronyms we’ve all become familiar with, even if we don’t quite understand what they do. (Don’t be embarrassed, neither did the financial geniuses who swapped them like baseball cards.)

Frantic trading in these newly printed scraps of paper created its own bubble, manufacturing an incredible amount of seeming liquidity in a very compressed time frame. We know the ultimate consequences to the balance sheets of our banks, and our government, by now. But there was more to it than that. The capital these transactions threw off had to go somewhere, and suddenly well-capitalized investors were pouring their
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Buy Gold, Be Smart, Diversify

Buy Gold, Be Smart, Diversify

How the government tries to fleece you and what you can do about it

Woolsorters. These

By David Galland, Managing Director, Casey Research

After a relaxing Thanksgiving break, I anticipated to return to work in a lighter frame of mind. However, the following item from FOX News crushed that hope right away:

Lawmakers Propose ‘War Surtax’ to Pay for Troop Increase in Afghanistan

Two top Democrats say they want to impose a new tax on the wealthy to finance any increase in U.S. troops for the Afghanistan war. 

Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., chairman of the purse string-controlling House Appropriations Committee, is calling the idea a "war surtax." He said that just as the federal government is expected to pay for its proposed intervention in the health care sector with new taxes, any escalated involvement in Afghanistan should come with a payment plan. 

"If we have to pay for the health care bill, we should pay for the war as well … by having a war surtax," Obey told ABC News in an interview that aired Monday. "The problem in this country with this issue is that the only people that has to sacrifice are military families and they’ve had to go to the well again and again and again and again, and everybody else is blithely unaffected by the war." 

Readers of my free missive, Casey’s Daily Dispatch, know I’m vehemently opposed to the doomed adventure in Afghanistan. On that front alone, the idea of a war tax is like a shard of glass in my eye.

But it’s even worse than that. It shows just how degraded this country has become – picking the pockets of the productive is now pretty much the only remaining source of funding the administration and its allies can imagine. 

Just to be sure we keep this in perspective: At this moment, if you earn more than $250,000 a year (which isn’t what it used to be, given the steady erosion of inflation over the last 30 years), you will pay federal income taxes of about 35%, no estate taxes, and a 15% capital gains tax should the money you put at risk in the market return a profit.  

As soon as next year – if the government moves up the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, as…
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What If They Stop Buying Our Debt?

What If They Stop Buying Our Debt?

Courtesy of Doug Hornig, Senior Editor, Casey Research

 

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” said Blanche DuBois, in the final words of the play A Streetcar Named Desire. Well, don’t we all.

 

Many citizens probably still cling to the old saw that public debt doesn’t matter because “we owe it to ourselves.” Wrong. Debt always matters. And as for whom we owe it to, it is a lot of kind (or, at least, not yet unkind) strangers.

 

As recently as 1970, foreign holders of U.S. debt were essentially non-existent. But their slice of our obligation pie has steadily increased, especially over the past two decades, until now foreign governments and international investors hold about 35% of Treasuries, as the following chart reveals.

 

Total Fed Gov't Debt Growing

  

 

Of about $11 trillion in U.S. debt, foreigners have about $3.8 trillion, with China in the lead at nearly $1 trillion and Japan not far behind at around $750 billion. 

Most likely, though, this trend has already leveled off. The Chinese, Japanese, Russians, and Indians have openly announced their decision to cut back on further purchases and existing holdings of U.S. government debt. Beyond that, the source of funds previously allocated to their purchases — trade surpluses — has declined sharply with the recession. As a consequence, going forward, foreign buying is more apt to shrink than increase.

While foreigners are continuing to show up for the record-sized Treasury auctions, it’s due to the dollar retaining its status (albeit shakily) as the world’s reserve currency. But they have become quite cautious, generally investing towards the front end of the yield curve, which is a vote of no confidence in the buck’s future. As the chart below illustrates, sales of long-term bonds to foreigners are way down.

 

 

 

So what does all this mean? 

 

It means that a big chunk of our prosperity during the past twenty years was due to a trade deficit that put billions of dollars into the hands of foreigners, who then turned around and bought Treasuries with them,
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Why All the Fuss over Rare Earths?

Why All the Fuss over Rare Earths?

rare earth elementsCourtesy of Doug Hornig,Casey’s International Speculator

Rare earth elements (REEs) have been the mystery metals of the mining world for years. Now, suddenly, everyone’s heard about them.

Before we delve into the reasons behind all the publicity, here’s the basic skinny on REEs: One, they are rare, at least sort of. Two, they are indispensable to modern technology. Three, the number of active, dedicated producers is tiny, with more than 90% of the world’s supply coming from China.

If you took high school chemistry, you probably remember the periodic table of the elements. But if you’re like most of us, even if you pulled a 95 on the chem final, you may not recall many of the details today. And there’s a better than even chance you never bothered to memorize the names of the REEs. It’s time to get reacquainted.

They’re generally clustered in a separate grouping at the bottom of the table, are known collectively as the lanthanoids, and these are their names, in order of atomic number (57-70): lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, and ytterbium. Yttrium (39) and lutetium (71) are also sometimes included.

Need to know, point 1: Rarity.

Fact is, we begin with something of a misnomer. These elements are not, strictly speaking, rare. Earth’s crust is full of them. True, they’re not as common as iron, carbon, or silicon, but are about on a par with nickel, copper, and zinc. Even the scarcest is way more abundant than gold, platinum, or palladium.

What is rare about them is that they’re widely dispersed. Very seldom are they found in economically exploitable deposits. Complicating matters further is that there are so many of them, and they clump together. They have to be separated first from the ore and then from each other.

Thus REE production comes primarily from other mines’ byproducts. The miner strips off the metal he’s really after, then sends the REE clusters to a specialty refiner.

Need to know, point 2: Applications.

It’s safe to say that life as we know it would be very different without the REEs. The more our technological accomplishments pile atop one another, the more crucial these metals become. Because of their unique properties, there are generally no substitutes for them.

Of all the REEs, the one people may have…
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What the Heck Is Going on with China?

What the Heck Is Going on with China?

Courtesy of Doug Hornig, Sr. Editor, Casey’s Gold & Resource Report

That’s a question that Westerners have been asking for, oh, several millennia now. Or at least since Marco Polo aimed his ponies down the old Silk Road in 1271.

Now as then, China keeps its own counsel. We know what they want us to know, plus what we can surmise from rumor and reading between the lines. But lately, we’ve been able to add presumption to news and come up with something that looks very significant.

Specifically, there’s been a flood of tantalizing stories out of the East that, taken together, strongly suggest a growing preoccupation with a form of money that was ancient even in Signor Polo’s time. And it ain’t silk. It’s gold.

We already learned, back in April, that China has been salting away bullion for the previous six years, out of sight of international gold watchers. To the tune of 14.6 million ounces. Now the evidence suggests that that was merely the prologue.

Let’s take these tidbits one at a time:

Sovereign wealth fund dumping $$ for gold? This one is still at the rumor stage, but highly-respected website Mineweb.com is supporting it (http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page67?oid=88400&sn=Detail). What we know for sure is that the country founded its primary sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation (CIC), two years ago, with the stated aim of rapidly deploying some of its $1.5 trillion forex surpluses – $200 billion initially, with another $100 billion recently added to the kitty – into investment in non-Chinese enterprises. This it has been doing in spades, acquiring businesses around the globe. Extractive industries are among them, including Teck Corp., the diversified Canadian mining giant.

Might it also be buying up gold? We don’t know that for sure, but it seems likely. And, in addition, rumors sneaking off the mainland indicate that within the CIC, a lot of effort is being poured into prospective investment deals in the oil and precious metals sectors. The more it produces, the more it can keep.

The Chinese have made no secret of their disdain for current American economic policy and what they see as the inevitable destruction of the dollar. That they would be moving to diversify out of the greenback shocks precisely no one, and gold is one logical landing place for all those bucks. We suspect that’s exactly…
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Kimble Charting Solutions

DAX Index Hits Two 18-Year Support Lines, Creates Large Bullish Reversal

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Has the DAX index from Germany experience a large decline of late? Yes, it has!

Has the decline broken long-term rising support lines? Not so far!

This chart looks at the DAX index on a monthly basis over the past 25-years. Over the past 6-years, it has traded sideways inside of the blue rectangle at (1).

The decline this year saw the DAX hit two 18-year rising support lines at (2) last month, where a large bullish reversal took place.

Until broken, important support remains in play at (2), which is bullish for this key index....



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Zero Hedge

Aaand Its Gone... The Biggest Support For Asset Prices

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

Since the passage of “tax cuts,” in late 2017, the surge in corporate share buybacks has become a point of much debate. I previously wrote that stock buybacks were setting records over the past couple of years. Jeffery Marc...



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Phil's Favorites

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

 

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

Why do scientists care about mutations on the coronavirus? Alexandr Gnezdilov Light Painting

Niema Moshiri, University of California San Diego

When you hear the term “evolutionary tree,” you may think of Charles Darwin and the study of the relationships between different species over the span of millions of years.

While the concept of an “evolutionary tree” originated in Darwin’s “...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

 

Here's how scientists are tracking the genetic evolution of COVID-19

Why do scientists care about mutations on the coronavirus? Alexandr Gnezdilov Light Painting

Niema Moshiri, University of California San Diego

When you hear the term “evolutionary tree,” you may think of Charles Darwin and the study of the relationships between different species over the span of millions of years.

While the concept of an “evolutionary tree” originated in Darwin’s “...



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ValueWalk

Activists demand revamp of anti-redlining law

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Over 100 California Community Organizations and Leaders Call for Banking Regulators to Stop Planned Revamp of Anti-Redlining Law during COVID19 Crisis

Q1 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Worker, Housing, and Small Business advocates call on all resources to be dedicated to saving lives and responding to Coronavirus

San Francisco--Amongst an unprecedented public health crisis that threatens hundreds of thousands of lives, as small businesses are shuttered across California and the nation, and as millions file for...



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Chart School

The Big Short movie guides us to what is next for the stock market

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

There is nothing new in WallStreet, it is only the players that change. Sometimes a market player or an event gets ahead of the crowd and WallStreet has to play catch up.

Previous Post Dow 2020 Crash Watch Dow, Three strikes and your out!

It is important to understand major WallStreet players do not want to miss out on a money making moves.  







...

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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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The Technical Traders

Founder of TradersWorld Magazine Issued Special Report for Free

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Larry Jacobs owner and editor of TradersWorld magazine published a free special report with his top article and market forecast to his readers yesterday.

What is really exciting is that this forecast for all assets has played out exactly as expected from the stock market crash within his time window to the gold rally, and sharp sell-off. These forecasts have just gotten started the recent moves were only the first part of his price forecasts.

There is only one article in this special supplement, click on the image or link below to download and read it today!

...

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Members' Corner

10 ways to spot online misinformation

 

10 ways to spot online misinformation

When you share information online, do it responsibly. Sitthiphong/Getty Images

Courtesy of H. Colleen Sinclair, Mississippi State University

Propagandists are already working to sow disinformation and social discord in the run-up to the November elections.

Many of their efforts have focused on social media, where people’s limited attention spans push them to ...



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Digital Currencies

While coronavirus rages, bitcoin has made a leap towards the mainstream

 

While coronavirus rages, bitcoin has made a leap towards the mainstream

Get used to it. Anastasiia Bakai

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

Anyone holding bitcoin would have watched the market with alarm in recent weeks. The virtual currency, whose price other cryptocurrencies like ethereum and litecoin largely follow, plummeted from more than US$10,000 (£8,206) in mid-February to briefly below US$4,000 on March 13. Despite recovering to the mid-US$6,000s at the time of writin...



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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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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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