Posts Tagged ‘crisis’

The Death of Everything

The Death of Everything

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

A bit dramatic?  I’m only taking the new National Pastime of Handwringing to its logical conclusion.  You other journalists and bloggers would have gotten to this headline/sentiment eventually, admit it.  That’s exactly where you were going.

I’m going to treat you all to something the late George Carlin once explained to us to help keep the "environmental crisis" in perspective.

The world isn’t going away, capitalism isn’t going away, America isn’t going away.  You know what is going away?  You are, and soon.  50, 60 years or so.  Act accordingly.  Here’s George:

"The Planet is Fine"

We’re so self-important. So self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. "Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails." And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these f***ing people kidding me? Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another, we’re gonna save the f***ing planet?

I’m getting tired of that s***. Tired of that s***. I’m tired of f***ing Earth Day, I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a s*** about the planet. They don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.

Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are f***ed. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We’ve been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we’re a…
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Crisis in Spain and Greece: Plan A and Plan B

Crisis in Spain and Greece: Plan A and Plan B

Courtesy of Mish 

Greek restaurant

Credit default swaps and rising interest rates suggest Greece is in serious trouble in spite of the ECB’s futile attempts to downplay the situation. Please consider Greek Bonds Show Waning Faith It Can Avoid Bailout

Greece is losing the confidence of bondholders that it will reduce the largest budget deficit in the European Union amid increased speculation that the country won’t be able to meet its debt obligations.

The nation’s government bonds are the world’s worst performers in January, losing 6 percent in local currency terms and extending their decline over the past three months to more than 11 percent, Bloomberg/EFFAS indexes show. Credit-default swaps tied to Greece trade at about the same levels as Dubai when it got a $10 billion bailout from Abu Dhabi in December. Greek 10-year bonds rebounded today after EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the country won’t default.

Investor concern that Greece can’t tackle its budget deficit is hurting the debt of national utility companies and banks, said Philip Gisdakis, head of credit strategy at UniCredit SpA in Munich.

“If you fear a Greek crisis then you should not only avoid government bonds but corporates as well,” Gisdakis said. “And if you fear Greece, you should also fear Portugal and Spain.”
EU policy makers have no “plan B” to help Greece, Almunia said today.

“There is no bailout problem,” the bloc’s top economic official said in an interview with Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. “Greece will not default. In the euro area, default does not exist.”

What’s Plan A?

Pardon me for asking but precisely what is "Plan A" if interest rates in Greece soar out of control?

Can there be a "Plan C" even if there is no "Plan B"? Are there any plans at all?

While pondering those questions, please consider Deteriorating Greece Situation Could Force EU’s Hand

European Union officials insist there won’t be a bailout for Greece, but if the country’s borrowing costs continue to climb, the bloc will have to do something to stave off default.

Such a bailout would be unprecedented for a euro-zone country, but would nonetheless be feasible. When Greece’s borrowing costs soared last spring, the German finance minister


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Geithner: No ‘Second Wave’ To Crisis

Geithner: No ‘Second Wave’ To Crisis

Courtesy of Mish

USA, Hawaii, Oahu, surf at North Shore

One sure way we know a second wave to the crisis is likely coming is the preemptive denial of it by those who never saw it coming. Please consider Geithner: There Will Be No ‘Second Wave’ Crisis.

"We are not going to have a second wave of financial crisis," Geithner said in an interview with National Public Radio. "We cannot afford to let the country live again with a risk that we are going to have another series of events like we had last year. That is not something that is acceptable."

Geithner, interviewed on NPR’s "All Things Considered" program, rejected the idea that a serious new crisis could be triggered by lingering problems with commercial real estate loans or with a sudden weakening in the value of the dollar.

"We will do what is necessary to prevent that and that is completely within our capacity to prevent," he said.

However, in a separate interview he conceded that it would take several months before the economy yields positive job growth. Job losses have been easing in recent weeks but the economy still saw 480,000 new claims for unemployment benefits last week. That number is expected to shrink just a bit this week.

Geithner on NPR

Inquiring minds might be interested in the complete NPR interview. Please consider Geithner Voices Confidence About Economic Rebound.

Here is the Transcript of the interview with Michelle Norris. Some snips follow …

NORRIS: You know that businesses are spending again. The administration has been asking the banks to try to free up more money for small business in particular. And I want you to help me understand something because on one hand the administration is telling the bankers that they need to take fewer risks, that they need to deleverage, that they need to have higher capital reserve. And at the same time you’re also telling them that they need to lend more money. Those two things don’t seem to square.

Sec. GEITHNER: It is very important that we work with Congress to pass legislation that can put in place financial reforms that can prevent the next crisis. So it’s pretty important in the future we build a more stable financial system. We constrain risk taking in the future. But


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FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH

Jim believes the worst is yet to come and paints a very frightening picture, like nothing most of us have ever seen. – Ilene

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH 

Courtesy of Jim Quinn at The Burning Platform

 
There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
 
                               Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth 
 

Stephen Stills wrote the song For What It’s Worth in 1967. It was composed three years into the Second Turning, the Consciousness Revolution. The song has come to symbolize the turbulence, mistrust, rage, paranoia, anti-war spirit, and the anti-establishment mood of the 1960’s. An Awakening era has many parallels to a Crisis era at the outset. A traumatic event or events triggers the mood alteration in the country which sets the next twenty years in motion. In 1929 the stock market crash triggered a 17 year Crisis. In 1963, the assassination of John F. Kennedy triggered a 20 year Awakening. In 2005, the housing collapse has triggered the next American Crisis which we are living through today.

 
 
 
“All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.” 
                                                                                            George Orwell
 
We are currently at the same stage of this Crisis as we were in the Awakening when Stephen Stills wrote this deeply poignant song. An Awakening begins in an uproar of fury, passion, anger, and civil disobedience. The fury subsides during an Awakening as the passion flames out. The last Awakening period reached a crescendo in 1974 with the resignation of Richard Nixon and the country lapsed into disillusionment and lethargy as the 1970’s petered out. A Crisis begins similarly with a trigger that causes pain and suffering, but instead of fury subsiding, the Crisis intensifies, violence erupts, war breaks out and danger becomes extreme. The current Crisis is about to detonate upon the unwary twittering Americans while they are mesmerized watching Dancing with the Stars and Housewives of New Jersey on their 52 inch HDTVs in surround


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Is David Tice the John the Baptist of Wall Street?

Is David Tice the John the Baptist of Wall Street?

John-the-Baptist

Courtesy of Damien Hoffman at Wall St. Cheat Sheet

John the Baptist is responsible for the Apocalyptic stories in our cultural consciousness. He envisioned a world in which a total hell would descend on earth more wild than Marylin Manson’s most drug induced hallucinations. Similarly, as Liz Claman correctly notes in the following video, David Tice sees the world from a different prism: a completely hellish one.

David manages a bearish fund. So, like anyone who knows how the Wall St. machine works, he makes the rounds to talk his book. However, like all evangelists before him, David’s repetition has not done much in the way of changing reality.

Permabulls and permabears share the same common flaw: they take one extreme view and carry it to its logical (although improbable) conclusion. As a result, they fail to account for the ever-changing nature of societies and the complexity of the unknown.

Humor yourself and decide whether David is a consistent investment adviser — his fund’s performance (Nasdaq: BEARX) is not — or one step away from the loony bin:
 

 

Click here to watch the video.

Note: Wall St. Cheat Sheet is offering a FREE 14-day, no risk trial of the Premium Newsletter - just click here.   

 


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The Treasury Department Endorses Lying to the Public

The Treasury Department Endorses Lying to the Public

Courtesy of Damien Hoffman of Wall St. Cheat Sheet

If you or anyone you know still believes the government (or the media) tell us only the truth, please pass them this direct admission that lying is a primary strategic device for so-called “authority figures”:

[T]he Treasury Department said that any review of [patently misleading and false] announcements last year “must be considered in light of the unprecedented circumstances in which they were made.

Translation: when our elected representatives and their appointed officials believe we need to be manipulated, they rationalize their lies based on whether they think we need them at the time.

I am not naive. I firmly believe we have a problem with ignorance and sheeple in our country. However, the only way to fix the problem is to distribute more accurate information — not the opposite. Further, for those of us who work hard to stay educated, we expect to be treated like adults!

In this specific case, the Treasury Department’s lies (via Hank Paulson) encouraged people to hold their investments. Therefore, if you listened to Paulson et al, you literally lost your hard earned money and life savings. Last time I checked, citizens should not expect to get fiscally hosed by their Treasury Secretary.

To be fair, this is not only a Wall Street and Washington problem. Seemingly, most public discourse these days centers around complete lies, myths, and other rhetorical strategies aiming to put insular interests ahead of what’s best for the nation. It’s time to demand at least our public stewards accurately explain the true state of affairs so we can make informed decisions.

Note: Wall St. Cheat Sheet is offering a FREE 14-day, no risk trial of our Premium Newsletter - just click here.  

 


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Is Nouriel Roubini a False Prophet?

Damien Hoffman makes a case against Nouriel Roubini’s status as all-knowing prophet of doom.

Is Nouriel Roubini a False Prophet?

Courtesy of Damien Hoffman at Wall St. Cheat Sheet

Nouriel Roubini and His Acolytes

Nouriel Roubini and His Acolytes

Psychics and prophets have been in business since that other oldest profession. Like the more commonly referred to oldest profession, the secret to success for psychics and prophets is to turn many tricks.

As a lawyer by training, I have been rigorously conditioned to see the logical techniques employed in everything I hear and read the same way Neo from The Matrix sees the 1’s and 0’s underlying superficial reality. So, I am concerned when I watch self-proclaimed psychics and prophets use the equivalent of logical black magic to seduce their prey.

Wall Street has a laundry list of such charlatans. They tend to capture the spotlight during the heat of emotional peaks in the markets because emotion and reason tend to maintain an inverse relationship. During times of crisis we need something, sometimes anything, to reduce our pain and restore order to an uncomfortable new chaos.

During the height of the most recent economic crisis, the media offered the center-stage spotlight to NYU Economics Professor Nouriel Roubini to comfort us with his soma. At the peak of the crash, Roubini was as ubiquitous as Coca-Cola and cellphones. He was the go-to guy because his PR team branded him as “The Prophet of Doom.” A perfect fit when you need someone to call at an overwhelmingly bullish place like Wall Street.

Roubini is clearly an intelligent fellow who has produced some interesting works. However, just as clearly, he is not a prophet or anything close. More accurately, Roubini has disingenuously promoted himself as nailing the crisis, when truthfully he was wrong until other hard working analysts fixed his broken crystal ball.

Like any lawyer preparing to argue in front of the Supreme Court (of public opinion, in this case), I made sure to do my homework and collect my evidence boxes of smoking guns. Rather than bore you with a full recount, I have pulled the most important comments from each source and linked to the original material for your due diligence pleasure. So, without further ado, I respectfully address the court:

As we can see, in March 2005 Roubini started by predicting a crisis


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Fed’s Proposed Framework for Addressing “Systemic Risk” Misses the Moving Target

Fed’s Proposed Framework for Addressing "Systemic Risk" Misses the Moving Target

Courtesy of Mish

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is proposing a three-tiered system for regulating systemically important financial institutions (SIFI)

  • Tier one would include high-risk institutions, such as large, interstate banks and multi-state insurance companies.
  • Tier two would include moderately complex financial institutions, such as larger regional banks.
  • Tier three would include non-complex financial institutions, such as community banks.

Each would receive varying degrees of oversight and regulation. In the accompanying video, the author claims: "Really bad drawings…real simple explanations".

Drawing Board : How To Address SIFI

SIFI Framework

  • Size: As a starting point for a size-based definition, a financial firm would be considered systemically important if it accounts for at least 10 percent of the activities or assets of a principal financial sector or financial market or 5 percent of total financial market activities or assets.
  • Contagion: A financial institution would be considered systemically important if its failure could result in the collapse or freezing up of one or more important financial markets.
  • Correlation: Correlation, as a source of systemic importance, is also known as the “too many to fail” problem.
  • Concentration: Concentration has two important aspects: the size of the firm’s activities relative to the contestability of the market. That is, concentration is less likely to make a financial institution systemically important if, other things being equal, the activities of a distressed institution can easily be assumed by a new entrant into the market or by the expansion of an incumbent firm’s activities. Hence, it is logical to adjust concentration thresholds to account for contestability.
  • Conditions/Context: [Pertains to the fragility of the markets at the time, for example ...] New York Fed’s reluctance to allow the failure of Long-Term Capital Management resulted largely from the fragility of financial markets at that time—due to the Southeast Asian currency crises and the Russian default.10 This might explain, in part, why LTCM was treated as systemically important and Amaranth (which was more than twice as big) was not. Another example would be intervention to prevent the bankruptcy of Bear Stearns by merging it (with assistance) into JPMorgan Chase in early 2008, whereas Drexel Burnham Lambert was allowed to enter bankruptcy in early 1990. Firms that might be made systemically important by conditions/context are probably the most difficult


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Hunky Dory

Another excellent article in the James Kunstler series chronicling our sinkage into a delusional abyss.

Hunky Dory

     Whenever the herd mentality lines up along a compass point leading to "permanent prosperity," or a yellow brick road lined with green shoots, or something like that, I tend to see the edge of a cliff up ahead. We are now completely in the grips of the deadly diminishing returns of information technology.  The more information comes to us about How Things Are, especially from TV, the more confused or wrong the conventional view gets it.
      A broad consensus has formed in the news media and among government mouthpieces and even some "bearish" investors on the street that "the worst is behind us" in this tortured economy.  This view is completely crazy.  It will only lead to massive disappointment a few weeks or months from now, and that disappointment might easily transmute to political trouble.  One even might call the situation tragic, except a closer look at the sordid spectacle of what American culture has become — a non-stop circus of the seven deadly sins — suggests that we deserve to be punished by history.
     The reason behind this mass delusion is not hard to find: it’s based on wishing, especially the wish to retain all the comforts, conveniences, luxuries, and leisure that had become normal in American life.  These are now ebbing away in big gobs for most of the population — while a tiny fraction of the well-connected pile on ever larger heaps of swag, enjoying ever more privilege. Those in the broad bottom 95 percent were content as long as there was a chance that they, too, could become members of the top 5 percent — by dint of car-dealing, or house-building, or mortgage-selling, or some other venture enabled by easy credit and a smile.  Those days and those ways are now gone.  The bottom 95 percent are now left with de-laminating houses they can’t make payments on, no prospects for gainful work, re-po men hiding in the bushes to snatch the PT Cruiser, cut-off cable service, Kraft mac-and-cheese (if they’re lucky), and Larry Summers telling them their troubles are over. (If I were Larry, I’d start thinking about a move to some place like the Canary Islands.)
     Too many disastrous things are…
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Zero Hedge

Global Markets, S&P Futures Flat With US Markets Closed For MLK Holiday

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

US cash markets may be closed for Monday's MLK holiday, but US equity futures are humming and at last check they were unchanged from Friday's close at 3, 762 after earlier dropping as much as 20 points.

“Markets needed a breather or even a pull back to justify reflationary expectations,” said Ben Emons, managing director of global macro strategy at Medley Global Advisors.

Despite the dip, stocks remains just shy of...



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Phil's Favorites

Brexit: UK pound has not crashed yet, but here's why it will probably suffer in years to come

 

Brexit: UK pound has not crashed yet, but here's why it will probably suffer in years to come

The UK pound could face harder times ahead. Parlanteste/Shutterstock

Courtesy of Agelos Delis, Aston University and Christos Ioannidis, Aston University

The Brexit deal has failed to have any major effect on the exchange rate of the pound since Janu...



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Chart School

Why did selling SP500 volatility trades blow up?

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Many have made their fortunes selling volatility premium and then losing it, that is because they are running down the lit fuse and not understanding that eventually the strategy blows up.

In the chart below periods marked with A, B, C, D are periods of chasing yield which was so great the selling of option premium became vogue. Yes, this strategy worked for a while and 'this time was different' worked, until it didn't.

Selling volatility work great during period gray A until the cycle ended at red A.
Selling volatility work great during period gray B until the cycle ended at red B.
Selling volatility work great during period gray C until the cycle ended at blue C.
Selling volatility work great during period gray D un...

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Biotech/COVID-19

The simple reason West Virginia leads the nation in vaccinating nursing home residents

 

The simple reason West Virginia leads the nation in vaccinating nursing home residents

By mid-January, only about a quarter of the COVID-19 vaccines distributed for U.S. nursing homes through the federal program had reached people’s arms. Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Courtesy of Tinglong Dai, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

The urgency of vaccinating nursing home residents is evident in the numbers. The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of mo...



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Politics

Trump supporters seeking more violence could target state capitols during inauguration - here's how cities can prepare

 

Trump supporters seeking more violence could target state capitols during inauguration – here's how cities can prepare

The FBI says armed protests are planned at all 50 state capitols ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Courtesy of Jennifer Earl, University of Arizona

Americans witnessed an alarming and deadly failure in planning and policing at ...



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ValueWalk

US Consumer Confidence Increases At Start Of 2021

By Refinitiv. Originally published at ValueWalk.

WASHINGTON, DC ‐ According to the Refinitiv/Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index, American consumer confidence for January 2021 is at 50.9, up 2.8 points from last month. The index fielded from December 25, 2020, to January 8, 2021.

Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

American Consumer Confidence Is Back Up In 2021

After a sharp 4‐point decline in December, American consumer confidence has returned to levels seen in September 2020 (50.6). The Current, Expectations, Investment, and Jobs sub‐indices all experienced ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Treasury Bond Yields At Make-Or-Break Decision Point Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Treasury bond yields (and interest rates) have been falling for so long now that investors have taken it for granted.

But bond yields have been rising for the past several months and perhaps investors should pay attention, especially as we grapple with questions about inflation and the broader economy (and prospects for recovery).

Today we ask Joe Friday to deliver us the facts! Below is a long-term “monthly” chart of the 30 Year US Treasury Bond Yield.

Counter-Trend Rally In Yields Facing Strong Resistance!

As you can see, treasury bond yields have spent much of the past 25 years trading in a falling channel… but the coronavirus crash sent yields...



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Mapping The Market

The Countries With The Most COVID-19 Cases

 

The Countries With The Most COVID-19 Cases

By Martin Armstrong, Statista, Jan 12, 2021

This regularly updated infographic keeps track of the countries with the most confirmed Covid-19 cases. The United States is still at the top of the list, with a total now exceeding the 22 million mark, according to Johns Hopkins University figures. The total global figure is now over 85 million, while there have been more than 1.9 million deaths.

You will find more infographics at ...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin: why the price has exploded - and where it goes from here

 

Bitcoin: why the price has exploded – and where it goes from here

B is for blast-off (but also bubble). 3DJustincase

Courtesy of Andrew Urquhart, University of Reading

Bitcoin achieved a remarkable rise in 2020 in spite of many things that would normally make investors wary, including US-China tensions, Brexit and, of course, an international pandemic. From a year-low on the daily charts of US$4,748 (£3,490) in the middle of March as pandemic fears took hold, bitcoin rose to ju...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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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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Promotions

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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! 

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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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