Posts Tagged ‘growth’

PIMCO’s Bill Gross’ December Letter – We’re All Living in Allentown, PA

Courtesy of TraderMark of Fund My Mutual Fund

PIMCO’s Bill Gross’ monthly letter for December is out and it speaks to a lot of themes FMMF has been touching on for years – a very nice read for those of you not familiar with his work.  I also embedded a video of an appearance of his yesterday on CNBC.

Full letter below – hit fullscreen to make it easy to read

Some key points:

  • The global economy is suffering from a lack of aggregate demand. With insufficient demand, nations compete furiously for their share of the diminishing growth pie.
  • In the U.S. and Euroland, many policies only temporarily bolster consumption while failing to address the fundamental problem of developed economies: Job growth is moving inexorably to developing economies because they are more competitive.
  • Unless developed economies learn to compete the old-fashioned way – by making more goods and making them better – the smart money will continue to move offshore to Asia, Brazil and their developing economy counterparts, both in asset and in currency space. 

Two ways the U.S. can address this – the hard (but long term healthy) way or the easy (but long term unhealthy) way.  You can guess which way we will ultimately go….

The right way:

  • The constructive way is to stop making paper and start making things. Replace subprimes, and yes, Treasury bonds with American cars, steel, iPads, airplanes, corn – whatever the world wants that


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The Morality of Chinese Growth

The Morality of Chinese Growth

Courtesy of John Mauldin at Investors’ Insights

Oil at $125 a Barrel, Gasoline at $5 
David Rosenberg and Capacity Utilization 
Gary Shilling: Commercial Real Estate and Employment 
The Morality of Chinese Growth 
Another Birthday? What Happened to My Year? 
Athens and the Barefoot Ranch

This week I am at a conference in Houston. I must confess that I don’t attend many of the sessions at most conferences where I speak. But today, the guys at Streettalk Advisors have such a great lineup that I am there for every session. But it’s Friday and I need to write. The solution? This week you get a "best of" letter. The best ideas I’ve heard and the best charts I’ve seen at this conference. Then we close with two short but very thoughtful essays from Charles Gave and Arthur Kroeber of GaveKal on "The Morality of Chinese Growth." Lots of charts and something to make you think. Should be a good letter.

Oil at $125 a Barrel, Gasoline at $5

John Hofmeister is the former president of Shell Oil and now CEO of the public-policy group Citizens for Affordable Energy. He paints a very stark (even bleak, as he gets further into the speech) picture of the future of energy production in the US unless we change our current policies. First, because of the after effects of the moratorium. It is his belief that the drilling moratorium will effectively still be in place until at least the middle of 2012. There won’t even be new rules until the end of 2011, and then the lawsuits start.

Gulf oil production will be down by up to 1 million barrels a day. Imported oil is now 67% of oil usage but will go to 75% by 2012. He thinks crude oil will be up to $125 and gasoline between $4-$5 at the pump. And it will only get worse.

He describes the problem with the electricity from coal production. The average coal plant is 38 years old, with a planned-for life of 50 years. Our energy production capability is rapidly aging, and we are not updating it fast enough.

He argues that the fight between the right and the left has given us 37 years without a realistic energy policy, as policy gets driven by two-year political cycles but good energy planning takes decades. There…
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Meaty With a Chance of Cloud Calls

Meaty With a Chance of Cloud Calls

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

And the winner is…Cloud!  The tech industry sub-sector with perhaps this year’s meatiest move is undoubtedly cloud computing.  Names like Riverbed ($RVBD), Akamai ($AKAM) and 3Par ($PAR) have all been putting up insane numbers this year, performance-wise.

My awakening to the group’s potential back in January came courtesy of a kickass cover story in Barron’s (Sky’s The Limit)- ever since then the cloud computing stocks mentioned (and some that were omitted) have been nothing but fire – in a market that is unchanged year-to-date.

Here’s a peek at the majesty that is Cloud Stock-age thus far in the Twentyten:

Regular readers know that I’ve been hammering away at the cloud theme all year, even hoping for the advent of a Cloud Computing ETF at one point this past spring, albeit in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way (we still haven’t gotten one).

What’s next for the group?

* I have a hard time believing that Cisco has much interest in trailing behind Riverbed in market share for very much longer.  Riverbed’s Steelhead product suite speeds up transmission of applications and data from the cloud to the end user, this is a corporate IT Holy Grail as it allows for the efficient decentralization that global entities need.  I could see Cisco or one of its rivals making a move for this name as this would give them the number one offering in this crucial space instantly.

* Akamai’s global "private web" video serving solution will probably continue to be the delivery method of choice as Web TV becomes a reality and online streaming continues to be monetized.  The wake up call for me on Akamai was when I learned that it was their technology that was the backbone for NBC’s serving of Winter Olympics video to everyone’s mobile devices.

* The bidding war over 3Par (between Dell and H-P) kinda gilds Rackspace’s ($RAX) lilly a bit when you think about it.  Rackspace took over an abandoned shopping mall in downtown San Antonio and built an amazingly scaled-up cloud hosting center.  Their fanatical reputation for customer service to their cloud hosted customers is the heart of their story, however – anyone can build a server farm.

* Microsoft’s CEO Ballmer said a few months ago that he was "betting…
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INNOVATION: What made America great is now Killing her!

INNOVATION: What made America great is now Killing her! 

"Creative Destruction is Secular not Cyclical"

Courtesy of Gordon T. Long   

What made America great was her unsurpassed ability to innovate.  Equally important was also her ability to rapidly adapt to the change that this innovation fostered. For decades the combination has been a self reinforcing growth dynamic with innovation offering a continuously improving standard of living and higher corporate productivity levels, which the US quickly embraced and adapted to.

This in turn financed further innovation. No country in the world could match the American culture that flourished on technology advancements in all areas of human endeavor. However, something serious and major has changed across America.  Daily, more and more are becoming acutely aware of this, but few grasp exactly what it is.  It is called Creative Destruction. 

It turns out that what made America great is now killing her!

Our political leaders are presently addressing what they perceive as an intractable cyclical recovery problem when in fact it is a structural problem that is secular in nature. Like generals fighting the last war with outdated perceptions, we face a new and daunting challenge. A challenge that needs to be addressed with the urgency and scope of a Marshall plan that saved Europe from the ravages of a different type of destruction. We need a modern US centric Marshall plan focused on growth, but orders of magnitude larger than the one in the 1940’s. A plan even more brash than Kennedy’s plan in the 60’s to put a man of the moon by the end of the decade. America needs to again think and act boldly. First however, we need to see the enemy. As the great philosopher Pogo said: “I saw the enemy and it was I”.

THE  PROBLEM IS NOT CYCLICAL, IT IS SECULAR.

The dotcom bubble ushered in a change in America that is still reverberating through the nation and around the globe. The Internet unleashed productivity opportunities of unprecedented proportions in addition to new business models, new ways of doing business and completely new and never before realized markets.  Ten years ago there was no such position as a Web Master; having a home PC was primarily for doing word processing and creating spreadsheets; Apple made MACs; and ordering on-line was a quaint experiment for…
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The Future of the UK Economy Looks Really, Really Depressing

The Future of the UK Economy Looks Really, Really Depressing

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

The Independent brings us all the great news from across the pond:

The British economy faces a triple whammy of higher inflation, lower growth and rising unemployment, according to one of the Bank of England’s most senior policy makers. Living standards over the next few years will rise only "minimally".

In an interview with The Independent, the Bank’s chief economist, Spencer Dale, said that he did not expect inflation to return to its 2 per cent official target before the end of next year, about a year later than previously hoped, partly because of the hike in VAT to 20 per cent from January announced in the Budget.

And, although Mr Dale acknowledged that the emergency Budget had done much to avoid the risk of a UK sovereign debt crisis and a rise in interest rates, he also acknowledged that the Budget would mean lower growth. Mr Dale agreed that he would not be surprised if unemployment went higher in the next few months. For the next "three, four, five years, demand in the economy will be "incredibly anaemic" relative to previous recoveries.

I love how depressing the Brits are when it comes to this stuff. 

The IMF got far more depressing when it cut its UK economic outlook just a few weeks ago. 


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Fed Z1: Blah

Fed Z1: Blah

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Well, there’s nothing here that indicates any sort of real change.  Let’s start with the grand-daddy chart:

The arrow is approximately where the outstanding credit in the system began to decline.  Note that the slope of each sub-component hasn’t done much in terms of change in this last report.

Has there been ANY improvement?  Let’s zoom in:

debt

Well, not really.

Households and non-profits contracted their outstanding credit by $60 billion in non-mortgage instruments and a sizable $99 billion in mortgages.  Non-financial business credit expanded very slightly (about $30 billion in the quarter) as did state and local governments ($25 billion.)  Interestingly enough it appears that farm credit decreased while non-farm increased – I will do some more digging in that area, as it may be a leading indicator of distress in the farm space – particularly family farms.  The Federal Government increased its debt by a net $361.5 billion (!) while financial instrument credit decreased awhopping $638.5 billion.  Rounding out the numbers is the rest of the world (exposure in the US), which was up a modest $28.6 billion, continuing a trend that has run since the end of 2008.

All-in all, nothing to see here.  Anyone who claims that "activity in credit is increasing" has to explain how, when consumers and non-financial businesses continue to de-lever and financial instruments are literally being shunned like a leper colony - the contraction this quarter ran at a seventeen percent annualized rate while the actual annual rate of change over the last 12 months is only 13.5%.  In other words, the deleveraging is accelerating, not stabilizing, among financial instruments.

As for the "de-levering" of the consumer, that’s still to come.  Outstanding credit has contracted a mere 2.7% since this mess began with credit peaking in the second quarter of 2008, or about 1.5% annualized.  Mortgages have delevered only 3.7% from the top in the first quarter of 08 in total, or about 1.9% annualized.

The short form here folks is that all the "prop jobs" have been intended to do one thing and one thing only - protect the banks from having to recognize their bad loans.

To believe that consumers and non-profits could have only de-levered at a rate of less than 2% annualized including all the bad mortgage debt that is out there, and is now "recovering", is not only ludicrous but is utterly unsupported by the data, which is not showing the alleged "growth."

What has…
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Is economic boom around the corner?

Edward presents both sides of argument regarding whether the "technical recovery" will lead to economic expansion, or not.  

Is economic boom around the corner?

bearsCourtesy of Edward Harrison at Credit Writedowns

Back in February, I asked you if we were experiencing a recession or depression.  A plurality said it was a depression with a small ’d.’ I agreed and went on to explain why. Since then, things have changed and we seem to be on the verge of what I call a technical recovery (or a fake recovery – take your pick).  We may even be on the verge of a multi-year economic expansion – something bears like David Rosenberg should not rule out. But vigilance is still required. I will explain why.

Since the recovery talk has gathered steam, a lot of well-respected economists and policy makers have begun to construct what I consider a revisionist history of events. It goes something like this:

We have just experienced a major economic downturn. Coupled with a financial panic of major proportions, the global economy suffered a severe shock.  However, we have learnt how to deal with such crises due to our experiences during the Great Depression. The liquidity crisis was overcome through deft monetary policy. And fiscal expansionary policy aided a return to business as usual much sooner than many would have believed.

As a result, it is quite obvious we have been through a severe contraction, but nothing more than a garden-variety recession complicated – of course – by a financial panic. Back in February, a lot of economists made alarmist predictions of woe, foretelling a global Depression. This was wrong-headed and reckless as we see today. GDP has likely turned up in this third quarter and will continue rising for the foreseeable future. With the worst of things behind us, we can normalize monetary and fiscal policy and return to a more robust economic path.

On the surface, this narrative is compelling.  But, I believe it is based on a flawed analysis.  I would like to present a different narrative here for you to dissect.

GDP is a poor measure of growth

As Joseph Stiglitz recently wrote, GDP is a very poor measure of growth and economic health.  And he is right. There are many questions…
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Fed President Hoenig: Still Need To Address The Debt Issue

Fed President Hoenig: Still Need To Address The Debt Issue

Courtesy of Tom Lindmark at But Then What

Fed President Hoenig, debt

Throughout the recession one of the more outspoken members of the Fed has been Thomas Hoenig, the President of the Kansas City Fed. Refreshingly, he continues to speak his mind and not shy from the harder issues that most in government prefer not to address.

In a speech that was given to the Kansas Association of Bankers a month ago but just released today, he had this to say:

The U.S. economy appears to be reviving from a nasty recession, but too little has been done to resolve the underlying problem of too much debt, a Federal Reserve official says.

In a speech given a month ago, but released to the public on Saturday, Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig said massive amounts of public and private debt are putting tremendous pressure on the Fed to keep interest rates low, potentially sowing the seeds of inflation or further economic imbalances.

Hoenig, considered one of the Fed’s leading advocates for low-inflation policies, said the Fed has tried too hard to boost growth in the past by keeping rates low. But low rates only encouraged more debt, and fueled an increase in the money supply that has eroded purchasing power.

Sustainable growth can’t be achieved that way, he said.

The federal government has taken on much more debt in an effort to stimulate the economy, he said. Consumer debt remains bloated. And the biggest banks are still overleveraged by about $5 trillion, he said.

The way out of the swamp will be tricky, he said.

“As we become more confident that we are at the bottom of the recession and are moving into recovery, we must become more resolute in systematically reducing our balance sheet and raising interest rates,” Hoenig told the annual meeting of the Kansas Bankers Association on Aug. 6.

Well, it remains to be seen if there is any resolve to move away from a debt fueled economy towards one that is more grounded in fundamentals. It all sounds good, however, there is no magic wand that can be waved over the economy to cause that to happen. The adjustments he calls for require years to put into place and it’s problematic at best as to whether the public has the patience and will to…
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China’s Artificial Growth Is Creating An Energy And Industrial Stock Bubble

China’s Artificial Growth Is Creating An Energy And Industrial Stock Bubble

Courtesy of Vitaliy Katsenelson at Contrarian Edge, posted at Clusterstock


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Growth in “Potential GDP” Shows Limited Potential

Introduction to John Hussman’s weekly market comment, courtesy of Tom Burger:

"Very interesting Hussman post this week. He is trying to corroborate his valuation model’s projection of relatively low ten year returns by using the U.S. Department of Commerce estimate of decade-ahead GDP. This estimate, according to Hussman, depends not on current economic conditions but on economic fundamentals  — such as demographics, capital stock measures, and so forth.
 
"He also points out some rather hard to ignore valuation variances with past recession end points — current stock yields and price to revenue ratios." 
 
- Tom Burger at Applying the Lessons of Free Market Economics

Growth in "Potential GDP" Shows Limited Potential

Courtesy of John P. Hussman, Ph.D.
All rights reserved and actively enforced. 
Reprint Policy

Historically, two factors have made important contributions to stock market returns in the years following U.S. recessions. One of these that we review frequently is valuation. Very simply, depressed valuations have historically been predictably followed by above-average total returns over the following 7-10 year period (though not necessarily over very short periods of time), while elevated valuations have been predictably followed by below-average total returns.

Thus, when we look at the dividend yield of the S&P 500 at the end of U.S. recessions since 1940, we find that the average yield has been about 4.25% (the yield at the market’s low was invariably even higher). Presently, the dividend yield on the S&P 500 is about half that, at 2.14%, placing the S&P 500 price/dividend ratio at about double the level that is normally seen at the end of U.S. recessions (even presuming the recession is in fact ending, of which I remain doubtful). At the March low, the yield on the S&P 500 didn’t even crack 3.65%. Similarly, the price-to-revenue ratio on the S&P 500 at the end of recessions has been about 40% lower than it is today, and has been lower still at the actual bear market trough. The same is true of valuations in relation to normalized earnings, even though the market looked reasonably cheap in March based on the ratio of the S&P 500 to 2007 peak earnings (which were driven by profit margins about 50% above the historical norm).

Stocks are currently overvalued, which – if the recession is indeed over – makes…
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Phil's Favorites

Don't fear a 'robot apocalypse' - tomorrow's digital jobs will be more satisfying and higher-paid

  Don't fear a 'robot apocalypse' – tomorrow's digital jobs will be more satisfying and higher-paid

Tomorrow’s good jobs will require digital skills like programming. alvarez/Getty Images

Courtesy of Christos A. Makridis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

If you’re concerned that automation and artificial intelligence are going to disrupt the economy over the next decade, join the club. But while policymakers and academics agree there’ll be significant disruption, they differ about its impa...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Financial Crisis Deja Vu: Home Construction Index Double Top?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Most of us remember the 2007-2009 financial crisis because of the collapse in home prices and its effect on the economy.

One key sector that tipped off that crisis was the home builders.

The home builders are an integral piece to our economy and often signal “all clears” or “short-term warnings” to investors based on their economic health and how the index trades.

In today’s chart, we highlight the Dow Jones Home Construction Index. It has climbed all the way back to its pre-crisis highs… BUT it immediately reversed lower from there.

This raises concerns about a double top.

This pr...



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Zero Hedge

Fiat Cuts 1,500 Jobs At Canada Minivan Plant

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

If the consumer has gone cold or just silly millennials not forming families because of their limited financial mobility due to insurmountable debts, minivan demand in North America is plunging, resulting in planned production cuts and job losses at one Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plant in Canada. 

Bloomberg reports Fiat will cut productio...



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Insider Scoop

A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Plunge Amid Coronavirus Fears

Courtesy of Benzinga

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded lower in early pre-market trade. South Korea confirmed 256 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while China reported an additional 327 new cases. Data on U.S. international trade in goods for January, wholesale inventories for January and consumer spending for January will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Chicago PMI for February is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET, while the University of Michigan's consumer sentime...



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Biotech & Health

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

 

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

Coronavirus seems to be on a collision course with the US economy and its 12-year bull market. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Courtesy of Michael Walden, North Carolina State University

Fears are growing that the new coronavirus will infect the U.S. economy.

A major U.S. stock market index posted its biggest two-day drop on record, erasing all the gains from the previous two months; ...



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The Technical Traders

SPY Breaks Below Fibonacci Bearish Trigger Level

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team wanted to share this chart with our friends and followers.  This dramatic breakdown in price over the past 4+ days has resulted in a very clear bearish trigger which was confirmed by our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system.  We believe this downside move will target the $251 level on the SPY over the next few weeks and months.

Some recent headline articles worth reading:

On January 23, 2020, we ...



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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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Chart School

Oil cycle leads the stock cycle

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Sure correlation is not causation, but this chart should be known by you.

We all know the world economy was waiting for a pin to prick the 'everything bubble', but no one had any idea of what the pin would look like.

Hence this is why the story of the black swan is so relevant.






There is massive debt behind the record high stock markets, there so much debt the political will required to allow central banks to print trillions to cover losses will likely effect elections. The point is printing money to cover billions is unlikely to upset anyone, however printing trillions will. In 2007 it was billions, in 202X it ...

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Members' Corner

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

 

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

Courtesy of David Brin, Contrary Brin Blog 

Fascinating and important to consider, since it is probably one of the reasons why the world aristocracy is pulling its all-out putsch right now… “Trillions will be inherited over the coming decades, further widening the wealth gap,” reports the Los Angeles Times. The beneficiaries aren’t all that young themselves. From 1989 to 2016, U.S. households inherited more than $8.5 trillion. Over that time, the average age of recipients rose by a decade to 51. More ...



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Digital Currencies

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

 

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

‘We have you surrounded!’ Wit Olszewski

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, Manchester Metropolitan University and Richard Whittle, Manchester Metropolitan University

When bitcoin was trading at the dizzying heights of almost US$2...



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ValueWalk

What US companies are saying about coronavirus impact

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

With the coronavirus outbreak coinciding with the U.S. earnings seasons, it is only normal to expect companies to talk about this deadly virus in their earnings conference calls. In fact, many major U.S. companies not only talked about coronavirus, but also warned about its potential impact on their financial numbers.

Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Coronavirus impact: many US companies unclear

According to ...



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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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