Posts Tagged ‘liabilities’

DID THE CONSUMER EVER RECOVER FROM THE NASDAQ BUST?

Pragcap explains why the reflation fix cannot work in the long run and is nothing more than a kick-the-can solution to our economic woes (high unemployment, losses of houses, lack of money for retirement, too much debt, record numbers of people on food stamps, etc). – Ilene 

DID THE CONSUMER EVER RECOVER FROM THE NASDAQ BUST?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

There are more than a handful of notable economists and investors who believe that the current credit crisis is really just an extension of a much larger bust that was set in motion more than a decade ago.  In essence, the 90′s created a mentality that everything was different.  American net worth exploded and the world appeared to be permanently altered for the better.  Specifically, assets to liabilities soared:

Then the Nasdaq bubble burst and the paper wealth went up in flames.  Alan Greenspan’s approach was simple.  If we could simply reflate the consumer balance sheet through asset reflation everything would be resolved.  So, the consumer was encouraged to continue taking on excess debt without the underlying income to sustain this debt.  In essence, Americans were trying to sustain the lifestyle that they had become accustomed to in the 90′s and the Federal Reserve and Treasury did everything in their power to maintain that lifestyle.

As the housing bubble grew Americans once again felt the invincibility of paper wealth.  Of course, just like the Nasdaq bubble none of this was actually supported by the underlying fundamentals.  And as the housing bubble wealth effect dissipated in 2005 so did the ability of the consumer to sustain its 25 year spending spree:

The surge in household wealth due to the double bubbles proved to be nothing more than paper gains that were not supported by the underlying fundamentals.  Assets were higher than they otherwise should have been.  It’s clear, in retrospect, that Americans never really recovered from the excesses of the 90′s.  The government’s response to this bubble era has done little to help create the foundation for a sustained recovery.

This past weekend, Brian Sack admitted that the Fed’s recovery plan is largely dependent on propping up asset prices that would “otherwise be lower.”  The U.S. government hopes they can reflate assets and sustain a supposedly capitalist market without having any losers. They just can’t come to grips with the fact that there are decades of…
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See, I told You So (Again): Corporate Balance Sheets

Essentially, the giant piles of cash on corporate balance sheets are offset by similarly large liabilities (but few are writing about that). – Ilene

See, I told You So (Again): Corporate Balance Sheets

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

No, really?

BOSTON — You may have heard recently that U.S. companies have emerged from the financial crisis in robust health, that they’ve paid down their debts, rebuilt their balance sheets and are sitting on growing piles of cash they are ready to invest in the economy.

It all sounds wonderful for investors and the U.S. economy. There’s just one problem: It’s a crock.

Yep.

Again, back to the charts:

See the blue section?  Yep.

$10.9 trillion, to be precise.

To be fair, it is down some from the peak, which was $11.16 trillion in Q4/2008.  But the recent low, that is $10.9 trillion recorded in Q4/2009, is now up by close to $300 billion.

So when you hear "record cash", you have to subtract back out the liabilities.  At least you do if you’re being honest, which none of the mainstream media clowns are.

Let’s look at this with a bit different perspective via charts:

There’s your "growth" in non-financial business credit. 

Now let’s compare against stock prices to see whether leverage is "reasonably reflected" in them….

 

Uhhhhh… that’s not so good…..

Specifically, notice that during the "climb out" from the 2002 dump leverage continually increased.  That is, while prices roughly doubled so did total outstanding business credit. The problem with this progression is that you only get benefit from that if you can profitably employ the credit you have out.

When equities dove then and only then did businesses cut back – and not much! And now, with the nice little rampjob from the lows, businesses have stopped de-leveraging.

Into excess capacity this is suicidal and is one of the (many) reasons that I say that equity valuations are dramatically unattractive at the present time. De-leveraging grossly compresses multiples, which serves to amplify the damage that comes from debt service that is required on non-productive borrowed funds.

"The street" talks about how "debt markets have pretty much returned to health" (other than securitized mortgages and similar things.) Sure they have – for the snakes on Wall Street, who are back to their asset-stripping and…
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Do sovereign debt ratios matter?

Do sovereign debt ratios matter?

Courtesy of Michael Pettis at China Financial Markets 

Flags flutter in front of the headquarters of Spain's largest savings bank La Caixa in Barcelona July 23, 2010. European Union bank stress tests due from regulators on Friday aim to bolster confidence in the sector by making clear which lenders are healthy and which need to raise capital. Tests on 91 financial institutions from 20 of the EU's 27 nations simulate worsened economic conditions including declines in the value of sovereign debt they hold. REUTERS/Albert Gea (SPAIN - Tags: BUSINESS IMAGES OF THE DAY)

In the past few weeks I have been getting a lot of questions about serial sovereign defaults and how to predict which countries will or won’t suspend debt payments or otherwise get into trouble.  The most common question is whether or not there is a threshold of debt (measured, say, against total GDP) above which we need to start worrying.

Perhaps because I started my career in 1987 trading defaulted and restructured bank loans during the LDC Crisis, I have spent the last 30 years as a finance history junky, obsessively reading everything I can about the history of financial markets, banking and sovereign debt crises, and international capital flows. My book, The Volatility Machine, published in 2002, examines the past 200 years of international financial crises in order to derive a theory of debt crisis using the work of Hyman Minsky and Charles Kindleberger.

No aspect of history seems to repeat itself quite as regularly as financial history.  The written history of financial crises dates back at least as far back as the reign of Tiberius, when we have very good accounts of Rome’s 33 AD real estate crisis.  No one reading about that particular crisis will find any of it strange or unfamiliar – least of all the 100-million-sesterces interest-free loan the emperor had to provide (without even having read Bagehot) in order to end the panic.

So although I am not smart enough to tell you who will or won’t default (I have my suspicions however), based on my historical reading and experiences, I think there are two statements that I can make with confidence.  First, we have only begun the period of sovereign default.

The major global adjustments haven’t yet taken place and until they do, we won’t have seen the full consequences of the global crisis, although already Monday’s New York Times had an article in which some commentators all but declared the European crisis yesterday’s news.

Just two months ago, Europe’s sovereign debt problems seemed grave enough to imperil the global economic recovery. Now, at least some investors are treating it as the crisis that wasn’t.

The article goes on to quote Jean-Claude Trichet sniffing over the “tendency among some investors and market participants to underestimate Europe’s ability to take bold decisions.”  Of course I’d be more impressed with…
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Tsunami of Red Ink – Global Look at National Debt and Who Owns US Debt

Tsunami of Red Ink – Global Look at National Debt and Who Owns US Debt

Courtesy of Mish 

The Chicago Tribune had an excellent set of charts this weekend in A Tsunami of Red Ink regarding US government debt and who owns it, and also a comparison of US debt to the national debt of other countries.

Debt as a Percentage of GDP

Comparison of US Debt to Other Countries

Click on the link at the top to see foreign holders of US debt country by country. The top three US debt holders are China, Japan, and Canada.

Some will not believe those figures on debt to GDP comparisons. I don’t either. For starters the numbers are from 2009.

The footnote also says, if intragovernmental debt is included the figure is 83%. That number is approximately correct in my opinion (as of 2009).

Some will want to count unfunded Social Security and Medicare liabilities out to 2050 or whatever. This is simply wrong. That would be like counting a car you intend to buy 3 years from now as part of your debt now.

Many things can happen between now and then.

  • You may buy a smaller car.
  • You may not buy the car at all, opting for public transportation.
  • When the time arrives, you may postpone buying a car for a couple more years.
  • You may save enough to pay for the car in cash so that you incur no debt.

Likewise, the plans for Social Security and Medicare might change. Costs may go up, or down. The plans may be scaled back by the next generation of US citizens who think our generation was the most greedy in history.

Things We Know

  • The current path and current plans are not sustainable.
  • The money has not been spent, yet.
  • Costs may go up or down.
  • Political promises can easily change.
  • Taxes may go up dramatically, to pay for the costs.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

 


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Losing the Red Queen’s Race

Losing the Red Queen’s Race

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds

The Red Queen’s Race is an apt analogy for the meltdown in assets and debt now swamping the global economy. 

The Red Queen’s race refers to running very fast to stay in the same place. As asset values fall globally (except where massive government stimulus has pushed the day of reckoning forward a bit), debt holders are frantically paying down or writing down debt--running very fast--but finding themselves in the same place--zero equity--despite their prodigious efforts.

I’ve prepared a chart to illustrate The Red Queen’s Race in assets and debt:

Owning an asset as it catapults ever higher in a credit/asset bubble offers a fateful temptation to leverage that rising equity ("free money") or extract it to enjoy.Millions of speculators did so by borrowing against their stocks (margin accounts) and tens of millions did so by borrowing against their home equity via second mortgages or HELOCs (home equity lines of credit).

Alas, when the asset bubbles bursts, values quickly begin a long and painful retrace to pre-bubble valuations. In very short order, those who bought with high leverage or borrowed 90% of their equity find themselves underwater, owing more than the value of their asset/property.

Those with 80% of bubble-top value mortgages who cling to the hope of a rapid recovery in valuations soon find they too are underwater.

Lenders who thought they were "safe" extending 80%-of-value loans at the bubble top find their 1-2% reserves against losses are woefully inadequate as assets continue their ceaseless decline to rational valuations.

In a desperate attempt to stave off losing the Red Queen’s Race, The Federal Reserve essentially hands the banks billions in easy profits, loaning them unlimited funds at near-zero interest rates so they can "re-capitalize" by loaning their unlimited "free money" at higher rates of interest.

But even the incantations and legerdemaine of the Fed are no match for the inexorable punishment of running in place just to avoid falling behind; no matter how fast the Fed-induced profits flow, they cannot gain on the declining assets. Banks pocket billions yet their net equity remains far below zero.

At some point, the lender or owner tires of writing down or paying down debt to no avail, and they lose the Red Queen’s Race. Having lost, some lenders, owners and even governments (see Japan, Inc. for a…
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In The Year 3000: Predicting The Liability Side Of The Fed’s Balance Sheet

In The Year 3000: Predicting The Liability Side Of The Fed’s Balance Sheet

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

When it comes to the asset side of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, there are no secrets: with the winddown of the bulk of the Fed’s emergency liquidity programs by February 1, the majority of the Fed’s current $2.2 trillion in assets will continue being outright-held securities. And even as the emergency programs sunset, the quasi-permanent, QE remnants will be here to stay. What we know for certain is that the current $1.8 trillion in Treasuries and MBS will rise to at least $2.2 trillion, as the balance of QE round 1 is exhausted. Will this purchasing of outright securities end there? Hardly. As the Fed is the only market for MBS, and as the MBS market can not allow a dramatic rise in 30 year mortgage rates, which is precisely what will happen if the buyer of first resort disappears, we fully expect some form of QE to show up and grab the baton where QE 1.0 ends. In fact just today, Fed economist Wayne Passmore, under the aegis of Atlanta Fed president Dennis Lockhart, stated during the annual American Economic Association meeting that GSE ABS should have an outright explicit guarantee by the Federal Reserve. Forget about QE then – this would be an onboarding of over $6 trillion in various assets of dubious worth, which currently exist in the limbo of semi-Fed guaranteed securities, yet which have an implicit guarantee. Of course, should the broader Fed listen to young master Passmore, look for John Williams’ expectation of hyperinflation as soon as 2010 to be very promptly met. The danger of the Fed’s next unpredictable step is so great that it is even causing insomnia for none other than BlackRock big man Larry Fink, who asks rhetorically "Are they going to kill the housing market?" Well Larry, unless the Wall Street lobby hustles, and the Fed isn’t forced to print another cool trillion under the guise of Mutual Assured Destruction, they very well might.

So now that we (don’t) know about the assets, what about that much less discussed topic: the Fed’s liabilities?

As it stands now, and as we have often pointed out, the liabilities of the Federal Reserve are rather straightforward: the major items are currency in circulation (about a $800 billion, and excess…
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Daniel Amerman vs. Mish: Reflections on the Great Inflation/Deflation Debate

This debate – inflation vs. deflation – illustrates how important it is to agree on definitions first, in order to engage in a more productive exchange of ideas, second. – Ilene

Daniel Amerman vs. Mish: Reflections on the Great Inflation/Deflation Debate

Courtesy of Mish

Last week I was in an inflation vs. deflation debate on Financial Sense with Daniel Amerman. The debate was moderated by Jim Puplava. It is a credit to Jim that he is willing to entertain both sides of an argument even though he himself is an inflationist.

Amerman took the inflation side, and of course I took the deflation side.

One of the main rules of any debate is to agree on definitions. In this case, there was no agreement.

I believe inflation is an increase in money supply and credit while Amerman considers inflation to be a purchasing power phenomenon. This lead to different opinions as to whether or not we are in deflation.

Furthermore, as with any audio discussion, there was an inability to point to charts or written material to make a case.

Let’s now explore some of the issues that came up in the debate starting with Amerman’s post Puncturing Deflation Myths

Japan & “Where’s The Beef”?

As discussed in Part One, someone who had attended one of my inflation solutions workshops asked me to debate deflation theory with him. I said “fine” but with one condition: before I would debate theory, he needed to first provide a real word example of this problem actually having happened. Could he answer this simple, real world question:

Name an example of a modern, major nation where the domestic purchasing power (as measured by CPI) of its purely symbolic & independent currency uncontrollably grew in value at a rapid rate over a sustained period, despite the best efforts of the nation to stop this rapid deflation?

The problem with this line of reasoning is agreement on the definition. One could just as easily define inflation as the number of meteors visible to the naked eye at nightime and conclude inflation is a cyclical phenomena that peaks every August in conjunction with the annual Perseids Meteor Shower.

Amerman did not "puncture deflation myths" because there is no agreement that his definition is the correct one.

Interestingly, he does post this chart


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Zero Hedge

Supreme Court Rules Trump Tax Returns Must Be Released To NY Grand Jury

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a New York Grand Jury can have President Trump's tax records, after Manhattan prosecutor Cy Vance subpoenaed eight years of returns in connection with an investigation into hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels, according to Axios.

The court has yet to rule on whether House Democrats can have access to the records, after the lawmakers issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank, Capital One, and the president's longtime accounting fi...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Tech Experiencing A 20-Year Breakout, While Small Caps Are Near 20-Year Lows!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Successful investors are often rewarded by owning strength and avoiding weakness.

Could two key sectors be experiencing 20-year strength and weakness extremes at the same time? Yes!

The NDX 100/S&P ratio (left above) is currently experiencing a 20-year breakout at (1).

At the same time, the Russell 2000/S&P ratio is near 20-year lows at (2).

This 2-pack reflects that the place to be at this time continues to be Tech...



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Phil's Favorites

"Just because you're buying stock, doesn't mean you're an investor"

 

“Just because you’re buying stock, doesn’t mean you’re an investor”

Courtesy of 

Josh here – in the mid 1960’s, investors decided that there was a group of fifty growth stocks whose outlook was so bright that it didn’t matter what price you paid for them, as long as you were buying. By the early 70’s, they were learning a critical lesson about starting valuation – McDonalds, Coke and Procter & Gamble did indeed have a very bright future, but that didn’t prevent them from being cut in half. Investors in these names would have ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

5 COVID-19 myths politicians have repeated that just aren't true

 

5 COVID-19 myths politicians have repeated that just aren't true

The purveyors of these myths aren’t doing the country any favors. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Courtesy of Geoffrey Joyce, University of Southern California

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has jumped to around 50,000 a day, and the virus has killed more than 130,000 Americans. Yet, I still hear myths about the infection that has created the worst public health crisis in A...



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ValueWalk

100 Days Since The Roll Back Of Fuel Efficiency Standards

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

“100 Days Since…” Trump Rolled Back Fuel Efficiency Standards While Public Health, Economic Fallout Accelerated

Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The Rollback Of Fuel Efficiency Standards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – One hundred days ago today, the Trump administration finalized its rollback of fuel efficiency standards — a s...



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The Technical Traders

Credit/Investments Turned Into End-User Risk Again

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Continuing our research from Part I, into what to expect in Q2 and Q3 of 2020, we’ll start by discussing our Adaptive Dynamic Learning predictive modeling system and our belief that the US stock market is rallied beyond proper expectation levels.  The Adaptive Dynamic Learning (ADL) modeling systems attempts to identify price and technical indicator DNA markers and attempts to map our these...



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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results. The information here is delayed by a few months, members get the most recent content.



Date Found: Saturday, 14 March 2020, 05:51:16 PM

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Comment: Crash in perspective - its Bad, and not over!



Date Found: Saturday, 14 March 2020, 07:49:29 PM

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Comment: The Blood Bath Has Begun youtu.be/bmC8k1qmM0s



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Lee's Free Thinking

These Charts Show COVID 19 Is Spreading in the US and Will Kill the Economy

 

These Charts Show COVID 19 Is Spreading in the US and Will Kill the Economy

Courtesy of  

The COVID 19 pandemic is, predictably, worsening again in much of the US. Only the Northeast, and to a lesser extent some Midwestern states, have been consistently improving. And that trend could also reverse as those states fully reopen.

The problem in the US seems to be widespread public resistance to recommended practices of social distancing and mask wearing. In countries where these practices have been practi...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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

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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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