Posts Tagged ‘Slideshows’

Plunging Rents Will Drag House Prices Down With Them

Plunging Rents Will Drag House Prices Down With Them

Courtesy of Henry Blodget at Clusterstock

Plunging rents are great news for renters, but they’re lousy news for homeowners.  Aaron Task and I discussed this issue on TechTicker this morning:

The vacancy rate for rental apartments in the U.S. is now 7.8% and climbing, says the Wall Street Journal.  This is the highest vacancy rate in 23 years.

Worse, the vacancy rate is expected to keep climbing through the winter, ultimately hitting the highest rate on record.

This is good news for renters and bad news for landlords.  It’s also bad news for anyone who owns and would like to sell a house.

Why are rising rental vacancies bad news for homeowners?

Because rising vacancies put pressure on rents, as landlords have to cut prices to woo a smaller pool of tenants.  As rents drop, meanwhile, one of the key measures of house-price value--the price-to-rent ratio--also changes, and not for the good.

All else being equal, when rents drop, the "Housing P/E ratio" — price to rent — increases as rents decrease.  This is the same thing that would happen to the P/E ratio of a stock if the company’s earnings began to shrink.

The more the rent/earnings shrink, the more expensive the house or company is as a multiple of the rent/earnings.

Will people suddenly refuse to pay as much for houses because the price-to-rent ratio rises a bit?  No.  But they may decide to rent instead of buy, which will remove some demand from the housing market.  And, this, in turn, will put pressure on house prices.

The chart below from Calculated Risk illustrates the price-to-rent ratio over the past 15 years.  As you can see, it got way out of whack during the peak bubble years and has now fallen back within the realm of normal.  As rents fall, however, the ratio will start rising again. 

That is, unless house prices fall, too, which is the more likely scenario.


See Also:  HOUSING RECOVERY!  (How’s Your City Doing?)


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Wells Fargo’s Ticking Time Bomb: Credit Default Swaps On Commercial Mortgages

Wells Fargo’s Ticking Time Bomb: Credit Default Swaps On Commercial Mortgages

WellsFlannelManBIG AP 10 03 08Courtesy of John Carney at Clusterstock

Outside experts hired by Wells Fargo to pour through its books are reportedly shocked at the bank’s exposure to derivatives trades it took on when it acquired Wachovia may trigger huge losses at the bank, Teri Buhl reports at

It appears that Wachovia wrote credit default swaps on the junior tranches of commercial mortgage backed securities it was selling, which means that it is on the hook for losses in the riskiest CMBS tranches it sold. Wells itself might not even know the size of its exposure, Buhl reports.

From Buhl:

According to sources currently working out these loans at Wells Fargo when selling tranches of commercial mortgage-backed securities below the super senior tranche, Wachovia promised to pay the buyer’s risk premium by writing credit default swap contracts against these subordinate bonds. Should the junior tranches eventually default, then the bank is on the hook. Dan Alpert of Westwood Capital says these were practices that he saw going on in the market at large.

Alpert says in reference to how he saw CMBS trades get done, “These guys would say ‘We’ll just take back that silly credit risk you’re worried about.’ Of course that was a nice increase to earnings when they got the security sold. The bank made money at the time.”

Buhl points out that investors might be caught off-guard if Wells has to start paying out on the swaps it sold. Wells, like most banks, almost certainly holds the credit default swap liabilities off balance sheet and most likely does not recognize them as a loss until they actually have to pay, Buhl writes. Wells says it carefully monitors its derivatives exposure. "We have provided extensive transparent disclosures on our derivatives in our 2008 annual report beginning on page 132,” Wells says.

Here’s Wells own calculation of its derivatives exposure as of the day it closed the Wachovia deal.


But it seems fair to wonder if Wells really understood all of the derivatives exposure it took on when it acquired Wachovia. Buhl wonders if Wells really has enough capital set aside to handle the derivatives liability.

…So could Wells really have enough capital to handle the liability of credit

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10 Bubbles In The Making

10 Bubbles In The Making

bubble bubbles kid child gum tbiCourtesy of Lawrence Delevingne at Clusterstock

One year after America’s brush with economic catastrophe, there’s plenty of looking back at the bubbles that caused financial chaos.

But what’s next?

There are surely dangerous economic bubbles forming as we speak. As Alan Greenspan warned this week, "They [financial crises] are all different, but they have one fundamental source," he said. "That is the unquenchable capability of human beings when confronted with long periods of prosperity to presume that it will continue."

The trick, of course, is spotting them. By definition, most people don’t spot a bubble before they form and burst.

Here’s 10 for which you should be on alert →

And if history repeats, bubbles tend to share a common fate:


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House Price Crash Rate Finally Beginning To Ease

Good news! and bad news!

House Price Crash Rate Finally Beginning To Ease 

Courtesy of Henry Blodget at ClusterStock

Good news! The rate of the price decline in the housing crash has finally begun to ease.

Bad news! Prices are still falling 18% year over year.

Specifically, in April, according to the Case Shiller index, the rate of decline in nationwide house prices eased slightly in April--to 18% from 19% in March. The rate of decline has hovered around 19%-20% for the last several months.  And prices have now declined a staggering 33%-34% from the peak.

As we’ve noted over this period, before house prices can start recovering, they have to stop falling.  And the first step toward prices stopping falling is a decline in the RATE at which they are falling.  And we are finally beginning to see that.

But we’re still talking about an astonishing rate of collapse.  And we’re still looking at a peak-to-trough decline of at least 40% and probably closer to 50% nationwide, which would be unprecedented.  And even today, with prices down 33%-34% from the peak, prices are still above fair value.

So the folks who use this slight moderation in the rate of decline to spin tales of a "bottom" or, worse, a "recovery" are smoking something.  Prices have at least another 10%-15% to fall, and they’ll likely be falling for at least another year or two.

Here’s the small uptick in the rate of decline:


Prices have now rolled back to mid-2003 levels.  They’ll likely be back to 2000 levels before we’re through.

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices 

And here’s the positive spin from the S&P press release (always look on the bright side!):

The 10-City and 20-City Composites declined 18.0% and 18.1%, respectively, in April compared to the same month in 2008. These are improvements over their returns reported for March, down 18.7% for both indices. For the past three months, the 10-City and 20-City Composites have recorded an improvement in annual returns.  Record annual declines were reported for both indices with their respective January data, -19.4% for the 10-City Composite and 19.0% for the 20-City Composite.

“The pace of decline in residential real estate slowed in April,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “In addition to the 10-City and 20-City Composites, 13

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Your Field Guide To The Mortgage Collapse

Courtesy of Henry Blodget at ClusterStock

Your Field Guide To The Mortgage Collapse

mortgage meltdown, chart 5-9The housing market is crashing, and it’s taking us, our banks, our economy, and our government down with it.  Why?  Because of the debt!  The value of our houses is plummeting, but the value of our debt is staying just the same.

You knew that already.  What you didn’t maybe know, or at least fully appreciate, is exactly what’s happening in the mortgage market that’s causing all this hideousness.

Well, thankfully, Whitney Tilson has laid it all out for us.  START THE TOUR >

Whitney’s the managing partner at T2 Partners, a hedge fund and mutual-fund company.  He’s also just published a book called More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways To Profit In These Bad Times.

In the book, Whitney lays out the whole mortgage disaster in pictorial form, and he has been kind enough to allow us to reprint some of his charts here.  If you’d like to see updated, interactive versions, please visit  Or just head over to Amazon and buy the book.




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Insider Scoop

12 Stocks To Watch For March 22, 2018

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Some of the stocks that may grab investor focus today are:

  • Wall Street expects Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) to report quarterly earnings at $1.63 per share on revenue of $2.14 billion before the opening bell. Darden shares fell 0.12 percent to $93.20 in after-hours trading.
  • Analysts expect Accenture plc (NYSE: ... more from Insider

Zero Hedge

PBOC Raises Interest Rate On Open Market Operations

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Moments after the Fed did as expected when it raised rates by 25bps, we - along with most other central bank watchers - made a prediction: now it was China's turn.

And now, it's China's turn to hike

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) March 21, 2018

And since in recent years, the PBOC has not hiked the main benchmark rate but engaged in "targeted" tightening using the various reverse-repo facilities, we had to wait until today's open market operation was un...

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Phil's Favorites

After Tempe fatality, self-driving car developers must engage with public now or risk rejection


After Tempe fatality, self-driving car developers must engage with public now or risk rejection

An autonomous vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian on March 18. via AP

Courtesy of Andrew Maynard, Arizona State University; Jameson Wetmore, Arizona State University, and Thaddeus R. Miller, ...

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Digital Currencies

Why accountants of the future will need to speak blockchain and cryptocurrency if they want your money


Why accountants of the future will need to speak blockchain and cryptocurrency if they want your money


Courtesy of Anwar Halari, The Open University

If you haven’t already heard of Bitcoin, you either haven’t been paying attention or you’re a time traveller who just touched down in 2018. Because by now, most of us will have heard of Bitcoin and some of us have even jumped on the bandwagon, investing in cryptocurrencies.

But despite its popularity, many people still don’t understand the technology that underlines it: blockchain. In...

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Chart School

Stall in Decline

Courtesy of Declan.

The good news for bulls was the lack of follow through on the selling. An argument could be made for bullish harami doji in some key indices with stops on a loss of yesterday's lows.

The Semiconductor Index held on to breakout support in what looked to be a successful defense by traders in what could still be a pullback buying opportunity. There was a MACD trigger 'sell' which was a follow-through from Friday - leaving only stochastics in the green. However, relative performance remains in bulls favor. Long opportunities...

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Peter Thiel: Need To Rethink Tariffs In Light Of Trade Deficit With China; SF Sucks, Bitcoin Rocks

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel in a wide-ranging interview on President Trump’s trade tariffs, China’s economy, technology regulations and his outlook for bitcoin.


Check out our H2 hedge fund letters here.

Peter Thiel: Need To Rethink Tariffs In Light Of Trade Deficit With China

Peter Thiel On Leaving Silicon Valley For Los Angeles

Billionaire investor Peter Thiel argues Silicon Valley is is a ‘totalitarian place’ where people are not allowed to have dissenting views.


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Members' Corner

Cambridge Analytica and the 2016 Election: What you need to know (updated)


"If you want to fundamentally reshape society, you first have to break it." ~ Christopher Wylie

[Interview: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles' – video]

"You’ve probably heard by now that Cambridge Analytica, which is backed by the borderline-psychotic Mercer family and was formerly chaired by Steve Bannon, had a decisive role in manipulating voters on a one-by-one basis – using their own personal data to push them toward voting ...

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How your brain is wired to just say 'yes' to opioids

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


How your brain is wired to just say ‘yes’ to opioids

A Philadelphia man, who struggles with opioid addiction, in 2017. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Courtesy of Paul R. Sanberg, University of South Florida and Samantha Portis, University of South Florida


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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!


We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.


EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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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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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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