Posts Tagged ‘Stress Test’

QE2 Won’t Save Our Sinking Ship

Randall’s portrayal of Ben Bernanke’s thinking reminds me of a professor I knew who was trying to prove his own version of the Krebs Cycle.  He designed experiments that would theoretically prove he was correct, but – strangely – the students in his lab kept failing to achieve the proper results.  Rather than changing his theory, he realized that something must have gone wrong in the experiment, and he would have the students do it over, and over, until the right results were obtained.  A lot of rats were killed in the process, but no matter--no one really cared about the rats. – Ilene 

QE2 Won’t Save Our Sinking Ship

economy, ship By L. Randall Wray, courtesy of New Deal 2.0

The Fed is between a rock and a hard economic outlook.

Fed Chairman Bernanke is signaling that a second round of quantitative easing will soon begin. In the first round, the Fed’s balance sheet nearly tripled to nearly $2.3 trillion as it bought $1.7 trillion in Treasury securities and mortgage-related securities. Since the Fed appears to want to unwind its position in mortgages, QE2 will probably target federal government debt.

During Japan’s long stagnation, Bernanke was famous for arguing that the Bank of Japan could have done far more to fight deflation. Since the BOJ’s overnight interest rate target was effectively at zero, the conventional policy of lowering its interest rate target was not an option. Hence, Bernanke advocated quantitative, rather than price, activity — the BOJ would purchase assets from banks, driving up their excess reserves, until they would finally make loans to stimulate spending that would reverse the trend of prices.

So when he had the opportunity, he put theory into practice in the US, driving short-term interest rates effectively to zero and filling bank balance sheets with excess reserves by purchasing their assets. So far, the impact has not been significantly different than Japan’s experience. Indeed, Bernanke has been publicly warning of the dangers of a Japanese-style deflation, as US inflation has dropped nearly to zero, well below the Fed’s informal target of two percent.

And so we are now set for round two of QE — more of the same old, same old.

In truth, the Fed has done only two helpful things. First, during the liquidity crisis of 2007 and 2008, it lent reserves to financial institutions that faced a liquidity crisis.…
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Jim Rogers Calls CNBC Bullsh*t On CNBC

Jim Rogers Calls CNBC Bullsh*t On CNBC

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

No seriously.

"It is PR, they got the stocks up, that’s the whole purpose of PR, make the stocks go higher. That’s what CNBC and many many PR agencies are all about."

[Daily Bail]


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7 Out of 91 European Banks Fail Toothless (Read: Useless) Stress Tests

7 Out of 91 European Banks Fail Toothless (Read: Useless) Stress Tests

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

First the results.

NYT:

Seven of Europe’s 91 largest banks would struggle to survive an unexpected decline in economic growth or a sharp deterioration in the value of European government bonds, and will need to raise more capital, regulators said Friday in releasing results of closely watched bank stress tests.

Banks to flunk were Hypo Real Estate, a bank based in Munich that is already government-owned after a bailout, ATEBank of Greece and five Spanish savings banks.

Several other banks passed the test, but narrowly enough that they may also face market pressure to increase their reserves. That group included Postbank, one of Germany’s biggest publicly traded banks, which is 25 percent owned by Deutsche Bank.

Like our own stress tests last year, European regulators came up with a few different scenarios, one of which was supposed to mirror sovereign default. The problem being it doesn’t exactly do that. 

Business Week:

In the last scenario, banks will publish their estimated losses on sovereign debt held in their trading book as well as “additional impairment losses on the banking book” that they may suffer after a sovereign debt crisis, according to the document dated July 15.

Under accounting rules, banks have to adjust the value of sovereign bonds held in the trading book according to changes in market prices, said Konrad Becker, a financial analyst at Merck Finck & Co. in Munich. For government debt held in the banking book, lenders must write down their value only if there is serious doubt about a state’s ability to repay its debt in full or make interest payments, he said.

The sovereign-shock scenario doesn’t assume a European nation will default, said a person with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information is private. Instead, it will assume that rising government-bond yields will push up borrowing costs, spurring defaults in the private sector that would lead to losses in lenders’ banking books, said the person.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard already called the tests toothless over at the Telegraph. I say that’s being kind.

Again, when we did the whole stress test thing last year the numbers were strange and scenarios incredibly optimistic. Since Treasury had to act sketchy about what they were up to,…
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Pass/Fail Friday – Europe’s Stress Test at High Noon!

What a way to end the week!

The EU has decided to leave us hanging until the last moment as they hold off on releasing their bank stress test results until after the markets close (11:30 EST) which leads me to believe the results may not be good or they wouldn't be waiting until the markets are closed and then giving investors the weekend to digest the results.  If the tests are good, then the US will rally and Asia will rally and the EU would have to gap open on Monday and that would annoy investors over there (kind of like we were annoyed yesterday) but, if the results are bad, then we can drop back to 10,200 or lower and Asia can sell off and they will gap down on Monday but perhaps less of a panic sell-off than if they got hit with the news on a Friday morning

So, because the results were already delayed and because the ECB has chosen to wait until Friday afternoon – I'm going to have to at least make a small bet that we have a failure.  We already hedged the Dow in yesterday's Member Chat as we weren't sure of the timing and we wanted to lock in our gains for the week but now let's look at a nice, profitable way to play a sell-off in the financials.  

  • FAZ is the 3x Ultra Short ETF on the financials and you can just buy that ETF for $14.62 a share and a 3.3% move down in XLF should translate to a 9% gain to $15.94, not a bad day's work right there!  Thanks to the uncertainty we now have, this trade can be augmented with the sale of the August $14 puts and calls for $2.65 and that drops the net purchase price to $11.97.  If XLF finishes below $14, another round of stock would be put to you at $14 for an average entry of $12.99, which is 12% lower than the current price so this trade assumes the financials don't go UP 4% by August 20th.  If FAZ finishes over $14 (.62 lower than it is now) the net return on the $11.97 is 17%, not bad for 3 week's work….
  • Since XLF is also $14.45, we can also have some


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More Stress Test Shenanigans

More Stress Test Shenanigans

Magician performing trick on stage

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

AFP reports:

The Federal Reserve will expand its so-called stress tests of the banking system to ensure they have enough capital during difficult periods, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday.

Bernanke highlighted the positive impact of stress tests conducted earlier this year on major banks, a move aimed at ensuring their financial health and building confidence.

"Building on the success of this initiative, we will conduct more frequent, broader, and more comprehensive horizontal examinations, evaluating both the overall risk profiles of institutions as well as specific risks and risk-management issues," Bernanke told a conference organized by the Boston Federal Reserve.

The highly publicized stress tests conducted earlier this year focused on 19 major banks, and indicated 10 needed additional capital.

Bernanke said the Fed would step up efforts to review bank capital requirements to avoid a recurrence of the credit crisis that has spread around the world.

"Additional steps are necessary to ensure that all banking organizations hold adequate capital," he said.

He noted that the Financial Stability Board — a global watchdog made up of senior representatives of national financial authorities — had called for "significantly stronger capital standards," and that the Group of 20 "has committed to develop rules to improve both the quantity and quality of bank capital."

"The Federal Reserve supports these initiatives. The structure of capital requirements should also be reviewed," Bernanke said.

Should we be reassured by the new round of stress tests?

Well, let’s take a look:

  • Time Magazine called the previous stress tests a "confidence game" and Geithner a "con man" for running them deceptively
  • Paul Krugman called the stress tests a mere "self-esteem class" for banks that no bank would be allowed to fail
  • Nouriel Roubini said the stress tests "fail the basic criterion of a reality check"
  • William K. Black called them "a complete sham"
  • FDIC head Sheila Bair didn’t believe they were credible
  • The stress tests were a P.R. stunt devised by the banks themselves
  • The government has more or less admitted that the stress tests were meaningless (see this and this)

In addition, AFP quotes Bernanke as saying:

"For example, to reduce the tendency of current capital requirements to


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Geithner To Allow Banks To Repay Tarp Although TARP Panel Says Stress Test Was Flawed

Geithner To Allow Banks To Repay Tarp Although TARP Panel Says Stress Test Was Flawed

Courtesy of Mish

In another case straight out of the Twilight Zone, Geithner will allow banks to repay TARP funds although a TARP panel advises running the tests again because the tests were so flawed.

Bloomberg is reporting JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley Among 10 Banks Repaying TARP.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley were among 10 lenders that won U.S. Treasury approval to buy back $68 billion of government shares, freeing them from added oversight that curbed lending practices, hiring and pay.

“These repayments are an encouraging sign of financial repair,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement today. “But we still have work to do.”

The decision to allow the biggest repayments to the Troubled Asset Relief Program reflects surging financial stocks and rising pressure from banks to free themselves of political interference. U.S. firms unveiled plans to raise more than $100 billion since government stress tests of the 19 largest banks found that 10 needed $74.6 billion of additional capital to weather a more severe recession.

In addition to JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, American Express Co., Bank of New York Mellon Corp., BB&T Corp., Capital One Financial Corp., Northern Trust Corp., State Street Corp. and U.S. Bancorp all said today they are repaying the funds.

The approved firms didn’t include Bank of America Corp., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, and Citigroup Inc., each of which have accepted $45 billion from the government. Wells Fargo & Co., the nation’s largest mortgage lender and the recipient of $25 billion in government aid, also wasn’t on the list.

“There will be a question that potentially overhangs some of those names that haven’t returned TARP,” said Scott Siefers, an analyst at Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP in New York. “How are you going to get out from under it and what will it mean for me? Are you going to issue more shares somewhere down the road?”

Firms buying back the government’s preferred shares also have the right to repurchase warrants the Treasury holds “at fair market value,” today’s statement said.

Of the 10 Banks approved, all but Northern Trust was on the list stress test banks. I called it a cake walk not a stress test at the time. See


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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap May 18, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

China – U.S. trade talk continued to dominate the week.   A heavy selloff Monday was followed by 3 up days, with Friday moderately down.

On Monday, Chinese officials announced retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., hitting $60 billion in annual exports to China with new or expanded duties that could reach 25%.

Then on Wednesday:

The Trump administration plans to delay a decision on instituting new tariffs on car and auto part imports for up to six months, according to media reports.

...

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Zero Hedge

Wall Street's Most Bearish Analyst Asks "What Did I Miss"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Wall Street's most bearish sellside strategist, Morgan Stanley's Michael Wilson

As a macro strategist, my job is to try to make a very complex world easier to understand – something that’s very difficult to do. In an era of financial repression and seemingly elevated political uncertainty, the level of complexity has felt elevated too. This has created great opportunities for the past several years as a macro strategist – first to be more bullish than the consensus in 2016-17 when markets were overly worried about the outcomes, and then last year to b...



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Phil's Favorites

What's going on with Blue Apron?

By Ilene 

The Blue Apron business model appears, perhaps, flawed. While the service is convenient, I think it would appeal mostly to very busy people who don't have time to shop for food -- but enjoy cooking -- and have enough money that the trade off between paying for food delivery vs. spending time shopping is worth it. Here's the unfortunate stock chart and some numbers from Yahoo:

The company has been losing money, and is projected to lose money again next year. Revenue is projected to decrease in 2019 from the 2018 level, but pick up again in 2020, though still below 2018's revenue. Maybe a larger company that could integrate APRN's services into its existing infrastructure should acquire APRN and save it from its apparent...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control

 

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Banks Sending Bearish Message To Stocks, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Quality bull markets prefer to see Banks stronger than the broad markets or at least keeping up with it. Concerns often crop up when banks reflect relative weakness compared to the S&P.

This chart looks at the Bank Index (BKX) over the past few years, reflecting a falling channel of lower highs and lower lows has taken place inside of falling channel (1). This falling channel has now been in play for the past 15-months.

The index hit the bottom of the channel in December of 2018 and a counter-trend rally took place. The rally off the December lows saw the index hit the top...



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Insider Scoop

Analyst: US Sanctions 'May Not Kill Huawei'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that limits how "foreign adversaries" conduct business with U.S. companies.

What Happened

The Department of Commerce said China's Huawei and 70 related companies will be included in the "Entity ...



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Biotech

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

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

 

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University

...



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ValueWalk

More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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OpTrader

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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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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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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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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