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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Zero Hedge

How To Spend $45,000 On A $27,000 Car

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

As cars become more expensive, and trade-ins worth less and less, buyers go deeper in debt on new cars.

Please consider taking a $45,000 Loan for a $27,000 Ride.

...

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Phil's Favorites

Peace advocates have long been found among veterans who fought in America's wars

 

Peace advocates have long been found among veterans who fought in America's wars

Veterans for Peace gather for a Veterans Day ceremony at the Minnesota State Capitol mall, Nov. 11, 2014, in St. Paul. AP/Jim Mone

Courtesy of Michael Messner, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

If President Donald Trump had gotten his way, the nation would have celebrated the centennial of the World War I armistice last year on Nov. 11 with ...



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Insider Scoop

These Analysts Love BellRing Brands

Courtesy of Benzinga

BellRing Brands Inc (NYSE: BRBR) is a nutrition products company known for its ready-to-drink protein shakes and was born out of the separation of Post Holdings Inc (NYSE: POST)....



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The Technical Traders

Welcome to the Zombie-land Of Investing - Part I

Courtesy of Technical Traders

This current market environment is very reminiscent of the 2006-08 market environment where price rotated into weakness on technicals and continued to establish new all-time price highs in the process – creating what we are calling a “zombie-land melt-up”.  This very dangerous price action is indicative of money chasing a falling trend.  Where technicals and fundamentals are suggesting that price is actually weakening quite substantial, yet the process of price exploration is continually biased towards the upside as investors continue to pile onto the back of the beast expecting a further melt-up.

Let’s take a look at what happened to the ES and Gold in 2006 an...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold Indicator Sending Fresh Bearish Message, Says Joe Friday!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Could the Gold/US Dollar ratio be sending a fresh concerning message to Gold bulls this week? Joe Friday says Yes!

This chart looks at the Gold/Dollar ratio over the past 8-years.

The intersection of two long-term channel met at (1) a few months ago. The ratio was testing the bottom of one as resistance and the top of another as resistance at the same time.

As the ratio was testing both channels as resistance, a sizeable bearish reversal pattern took place at (1).

Since the reversal pattern took place, the ratio has been heading lower.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am; The ratio is breaking below...



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Digital Currencies

3 Reasons Why One Trader Didn't "Manipulate" Bitcoin Price To $20K

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by William Suberg via CoinTelegraph.com,

Bitcoin price highs in 2017 were not the result of a single trader on an exchange, the CEO of payment company Circle claims. In a series of tweets on Nov. 4, Jeremy Allaire disputed ...



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Chart School

Gold Gann and Cycle Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold has performed well, golden skies are here again. In fact it has been a straight line move, and this is typically unusual and a pause can be expected.

It seems the markets are happy again, new highs in the SP500, US 10 year interest rates look to re bound, negative interest may soften. The US FED has reversed their QT and now doing $250BN (not QE) repo. The main point is the FED has stopped QT, and will do QE forever. The evidence now is the FED put is under market risk and the possibility of excessive losses do not exist. 

Point: If in future if there is market risk, the FED will print it's way out of it.
Subject To: In this blog view. The above is so until the amount required rocks confidence in the US dollar as a reserve currency.&n...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Today's Fed POMO TOMO FOMC Alphabet Soup Unspin

Courtesy of Lee Adler

But make no mistake, if the Fed wants money rates to stay down by another quarter, it will need to imagineer even more money.

That’s on top of the $281 billion it has already imagineered into existence since addressing its “one-off” repo market emergency on September 17. This came via  “Temporary” Repo Man Operations money, and $70.6 billion in Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO) money.

By my calculations that averages out to $7.4 billion per business day. That works out to a monthly pace of $155 billion or so.

If they keep this up, it will be more than enough to absorb every penny of new Treasury supply. That supply had caused the system to run out of money in mid September.  This flood of paper had been inundati...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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Promotions

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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.

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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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