Posts Tagged ‘taxpayer money’

It’s unanimous: Propping up underwater mortgages is a bad idea

It’s unanimous: Propping up underwater mortgages is a bad idea

Courtesy of Edward Harrison at Credit Writedowns 

Families Are Evicted From Homes As Economic Crisis Worsens

What follows is a more comprehensive re-write of my take on the latest bailout proposals by the Obama Administration. I felt the original write-up was a bit rushed and one-sided. I have tried to outline the objectives of the bailout plans more dispassionately. And I have added some historical references from prior posts to demonstrate the basic merits of the idea.

Clearly the mindset will not change. It’s all bailouts, all the time in the Obama Administration, as it was at the end of the Bush Administration. I want to talk about the most recent bailouts, why they were proposed, what’s wrong with them and why bailouts generally don’t work. My remarks will concentrate on the principal reduction program since this is the newest bit.

Why bailouts won’t work

What should be clear to you as an observer by now is that these bailouts implicitly assume that government can stuff financial institutions full of taxpayer money and in so doing adequately recapitalize them so that they can lend again.

The thinking is that, these policies, while "deeply unpopular, deeply hard to understand," are necessary to prevent another systemic breakdown and a deflationary spiral.

Also implicit is the assumption that economic weakness depends in large measure on supporting home price values by increasing the supply of credit via bank lending and securitizations. But, as I argued 14 months ago when Barack Obama came to the White House, the financial system is so fundamentally unsound that bailouts are like catching a falling knife. The writedowns that needed to be taken – in the absence of serious house price appreciation – are just too large to be handled quickly via bailouts.

Moreover, it is the demand for credit which is critical here because households are over-indebted and reluctant to take on further debt. While I do believe officialdom can be successful in creating mild but brief cyclical upticks in consumer demand, weak consumer spending will last for years. The secular trend is clearly going to be toward increasing savings and reducing debt.

So bailouts alone cannot address the debt problem which is behind the reduction in credit demand growth. Nor are they likely to be adequate to deal with the scale of unrealized losses on bank balance sheets.…
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In Defense Of Secrecy; Three Prong Attack On The Fed; Selective Myopia

Here’s another terrific article by Mish.  If you’ve wondered like I have about the 45B the Fed apparently made last year, towards the end, Mish questions that figure. Op-Toons has a suggestion to improve the accuracy of reported numbers (keep reading). – Ilene

In Defense Of Secrecy; Three Prong Attack On The Fed; Selective Myopia

Courtesy of Mish 

The Fed is pulling out all stops to defend its secrets, including publishing self-serving mathematical gibberish. Please consider the St. Louis Fed article on the Social Cost of Transparency.

Unless you are an academic wonk, you will be stymied by pages that look like this …

There are 24 pages of such nonsense with titles like

  • 2.2 Private Information and Full Commitment
  • 2.3 Private Information and Limited Commitment
  • 3.2.1 Decision Making in the Day
  • 3.2.2 Decision Making at Night
  • 3.2.4 A No-News Economy

Just for good measure here is the page describing 3.2.4 A No-News Economy

The article culminates with …

For an asset economy then, the prescription of “full transparency” is not generally warranted.

Approaching the problem under the premise that fuller transparency is always desirable may not be the right place to start.

Hiding Behind Empirical Formulas

The problem is Bernanke places his complete faith in such gibberish, so much so that he has lost all sense of real world action by real people. The result is that in spite of his PhD, he could not see a housing bubble that was obvious to anyone using a single ounce of common sense.

Moreover, had Bernanke simply opened his eyes instead of relying on a poor interpretation of an already fatally flawed Taylor Rule, the credit/housing bubble would not have gotten as big as it did, and we might not be discussing the above ridiculous mathematical formulas that supposedly show us the Fed needs to be secretive.

For more on Bernanke’s love affair with the Taylor Rule (even though Taylor Disputes Bernanke on its usage), please see Taylor, NY Times, Dean Baker Call Out Bernanke.

Appeals Court To Hear Bloomberg’s Freedom of Information Suit

Bloomberg has been in a battle with the Fed for two years over the Fed’s “unprecedented and highly controversial use” of public money. In August it "won" the lawsuit but the Fed has appealed.

Please consider


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Zero Hedge

Rabobank: Is It Possible The Fed Is So Stupid It Doesn't Understand What It Is Doing

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

By Michael Every of Rabobank

Warning: May contain crisis

I am lucky in that I don’t have a serious food allergy, such as to peanuts. I fully grasp just how dangerous these can be to those that unfortunately do, and why we need clear food labels to show if there is even a trace of nuts. Having said that, I always find it ironic that when I get given the standard packet of peanuts on a plane, it is labelled: “Warning: may contain nuts”. Are there people who might not know that peanuts contain nuts? Appa...



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Phil's Favorites

The Martian

 

The Martian

Courtesy of Scott Galloway, No Mercy/No Malice@profgalloway

I often write about platforms (iOS, Amazon Marketplace, etc.) as they are a source of value creation and power. The platform of unprecedented wealth creation is the free market of capitalism. The global adoption of markets has corresponded with the greatest expansion of prosperity in human history. But similar to tech platforms, free markets are neither naturally occurring nor immune to collapse. The “free” market can fail.

Live from New York

This Saturday at 11:29 pm ET, we’ll witness the lat...



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Digital Currencies

NFTs are much bigger than an art fad - here's how they could change the world

 

NFTs are much bigger than an art fad – here's how they could change the world

Homes fit for zeroes (and ones). Julien Tromeur

Courtesy of James Bowden, University of Strathclyde and Edward Thomas Jones, Bangor University

Sotheby’s has become the latest establishment name in art to dive into NFTs (non-fungible tokens) through its collaboration with anonymous ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

India COVID crisis: four reasons it will derail the world economy

 

India COVID crisis: four reasons it will derail the world economy

India is the fifth largest economy in the world. Deepak Choudhary/Unsplash

Courtesy of Uma S Kambhampati, University of Reading

The second wave of the pandemic has struck India with a devastating impact. With over 300,000 new cases and 3,000 deaths across the country each day at present, the total number of deaths has just passed the 200,000 mark – that’s about one in 16 of all COVID deaths across the world....



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Chart School

Yellen can not stop the dollar decline

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Printing money results in a lower currency, so long as the currency does not fall too fast.

Previous Post: US Dollar Forecast - Weakness

Here are the very strong fundamentals for a lower US dollar: 

(a) US inflation exploding.
(b) Massive US twin deficits.
(c) Better conditions in Europe.

However French election worries in 2022 Q1 and Q2 may provide US dollar strength (via European weakness) after Christmas, but this strength may come after a low in the DXY near $84.  

It looks like Yellen knows a down swing in the US dollar is near because ...

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Politics

If China's middle class continues to thrive and grow, what will it mean for the rest of the world?

 

If China's middle class continues to thrive and grow, what will it mean for the rest of the world?

Over the past few decades, hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens have become part of the middle class. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Courtesy of Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Rochester Institute of Technology

China’s large and impressive accomplishments over the past four decades have spurred scholars and politicians to debate whether the decline of the West – including the ...



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ValueWalk

Managing Investments As A Charity Or Nonprofit

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Maintaining financial viability is a constant challenge for charities and nonprofit organizations.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The past year has underscored that challenge. The pandemic has not just affected investment returns – it’s also had serious implications for charitable activities and the ability to fundraise. For some organizations, it’s even raised doubts about whether they can continue to operate.

Finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable returns for ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will Historic Selloff In Treasury Bonds Turn Into Opportunity?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Long-dated treasury bonds have been crushed over the past year, sending ETFs like TLT (20+ Year US Treasury Bond ETF) spiraling over 20%.

Improving economy? Inflation concerns? Perhaps a combination of both… interest rates have risen sharply and thus bond prices have fallen in historic fashion.

Today’s chart looks at $TLT over the past 20 years. As you can see, the recent decline has truly been historic. $TLT’s price has swung from historically overbought highs to oversold lows.

At present, the long-dated bond ETF ($TLT) is trading 7.8% below its 200-...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Weekly Webinar - March 10, 2021

Don't miss our latest weekly webinar! 

Join us at PSW for LIVE Webinars every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 PM EST.

Phil's Stock World's Weekly Webinar – March 10, 2021

 

Major Topics:

00:00:01 - EIA Petroleum Status Report
00:04:42 - Crude Oil WTI
00:12:52 - COVID-19 Update
00:22:08 - Bonds and Borrowed Funds | S&P 500
00:45:28 - COVID-19 Vaccination
00:48:32 - Trading Techniques
00:50:34 - PBR
00:50:43 - LYG
00:50:48 - More Trading Techniques
00:52:59 - Chinese Hacks Microsoft's E...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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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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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. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.