Posts Tagged ‘US government debt’

CDS And A U.S. Default: What’s The Point?

CDS And A U.S. Default: What’s The Point?

Courtesy of Tom Lindmark at But Then What

John Carney has a really smart post over at Clusterstock regarding the pricing of credit default swaps for Campbell Soup, JPMorgan and the US government. In case you haven’t been following all of this, the cost to insure credit risk on Campbell Soup and this country are essentially the same while the cost to insure JPMorgan risk is approximately three times as much.

Bloomberg makes an argument that this makes no sense since Morgan is essentially a GSE. In the event of failure, strike that word failure, in the event of a problem with Morgan we can all count on the government coming once more to the barricades. True, but as Carney points out this misses some important elements of risk:

Let’s run through some risks that Reilly seems to be overlooking when it comes to JP Morgan’s debt.

We know that the government isn’t going to let JP Morgan go bankrupt. But we definitely do not know what form future bailouts will take. Maybe creditors will be protected in a future bailout. Maybe they won’t. Keep in mind that in the recent bailouts of the auto sector forced bondholders to take deep haircuts.

We also know that the failure of JP Morgan would almost certainly mean that the financial system was in great distress. In that case, anyone who sold insurance on JP Morgan would likewise probably be distressed, making paying off the insurance more costly. It seems what’s happening here is that sellers of swaps are smartly taking into account this risk.

That kind of risk doesn’t apply to isolated failures due to corruption or embezzling. If Campbell’s went down, the credit markets wouldn’t suddenly freeze up. Those who sold the credit default swaps wouldn’t necessarily have trouble getting the liquidity they need to fund the obligations.

Overlooking these kinds of risks is a problem for Reilly’s argument. It’s hard enough to establish you know how to price risk better than the market. And it’s pretty much impossible when you over look important risks.

I particularly like the way John gets to the real point about letting the markets sort the risks out, but I still don’t quite understand the concept of writing CDS on US government debt.

It seems to me this is a pointless…
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China cuts holding of U.S. Treasury securities

China cuts holding of U.S. Treasury securities

China - national geographic photoCourtesy of Edward Harrison at Credit Writedowns

The conventional wisdom is that the US is beholden to foreign agents as they hold much of the US government debt.  In this view, if these agents sell their securities, interest rates in America should increase as demand for US public debt evaporates.

Now comes evidence that China is indeed selling.  The BBC reports.

China reduced its holdings of US government debt by the largest margin in nearly nine years in June, according to data from the US Treasury.

China holds more US government debt than any other country and cut its holdings of US securities by more that 3% in June, said the BBC’s Chris Hogg…

The sales were made as the US treasury secretary was visiting Beijing to try to reassure the Chinese that their investment in his country’s government debt is safe…

In 2008, the Chinese increased their holdings in US debt by 52% over 12 months.

"China has said it would like to establish an alternative to the US dollar as the world’s favoured currency for foreign exchange reserves," said our correspondent.

"So far there is no evidence that there is a suitable alternative. But these figures suggest they are exploring ways to diversify their investments where they can."

But, as you have probably noticed, interest rates have not increased appreciably.  What gives?  Two ideas:

  1. The Chinese aren’t selling because there aren’t enough alternatives.  Just yesterday, there was a Bloomberg article indicating the Chinese are still very much interested in buying US public debt. They may even being moving out on the long-end of the curve.
  2. The premise that interest rates will increase is false.  If the US economy slows, this automatically decreases the current account deficit, meaning the US becomes less dependent on foreign sources to buy Treasury securities.  Increased private sector savings suggests more domestic sources of Treasury funding are now available.

On the whole, I would expect interest rates to rise as government budget deficits increase.  However, I have just presented you two reasons why this might not be so.

 


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Chart School

Narrow Trading Ranges Set Up New Breakout Opportunities

Courtesy of Declan.

The past few days have seen markets shape narrow mini-trading ranges, each following breakouts from larger consolidations. Large Caps show this best

The S&P cleared a dual 4-month and 6-week consolidation before shaping the past 8-day 'flag'. Look for a break of 2,740 and a push to challenge the next swing high at 2,800 - although a test of this should be enough to go on and challenge all-time highs.


The Dow Jones Index could be considered to have broken from its mini-consolidation. Volume was...

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Phil's Favorites

Impeachment Fantasies

 

Impeachment Fantasies

Courtesy of 

The stock market seems to have gotten very good at ignoring the coming constitutional crisis. It may one day start to care again but I think it’s fairly clear that at this point, it cares not at all. I think the market is smarter than many pundits give it credit for.

New all-time highs in the Russell 2000 small cap index this week make it clear that investors expect consumers and businesses to go on with their lives regardless of what happens in Washington D.C. – and that they’ll continue to benefit from the improved economy and drastically lower tax environment.

The Mue...



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Zero Hedge

Elon Musk's Great Model 3 Bait and Switch

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The Tesla Model 3 was supposed to be the "entry-level" electric vehicle for the middle class, that "made it up in volume": leading up to the release of the Model 3, it was positioned as the people's EV that everybody could afford and that, once mass produced, would help Tesla generate cash and profits consistently. The car's relatively modest $35,000 price tag was heralded as one of its key selling points, low enough that Tesla could generate the volume needed to gain operating leverage from selling it to the masses. 

But as Elon Musk himself admitted this weekend on Twitte...



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Biotech

Could this be the year for a Canadian Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences?

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

 

Could this be the year for a Canadian Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences?

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

In 2013, Kyoto University’s Shinya Yamanaka was awarded one of the first Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences for his discovery of “induced” stem cells that enabled researchers to convert adult cells back into stem cells.

The Breakthrough Prize is not to be sneezed at. Founded in 2013, the prize “honours transformative advances toward understanding living systems and extending human life.” It’s also the most financially attractive aw...



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Insider Scoop

8 Stocks Moving In Monday's After-Hours Session

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related PTX Benzinga's Daily Biotech Pulse: FDA Panel Nod For Akcea, Synergy's Revenue Miss, FDA Warns E-Liquid Makers Again 18 Stocks Moving In Friday's Pre-Market Session Related 36 Biggest Movers From Friday ...

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Digital Currencies

5 Factors That Drive Bitcoin's Ups & Downs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

By Kayla Matthews via Hackernoon.com

The price of Bitcoin has been wildly volatile. From November to December 2017, it increased by 223 percent. It fell by 59 percent between January and February 2018, increased by 64 percent from February to March and then dropped again during March by 40 percent.

While this isn&r...



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ValueWalk

Buffett At His Best

By csinvesting. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Bear with me as I share a bit of my history that helped me create SkyVu and the Battle Bears games. The University of Nebraska gave me my first job after college. I mostly pushed TV carts around, edited videos for professors or the occasional speaker event. One day, Warren Buffet came to campus to speak to the College of Business. I didn’t think much of this speech at the time but I saved it for some reason. 15 years later, as a founder of my own company, I watch and listen to this particular speech every year to remind myself of the fundamentals and values Mr. Buffett looks for. He’s addressing business students at his alma mater, so I think his style here is a bit more ‘close to home’ than in his other speeches. Hopefully many of you find great value in this video like I have. Sorry for the VHS...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

The Stock Bull Market Stops Here!

 

The Stock Bull Market Stops Here!

Courtesy of Kimble Charting

 

The definition of a bull market or bull trends widely vary. One of the more common criteria for bull markets is determined by the asset being above or below its 200 day moving average.

In my humble opinion, each index above remains in a bull trend, as triple support (200-day moving averages, 2-year rising support lines, and February lows) are still in play ...



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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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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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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

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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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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