Archive - Aug 30, 2010 - Blog entry

Phoenix Capital Research's picture

In today’s world of trillion dollar bailouts, $2-4 billion doesn’t sound like much, so let’s give some perspective here… in its golden days, Lehman Brother’s market cap was roughly $47 billion. So you’re talking about bets equal to an amount between five and 10% of its market cap. Not exactly chump change.

And Lehman had no idea where it was or how much it really owed.

Mind you, we’re only addressing Lehman’s options and futures derivatives, we’re completely ignoring its mortgage backed securities, collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), and other Level 3 assets. Options and futures are literally the “tip of the iceberg,” the most visible portion of the behemoth that was Lehman’s off balance sheet derivative issues. After all, these are regulated securities unlike most derivatives.

Chris Pavese's picture

Consensus earnings estimates for 2011 and 2012 are still greater than $95 and $108, respectively, at the same time that GDP estimates are plummeting (although still don’t face the harsh economic reality). To put these figures into perspective, analysts were forecasting a near 20% decline in earnings at the market’s trough. Today, expectations are for 22% growth in the year ahead.

We show an example of this optimism below.

Chris Pavese's picture

The “Sunshine Pumper Strategists” are out in full force today, with earnings yields on stocks spiking higher than those available on bonds. So we were pleased to see that Ron Griess at The Chart Store provided us with a couple of charts this morning that illustrate this relationship (or lack thereof) over time. Ron’s long term perspective is critically important here, as any monkey can easily pick out a few bananas that accurately predict the market at any given moment in time.

Phoenix Capital Research's picture

Last week I mentioned that barring any additional intervention (monetary or otherwise) stocks would roll over. That is precisely what happened with the S&P 500 falling to test MAJOR support around 1,040 twice.

We looked about read to fall off a cliff until Friday when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke stated in his speech that the Fed stands ready to do whatever is needed to fight the financial crisis. It wasn’t a direct monetary intervention, but in these desperate times verbal intervention is good enough, and traders gunned the S&P 500 higher back into the gap created by the Monday/Tuesday sell-off.

smartknowledgeu's picture

Financial shills often use the term “bubble” to conjure up images of imminent collapse. Thus, if the “bubble” doesn’t burst within two weeks of someone’s “bubble” proclamation, then this non-event provides loads of verbal ammunition for the financial shills to improperly validate their erroneous viewpoint that a bubble does not exist. And this guerilla tactic works for those that truly don't understand the definition of a Central Bank, artificially engineered "bubble."