How To Profit From The Impending Bursting Of The Education Bubble, pt 2 - "Knowledge How" & Diplomas As Fictitious AssetsSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 01/07/2013 12:52 -0400
A complete & thorough explanation of how many (if not most) levered college diplomas are overvalued assets with fictitious values - that's including you too HBS and the ivy league! No wonder the education bubble in the US is about to collapse.
If you own the debt of Spain; sell it. If you are thinking about buying their sovereign debt; don’t. I hope that is clear enough. I don’t believe that I have left out any corner of my thinking or that there is any wavering on my part. All of the new Spanish debt will carry Collective Action Clauses which gives Spain the right to force bondholders to their knees. This is reminiscent of Greece and we should have all learned the lesson from that experience. It is my opinion that Spain will be forced to the till at the ECB and the EU and that the amount of financing that will be demanded will cause rancor in the fiscally disciplined nations.
The median Bloomberg expectation for NFP is 153k, Citi is at 140k; the central tendency of the forecasts is about 125-185k. Now that the Minutes are out and have raised market fears that the fed will pull back from ease earlier than anticipated, investors are worried about a repeat of 1994, when a surprise Fed tightening after a long period of easy money (by standards of those days) devastated fixed income markets. Then 10yr Treasury yields rose 170bps over a two month period. In that light, you have to respect bond market skittishness. However, you have to respect the market response. And if payrolls come anywhere near close to a 200k handle we will very likely see further a further equity and fixed income sell off. So there is the possibility that we will have a much more exciting morning after payrolls than anyone had anticipated.
Overnight, Frank Partnoy and Jesse Eisinger released an epic magnum opus titled "What's Inside America's Banks", in which they use over 9000 words, including spot on references to Wells Fargo, JPM, Andy Haldane, Kevin Warsh, Basel II, Basel III (whose regulatory framework is now 509 pages and includes a ridiculous 78 calculus equations to suggest that banks have to delever by some $3 trillion, which is why it will never pass) to give their answer: "Nobody knows." Of course, while this yeoman's effort may come as news to a broader cross-section of the population, is it well known by anyone who has even a passing interest in the loan-loss reserve release earnings generating black boxes formerly known as banks (which once upon a time made their money using Net Interest margin, and actually lending out money to make a profit), and now simply known as FDIC insured Bank Holding Company hedge funds. This also happens to be the second sentence in the lead paragraph of the story: "Sophisticated investors describe big banks as “black boxes” that may still be concealing enormous risks—the sort that could again take down the economy." So far so good, and again - not truly news. What however may come as news to none other than the author is that the first sentence of the lead-in: 'Some four years after the 2008 financial crisis, public trust in banks is as low as ever" is, sadly, wrong.
After all, it’s clear at this point that the entire EU financial system is essentially held together via duct tape by the ECB. And with Spain and Greece’s banking systems once again in dire need of capital I’m very concerned that the next round of the EU Crisis is fast approaching and EU leaders are trying to start the damage control in advance.
This deal has made our debt problems worse.
We already knew that the US crossed the debt ceiling on New Year's day. It is, however, one thing to read a Geithner press release, it is another to see America's ridiculous debt it in action. So here it is, courtesy of TreasuryDirect, in all its debt ceiling glory: $16,432,730,050,569.12, with the debt subject to the ceiling at the limit of $16.394 trillion.
And with that we can close the books on the first quarter of Fiscal 2013, in which US public debt grew by $366 billion, some $122 billion per month on average.
In broad strokes, this is the official playbook for political leaders in the Western world. Facilitating this is the ongoing monetary easing by the global Central Banks who have collectively pumped $10 trillion into the system since the Great Crisis began. In simple terms, Central Banks provide the glue to hold the system together while politicians meet and negotiate without ever really solving anything.
Peer-to-Peer Lending and Crowd-Funding Have the Power to Change Finance
Back To The Future: Cruise Line Industry Skirted Fundamental Analysis For A 100% Gain, But Can A Miracle Happen Twice?Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 01/02/2013 13:55 -0400
In May Of 2010, I published a series of reader contributions on the cruise line industry as well some proprietary research on a particular company in said industry - Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The consistent, globally synchronized flood of money totally distorted market pricing and risk in public equities - thus often distorted practically applicability of hard core fundamental and forensic research.
Shinzo Abe's re-election on the basis of his monetary policy aggression plans have sent the JPY reeling (as he hoped for) and the NKY soaring - but it is his more aggressive perspective on patriotism that could lead to far greater problems. As the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences recently noted,all eyes are fixed on Abe as "Japan’s nationalization of the Diaoyu Islands destroyed the framework for keeping a balance, which means ‘shelving a conflict'," a Chinese diplomatic source said, adding that "China has no political methods to return the situation to the (pre-nationalization) state. Therefore, there are no other ways except for looking for a new framework." As a precondition for establishing the framework, an executive of the think tank said, "Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should not take actions that heighten the tensions further. It is the same as a game of go. If Japan escalates the conflict, China will be prepared to respond to the move." As a result, Japan-China relations will enter into a highly volatile period, ruining any hope of a resurgence in Japan's real economy, and more worryingly, the think-tank concludes, China's conflict with Japan is inevitable.
Econophile's take on the 7 most important economic events of 2012 and why they will impact 2013 and beyond. This is not what the MSM will tell you.
“Postponed” is the official stamp across the world. This is the operative word of governmental policy. Whether Europe or America, whether capitalist or socialist government; this is the credo, the banner, the flag waving in the wind for dealing with economic problems. Throw more money at it and barrels of it, have the central banks print and defer any pain much less any tough decisions. We live in a state of postponement, defer and delay which cancels the consequences of the moment but places more severe consequences, greater pain and tougher choices but moments out into our future. Make no mistake; the world has become a more dangerous place either haunted by the specter of rampant inflation or haunted by valuations of debt and currencies that could turn the financial markets into a swirl of dislocation where a plunge into a freezing sea of disarray awaits as capital goes to gold, senior debt regardless of yields and nations deemed to be safe havens.
EURUSD remains bid on every dip but has been more choppy this week as the world realizes the implications of desperate repatriation (see failed ECB sterilization). Spanish stocks bucked the trend this week and are down 2% - more than double the losses of the rest of Europe's stocks. European sovereign bonds are bleeding gently higher in yield and spread (Spain/Italy +10bps or so). Just as we saw in the US, it appears today's under-the-surface anxiety (that very few in the mainstream comprehend) has led to a bid for protection as Europe's VIX has jumped 2.5 vols to 20.75% - its highest in 6 weeks.
The relatively calm foreign exchange market and equity market in Asia ended abruptly in Europe. It is difficult to find the culprit, other than position squaring in thin markets, but the euro has come off a cent, dragging the franc. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained more than 0.5%, while European bourses are broadly lower, with the Dow Jones Stoxcx 600 off 0.3% near midday in London, led by utilities and financials. Fixed income markets are subdued. Italy's bond auction was adequately received, especially holiday conditions. There have been a few developments to note. First Japan's data was disappointing and this can only bolster the new government's attempt to stimulate the economy both monetarily and fiscally. Worker cash earnings fell a whopping 1.1% in November, nearly three times larger than the consensus. This may have been a factor behind the poor retail sales, which were flat. The consensus had expected a 0.4% increase. Weak incomes and domestic demand may have, in turn, weighed on output. In November, industrial production fell 1.7%, more than three times the decline expected.