Tonight's feel-good story of our time is a desperate stroll through the reality of the US housing market for millions of individuals (as opposed to the hope-driven must-say-something-positive spin the home-builder CEOs have been spewing recently). Notices-of-default jumped 33% in August, a nine-month high and largest month-over-month increase since August 2007 and it is becoming increasingly acceptable to walk away from contractual agreements as strategic default becomes the New American Dream.
Forget The Twist, Here Comes Operation Torque: Presenting Morgan Stanley's Complete Moral Hazard Profit GuideSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/01/2011 11:57 -0400
While we often pick on Morgan Stanley's Jim Caron (the same guy who year after year after year keeps predicting the yield on the 10 year will soar, and not just soar, but soar for all the wrong reasons, such as bull steepening and what not), has just diametrically changed his tune, by bringing us, drumroll please, Operation Torque. To wit: "Policy makers in both the US and Europe get back to work in September, and this month will be rife with deliberations on stimulus and market support policies. In our view, a duration extension to the Fed's SOMA portfolio is an optimal policy tool to engender easing. This can initially be done through extending the duration of reinvestments from MBS and agency holdings but may ultimately culminate in selling shorter-duration USTs in its SOMA portfolio in exchange for buying longer duration assets (‘Operation Torque’, as we at Morgan Stanley have dubbed it)." Why 2 Years? Because as per the August 9 FOMC statement, we know that there will no rate hike for the next 2 Years, and hence no duration risk. Which means that the Fed can sell an infinite amount of paper into a mid-2013 horizon without worrying about demand destruction. And by doing so it will, as we have been predicting since May, expand the duration of its portfolio, in the process pushing investors into risky assets for the third time in as many years. But there is a twist...
Since this chart from the WSJ sums up petty much everything about the "efficient market hypothesis" or whatever it is those wacky Chicago PhD's call their multi-variable, self-similar, Lorenzian "strange attractor" equations that describe human irrationality to the dot, there is little need for commentary (those who wish to do so, can read more about it at "Fed Faces Old Foe as Hazard Returns")
Warren Buffett's Wells Fargo Busted For Lying To People, Wristslapped With $85 Million Fine By The Emperor Of Moral Hazard HimselfSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/20/2011 15:06 -0400
Shocker: the bank of Warren Buffett, that paragon of virtue and decency, busted by the capo di tutti ZIRP capi itself for lying to grandma? Surely WFC investors, who don't have to deal with their investment either admitting or denying wrongdoing, can "suck it in" and we can get Charlie Munger to preach some more fire and brimstone morality about the evils of gold and the miracles of taxpayer bailouts.
Identify the common characteristic of these three statements:
1. The Federal Reserve will never let the stock market decline, i.e. the "Bernanke put"
2. The Chinese government will never let property prices decline
3. The European Central Bank will never let Greece default
The answer of course is moral hazard: a person who is insulated from risk will have an insatiable appetite for risky bets because any gains will be theirs to keep but any losses will be covered by the central bank or government. The global financial authorities’ success in propping up assets (stocks in the U.S., real estate in China, banks in Europe, etc.) over the past three years has strengthened this asymmetric disregard for systemic risk into a dangerously quasi-religious faith that central banks and governments have essentially unlimited power to keep asset prices aloft via printing money, manipulation of markets and financialization of their economies.
The Maestro speaks at Jekyll Island ...
When a major mainstream media like Forbes compares BP with Goldman Sachs and recommends investors to buy Goldman stocks, you know the world is in total moral hazard and deserved to be doomed as Marc Faber always said.
German Fin Min: Crisis Largely Over In Europe and Germany
German Fin Min: If Greek Budget Consolidation Succeeds, No Tax Money Will Be Lost
German Fin Min: Without Consolidation In Greece We Will Have Unforeseeable Market Consequences
German Fin Min: Failure With Greece Would Put Euro In Question
German Fin Min: Cannot Throw Greece Out Of Eurozone
It's over - the excess debt/GDP terrorists have won, and Moral Hazard is now a global phenomenon. There will be no more failures anywhere. In other words, all your stock profits will come straight from your taxes.
And The Proverbial Moral Hazard Foot-Shooting Ensues: With Ink Not Dry On First Bail Out, Greece Already Demands Another €50 BillionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/11/2010 13:09 -0400
Here is what happens when you green light Moral Hazard - in less than two hours after the videoconference in which the EMU announced €30 billion in aid for Greece, a Greek senior official has already come up and said that they were only kidding about needing just €40 or so billion (with the IMF's 10). The full amount will actually be double that, or €80 billion, for the three year period. Look for Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, and Lithuania to come knocking in the next 45 minutes.
All eyes on the Vancouver games but there is a post-Olympics winter chill headed our way, and you'll be surprised to find out that all is not peachy in good old boring Canada...
Now that there is no more risk, anywhere, here are the preliminary thoughts on how kicking the can down the road has just taken on a whole new meaning, courtesy of the FT Deutschland. We are certain that citizens of Germany and France will be ecstatic to see their tax money used to first save Greece, then Spain, the Portugal, then Italy, then Lithuania, then Bulgaria, etc.
Zero Hedge embraces contrarian analysis. But its readers tend to be exaggeratedly and stubbornly critical of any opinion contrarian to the "ZH consensus". One of the most fallacious application of this proclivity is the never-ending attacks on TBTF banks, and the blame put on them for causing the current financial mess. We disagree with this myopic train of thought. Although banks have their share of criminality to pursue and prosecute, is the main blame argument posed against them merely the age-old straw man fallacy manifest?
Federal Reserve Moral Hazard Smoking Gun: In August 2008 Goldman Was Willing To Tear Up AIG Derivative Contracts, Offered To Take HaircutSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/25/2010 23:08 -0400
As observant readers will recall, a week ago we pointed out a letter in which the New York Fed's Steven Manzari instructed AIG to stand down on all discussions with counterparties on "tearing up/unwinding CDS trades on the CDO portfolio." At the time we focused on the word "stand down" as an indication of the Fed's lead role in the process. At this point there is no doubt that the FRBNY, together with its law firm, Davis Polk, were in the pilot's seat during the entire AIG negotiation, and while Tim Geithner may not have been the responsible man for this, someone must have been - and for the record, our money is a double or nothing on recently promoted FRBNY Senior Vice President Sarah Dahlgren, who as of January 21st is in charge of the Fed's Special Investments [AIG] Management Group. We sure hope Sarah gets the chance to recall her memories beginning in the fateful month of September 2008 when she became the person in charge of the FRBNY's AIG relationship. But back to the letter - little did we know that our focus was on the right sentence... but on the wrong word. What should have struck us front and center, was Habayeb's admission that contract "tear downs" had been evaluated. This means that someone, aside from AIG, must have expressed an interest in a tear down, which if true would have dramatic consequences for the entire AIG debacle. Today, the WSJ presented the missing piece of the puzzle.
"[The Fed] is making the situation much, much worse and they actually caused the problem to begin with. They have the foolish belief that they can pick the right interest rate. The interest rate should be a function of the supply of savings versus the demand for money. If you have one person or twelve people on the FOMC deciding that interest rates should be 1% or 0% they distort the cost of money and they cause the demand for money to rise, they cause the amount of money in circulation to skyrocket, and then you get this rolling bubble economy. That has to stop, that's where we have to start...We have now inculcated firmly this bailout mentality in the country, and that also has to stop." - Michael Pento
"We now have a financial system that is completely based on moral hazard...Crazy things happen when you have financial system like that... The conventional wisdom is you can't have back to back major financial crises. I think we're going to push that, we're going to have a look and see whether that's true. The next 12 months could really be exciting... But we are setting ourselves up for an enormous catastrophe." - Simon Johnson