What do an old German bank note, a current $100 bill, and an apple all have in common? The answer, according to ConvergEx's Nick Colas, is that these simple objects can tell us much about the current investment scene, ranging from Europe’s economic challenges to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s attempts to reduce unemployment. Colas takes an “object-ive” approach to analyzing the current investment landscape by describing 10 common items and how they shape our perceptions of reality. The other objects on our list: a hazmat suit, a house in Orlando, a barrel of oil, a Rolex watch, a butterfly, a heating radiator in Berlin, and a smartphone.
America's #1 landlord may be private equity giant Blackstone, but closing in rapidly is none other than America's very own arch nemesis and ascendent superpower, China. But while until recently China's grand ambitions on US multi-family housing had largely flown under the radar, the recent sale of the Waldorf Astoria to a Chinese company has finally put the US on "China is coming" alert... and reincarnated a lot of the same jokes that swept the country by storm in the mid-80s when it appeared Japan, itself nursing a massive asset bubble, would run over Manhattan (everyone knows how that ended).
With global growth concerns on the rise, whether a bust in the Chinese housing sector could threaten the economic activity and financial stability of the world’s largest contributor to growth is top of mind for Goldman Sachs. As Michael Pettis warns, "this story only has a few possible endings, all of which imply a significant reduction in economic growth as debt problems are addressed." The following 3 charts suggest Pettis is right...
Want to live near the 0.1% and their problems? May I present to you 258 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, California, which is located within walking distance from my house and is a mere $1,800,000 (well, that's the asking price, but it'll probably go for more). Behold.......
- Total CEO de Margerie killed in Moscow as jet hits snow plough (Reuters)
- China GDP Growth Rate Is Slowest in Five Years (WSJ)
- Oil at $80 a Barrel Muffles Forecasts for U.S. Shale Boom (BBG)
- Carney Faces Scrutiny on Worst Payments Outage Since 2007 (BBG)
- Ebola crisis turns a corner as U.S. issues new treatment protocols (Reuters)
- Gold Buying Rebounds in India on Diwali Jewelry Sales (BBG)
- China-backed hackers may have infiltrated Apple's iCloud (Reuters)
- Greece Said to Seek Recycling of Bank Funds for Exit (BBG)
"Did a few loose strands of Ebola seep into the organs and tissues of global finance last week? The US equity markets sure enough puked, the Nikkei bled out through its eyeballs, all the collagen melted out of Greek bonds, and treasuries bloated up grotesquely on a putrid stream of terrified “liquidity” that led two Federal Reserve proctologists to maunder about the possibility of a QE-4 laxative, out of which, in due time, will surely gush explosive bloody fluxes of deeper financial sickness."
Why Chinese Growth Forecasts Just Crashed To A Paltry 3.9% - And Are Going Even Lower - In One ChartSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/20/2014 11:11 -0500
Sadly for China's social instability, Chinese growth is going not only to 3.9% but much, much lower. The reason? Quietly, over the past 5 years, China raked up an epic debt load, which by 2015 is expected to hit a whopping 252% of GDP, or a 100% of GDP increase in debt, just to keep its growth dynamo running. A dynamo which has now fizzled, as can be seen best in the Chinese housing bubble which as we have reported previously, has now burst, and China is desperate to keep imminent hard landing, as controlled as possible. Here is Exhibit A...
In the past few years the stock market has always recovered from corrections to make new highs, and we cannot be sure if the party is indeed over. However, both from a fundamental and technical perspective, the probability that it is over seems quite high. Should market internals and trend uniformity to the upside improve again, this assessment would obviously have to be revised. However, there are surely more than enough warning signs extant now and every financial asset bubble must end at some point.
The surge in foreigners buying up U.S. real estate has been well documented in recent years. Of all this buying, no nation has demonstrated a bigger increase in purchases than China. In fact, it is estimated that 24% of all foreign purchases of domestic real estate this year have come from China, up 72% from last year. In some California communities, 90% of real estate buyers are from China. Yes, 90%. Naturally, many of them are buying multi-million dollar homes in “all cash” transactions. Well it appears that one of those communities is the 57,000 person Los Angeles suburb known as Arcadia. The suburb had a relatively insignificant Asian population of 4% in 1980, but it is now 59%.
Put another way, those individuals responsible for running the largest companies in the US, who know more about their companies’ growth prospects and the economy have used the Fed’s policies to cash out.
Mel Watt is one of the most dangerous financial oligarch puppets operating in America today. As Bloomberg reports, "a U.S. housing regulator plans new steps to encourage banks to lend to buyers with less than-perfect credit scores... Watt will also discuss an effort that would allow borrowers to put down as little as 3% of the purchase price." It’s for the good of the people right? He’s a “liberal” so he’s always working for the little guy, right? Wrong...
- Obama open to appointing Ebola 'czar', opposes travel ban (Reuters)
- Schools Close as Nurse’s Ebola Infection Ignites Concern (BBG)
- How the World's Top Health Body Allowed Ebola to Spiral Out of Control (BBG)
- European Stocks Rise Amid Growing Pressure for Stimulus (BBG)
- Putin Threatens EU Gas Squeeze Raising Stakes for Ukraine (BBG)
- ECB to Start Asset Purchases Within Days, Says Central Banker Coeuré (WSJ)
- Investors search for signs of end to stock market correction (Reuters)
“The Census Bureau estimates that 30 percent of all apartments in the quadrant from 49th to 70th Streets between Fifth and Park are vacant at least ten months a year.” There is absolutely nothing healthy about this reality. When such a high percentage of properties are built solely to serve as bank accounts, and not a space to live in, you’ve got a severe case of malinvestment on your hands. If you are an oligarch and you didn’t see this coming, we don’t know what to tell you. The pied-à-terre tax is now on the agenda in New York City.
When will the Fed... Raise rates? Stop buying bonds? End quantitative easing? Common questions, those, from Wall Street to Main Street. And – apparently – the online world as well, because they also reflect (literally) what Google autofills when individuals pose inquiries about future monetary policy action in the famously simple Google search box.
Expecting the state to truly reform the nation's engines of financialization is like asking the cocaine addict married to the wealthy dealer to divorce the dealer.