A lot of conflicting data came in last week. There is a lot of positive news, but does it all add up to a recovery or is the cyclical recovery headed for a stall? Nothing has changed the underlying conditions that would relieve the credit freeze. And without credit, the economy will stall.
The Minneapolis Fed has launched a useful charting service which analyzes not only the Great Recession, which allegedly has ended (must be news to the 1.8 million...and growing...newly uncovered unemployed, but we'll take the NBER's word for it) but the even Greater Recovery that we have presumably been in for the past 6 months or so. At least those Fed critters have a twisted sense of humor. In order to quantify just how funny they are, the Min Fed provides the following preamble "The 2007-2009 recession is widely thought to have ended sometime last summer. How bad was this recession, and how quickly is the economy recovering? How does this recession and recovery compare to previous cycles?"How indeed? Here are the charts which just a cursory perusal will lead the peruser to wonder what on earth the administration is smoking. Recovery indeed.
Consensus is expecting US payrolls to rise by 15,000 in January. I wouldn't be surprised if the actual print comes in at ten times that amount...
Dean Baker, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, has put together a simple yet comprehensive presentation on a topic Zero Hedge has discussed in the past: how the demographic shift in the US will mirror the spender-to-saver transformation of an aging Japanese society, and as a result lead to an accentuation of the economic crisis into the double-dip phase, should all the artificial , one-time stimulus actions be phased out. For all those who think that a "new normal" with unemployment straddling double digits for years to come will be conducive to growth, think again. And after today's failed referendum on Obama's healthcare policies, America's immediate future will be focused on two simple propositions: [yes/no] on stimulus and [yes/no] on Q.E. 2. Everything else will be smoke and mirrors.
Rising interest rates, stubbornly high unemployment, no credit, and large chunks of the economy dead in the water are not what economic booms are made of. The second in a series of seven on The Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Annual Asset Allocation Review.
Pimco CEO: We're Trained to Think the "Farther You Fall, The Higher You'll Bounce Back. We're Hostage to the V"-Shaped Recovery ModelSubmitted by George Washington on 12/29/2009 15:25 -0400
Are we going to have a V-shaped recovery? W-shaped? L-shaped? WWWWW-shaped?
All one really needs to do is to take a look a housing from a bird's eye view, whether adjusted for inflation or not, and it is quite obvious that not only are we still in a housing bubble, but we have a while to go before we reach equilibrium. Those insurer's, lenders, and investors highly levered to residential and commercial real estate had better be prepared for another 30% or so drop.
Could a prolonged high unemployment rate, typified by the much touted "Jobless Recovery", cause a market crash in the not so distant future?
At 2PM Eastern, CIT's CDS auction was priced at a final recovery of 68.125. This was over 2 bps lower than the inside midpoint market announced earlier. Going into the auction, there was $728.98 billion of open interest, indicating that basis traders were a dominant force and exlipsed correlation desks' influence in the auction. The 13 participating dealers submitted $4.5 billion worth of limit order, with an average bid of 65.66, just 3.6% away from the final settlement price, indicating that the option to low-ball into the Dutch auction and get hit on some insane bid has disappeared.
We have gotten to a point where each country is trying to talk down its own economy in a pursuit of having the worst (DXY constituent) currency. Yesterday it was Bernanke warning about future growth prospects, last night it was Japan, and today it is Goldman Sachs, which is claiming that the economy is really worse than expected. What is the point of all this rhetoric: simple. In the current stock market bubble where the only driving force is the strength, or rather, weakness, of any given underlying currency (read- dollar), and where inflation and deflation pressures are inverted, such that a weak dollar would cause a market melt up, and thus, inflation spillover from overpriced stocks into commodities and other products, the only way to stimulate inflation is to posture having the weakest economy. Whether that is in fact "weakest" or merely most debt-laden, with worthless CRE, housing and other 'assets' serving as collateral on bank balance sheets, we leave to much smarter analysts such as Dick Bove and Meredith Whitney.
Bernanke Blames Banks For Slow Recovery and High Unemployment . . . Then Gives Them a Pat on the Back and a WinkSubmitted by George Washington on 11/16/2009 19:30 -0400
While Bernanke is criticizing the banks one the one hand, Bernanke is patting the banks on the back with the other hand and giving them a big wink.
In this interview with CNBC on Nov. 4, 2009, Dr. Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University and chairman of RGE Monitor, cautions investors of the coming asset bubble and crash caused by the dollar carry trade, and at the same time shared his views on the economy and housing.
This is the second time in many weeks that Dr. Roubini warned of a growing dollar carry trade and threatening to cause a global implosion. The following is a summary of his CNBC interview along with my comments.
The sudden surge of optimism regarding the global economy resulted in the massive reduction in the costs of sovereign debt insurance. While the drop is not a surprise, the reasoning and the actions behind it surely are.
The rally in global stock markets has helped fuel the partial recovery in OECD pension assets but it will take years before these assets fully recover. Why? Because given the low bond yields throughout the developed world, it is unrealistic to expect stocks to continue rising at this blistering pace. Moreover, the fundamentals suggest the recovery will be more modest than what is currently priced in.