As Perfectly Expected, Moody's Cuts Revolutionary Egypt From Ba1 To Ba2, Outlook Negative, CDS SpikesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/31/2011 07:08 -0500
The most predictable, (and certainly worthless: see Mark Zandi) entity in the world has gone ahead and done precisely what Zero Hedge said 24 hours ago it would. Moody's has just downgraded Egypt's bond rating from Ba1 to Ba2, with the outlook changed from stable to negative. The move which was as a surprise to idiots everywhere comes as "Moody's notes that Egypt suffers from deep-seated political and socio-economic challenges. These include a chronic high rate of unemployment, elevated inflation and widespread poverty. These, together with a desire for political change, have fueled popular frustrations." And as we predicted yesterday, Egypt CDS continues to slide ever higher, pushing around 460 on the offer side, in those rare occasions it is actually offered.
Readers will recall that three months ago I had reported that "something was happening" in the economy. After several years of ultra-bearish reporting, I said that at the very least the economy was not declining further. The GDP report tends to support this, but in final analysis it is much ado about not much. Here's why.
An Investment Pro thinks WWIII has Started and other musings from the final installment of the Roundtable
Steve Abrahams, Head of MBS and Securitization Research predicts home prices to drop nationally another 5-11% through 2012 (Florida of course will take much longer.) Oooo, fun!
Further confirming that America deserves each of its elected officials, in this case a Treasury Secretary whose intellect is increasingly put into question with every single utterance out of his mouth, was Tim Geithner's statement from Davos earlier that inflation on a global level is "not high on the list of concerns" although probably while looking at pictures of tear gas being fired at protesters in Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, Morocco and now Egypt he added "emerging markets across the world are certainly 'feeling some pressure'." If by pressure he means revolutions, then he is certainly spot on. As for Egypt's soon to be deposed leaders, Timmy has four words of advice: please kill the dollar. "Geithner told the World Economic Forum that emerging markets could manage their inflation problems better if they loosened their currencies' links to the dollar, a measure that economists say would lead in most cases to an appreciation against the greenback." And there you have it: America continues keeping the world hostage courtesy of the dollar's reserve status, able to export inflation at will knowing that the US consumer is irreplaceable, and the only recommendation we have to the world is to continue devaluing the dollar (yes, a weaker dollar means stronger opposing non-dilutable currencies), an act for which we are sure the US middle class thanks him.
Moody's is taking a closer look at states' unfunded pension liabilities..
If nothing else disturbs you while you buy your NFLX today – that last one should. Rich folks in an industrialized nation trying to go to the theater in their limo and being attacked by an angry mob.
My generation is coming into its own and we don’t buy the bull shit of our parents’ generation. We don’t believe in Democrat or Republican. We don’t believe in the system itself. We will be the ones making the decisions going forward. We will default on the astronomic promises our parents made to themselves. We will create an entirely new monetary and financial system. Real free-market capitalism will flourish, not this socialism for the rich garbage Obama loves so much. We will focus on doing good while doing well. Not because the government forces us to, rather because we are witness to and victims of this sick, twisted creation of our parents generation that celebrates total greed without the slightest concern of the consequences to others. - Mike Krieger
The market continued to rally today as the Fed voted to keep QE2 going (something about the economy being shitty, so rally on), bankers at Davos...
Last week, I was forwarded an analysis that really set me on end. According to a report by the American Enterprise Institute, public pensions are under funded by more than $3 trillion nationwide. Illinois pensions alone are $208 BILLION UNDERFUNDED using realistic measures. The overall level of funding is 29% --- the worst in the entire nation. Illinois SERS pensions at 23% of funding is $36 BILLION in arrears, Illinois teachers pensions at 28% of funding is $98 BILLION in arrears, Illinois Universities pensions at 30% of funding is $35 BILLION in arrears, Chicago Teachers pensions at 43% of funding is S16 BILLION in arrears, and Illinois municipal pensions at 47% of funding is $24 BILLION in arrears. To get this money, total population and corporations of the state will have to be taxed. This will not occur without a fight --- so Illinois is looking for an “out” from these obligations and also what it owes schools, health care providers, and nursing homes. Be prepared to get stiffed!
The world today is riddled with unique economic, political, and demographic risks. Finding attractively priced assets that will perform well in spite of these challenges is excruciatingly difficult. For investors, though, one segment of the market – the highest-quality stocks – still offers attractive risk-adjusted returns.
January FOMC Minutes: Unanimous Vote, No Opposition To Fed's Relentless Hewlett Packard Policy (Full Redline Comparison)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/26/2011 14:17 -0500
Some of the observations in this snoozer: observations on the lack of unemployment improvement, on the less than sufficient household spending, but most notably, the Fed notes the increase in commodity prices, yet still believes longer-term inflation expectations are stable. Notable is the deletion of the $75 billion per month deletion of the monetization run-rate, no reason is given for the change in the runrate purchases. And with Hoenig gone, every voting Fed president is now a docile little lamb. Lastly, there is no discussion anywhere of the Fed's only (third) mandate: that of getting the Russell 2000 to 36,000 in one massive flash smash (see IBM yesterday).
By now everyone is aware that following tremendous pressure by the banker lobby, which knows too well the Ponzi jig will be immediately up if Quantitative Easing's TBTF Madoffs are forced to disclose the true value of their worthless assets (yes, true value comes from asset cash flow generation, not from diluting money), the FASB decided to stop its push for a return to MTM. From the WSJ: "Accounting rule makers, bowing to an intense lobbying campaign, took a key step Tuesday to reverse a controversial proposal that would have required banks to use market prices rather than cost in order to value the loans they hold on their balance sheets." Transparency? What moron would propose that in an economy that is so obviously healthy and surging. After all, the only way to validate a surging stock market, er, economic recovery, is through bullshit numbers pulled out of the ass. That way they can pretend to tell us the truth, we can pretend to believe them, and everyone will frontrun the Fed who pretends not to be buying stocks. And it would have been great if it ended there. Alas no. Following the announcement, none other than Bill Isaac, current Chairman of LECG, but far more importantly, former Chairman of the FDIC under Ronald Reagan decided to send out a gloating email to his entire address book explaining what a moral victory it is to kill the MTM monster that is the sole reason for the near collapse of capitalism in 2008, and how truly wonderful it is for everyone to live in perpetual lack of knowledge of what the true value of any company's assets really is. Unfortunately, this just goes to show what the existing, extremely bribed, leaders of the nation's most vital organizations really think.
CBO's Revised Budget Sees 2011 Deficit Rising By $500 Billion To $1.5 Trillion; $4 Trillion In Deficit Through 2013 Guarantees QE3+Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/26/2011 10:12 -0500
No surprise: the projected deficit just went up by another half a trillion: "For 2011, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that if current laws remain unchanged, the federal budget will show a deficit of close to $1.5 trillion, or 9.8 percent of GDP." This is up from $1.07 trillion: a very small margin of error there. But don't worry - like true Keynesians the CBO expects that future deficits will have no choice but to go down: "The deficits in CBO's baseline projections drop markedly over the next few years as a share of output and average 3.1 percent of GDP from 2014 to 2021. Those projections, however, are based on the assumption that tax and spending policies unfold as specified in current law. Consequently, they understate the budget deficits that would occur if many policies currently in place were continued, rather than allowed to expire as scheduled under current law." So between 2010's $1.3 trillion, 2011 $1.5 trillion, and 2012's revised $1.1 trillion, we have $3.9 trillion just in deficit costs to plug. And as Zero Hedge has repeatedly demonstrated the actual debt to be issued is usually about 33% higher than the deficit funding need, meaning that over the next 3 years the US will need to issue about $5 trillion in debt. Which means further debt monetization is guaranteed as foreign investors have now fully withdrawn and the Fed is all alone in gobbling up every dollar in gross issuance. QE3 is guaranteed and we are stunned that the market continues not to realize this.
Why Avoiding the Traditional Path of University Education Will Help, Yes HELP, Your Children Survive the Next Five YearsSubmitted by smartknowledgeu on 01/26/2011 05:41 -0500
The proper decision now regarding your child's education may be the difference in whether you set your child up for a life of failure or a life of success. Yes I really do believe that the decision on whether to send your child to university now or to forgo that traditional route is a “make or break your child’s life" type of decision.