- Must read: Did foreigners cause America's financial crisis? Or what happens when all your debt and equities are belong to us (Newsweek)
- Ben Bernanke's term running out as Senate democrats try to set a vote (The Hill)
- Banks set for record pay, and you thought Goldman was bad - Morgan Stanley prepares to fork over a stunning 63.8% of revenue as compensation (WSJ)
- Dark pools may face pricing disclosure rules, EU watchdog says (Bloomberg)
- In defense of the case against HiFTers (Cassandra)
- Senate to vote on PAYGO legislation to clear way for debate over debt ceiling (The Hill)
- Dubai flare up 2.0? Abu Dhabi's Dubai aid shrinks to $5 billion (Reuters)
And you thought JP Morgan was aggressive. Goldman just threw out the last trump card in its current sell-side arsenal by increasing Q4 GDP estimates from 4% to a paroxysmal attack inducing 5.8%. While Zero Hedge long ago gave up discussing corporate fundamentals due to our long-held tenet that currently the only relevant pieces of financial information are contained in the Fed's H.4.1, H.3 statements, and, when Ron Paul's attempt at Fed deobfuscation is finally successful, the Fed's daily Sources and Uses of Funds statement, it would appear even macro economic data now is essentially one big joke. We are confident that JPM and Goldman are right on the money, and that the government will present the economy as having grown by nearly 6% in Q4. What is troubling is that after having taken over the housing and treasury market, and according to some others, the equity market as well, the Treserve (thank you Marla) has also singlehandedly added several log scale orders of magnitude of volatility to the general economy itself. Too bad GETCO does not have some predatory algo floating around, and overextending GDP momentum in any one general direction, as at this rate we would not be in the least surprised if Obama's Disinformation Czar (TBD) were to announce that the US is now competing for 10% GDP growth with China. As the two countries' centrally-planned economic systems now differ, well, not at all, it is only a matter of time before the race to the bottom in currency devaluation is enjoined by a competition as to who can fabricate, manipulate, inflate, stimulate and other "-ates", the fastest.
Mom and Pop investors aren't buying stocks ...
By now everyone knows about the Rip Van Winkle effect in stocks: the "noughties" were a snoozer, with the stock market lower on December 31, 2009 than on January 1, 2000. Yet what may have escaped most people is that the decade was also a scratch in terms of employment: the country now has essentially the same number of employed people as it did 10 years ago.
Goldman now anticipates an S&P peak of 1,300 intrayear which is somehow equivalent to a 15x EPS. Of course, that makes sense if one believes Goldman's 2010 S&P EPS of $86 ex provisions and writedowns. Somewhere David Rosenberg is vomiting loudly.
One table, two markets. All you need to compare the present market with 1982, courtesy of David Rosenberg. The numbers, unlike TV stations, don't like.
Due to popular demand, and in response to the earlier post by David Rosenberg, we present the Top Ten Surprises for 2010 as laid out by Blackstone Vice Chairman Byron Wien. No commentary necessary.
Rosenberg Points Out That The Stock Market Is Now A Lagging Indicator; Discusses Byron Wien's Beliefs In The Tooth FairySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/05/2010 10:43 -0500
"The consensus sees $76 operating EPS for the S&P 500 in 2010, which would be a 36% increase from 2009
Meanwhile, the consensus basically sees 4% nominal GDP growth for 2010, which would suggest a 10% profit rise in 2010, which would imply a solid but somewhat less exuberant $62 EPS call for the year. Remember that this time last year the consensus was at $77 operating EPS for 2009 and we got $56 — what saved the market was the Geithner & Bernanke show. What do they do for an encore this year?
Forget all the calculations off the “artificial” March lows. Forget the 25% slide in the first 10 weeks of the year to that awful trough. Here is the reality. The S&P 500, from point to point, rallied 23% in 2009 even though earnings for the year as whole came in a whopping $22 a share or 27% below what was being priced in at the start of the year. Now that is remarkable. It almost wants to make you believe in the tooth fairy." - David Rosenberg
2009 was a game changer, a year that will have profound long-term impacts on our future. These changes are generational. Here are the top 10 economic events of 2009. Understand them well because they will change your future and the future of your children and grandchildren. It won't be good change.
True, the decade is not really over, but no one called 1930 the "last year of the 20's," and given the reflective mood that seems to grip all of Western society whenever a year ending in "9" draws to a close, well, we thought we'd better embrace the trend now so that when some idiot with a pair of glow-in-the-dark "2010" glasses with holes in the zeros for his eyes tries to convince us to watch Roy Scheider over and over again in a celebratory, all-day, marathon screening of "2010," well, we can say we gave at the blog.
Instead, and in conjunction with your many suggestions, we took the opportunity to go back over Zero Hedge's posts and see what moved you, with an eye towards getting a sense of what Zero Hedge wants to read. The results were quite interesting. We thought readers would find it engaging both as a sort of "year in review" post, and, perhaps, in finding old material missed the first time around (or before the discovery of Zero Hedge).
Even though we presented Don Coxe's report in full earlier, we wanted to recapitulate his thoughts on gold, as we believe they deserve a post of their own. With gold having become, as we expected more than half a year ago, the most discussed and volatile asset class to accompany the latest Fed inflated bubble, Coxe's view is a welcome addition to other such notable perspectives from the likes of Jim Grant, David Rosenberg, Dylan Grice, Goldman Sachs and many others.
"In a world in which nearly all paper money has problems, and in which the sheer supply of paper money is expanding far faster than global GDP, gold has its best claim as a constituent of foreign exchange reserves since Bretton Woods booted it out sixty-five years ago." - Don Coxe
David Rosenberg And A Few Good Economic Observations: "Can You Handle The Truth?" His 2010 "Outlook"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/16/2009 17:10 -0500
Rosie doing what he does best: staking a lot by going against the consensus... Again
Recently, an extended analysis by Shadow Stats' John Williams evaluated the risk of a hyperinflationary episode as one which has the potential to come as soon as next year. Somewhat in support of this theory yesterday's read of PPI came in above consensus, indicating that inflation may indeed be coming. Yet today's CPI data, whose core read came in at 0.0%, may have just poured a whole lot of cold water over Williams' thesis. Nonetheless, at the end of the day Williams may be right: the question remains - if and when the excess reserves start hitting the broader currency (as the Fed is scared shitless to withdraw liquidity on its own), we may experience a transition from deflation to inflation so rapid, that is has no historic analog. At the end of the day deflation will likely be the name of the game for quite some time, until such point as "Man of the Year" Bernanke finally flips (the turbo print switch on), and any pretence of prudent monetary policy is thrown out of the window. At that point, look for the stock market to promptly go to 36,000 followed by an even faster drop to 0, all the while the dollar gets hyperdeflated (Zimbabwe redux). With the Administration set on not losing the midterm elections by a landslide, don't expect much in terms of economic experimentation at least until 2011. At that point, all bets will be off as the Fed will likely have at most 2 more years of shelf life before both its, and thus Wall Street's, life support are forcefully yanked out.
A frequent theme on Zero Hedge is the structural limitation imposed on corporate revenue and profitability absent an overall increase in the currency in circulation, or said otherwise, in the "velocity" of money. If banks do not lend out the money, and the money does not somehow find its way to companies' top lines, there is logically less revenue thus lower EPS (especially with the key layoff rounds already having taken place). We were gratified to see Rosenberg pick up on this theme in his latest "Latkes with Dave" piece. As Rosenberg points out, the banks continuing unwillingness to lend money out will end up transforming not only the political landscape in D.C., but could very easily be the end of the seemingly endless bear market rally.
"Below we highlight President Obama’s weekly address, in which he blames the big bad banks for luring borrowers into the myriad of products during the credit bubble, a bubble that in our view was promulgated by the nation’s policymakers.
When things go awry, however, it is very easy for those in Washington to point the fingers at somebody else. What did Congress, the SEC, the Fed, and the White House think in that 2002-07 bubble period except that excess credit was creating jobs; in turn, those jobs were creating prosperity and that prosperity led to votes. Now the borrowers, who signed contracts, and as adults should also be held accountable, are being treated as “victims” by politicians and the media." - David Rosenberg