goldman sachs

goldman sachs

Frontrunning: December 24

  • Global Currency Tensions Rise (WSJ) - in other words, when everyone eases to infinity, nobody eases
  • EU to give Spain, France more time to cut deficit (Reuters) - But not because their economies are not "recovering" fast enough, oh no.
  • As we expected, Grupo Bimbo considering a bid for Hostess' snack cakes and bread brands (NY Post)
  • Time for bus-control: Eleven children killed in latest Chinese bus crash (Reuters)
  • Greece Should Write Off Billions of Overdue Taxes, Report Says (BBG) - not all taxes in perpetuity?
  • India clamps down on gang-rape protests, PM appeals for calm (Reuters)
  • But Meredith Whitney said... Push for Cheaper Credit Hits Wall (WSJ)
  • For Greece, last major austerity package, says eurozone official (Kathimerini)...  "unless there is another one"
  • Americans Miss $200 Billion Abandoning Stocks (BBG) ... and two flash crashes... and $15 trillion in artificial central bank props
  • Goldman Sachs Takes Long View Over Payouts (FT)
  • Cliff Would Strike Low Incomes Hard (WSJ)
  • Afghan policewoman kills US police adviser (AP)
  • For Sale in Japan: Electronics Assets (WSJ)

As BOJ Holdings Surpass ¥100 Trillion, It Gets An Ultimatum: "Stop Being Independent Or Lose Your Independence"

2013, which is still a week away, is already off to a 'crazy pills' bang. Because while the bulk of the politipunditry is shocked, shocked, that it was dead wrong about the Cliff outcome which is now set to ram the country front and center on January 1, the most amusement appears to be emanating from the land of the rising sun, where the brand new PM just issued an ultimatum to the central bank, which can be summarized as follows: stop being independent, or we will change the laws and take away your independence.

2012 Year In Review - Free Markets, Rule of Law, And Other Urban Legends

Presenting Dave Collum's now ubiquitous and all-encompassing annual review of markets and much, much more. From Baptists, Bankers, and Bootleggers to Capitalism, Corporate Debt, Government Corruption, and the Constitution, Dave provides a one-stop-shop summary of everything relevant this year (and how it will affect next year and beyond).

The 2012 Financial Crossword

In case you need some reading material for that next all-important bathroom break; we've got you covered.

Frontrunning: Mayan Apocalypse Edition

  • This is signal, the rest is noise: Russia's Putin set for stand-off with EU on Syria, energy (Reuters)
  • Boehner's Budget 'Plan B' Collapses (WSJ)
  • Boehner has few options in "fiscal cliff" mess (Reuters)
  • Maya "end of days" fever reaches climax in Mexico (Reuters)
  • Monti Praised by Merkel Favored Less by Taxed Italians (BusinessWeek)
  • China probes Yum Brands' KFC over safety of chicken productsa (Reuters)
  • Looting in Aregentina: 400 Border Guard officials deployed to Bariloche over looting (BAH)
  • Regulatory 'Whale' Hunt Advances - Comptroller Expected to Take Formal Action Regarding JPM's Trading Fiasco (WSJ) - but no punishment
  • U.K. Banks Seen Sacrificing Lending to Meet BOE Demand (Bloomberg)
  • US banks face rise in bad loans cover (FT)
  • Daily Gun Slaughter in U.S. Obscured by Newtown Rampage (BBG)
  • China Restricts Bond Sales by Risker Companies (BBG)

Who Will Keep The German, And Thus Europe's, Economy Running?

After a significant slowdown in the years before the crisis, Goldman Sachs notes that the number of immigrants coming to Germany is rising strongly again. While it is not clear at this point how sustainable this development is, it will nonetheless help to ease the strains in the German labour market. But, given the underlying demographics, we suspect, like Goldman, that an increase in immigration by itself is unlikely to prevent a meaningful decline in the labour force after 2020. Only a continuous rise in the participation rate can offset these demographic trends.

Frontrunning: December 18

  • Obama Concessions Signal Potential Bipartisan Budget Deal (BBG)
  • Cerberus to sell gunmaker after massacre (CNN)
  • With New Offers, Fiscal-Cliff Talks Narrow (WSJ)
  • Judge rejects Apple injunction bid vs. Samsung (Reuters)
  • U.S. policy gridlock holding back economy? Maybe not (Reuters)
  • President fears for Italy’s credibility (FT)
  • Struggles Mount for Greeks as Economy Faces Winter (WSJ)
  • Abe leans on BoJ in post-election meeting (FT)
  • Bank of Japan to mull 2 percent inflation target as Abe turns up heat (Reuters)
  • EU exit is ‘imaginable’, says Cameron (FT)
  • Mortgage Risk Under Fire in Nordics as Bubbles Fought (BBG)
  • Sweden cuts interest rates to 1% (FT)
  • External risks impede China recovery, more easing seen (Reuters)

Visualizing The Wealth Of Nations

In the past we have explored the life-cycle of a sovereign nation, and, perhaps more importantly when allocating capital to specific idiosyncratic investment ideas, we strongly believe, as Goldman notes below, that the competitive strengths of companies often stem from the advantages of the countries they reside in. These include a combination of resource availability (food, energy, mining and others), demographics, trade positioning, infrastructure quality and above all, the presence of strong, inclusive institutions that encourage innovation. So, what follows is Goldman's attempt to map the various success drivers of the world’s countries. Of course, the components of each category aren't exhaustive (and in some cases they are they overlapping), but we hope it is a good starting point from which to understand the fundamental advantages that some countries enjoy over others. Still think the U.S. is the greatest nation in the world? Try telling the Scandinavians...

On The Under-Represented American Citizen

Having just undergone the Presidential election and the democratic right of every citizen to vote and have their voice heard, we thought it interesting that of the world's major nations, the US citizen is in fact the second worst represented when it comes to government. The Chinese citizen, empirically at least, has a fractionally greater weight in their politician's actions. Only in India does each politician represent more of the nation's citizens. How long before we hear the chants of "Over-Taxed And Under-Represented"?


Daily US Opening News And Market Re-Cap: December 14

Overnight the Shanghai Composite index rose 4.3%, marking its biggest advance since October 2009, supported by the latest HSBC flash manufacturing PMI which came in at 50.9 vs Exp. 50.8 (Prev. 50.5) – 14-month high, and with hopes for supportive policy direction to come out of this weekends central economic work conference where Chinese leaders will look to set next years GDP target and layout more information on policy for urbanisation. As such WTI crude has been trending higher since the Asia session testing around the USD 87.00 to the upside with close to a 1 USD gains ahead of the NYMEX pit open. In terms of Europe, bund volumes have been light as markets head closer toward the Christmas break with European manufacturing and service PMI’s having little sustained impact with Italian and Spanish 10yr government bond yield spreads over German bunds seen 2.5bps and 3.5bps tighter respectively. Elsewhere, in the FX market there has been talk of US names selling 1 week 25 delta risk reversals in positioning ahead of this weekend’s Japanese elections.

CBO Releases Sandy Damage Estimate: At $60.4 Billion, It Would Send US Over The Debt Ceiling

At the end of October, as the Tristate Area was being flooded by Hurricane Sandy, one after another Wall Street firm tried to position Sandy virtually as a non-event, with total damage "forecasts" by such "reputable" firms as Goldman Sachs and Bank of America forecasting a total bill between $10 and $20 billion (as anything above that and the Q3 damage to GDP would be far more substantial than their recently bullish forecasts had accounted for, and would also imply a substantial spillover effect into Q1 2013), the same as various insurance companies who had other far more obvious reasons to undershoot on the total damages. We said the opposite, and based on historic damage forecasts, predicted the damage would likely be between $50 and $100 billion. Once again the sellside consensus was wrong and a fringe blog was accurate, as the CBO has just released the Obama administration's full aid request. Bottom line: $60.4 billion, or roughly what one year of what the ultimate tax hike compromise will bring into the government's treasury. Furthermore, if fully funded by debt today, this amount would send the US (which has a $57 billion debt buffer as of this moment) over the debt ceiling immediately.