New York City
"They say this is not massive money printing, but first they are wrong; and second, monetary authorities in the United States did not see the crash coming and the unsoundness of the financial system. In fact, right up until the crash they were saying that nothing like what happened could ever happen... This monetary policy, $3 trillion of bond buying in the United States, $3 trillion in Europe and another $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion in Japan, is unprecedented. ... If and when people lose confidence in paper money because of repeated bouts of quantitative easing and zero-percent interest rates—it could happen suddenly and in a ferocious manner in the commodity markets, in gold, possibly in real estate—interest rates could go up at the long end by hundreds of basis points in a very short time. I’m quite concerned as a money manager that we have to manage money, not just for the boundaries of what’s in front of our faces—maybe we’ll have a little tax increase or not, the fiscal cliff, or the stock market might go up or down 10% or 15%—but for a basic shift. The thing that scares me most is significant inflation, which could destroy our society."
Tim Geithner's time is almost done, but the former NY Fed head is only one of very many whose position is expected to be replaced in Obama's second term (just so there is a non-continuous chain of command if and when the time comes for the people to demand an explanation for the state of the US economy from the talented Mr. Geithner). Who else is out and who is expected to be in? The following list attempts to cover all upcoming rotations at the top of the US cabinet. What is not attempted is a prediction of where in the private sector people such as Geithner will end up: that is considered largely self-explanatory.
CME Group declared a force majeure at one of its New York precious metals depositories yesterday, run by bullion dealer and major coin dealer Manfra, Tordella and Brooks (MTB), due to “operational limitations” posed by Hurricane Sandy. MTB has “operational limitations” following Hurricane Sandy and can’t load gold bullion, platinum bullion or palladium bullion, CME Group Inc., the parent of the Comex and New York Mercantile Exchange, said today in a statement. MTB must provide holders with metal at Brinks Inc. in New York to meet current outstanding warrants in relevant delivery periods with compensation for costs, Chicago-based CME said. The CME said that MTB will not be able to deliver metal as the lower Manhattan company deals with "operational limitations" almost a month after the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. MTB is one of five depositories licensed to deliver gold against CME's benchmark 100-troy ounce gold contract, held 29,276 troy ounces of gold and 33,000 troy ounces of palladium as of Nov. 23, according to data from CME subsidiary Comex. In a notice to customers on Monday, CME declared force majeure for the facility, a contract clause that frees parties from liability due to an event outside of their control.
With REO-to-Rent now yesterday's trade, the Baltic Dry Index stumbling along near its lows (along with a glut of containers), and a 'recovery' in US housing, what better than to leverage all of these themes; to wit, as ABC News reports, the first U.S. multi-family condo built of used shipping containers is slated to break ground in Detroit early next year. So forget Trailer Parks, now the increasingly mothballed ports of America will be wonderful waterfront property courtesy of your very own (slightly used) cargo container. One proponent of this 'cargotecture' warns that although containers can be bought for as little as $2,500, they should not be thought of as a low-cost housing solution. Tempted? We are sure; below are several current developments.
Moments after Goldman completed the trifecta of controlling every major developed world central bank, with its tentacles now in charge of the Fed, the ECB and now the BOE, Obama announced his designee for the new head of the SEC. The name of Mary Schapiro's replacement: Elisse B. Walter, and no, she did not most recently work for Goldman. Yes. Shocking (for Gary Gensler). Oh, and don't worry Mary Schapiro. Nobody will shed any tears over your departure: perhaps if someone had known you were there even one day over the past 4 years this would be different.
On this day (-1) in 1918, Pvt. Henry Gunther of Baltimore, Maryland thought he saw a suspicious movement in the German trenches across the way. Fearing that the "Huns" were using the mid-morning sun to get some territorial advantage while the peace talks dragged on, Gunther decided to rush the suspicious area. Henry was fast but unfortunately, not invisible. A single shot from a German rifle struck him in the heart and killed him instantly. The time was 11:01 a.m. just 1 minute after the war officially ended, making Put Henry Gunther the final casualty of World War I.
After The Flood Comes The Freeze: "Tens Of Thousands Need Housing" Says Cuomo, As Nor'Easter ApproachesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/04/2012 11:19 -0500
First the flood, now the freeze (and the lack of fuel and gas and heating just making it much worse). And for tens of thousands of residents of New York and New Jersey this means that as many as 40,000 will need to find alternative housing, especially ahead of Wednesday when a Nor'easter formation is expected to hit the Tristate area and bring even more freezing rain and cold to the region. From Reuters: "Tens of thousands of people affected by superstorm Sandy could soon need housing as cold weather descends on the state of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday. Cuomo, in a televised press conference nearly a week after the storm hit the U.S. East Coast, said the fuel shortages are improving but problems will persist for "a number of days."" Elsewhere, and also from Reuters: "Victims of superstorm Sandy on the U.S. East Coast struggled against the cold early on Sunday amid fuel shortages and power outages even as officials fretted about getting voters displaced by the storm to polling stations for Tuesday's presidential election. Overnight, near-freezing temperatures gripped the U.S. northeast. At least two more victims were found in New Jersey, one dead of hypothermia, as the overall death toll from one of worst storms in U.S. history climbed to at least 112. Fuel supplies continued to rumble toward disaster zones and electricity was slowly returning to darkened neighborhoods after a storm that hit the coast last Monday. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it would be days before power is fully restored and fuel shortages end."
For many, the collapse of the housing bubble was the trigger that began the era of economic slowdown Americans find themselves mired in. But recently there have been growing reports in the media of a housing "recovery." So we've invited Patrick Killelea, founder of the popular housing site Patrick.net and author of The Housing Trap: How Buyers Are Captured and Abused and How to Defend Yourself, to clarify the situation. The short answer is this: While there are some markets where home prices are back in line with both fundamental and historic norms, buyers still need to exert caution when making a purchase. Patrick also shares insights from his analysis of years of national home purchases. These include: don't sell too often (the transaction costs will kill your returns), don't upgrade too frequently (it's more costly than you think), and it's worth it to transact without an agent if you're able to do so.
Perhaps the reason why AAPL is having its biggest daily tumble in recent history on the day it officially launched the iPad mini for retail sale, is because all the people who otherwise would be waiting in line in front of FAO Schwartz and inhaling the smell of fresh horse excrement, are doing all they can to obtain gas. Any gas. Because iHeater, iShower and iFridge just lack that little "oomph" when dealing with people who are cold, smelly and hungry.
Given emerging data in 2012, it's becoming increasingly clear that the post-war automobile era in the United States is now in well-articulated decline. Accordingly, it makes sense to note the beginning of a long-term supertrend that is just getting started: the resurrection of America’s rail system. At Seattle’s historic King Street Station (a classic example of early 20th Century railroad architecture), a nasty looking dropped-tile ceiling – which hung above travellers for decades – was removed late last year to reveal ornate plasterwork as the building undergoes extensive renovation. These cosmetic (and structural) alterations are part of a wide-ranging upgrade to the entire Cascades passenger rail service that runs from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Eugene, Oregon. In Tacoma, for example, a new station will either be built or renovated, and part of the Cascades line will be re-routed from its current shoreline path more directly through that city. Elsewhere, bridges are being rebuilt, track is being upgraded, and other infrastructure improvements are underway as part of the $500 million program to resurrect more efficient, faster inter-city rail in the 466-mile Amtrak route through this part of the Pacific Northwest. These changes will not bring European-style high-speed rail to the United States. Indeed, in many similar projects across the country, top speeds of 125 mph will characterize new system capability, rather than the average speed actually maintained from city to city. However, the incremental improvements now underway will become the platform for the next phase of investment, as Americans are increasingly persuaded to limit their car ownership and make rail transport part of their lives once again.
Tired of idiotic "expert assessments" how the destruction in the aftermath of Sandy is good for the economy and "creates wealth" (just ask these people or these how much wealthier they feel with their house halfway still underwater, or with not a bite to eat)? Then read the following brief summary by David Rosenberg what the real and full impact of Rosie on the US will be: "the surprise for Q4? A negative GDP print."
First, The Economist, now the man who owns the terminal that global finance uses each day to chat with one another, and occasionally to check the real time price of ESZ2 (if certainly not quite as much this year, and last, as desired). Mike Bloomberg's driving catalyst to chose the way he did? Climate change. Because to some it is the economy, to others: the number of cloudless sunny days in St Barts. The question for employees of Bain now: do they immediately disconnect their BBG terminals, or wait until next Wednesday.
- Millions still lack power (WSJ); New York Region Transit Tracker (WSJ), Blackouts Remain for 6.1 Million as Power Repairs Begin (Bloomberg)
- U.S. regulator seeks $470 million from Barclays (Reuters)
- J.P. Morgan Sues Whale's Ex-Boss (WSJ)
- London Frets Future as Financial Hub Outside Bank Union (Bloomberg)
- SNB now selling EUR: Swiss Central Bank Pulls Off Euro Sleight of Hand (WSJ)
- United Said to Study Biggest Airbus A350 to Replace Jumbos (Bloomberg)
- Draghi expands role in fight to save euro (FT)
- Panasonic Plunges by Daily Limit on Loss Forecast, CDS Soars (BusinessWeek)
- Italy risks economic ‘vicious circle’ (FT)
- Starbucks's European tax bill disappears down $100 million hole (Reuters)
- Bernanke Depression Guru Seeks Roosevelt Well-Being (Bloomberg)
At a cost to the taxpayer of $317,435 per job
In a stunningly accurate prediction of what to expect from a 100-year storm, the following 2011 report assessing the 'risk increase to infrastructure due to a sea level rise' provides everything you did not want to know about just how bad the situation is with recovery from Sandy's damage but were afraid to ask. Based on extrapolations from storm surge heights, the authors see a 'perfect storm' of this magnitude likely creating a total loss between $50 and $100bn. As Atlantic Cities notes, citing the report: The researchers also estimate that... it could take the subway system about 21 days to get working at 90 percent functionality. If all potential damage is considered, ...that timeline could increase to several months, and that "permanent restoration of the system to the full revenue service that was previously available could take more than two years."