No New Lows, Likely

Monetary Injections Will Keep Markets Away From New Lows (2009-06-29)

We must likely have seen a major low on March 6th when the S&P hit 666 and here in Asia most markets really bottomed out in October and November of last year.

Lets say that for one reason or another the S&P which went to 956 and is now at around 920, drops to 800. I am sure that there will be another stimulus package and another massive monetary injection. And if it does not help then we will have another round when the S&P drops to 700. So I don`t think we will see new lows.



Income tax collections drop in U.S. states (2009-06-18)

・Personal income taxes, a key revenue generator for most U.S. states, plummeted 26 percent, or $28.8 billion, in the first four months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, according to a Rockefeller Institute of Government report on Thursday.

・ As a result, many states are likely to face more budget cutting this year, additional budget fixes next year and big budget problems when federal stimulus dollars run out in 2011, he added.

States experiencing the biggest decline in personal income tax collections in January-April 2009 compared to the same period in 2008 were Arizona, down nearly 55 percent; South Carolina, off 38.6 percent; Michigan, off 34.4 percent and California, which had a 33.8 percent drop.

Only three states, Utah, Alabama and North Dakota, collected more in the tax this year than last year.

Marc Farber Interview

Risk/ Reward Not Favorable For Stocks (2009-06-26)

・Between March and today, the S&P is up 40%, and in an environment of zero interest rates, that's a huge gain. Many of the resource stocks we were recommending in November and December have tripled. So, maybe we have for two or three months now a reversal in expectations, where people suddenly realize that maybe the economy doesn't recover a lot and that deflationary pressures are still there. But if the S&P was to come down to 800 or 750, the Fed would probably increase its money printing activity. So, I kind of doubt that we'll see new lows.

・So, one day within the next ten years, when the economy slowly recovers and when further dollar weakness occurs, inflationary pressures will increase. And once you have inflation increasing, it's not easy to stop it unless you implement tight monetary conditions, which would imply very high real interest rates. And I don't think that Mr. Bernanke or the US government have any intention whatsoever of having positive real interest rates. Combine easy monetary policies with large fiscal deficits, and the likelihood of much higher inflation is there.

・Whoever bets on the economic recovery should bet on the most cyclical industries and the most cyclical countries. That would be Japan, southeast Asia, resource producers, and obviously Europe, because they have a high dependence on exports, particularly Germany.

Golden Cross

「リセッション・クロス」でS&P500種は1065に上昇か-BOA (2009-06-26)


S&P500種の50日移動平均線は23日、200日移動平均線を2007 年12月以来初めて上抜けし、「ゴールデンクロス」を形成した。テクニカル分析を手掛けるアナリストの間では「ゴールデンクロス」は強気シグナルとされる。

・ BOAによると、S&P500種は1928年以降に15回、リセッション下で「ゴールデンクロス」を形成し、このシグナルが現れてから1年間の上昇率は平均で19%だった。今回のリセッションは07年12 月に始まっており、バーテルズ氏は、同指数がゴールデンクロス形成後1年間で同様に上昇し、1065に達する可能性があると予想した。


JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan tops strong bank list, RBS biggest loss (2009-06-23)

JPMorgan topped The Banker's annual list of the strongest 1,000 global banks, moving up from fourth place a year earlier. The rankings, which have run since the 1970s, are based on capital strength, or the amount of Tier 1 capital held.

Bank of America ranked second, Citigroup was third and RBS was fourth, despite the problems for all three last year. JPMorgan was helped by its takeover of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual and Bank of America was boosted by its acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

HSBC fell to fifth spot from first, but it was the only one of the top five not to receive any government support, and would rank third if government support was stripped out, The Banker said. Mitsubishi UFJ was the highest ranked Asian bank in seventh, a place ahead of China's ICBC.

Waiting for FOMC...

Fed starts meeting, seen confirming rates on hold (2009-06-23)

The Fed is also not expected to ramp up asset purchases above an existing promise to buy $300 billion of longer-dated U.S. government bonds and $1.45 trillion of mortgage debt.

It may, however, stretch out its buying of U.S. Treasury debt to last until year-end, or divert cash now earmarked for mortgage-related debt to government bonds.

Goldman Sachs' economists expect the Fed to slow its purchases of longer-dated U.S. Treasuries to $5 billion a week from a current average around $13 billion to make the program last for the rest of the year.

なるほど、$1.45tn の MBS 買い取り枠から振り替える手があったか。これなら money printing の枠を拡大する恰好にはならないのでドルへの影響も抑えられそうだが…果たして。

End of the Bear-Market Rally?

Insiders Exit Shares at the Fastest Pace in Two Years (2009-06-22)

・Executives at U.S. companies are taking advantage of the biggest stock-market rally in 71 years to sell their shares at the fastest pace since credit markets started to seize up two years ago.

・Sales by CEOs, directors and senior officers have accelerated to the highest level since June 2007, two months before credit markets froze, as the S&P 500 rebounded from its 12-year low in March. The increase is making investors more skittish because executives presumably have the best information about their companies’ prospects.

・The S&P 500 slid 2.6 percent to 921.23 last week, the first weekly decline since May 15, as investors speculated the three- month jump in share prices already reflected a recovery in the economy and profits. Stocks dropped as the Federal Reserve reported that industrial production fell in May and S&P cut credit ratings on 18 U.S. banks, saying lenders will face “less favorable” conditions.

The S&P 500 slid 2.2 percent at 11:06 a.m. in New York after the Washington-based World Bank said the global recession this year will be deeper than it predicted in March.

・Companies with net sellers outnumbered those with buyers by almost 9-to-1 last week, versus a ratio of about 1-to-1 in the first week of the rally.

・“They’re looking to take some money off the table because they think the rally will come to an end,” said Ben Silverman, the Seattle-based research director at InsiderScore. “It’s the most bearish we’ve seen insiders, on a whole, in two years.”

The last time there were more U.S. corporations with executives reducing their holdings than adding to them was during the week ended June 19, 2007, the data show.


Russia to urge caution on reserve FX at BRIC summit (2009-06-16)

・Russia will advocate a cautious approach to changing the system of global reserve currencies when the world's biggest emerging economies hold their first formal summit on Tuesday, the Kremlin's top economic aide said.

Brazil, Russia, India and China -- which account for 15 percent of the $60.7 trillion global economy -- will focus on ways to reshape the financial system after the economic crisis.

・Dvorkovich said BRIC leaders -- who control nearly $3 trillion in foreign currency reserves -- would also discuss the idea of investing their reserves in each other's currencies.

Before the BRIC meeting, Medvedev told the leaders of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) -- which includes China -- that the grouping should think about using their national currencies for trade with each other.

"We must strengthen the international currency system not only by strengthening the position of the dollar, but also by creating new reserve currencies and possibly ... the creation of supranational payment tender and ways to make settlements."

Medvedev added that members should think about investing in each other's financial instruments.

Chinese officials have in recent days played down talk of a discussion on a new supranational reserve currency to reduce dependency on the U.S. dollar.

・As part of proposals to rebuild the financial system, Medvedev has made proposals on giving a greater role to the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights that echo ideas from Chinese central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan.

Russia said it would reduce the share of U.S. Treasuries in its $400 billion reserves and buy IMF bonds. China, Russia and Brazil have pledged to help capitalize the IMF as they seek more influence at the fund.


Fisher Says Fed Can’t Offset Treasury-Borrowing Flood (2009-06-15)

・The Federal Reserve isn’t capable of offsetting the “flood” of U.S. Treasury borrowing with its bond-purchase program, which is helping to revive credit markets, Dallas district-bank President Richard Fisher said.

・The Fed won’t “monetize” the fiscal deficit by effectively printing money to finance the shortfall, and there’s been no “pressure” from the Obama administration to do so, said the Dallas bank chief, who doesn’t vote on rates this year. Fisher, 60, also dismissed the concerns of some central bank watchers that its record purchases of assets will cause inflation to soar.

・Policy makers aren’t likely to raise the benchmark interest rate in the “immediate future,” Fisher said before the FOMC gathers next week in Washington. He added that he isn’t inclined to “pay a lot of attention” to trading in federal funds futures, which show some investors are betting on a rate increase by the end of the year.

・“Long term, we all know inflation is a monetary problem, and you could have inflationary pressures,” he said. Still, “that is not the issue right now.”

In an interview with CNBC earlier today, St. Louis Fed bank president James Bullard said he’s “optimistic” the U.S. economy will rebound in the second half, barring further “shocks.”

“One of the things about when the economy is down, is you are sort of vulnerable to further shocks that you don’t maybe anticipate at this point,” Bullard said. “But barring that we’ll get some positive growth in the second half of the year.”

Goldman's Cohen sees inflation at bay (2009-06-15)

Inflation fears are "spectacularly premature" in light of rising unemployment and excess supply, Cohen said at the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit in New York.

"We just don't see that inflation is going to rear its ugly head any time soon," she added. "That doesn't mean we won't see some rebound in some prices," including in some commodities.


To Keep Lid on Bond Rates or Bond Buys?

Fed to Keep Lid on Bond Buys (2009-06-12)

・Federal Reserve officials are unlikely to significantly boost purchases of U.S. Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities when they meet in late June, but could make other adjustments in the face of rising bond yields and fresh signs of an improving economy.

・Interest rates on everything from business loans to home mortgages tend to move in tandem with Treasury rates. If government-bond rates rise too much too fast, they could short-circuit a recovery by choking off consumer and business borrowing and spending.

Fed officials aren't convinced that is happening yet, so they aren't inclined to use their muscle to restrain bond yields any more than they have already set out to do. That could change if their views of markets and the economy change. Fed officials say much needs to be hashed out at the next meeting.

・Fed officials believe markets may have gotten ahead of the economy, reacting to government data that the pace of job losses is slowing by anticipating an increase in the Fed's key short-term interest rates by year end. Some Fed officials see that as an overreaction.

・In a Wall Street Journal survey released Thursday, 35 of the 50 Wall Street economists who responded, or 70%, said the Fed shouldn't increase its planned purchases of Treasurys. Some 64% said Treasury yields are rising because the economy is improving, and because investors are becoming less risk-averse and moving away from safe government bonds to riskier corporate debt and other securities. Most of those surveyed don't expect the Fed to raise short-term interest rates before the second quarter of 2010.

・"The main danger of a Treasury purchase program is that people may wrongfully conclude that there is a risk that you are going to monetize the debt and reinflate," said William Dudley, president of the New York Fed, in an interview. Initially he was wary of the program, he said, but he became less so in March after the Bank of England announced a similar plan that didn't spook investors.

・Many officials believe bond yields are rising now because investors are shifting from low-risk securities such as Treasurys to higher-risk ones such as corporate bonds, a sign of improving confidence in markets. They also believe investors are less worried about an even deeper downturn that would cause deflation, a dangerous downward spiral in consumer prices.

El-Erian: Fed to "engage again" in Treasury buys (2009-06-12)

・The rapid rise in bond yields will force the Federal Reserve to "engage again" in the purchases of U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, Mohamed El-Erian, the chief executive of bond giant Pacific Investment Management Co., said Friday.

・"What mistake can the U.S. economy afford to make? If you look at it that way, I suspect that we will see the Fed engage again in these markets," El-Erian told Reuters Financial Television.

Debate is brewing within the Federal Reserve over whether it should ramp up its purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to keep a lid on interest rates, or scale them back to avoid an outbreak of inflation.

・Fed chairman Ben Bernanke recently commented on the rise in U.S. long-term interest rates, remarking that it appeared to reflect "concerns about large federal deficits but also other causes."

El-Erian argues that the Fed will have to keep a lid on bond yields as the United States still faces major headwinds including a fragile labor market. He expects the unemployment rate could reach between 10 percent and 10 1/2 percent.

"Job losses are declining, but we are still getting job losses which is another factor why the Fed is unlikely to raise rates," he added.