29 results found.
Recession is On the Way: Questioning One's Sanity; Beat the Crowd, Panic Now!
In 2006-2007 I called for a recession. We got a big one. I called for another one in 2011, as did the ECRI. That recession never happened. 50% is not a very good recession predicting track record except in comparison to consensus economic opinions that have never once in history predicted a recession. Consensus opinion is batting a perfect 0.00%
Sharp Decline in Earnings and Revenue Estimates
For the first time in three years, US Quarterly Earnings are Poised to Drop. "Third-quarter earnings of Standard & Poor's 500 companies are now expected to fall 0.1 percent from a year ago, a sharp revision from the July 1 forecast of 3.1 percent growth, Thomson Reuters data showed on Thursday. That would be the first decline in earnings since the third quarter of 2009, the data showed."
Demographic Headwinds for Housing
Boomer demographics and postponement of marriage on account of student debt and poor finances are two of the key reasons that I long-ago stated the housing recovery would be slow for a decade. Declining birthrates now show that is indeed what is happening.
12 Reasons US Recession Has Arrived (Or Will Shortly)
I am amused by the Shadow Weekly Leading Index Project, which claims the probability of recession is 31%. I think it is much higher. When the NBER, the official arbiter of recessions, finally backdates the recession, May or June of 2012
Modern Day Fairy Tale of 3 Economic Wizards (Except It's True)
Once upon a time (today), in a land not so far away (USA), there lived a trio of economic wizards (economists), whose names shall remain anonymous (Paul Krugman, Greg Mankiw, Ben Bernanke). A fourth wizard, Murry Rothbard, is no longer among the living but resides in the netherworld. The above wizards seldom agree with each other because they come from competing schools of wizardry. (1) Keynesian School of Fiscal Voodoo and Witchcraft (2) Monetarist School of Monetary Voodoo and Witchcraft (3) Austrian School of Sound Money, Sound Economic Principles and Common Sense.
Gaming the Odds of a Greek Euro Exit With and Without Contagion
A key question on trader's minds is who will win the June 17th Greece election and whether it results in a Greek exit of the eurozone. Deutsche Bank gives it assessment in a report called Probability weighting EUR views on Greece. Under a variety of assumptions, the market pricing looks consistent with: a) significant odds in favor of Greece remaining part of the EUR zone and EUR/USD trading between 1.25 and 1.30; and, b) a worst case Greek exit global contagion scenario taking EUR/USD to 1.10, but not to levels as low as parity.
The Bernanke-Krugman Smackdown
Bernanke is trying like a madman to get banks to increase lending but Bernanke and Krugman both do not understand economic reality. Banks cannot lend because they are still capital impaired, hiding losses yet to come, and holding assets that are marked-to-fantasy instead of marked-to-market. Consumers are busted and holding interest rates at 0% when prices of food and gasoline are soaring exacerbates the problem. There are few credit-worthy businesses that want to borrow in this environment. The businesses that do want to borrow are not credit-worthy and banks would be foolish to lend to them.
Huge Dilemma: Do You Protect Your Job or Your Clients' Money?
I feel like a broken record. Jeremy Grantham, John Hussman, and Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live surely feel the same way. I have been preaching the "low returns for a decade" concept for quite some time. It is very tough preaching caution, when caution is routinely tossed to the winds. Yet history has proven time and time again, that such times are precisely when caution is warranted, even though timing the precise moment is simply impossible.
Where is the Unemployment Rate Headed?
I have a pretty cool interactive map below that will let you graph the unemployment rates based on parameters that you can choose. First let's take a look at the current unemployment rate and a discussion of the parameters that define it.
Is There a Bubble in Treasuries?
Both Sides of the Case; Explaining the 2011 Treasury Rally (It's Not What You Think); Where to From Here? People have been calling a bubble in treasuries for at least a decade. The shocking result, especially to hyperinflationists, has been a stair-step decline in yields for 30 years. That's quite a long time.
Home Prices and Inflation, Part 1
Various charts show home prices are now back to levels last seen in September-October 2002. I posted such a chart constructed from the LPS Home Price Index (HPI) in LPS Home Price Index Shows U.S. Home Prices Accelerated Decline.
The Disingenuous ECRI Recession Call
Late last month in "ECRI Sticks with Recession Call on CNBC; More than a Bit of an Exaggeration by Achuthan to Make His Call?" I questioned the ECRI's use of coincident indicators to make a claim regarding recession.... In spite of all the above, I happen to like the ECRI recession call. Yes, I am biased, but it is hard to find anyone who is not.... To go out on a limb, I think GDP in 2012 is going to hugely surprise on the downside, and 1st Quarter GDP may be as low as zero to .5%. A negative number (or more likely a revised negative number) would not shock me in the least.
Will Greece Survive the Ides of March?
As a point of curiosity, the Greek 1-Year Bond Yield touched 682% today, now down to a mere 666%. Bloomberg quotes the open as 566%, if correct, the one year yield soared 116 percentage points from the open to the high. Deal "Really" Finalized? Open Europe says Many questions around the second Greek bailout remain unanswered.
The Student Loan Debt Bomb
It's interesting to watch some of the terms bandied about in headline news. For example, the LA Times headline reads "S&P says student loan debt could be next financial bubble". Next? Could Be? What with the word "next"? Also what's with the words "could be"? Without a doubt student loans are in a bubble and have been for many years. Another way to describe the situation is "Debt Bomb".
Bernanke on the Unemployment Rate and Labor Weakness
I nearly always disagree with Bernanke on monetary and fiscal policy. Specifically, the Fed ought not have a monetary policy for the simple reason the Fed should not exist. Indeed, the Bernanke Fed and the Greenspan Fed have both proven beyond a shadow of a doubt they do not know what they are doing, where the economy is headed, or anything else of relevance in setting monetary policy. However, on rare occasions, Bernanke can say a few snippets that seem to make complete sense. For example, Bernanke Says 8.3% Unemployment Understates Labor Weakness.
Some Facts About the 'Falling' Unemployment Rate
Given the complete distortions of reality with respect to not counting people who allegedly dropped out of the work force, it is easy to misrepresent the headline numbers. Digging under the surface, the drop in the unemployment rate is nothing but a statistical mirage.
Debt and Deleveraging: A Five-Pronged Solution
Citing the latest report on "Debt and Deleveraging" by the McKinsey Global Institute, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard proclaims a light at the end of the tunnel and that America overcomes the debt crisis as Britain sinks deeper into the swamp. However, there is a big difference between alleged "light at the end of the tunnel" and "America Overcomes Debt Crisis" as Pritchard claims. US consumers may be one-third of the way through, but US debt-to-GDP ratios are low only because unsustainable government spending has taken up the slack.
Structurally High Unemployment for a Decade
Since 2008 I have been stating the US would have "Structurally High Unemployment for a Decade". Indeed, based on historical trends in labor force growth, the expected unemployment rate for the number of jobs created during the recovery would be well north of 11%. Yet, the unemployment rate is currently an artificially "low" 8.5% (not that 8.5% is anything to brag about). To show how difficult it will be to bring that rate down, let's take a look at job growth (or losses), for the last three decades (numbers in thousands).
Dollar Soars Following FOMC No Hint of QE3; Looking Ahead, What's Next?
I have read countless articles recently regarding the inevitability of QE3. I have disagreed for four reasons:1.Price of oil near $100 give Fed little choice 2.Rising price of food gives Fed little choice 3.Stock market has risen on hype of European bailout giving Fed little reason 4.Falling unemployment rate (even though it's totally bogus) gives Fed little reason 5.Why should the Fed react when hot air from Europe gave a huge lift to the markets? I would have been surprised if the Fed tossed a QE3 bone under those circumstances. And it didn't.
Decade-Long European Recession Coming Up
Reflections on the Un-Level Playing Field. What could possibly be more un-level than guaranteeing banks and bondholders will never take losses? When there are more losses, and there will be, the only way to guarantee banks do not take them, is to have someone else take them, namely taxpayers. If Sarkozy gets his wish, taxpayers, not bondholders will pay the price. The same holds true for Ireland, Spain, Belgium, and Italy. The only true way to level the playing field is to make banks and bondholders who take foolish risks to pay the price for their foolish actions.
Leading Indicators or Statistical Noise?
Inquiring minds are digging into the touted numbers of the day, the Conference Board's index of leading indicators. Month in, month out, one of the biggest leading indicator components is the treasury-Fed Funds Rate spread. One might think that the direction of the spread would be important, but one would think wrong. Month-after-month, the Conference Board woodenly add points to this leading index component.
France, Germany have"Intense Consultations" on Smaller Eurozone: Breakup Inevitable, but How?
Realization the Eurozone is no longer tenable is at long last at hand. In fact, "intense discussions" have been underway for months but are just now admitted to by senior EU officials. The Eurozone is a failed experiment. A breakup is inevitable just as it has been from the beginning. Structural flaws were too great, built up over the years. No currency union in history has ever survived unless there was also a fiscal union.
Perfect Storm: Eight Reasons to be Bullish on the US Dollar
One of my much appreciated contacts is Steen Jakobsen, chief economist for Saxo Bank in Copenhagen, Denmark. Today he passed on an "internal note" that he gave permission to share. Steen Writes..."One of my main themes over the last quarter has been a "relative outperformance" of the US economy relative to consensus. This has materialized and our call was almost entirely driven by Consumer Metric data which over the last three years has outperformed any other relevant predictor. This is now slowing down slightly, but still elevated..."
Employment and Unemployment
The irony is that the better the economy the more people will be tempted to come back into the labor force and the more upward pressure on the participation rate and unemployment rate as well. Therefore, we cannot assume that 158,000 jobs per month will necessarily take the unemployment rate to 7% by 2017. Should the economy slip back into recession, and I think it already has, either employers shed more jobs, corporate earnings plunge, or both. I suggest both. On that basis, earnings growth is not sustainable and stocks are certainly not cheap.
29 results found.