Blogs

  • Where is My Swap Line?

    The G-7 countries now have what amounts to access to the US Fed's window for dollars for their banks. But what of the rest of the world? Brad Setser, an analyst who writes a blog for the Council on Foreign Relations, ask some very interesting questions and points out some big holes in the world economic landscape. If you can't get dollars what does that do to your currency? This contributes to the rise in the dollar against some emerging market currencies. Setser asks: 'Where is my swap line? And will the diffusion of financial power Balkanize the global response to a broadening crisis?' You can read some of his other material at http://blogs.cfr.org/setser/. Setser is an applied international economist with experience at the U.S. Treasury and the International Monetary Fund. Currently examining central bank reserve growth, sovereign wealth funds, and the political implications of emerging market financing of the United States. Author of the recent Council Special Report, Sovereign Wealth and Sovereign Power....
  • Credit Fears Ease...

    * Credit fears ease... * Chuck's thoughts from the road... * India cuts rates... * China growth slows, but is still 9%... ** Credit fears ease... Good day...And welcome to what should be another volatile week in the markets. Credit worries eased somewhat over the weekend, which helped push money back into the higher yielding currencies. Today Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will head to Congress to share his view on the economy. Should make for a pretty interesting day of trading. Hope you are sitting down and holding on, it looks like we are going to take another lap on the currency roller coaster! The yen fell over the weekend as investors began moving funds back into the higher yielding currencies of Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. I won't go into the whole explanation of the carry trade again, but suffice it to say that these moves haven't proven to have much staying power. But I do like the news that the credit markets may be calming down a bit after the government moves to shore up the big international banks....
  • The Economic Blue Screen of Death

    This week I am in California giving two speeches to the Financial Planning Associations of San Diego and Orange County. This and next week's letters will be the broad outline of the speech. We will look at how the retreat of the American consumer will affect the stock market. Has the recent drop (can we say crash, gentle reader?) in stock market valuations given us an opportunity to find value? We look at some very powerful evidence that suggests that may be so. Then we look at the counter to that view. Are we at the bottom, or is there more pain? And given the current state of affairs, how should we then invest? Where do we put our money to work when the dust settles, as it surely will. As I noted above, this will be a two-part letter, finishing up next week. It will also print out a lot longer than normal as I have a lot of PowerPoint slides that are really important for you to see. A note to the 25% of my one million-plus readers who are outside the US: I am using illustrations from the US stock market to discuss timing and valuations, but the principles will translate to markets worldwide. In fact, considering that most stock markets worldwide are down even more than the US markets, they may be even more applicable. The time to become bullish on a lot of markets may be closer than we think. Let's jump right in....
  • Maximizing the New Roth IRA Opportunity

    The markets created an opportunity for investors to convert traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs. The opportunity will last only as long as the financial crisis lasts and markets are bearish. Investors who converted their IRAs into Roths earlier this year probably...
  • Comfortably Numb...

    * Comfortably numb... * Data confirms the US slowdown... * NZD and AUD end the week with gains... * Hungarian forint stabilizes... ** Comfortably numb... Good day...These dramatic swings in the markets are becoming so common place that a move of 400 pts by the Dow doesn't really garner much notice. After all, in the past five days, the Dow Jones average has had a trading range of almost 2,000 points, but after five dramatic days the stock market is trading almost exactly where it was a week ago. And the volatility in the equity markets has carried over to the currency markets, where we continued the roller coaster ride which began a few weeks ago. Yesterday, the dollar began the day with a strong move up in early European trading. But a plethora of bad data released here in the US caused the greenback to reverse course, and it wiped out all of its earlier gains. But the bargain hunting rally in the stock market during the afternoon pulled the dollar along with it, and we ended the day with a dollar index which was slightly higher than the day before. Today is shaping up to be a similar trading pattern, as Europe has begun the day buying dollars vs. most of the major currencies....
  • Possible Bear Market Rally Ahead

    SOME REASONS FOR A BEAR MARKET RALLY Written Friday, October 17th, 2008: 6:30 am 1. Obviously, IBD says we’ve set up properly for a rally as I spelled out above. Schwartz View: Diluting the strength of yesterday’s bullish follow-through day...
  • A Thawny Issue

    As noted previously, stocks, having partially recovered from their deep oversold condition, are not the epicenter of the real economy impact of the credit crisis. The credit markets are. And in this regard, as lovely as the big oversold bounce in equities...
    Posted to Musing on the Markets by Vinny Catalano, CFA on 10-16-2008
  • The International Economic Crisis and Stratfor's Methodology

    Exhale for a moment, forget your losses for the time being, and try to appreciate the fact that you're living through the single most important development in global finance since Bretton Woods. This is a "tell the grandkids about it" moment, when governments all around the world have essentially decided in unison that it's time to rewrite the rules, the very framework, in which financial transactions take place. Stock trading, interbank lending, commercial paper, the very concept of private sector ownership are all up in the air right now. The only thing I can tell you with certainty is that if you try to evaluate your investments using the same metrics you've always relied on - P/E ratios, market share, interest rates, etc. - you're going to be as successful as a football-turned-baseball coach evaluating a pitcher by the number of touchdowns he throws. The rules are changing, gentle reader, changing at least for awhile from market-driven inputs to government-driven inputs. If you try to apply what you know from the "old game" without understanding that you're playing a "new game," the rules might not make sense. I'm sending you today a piece from my friend George Friedman on how his company Stratfor looks at economics. More precisely, this piece explains how they look at Political Economy. And from here on out, it's political economy that's going to be driving markets. If the old rule was "Never fight the Fed." It's now, "Never fight the Fed. And the Treasury. And the ECB. And the Bank of England. And the Bank of Japan...." You get my point....
  • Association for Investor Awareness - Week of 10/16/2008

    The Biggest Danger Now Is A Series Of Bear Traps
    The Financial Crisis Has Further To Run
    Some Bear Market Investments Have Promise
    How Long The Bear Might Stick Around
    A Contrary Economic Outlook
    Another Shameless Plug For Blue Chip Stocks
    The Bottom Line This Week

    Stock volatility has become so extreme, we had to redraw the charts. Although there have been up and down days as large as those we have seen recently, never before have they come in such quick succession.

    Last week, as everyone from New Guinea to New York must know by now, the Dow and the Nasdaq fell 18.2% and 15.3% respectively. That would have been tough enough by itself, but what made the week even more hectic is it contained a 679 point jump that many investors believed was the start of a reversal. 

    The market leaped forward again this Monday with a breath taking 936 point surge when U.S and European leaders decided on a coordinated financial rescue plan. Stocks took a breather on Tuesday. Then it plunged 733 points the next day on poor consumer spending data. We must expect more whiplash days as the credit crisis continues to unfold. 

    ...
  • Here we go again...

    * Here we go again... * US numbers show further slowdown... * Norway cuts rates... * Switzerland moves to shore up UBS... ** Here we go again... Good day...The dollar rallied and the equity markets plunged yesterday as investors again pulled their money away from the markets. As we have seen over the past several weeks, when investors get worried about the state of the global economy, they rush back into cash, and in the world of cash the US$ is still king. Chuck has been talking about this trading pattern during his FX University presentations, and I'll start this morning's Pfennig off with his thoughts from Philadelphia, where he is hosting another day of FXU: Here we go again! The recession trap door gets sprung under the stock market, and things begin to look really bad in the U.S. again, and guess what? The dollar rallies... This just plays the trading theme over and over again... And Yen? It's back below 100! Risk gets taken out, and whatever carry trades that were brave enough to go back on after Monday, have been wiped out! Wiped out like the rally in Aussie dollars, which had rallied to +70-cents after Monday... And lost 5-cents today......
  • SPECIAL ISSUE: Financial Crisis For Beginners

    People are constantly asking me how we got into this financial crisis and how it became so very messy, thus requiring massive government bailouts around the world. This SPECIAL ISSUE of Forecasts & Trends E-Letter features a very good analysis of the current financial crisis - in layman's terms - from the good folks at BaselineScenario.com. Hopefully, it will help you to better understand how the housing/mortgage crisis led us to where we are today. If it helps, feel free to share with others as you see fit....
  • Where The Stock Market Stands Now

    Richard Schwartz 's PRINCIPLES OF THE STOCK MARKET A learning, teaching, always evolving stock market letter and advisory service Eighteenth Consecutive Year of Publication ; Letter #1; September 18 th , 1990 Post Office Box 1236 · New Paltz...
  • Is Anybody Out There?

    Something’s bothering me. I’ve been writing a weekly column here at Investors Insight since July. In my very first article, I mentioned the burgeoning bull market for biotech stocks. That was July 23. Emergent Biosciences (NYSE:EBS) was one...
    Posted to Growth Report by Ian Wyatt on 10-15-2008
  • Rescue plan not an instant fix...

    * Rescue plan to take time... * Pound sterling rallies (for now)... * Brazil supports the real... * Iceland cuts rates... ** Rescue plan not an instant fix... Good day...Another roller coaster of a day, as the dollar continued to slide through lunch but then rallied back up in the afternoon. As I walked out the door last night, most of the major currencies were trading right about where they were when I turned the screens on. The dollar has started to fall again in overnight trading, so the up and down of the past few weeks looks to continue. The news stories coming across the wires this morning seem to be as volatile as the currencies. I have now counted three different stories which state the markets are moving back into higher yielding currencies and riskier investments after the coordinated bank bailout plan which was announced yesterday. But several other stories are talking about how investors are moving out of the higher yielding assets because of concern that the bank rescue will take too much time to unfreeze global credit markets. I tend to agree with the latter of these....
  • What To Do About The Global Financial Crisis

    This week, we ponder whether the giant $700 billion bailout plan is large enough. There are some smart people who believe it is not enough, as you will read below. There are also many who argue that the government needs to inject capital directly into the largest banks to get them lending again. This morning, President Bush announced just such a plan to inject up to $250 billion in US banks in return for stock in their companies. I will discuss this latest bank rescue plan as we go along, as well as the progress on the larger bailout plan. Finally, I will give you thoughts on what you should be doing in the stock market in light of the latest historical plunge....