Blogs

  • King Henry Was Wrong Again!

    * Bailout package is voted down! * Biggest one day point drop for the DOW! * Dollar rallies hard... * Carry trades unwind... Again! ** King Henry Was Wrong Again! Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well... Guess who was wrong AGAIN! That's right, King Henry Paulson, he of the U.S. Treasury Sec. throne... He told the world on Friday, that the bailout package was a "done deal"... And he told us again on Sunday that it was a "done deal"... The markets rejoiced, the stock jockeys danced in the streets, the karma flowed and all the stars were in alignment... And then... A (not so) funny thing happened on the way to the forum... King Henry's men revolted, and the bailout package did NOT have the votes to pass it, and the "done deal" was "undone"! Once again this man has led investors down the wrong path. I've documented the wrong statements by this man in the past year, and still, investors hang on every word by King Henry... When will they ever learn? When, will, they, ev-er learn?...
  • What's In A Name?

    A bailout by any other name would smell just a foul. Or would it? The Bard may have captured the essence (pun intended) of the smell test, but then again he didn’t run for elected office. Nor did he live in a media saturated, image drenched world...
  • Haste Makes Waste

    The purpose of Outside the Box is to present views which cause us to think through our basic assumptions. This week our old friend Michael Lewitt of Hegemony Capital Management gives us a view as to why the bailout bill going down may not be as bad as I think it might. There is much we agree on, however. And part of our agreement is that a deeper recession is in our future. Let me be clear. Muddle Through is now at risk. I have talked with my publisher, and for the next few weeks of The continuing Crisis, we are going to send more than one OTB per week, and I may also add some short commentary. These are extraordinary times, and I know a lot of you (as I can tell from phone and emails) are worried and are interested in analysis that is not biased with either a perma-bull or perma-bear stance. I will call it as I see it, as always, and forward you material from my best sources. That being said, we will get through this, one way or another. Sanity and clarity will return, as it always does after times of crisis. I wish you the best in your situation....
  • Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face

    Today, the House of Representatives has dealt a huge blow toward stabilizing the financial markets and avoiding a world economic crisis. The less than perfect Paulson bill would have accomplished that goal in numerous ways. One of them, which has been...
  • Bailout Package Is Ready...

    * Ready to spend $700 Billion... * Wachovia wants to sell itself... * Dollar rallies hard... * The rot on the vine spreads... ** Bailout Package Is Ready... Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! A Wonderful Weekend for yours truly, as the weather was Chamber of Commerce like, I got to see all the kids, and little Delaney Grace two days! I also got to enjoy two football games, one that Alex played in, and one that Alex went with me to! Fabulous stuff! OK... The data on Friday was the stuff that should have sent the dollar to the woodshed, but like all the data lately, it just gets swept under the rug, as the market movers are myopic with the Bailout package. Lawmakers worked all weekend to iron out the details of the package, and King Henry (U.S. Treasury Sec.) has announced again that the package has been agreed on by Congress. The vote doesn't actually take place until tomorrow or Wednesday, but that hasn't stopped King Henry from pounding his chest over his latest victory. I like what I heard from former Fed Gov. (and Mark Twain Bank economist) Laurence Meyer, who said: "This has a reasonable chance of pulling back from the brink and having some success, but it's far from certain that will be the case."...
  • Who's Afraid of a Big, Bad Bailout?

    Flying last Tuesday, overnight from Cape Town in South Africa to London, I read in the Financial Times that Republican Congressman Joe Barton of Texas was quoted as saying (this is from memory so it is not exact) that he had difficulty in voting for a bailout plan when none of his constituents could understand the need to bail out Wall Street, didn't understand the problem, and were against spending $750 billion of taxpayer money to solve a crisis for a bunch of (rich) people who took a lot of risk and created the crisis. That is a sentiment that many of the Republican members of the House share. As it happens, I know Joe. My office is in his congressional district. I sat on the Executive Committee for the Texas Republican party representing much of the same district for eight years. This week, Thoughts from the Frontline will be an open letter to Joe, and through him to Congress telling him what the real financial problem is, how it affects his district and help explains to his constituents the nature of the problem, and why he has to hold his nose with one hand and vote for it with the other. I think this is as good a way to explain the crisis we are facing this weekend. This letter will print out a little longer because there are a lot of charts, but the word length is about the same. Let's jump right in....
  • A Fresh Look at Family Limited Partnerships

    Family limited partnerships have been a key element in many estate plans for decades. The FLP provides an array of benefits to the estate owner, not the least of which are tax reduction plus continuing control of the assets. Those benefits and the popularity...
  • Another One Bites The Dust...

    * Bailout or rescue plan? * JP Morgan buys Wa-Mu... * Canadian loonie remains well bid... * China to stop lending to U.S. Banks? ** Another One Bites The Dust... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! It's not starting out to be a Fantastico Friday, but I'm sure that by the time the closing whistle blows this afternoon, I'll be all about a Fantastico Friday! The reason I say it's not starting out that way, is simply that it looks as though the bailout package is close to being a done deal. On a side bar... Have you noticed that the bailout package is now being referred to as the "rescue plan"? I guess the word "bailout" wasn't sitting to well with voters... Better to scare the bejeebers out of them into agreeing with taking on $700 Billion!...
    Posted to Daily Pfennig by Chuck Butler on 09-26-2008
  • Week of 09/25/2008

    In This Issue:

    Most Economists Believe The Rescue Plan Will Work
    Others Say It Will Only Postpone The Inevitable
    We Think The Optimists Are Right
    Meanwhile, Here's An All-Weather Investment Plan
    The Bottom Line This Week

    We've been suspicious for several weeks that Mother Market was not happy about taking a back seat to the recent Olympic games in China. To gain back some of the limelight she has been making bigger swings, jumps, and dives than anything we saw in Beijing. Her efforts are clearly working because nothing else has been able to push financial news off the front pages.

    Last week, the market made yet another volatility record, not that anybody wanted to see it. On four of the five days, prices changed over 300 points. Nevertheless, when the dust settled, and the bodies were swept up, the Dow was only down a miniscule 0.3%. The Nasdaq actually managed to rise 0.6%. If you happened to be in Transylvania during the festivities, you might not have known how much fun the rest of us had.

    The race for new records continued when the market opened on Monday of this week, and stocks dropped 373 points. Prices started to settle down on Tuesday and Wednesday when stocks fell 162 points and 29 points respectively. Given the circumstances, it is too much to hope that the high volatility will end anytime soon.

    ...
  • Cash For Trash...

    * Grave words about the economy... * OPEC warns of a higher Oil prices... * FDIC in need of $150 Billion? * Citigroup calling for a higher euro... ** Cash For Trash... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Well... The President sure painted a rosy picture for the U.S. economy last night didn't he? NOT! Whoa there partner! With words like 'collapse' and 'danger' and 'panic', President Bush was telling the country that we're in deep dookie! In telling the public that the government must put $700 Billion of taxpayer's money at risk to bail out the financial system, he said... 'We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis. Our entire economy is in danger. America could slip into a financial panic.' Now... Those are some serious statements, folks... And were followed up by the comments by the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, who said, 'Whatever you think about whether or not there was a need for a bailout... Once the president, secretary of the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve Chairman have announced that if you don't do this, there will be a collapse, there's probably going to be a collapse if you don't do it.'...
  • Paulson Asset Management, LLC

    Paulson Asset Management, LLC So now the Treasury has a massive $700 billion bailout plan on the table. The idea is to create a government agency to deal with bad mortgage related debt, sort of like how the Resolution Trust Corp. (RTC) dealt with $394...
  • Turning Japanese?

    * Profit taking in the currencies... * German Business Confidence falls... * More talk of the bailout package... * A strong statement on Aussie dollars... ** Turning Japanese? Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Another crazy day not only in the markets but on our trading desk, where the phones continue to light up. There's a ton of volatility in the markets these days, as witnessed by the roller coaster ride stock jockeys take every day, the no direction is a good direction course of currencies, and the ups and downs of bailout plans. It's all a little too much for yours truly some days, but I carry on... Take this morning... Please somebody take this morning! The euro was showing signs of wiping out yesterday's profit taking session early on, only to see its gains wiped out by a weaker than expected German Business Confidence report. Yes, German Business Confidence, as measured by the think tank, IFO, declined more than expected this month, to the lowest level in almost 3 years. I would say that with lower Oil prices, and weaker inflation, these German Business people's attitudes will be changing soon... The German economy, other than this report, is showing signs of strength, which is bang on what I've been trying to tell everyone that was throwing darts at the Eurozone economy... Remember 80% of trade in the Eurozone is among the Eurozone members......
  • Uncle Sam's $700+ Billion Toxic Securities Fund

    The credit crisis has led to gridlock in the financial markets, and the stock markets have dropped like a stone. On Saturday, the Treasury Dept. and the Federal Reserve requested a massive $700+ billion bailout package that would allow the government to buy up troubled mortgage-related assets from banks and financial firms that are in trouble. Congress is reluctant to go along, but I expect they will provided they also get some money to help struggling homeowners and more oversight than the government offered initially. This week, we take a look at the latest enormous bailout plan and the latest government guarantee of money market funds. I also tell you why I believe we are now headed for a recession, and why I believe this huge financial mess will likely make Barack Obama our next president....
  • Some Healing...

    * largest one-day move up in the euro! * largest one-day move up in Oil! * Gold and Silver rebound! * Renminbi finally moves! ** Some Healing... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I heard from one of my two sisters that live in the Houston area yesterday. They rode out the Hurricane together, have some damage to her house, and is still without electricity. I can't imagine what that's all like. But they are both safe at that's what's important at this point. Well... The euro had it's largest one-day move upward VS the dollar since its inception in 1999, yesterday... We've seen some profit taking in the overnight markets, but just for good measure... I think it appropriate to show that the euro reached 1.48 yesterday... That was a 3.5 euro move, and after falling to a low of 1.3869 on 9/12 (before bouncing big that day), the euro has now recovered about 7%... I would call that "some healing"......