Posts filed under “Analysts”

Are the Rating Agencies About to Get Their Comeuppance?

This week in encouraging news, we learn that the Securities and Exchange Commission may finally be pursuing one of the prime enablers of the financial crisis — the ratings companies. Previously, it was reported that disclosure violations were on the SEC’s radar, but truth be told, those are minor offenses.

The SEC’s Office of Credit Ratings, a division whose sole purpose is essentially to oversee Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, seems to be stirring. The Wall Street Journal reported that the “government’s top credit-rating watchdog has kept a low profile since taking the job two years ago to help prevent another financial crisis. That may be about to change…” Multiple cases have reportedly been referred to the SEC’s enforcement division, and new regulations are due.

And a welcome change it would be. Of all the players that helped cause the financial crisis, the ratings companies have gotten off scot-free. Banks have had massive fines while many mortgage and derivative underwriters have had their garbage securities put back to them at great cost. Since 2008, there have been 388 mortgage companies that have gone bankrupt. All of that junk paper found its way into AAA-rated securitized products and derivatives. The penalty for Moody’s and S&P has been essentially nil. Fear of so-called reputational damage — the theory that concerns about their good name keeps companies in line — is the latest economic nonsense to be thoroughly debunked by events. Continues here

Category: Analysts, Bailout Nation, Credit, Really, really bad calls, Regulation

Debunking the Bear Case

These bullet points were from a (much longer) Merrill Lynch research piece last week. “With most of our market indicators flashing green, we address the bear cases below to either debunk them or provide evidence that the risks are priced into stocks.” 1. “The 5-year bull market is long in the tooth” 2. “Everybody’s bullish…Read More

Category: Analysts, Investing, Psychology

Arnott: Rebalancing Still Works

Robert Arnott is Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Research Affiliates, a global leader in smart beta and asset allocation strategies, and one of the originators of fundamental (as opposed to market cap weighted). His models now drive over $100 billion in assets in various funds, and an additional $75 billion at PIMCO. ~~~  …Read More

Category: Analysts, Asset Allocation, Investing, Really, really bad calls

QE & Ultra-low Interest Rates: Distributional Effects + Risks

Source: McKinsey & Company     McKinsey has a new study out on the impacts of QE. I have yet to read the full report (or summary) but the graphic above and excerpt below give you some flavor: The impact that ultra-low interest rates have had on banks has been mixed. They have eroded the…Read More

Category: Analysts, Bailouts, Digital Media, Federal Reserve

USA’s ‘AAA’ Placed on Rating Watch Negative at Fitch

This is why you don’t fuck around with the debt ceiling: “Although Fitch continues to believe that the debt ceiling will be raised soon, the political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a US default.” “Although the Treasury would still have limited capacity to make payments after Oct 17th it would…Read More

Category: Analysts, Credit, Really, really bad calls

Replacing Ratings

Category: Analysts, Think Tank

Kelly Evans Slaps Morgan Stanley’s Adam Parker

Category: Analysts, UnGuru, Video

Reagan’s Million-Jobs Month Revisited

* Sigh.* @TBPInvictus here I see once again that the canard about Reagan’s million-jobs-month is making the rounds: “Reagan’s best job month garnered the very top ranking since WWII with 1,114,000 jobs added in September 1983. A single month with more than a million jobs added. So far Obama can only wish for such a…Read More

Category: Analysts, Cognitive Foibles, Data Analysis, Financial Press, Really, really bad calls

Curse of the Macro Tourists

Scene: Dinner, Monday night Dramatis Personae: party of 8, including Fed staffer, Fund manager, VC, Trader, Media, et. al. (Notably absent were economists of any flavor, though some were present for pre-dinner drinks). Discussion: Post-mortem of Bernanke Q&A at press conference, how & when the Fed unwinds, whether the economy is strong enough to withstand…Read More

Category: Analysts, Apprenticed Investor, Investing, Psychology

Time for an important lesson with someone else picking up the tuition costs: It is the Meredith Whitney story, and it is instructive to those of us who work in finance and occasionally engage the media. Any of you who might think an outrageous call is the way to achieve lasting fame and fortune on…Read More

Category: Analysts, Credit, Really, really bad calls