Posts filed under “Analysts”

Italy Downgraded: Credit Rating Lowered By S & P

Italy Downgraded by S& P

S&P just downgraded Italy’s credit.

I’ve been warning about Italy since 2008.

The Problem Will Spread Because NONE of the Fundamental Problems Have Been Fixed

None of the fundamental economic problems in Italy or Europe or anywhere else have been addressed … let alone fixed. So the problem will only spread.

Fraud largely caused Italy’s – and Europe’s, and the entire world’s – financial problems.

And as I’ve noted since 2008, shifting the banks’ fraudulent debts onto the nations’ balance sheets only leads to national crises:

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is often called the “central banks’ central bank”, as it coordinates transactions between central banks.

BIS points out in a new report that the bank rescue packages have transferred significant risks onto government balance sheets, which is reflected in the corresponding widening of sovereign credit default swaps:

The scope and magnitude of the bank rescue packages also meant that significant risks had been transferred onto government balance sheets. This was particularly apparent in the market for CDS referencing sovereigns involved either in large individual bank rescues or in broad-based support packages for the financial sector, including the United States. While such CDS were thinly traded prior to the announced rescue packages, spreads widened suddenly on increased demand for credit protection, while corresponding financial sector spreads tightened.

In other words, by assuming huge portions of the risk from banks trading in toxic derivatives, and by spending trillions that they don’t have, central banks have put their countries at risk from default.

As I wrote in July:

A study of 124 banking crises by the International Monetary Fund found that propping banks which are only pretending to be solvent hurts the economy:

Existing empirical research has shown that providing assistance to banks and their borrowers can be counterproductive, resulting in increased losses to banks, which often abuse forbearance to take unproductive risks at government expense. The typical result of forbearance is a deeper hole in the net worth of banks, crippling tax burdens to finance bank bailouts, and even more severe credit supply contraction and economic decline than would have occurred in the absence of forbearance.

Cross-country analysis to date also shows that accommodative policy measures (such as substantial liquidity support, explicit government guarantee on financial institutions’ liabilities and forbearance from prudential regulations) tend to be fiscally costly and that these particular policies do not necessarily accelerate the speed of economic recovery.

***

All too often, central banks privilege stability over cost in the heat of the containment phase: if so, they may too liberally extend loans to an illiquid bank which is almost certain to prove insolvent anyway. Also, closure of a nonviable bank is often delayed for too long, even when there are clear signs of insolvency (Lindgren, 2003). Since bank closures face many obstacles, there is a tendency to rely instead on blanket government guarantees which, if the government’s fiscal and political position makes them credible, can work albeit at the cost of placing the burden on the budget, typically squeezing future provision of needed public services.

Now, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and many other European countries – as well as the U.S. and Japan – are facing serious debt crises. We are no longer wealthy enough to keep bailing out the bloated banks.

Category: Analysts, Bailouts, Credit, Think Tank

WP: Market Action a ‘Conversation’ Between Investors

> My Sunday Business Washington Post column is out. This morning, we look at earnings, analysts forecasting track record, and what that means for stock valuations if we have a recession. I actually like both headlines today: The online version is Market action a ‘conversation’ between investors very much sums up a philosophical view I…Read More

Category: Analysts, Apprenticed Investor, Earnings, Valuation

S&P Insider Trading: A Wink & a Nod to Bond Funds

“Wow, that was a sobering meeting.” -Western Asset Management, Stephen Walsh, CIO > Did S&P leak US credit downgrade info to specific bond firms in advance of it occurring? That is the subject of a WSJ article today, and should be a question the SEC is investigating: “Standard & Poor’s Corp. officials held private meetings…Read More

Category: Analysts, Credit, Legal

FBR’s Paul Miller, Banking’s Latest Cheerleader

Today’s Dick Bove wannabe is the once respected Paul Miller of FBR Capital Markets & Co. In a note to clients that revealed a stunning ignorance of fiduciary and legal obligations, Miller said FHA, FHFA, and GSEs were “acting in their own self-interest as opposed to that of the broader U.S. economy.” The details of…Read More

Category: Analysts, Bailouts, Really, really bad calls

Housing’s Big Chill

I always laugh whenever I hear anyone say eejit hack claim “No one saw it coming!” This video — featuring a thinner, less gray version of your humble blogger — discussing the coming housing storm in 2005 gives lie to that claim. The advice: Sell banks, Sell Home Builders, Sell Home Depot and Lowes. Video…Read More

Category: Analysts, Credit, Real Estate, Short Selling

The Idiot’s Guide to the S&P Credit Downgrade

From Visible: UPDATED! > Click To Enlarge Infographic: Source: The Idiot’s Guide to the S&P Credit Downgrade Visible, August 17, 2011

Category: Analysts, Digital Media

The 2012 Crystal Ball

Slap your best-guess multiple (trend growth?, slow growth?, no growth? contraction?) on 2012 EPS estimates and decide for yourself where fair value is for the S&P.  Of course, beware Farrell’s Rule #9.  Set an alert to revisit this post one year hence. >

Category: Analysts, Cycles, Data Analysis, Earnings, Economy, Markets

The Punditry Chronicles

Forecasting is a rough gig that often confounds even those who do it for a living and generally do it well. Situational awareness (see e.g., this and this), on the other hand, is all about knowing “what you need to know not to be surprised,” and having “the ability to maintain a constant, clear mental…Read More

Category: Analysts, Contrary Indicators, Really, really bad calls, Research

An excuse for slashing entitlements

Opinion: An excuse for slashing entitlements Matt Stoller August 9, 2011 06:37 AM EDT Politico.com ~~~ With all the talk of Standard & Poor’s downgrade, no one mentioned that the ratings agency’s business model is, essentially, lying for money. Instead, many politicians insist that the S&P downgrade is the reason for the market turmoil —…Read More

Category: Analysts, Politics

Two Headed Monster

Hat tip Mike R

Category: Analysts, Credit, Humor