The Wall Street Examiner » Latest Business Headlines http://wallstreetexaminer.com Get the facts. Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:48:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gold Walks Tightrope http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/06/gold-walks-tightrope/ http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/06/gold-walks-tightrope/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 13:34:57 +0000 http://wallstreetexaminer.com/?p=251744 The 13 week cycle projection has been reached but the cycle indicators are only borderline at best.

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Enter Jeb and Hil http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/06/enter-jeb-and-hil/ http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/06/enter-jeb-and-hil/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 13:14:30 +0000 http://kunstler.com/?p=5708 This is a syndicated repost courtesy of KUNSTLER. To view original, click here.

The Floridian clod seeking to don the mantle of Millard Fillmore made an amazing foreign policy speech at an economic conference in Berlin last week.

Russia must respect the sovereignty of all of its neighbors. And who can doubt that Russia will do what it pleases if its aggression goes unanswered?”

Jeb Bush was averring elliptically to the failed state formerly known as Ukraine, trying to put over the shopworn story that Russia was needlessly making war on its neighbor (and former province).

Bush called for increased clarity on what type of sanctions would be imposed on the country if Prime Minister Vladimir Putin does not back down against a united international front…. ‘I don’t think we should be reacting to bad behavior [Bush said]. By being clear what the consequences of “bad behavior” is in advance, I think we will deter the kind of aggression that we fear from Russia. But always reacting, and giving the sense we’re reacting in a tepid fashion, only enables the bad behavior of Putin.’”

Note, by the way, that here is yet another scion of the Bush clan who was inexplicably brought up speaking Ebonics: “What the consequences… is?” Say what?

Ukraine became a failed state due to a coup d’état engineered by Barack Obama’s state department. US policy wonks did not like the prospect of Ukraine joining Russia’s regional trade group called the Eurasian Customs Union instead of tilting toward NATO and the European Union. So, we paid for and enabled a coalition of crypto-fascists to rout the duly elected president. One of the first acts of the US-backed new regime was to declare punishment of Russian language speakers, and so the predominately Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine revolted. Russia reacted to all this instability by seizing the Crimean peninsula, which had been part of Russia proper both before and through the Soviet chapter of history. The Crimea contained Russia’s only warm water seaports and naval bases. What morons in the US government ever thought Russia would surrender those assets to a newly-failed neighbor state?

Was Vladimir Putin acting irresponsibly in this case? The opposite would be a much more logical conclusion. And what interest does the United States have in Ukraine? Surely no more than Russia would have in Texas. And when else in the entire history of the USA all the way back to George Washington did any government official declare Ukraine to be America’s business? Answer: Never. Reason: we have no legitimate interests in that corner of the world. So why in the early 21st century are we making this such a sore spot in our foreign relations? Because our waning influence in the world, in turn a product of our foolish inattention to our own economic problems and failing polity at home, is driving America batshit crazy.

The rest of the world sees this for exactly what it is, friends, former friends, and adversaries alike. I wonder what the Germans thought of Jeb’s intemperate and idiotic speech. Eyes must have rolled in the meeting hall. After all, Russia is their natural major trading partner. How do US-orchestrated economic sanctions against Russia work in their interest? Answer: they don’t. The Germans have been making a lot of discreet noises the past year about dissociating from America’s stupid program of antagonizing Russia. Perhaps Jeb’s jingoistic utterances in Berlin will finally push them over the line.

Meanwhile, Hillary (no last name required) steps out of the starting gate this week, too, pretending to be the incarnation of Robin Hood, as if she would ever shut down the financial rackets that have at once impoverished the former middle-class and enriched grifter opportunists such as Hillary herself. Her event on Roosevelt Island, New York City, looked like unintentional self-satire, as if it were staged by the late-great director Robert Altman for one of his wacky political movies. Hillary’s handlers missed one touch though: a cape would have gone nicely with that electrifying blue pant-suit. As for the speech itself, a bigger bundle of platitudes and insincerities has not been served up since the heyday of Nixon. As the politicians are so fond of saying these days, make no mistake, Hillary is the New Nixon.

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Wall Street Examiner Disclaimer: The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. I curate these posts on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. No promotional consideration has been offered or accepted. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler and no endorsement of the content so provided is either expressed or implied by our posting the content. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. The Wall Street Examiner is not familiar with the services offered and makes no endorsement or recommendation regarding them. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of third party providers.

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The Dot-Com Crash of 2000-2002 http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/06/the-dot-com-crash-of-2000-2002/ http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/06/the-dot-com-crash-of-2000-2002/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 17:51:36 +0000 http://moneymorning.com/?p=185808 Stock market crash history series No. 2: The dot-com crash of 2000 eviscerated more than $5 trillion in market value between March 2000 and October 2002.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite tumbled 76.81% between its March 10, 2000 high and Oct. 4, 2002 for a whopping 76.81% drop. (The Dow Jones and S&P 500 also suffered, albeit less intensely - down 27.38% and 43.19%, respectively.) The March 10 high wouldn't be seen again for 15 years.

What triggered this massive loss of wealth is one of the most famous bubbles in stock market history...

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The second in Money Morning’s series documenting the greatest Wall Street crashes of all time…

dot com popIn Part 2 of our stock market crash history series, we examine the dot-com crash – a two-year market downturn that eviscerated more than $5 trillion in market value between March 2000 and October 2002.

The dramatic fall of a tech-heavyNasdaq Composite sheds insight into how this stock market crash went down…

From a March 10, 2000, high of 5,048.62, the index tumbled to 1,139.90 on Oct. 4, 2002, for a whopping 76.81% drop. (The Dow Jones and S&P 500 also suffered, albeit less intensely – down 27.38% and 43.19%, respectively.)

dot com crashNasdaq’s March 2000 high wasn’t seen again for 15 years, until the index closed at 5,096 on April 24, 2015.

What triggered this massive loss of wealth is one of the most famous bubbles in stock markethistory: the dot-com bubble of 1997-2000…

Dot-Com Bubble Set Up Dot-Com Crash of 2000-2002

The Internet commercialized in 1995, creating a speculative bubble from 1997 to 2000.

Hype over a new industry caused investors to overlook traditional metrics like the price-to-earnings (PE) ratio, debt/equity ratio, and amount of free cash flow. People quit their jobs to become day traders. Millionaires were made overnight. Companies that barely had business plans went public.

The Nasdaq rose 290% from January 1997 to March 2000. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) became the first “new economy” companies – and the first Nasdaq issuers – to be included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In 1999, 457 companies went public.

When the dot-com crash followed, the IPO trend shifted dramatically:

Number of IPOs by Year
Year # IPOs
1996 677
1997 474
1998 281
1999 477
2000 381
2001 79
2002 66
2003 63

Of the 79 companies that went public in 2001, none doubled on the first day of trading.

According to tech merger and acquisitions analysis firm Webmergers Inc., there were between 7,000 and 10,000 Internet-related companies at the height of the bubble that had received formal funding.

But they failed in droves during the dot-com crash.

9/11’s Role in the Dot-Com Crash

While the dot-com bubble burst caused the crash, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on U.S. soil accelerated it.

The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq closed for four trading sessions (the longest shutdown since 1933) to prevent a total meltdown, but the event still rocked markets.

On Sept. 17, 2001, markets reopened. The Dow Jones fell 7.13% (684 points) — the record for the largest percent loss and third-largest point loss in one trading day in its history. The Dow lost 14% that week — the NYSE’s biggest-ever weekly loss. The S&P fell 11.6%, and an estimated $1.4 trillion in value was lost in those five days of trading.

“At least 4,854 Internet companies have either been acquired or have shut down in the three years since the dot com investment boom peaked in Q1 of 2000,” the March 2003 report read.  “As measured in total companies affected, Internet destinations (Web sites that offer content or e-commerce services) accounted for most of the activity, seeing 1,483 acquisitions and a whopping additional 608 failures in the three-year period.”

The report added that Internet infrastructure companies saw 1,761 acquisitions and 196 shutdowns from 2000 to 2003. Internet-related consulting firms and providers of Internet access services accounted for the remaining transactions and casualties.

Despite the failures, some companies notably survived. For example, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) lost 86% of its share price, but made it. And a rare few, like Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL), and eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY), weathered the storm – shares are now worth upwards of 3,000% more than they were in their dot-com bubble days.

Memories of the dot-com bubble kept investors away from new web-based businesses long into the 2000s. But the runaway popularity of companies like Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) have lured them back…

The dot-com crash of 2000-2002 is the second in our series of the greatest stock market crashes in U.S. history the first covered the Stock Market Crash of 1929, here.

Stay tuned to www.MoneyMorning.com for our next installment, and tweet the author@TaraKateClarke with any comments.

Who to Blame for 2008: The 2008-2009 U.S. stock market crash was the worst since the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 54% in 17 months. Many Americans suffered heavy losses in the stock market. Millions lost their jobs. And these 10 people are the most responsible for causing the crisis…

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Disclaimer: © 2015 Money Morning and Money Map Press. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including the world wide web), of content from this webpage, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Money Morning. 16 W. Madison St. Baltimore, MD, 21201.

 

The post The Dot-Com Crash of 2000-2002 appeared first on Money Morning

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Wall Street Examiner Disclaimer: The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. I curate these posts on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. No promotional consideration has been offered or accepted. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler and no endorsement of the content so provided is either expressed or implied by our posting the content. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. The Wall Street Examiner is not familiar with the services offered and makes no endorsement or recommendation regarding them. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of third party providers.

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Here’s The Ugly and Scary Reality Facing Greece and the Eurozone http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/heres-the-ugly-and-scary-reality-facing-greece-and-the-eurozone/ http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/heres-the-ugly-and-scary-reality-facing-greece-and-the-eurozone/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 20:07:43 +0000 http://moneymorning.com/?p=184929 The financial news today is abuzz with headlines about the Greek debt crisis.

The biggest development came with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde being quoted as saying that "a Greek exit is a possibility," adding the IMF to the chorus of Greek creditors who have raising the stakes on a possible "Grexit."

But here's what's getting lost in that conversation...

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About Money Morning: Money Morning gives you access to a team of ten market experts with more than 250 years of combined investing experience – for free. Our experts – who have appeared on FOXBusiness, CNBC, NPR, and BloombergTV – deliver daily investing tips and stock picks, provide analysis with actions to take, and answer your biggest market questions. Our goal is to help our millions of e-newsletter subscribers and Moneymorning.com visitors become smarter, more confident investors.

Disclaimer: © 2015 Money Morning and Money Map Press. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including the world wide web), of content from this webpage, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Money Morning. 16 W. Madison St. Baltimore, MD, 21201.

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Financial news today is abuzz with headlines about the Greek debt crisis.

The biggest development came last night (Thursday) with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde quoted as saying a Greek exit is a “possibility,” adding the IMF to the chorus of Greek creditors who have been raising the stakes on a possible “Grexit.”

financial news todayIt blew up headlines in the financial news today. She since denied having said it.

But even if she had, it wouldn’t be that scandalous. What makes it so tantalizing is the fact that it would be coming from so high up in the chain of international financial officials trying to clean up the Greek mess.

The conversation on Greece has changed dramatically over the last five years.

In 2010 when former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was helping negotiate the initial Greek bailouts, the question wasn’t whether Greece would be unable to pay the bailout loans, but whether the moral hazard implications of bailing out a profligate spender would be worth forking over the €110 billion ($120.8 billion).

It essentially became akin to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) debate in the United States.

In 2012 Greek elections, when the Syriza party first crashed onto the scene as the anti-status quo, leftist force looking to reject internationally imposed austerity measures attached to bailout loans, they were seen as a fringe group.

Then, when the financial news headlines talked about a Grexit, it wasn’t about Greece being unable to pay its debts. Rather, it was about whether Greece would actually listen to the Syriza party, reject the bailout package, and default – all as the European Union and IMF held out this lifeline.

A lot has changed since then…

What Eurozone Financial News Today Is Missing

The Greek public voted for that fringe leftist group in January 2015, unlike in the summer of 2012.

The Greek public isn’t as receptive to bailout packages with austerity conditionality, but has become a lot more receptive to the Syriza party’s message that austerity has been impoverishing the Greek people.

The EU and the IMF are no longer willingly throwing Greece a lifeline. German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this year appeared more open to a Grexit than she did in 2012.

And now, even the IMF chief is – allegedly – floating the possibility, despite that very organization helping underwrite those toxic bailout loans in the first place.

A Greek default won’t come because Greece decided it didn’t want to pay its debts. It will come because the strategy of loading Greece down with more debt to pay off its existing debt was unsustainable in the first place.

Michael Hudson, economist and research professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, articulated it best when he said, “debts that can’t be repaid, won’t.” It rings truer here more than ever.

“One way or another, there will be defaults – unless debts are paid in an illusory fashion, simply by adding the interest charges onto the debt balance until the sums finally grow to so fictitious a magnitude that the illusion of viability has to be dropped,” Hudson wrote in a 2012 paper.

Greece is at the point where the debt has grown “to so fictitious a magnitude…”

This back-and-forth between Greece and its creditors to unlock another €7.2 billion ($7.9 billion) in bailout loans – to be disbursed once Greece takes the necessary measures to rein in its public debts – is a sideshow.

Interestingly enough, a lot of speculators picked up on this back in 2010 when the bailout talks began, as current Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis wrote in his 2013 book, The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the Future of the Global Economy, before he was even a part of the Greek political sphere.

Varoufakis wrote that following the initial 2010 bailout loan to Greece, the price of credit default swaps – a derivatives contract that insures debt payments in the event of a default – for Greek debt skyrocketed.

This was because CDS buyers were “understandably unconvinced that tossing new, expensive loans to an insolvent government that was presiding over an economy in deep recession would somehow magically render it solvent.”

The CDS traders ended up being right. The debt burden on Greece did lead to a 50% writedown in 2012. Even while the International Swaps and Derivatives Association said in 2011that the writedown wouldn’t trigger a “credit event” and subsequent CDS payout, it ultimately did in May 2012.

On the national stage, Varoufakis will tout the “productive” talks he’s had with the Eurogroup in trying to negotiate that last tranche of the bailout loan. Meanwhile, his previous writings and campaign rhetoric suggest that he’s firmly of the belief that the Greek debt will need a writedown, if not an all-out default.

And similarly, while Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he’s willing to privatize public Greek assets and pursue an austerity agenda to his creditors, he makes contradictory promises to raise wages and swell the public sector employment rolls to his people.

Bottom Line: Greece will either default or exit the euro and then default. The EU and the IMF may be under the delusion that “tossing new, expensive loans to an insolvent government that was presiding over an economy in deep recession would somehow magically render it solvent,” as Varoufakis wrote in his book, but debts can grow to a point “to so fictitious a magnitude that the illusion of viability has to be dropped.” LaGarde’s alleged statements found in the financial news today that a Greek exit is a “possibility” only further confirm what was already known – Greece can’t pay back its debts and will default.

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About Money Morning: Money Morning gives you access to a team of ten market experts with more than 250 years of combined investing experience – for free. Our experts – who have appeared on FOXBusiness, CNBC, NPR, and BloombergTV – deliver daily investing tips and stock picks, provide analysis with actions to take, and answer your biggest market questions. Our goal is to help our millions of e-newsletter subscribers and Moneymorning.com visitors become smarter, more confident investors.

Disclaimer: © 2015 Money Morning and Money Map Press. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including the world wide web), of content from this webpage, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Money Morning. 16 W. Madison St. Baltimore, MD, 21201.

 

The post Financial News Today Ignores the Reality Facing Greece and the Eurozone appeared first on Money Morning

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Wall Street Examiner Disclaimer: The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. I curate these posts on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. No promotional consideration has been offered or accepted. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler and no endorsement of the content so provided is either expressed or implied by our posting the content. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. The Wall Street Examiner is not familiar with the services offered and makes no endorsement or recommendation regarding them. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of third party providers.

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WARNING: The June Obamacare Ruling Will Impact Millions in These States http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/warning-the-june-obamacare-ruling-will-impact-millions-in-these-states/ http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/warning-the-june-obamacare-ruling-will-impact-millions-in-these-states/#comments Fri, 29 May 2015 17:00:22 +0000 http://moneymorning.com/?p=184908 This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning - We Make Investing Profitable. To view original, click here.

By the end of June, more than 7.5 million Americans could see their Obamacare premiums skyrocket.

That’s when the Supreme Court is expected to rule on King v. Burwell. It’s an Obamacare ruling that asserts that Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies only apply to citizens who purchased their insurance over a state-run exchange.

You see, many states do not offer state-run exchanges. More than 20 states – including Texas and Florida – boycotted the exchanges. Individuals in those states had to rely on federal exchanges.

King v. Burwell wants to invalidate those subsidies.

Here are the top 10 states that could see the most people impacted by this decision:

Obamacare rulingAnd those people who lose their subsidies will see their premiums skyrocket.

That’s why Money Morning’s Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald has termed the decision the Obamacare “nightmare” event.

If it’s determined the subsidies don’t apply, millions of healthy Americans will forego insurance entirely.

“Capitalism being what it is, those same higher prices will, in turn, drive out larger numbers of healthy people, until only the sickest, oldest Americans are left,” Fitz-Gerald said. “When you hear the words, ‘death spiral’ and ‘health insurance’ in the same sentence, this is what they’re talking about.”

“It’s the nightmare scenario, and it’s only held off so far because the incentives and penalties have forced millions of healthy people to join the exchanges and help pull down costs.”

Here’s a look at the top 10 states where the average person impacted will see their premiums rise the most:

ObamacareBut you don’t have to panic from this nightmare scenario. In fact, there’s a way you can still profit from it…

How to Profit from the Obamacare Ruling

The Obamacare ruling won’t just impact individuals.

Before Obamacare, hospitals provided $41 billion in uncompensated care from their emergency rooms. But now that millions of new Americans are receiving subsidized insurance, these hospitals are shelling out much less money.

Insurance companies have benefitted too from the flood of new customers.

If the nightmare scenario comes to fruition, we could see a major slump in healthcare stocks. And that would create what Fitz-Gerald describes as a “legendary buying opportunity.”

Read the rest of this post at Money Morning. . View original post.

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About Money Morning: Money Morning gives you access to a team of ten market experts with more than 250 years of combined investing experience – for free. Our experts – who have appeared on FOXBusiness, CNBC, NPR, and BloombergTV – deliver daily investing tips and stock picks, provide analysis with actions to take, and answer your biggest market questions. Our goal is to help our millions of e-newsletter subscribers and Moneymorning.com visitors become smarter, more confident investors.

Disclaimer: © 2015 Money Morning and Money Map Press. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including the world wide web), of content from this webpage, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Money Morning. 16 W. Madison St. Baltimore, MD, 21201.

 

The post WARNING: The June Obamacare Ruling Will Impact Millions in These States appeared first on Money Morning

Reposted with permission.

Wall Street Examiner Disclaimer: The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. I curate these posts on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. No promotional consideration has been offered or accepted. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler and no endorsement of the content so provided is either expressed or implied by our posting the content. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. The Wall Street Examiner is not familiar with the services offered and makes no endorsement or recommendation regarding them. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of third party providers.

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning - We Make Investing Profitable. To view original, click here.

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The Austerity Howlers Strike Again—More Rubbish From Bloomberg http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/the-austerity-howlers-strike-again-more-rubbish-from-bloomberg/ http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/the-austerity-howlers-strike-again-more-rubbish-from-bloomberg/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 21:57:44 +0000 http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/?p=54380 This is a syndicated repost courtesy of David Stockman's Contra Corner » Stockman’s Corner. To view original, click here.

Bloomberg’s terminal business takes in approximately $7 billion annually—-of which upwards of $5 billion is variable profit. For whatever reason, the organization chooses to waste large amounts of that on Bloomberg News, Bloomberg Television, Bloomberg View, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and a variety similar dubious news and media operations.

But thank heavens for Bloomberg’s perpetual wastathon. It provides employment and a forum for an army of the stupidest and laziest journalists in the financial world. On any given day you can count on them to reduce the Washington/Wall Street policy line to its most specious, primitive and refutable formulation.

So it is today that one Peter Gosselin explains that the struggling U.S. recovery was all due to a spree of misguided “austerity”:

The U.S. is paying a big price in growth, jobs and wages by practicing the kind of fiscal austerity that it criticizes European nations for pursuing.

If you think Gosselin is writing for the Onion you would be wrong. He means this with a straight face:

 federal, state and local governments were cutting taxes, increasing spending and expanding hiring as they did during all but one recovery since World War II, the economy would be growing 3 percent a year rather than slightly over 2 percent, the average of the past six years, according to a Bloomberg analysis of data.

Let’s see. Before we get to the issue of fiscal stimulus efficacy and long-run costs, it might be worth refuting the startling notion that since the financial crisis we have not had enough stimulus to shake a stick at.

In fact, on the eve of the Great Recession the public debt was $9.2 trillion and since then it has doubled to $18.3 trillion.  That’s right. During the last 89 months of recession fighting, Uncle Sam has incurred more debt than had every Congress since George Washington’s inaugural, and that encompasses every war and every recession during the course of 219 years!

Yes, a dollar is not worth what it used to be, and those are nominal debt dollars that have been doubled during this period of alleged fiscal “austerity”. Yet put it relative to GDP and you get the same picture. The public debt grew by 40 percentage points of GDP during the most recent cycle—–far more than during any previous episode.

Gosselin sites the 1961-1969 expansion in particular as an exemplar of how it used to be done in earlier purportedly more enlightened times. Well, that’s not even remotely the case. The Federal budget was close to balance during most of those years and for the nine year period as a whole, the deficit averaged just 0.9% of GDP. That compares to 7.1% during the current cycle.

As it turns out, Gosselin is not even measuring fiscal stimulus correctly—-just throwing some multi-colored Bloomberg charts against the wall. The chart below from this morning’s Bloomberg post actually reflects the government consumption and investment component of GDP. The latter, however, excludes the overwhelming bulk of government spending—which goes to transfer payments—-and has nothing to do with deficit stimulus, anyway. It most certainly is not a measure of real gains in societal wealth and welfare.

GRAPHIC: Government Spending Previously Added Growth

It is quite literally the case that if the US government had a $3 trillion program to put people to work digging holes with tablespoons and filling them back up with teaspoons, it would compute out as a 17% gain in GDP compared to current levels.

So by the lights of the geniuses at Bloomberg, its all real simple. Washington just needs to hit the “spoon ready” button.

Furthermore, Bloomberg might have looked into what it wished for. Nearly half of the contribution by the government sector to GDP growth during the 1961-1969 period highlighted in its graph was due to defense spending. Do you recall a disaster during that period called Vietnam?

Apparently Gosselin doesn’t. All Obama would need to do is put 500,000 American boots on the ground in the killing fields of the middle east and the negative 0.23% contribution shown in red for the 2009 to present bar would disappear in a heart-beat.

In a similar manner, the Bloomberg “study” summarized below purports to show that the current tepid jobs recovery is due to lack of growth in the government payroll. Right, we should add several million people to the payroll of the IRS, the EPA, the Census Bureau, the TSA, the National Endowment for Arts and the US Army and we would have a rip-roaring gain in our national standard of living.

GRAPHIC: No Boost From Government Hiring

Self-evidently, government payrolls do not add to national wealth; apart from rare exceptions, they consume it. Even then, however, the story doesn’t hold up even in a Keynesian framework. That’s because the above chart takes no account of the historic trend or the arbitrary manner by which government payrolls are counted.

To wit, if you are getting treated in a VA hospital your doctor and nurses are government employees. If you are getting the same care via the $1 trillion being spent this year on Medicare and Medicaid, they are not. And newsflash to Bloomberg: Both kinds of spending dollars end up via different computational routes in the GDP accounts, even if neither really adds to national production and wealth.

So the Bloomberg job contribution chart is pointless drivel. During the 1960s government payrolls soared because the baby boom was going to public sector schools. Now the baby boom generation is beginning to pull big time fiscal stimulus into the U.S, economy via health care and transfer payment spending, but virtually none of the $2.6 trillion government tab for social transfer shows up in the government payroll data.

In fact, the Keynesian smoke blowers at Bloomberg have it exactly upside down, as dramatized in the two charts below. The first shows that government payrolls nearly tripled between 1960 and 2007, but that explosion of government employment had little to do with the seven business cycles during the period. It was overwhelmingly caused by demographics, and the year-in and year-out expansion of Big Government.

Even if the flattering out since 2007 is a statistical illusion—- because most of the massive fiscal stimulus since then has been contracted out to private sector vendors—–what’s wrong with finally halting the expansion of wealth consuming public jobs? Bloomberg is suffering from an advanced case of Keynesian paint-by-the-numbers stupidity.

On the other hand, social transfer spending has soared. During the alleged period of fiscal austerity since 2007, government transfer payments have increased by $850 billion or 50%.

Now that’s what you call stimulus! On the margin, nearly every dollar of that huge increase in consumption unsupported by production was borrowed first, and then eventually monetized by the Fed. Indeed, the $3.5 trillion gain in the Fed’s balance sheet since August 2008 is the real measure of the policy stimulus that has actually occurred.

At the end of the day, this pitifully stupid Bloomberg “study” amounts to saying that huge deficits can never be reduced or it will amount to the sin of “austerity”. And, further, that when you monetize trillions of government stimulus with central bank credits conjured from thin air, it doesn’t even count as “stimulus”.

It doesn’t take too much thought to demonstrate that the Keynesian model is rubbish. Nor is it a mystery as to how Bloomberg achieves $5 billion in profits from its ubiquitous terminals. Approximately 95 percent of the traders and financial gamblers who inhabit the world’s casinos today owe their lucrative craft to the drastic financialization fostered by the central bank. In an honest free market based on sound money they would actually be producing something—-perhaps in a coal mine or tile factory.

At the end of the day, the mighty Bloomberg empire is an accident the money printers built. Still, thank heavens for Bloomberg News. It has so much money to waste that it has actually gone into biting the hand that feeds it.

Attached is its latest rubbish it has assembled toward that very end.

 

Wall Street Examiner Disclaimer: The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. I curate these posts on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. No promotional consideration has been offered or accepted. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler and no endorsement of the content so provided is either expressed or implied by our posting the content. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. The Wall Street Examiner is not familiar with the services offered and makes no endorsement or recommendation regarding them. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of third party providers.

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Are Venture Capitalists Pumping Air Into a Social Media Tech Bubble? http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/are-venture-capitalists-pumping-air-into-a-social-media-tech-bubble/ http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/are-venture-capitalists-pumping-air-into-a-social-media-tech-bubble/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 19:45:58 +0000 http://moneymorning.com/?p=184792 When asked on Varney & Co if we're looking at a tech bubble, Shah makes an important distinction between privately-held social media valuations and technology in general when responding...

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When asked on Varney & Co if we’re looking at a tech bubble, Shah makes an important distinction between privately-held social media valuations and technology in general when responding…

To get full access to all Money Morning content, click here

About Money Morning: Money Morning gives you access to a team of ten market experts with more than 250 years of combined investing experience – for free. Our experts – who have appeared on FOXBusiness, CNBC, NPR, and BloombergTV – deliver daily investing tips and stock picks, provide analysis with actions to take, and answer your biggest market questions. Our goal is to help our millions of e-newsletter subscribers and Moneymorning.com visitors become smarter, more confident investors.

Disclaimer: © 2015 Money Morning and Money Map Press. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including the world wide web), of content from this webpage, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Money Morning. 16 W. Madison St. Baltimore, MD, 21201.

The post Are Venture Capitalists Pumping Air Into a Social Media Tech Bubble? appeared first on Money Morning

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Wall Street Examiner Disclaimer: The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. I curate these posts on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. No promotional consideration has been offered or accepted. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler and no endorsement of the content so provided is either expressed or implied by our posting the content. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. The Wall Street Examiner is not familiar with the services offered and makes no endorsement or recommendation regarding them. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of third party providers.

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Deposits Flee Greece – No ELA Increase Coming http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/deposits-flee-greece-no-ela-increase-coming/ http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/deposits-flee-greece-no-ela-increase-coming/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 17:27:00 +0000 http://wallstreetexaminer.com/?guid=bd11b32bf6de2e80c68fb9f63a3b28ca This is a syndicated repost courtesy of True Economics. To view original, click here.

Three quick updates to my earlier post on things getting crunch-time(y) in Greece:

Firstly, the U.S. is stepping up its pressure on the European ‘leadership’ to take Greek risks more seriously: U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew : “My concern is not the good will of the parties — I don’t think anyone wants this to blow up — but … a miscalculation could lead to a crisis that would be potentially very damaging”. Talks are going to be toasty at G7 summit and this time around not down to Vladimir Putin.

Secondly, as I said in the earlier post, we have EUR3 billion cushion left when it comes to Greek banks ELA and increases in ELA approvals by the ECB are getting smaller by week. So here’s the bad news: “Greek banks have seen deposit outflows accelerate over the past week as fears rise that the euro zone country will default on debt, two banking sources said on Wednesday.” This is via Reuters. Remember, last hike in ELA was EUR200 million. And today, ECB decided not to increase ELA limit – a sign that Frankfurt is getting edgy. Guess what: “The past week in May was more challenging compared to the previous ones in the month, with daily outflows of 200 to 300 million euros in the last few days,” a senior Greek banker said. This might be mild after outflows of EUR12.5 billion in January and EUR7.57 billion in February, but the latest increase in outflows is coming on foot of already weak deposits and signals renewed increase in pressures. Outflows are up in April to ca EUR5 billion from EUR1.91 billion in March.

Thirdly, we now have rumours of real capital controls coming in: Athens introduced a ‘small charge’ on ATM withdrawals. Despite this glaringly ‘capital control’-like measure, Athens subsequently said it has ruled out capital controls. But, two days ago, Greek opposition lawmaker Dora Bakoyianni said “the country could be forced into capital controls to stem deposit outflows if it did not reach a deal for aid with the government this week”. And on May 20, Moody’s issued a statement saying that capital controls in Greece are now “highly likely”.

and CDS markets are not impressed, again…

Though the bond markets are actually pricing in continued ECB ‘cooperation’ – across all of the euro area peripherals:

The Euro Saga continues…

Wall Street Examiner Disclaimer: The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. I curate these posts on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. No promotional consideration has been offered or accepted. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler and no endorsement of the content so provided is either expressed or implied by our posting the content. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. The Wall Street Examiner is not familiar with the services offered and makes no endorsement or recommendation regarding them. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of third party providers.

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of True Economics. To view original, click here.

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Russian Economy: Weaker April Signals Renewed Risks http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/russian-economy-weaker-april-signals-renewed-risks/ http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/russian-economy-weaker-april-signals-renewed-risks/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 11:20:00 +0000 http://wallstreetexaminer.com/?guid=535d4adcdbbedeb844423423a0ed7a17 This is a syndicated repost courtesy of True Economics. To view original, click here.

When I remarked recently on some less negative than expected developments in Russian economy over Q1 2015, I noted that these were fragile signs of potential stabilisation and that the risks remain to the downside. April industrial production appears to signal the same. April industrial production numbers are down 4.5% y/y and manufacturing is down 7% – the rates of decline that are significantly sharper than recovered over 1Q.Remember that Russian GDP fell 1.9% in 1Q 2015 y/y, based on preliminary estimates – a decline that is shallower than what was expected by the analysts. Overall output (GDP at factor cost) fell slightly more sharply – by 2.3% over the same time, while domestic demand (Consumption + Investment) fell at just under 7%. The gap between output and domestic demand declines can be in part explained by imports substitution going on across a number of sectors, such as food, agriculture, industry and manufacturing, plus improved trade volumes also driven by ruble devaluation.

The decline in industrial production and manufacturing signals a feed through from collapsing investment to production sectors, as well as continued weakness in consumption and strengthening of the ruble. More significantly, ruble firming up is not helping imports substitution-driven demand. CBR has now returned to buying forex and selling ruble in order to, both, increase its reserves and also sustain lower ruble. Higher ruble valuations hurt fiscal balance and at the same time inducing weaker external balances. As the result, CBR is now regularly purchasing USD100-200 million daily and is raising cost on banks’ access to repo facilities.

All in – just another reminder that the Russian economy is not out of the woods yet. For all the positive developments in recent months, the situation remains fragile and structural drivers for growth are still lacking, so any recovery, if sustained, will have to come from either external demand factors (oil prices, commodities prices, etc) and/or imports substitution effect supported by lower CBR rates.

Wall Street Examiner Disclaimer: The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. I curate these posts on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. No promotional consideration has been offered or accepted. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler and no endorsement of the content so provided is either expressed or implied by our posting the content. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. The Wall Street Examiner is not familiar with the services offered and makes no endorsement or recommendation regarding them. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of third party providers.

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of True Economics. To view original, click here.

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Wall Street R.I.P——The Bubble Is Dying At The Zero Bound http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/wall-street-r-i-p-the-bubble-is-dying-at-the-zero-bound/ http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2015/05/wall-street-r-i-p-the-bubble-is-dying-at-the-zero-bound/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 20:58:05 +0000 http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/?p=53536 This is a syndicated repost courtesy of David Stockman's Contra Corner » Stockman’s Corner. To view original, click here.

If any evidence was needed that the market is dying at the zero bound, it came in yesterday’s violent 15-minute rip when the algos read the Fed’s release to mean there will be no rate hike in June. It put you in mind of monetary rigor mortis——the last spasm of something that’s already dead but doesn’t known it.

Certainly the sell-side talking heads are clueless in their utterly mendacious patter that there is no bubble in stocks. Why, valuations are are in-line with historic multiples, we are told, and, besides, the Fed will keep interest rates low for long.

That kind of assurance is at once fatuous and reckless. With the earliest possible “lift-off” date now moved to September, money market interest rates will have been pinned to the zero bound for 81 months running. Do these lemmings actually think this can go on much longer—-to say 90 or 100 months—- without signaling a complete capitulation of the Fed to the robo-traders?

Likewise, have they failed to note that the casino is saturated with trillions of carry-trades which will begin to unwind once interest rate normalization commences?

When have speculators ever retreated in an orderly manner, and, most especially, why is the current even greater financial bubble going to deflate any less violently than did the dotcom in 2000 and the housing/Wall Street bubble in 2008?

That is, after years of buying with borrowed money, repo or options, Wall Street gamblers will soon be forced to sell in order to liquidate positions that will become increasingly unprofitable as interest rates rise. Indeed, negative carry as far as the eye can see is now a virtual certainty.

Besides that, why would any rational investor roll the dice until the very last minute when valuations are already sky high, and therefore extremely vulnerable to a drastic downward re-rating? According to the Wall Street Journal’s latest calculations, the LTM reported earnings of the S&P 500 companies were $99/share.

That’s notable because: 1) its down 6% from the LTM peak of $106 reported in the September 2014 quarter; 2) unlike the “ex-items” hokum peddled by the street, it’s an honest measure of earnings because the GAAP accounting is certified to the SEC by corporate executives on penalty of jail; and 3) its means that the PE multiple on today closing price is about  21.5X, thereby occupying the nosebleed section of recorded history.

And that’s not the half of it. Just as you can drown in a river with an average depth of two feet, average PE multiples can also obscure the deep eddy currents hidden in the popular stock indices.

That’s why the chart below is dispositive. Unlike the usual sell-side fare, it examines the median PE multiple, not the weighted average, for the thousands of stocks listed on the NYSE. In a word, the valuation level has never been higher since 1950; and the 21X shown in the chart is actually nearly 23X based on 10% market gain since June 2014.

And this gets to the crux of the matter. Even if the argument that PE multiples are in line with history were true, which it most definitely is not, the point is still bogus. That’s because capitalization rates on corporate earnings should be going down, not up, in a world in which sustainable trend-line growth has virtually disappeared; where profit margins are at off-the charts historic highs and heading for a reversion to the mean; and where interest rates can only trend upward on a secular basis after an unprecedented, nay historically freakish, 35 years of deflation.

And notwithstanding all of the recent arm-waving about the need for double-pumping the seasonal adjustments of the punk GDP results for Q1, the trend performance of the macro fundamentals is just plain terrible. For instance, the growth rate of real final sales during the seven years since the pre-crisis peak has been an anemic 1.1%. That compares to 2.5% during the post-2000 seven-year cycle, and 3.5% during the half century after 1950.

Sooner or later you can’t squeeze more profits from a stone cold economy.So why should earnings be valued at an all time high when the US economy is now growing at just one-third of its historic rate?

Likewise, on the eve of the crisis in December 2007, the BLS reported 138.4 million payroll jobs. Last month the number was just 141.4 million, meaning that only 3 million net jobs have been created over the last 88 months. Again, that compares to 6 million new jobs in the comparable period after the 2000 peak and 13 million in the seven years after 1990.

Moreover, not only is the job growth rate deflating faster than Tom Brady’s football—–that is to 34,000 per month in the current so-called recovery cycle compared to 70,000 and 155,000 per month in the previous two cycles, respectively—-but the compositional quality has been heading south even faster.

To wit, the US economy has actually shed 2 million full-time, higher paying “breadwinner” since December 2007—-down from 72 million to just 70 million in the April report. Accordingly, the net 3 million gain in the total payroll count is entirely attributable to a 2 million pickup in the part time economy—restaurant’s, bars, retail and  personal services—-and a 3 million gain in the fiscally dependent HES Complex (health, education and social services).

Breadwinner Economy Jobs - Click to enlarge

Nor are nosebleed PE multiples compatible with the feeble trend of investment in real plant and equipment. The gross rate of investment since the pre-crisis peak is less than 1% per annum; and the net rate, after depreciation, is still 20% below its 1999 level!

So there is one thing alone which is keeping the market levitated at today’s egregiously inflated levels. Namely, the Fed induced spasms of the few remaining robo-machines in the casino that have not yet been unplugged. At the moment, they continue to chop away on life support each time the Fed cops out for still one more meeting.

At length, however, even the monetary politburo will run out of excuses and deceptions. When the juice stops and the last machines go quiet, of course, there will be pandemonium in the casino, and here’s why.

The Great Financial Bubble dying at the zero bound has been inflating with just three interruptions——1987, 2000 and 2008-09—for the last 33 years. As a result, the market value of stocks, bonds and other debts have simply become decoupled from national income.

At 2X GDP in 1981, the financial market was valued at its multi-decade trend level. Since then, the market value of corporate equities has risen 17X and debt outstanding is up by 20X.

Accordingly, financial markets today are capitalized at 5X national income. That’s an elephantine bubble by any other name. And that’s why market spasms like yesterday’s 15-minute rip do indeed signify that monetary rigor mortis is rapidly setting in.

Corporate Equities and GDP - Click to enlarge

 

Total Marketable Securities and GDP - Click to enlarge

Wall Street Examiner Disclaimer: The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. I curate these posts on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. No promotional consideration has been offered or accepted. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler and no endorsement of the content so provided is either expressed or implied by our posting the content. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. The Wall Street Examiner is not familiar with the services offered and makes no endorsement or recommendation regarding them. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of third party providers.

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of David Stockman's Contra Corner » Stockman’s Corner. To view original, click here.

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