because the term "healthy" is only a relative comparison to the really sick. Our healthy institutions are insolvent, just not as insolvent as our sick ones.
I think they're too late with all of this. The damage has been done to the real economy. Earnings are going to be grotesque. Follow that with layoffs, the worst Christmas shopping season EVER, and next year is looking pretty bleak.
They keep attacking what has already happened and not what is going to happen. The first 15% drop in housing almost took the whole economic infrastructure of the world down (still might actually). Now what in the hell do they plan to do for the next 20% of declines?
The biggest challenge I see for us is misallocation of resources. When you try to stop the natural flow of Capital by not allowing companies to die, resources get taken from economic activity that could actually grow the economy.
The forced socialism of America is throwing good money after bad. We have little precious capital to be wasting on these banks. The elites of the country refuse to accept their lost wealth. Like the money I loaned a brother in law, the money they gave to the $hit of the earth is gone and will never come back. I would seriously like to know where the consumption went. How much went to SUVs, vacations, or to eating out?
Near term: look for the 'lost confidence' to pressure the markets down.
Medium term: look for regulation to choke the next bubble (a good thing)
Long term: look for the cost of 'back-stopping everything' to create either huge national debt servicing burdens or huge tax burdens or both. Also in the long term is the greying of the planet and the impossible promises made to retirees in terms of pensions.
In terms of the market, I think we will continue to see 'sell into strength' and the illusion that there is trillions sitting on the side-line is just that, an illusion. A ton of money is moving into goernement debt financing. And a ton of wealth is just evaporating under deleveraging.
Taking the loss of globalization off the table for now, and factoring debt burden as more than 6 months out, I see DOW 7000 +/- 1500.
As for housing. Since prices have already reverted to about 2003, and with national average time-in-house at 7 years, we see most homes as under water and really unsellable without loss, in many cases a significant loss.
I still have no idea what governement intervention on mortgages will do to price discovery. If you bought a house for $1m, then the gov buys your note and crams down to $600k, it is not reported anywhere that the real price of your home is $600k. This HUGELY distorts the market as some live in "$1m homes' for $600k and some have to try to buy them for $1m. This should discourage anyone from buying anything but foreclosure properties. Sooo, courtesy your Fed govt don't even try to sell your home. Job loss? Divorce? Illness? Relocation? Forget it all.
With little or no sales volume outside REO we will see property tax issues at every level of government: city, county, state. States can try to go to the Fed, as CA already has, but CA alone is something like the world's 8th largest economy. Hard to backstop CA given the backstop being thrown up against the banks.
Best I can see is fortress area price decreases starting in earnest in 6 months. Even though we mayget full reversion to mean by late 2009/early 2010, elite areas will take longer.
I really thought about buying some Ford at this morning's opening. Now I think I shouldn't have chickened out. It's gone from $1.99 to around $2.50. GM is in many ways the weaker party but its stock went up even more by percentage. :?
Ford and GM are a huge problem. They have massive CDS associated with their debt. If they bankrupt it would pop the insurers. Proplem is this: massive government infusion could dillute your shares. I also wonder how Japan feels about the US propping up its auto industry.
Once again, rock and hardplace. At a guess I would say they DO get backstopped. Figuring out if they are a good investent given the deluge of dollars coming is pretty hard.
FuzzyMath Says: the worst Christmas shopping season EVER
I may be partly to blame for that... :-)
When people start talking about the economy at work or at parties, I share some of my views. Although what I say is a mere fraction of what we see here on patrick's or Mish's blogs, the general effect is pretty chilling. Most of them have also begun to wake up from hypnosis and realize that CNBC and MSNBC are not really telling them the truth about about how bad it is, and that Bernanke, Paulson and The Chimp are _at best_ making sh*t up as they go along. So they are pretty much prepared to believe the worst.
All it will take for the herd to really panic is one credible person in a public leadership position to stop spinning the party-line and say even half of what we say.
So, yeah, it is shaping up to be a lousy christmas and a crummy new year, and this ain't the bottom by far. There's a reason I picked that image for this thread - the chair is about to buckle...
There is a spreadsheet at the New York Fed website that compares Alt-A to Subprimes from a 1% sample. I'm not getting into the Fed website right now or I would provide you with a link. (Hmm.. wonder what that's all about.)
The basics are, 1) the amount of Principle we're talking about is about the same: fewer Alt-As, but they are higher amounts. 2) leveraged 98% or more, just like the SPs. 3) falling into default at a rate that resembles 2 years ago on SP. 4) low/no doc percentage very high. 5) Higher percentage are ARMs
In other words, by most measures the Alt-As look almost as crappy or crappier than the SPs. And, as per point one, that means we have just as big a default to absorb from them in the next two years as we got in the last two.
And as per Fuzzy's point, with incomes and RE values going down ever faster, Alt-A will tend to implode even more spectacularly. But of course, what's left of sub-prime will also continue to go round the drain.
Some modification of my numbers from above, but the upshot still the same. Roughly $4.7T in ALT-A ARMs that haven't started to reset yet, vs. $4T in SP ARMs. As of August, 75% of Alt-A Arms were current(!!!), Vs. 47% of SP ARMs. I am assuming that 25k-30k observations yield a pretty fair statistical sample. ;-)
25% of Alt-A ARMs are already delinquent before the resets!
If this 401k withdraw penalty and tax free does get written into law, I plan to take advantage of it to the max! Lucky for me I took the biggest loan out that I could 3 weeks ago before the market carnage. The best part is I took it out to add to my cash position for buying land. I don't need the money for paying my bills :)
WOW Markets up close to 12%. Yes, this is the bottom. LOL
The Results about to come out would be nasty and that should put downword pressure on stock prices. I am pretty sure there isn't much support for commodities. Paulson & Co scared the heck out of general population and froze markets. It should take a long time to unfreeze it.
I would look for Job losses over 200K+/month, add 3-6 months for a reasonable bottom. My guess is the results will start to look bad from past quarter. End of Q1 2009 would be my guess. Any case, I'll start fishing when markets are down another 25% from here.
My Predictions ( Assuming best case scenerio for US):
1) Dow rallies to 10,000 ( few months - year)
- We keep getting bad news from financials due to its anemia from the chronic toxic debt diarrhea.
- Moderately bad earnings from other sectors.
- massive consolidation of financial sector continues.
- Dow goes sideways for months to find the right values between 8K - 10.5K. Most likely settles at 9.5k
2) medium term (2-3 yers)
- Earnings keep coming less than expected which keeps hammering the stock martket's moderately. US consumer cannot support the propped up market. US keeps moving ahead with ecoonomic contraction.
Housing keeps dropping moderately. Stock market back at 8K
3) long term ( 6- 7 years)
- Stock market keeps going sideways between 7K - 8.5K
- Another bubble is brewing. This would be the final bubble if unchecked.
Dollar keeps going down the tubes.
-housing still in the price range of 1999 - 2000.
This is no bottom. This is relief that our economy didn't derail completely over the weekend.
THE bottom will be when housing stabilizes. The pundits seem to forget that we have another 20% to fall. Meanwhile, our government has pulled every backstop available to solve a liquidity crisis which doesn't exist. The country is broke. No one is buying ANYTHING. Earnings disappeared starting from mid-September.
1 in 6 homeowners are underwater. In 6 months, that number will be 1 in 3. Unemployment is in route to 10%, but not likely to stop there.
Not to mention our government just sold out the only thing we kindof had left... the dollar. Who did they sell it to? The banks.
Gee, I feel so warm and fuzzy. Maybe I'll buy stock in one of those companies that makes speaker systems for ipods tomorrow.
The real question is, how many of those who are underwater are still willing to service the debt. We will only see the losses, where the homeowners are just walking away.The rest of the impact will be seen as loss in consumer buying power which will be felt rather slowly.
No body denies that US will see a contraction due to exhaustion of the US consumer.We need to payback all the excesses we loaned via the housing ponzi scheme.It could either end in long protracted recession or a steep depression.As i said before, We spent 12T excess money using our Housing ATM.I am sure we can pay that back in 4 years, if there are no financial disruptiions.
OR we can always postpone the payments like we are doing with the rest of the Debt (50 T). In that case, don't be surprised to see a normal short reccession.
dollar might not go down either as dollar and national debt, no longer have any correlation.Dollar is running on all time high irrational valuation. Can you believe that dollar is basically priced based on just demand and supply (like a commodity). There is no concept of future earnings of the country (which is very very weak for US). lets not even go near the national debt.
"The markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent"
The only true valuation of US dollar and its financial worth can come from a depression. Sadly thats the truth. We will keep pushing the envelope till then.
How do you evaluate anything these days? The only thing that seems certain is that governments around the world will continue to undermine our efforts engage the economy in any way. One can't look to politics because both sides are advocating more and more manipulation. This massive rebound today looks like a giant manipulation, an overcorrecting swerve just before the minivan rolls over and over and over.
With 700B the Gov't could buy 140Million e-mini s&p futures (margin is about $5,000). Obviously they didn't over leverage as it only traded 3.5Million contracts. Hopefully they took profits at the end of the day!
Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The Bush administration will announce a plan to rescue frozen credit markets that includes spending about half of a total of $250 billion for stakes in nine major banks, according to people briefed on the matter.
I absolutely can not wait to hear what the valuation and terms of the investments are.
For most sectors (other than financial), maybe. It looks like all the governments are going to ignore inflation for quite a while and focus on pumping, so in the end the stock price expressed in nominal terms may have bottomed.
Oh, one thing that bothers me are those rebate checks. Why does the government want its citizens to prop up the Chinese employment by spending money on rebate? How about building and maintaining some lousy infrastructure here, making sure that the rebate effect stays home? One cannot find stupider and more short-sighted politicians than the American ones, distributing more tax money so that their people can buy more Chinese shit.
Well, looking at the trillions of dollars pumped into the system, and trillions more lined up, I won't be surprised that this is the nominal bottom. I am not saying one should jump in and buy more stocks, but there won't be too much nominal losses from where we were last Friday given the pumping action.
But, here is one major risk which may break all bottoms - boomers cashing out to fund their retirement, originally there could be an orderly exit, given what we are facing, orderly exit is impossible. It depends on how their auto-balancing mutual funds, pension funds, or boomer individuals cash out, the bottom may completely fall out.
What I expect to happen is we will make US stock market far more accessible to foreign investors, particularly from Asia. Boomers understand very well that they will need more than the Xers and Yers to support the current valuation for their comfortable retirement.