Posts Tagged ‘market’

Quick Hit: “Oil Slides While Executives Whine”

The price of oil fell by over $5.00 a barrel yesterday after EIA report was released.

Speculators were running for the exits yesterday as demand for their pumped-up product continues to fall.

Oil Executives of the big five oil companies, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, Conoco, and Royal Dutch Shell, testified before the Senate Finance Committee to justify—after amassing huge quarterly profits—the need of government subsidies of $2.1 billion dollars a year.

In a pre-statement with unAmerican overtones, Conoco-Phillips CEO, James Mulva, called the elimination of the subsidies ‘UnAmerican’ and ‘discriminatory.’

With the oil industry making record profits, why continue subsidies?

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Posted in Economy, Oil, Uncategorized | Comments Off

“A Half-Fast Bill and Premature Evacuation!”

Powerful Financial Regulation would be good for all Americans!

The Senate passed their version of financial regulation, (S.3217) ‘The Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.’ It now moves to conference to be melded with the House Bill, (HR4173) officially called ‘The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009,’ which passed the House 223-202.

Majority Leader, Harry Reid, with the help of Democrats and a few Republicans, in a moment of premature evacuation brought a half-fast piece of legislation to the floor without addressing or revisiting some of the most important amendments up for consideration.

Despite passing with a vote of 59 to 39, the Bill is weak and falls far short of its potential of fixing a messed up banking system, economy, the gambling on derivatives, and the Federal Reserve. Several amendments were added to strengthen the bill, but some of the most important failed to pass or were not brought up for vote. And there is little hope that it will get fixed in Conference.

Conferencing of the Bill will be conducted by Senators Shelby, Chambliss, Lincoln and Representative Barney Frank and a few others. But is it salvageable?

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Posted in Finance, Wall Street | 5 Comments »

“One Fat Finger From Disaster!”

Living in a scary over-leveraged, under-capitalized global economy!

As everyone is well aware, on Thursday afternoon, panic struck like a lightning bolt on the trading floors of the stock markets.

Twenty minutes of feverish chaos exposed the vulnerability of the markets. World markets have embraced a model that teeters on tremendous risk. So much so that it has abandoned its purpose; its reason for existence. This leaves them vulnerable to the terrifying moves that occurred globally on Thursday.

Like the Big Banks, the markets have become giant casinos putting everyone’s money and financial stability at risk. That couldn’t have been more apparent than the meteoric fall near the end of the trading day on Thursday.

Some blame a ‘fat finger,’—a trader hitting a ‘b’ for billion instead of a ‘m’ for million—for triggering the events that sent markets spiraling to investment hell. But that wasn’t the only problem the market encountered in that brief, illuminating moment in time.

Human error could conceivably be at the center of Thursday’s sell-off, but technology could prove to be the market’s nemesis rather than its friend. Orders set in motion by high speed, market gaming, computers sent the market tumbling at a record pace as each triggered event triggered another round of events. The two, individually or together, may be the nexus for the eventual destruction of global markets. For whatever reason stocks went on that wild ride, it created a lot of excitement on the trading floors.

So what do investors do after such a frightening occurrence?

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Posted in Economy, Markets, Wall Street | Comments Off

“An Economic View Into a New Decade”

The financial decade has ended and all evidence points to 10 years of nothing. That’s right, the stock market was actually down during the last decade!

A new decade has begun and with it comes high hopes for a much better decade than the last. At least for the market. The big question is, what will the next decade bring and what will the best bets be for investors?

As we entered 2000, a new millennium, we had what appeared to be a thriving economy. Jobs were plentiful, tech was booming, the country had a budget surplus, and a deficit of only $5 trillion.

A decade later we have unemployment at 10%, tech has leveled off and has moved to selling toys and gadgets, and the deficit climbed to $12 trillion. Banks are failing at an accelerating rate and big banks, those ‘Too Big to Fail’ after being pulled from the abyss with taxpayer money, are cheating the economy at a greater level than at any time since the 1920’s.

A lost decade? The worst in our nation’s history!

Are the prospects for a more prosperous decade any better than they were at the beginning of 2000?

Have conditions really improved? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Economy, Predictions | 2 Comments »

“False Positives”

The markets are still bullish almost 8 months after the March 9th bottom. The Dow closed above 10,000 on October 14th and the bulls have been fighting to stay above it since then. But it has been trending below the ten thousand mark for the last 24 or so days.

The hopes were that earnings for the quarter being reported would be decent. This would give the bulls the ammunition to push the Dow and S&P still higher, well above the 10,000 mark.

So, where is the market going?

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Posted in Economy, Markets, Uncategorized, Wall Street | Comments Off

“The Shipping Blues”

U.S. Markets continue to flirt with 10,000 and 1,100, shrugging off the fundamentals.

Trader’s are looking to the future; to a global improvement that will justify the unrealistic rises in the indexes. But what happens if the future doesn’t exist? A vaporous dream of hope that disappears leaving everyone empty?

Third quarter earnings are a pivotal indicator and the hopes for a holiday season, better than last year, is almost palpable on the floor of the exchanges.

Many of my articles have been cynical of the perceived recovery, the health of banks, and the rise in the stock markets. Rather than cynicism I like to view it as realism. A common sense look at what is really happening.

With many indicators moving at hyper-speed it is increasingly difficult to keep up with all of the complex elements of the economy and what affect each will have on consumers, businesses, investors, policy, and the markets. Today we’re faced with rapidly changing information. As a result I spend too much time reading, digging, watching, analyzing, evaluating, and writing.

But everything I need to know for The Shipping Blues is found on the deep blue ocean, the hard steel rails, and endless ribbons of asphalt and cement stretching across terra firma.

The best indicator of the future economy is conceivably shipping. And right now many shipping companies have “The Shipping Blues.”

What are The Shipping Blues? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Economy, Markets, Predictions, Shipping | Comments Off

“The Real Crime at AIG” (reposted)

One year after the fall of Lehman Brothers, questions are still being asked about the decision. The day after Lehman was left to fail the Treasury chose to bailout insurance giant AIG. More was going on at AIG than we were told and the questions posed today may address a certain level of criminality that should be investigated.

On March 24th I sent an Op-Ed piece to the New York Times regarding the potentially criminal transfer of monies from the taxpayers to AIG counterparties through TARP allocations. Below is the text of the Op-Ed. The original article, “The Real Crime at AIG,”  is posted on It’s Worth an Opinion.

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“The ‘Real’ Crime at AIG”

Is the outrage over the bonuses given out to executives at American International Group (AIG) masking the ‘real’ scandal at the world’s largest insurance corporation?

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Posted in Banking, Economy, Markets, Too Big to Bail, Wall Street | 6 Comments »

“An Opinion on Mark to Market” (reposted)

In April the Financial Accounting Standards Board, FASB, changed Mark to Market. They are now considering reinstating the Mark to Market rules.

Some are opposed to FASB getting involved, claiming it will destroy our economic recovery. But the important aspect of reinstatement is a better accounting of toxic assets still on the books of many BIG banks.

In April I commented on how rescinding Mark to Market would allow banks to hide toxic assets and mask their earnings for a couple of quarters. Here is the actual article I posted on It’s Worth and Opinion:

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Originally posted – April 6, 2009

Was the new change in Mark to Market accounting a positive thing?

The move last week by FASB the Financial Accounting Standards Board was met with a positive reaction by the markets. On Wednesday markets advanced in anticipation of a change in the Mark to Market rule. On Thursday the markets advanced even further after the board’s announcement (Dow up 201, 2%; S&P up 18, 2.3%) driven by what traders thought would be good for the banks, even those that are still deeply troubled.

Was the decision by the FASB Board more beneficial to the banks? Does it adequately protect investors? Will it be good or bad for the economy?

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Posted in Banking, Economy, Opinion, Too Big to Bail | Comments Off

“A Lot of Bull on Wall Street”

The market has stampeded the last five months toward what the bulls would like to refer to as a bull market.

But, more realistically speaking, the market is full of bull.

The current rise in the markets has been fueled by false exuberance. The unrealistic euphoria could end up devastating millions of people when the markets free fall back to their March lows.

The concern should be, who’s left holding the proverbial bag?

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Posted in Economy, Uncategorized, Wall Street | Comments Off

“The Pain on Main” (reposted)

In April, the 16th, when the Dow had risen 20% I posted this article on It’s Worth an Opinion and sent it as an Op-Ed, to The Wall Street Journal. I predicted the market would decline by the end of April, based on the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street. I was off by a few months, but now is the time to reread the reasons for that prediction. Though written last April the information, with different numbers, applies today:

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Originally posted – April 16, 2009

Over 610 thousand people applied for first time jobless claims today, and continuing claims surpassed six million; workers who are still seeking employment while collecting benefits.

The headline number, an improvement over last week, but during a holiday adjusted week, brought some level of excitement. It was “not as bad as expected” but it still translates to more Pain on Main Street. The ‘real’ impact will be lost on Wall Street.

The market has been on a tear for the last five weeks. The historic 20% rise in March continued well into April and hopes of a permanent turn in the economy was evident in the voices of the CNBC hosts, and the traders and analysts on Wall Street.

But, that euphoria, one of green shoots and mustard seeds, will be short-lived. The bear will again dominate the market much to the chagrin of hopeful and optimistic bulls.

No matter how traders and analysts evaluate the bits of perceived news in the economic data, they fail to see the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street.

Main Street is in extreme pain, anguished by declining home prices and job losses that have a tremendous affect on the consumer, and an undetermined destructive force on the economy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Economy, Uncategorized, Wall Street | 8 Comments »