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Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category

“Beholden to Failed Banksters”

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 9th, 2009 3:56 PM |

Any investor or manager with a degree of experience knows that the “first loss is the best loss.” What do I mean by that? Once the market detects a loss or a weakened position, the price for that asset will remain capped unless and until the asset is sold or liquidated. This price action occurs in every sector of every market.

Welcome to the world of global finance 2009. As banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, and other financial entities deal with losses, we see a lack of aggressive posture being taken on dealing with these losses. Why? Once moral hazard is violated with a single entity, every other entity will look to violate it as well.

Immediate losses are forestalled in hopes that they will be covered or disguised. However, every loss ultimately must be recognized. By whom  and how is the question.

At this juncture, more of the losses in our financial system are being directed toward the taxpayers. How? Via the wide array of government programs. What is the cost? A likely underperforming economy due to a lack of credit, and higher taxes to offset lower revenues.  (more…)

Things You May Have Missed

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 7th, 2009 10:08 AM |

The stream of data and market moving news is non-stop. I found these items of interest and look to share them with you as I believe they provide interesting insights and perspectives from around the world. I beg your indulgence if some of these items are not news to you, but if they are I hope they help you “navigate the economic landscape.”

1. Australia’s central bank cut its overnight lending rate to 3%, the lowest level in 49 years. While that rate is one of the highest rates in the developed world, it was widely expected to be left unchanged.  Australia has had one of the strongest economies in the world. This cut is an indication the Australian central bank believes their economy is slipping into a recession.

2. Japan’s exports are reported to be down 40% versus a year ago. Additionally, Japan’s industrial production is reported to be down 30+% during the same time period. These economic figures are significantly weaker than most other developed economies. As a frame of reference, most other developed economies’ industrial production is down 10-15%. Clearly, Japan is so dependent on exports and it is now paying the price of not having more fully diversified its economic foundation.

3. Gold is now trading near $880/oz. A month ago this precious metal was trading slightly above $1000/oz. Why is gold down recently? Coming out of the G-20, there are expectations that the IMF may sell some gold reserves to raise funds for low-income countries. I commented the other day that gold is not perfectly correlated with inflation due to changing fundamentals and technical variables in the gold market. This development with the IMF is a perfect case in point of my assertion. (more…)

Tune in Sunday Evening to NoQuarter Radio’s “Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle”

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 29th, 2009 9:14 AM |

Please join us Sunday evening from 8-9 p.m. ET for NoQuarter Radio’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle. With the stock market near 12 year lows, what is driving soc-promo5the flows? What is truly going on in the economy? Where are markets headed? Given the Washington political circus, how will new legislation impact the future of Wall Street? So much to cover.

I will be speaking with Michael J. Panzner, a 25-year veteran of the global stock, bond, and currency markets who has worked in New York and London for such leading companies as HSBC, Soros Funds, ABN Amro, Dresdner Bank, and J.P. Morgan Chase.

He is the author of When Giants Fall: An Economic Roadmap for the End of the American EraFinancial Armageddon: Protecting Your Future from Four Impending Catastrophes, and The New Laws of the Stock Market Jungle: An Insider’s Guide to Successful Investing in a Changing World.


He has also been a columnist at’s RealMoney paid-subscription service and a contributor to AOL’s In addition, Panzner has appeared on or been quoted byCNBCBloombergThe Wall Street JournalUSA Today, Barron’s Reuters, CNN, MarketWatch, BusinessWeek Online,, Slate,, and other print, radio and television outlets. (more…)

Back to the Future

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 24th, 2009 4:02 PM |

back-to-the-futureAre we returning to the days of white picket fences, hot dogs, Mom, baseball, and apple pie? Perhaps some people never got away from those endeavors so there is no need to return.  However, given forces within the banking industry far outside our control, perhaps we will be returning to the days of community and regional banking. 

Our nation experienced the development of a handful of mega-banks given the economies of scale with that model. The leverage created by combining systems, cross-selling products, and outsourcing labor allowed these  institutions to redeploy capital into higher risk securities and situations often housed in off-balance sheet vehicles. Pardon my cynicism, but that model does not put a lot of emphasis on customer or employee loyalty, despite what management at many of those institutions may say. That model promotes the concept of volume and efficiency over individual and relationship. Regrettably, that model never fully developed the risk management and risk managers to control those behemoths. (more…)

Clowns to the Left of Me…

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 24th, 2009 12:52 PM |

I wrote earlier today about the ongoing pressure being applied on our senior financial representatives in Washington by their counterparts in China. In Congressional testimony this morning, both Secretary Geithner and Fed chair Bernanke have discounted China’s call for a new international reserve currency. 

The Obama administration is not only being pressured by China prior to the upcoming G-20. Our European allies also have a decidedly different tact on the appropriate financial maneuvers for global governments at this time. While the United States is currently promoting the need for massive fiscal stimulus on a global basis, the WSJ reports from Europe, ECB Chief Says Stimulus Not Needed


Audio Recording: NoQuarter Radio’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 22nd, 2009 9:36 PM |

In case you missed LD’s Sunday night radio show, just click on the Play button below for the audio recording. Once the playback has started, you can fast forward or rewind to any portion of the show by clicking at any point along the play bar.

The first portion of the show included a review of the markets and an in-depth analysis of the very critical challenges facing the insurance industry.

The second half of the show included an interview with Chuck Doyle of Business Capital in San Francisco. Chuck is one of the leading professionals in the field of debt restructuring and recapitalization.

Sunday night, March 22nd, 2009
NoQuarter Radio’s “Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle” 


A New TARP Plan

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 21st, 2009 9:13 PM |


Cartoon by Walt Handelsman, Newsday

These Companies Do Not Want Your Business

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 21st, 2009 2:11 PM |

Many credit card companies are now offering incentives for a wide range of their customers to “take their business elsewhere” and return their cards in the process. Are these companies trying to turn business away? Have they expanded too rapidly? Are they having operational issues? Are they afraid of what the future holds?  In a word, the simple answer to all those questions is YES!!

Credit card companies are already experiencing a significant increase in delinquencies and defaults and expect both those figures to ratchet higher in the face of rising unemployment.  (more…)

Quantitative Easing? Welcome to Vegas!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 19th, 2009 9:07 AM |

rolling-diceThe Federal Reserve has ZERO room to maneuver on its interest rate policy given the fact that its interest rate tool, the Fed Funds Rate, is currently set at 0-.25%. Could that rate be set at a negative level? Well, let’s just say that it has never happened with any central bank in the world. With no more arrows left in its interest rate quiver, what is a Federal Reserve to do to manage an economy? Let’s enter the world of “quantitative easing.”

Quantitative easing by any central bank is a policy in which that bank grows its balance sheet to purchase assets (government bonds, mortgage securities, government agency debentures, etc). The purpose of purchasing these assets is to drive the prices for these assets higher which in turn brings the interest rates on these assets lower (bond prices and interest rates on those bonds have an inverse relationship). The hope the Federal Reserve holds is that in bringing rates down (government rates and mortgage rates dropped by .3% to .5% yesterday) consumer and institutional demand for money will go higher and spur the economy in the process. (more…)


Posted by Larry Doyle on March 18th, 2009 3:50 PM |

A precursor to the turmoil roiling our economy and markets today occurred on a smaller, but certainly very dramatic, scale in 1998. The meltdown of the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management brought the market to its knees at the time. LTCM was effectively taken over by a consortium of Wall Street banks at the behest of New York Federal Reserve Chairman, William McDonough. The firms injected approximately $3 billion dollars in order to stabilize LTCM and then unwound it in an orderly fashion.

The lessons learned in the LTCM crisis were obviously not learned well enough because we are experiencing them again a multiple hundred fold. The centerpiece of our current fiasco is AIG (known here at Sense on Cents as “Ain’t It Great”).

The dramatic story of Long Term Capital Management is captured in a book I strongly recommend for anybody interested in the history of the financial markets. When Genius Failed, by Roger Lowenstein, is a great read and truly captures the intrigue, egos, and tension of that period. As the current turmoil unwinds I look forward to the books published on this period as well. (more…)

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