Posted by Larry Doyle on November 20th, 2009 7:22 AM |
Having provided an overview from three top rated banking analysts in my commentary, “2010 Outlook for Banking,” I welcome the opportunity to offer the thoughts from the most highly rated banking analyst on Wall Street, Meredith Whitney.
Ms. Whitney has become increasingly bearish on the market. Yesterday, Ms. Whitney added further fuel to the fire and provided further specifics to her aggressive call. Bloomberg offers, Meredith Whitney Says Bank Stocks are ‘Grossly’ Overvalued,
Meredith Whitney, the analyst who has no “buy” recommendations on U.S. banks, said valuations on lender stocks are too high and what “scares” her most is the government stepping away from buying mortgage-backed securities.
“The banks are still grossly overvalued,” Whitney said today in an interview on Bloomberg Radio. “People are expecting something great to happen in 2010 and I think they are going to be severely disappointed.” (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on January 9th, 2009 10:04 AM |
***Meredith Whitney is indicating that despite the fact that banks raised $805 billion in capital in 2008 and had $125 billion injected via the TARP, the banking system will need to raise more capital in 2009. This is a clear signal that losses have not yet been recognized along with the likelihood that new losses are being incurred. A regional investment bank, Friedman Billings, believes the banking system needs $1.2 trillion in FRESH capital.
***It’s purely my speculation, but I would be willing to bet funds from “How Bernie ‘Madoff’ with $50 Billion” may have actually been directed to other hedge funds. If that is, in fact, the case the Ponzi scheme that started at Madoff may in turn spread. The fact that so many funds “put up the gates” which prevented investors from withdrawing funds is a very telling indication that this may have occurred. Some funds may have very legitimately utilized that approach and some may have not.
The widely anticipated employment report was released this morning at 8:30AM. Let’s dive right into the numbers and then decipher them:
Unemployment Rate: increased from 6.7% to 7.2% versus a consensus estimate increase to 7%. One must understand, though, that the actual unemployment rate ONLY tracks people out of work who are looking for work. If we were to incorporate discouraged workers, those out of work who have given up looking, then one of every ten workers in our country are currently unemployed. With a total workforce of approximately 175 million people and projections that the unemployment rate will move up another 1-3%, our economy is likely to lose another 3 million jobs!!
Non-Farm Payroll: (for those who do not traditionally track these stats, the NFP tracks the actual number of jobs gained or lost in the economy): for the month of December 2008, the economy lost 524k jobs versus consensus estimate of 525k. One may think the soothsayers had it right with their estimated call. However, both October’s and November’s NFP numbers were revised downward by 103k and 51k respectively. Thus, over the last three months of 2008 the U.S economy lost a total of 1.431 million jobs!!!
Posted by Larry Doyle on January 6th, 2009 10:00 AM |
On the first real day of business after the holidays, I will tip my hat to PEBO and his economic team. Obama opened his press briefing this morning with his take that the economy is “bad and getting worse.” In deft fashion, he then caught almost everybody off guard by leading his proposed economic stimulus plan with focus on a significant level of tax cuts and tax credits. In my opinion, this was a very, very strong first move. Well done, Barack!!
The general outline of these cuts and credits include:
1. tax cuts for those paying taxes or with an earned-income credit. Likely for families earning up to 200k, although that is not yet defined.
2. businesses can retroactively reduce tax bills going back 5 years by writing off losses from 2008 and 2009.
3. offer tax credits to entice firms to plow money back into new investments.
4. provide a one year tax credit for companies that make new hires or forego layoffs.
5. increase write-offs for a wide array of expenditures for small business.
Posted by Larry Doyle on December 11th, 2008 6:20 AM |
You have heard me sing the praises of those whom I consider to be some of the wisest minds in the financial markets. Included in this group are Nouriel Roubini, Laszlo Birinyi, Sheila Bair, and Meredith Whitney. It is not often that we have the opportunity to hear timely, insightful, and extensive analysis from these individuals. This morning we have one of those opportunities as Meredith Whitney, the TOP bank and financial services analyst on Wall St., is interviewed.
This attached video clip of her interview runs 12 minutes but it is extremely insightful on the current state and future outlook for the following:
1. Consumer Credit….it is going to get MUCH tighter, which is the very reason why we are STRONGLY encouraging people to pay down debt.
2. Outlook for large money center banks….”on life support for the next 18-36 months”
3. AIG….needs more money as they have incurred ANOTHER 10bln loss. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on November 11th, 2008 2:30 PM |
I will admit that, given the current dynamics at work in the economy and the markets, I have become somewhat numbed as to the magnitude of some of the developments. Many of the highlights that I will offer from yesterday’s news would be enormous stories in and of themselves. Taken collectively, they do become overwhelming if we let them.
The markets are down 5-6% on the month. Given the stream of negative news, one might think that the market could be even lower. The fact that markets aren’t even lower is testament to the trillions of dollars that have been put to work by governments around the world.
Let’s review the major stories of November 10, 2008:
1. China implemented a $563bln economic stimulus plan primarily to further develop infrastructure in the country. That figure represents 1/5th of their total GDP. I was surprised to hear that, but it also indicates to me how much growth potential that country possesses. This package had an immediate impact on our equity markets this morning when our markets were up 3%. This package also supported commodities, especially copper which bounced about 5% on the day. Aside from infrastructure, China directed this stimulus package to an area that was badly damaged in a recent earthquake. Last but not least, China offered “tax deductions” on the purchase of certain hard assets. (Are you listening, Barack??)
This stimulus package though indicates to me that it is not likely that many of our domestic companies will likely be receiving capital injections from sovereign wealth funds. With oil at $60, oil producing countries (such as Dubai) may need to support the real estate developers and exporters in their own countries.
2. Fannie Mae reported a loss of $29bln (I’m not going to say earnings when companies lose money) which equates to $12.96 a share vs an expected loss of $1.40 a share. (How can Wall St. analysts maintain credibility when they miss a call by almost 1000%?).
It is amazing how Fannie can rack up losses like this when their own incentive bonuses are not on the line and when collectively Uncle Sam owns them. Aside from this loss, Fannie did announce that they expect losses to continue and to increase into 2009. This to me means they see foreclosures increasing over the next 6 months. More than likely Fannie will have a negative net worth by the end of 2008 requiring an increased capital injection by the U.S. taxpayer. Where does it end!!
Again, this model is broken. The American consumer who is able to get a mortgage is being subsidized at the expense of the taxpayers. Let the private market set the mortgage rates and if the housing market re-prices, so be it. Enough socialized housing finance. (more…)