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Posts Tagged ‘credit’

A ‘Graphic’ View of the U.S. Credit Collapse

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 14th, 2010 6:28 AM |

If a picture paints a thousand words, then the graphs I am highlighting today would encompass many volumes. I thank the regular reader of Sense on Cents who brought them to my attention. Major prop to Barry Ritholtz of The Big Picture who ran this commentary yesterday. Major credit to the writer at the Global Macro Monitor blog.

The Global Macro Monitor blog was started by an independent trader and economist and, in a prior life, was a global macro hedge fund PM/trader, headed emerging market bond trading desks on Wall Street, and an economist/global strategist, beginning his career at the World Bank in the mid 1980’s. His unique and unconventional views are reflected on his website at marcromon.wordpress.com.

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We constructed these charts with data from today’s release of the Federal Reserve’s Flow of Funds. They are both stunning and frightening as they illustrate the cardiac arrest that took place in the credit markets. The collapse in credit issuance/borrowing began in 2008 and would have been net negative without the Federal government. In 2009, for example, the Federal government was 141 percent of total net credit borrowings. (more…)

New York Fed and Treasury Tell Banks to Hold Cash

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 10th, 2010 2:36 PM |

How often have Americans heard politicians screaming at banks for not providing credit? How often have those same politicians and bank regulators informed us that they are working to have banks inject money into the economy to support Main Street?

Regrettably, America deals with this pandering and posturing from our political leaders and regulators all too often. While Americans are being told one thing, what are the regulators telling the banks? Hold cash.

I am not shocked, but certainly disappointed, that American financial periodicals failed to run this story detailing these recommendations from our bank regulators. The London based Financial Times highlights this bombshell in writing, Regulators Tell U.S. Banks to Hold Funds: >>>> (more…)

When Will Our Economy Return to Normal?

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 8th, 2010 8:18 AM |

The question most asked in economic circles is, “How and when will our economy return to normal?” My response is always, “What is normal?”

I find it most impactful to explain to people looking to gain a greater understanding of our economy and our markets that the normal economy of the late ’90s through 2007 was driven by the shadow banking system. This shadow banking system provided upwards of 40-45% of the total credit employed by our economy.

The shadow banking system incorporated the credit origination, securitization, and distribution businesses of Wall Street investment banks as opposed to the traditional lines of credit provided by commercial banking activities.

The crisis on Wall Street 2008 brought this shadow banking system to a virtual standstill. While it has begun to resuscitate itself, it remains a mere shadow (no pun intended) of its former self. What is the result? (more…)

Credit Card Holders Hearing, “I’m Sorry, This Card Does Not Seem To Work”

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 20th, 2009 11:16 AM |

Life is not fair.

While many topics could be placed into that all consuming category, the ongoing developments in the credit card industry certainly get top billing. Why?

High five to MC for once again pointing out the ever increasing and seemingly indiscriminate denial of consumer credit. Am I referring to creditworthy individuals applying for a credit card or other form of consumer credit? No!

I am referring to individuals who at point of purchase are discovering that their credit cards are being denied. These must be one off situations or for those already delinquent, correct? Not necessarily. As MSNBC highlights, Citi Starts Closing Mastercards Without Warning:

Shannon Burdette tried to pay with her Shell Mastercard after filling up her gas tank this weekend but found the card rejected.

Confused, she called the customer service line on the back of the card, issued by Citibank, and was told the account was closed because of something that appeared on her credit report. But when the Sykesville, Md., resident got a copy of her credit report online, the only negative thing she saw was “closed at credit grantor’s request” on the Shell MasterCard account.

“They said there was a routine review,” said Burdette, who maintained that she and her husband, Brian, used the card regularly and always paid the bill on time. (more…)

It’s the Economy, Stupid!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 16th, 2009 9:05 AM |

The American public is becoming increasingly wise to the ways of Wall Street and Washington.

Many Americans were duped by financial practices and products emanating from Wall Street. Where was Washington? I would assess Washington’s involvement and responses in the following fashion:

1. At worst, Washington was complicit given a wide array of failed public policy programs, especially in housing. These public policies were largely ’greased’ by lobbying dollars and campaign contributions.

2. To a large extent, Washington was negligent in terms of oversight, especially on the financial regulatory front.

3. At best, Washington was naive given a general lack of understanding of markets and finance.

The American public is now responding in appropriate fashion. How so? In increasing numbers, they are choosing not to play the Wall Street game. What game is that? Active trading and investing. While the numbers of pure day traders may have increased, the American population at large is focused elsewhere. Where is that focus? On the economy at large and on their individual pocket books.

Washington’s focus on Wall Street and its selling of the market rebound as reflective of a return towards prosperity is a product that will not fly . . . try as they might. Why?

It’s the economy, stupid! Reports this morning indicate that wages will likely show the greatest decline since 1991. Even in the face of declining wages, consumers’ purchasing power is being further eroded by the continuing decline in the value of the dollar. That decline is inflationary which hurts consumers but it continues to present a very cheap funding vehicle for those who want to use the greenback to employ leverage in the markets. Who has the advantage in that process? The large banks. Do they spread that wealth in terms of increased credit and higher savings rates? Now why would they do that?

The American saver and consumer shouldered the cost of the bank bailouts in 2008. They are now shouldering the cost of the wealth transfer to the banks in 2009. While Washington would like to sell this dynamic differently, the American public gets it.

Washington will continue to sell this dynamic at its peril.

LD

Is The Economy Turning The Corner?

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 21st, 2009 7:05 AM |

Markets correct by price (both up and down) and time (extended). Despite the 3+% price declines in equity markets yesterday, the markets are up approximately 20% since the market lows seen on March 6th. Some analysts believe this upward move signals an improvement in the economy largely due to the fiscal and monetary stimulus provided by Uncle Sam. I am not in that camp.

A few emerging economies, specifically China, have improved. Can the rest of the world, including the U.S., expect those economies to be the engine for a global turnaround at this juncture? I do not think so. I still see the following issues on our domestic horizon:

1. continued deterioration in loan performance on bank books

2. a banking system woefully capital deficient

3. an automotive industry which must downsize

4. municipalities which are faced with the predicamant of capital shortfalls and underfunded pensions

5. commercial real estate just starting to experience real defaults

6. a housing market with increased foreclosures pressuring prices

7. an unemployment rate clearly headed toward double digits

Earnings reports for the first quarter have been mixed. I view the recently reported bank earnings as largely “managed” via accounting gimmicks. Meredith Whitney believes the earnings for major money center banks will turn negative in the 2nd quarter. The regional banks, without the benefit of large capital market activities but facing credit writedowns, report earnings today. Key Corp just reported a loss of $1.09 eps (earnings per share) versus an estimate of -.21. I suspect we will see losses from other regional banks of a similar magnitude. (more…)

Let’s Meet the 2008 Bond Manager of the Year

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 8th, 2009 3:09 PM |

One of our Economic All-Stars is Bob Rodriguez of First Pacific Advisors. In the spirit of being totally equitable, I should have also posted Tom Atteberry’s name next to Bob’s. Bob and Tom were jointly named 2008 Morningstar Fixed Income Managers of the Year.

Bob is currently taking a leave of absence from First Pacific but Tom is equally outstanding. I had the pleasure of making his acquaintance while I worked at JP Morgan. Tom Atteberry is a pro’s pro. He spoke to Bloomberg earlier today and made these comments, which I took in longhand, so I am not quoting but I listened very carefully. Tom opined:

1. The current environment is the worst time to get into bonds. Why?

2. The creditworthiness of individuals and companies across the economy will only get worse from here and that deteriorating credit is not currently priced into the market.

3. U. S. government debt (Treasuries) represent NO value at current levels. If a fair expected rate of return is between 2-3% and a longer term rate of inflation is also between 2-3%, the rate on a 10 yr. maturity Treasury note should be in the vicinity of 5%. That note is currently trading at 2.85%. Don’t overpay for an asset just because somebody else is, in this case the Federal Reserve. (more…)

Tune in to No Quarter Radio’s “Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle”

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 22nd, 2009 9:35 AM |

Please join us this evening from 8-9 p.m. ET for No Quarter 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.

Additionally, I will talk with Chuck Doyle of Business Capital in San Francisco. Chuck is one of the leading professionals in the field of debt restructuring and recapitalization, and he has been highlighted regularly in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal and CNN. In the midst of our current economic turmoil, this conversation will be both timely and enlightening.

These are truly historic times in the global economy. Let’s “navigate the economic landscape” without the pandering or nonsense found elsewhere! What is on your mind? What would you like to address? Please share your questions and thoughts by calling in to (347) 677-0792, and also join our live chat room, which I’ll start up about 10 minutes before the show begins!

As a reminder, all NO QUARTER RADIO programming is archived and can be played back at any time. Just go to the NO QUARTER RADIO site and look for previous episodes. In addition, each program is available as a podcast on iTunes.

Many thanks to Larry Johnson and the rest of the team at No Quarter USA blog for providing such a vibrant vehicle as NO QUARTER RADIO. I look forward to having you join me Sunday evening as we collectively navigate the economic landscape!!

Mo’ Money…

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 3rd, 2009 2:48 PM |

There are a string of events in the market today that all highlight the need for entities to refinance debt and raise capital.  Given the tightness of credit and the onerous terms being exacted within the bond market, many firms are massively capital constrained. These issues are global in nature. From our friends at Bloomberg, I offer the links to a number of these situations. In light of these types of situations, one does not need to be in a hurry to buy stocks.  Additionally, given the demands for capital, I still maintain that rates are headed higher.

I will share with you some of the current problem situations getting serious attention:

1. GE Falls Below $7 on Concern Finance Unit May Need More Capital

2. Corporate Bond Losses Drive Investors ‘to the Bunker’

3. Metlife, Lincoln Sink as U.S. Stock Rout Increases Capital Need

4. German Real Estate Firms Owe Billions, Face Deadlines

LD

“My Mama Told Me . . .

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 28th, 2009 2:20 PM |

. . . You Better Shop Around.”  

What does that wonderful song from Smokey Robinson and the Miracles have to do with our economy? I’ll tie that in a bit later.

More and more people are inquiring of me how and why banks are making credit tighter both in terms of availability and in terms of rates charged.

This tightening of credit is due to the “crowding out effect” from dramatically increased government borrowing along with the actuality and likelihood of increased defaults across all consumer and corporate loans. In the face of those defaults, banks will set aside more capital in reserve to cushion those losses.

What is a consumer to do? There are two tactics:

1. Everything’s Negotiable which I highlighted in a post dated December 23, 2008. Talk to your bankers and/or credit providers. Put your banks and other credit providers in competition. Where does one start and how does one easily comparison shop? I’m glad you asked because that leads me to point #2.

2. Shop around (thank you, Smokey)!  Sense on Cents provides links via our Primers (in the right sidebar) for a look across the market to virtually every consumer credit need. Remember I have NO professional relationship with any of these entities. From borrowing needs to investing, with many stops in between, I hope these primers help you navigate the economic landscape going forward!!

And now, a trip down memory lane . . .

 






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