Trends, Politics & Economics

Index Percentage % Volume
Dow -0.12% down
NASDQ -0.01% down
S&P500 +0.15% up
Russell2000 -0.59% down

Banks – Is the Sky Falling?

Answer – No, but its being held up by smoke and mirror

The simple truth is, if you were to value the assets vs. the liabilities of most major banks and many smaller banks you would find that they do NOT have the collateral to back their loans.  Plane and simple – If the government (your tax dollars) paid the market price for troubled assets now these financials would go bankrupt . No assets would be left. If this happened, the whole banking sector would probably meltdown in panic. What’s more – as the unemployment figures grow this problem is going to increase.

Tim Geithner , like Paulson before him is going to take a shot at blowing the smoke and moving the mirrors today at 11:00AM EST.  The question is can he keep the banking/financial sector afloat long enough for the economy to turn positive and some of over leveraged positions become more solvent.

The ultimate answer or last line of defense to this problem that nobody wants to even take about is NATIONALIZATION .

The Bottom Line –  there is a massive shift in wealth from those who created this problem (they made truckloads of $) plus those who own the banks/financials, and you the American taxpayer who is bailing out banks to prevent an economic collapse. MAD? – smoke should be coming out your ears. The co director for The Center for Economic Research, Dean Baker makes the case Nationalization or Welfare

Obama on Stimulus

Lost count last night of the times Elkhart Indiana (middle class America) was mentioned is Obama’s stimulus speech  You can read or watch videos of the Obama’s speech at CNN – Paraphrasing his money quote – "It s only government that can break this cycle of recession."

Early review- NYT – unfortunately concludes "Odds are…even an $800 billion stimulus package will fall short of what’s needed to combat today’s downturn, and that more will be needed later. When the Obama administration asks for more, it will need to be able to make a compelling case that the first round was the best it could possibly be. It’s certainly not there yet."

#1 Progessive Voice in American Media

He’s quoted by everyone from Pelozi to Limbaugh – Nobel prize winning, NYT columnist Paul Krugman . His latest editorial "The Destructive Center"

What’s Pork?

A Bridge to Nowhere, Compensation for Filipino WW 2 Vets as part of the stimulus plan are certainly pork. But as one of you suggested does a "water park" wanted by a governor as part of the stimulus program constitute pork? Thanks for this and all your emails .

First a water Park like Disney World or a baseball park creates jobs to build the facility. Both workers and suppliers benefit. Once built it continues to create jobs for workers and revenue for products it sells (food, souvenirs, etc) It also generates tax revenue for the state.  So is a Water Park pork?   I’d certainly prefer money going to education bridges etc., but a ready to go water park in the right location (not Alaska) could create jobs jobs jobs and increased tax revenue for states.

Stocks

AS ALWAYS DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH BEFORE INVESTING

Technicals

US stock markets held onto last weeks gains. Technically, this is a positive sign .

Troubled GE shot up like a rocket reversing most of last weeks losses.  Another positive.

Both volume and how markets react to news (our primary indicators) still show a rally building .

Secondary Indicators

Both Treasury Bonds and LIBOR have moved in a bullish direction over the last few months. The Baltic Dry Sea Index that measures the flow of goods between countries, is on fire +48% over the last 4 days and another +10% on Monday. = Big Time Short term bullish signal.

Fundamentals

Today we learn what Tres. Secretary Timothy Geithner and what he plans to do with the second 1/2 of the TARP money. (see yesterday’s comments) Can’t over emphasize the impact the importance of this plan to both financial stocks and world markets.

Dr. Doom and the Black Swan – These two guys predicted the current financial crisis. Their comments "Even if we play our cards right…it will take at least 12 months to get out of this recession." That’s the good news. For the bad news read full article on Roubini and Taleb

Short Term Outlook/Strategy

Technically signs of a rally building are about as strong as they get. Fundamentally, the stimulus package has passed the Senate and that’s a whole lot of money about to juice US economy. However, what Geithner says about allocating the the TARP money is key to any short term rally.

Oppenheimer analyst Meredith Whitney, a financial bear,  is on a winning streak and therefore the analyst that has Wall Street’s ear. If she goes thumbs down on Geithner so will the markets according to CNBC’s Jim Cramer

Bottom Line – Still no long term light at the end of the tunnel, but technical signs for the rally to continue exist.

Long Term Outlook = BEARS RULE

  • On a 1 to 5 scale Bears Rule is at the bottom.
  • This section rarely change s
  • Changed are bolded and in plum or crossed out

Technicals - Best read of the tea leaves – 2009 Markets range bound between Dow 7449 (last year’s low) and 9654 (November 08 high )

Fundamentals – Problem in financial sector is far far far far far bigger than fist imagined. Impact of mess is going to take years to resolve.

Asset Allocation

15% to 30%+ Stocks (Depends on your level of risk) Buy/nibble the dips below 8,000 – the bigger the better.  -

Recommended Sectors

  • 5%+ US Index ETF’s UWM (Exchange Traded Fund does @ 2x what Russell 2000 does ) & QLD (does 2X what NASDQ does)
  • 5%+ Emerging Markets FXI (China ETF) & EWZ (Brazil ETF)
  • 5%+ Alternative energy GEX (alternative energy fund)
  • 5%+ Gold GLD (ETF for gold)

Chief Strategy -

Buy the dips. Use the Dow as a barometer for all of the above sectors except GLD. This is NOT your fathers buy and hold market. Under 8 years of Bush the Dow went from 11,000 to 8,000 and left a whole dung heap of economic problems.

Protect your gains – After rallies you can protect your long positions by using ETF’s that short the market. Two ETF’s that short major indexes (@ 2x the loss). These indexes go down you make money. The closer markets get to 9000 the more you think about shorting. Until the long term outlook changes this hedging strategy will remain.  Note – long positions/ETF’s  NASDQ & Russell, short positions/ETF’s S&P & Dow

  • SDS – Ultra short S&P 500
  • DXD – Ultra short Dow

AS ALWAYS DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH BEFORE INVESTING

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