Turkey’s of the Year (Decade?)

In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday – there have been two major blunders that easily qualify for Turkey of the year and also could make it into the top five economic blunders of the decade.

  1. Failure to Bailout Lehman Brothers – This spread $365 billion dollars of toxic debt (credit default swaps) throughout the world and shook financial markets to the core.
  2. The Paulson Bit and Switch – We were told that the financial system would meltdown unless we spent $750 billion to take "toxic debt" out of the financial system. Instead the money was used to bailout financial companies History will tell if this was the right move. However bait and switch destroyed any credibility that investors had that the Treasury and the Fed knew what they were doing or had some sort of coherent long term plan.

Three major economic blunders of the last decade do overshadow this.

  1. The massive growth of the unregulated and over leveraged credit in the USA
  2. The huge growth of Federal and trade deficits.
  3. An unnecessary "for profit" (Iraq) war that will end up costing tax payers $3 trillion dollars.

Citigroup’s Second Bailout

Obviously, some sort of bailout was needed or else the mother of all financial company’s meltdown would have caused financial markets across the world crash and burn. You (your tax dollar) have again bailed out and international company. Remaining questions:

  1. Citi still has an unknown and huge amount of over leveraged debt. Will they need another bailout?
  2. What other major banks and companies that traded CDS’s will need bailouts.
  3. Where is the transparency? Where’s the plan that this failed company is going to have for the future?
  4. Why did Warren Buffett get a better deal than US taxpayers?

Some decent editorials with more positives and negatives -
Another Crisis, Another Guarantee NYT
Citigroup Flop Exposes Folly of Empire- Building Bloomberg
Thumbs Up For Citigroup Bailout WSJ



Headline – Obama Rally

Index % Change Volume

Dow +4.93% down
NASDQ +6.33% down
S&P500 +6.47% down
Russell2000 +7.44%–

US Market & Foreign Markets


As predicted. the Dow support levels fell and all major US markets made a lower lows last week. (see charts) We have had a very significant two day "Obama" rebound The two day rally has had strong volume behind it. Therefore volume confirmed the move higher and we could see the rally get extended.

Technically the volume behind the rally is encouraging. Dow at 8,443. Dow 8923 is the first minor resistance level and the falling 50 day moving average at 9337 is the next. 9654 is the major resistance level (see chart of Dow below)

What needs to happen is for us to break the series of lower highs and lower lows that began over a year ago. Dow 9654 is that line in the sand.

Chart of the benchmark S&P 500

Chart of the Russell 2000

Chart of the NASDQ

Chart of the Dow


- Obama rally – In the last 1/2 hour of Friday US markets staged a major rally on the news that NY Fed Chair Tim Geithner would become Treasury Secretary. News that Obama’s news stimulus package would be bigger than expected, the announcement of his economic team, and another bailout for Citigroup added fuel to the rally.

Three Month Treasury Bill & LIBOR

Credit markets are the dog and the Stock Markets are the tail. Without credit the tail won’t wag.

Real progress WAS being made. The credit spreads are tightening and LIBOR has fallen from 4.8% a four weeks+ ago to @2 .17. LIBOR inched down yesterday. LIBOR rates have flattened over the last two weeks. LIBOR is the rate banks charge each other, not businesses.

The 3MTB bounced back some from 0.02% yesterday and closed at a rate of 0.13% The Fed rate is 1.00% . A normal 3MTB would be just under the Fed rate. – The situation is still dismal.

Sure looks like PANIC has returned to the credit markets again (check out chart) It eased a bit last two days

3 MTB chart

LIBOR chart (3 month)

New added spread sheet listing all the Treasury bonds traders of last 15 days. This gives a broader picture of the panic or lack of panic over US financial systems. This We will use the 3 MTB as a benchmark, but notice the 1 month MTB is down to 0.01% Not good.

Daily Treasury Yield Curve

Bottom Line – LIBOR falling helps Main Street’s a bit – Credit cards to adjustable mortgage rates are often tied to LIBOR. But by no means is credit back to normal.


Chart of oil (WTIC)

The Dollar

Chart of Dollar


The VIX (measures amount of fear/volatility in S&P) .

Chart of VIX

Short Term Outlook

Reading the Tea Leaves – From last update – "Perhaps this week, maybe next week, maybe later but the major Dow support levels (8000 or 7800) are in trouble" The support levels did fall last week to 7449

Dow rebounded inhuge rally. Dow at 8443 – a little less that 1/2 way back toward the major resistance level at @ 9650 We have a another 500 points on the upside before we reach the first resistance level.

Overall strategy remains in place – buy big dips, sell of short into major rallies. The current two day rally, while impressive has a ways to go before reaching a resistance level (see above) The rally has a strong base (big volume) to build on. Remember, more often than not new lows are tested

Short term – We are nearing the midway point of the technical trading range and this is often a resistance area. We do have at least a bear market rally that seems to be based on a more competent administration solving the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Best guess – Rally looks to have legs to take out some minor resistance levels.

Long term – Bears Rule Trend is still firmly in place. When it looks like the sky is falling nibble a little. Even if you think Obama can walk on water this is one hell of a mess and there is NO quick fix.


Long Term Outlook – BEARS RULE

Changes to Bottom Line section bolded

TechnicalsSeries of Lower Lows and Lower Highs = Bears Rule

Reading tea leaves – Look for range between 7449 and 9654 for rest of year.

Fundamentals – Financial mortgage transparency problem (credit default swaps $50 to $70 trillion) is far far far far far far far far far bigger than anyone thought. New worldwide rescue plan offers hope, but this rally is going to be a bumpy ride because retail investors trust has been shaken. Hopes of a more competent Obama administration have rallied stocks.

We are in a recession. How bad/long the worldwide recession will be is be is the major question. It’s beginning to look like the recession might last through 2009 – perhaps longer

Asset Allocation/Recommended Sectors (long term)

50% to 90% Cash – This depends on your risk tolerance – Long Term Investors (up to 15+% stocks – only buy big dips) Wait for the next big dip to add 5 to 10%

*5%+% US Index Funds
UWM (ETF that does 2x what Russell 2000 does) & QLD (ETF that does 2X the NASDQ ) DDM (ETF that does 2X the Dow ) SSO (ETF does 2X the S&P 500)

*10%+ Emerging Markets
EWZ (Brazil) should out perform other emerging markets in a rally and under perform in a fall – highest risk
FXI (China ETF)

*5%+ Alternative Energy
GEX(Alternative energy ETF) (If Obama wins you will see this sector flourish)

Chief Strategy – Buy the DIPS of trending sector – This is not your fathers market- over the 8 Bush years the Dow has gone from 11,000 to 8,000 and uncertainty clouds the future.

The major trend now is volatility.

Traders who have a strong tolerance for risk jump in on dips and invest more. Sell or go short into major rallies. Long term Investors who can tolerate risk and are 100% in cash nibble just a little on big dips. (5% on each big dip) Do not buy into rallies.

Shorting – Three ETF that short 2x what the the major indexes do.

TWM – ultra short Russell 2000
QID – ultra short NASDQ
SDS – ultra short S&P 500

As Always Do Your Own Research Before Investing

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