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Mesta hækkun í BNA í 5 ár...

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Hvað segja menn, munu þessar aðgerðir seðlabankans þar vestra (þ.e.a.s. að dæla inn 200 milljörðum $) hafa varanleg áhrif? Hvað haldið þið um áframhaldandi þróun?

Hlutabréfin tóku svakalegan kipp í dag.

Dow +3,55%

S&P 500 +3,71%

NASDAQ +3,98%

Frétt Bloomberg um aðgerðir seðlabankans

Mun þessi neyðaraðgerð seðlabankans duga? Verður ekkert af þessari margumtöluðu kreppu?

Sjálfur held ég að þetta sé nú skammgóður vermir, ef vandinn var ekki meiri en svo að seðlbankinn gat reddað þessu með „smá“ innspýtingu þá var þetta varla mikill vandi er það? En samt held ég að fáum detti í hug að segja að það sé enginn vandi til staðar sbr. t.d. þetta (tekið af þræði dr. Müller):

None of the 80 AAA securities in ABX indexes that track subprime bonds meet the criteria S&P had even before it toughened ratings standards in February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A bond sold by Deutsche Bank AG in May 2006 is AAA at both companies even though 43 percent of the underlying mortgages are delinquent.

Það er augljóslega hellingur af verðlausum draslbréfum enn í umferð. Er ekki seðlabankinn bara með þessum aðgerðum að blása enn meira í blöðruna sem þýðir að fallið verður bara meira?

En hver er skoðun ykkar svona almennt á því að seðlabankinn sé að lána ríkisskuldabréf (sem eru mjög seljanleg) gegn einhverjum drasl bréfum? Þurfa bankarnir ekki að fara að bera meiri ábyrgð í stað þess að reiða sig á það að seðlabankinn komi alltaf til bjargar?

Endilega að fá smá umræður hér, hefur verið eitthvað svo dauft hérna upp á síðkastið.

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Ég sé ekki að neitt innspýtingarlegt geti hjálpað BNA til langframa. Strúktúrveikleikarnir í efnahagslífinu eru of miklir. Nú er olían komin í 109 dollara - heilu borgirnar í BNA eru að verða verðlausar vegna hækkandi orkuverðs.

Það besta sem hagkerfi geta gert í dag er að einangra sig frá BNA, þeir eru holdsveikir.

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suddendebt.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

History Rhymes in Slow Motion

The repeated attempts by the Fed to arrest the credit contraction and prevent equity markets from going into a tailspin look to me like a repeat of what happened in October 1929, albeit in extra-slow motion.

As an avid student of market history (... "it rhymes"), I highly recommend the careful reading of Galbraith's The Great Crash of 1929. Within it are described concerted attempts to forestall the inevitable. As the market swooned in late September and early October 1929, "great men" from Morgan and National City Bank were sent to walk the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. They made a grand show of providing money at the broker call-loan post (margin funds) and of supporting a variety of blue chips like Steel and Radio with repeated buy orders.

Their actions cheered speculators, who ramped up prices sharply for a few days. But when conditions worsened once again, the "great men" had to give up in order to protect their own institutions.

This time the "action" is taking weeks rather than days to play out, because:

* The "great men" have been replaced by the Fed, which has more resources at its disposal and less inhibitions to using them. It has no shareholders or depositors to protect (except for millions of taxpayers, but that's too amorphous a group) and the man at the helm is stubbornly certain he is following the right course.

* Markets are far more diverse and complex today than the simple stocks, bonds and trusts of 1929. While the overall leverage may in fact be far greater today, there are also more dominoes at play, i.e. more products (e.g. derivatives) and more players (e.g. all sorts of funds). Starting as always with the "bad debt" domino, it takes more time now for the whole series of them to drop before the final "equity" domino is hit a decisive blow.

* After 25 years of successful Fed action that averted or contained financial crises, its abilities have become an article of faith with most speculators, investors and - most unfortunately - politicians. This past performance has created widespread complacency; time and again I hear the same adage from "sophisticated" market participants: "They won't let it get out of hand". The Greenspan put has morphed into the Bernanke put, even though conditions are far more dangerous now.

To summarize, events are proceeding more or less along the same path as 1929 but with more fits and starts. The experience is akin to watching a football game entirely in slow motion - it may take a while to get to the end, but the outcome won't likely be any different.

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Mín skoðun ætti að vera öllum ljós. Að prenta meiri peninga í því ástandi sem ríkir núna, er eins og vera kallt og pissa í skóinn sinn í frosti.

Menn eru í afneitun. Neita að viðurkenna að þær hagfræðikenningar sem Bandaríska hagkerfið hefur verið keyrt eftir síðustu áratugina, sé fals og innantóm bóla. Pappírar sem eru talaðir upp með öllum trixum sem til eru í bókinni. Pappírar sem eru marg, marg, marg veðsettir, hring eftir hring.

Slík prentun býr til fjöll af skuldum. Og slíkar skuldir ná í skottið á mönnum þegar fram líður. Aðeins spurning um tíma og ekkert annað.

Sama á við hér hjá okkur. Gríðar lánveitingar út á loft-veð eins og hlutabréf, gjafakvóta og þenslu í eignum hvers konar eins og í fasteignum er hrein og bein peningaprentun. Veð sem geta aldrei framleitt gjaldeyri eða raunveruleg verðmæti. Þess vegna hækka og hækka skuldir, innkoman hækkar ekki. Í það minnsta ekki af völdum þessara veða.

Að reka hagkerfi svona er ekki bara óábyrgt, heldur hreinn og beinn glæpur að mínu áliti. Slík er firran.

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200 milljarða dollara innspýtingin virðist ekki ætla að hafa tilætluð áhrif:

Money-Market Rate for Euros Rises After Fed's Action

March 12 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of borrowing euros for three months rose for a seventh day, signaling central bank measures to combat the credit squeeze are having limited success.

The euro interbank offered rate, or Euribor, for the loans increased 1 basis point to 4.61 percent, the highest since Jan. 7, the European Banking Federation said. The one-week rate was little changed at 4.14 percent.

Frétt Bloomberg

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Jæja, það fór eins og ég bjóst við, markaðir vestra lokuðu rauðir í dag. Þetta var skammgóður vermir.

Svo er alveg ótrúlegt að fylgjast með dollaranum, hann er bara í frjálu falli. EUR/USD fór alveg í 1.5573, slær nýtt met á hverjum degi nánast nú orðið.

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Hvaða skoðun hafið þið Málverjar á því hvort Seðlabanki Evrópu fari að gera sig líklegan til að rétta af þennan gengismismun með handafli?

Mér skilst að Airbus tapi t.a.m stórum upphæðum á hverri örstyrkingu evrunnar gagnvart dollara og að launakostnaður sé orðinn ansi hár

fyrir Bandarísk fyrirtæki með rekstur í Evrópu.

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Hingað til hefur ECB einblínt á að halda verðbólgunni í skefjum og ég á ekki von á að þeir breyti því svona einn tveir og tíu og fari þess í stað að fikta með gengið.

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Hvernig getur króna sem er studd með 13,75% stýrivöxtum og háum raunvöxtum hríðfallið? Bankakerfi heimsins er í slíku lamasessi að margir sem þurfa að standa við peningalegar skuldbindingar neyðast til þess að selja fjárfestingar sem auðvelt er að koma í verð. Þegar kreppir að bankakerfinu þá vitum við aðeins eitt með fullvissu – óvæntir hlutir byrja að gerast með stuttu millibili. Þess vegna er óþarfi að vera líka með heimatilbúinn vanda eins og okurvexti..

Bankakerfi Bandaríkjanna og Evrusvæðisins eru bæði farin að minna óþægilega mikið á gamla sovéska kerfið þar sem allt var þjóðnýtt. Seðlabankarnir eru farnir að lána hundruð milljarða út á ruslapappíra sem enginn frjáls markaður vill kaupa af bankakerfinu. Þegar svona lán eru látin rúlla áfram með endalausum framlengingum, þá fara þau að virka eins og þjóðnýting bankakerfisins. Steve Waldman skrifaði frábæra grein um þetta 8. mars http://interfluidity.powerblogs.com/posts/1204920896.shtml .

The Fed announced that it would auction off $100B in loans this month rather than the previously announced $60B via its TAF facility. In the same press release, the FRB announced plans to offer $100B worth of 28 day loans via repurchase agreements against "any of the types of securities — Treasury, agency debt, or agency mortgage-backed securities — that are eligible as collateral in conventional open market operations".

Tveim dögum eftir að þessi grein var skrifuð hækkuðu lán seðlabankans upp í $200 milljarða.

T

he second announcement puzzled me. After all, the Fed conducts uses repos routinely in the open market operations by which they try to hold the interbank lending rate to the Federal Funds target. In aggregate, the quantity of funds that the Fed makes available is constrained by the Fed Funds target. So, what do we learn from this? Fortunately, the New York Fed provides more details:

“The Federal Reserve has announced that the Open Market Trading Desk will conduct a series of term repurchase (RP) transactions that are expected to cumulate to $100 billion outstanding... These transactions will be conducted as 28-day term RP agreements. When the Desk arranges its conventional RPs, it accepts propositions from dealers in three collateral “tranches.” In the first tranche, dealers may pledge only Treasury securities. In the second tranche, dealers have the option to pledge federal agency debt in addition to Treasury securities. In the third tranche, dealers have the option to pledge mortgage-backed securities issued or fully guaranteed by federal agencies in addition to federal agency debt or Treasury securities. With the special “single-tranche” RPs announced today, dealers have the option to pledge either mortgage-backed securities issued or fully guaranteed by federal agencies, federal agency debt, or Treasury securities. The Desk has arranged single-tranche transactions from time to time in the past.”

There are a couple of differences, then, between this new program and typical repo operations:

1. The loans are of a longer-term than usual. Ordinarily, the Fed lends on terms ranging from overnight to two weeks in its "temporary open market operations". The Fed will now offer substantial funding on a 28 day term.

2. The Fed is effectively broadening its collateral requirements by collapsing what are usually 3 distinct levels of collateral which are lent against at different rates to a single category within which no distinctions are made.

The Fed offered the first $15B of repo loans under the program today, so we can see how things are going to work. First, how did the Fed square the circle of ramping up its repos without pushing down the Federal Funds rate? Just as it had done with TAF, the Fed offset the "temporary" injection of funds with a "permanent open market operation". The Fed sold outright $10B of Treasury securities today at the same time as it offered $15B in exchange for mortgage-backed securities under the new program (at a low interest rate than in traditional repos against MBS collateral). The net cash injection was small, but the composition of securities on bank balance sheets changed markedly, as illiquid securities were exchanged for liquid Treasuries.

Nýir peningar sem fara í umferð í gegnum bankakerfið hafa margföldunaráhrif (bankinn lánar það aðilum sem leggja þá aftur inn í bankaerfið og kerfið lánar þá aftur og aftur) og seðlabankinn verður því að berjast við verðbólguna með því að taka peninga úr umferð með sölu ríkisskuldabréfa. Markaðurinn sýndi vantrú sína með því að fella dollarann

In James Hamilton's wonderful coinage http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2007/1...ary_policy.html , the Fed is conducting monetary policy on the asset side of the balance sheet. This is an innovation of the Bernanke Fed. Conventionally, monetary policy is about managing the quantity of the central bank's core liability, currency outstanding. When the Fed wants to loosen, it expands its liabilities by issuing cash in exchange for securities. When it wants to tighten, it redeems cash for securities, reducing Fed liabilities. The asset side is conventionally an afterthought, "government securities". But the Bernanke Fed has branched out. It has sought to lend against a wide-range of assets, actively seeking to replace securities about which the market seems spooked with safe-haven Treasuries on bank balance sheets without creating new cash. By doing this, the Fed hopes to square the circle of helping banks through their "liquidity crisis" without provoking a broad inflation.

"Monetary policy on the asset side of the balance sheet" is a bit too anodyne a description of what's going on here though. The Fed has gotten into an entirely new line of business, and on a massive scale. Prior to the introduction of TAF, direct loans from the Fed to banks, including the discount window lending and repos, amounted to less than $40B, the majority of which were repos collateralized by Treasury securities. By the end of this month, the Federal Reserve will have more than $200B of exposure in its new role as Wall Street's genial pawnbroker. Assuming the liability side of the Fed's balance sheet is held roughly constant, more than a fifth of the Fed's balance sheet will be direct loans to banks, almost certainly against collateral not backed by the full faith and credit of the US government (and beyond that we just don't know). This raises a whole host of issues.

Hlutirnir gerast hratt því núna eru um 25% verðmæta á efnahagsreikningi seðlabankans í útlánum.

Caroline Baum wrote a column http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...=columnist_baum last week poopooing

concerns about the Fed taking on credit risk via TAF lending. I usually enjoy Baum's work, but this column was poorly argued. In it, she points out that the Fed has all the tools it needs to manage credit risk. The Fed offers loans only against collateral, and requires that loans be overcollateralized. If the collateral has no clear market value or if there are questions about an asset's quality, the Fed has complete discretion to force a "haircut", writing down the asset (for the purpose of the loan) to whatever value it sees fit. And the Fed can always just say no to any collateral it deems sketchy.

All of that is quite true, and (as Baum snarkily points out) not hard to find on FRB websites. But it fails to address the core issue. Sure the Fed has all the tools it needs to manage credit risk. But does it have the will to use those tools? In word and deed, the Fed's primary concern since August has been to "restore normal functioning" to financial markets. The Fed has chosen to accept some inflation risk in its fight against macroeconomic meltdown. Why wouldn't it knowingly accept some credit risk as well? No one has suggested that the Fed is being "snookered". Skeptics think the Fed is intentionally taking on bank credit risk while still lending at very low rates. Some of us find that troubling.

Which brings us to the more postmodern issue of what credit risk even means to a lender with unlimited cash and an overt unwillingness to let those it lends to default. In a way, I agree with Baum. Until the current crisis is long past, I think it unlikely that any large bank will default and stiff the Fed with toxic collateral. Why not? Because for that to happen, the Fed would have to pull the trigger itself, by demanding payment on loans rather than offering to roll them over. Since TAF started last fall, on net, the Fed has not only rolled over its loans to the banking system, but has periodically increased banks' line of credit as well. In an echo of the housing bubble, there's no such thing as a bad loan as long as borrowers can always refinance to cover the last one.

The distinction between debt and equity is much murkier than many people like to believe. Arguably, debt whose timely repayment cannot be enforced should be viewed as equity. (Financial statement analysts perform this sort of reclassification all the time in order to try to tease the true condition of firms out of accounting statements.) If you think, as I do, that the Fed would not force repayment as long as doing so would create hardship for important borrowers, then perhaps these "term loans" are best viewed not as debt, but as very cheap preferred equity.

Let's go with that for a minute, and think about the implications. One much discussed story of the current crisis is the role of sovereign wealth funds in helping to capitalize struggling banks. Will they, won't they, should we worry? Sovereign wealth funds have invested about $24B in struggling US financials. Meanwhile, the Fed is quietly providing eight times that on much easier terms.

If we view TAF and the new 28-day, broad-collateral repos as equity, what fraction of bank capitalization would they represent? I haven't been able to find current numbers on aggregate bank capitalization in the US. In June of 2006, the accounting net worth of U.S. Commercial Banks, Thrift Institutions and Credit Unions was 1.25 trillion dollars. Putting together remarks by Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn and data on bank equity to total assets from the St. Louis Fed yields a more recent estimate of about 1.6 trillion. The average price to book among the top ten US banks is about 1.3. So, a reasonable estimate for the current market value of bank equity is 2 trillion dollars. The $200B in "equity" the Fed will have supplied by the end of March will leave the Federal Reserve owning roughly 9.1% of the total bank equity. Obviously, the Fed isn't investing in the entire bank sector uniformly. Some banks will be very substantially "owned" by the central bank, whereas others will remain entirely private sector entities. As Dean Baker points out, the Fed is giving us no information by which to tell which is which.

What we are witnessing is an incremental, partial nationalization of the US banking system. Northern Rock in the UK is peanuts compared to what the New York Fed is up to.

You may object, and I'm sure many of you will, that our little thought experiment is bunk, debt is debt and equity is equity, these are 28-day loans, and that's that. But notionally collateralized "term" loans that won't ever be redeemed unless and until it is convenient for borrowers are an odd sort of liability. Central banks are very familiar with the ruse of disguising equity as liability. Currency itself is formally a liability of the central bank, but in every meaningful sense fiat money is closer to equity.

I do not, by the way, object to nationalizing failing banks. There are (unfortunately) banks that are "too big to fail", whose abrupt disappearance could cause widespread disruption and harm. These should be nationalized when they fall to the brink. But they should be nationalized overtly, their equity written to zero, and their executives shamed. That sounds harsh. It is harsh. One hates to see bad things happen to nice people, and these are mostly nice people. But running institutions with trillion-dollar balance sheets is a serious business. Accountability matters. These people were not stupid. They knew, in Chuck Prince's now infamous words, that "when the music stops... things will be complicated.", and they kept dancing anyway.

But accountability has gone out of style. The Federal Reserve is injecting equity into failing banks while calling it debt. Citibank is paying 11% to Abu Dhabi for ADIA's small preferred equity stake, while the US Fed gets under 3% now for the "collateralized 28-day loans" it makes to Citi. Pace Accrued Interest (whom I much admire), I still think this all amounts to a gigantic bail-out. And that it is a brilliantly bad idea from which financial capitalism may have a hard time recovering. Like a well-meaning surgeon slicing up arteries to salvage the appendix, the Federal Reserve is only trying to help.

Eins lengi og pappírar sem bankarnir sitja uppi með halda áfram að falla í verði þá heldur bankakreppan áfram. Þetta graf bendir til þess að efnahagslægðin verði löng, en það sýnir upphæðirnar sem fólk hefur verið að slá út á húsin sín (eyðslufé). Bláu súlurnar sýna að einstaklingar voru að slá yfir $200 milljarða suma ársfjórunga en rauða strikið gefur til kynna hve há prósenta þetta var af eyðslutekjunum. Við höfum hér sex til sjö ára lánafyllerí, sem á eftir að jafna sig út með miklu lægri tölum til fjölda ára.

Þessi lán, venjulega annað eða þriðja veð, eru að lenda í vanskilum í vaxandi mæli.

Ef við lítum á seðlabanka sem sameign fólksins (nú mundi Rockefeller hlægja!) þá vaknar sú spurning hvort verið sé að þjóna hagsmunum samfélagsins með því að lána vandræðabönkum út á ruslabréf. Hvers vegna á fólkið að bjarga bönkum sem eru búnir að setja hagkerfi heimsins á annan endann með svikum? Tökum eitt dæmi:

artesia.jpg

Þetta þriggja herbergja 80 fermetra hús í friðsömu hverfi í Los Angeles seldist fyrir $363.000 þann 22. desember 2006. Í dag er hægt að kaupa það fyrir $180.000. Er eitthvað vit í að bankinn geti gengið inn í seðlabankann og tekið lán út á hærri upphæðina? Margfaldið síðan dæmið með milljónum húsa sem bera lán sem eru hærri en verðmiðinn sem þau bera í dag.

Í fyrsta skipti í sögunni eiga Bandaríkjamenn sem heild minna en 50% í húsunum sem þeir keyptu. Um 1950 áttu þeir 80% og lánakerfið ekki nema 20%. Samt hafði fjöldi hermanna tekið 100% lán eftir seinna stríð.

Þrátt fyrir þennan mikla peningamokstur þá eru langtímavextir að hækka.

March 11 (Bloomberg) -- Yields on agency mortgage securities relative to U.S. Treasuries traded near 22-year highs, as the Federal Reserve's plan to temporarily swap up to $200 billion of government debt for mortgage bonds failed to ease concern that a liquidity and capital crunch will continue to roil debt markets.

The difference in yields on the Bloomberg index for Fannie Mae's current-coupon, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage bonds and 10- year government notes narrowed about 5 basis points, to 223 basis points, paring a larger decline. The spread helps determine the interest rate on new prime home mortgages of $417,000 or less.

The drop still left the spread about 87 basis points wider than on Jan. 15, the recent low, and higher than last week. Banks and securities firms last month launched a new round of demands for more collateral on loans secured by debt to investment funds including Thornburg Mortgage Inc. and Carlyle Capital Corp., forcing sales and eroding potential returns, and few buyers have emerged. The spread reached the highest since 1986 on March 5.

The new Fed program announced today ``prevents things from getting considerably worse, and it helps the broker-dealer community a fair amount,'' said Ajay Rajadhyaksha, head of fixed- income strategy at Barclays Capital. ``But by the end of the day people will realize it's not a silver bullet.''

Shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government- chartered companies that guarantee most agency mortgage securities and represent two of the largest holders the bonds and other mortgage debt, rallied after plunging to the lowest since 1995 yesterday. Spreads on the companies' own debt narrowed. Markit ABX indexes, which are used to create derivatives tied to the performance of subprime-loan securities, climbed, suggesting a rise in prices for some home-loan bonds off record lows. ...

Eins og áður hefur komið fram á þessum síðum þá getur seðlabanki auðveldlega gert hagkerfið sveigjanlegra, t.d. með eðlilegum vaxtalækkunum, reglum um lægri bindiskyldu banka, kaupum á ríkisskuldabréfum o.s.frv. En seðlabanki stendur ráðþrota þegar mikil verðmæti gufa upp á stuttum tíma. Bankakerfið vill ekki lána út á hús eða fyrirtæki sem eru að lækka í verði. Því fyrr sem botninum er náð, þeim mun betra. Þá fyrst taka markaðslögmálin við sér.

Seðlabankinn BNA er búinn að lækka stýrivexti niður fyrir verðbólgustigið og hefur þannig yfirgefið dollarann. Það hækkar heimsmarkaðsverð á hráefni. Gullið nálgast $1000 og olían virðist algjörlega óstöðvandi (gæti þó hæglega fallið um $20 í djúpri efnahagslægð).

Ég byrjaði að spá miklum olíuhækkunum fyrir mörgum árum, en það er samt eitthvað ískyggilegt við að sjá tunnuna í $110. Vonandi eru ekki einhverjir braskarar með upplýsingar um væntanlegar loftárásir á Íran. Svoleiðis ævintýri gæti endað með kreppu um allan heim.

sjá línurit á http://www.vald.org/

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Takk einsog alltaf fyrir góðan pistil Jóhannes.

Það að lesa skrif þín er einsog að horfa í krystalkúlu, allt sem þú hefur sagt er að rætast.

En hvað finnst þér persónulegra, eru hlutirnir að gerast hraðar og mun ástandið verða verra en þig óraði fyrir? Lumarðu á einhverjum jákvæðum spám fyrir okkur? Hvar og hvenær sjáum við í þennan margumtalaða botn, bæði vestan hafs og hér?

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Takk einsog alltaf fyrir góðan pistil Jóhannes.

Það að lesa skrif þín er einsog að horfa í krystalkúlu, allt sem þú hefur sagt er að rætast.

En hvað finnst þér persónulegra, eru hlutirnir að gerast hraðar og mun ástandið verða verra en þig óraði fyrir? Lumarðu á einhverjum jákvæðum spám fyrir okkur? Hvar og hvenær sjáum við í þennan margumtalaða botn, bæði vestan hafs og hér?

Markaðurinn er eins og stíflað klósett og nær ekki að starfa eðlilega fyrr en búið er að sturta öllu ruslinu niður. Bankakerfið er ekki búið að afskrifa helming undirmálsbréfa sem tengjast fasteignum. Það átti auðvitað að neyða bankana til þess að losa sig við þetta allt fyrir mörgum mánuðum, taka stóran skell, en vera þó í aðstöðu til þess að hefja eðlileg viðskipti á ný.

Núna eru ruslabréfin eins og úldin kartafla sem skemmir út frá sér og ótrúlegustu pappírar eru í vandræðum. Stöndugar opinberar stofnanir (t.d. borgir, hafnir og hraðbrautir sem innheimta toll) geta varla fengið skammtímalán. Hálfopinberir námslánasjóðir í BNA eru að fara á hausinn. Hringrás kapítalsins er rofin.

Þetta er afleit staða á augnabliki þegar vandræði eru að byrja á öðrum mörkuðum. Lán sem tengjast atvinnuhúsnæði eru að sökkva og greiðslukortaskuldir stefna sömu leið. Á sama tíma er sparnaður fólks í BNA fyrir neðan núllið.

Feikilegt fall dollarans á síðustu vikum er líka áhyggjuefni og frekara fall gæti sett heimsverslunina í hnút. Evra kostar núna $1,55 (frekar stutt síðan hún fór yfir $1,30) og spurning hve lengi evrópsk fyrirtæki þola slíkt. Fólk flýr í áþreifanlegri verðmæti og gull fór t.d. upp í $1000 tímabundið í dag. Olían liggur í $110.

Botninn er hvergi sjáanlegur, en maður veit aldrei hvað seðlabankar og pólitíkusar geta gert. Núna ræðir bandaríska þingið um (og þetta er ekki brandari) að senda öllum sem vilja kaupa sér húsnæði $15.000 tékk! Forsetinn gæti líka haldið ræðu í næstu viku og lýst því yfir að flest fasteignalán verði ríkistryggð. Sú sovéska aðferð mundi leysa vandann ... en gull færi fljótlega yfir $2000.

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S&P Says End in Sight for Writedowns on Subprime Debt (Update3)

By Jody Shenn

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Standard & Poor's said the end is in sight for writedowns on debt linked to subprime mortgages by the world's financial institutions.

Writedowns from subprime-tied securities will probably rise to $285 billion, New York-based S&P said today in a report. The ratings company previously estimated losses of $265 billion in January. S&P raised its estimate because of increased loss assumptions for collateralized debt obligations.

``The positive news is that, in our opinion, the global financial sector appears to have already disclosed the majority of valuation writedowns'' on subprime debt, S&P credit analyst Scott Bugie said in a statement. Losses on other debt such as leveraged loans are still likely to increase, the report said.

Frétt Bloomberg

Var það ekki S&P sem mat sub-prime drasl bréfin sem gæðabréf?

Maður hefði haldið að trúverðugleiki þeirra væri orðin lítill en samt er þessi yfirlýsing þeirra nóg til að rétta markaðinn við. Ég segi nú sjálfur að ekki hef ég jafn mikla trú á þessari yfirlýsingu þeirra og markaðurinn virðist hafa. Dow úr -200 í +65.

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S&P Says End in Sight for Writedowns on Subprime Debt (Update3)

By Jody Shenn

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Standard & Poor's said the end is in sight for writedowns on debt linked to subprime mortgages by the world's financial institutions.

Writedowns from subprime-tied securities will probably rise to $285 billion, New York-based S&P said today in a report. The ratings company previously estimated losses of $265 billion in January. S&P raised its estimate because of increased loss assumptions for collateralized debt obligations.

``The positive news is that, in our opinion, the global financial sector appears to have already disclosed the majority of valuation writedowns'' on subprime debt, S&P credit analyst Scott Bugie said in a statement. Losses on other debt such as leveraged loans are still likely to increase, the report said.

Frétt Bloomberg

Var það ekki S&P sem mat sub-prime drasl bréfin sem gæðabréf?

Maður hefði haldið að trúverðugleiki þeirra væri orðin lítill en samt er þessi yfirlýsing þeirra nóg til að rétta markaðinn við. Ég segi nú sjálfur að ekki hef ég jafn mikla trú á þessari yfirlýsingu þeirra og markaðurinn virðist hafa. Dow úr -200 í +65.

Það er nákvæmlega ekkert að marka bullið í S & P og Moodys. Það á að loka þessum fyrirtækjum strax og búa til hlutlausa stofnun sem leggur alvöru mat á hlutina. Það er reyndar verið að tala um eitthvað svoleiðis í evrulandi.

Þetta er hálfgerð mafíustarfsemi þar sem menn kaupa sér vernd. Ruslabréf upp á hundruð milljarða dollara voru AAA pappírar þar til allt hrundi vegna þess að bankarnir borguðu fyrir þessa þjónustu. Eins og allir sem hafa fylgst með AAA matinu á Ambac þá eru matsfyrirtækin líka pólitískar portkonur. Ambac er tæknilega gjaldþrota en réttir aðilar hafa pressað S&P og Moodys til þess að halda skrípaleiknum gangandi. Það er gert vegna þess að mat á skuldum margra opinberra aðila er samtvinnað örlögum Ambac (sem undirskrifaði pakkana). Þetta er sagan um Jón og séra Jón.

S&P hefur ekki græna glóru um hversu mikið af ruslapappírum þarf að afskrifa. Staðan er fljótandi. Alltaf þegar fasteignir lækka þá fjölgar í ruslahauginum. Sögulega þá tekur 5 – 7 ár að ná jafnvægi á fasteignamarkaði eftir að sápukúla hefur verið blásin út. Þetta er versta sápukúla allra tíma. Allar spár hagfræðinga (sem hóps) hingað til hafa vanmetið vandann. Núna eru þeir að tala um 5,3% lækkun á þessu ári. Wall Streeet Journal segir:

March 13, 2008, 2:01 pm

Housing Market Has Further to Fall

Those looking for relief from the housing downturn shouldn’t get their hopes up for any recovery soon, according to economists in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.

The majority of respondents say the U.S. is currently in a recession, and one of the major drags has been the housing sector. On average, economists see a 5.3% drop in house prices, as measured by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, in 2008 and a 1.3% decline in 2009. “The bulk of inventory problem hits this year, pulling prices down,” said Diane Swonk of Mesirow Financial, referring to the imbalance between homes on the market and sales.

When economists were asked when home prices will touch bottom, most said it won’t come until 2009. Just 28% think the worst will pass this year, while 10% don’t see a recovery until 2010. Ethan Harris of Lehman Brothers said the bottom won’t come until the third quarter of 2009, and warned that “home prices will bottom later in many bubble regions.”

The situation has deteriorated to the point that economists are looking at unconventional methods to help the market. Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that lenders could aid struggling homeowners by reducing their principal — the sum of money they borrowed — to lessen the likelihood of foreclosure. Some 71% of respondents agreed with the suggestion. Lawrence Yun of the National Association of Realtors says that the idea “provides incentive not to walk away.” But Bruce Kasman of J.P. Morgan Chase warns that the proposal enjoys “little support from lenders.”

The majority of economists also expect that public money will be used in response to the deepening housing crisis. Thirty-three percent said such a move if likely, but not certain, while 29% said it is a near certainty. Twenty-two percent put the chances at 50/50, as 16% said it is not likely, but possible. None said they were almost sure that it won’t happen. “It’s a near certainty, either formally or informally,” said Michael P. Niemira of the International Council of Shopping Centers. “This may be either a good or bad thing, but this interference and encouragement is almost an asking of a favor which will cost U.S. taxpayer.”

Separately, the debate continues to rage over which home-price measure — Ofheo or Case-Shiller – provides the best snapshot of the situation. A slim majority 55%-45% chose the Ofheo index, but problems with both indexes were clear. Ofheo was derided for its limitation to loans backed by government-sponsored entities that leaves out jumbo and nonconforming loans, while Case-Shiller’s more limited coverage of U.S. markets was criticized. Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics offered one solution: “Both are equally valid,” he said. “Take the average.” –Phil Izzo

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/03/13/...urther-to-fall/

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