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Sehen wir den Anfang einer weltweiten Rezession?

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Sehen wir den Anfang einer weltweiten Rezession?

28
15.08.07 13:19
#1

Die Metallmärkte sind in der Regel gute Frühindikatoren für die Konjunktur, hier geht es nun seit einigen Wochen steil bergab. Oder handelt es sich hier nur um einen massiven Verkauf vieler Hedgefonds, die an den Kunden zurückfließen oder die durch die Rückabwicklung der Carry Trades dem Markt einfach nicht mehr zur Verfügung stehen?

In den letzten Tagen haben Marc Faber sowie Jim Rogers immer wieder auf die Möglichkeit einer bevorstehenden Rezession hingewiese. Beide sind unabhängig und genießen somit hohe Glaubwürdigkeit.

Marc Faber - sees hellish recession, so schlimm muss es ja nicht gleich kommen.

Nickel, böse getroffen:

 

 

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Inflation lässt Ökonomen kalt

3
11.12.07 13:35
HANDELSBLATT, Dienstag, 11. Dezember 2007, 12:00 Uhr
Kein Trend

Inflation lässt Ökonomen kaltVon Dorit Heß und Norbert Häring

Keine Panik! Trotz gestiegener Inflationsraten blicken die Chefvolkswirte der großen deutschen Banken entspannt auf die Konjunktur. Die Prognosen sind optimistisch. Nur eine Gefahr sehen sie übereinstimmend.



Die führenden Ökonomen großer deutscher Banken sehen in dem kräftigen Inflationsanstieg der letzten Monate kein großes Problem. Bild: HB
Die führenden Ökonomen großer deutscher Banken sehen in dem kräftigen Inflationsanstieg der letzten Monate kein großes Problem. Bild: HB

FRANKFURT. Die führenden Ökonomen großer deutscher Banken sehen in dem kräftigen Inflationsanstieg der letzten Monate kein großes Problem und rechnen mit einem baldigen, kräftigen Rückgang. Dass deutlich steigende Inflationsprämien die Zinsen am Kapitalmarkt nach oben treiben könnten, erwarten sie nicht.

In Deutschland war die Inflationsrate im November in der Berechnungsweise der EU auf 3,3 Prozent gestiegen, im Euro-Raum auf drei Prozent. Die Europäische Zentralbank (EZB) sieht bis knapp zwei Prozent Preisstabilität gewahrt. „In Anbetracht der vorübergehenden Sonderbelastungen wie Mehrwertsteuererhöhung, Ölpreisanstieg und Nahrungsmittelverteuerung ist drei Prozent noch ein recht moderater Wert“, sagte Michael Heise von Dresdner Bank und Allianz im Frankfurter Gespräch des Handelsblatts. Ab Januar fällt bereits der preistreibende Effekt der Mehrwertsteuererhöhung um drei Prozentpunkte in Deutschland von Januar 2007 aus dem Vorjahresvergleich heraus. Schon im zweiten Halbjahr nächsten Jahres rechnet Heise damit, dass die Inflationsrate im Euro-Raum wieder unter zwei Prozent fallen wird.

Auch Jörg Krämer von der Commerzbank ist überzeugt, dass eine deutliche Konjunkturabschwächung im nächsten Jahr dafür sorgen wird, dass der Preisdruck wieder nachlässt. „Die Löhne werden nur moderat steigen, auch weil die Arbeitnehmer im übrigen EuroRaum unter Druck stehen, dem deutschen Beispiel zu folgen“, so Krämer. Er sagt für das nächste Jahr in Deutschland eine Inflationsrate von nur noch 1,7 Prozent voraus. Thomas Mayer von der Deutschen Bank ist mit der Prognose von rund zwei Prozent für Deutschland und den Euro-Raum ähnlich optimistisch.

Lediglich Ulrich Kater von der Deka-Bank sagt voraus, dass die Inflation in Deutschland auch im nächsten Jahr mit rund 2,5 Prozent nochmals merklich über der Stabilitätsschwelle der EZB liegen werde. „Derzeit werden die Zutaten für mehr Inflation aus dem Schrank geholt: eine gut ausgelastete Volkswirtschaft, nachlassende Globalisierungseffekte, eine bevorstehende, sehr spannende Lohnrunde 2008 und eine gefühlte Inflation von sechs Prozent“, so Kater. „Die muss man jetzt nur noch zusammenrühren.“ Kater teilt nicht den Konjunkturpessimismus seiner Kollegen.

Während zum Beispiel Mayer damit rechnet, dass die US-Notenbank ihren Leitzins von derzeit 4,5 Prozent bis auf drei Prozent senkt und die EZB mit mehreren Zinssenkungen nachfolgt, prognostiziert Kater konstante EZB-Zinsen und sieht die Untergrenze für den US-Leitzins bei vier Prozent. Er verlässt sich darauf, dass die gute Konjunkturentwicklung in anderen Teilen der Welt die Abschwächung in den USA ausgleichen kann. Dagegen sind die anderen drei überzeugt, dass der Mix aus höherem Euro, höheren Ölpreisen, Probleme der Banken und US-Konjunkturabschwächung eine konjunkturelle Schwächephase auslösen werden.

» Handelsblatt-Indikatoren: Die frühzeitige und zuverlässige Schätzung für Wirtschaft und Investoren


Mittel- bis langfristig jedoch – da sind sich die vier Volkswirte einig – steigt der Inflationsdruck. Das werde den Notenbanken das Leben schwerer machen als in der Vergangenheit, aber es wird beherrschbar bleiben. „Bei der Inflationsbekämpfung gibt es lange Zyklen“, sagte Mayer. „Wenn sie lange Zeit niedrig ist, verschieben sich die Prioritäten.“ Für ihn war das Jahr 2001 ein Wendepunkt, als die US-Notenbank die Deflation zum Staatsfeind Nummer eins erklärte.

 

Wegen der Alterung der Gesellschaft sehen die Ökonomen Verteilungskonflikte aufziehen. Die Versuchung werde sein, diese Konflikte über Inflation zu entschärfen. „Noch haben wir aber kein Inflationsproblem, und die Finanzmärkte sehen das auch nicht“, sagte Heise mit Verweis auf Renditen zehnjähriger Staatsanleihen von nur rund vier Prozent. Die Chefvolkswirte sind sich weitgehend einig, dass die Renditen im nächsten Jahr etwas anziehen werden, wenn ein Teil des in sichere Staatsanleihen geparkten Geldes wieder abfließt.


Unterschiedliche Einschätzungen

Wissenschaftler: Die wissenschaftliche Stab der Europäischen Zentralbank (EZB) sagt voraus, dass die Inflationsrate im Euro-Raum 2009 wahrscheinlich mit 1,8 Prozent wieder unter der Stabilitätsmarke von zwei Prozent liegen wird. Damit liegen sie etwa auf Linie der Einschätzung der meisten Volkswirte.

Notenbanker: Angesprochen auf die Prognose des EZB-Stabs sagte Direktoriumsmitglied Jürgen Stark Ende letzter Woche: „Wir im EZB-Rat kamen zu einem anderen Schluss.“ Das finnische EZB-Ratsmitglied Erkki Liikanen sagte: „Die Stabsprognose ist optimistischer als meine Einschätzung.“ Der EZB-Rat ist erpicht darauf, die Märkte zu überzeugen, dass an eine Zinssenkung nicht zu denken ist.

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Fannie, Freddie CEOs: More Trouble Ahead for Housi

2
11.12.07 20:59
Fannie, Freddie CEOs: More Trouble Ahead for Housing
FANNIE MAE, CEO DANIEL MUDD, REAL ESTATE
By CNBC.comCNBC.com
| 11 Dec 2007 | 12:42 PM ET
The housing market isn't likely to recover fully for at least two years, while the mortgage industry faces continued massive losses, the CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said.

Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd told CNBC that he doesn't expect the real estate market to recover fully until 2010.


"I would say right now we're still in a period of dislocation, prices moving up and down," Mudd said in a live interview. "We should start to settle out next year and through '09. We should see some improvement toward the end of that period."

Meanwhile, Freddie Mac expects to see $10 billion to $12 billion in credit losses on the book of mortgages it currently owns, CEO Richard Syron said at an investors conference sponsored by Goldman Sachs.

Freddie's Syron said in a separate interview with CNBC that the company has instituted a hiring freeze to help control costs as the guarantor's mortgage losses mounts.

"This is a tough time for a lot of people. It's been a very tough time with investors," he said. "We all have to share the pain."

Fannie and Freddie are government sponsored entities that are the two biggest mortgage lenders in the U.S.


Mudd predicted home prices would slip about 12 percent total by next year, which he said will be the key towards a full market correction and subsequent recovery.

"Prices inflated too fast and now we're in a process where prices are coming down to the level of supply and demand, which is still growing," he said. "It's going to take a couple of years to make that adjustment... The underlying basis, housing in America, is still solid."


Mudd also defended Fannie Mae's recent increase in up-front fees for loan applicants, which critics complain is making it more difficult even for top-quality buyers to afford mortgages.

"The business that we're in is to provide guarantees to lenders that those underlying loans will perform over time," he said. "The certainty with which you can guarantee that those loans can perform is more expensive."


Both Freddie and Fannie have raised capital lately to help them through the real estate difficulties.

Freddie Mac at the end of November raised $6 billion in capital via a preferred stock offering. At Fannie Mae, a cut in the dividend and sale of $7 billion in preferred stock earlier this month will give it "incremental extra capital" to manage its business of guaranteeing mortgage securities and make opportunistic purchases for its portfolio, Mudd said .

"That's our expectation," he said when asked if the capital-raising efforts would be enough.

© 2007 CNBC.com
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November Inflation Surged; Retail Sales Also Stron

 
13.12.07 15:34

November Inflation Surged; Retail Sales Also StrongINFLATION, RETAIL SALES, PRODUCER PRICE INDEX, ECONOMY, FED, INTEREST RATESBy ReutersReuters| 13 Dec 2007 | 08:49 AM ET

Inflation at the wholesale level was stronger than expected in November, thanks to higher gasoline prices, but retail sales also exceeded expectations as holiday shoppers coped with higher energy costs and the fallout from the housing slump.

U.S. producer prices surged at a 34-year high rate of 3.2 percent in November on a record
rise in gasoline prices, the Labor Department said.

 

Excluding food and energy prices, the producer price index rose an unexpectedly large 0.4 percent, the heftiest gain since February, the report showed. When cars and light trucks also
were stripped out, core producer prices rose 0.1 percent.

The rise in prices paid at the farm and factory gate was the largest since August 1973 and was well ahead of analysts' expectations of a 1.5 percent gain.  Analysts polled by Reuters
had forecast core prices to rise 0.2 percent.

The 7.2 percent increase in producer prices from November 2006 was the largest 12-month gain since November 1981.

Gasoline prices rose 34.8 percent in the month, eclipsing the previous record gain of 28.8 percent in April 1999. Prices for all energy goods also rose by a record 14.1 percent,
surpassing the previous high of 13.4 percent recorded in January 1990.

Sales at U.S. retailers osted a much stronger-than-expected 1.2 percent rise in November, government data showed  as holiday shoppers coped with high energy costs and the fallout from a housing slump.

Excluding autos, retail sales gained 1.8 percent, the Commerce Department said.

Economists polled by Reuters forecast retail sales to rise 0.6 percent while sales ex autos were also projected to increase by 0.6 percent.

However, part of the increase was fueled by mounting energy prices, with gasoline sales spurting 6.8 percent higher in November, which was the largest monthly gain since September
2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Still, sales excluding gasoline and autos gained 1.1 percent in November after growing just 0.1 percent in the previous month.

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits eased by a slightly more-than-expected
7,000 last week, a Labor Department report showed.

New applications for state unemployment insurance benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 333,000 in the week ended Dec. 8 from an upwardly revised 340,000 the week before. Analysts
polled by Reuters were expecting claims to ease to 335,000 from the previously reported 338,000.

The four-week moving average of new claims, which smooths out week-to-week fluctuations, fell slightly to 338,750 from a revised 340,750 the prior week.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits after an initial week of aid rose to 2.64 million in the week ended Dec. 1, the most recent week for which statistics are
available. Analysts had forecast claims would hold steady at 2.60 million.

The four-week moving average of continued claims rose to 2.61 million, the highest level since the week ended Jan. 7, 2006.

Copyright 2007 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

URL: http://www.cnbc.com/id/22240277/

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Greenspan sees early signs of U.S. stagflation

 
16.12.07 19:31

Greenspan sees early signs of U.S. stagflationupdated 12:02 p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2007Reutersupdated 12:02 p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2007

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy is showing early signs of stagflation as growth threatens to stall while food and energy prices soar, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Sunday.

In an interview on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Greenspan said low inflation was a major contributor to economic growth and prices must be held in check.

"We are beginning to get not stagflation, but the early symptoms of it," Greenspan said.

"Fundamentally, inflation must be suppressed," he added. "It's critically important that the Federal Reserve is allowed politically to do what it has to do to suppress the inflation rates that I see emerging, not immediately, but clearly over the intermediate and longer-term period."

The U.S. central bank has lowered its benchmark interest rate three times since mid-September as a housing downturn, tightening credit conditions, and steep food and energy prices threaten to push the U.S. economy into recession.

But cutting rates can have the unwanted side effect of pushing up prices, so the Fed finds itself in a tricky position of trying to revive growth without spurring inflation.

Last week, U.S. data showed that wholesale inflation rose at the highest rate in 34 years, while consumer prices rose the most in more than two years.

Greenspan repeated his assessment that the probability of a U.S. recession had moved up toward 50 percent but noted that corporate America's debt levels were in good shape, which should help cushion the blow from tightening credit terms.

"The real story is, with the extraordinary credit problems we're confronting, why the probabilities (of recession) are not 60 percent or 70 percent," he said.

"Because of the decline in long-term interest rates for a protracted period of time, American business was able to fund a significant part of its short-term liabilities and take out low-cost, long-term debt, so the credit needs have not been all that large," he said.

Greenspan has drawn some criticism for keeping the trendsetting federal funds rate at a low 1 percent from June 2003 through June 2004, which some argue contributed to a housing bubble that is now bursting spectacularly.

Greenspan said real estate prices will stabilize only when the overhang of unsold new-construction homes begins to ease, and estimated that financial losses could be in the range of $200 billion to $400 billion as securities tied to failing subprime mortgages lose value.

He warned against any sort of government bailout plan for homeowners that interfered with the normal functioning of markets for home prices or interest rates, saying it would "drag this process out indefinitely." Offering cash to stricken homeowners instead would cause less long-term damage, he said.

"It's only when the markets are perceived to have exhausted themselves on the downside that they turn," he said. "Trying to prevent them from going down just merely prolongs the agony."

(Reporting by Emily Kaiser; editing by Steve Orlofsky)

(c) Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

URL: http://www.cnbc.com/id/22284084/for/cnbc/

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Stagflation Just in Time for Holidays

 
17.12.07 20:52

Stagflation Rears Its Head--Just in Time for HolidaysSTAGFLATION, ECONOMY, INFLATION, RECESSION, FEDERAL RESERVE, ALAN GREENSPAN, MORTGAGE CRISIS, FINANCIAL AIDBy CNBC.comCNBC staff and wire reports| 17 Dec 2007 | 01:53 PM ET

With just a week to go before Christmas, investors are facing the unpleasant prospect of a slowing economy and rising prices--the dreaded "stagflation."

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan fueled the worries on Sunday by saying that stagflation is a growing possibility, given last week's data showing spiking consumer prices.

"We are beginning to get not stagflation, but the early symptoms of it,'' Greenspan said.

And with inflation on the rise, investors can't necessarily count on the Fed to cut interest rates further.

 

The Fed's decision last week to cut rates only a quarter point disappointed the markets, yet higher-than-expected gains in wholesale and consumer prices reported late last week supported the Fed's view that inflation remained a problem.

Higher inflation is also a problem for consumers, whom retailers rely on during the holidays to fuel their profits. Sales data has suggested tepid spending by Americans, who are struggling with higher  food and energy costs and tumbling home values.

"The consumer is two-thirds of our economy. The consumer holds the key to whether we have a recession in 2008," said Alfred E. Goldman, chief market strategist at A.G. Edwards.

Yet in one positive sign, the latest CNBC Holiday Central Survey found that Americans were ready to increase their holiday spending despite the downbeat outlook on housing and the economy.

Meanwhile, a Fed economist said that the economy faces a heightened risk of recession.

"There appears to be a significant chance of registering at least one quarter of negative GDP growth, which in the past has often been associated with a recession," Glenn Rudebusch,
associate director of research, said in the San Francisco Fed's latest "FedViews" newsletter. "All in all, we foresee anemic growth through the spring of next year."


Even President Bush, while saying the fundamentals of the U.S. economy remained strong, warned on Monday that "storm clouds" are looming.

"This economy's pretty good," Bush told a Rotary Club audience in Fredericksburg, Virginia. "There's definitely some storm clouds and concerns but the underpinning is good."

 

In economic data, the U.S. government said the current account deficit, the broadest measure of international trade, narrowed in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, as expected, to the lowest level in two years.

Meanwhile, the New York Fed's Empire State Manufacturing Index fell more sharply in December than economists anticipated.

And U.S. homebuilder sentiment remained at a record low for a third consecutive month in December, weighed down by problems in the mortgage market and a huge supply of unsold houses, an industry group said on Monday.

Investors, meanwhile, are skeptical that a special Federal Reserve credit auction announced last week will do much to solve the global credit crunch.

The Fed is offering $20 billion in 28-day credit through an auction Monday. The central bank will not release the results until Wednesday, but the aim of the auction is to encourage commercial banks to borrow from the central bank. That, in turn, would boost banks' lending to businesses and consumers and keep the economy humming.

© 2007 CNBC

URL: http://www.cnbc.com/id/22297238/

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Central Banks Are Getting Desperate

2
18.12.07 11:02

Nouriel Roubini's Global EconoMonitor

  ý 

Central Banks Are Getting Desperate in Dealing with the Liquidity Crunch and Resorting Again to Stealth Reductions in Policy Rates

Nouriel Roubini | Dec 18, 2007

Central banks are obviously getting frustrated and effectively desperate in dealing with a most severe liquidity crunch that has gotten significantly worse since August. Even last week’s coordinated announcement of central banks monetary injections has done little so far in reducing the Libor spreads (at maturities from two weeks to 3 months) relative to overnite policy rates, relative to government bonds of matching maturity and relative to the Overnite Index Swap (OIS) rate. The three month Libor versus policy rate differential is still 69bps in the US, 95bps in the Eurozone (its highest level in years); and 93bps in the UK.  We will see the effect of the first of the TAF auctions by the Fed on Wednesday but there is little reason to believe – based on current spreads – that this first auction has eased liquidity conditions in interbank markets. As pointed out by Cecchetti the kind of new auctions at term horizons that the Fed is performing now have been performed by the ECB for a long time; and in the Eurozone such auctions has so far miserably failed to reduce the various Libor spreads; so why would these new instruments be effective in the US if they have not been effective in the Eurozone?

 

So central banks are now becoming even more creative in dealing with the liquidity crunch and starting to do the kind of stealth policy rate reductions that they performed last August and September. The ECB just announced a special liquidity operation that will allow financial institutions to borrow for two weeks unlimited amounts at a rate of 4.21% (close to its policy rate of 4%); the two-week euro Libor had been 4.9% before the announcement. So the ECB is providing a temporary monetary policy easing of 70bps for a two week period.

 

The operation is highly unusual and heterodox; and while getting creative in dealing with liquidity crunches may be appropriate this action signals some desperation on the part of the ECB. The problem is that the ECB is the only G7 central bank – apart from the BoJ – that has not reduced at all its policy rate. And since most financial and other private contracts are indexed to Libor, an average Libor that is about 100bps above policy rates it is equivalent to the ECB having raised its policy rate by 100bps in the last few months. So not only the ECB has not reduced its policy rate in spite of major signals and risks of economic slowdown in the Eurozone (oil price shock, strong euro hurting European competitiveness, effects of the US sharp slowdown, liquidity and credit crunch, sign of a slowdown in economic activity, beginning of a deflation of housing bubbles in Europe); it has effectively increased its policy rate by 100bps as Libor – rather than the policy rate – is the relevant cost of capital for the financial system.

 

If the ECB wants to deal with a liquidity crunch that is not only due to the year end "turn" (as Libor spreads are 100bps even at 3 month maturities) it should not directly manipulate market rates at two weeks maturities – as it has effectively done with this temporary two week monetary policy rate easing, i.e. lending at 4.21% when market rates were 4.9%). This latest operation is effectively a manipulation of market rates as – instead of using market auctions to determine the price of liquidity – the ECB effectively is promising to provide unlimited liquidity for two weeks at a rate well below market rates. Call it effectively a cut in the policy rate for a temporary two weeks period. As commentators in the FT put is this is a big Chrismas subsidy by the ECB to financial markets:

 

“This is basically Father Christmas to those who have access,” said Erik Nielsen, economist at Goldman Sachs. “They are bailing out people who have not really adjusted their balance sheets to the new reality.” But Julian Callow, economist at Barclays Capital in London, said the ECB was “simply doing their job at being lender of last resort”.

 

And since the ECB has estimated the demand for liquidity at over 260 billion euros this operation is potentially quite a subsidy to financial markets. The ECB should instead seriously consider cutting its policy rate below 4% as the downward economic risks to growth are now serious and the credit and liquidity crunch is getting extreme. Even the BoE and the BoC did a cosmetic but at least initial 25bps policy rate cut.

 

At the same time the Fed appears to have started again the stealth Fed Funds easing that it did perform in August and until the September 18th Fed Funds 50bps cut. Indeed, right after the 25bps cut in the Fed Funds rate on December 11th the Fed has started to do open market operations at rates below the new Fed Funds target rate of 4.25%. On Wednesday December 12th the Fed did a $12 billion 8 day repo at an effective rate of 4.066, i.e. 19bps below the Fed Funds rate (with accepted collateral being Treasuries). Then on Thursday December 13th it did a $6 billion 14 days repo at a rate of 3.95% (with accepted collateral being Treasuries); on the same day it did another $10 billion 14 days repo where average rate on the component backed by Treasuries was 4.01% and the rate on component backed by Agency debt was 4.27% (both rates being well below the 7 day Libor); a third overnite repo that day occurred again at rates below the Fed Funds for the component backed by Treasuries. Then yesterday Monday December 17th the Fed did another overnite repo where the rate on the $7.5 billion backed by Treasuries collateral was 3.95%, i.e 30bps below the overnite Fed Funds rate of 4.25%.  

 

What does this means? Simply that, like in August and September the Fed is now doing stealth reductions in the effective Fed Funds rate as it is lending every day significant amounts of liquidity at rates well below the target Fed Funds rate of 4.25%.  And in spite of such stealth reductions in the Fed Funds rate the liquidity conditions in money markets remain as strained as ever. It is true that the average effective Fed Funds rate has remained very close to the target rate of 4.25% for the last week; this is different from August-September when the effective Fed Funds rate was on average below the target rate. But some financial institutions – the few and lucky ones having access to the Fed’s repos – are now borrowing at below the target Fed Funds rate not only overnite but also at maturities of one week and two weeks when the Libor rate on those horizons is well above the overnite Fed Funds rates. Thus, the latest repos of the Fed are done on terms even easier than the those just announced by the ECB: the ECB is providing unlimited liquidity for two weeks at a rate close to its policy rate (but 70bps below equivalent market rates); the Fed is providing more limited but significant liquidity at rates well below its policy rate not only for overnite operations but also for operations with an horizon of one and two weeks.

 

Of course, as it has been argued in this forum since last August when the crunch first emerged, this severe liquidity crunch would get worse rather than better, is due not to illiquidity alone but also to insolvency, widespread lack of trust and counterparty risk, un-measurable uncertainty, wrong incentives and information asymmetries in financial markets and the existence of a shadow non-bank financial system where you have a huge number of non-bank financial institutions that are severely illiquid and do not have direct or indirect access to the Fed’s open market operations, discount window, auctions and other forms of lender of last resort support. This crisis represents the first crisis of financial globalization and is the most severe financial turmoil hitting advanced economies in the last twenty years. But central banks are treating this liquidity and credit and solvency crisis and crunch as if it was a run-of-the-mill mild liquidity crisis – like the one that occurred during the near collapse of LTCM.

 

And the central banks – the Fed in particular – have been behind the curve for over a year now. The Fed totally underestimated the housing recession arguing – like most market folks – that this was a temporary slump that would bottom out by the end of 2006 (sic!); it kept on saying throughout the winter of 2006 that the sub-prime problem was a niche and contained problem when it was not just sub-prime mortgages but also near prime and prime and excessive and reckless lending and leverage across the entire financial system; it kept on arguing that the housing slump would not affect other sectors and would not lead to a more severe economic slowdown that is in full swing now; it underestimated the risk of broader contagion to the financial system and ended up being literally surprised when the liquidity and credit crunch hit in the summer time; it then it deluded itself in believing that this crunch was temporary and that Fed easing would resolve it; and it was then surprised (as Kohn admitted in its last speech) when the crunch got worse rather than better in the fall and has now gotten much worse than in August. So, the Fed has been persistently wrong for over a year now in its assessment of the economy and of financial markets.

 

As argued here liquidity palliatives and band aid will not work. Certainly at this point monetary policy will have very limited ability to prevent the hard landing that the US is now experiencing and a severe global economic slowdown as we are now paying the price for the credit excesses, the asset bubbles, the reckless leverage, the lack of minimal appropriate supervision and regulation of financial markets of the last few years. A sharp recession is unavoidable and necessary to cleanse the financial system and the economies from such excesses.

 

But the failure of central banks and the Fed to provide the appropriate diagnosis and prognosis of the crisis and now their failure now to provide enough monetary policy easing to reduce the collateral damage on the real economies of the fallout of the bust now of the biggest ever credit house of cards is worrisome. Monetary policy easing will not avoid the necessary recession and massive financial losses that will be experienced by economies and financial markets regardless of what monetary authorities do now.

 

This forum was the very first to argue over 17 months ago in August 2006 that this was a solvency crisis - starting with subprime and housing but bound to spread to the entire financial system - and that a recession would be unavoidable by 2007. But arguing now that a harsh medicine of monetary tightening (keeping policy rates on hold or even raising them) is the bitter and painful medicine that markets and investors need to ensure the appropriate fall of asset prices, the appropriate deleveraging of the financial system, and the appropriate and unavoidable losses is – in my view incorrect. That severe fall in asset prices, that deleveraging and reintermediation in the banking system of off-balance sheet and off-banking intermediation, those massive losses in the trillion dollar range will occur regardless of how much monetary policy easing occurs now. What central banks should worry now is the risk of a global recession; and this requires lower policy rates, not temporary monetary injections and stealth reduction in policy rates and manipulation of market rates. The time for fixing the international financial system, reforming regulation and supervision, reducing moral hazard, dealing with the mess of securitization, avoiding another asset bubble will come once the collateral damage to real economies is reduced. You don’t withhold liquidity during a five-alarm fire because of the moral hazard of fire insurance or the collateral damage to a building of excessive use of water.

 

Thus, I respectfully disagree with the very serious and intelligent arguments made recently by many thoughful analysts (most recently Rogoff today in the FT) that central banks should not ease as this will prevent the necessary adjustment and may cause future bubbles, more moral hazard and future inflation; these are legitimate and sensible concerns but confuse the appropriate policy response in the short run versus the medium term. Those necessary real and financial adjustments will occur regardless of that monetary easing today; and the way to prevent future excesses, bubbles and manias is to eliminate the monetary easing as soon the collateral damage to the real economies is minimized and to introduce appropriate regulation and supervision of a financial system that has run amok.

 

As Larry Summers put it correctly  - by warning about moral hazard fundamentalism - during a crisis you provide effective temporary regulatory forebearance and deal with the short term risks to growth. Using the hammer of tight money and regulatory crackdown to deal with systemic medium long-run excesses risks exacerbating an already severe liquidity and credit crunch whose severity monetary easing can only marginally dampen and risks causing an even more severe recession than the necessary one that will occur even in the presence of a monetary easing. Sophisticated monetary and regulatory policy will provide short-term easing while seriously and expediously redesigning a regulatory framework for the financial system that reduces future excesses and moral hazard.

 

This was the balanced approach to crisis resolution and prevention that those of us who were involved in the resolution of emerging market crises of the last decade took: provide large liquidity to illiquid but solvent sovereigners/countries, reduce and eventually cut off lending to illiquid and insolvent sovereigners, restructure coercively claims that needed restructuring with creative new approaches to debt restructurings and design a new long-term international financial architecture that would prevent emerging market crises in the first place and resolve them more efficiently if/when they did occur. Designing a more robust international architecture for the long run and minimizing moral hazard was not inconsistent with providing massive short run liquidity to those countries that were illiquid, willing to clean up their act and deserving of such support.

 

A similar balanced approach to crisis resolution and serious reform of the international financial system is required today.

 

Sehen wir den Anfang einer weltweiten Rezession? permanent
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Kupferpreis als Rezessionswarnsignal

3
18.12.07 13:07
Sehen wir den Anfang einer weltweiten Rezession? permanent
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Fed Minutes: Credit Crunch Hurting Economic Growth

 
02.01.08 21:55

Fed Minutes: Credit Crunch Hurting Economic GrowthFED MINUTES: CREDIT CRUNCH THREATENED ECONOMIC GROWTHBy ReutersReuters| 02 Jan 2008 | 02:44 PM ET

Members of the Federal Reserve's interest rate setting committee worried last month that a credit crunch could sharply brake economic growth and require big interest rate cuts, minutes of the U.S. central bank's December meeting released Wednesday show.

 

"Some members noted the risk of an unfavorable feedback loop in which credit market conditions restrained economic growth further, leading to additional tightening of credit;
such an adverse development could require a substantial further easing of policy," the minutes said.

At the same time, members of the Fed's rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee realized that financial market conditions might improve more rapidly than they expected, which would make it appropriate to raise borrowing costs, reversing earlier cuts.

The Fed cut rates by a quarter-percentage point to 4.25 percent at the meeting.

Risks to growth had risen since their last meeting in large part due to deteriorating credit markets, the Fed said.

Even so, the policy-makers weighed the lagged impact of cumulative interest rate cuts, and a strong labor market, which suggested the economy retained some forward momentum. Overnight, interbank borrowing costs stood at 5.25 percent when the Fed began trimming borrowing costs in September.

 

"Members also recognized that financial market conditions might improve more rapidly than members expected, in which case a reversal of some of the rate cuts might become appropriate," the minutes said.

Earlier Wednesday, an industry report showed that U.S. factory activity contracted in December, ending 10 consecutive months of expansion, with activity falling to its weakest since April 2003.

Meanwhile, construction spending unexpectedly rose 0.1 percent in November despite ongoing
housing market woes that pushed private home building down 2.5 percent -- the sharpest drop in nearly six years, a Commerce Department report showed.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity fell to 47.7 in December from 50.8 in November, below economists' median forecast for a reading of 50.4. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

New orders, a gauge of future growth, fell sharply to 45.7 last month -- its lowest since October 2001 -- from 52.6 in November.

The December employment index rose slightly to 48.0 from 47.8 in November, while the ISM prices paid index, which measures inflationary pressures within the factory sector, rose
to 68.0 in December from 67.5.

"It was a severe drop that seems to have been driven by declines in the most important component: orders," said Pierre Ellis, senior economist at Decision Economics in New York.

"Confidence that export- and investment-led growth will help the economy going forward will be weakened considerably by this report," Ellis said.

Economists polled by Reuters expected construction spending in November to fall 0.4 percent. November's increase to a $1.165 trillion seasonally adjusted annual rate came after a revised 0.4 percent decline in October, first estimated as a 0.8 percent decline.

 

Private home building fell to a $484.9 billion rate in November, the lowest since August 2003. This sector has fallen for 21st consecutive months since a peak in home building in
February 2006.

Despite the housing slump, private non-residential construction rose 1.7 percent to a record annual rate of $375.8 billion.

Public construction, too, rose in November with state and local government building up 2.5 percent while federal construction was up 2.2 percent.

Copyright 2008 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

URL: http://www.cnbc.com/id/22474586/

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Housing Prices Still Have a Long Way to Drop

 
02.01.08 22:01
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Mortgage Applications Tumble for Third Week

 
03.01.08 14:05

Mortgage Applications Tumble for Third WeekMORTGAGE APPLICATIONS, SUBPRIME, CREDIT CRUNCH, MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATIONBy ReutersReuters| 03 Jan 2008 | 07:22 AM ET

U.S. mortgage applications tumbled for the third straight week to the lowest level since July 2006 even as borrowing costs declined, an industry trade group said on Thursday.

Applications for loans to buy homes fell to the lowest level in more than four years, while demand for refinancing loans dropped to the lowest since December 2006, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

The trade group's seasonally adjusted index of total mortgage application activity fell 11.6 percent in the week ending Dec. 28 to 533.9. Its purchase index dropped 8.5 percent to 360.8 and the refinancing index slid 15.4 percent to 1,620.9.

Purchase demand has not been as low since the week of Oct. 10, 2003, when the gauge hit 359.0, the MBA said.

Applications were stunted during the Christmas holiday week despite falling mortgage rates.

"There's probably an exaggerated holiday effect in the most recent week's release" even with the seasonal and holiday adjustments, Doug Duncan, chief economist at the MBA, told Reuters.

Continued Weakness

He said the data are consistent with the trend for continued weakness in the real estate market and the MBA's forecast for housing to bottom in third quarter of 2008.

Refinancing demand has held up fairly well because it is interest-rate sensitive, Duncan said. But home buying typically slows during the winter months and consumers are also nervous about the state of the economy.

"From Thanksgiving to the end of January is really the dead spot in the industry," he said. "If you get weather effects, or as you have today, lots of concerns about whether the economy is going to get worse ... there's no surprise that you're seeing, especially on the purchase side, downturns because consumers are just unsure."

 

Smoothing out for volatility, the MBA's four-week averages for all three indexes also fell.

The market index dropped 9 percent, the purchase index declined 5.9 percent and the refinancing index sank 11.8 percent on a four-week moving basis, though the levels were little changed from October.

Adjustable-rate mortgages kept fading as a share of total applications. ARMs represented less than 10 percent of all loans, the trade group said, having at their peak in 2006 accounted for more 30 percent of loans requests.

Rates have begun to reset to sharply higher levels for many of those borrowers who took out loans at low initial rates are.

One-year adjustable mortgages dipped 3 basis points in the week to 6.00 percent, the lowest since mid-November. Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 6.05 percent, down 5 basis points, the lowest since late November, the association said.

Copyright 2008 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

URL: http://www.cnbc.com/id/22485228/

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Monster Online Job Index Plunges in December

2
03.01.08 14:07

Monster Online Job Index Plunges in DecemberMONSTER.COM ONLINE JOBS EMPLOYMENT DECEMBERBy ReutersReuters| 03 Jan 2008 | 03:25 AM ET

A gauge of U.S. online labor demand plunged in December to its lowest level since January 2007, as a year-end seasonal slowdown met further moderation in online recruiting, a report showed on Thursday.

Monster, a global online recruiting firm, said its Employment Index fell to 169 points in December, from 183 in November. The index was 167 a year ago and 168 in January 2007.

"Approximately half of the index's decline in December 2007 can be attributed to seasonality as employers naturally scale back their hiring activities during the final month of the year," said Steve Pogorzelski, a vice president at Monster Worldwide, in a statement.

 

The seasonal slowdown has traditionally been followed by a spike in January, with the exception of 2007. "It will be interesting to see the index's January 2008 results when they
are released next month," he said.

The Monster index precedes the release of the ADP National Employment report, which later on Thursday is expected to show U.S. private employers added 50,000 jobs in December, a fraction of the 189,000 added in November.

The U.S. Labor Department's release of initial claims for jobless benefits, also due later on Thursday, is expected to be at 345,000 according to a Reuters poll of economists.

The Monster Employment index is a monthly analysis based on a selection of corporate career sites and job boards. The margin of error is approximately plus or minus 1 percent.

Copyright 2008 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

URL: http://www.cnbc.com/id/22483649/

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Auftragseingang D sehr solide

 
08.01.08 13:21

DE Auftragseingang Industrie November
08.01.2008 - 12:07:32 Uhr
terminecheck.de

Uhrzeit: 12:00
Ort: Berlin
Land: Deutschland

Veröffentlichung der vorläufigen Zahlen zum deutschen Auftragseingang in der Industrie für November 2007


aktuell:

Der Auftragseingang ist im November in Deutschland auf Monatssicht um 3,4 % gegenüber Vormonat gestiegen. Erwartet wurde ein Rückgang von 2,1 %.

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Recession Is Here...Or Near: Goldman Sachs

2
09.01.08 15:38

Recession Coming Soon, Forcing Rate Cuts: GoldmanGOLDMAN SACHS,RECESSION, ECONOMYBy CNBC.comCNBC.com| 09 Jan 2008 | 09:20 AM ET

Goldman Sachs said it expects the U.S. economy to drop into recession this year and that the Federal Reserve will have to cut interest rates to 2.5 percent by the third quarter as a result.

"Over the past few months, we have become increasingly concerned that the US housing and credit market downturn would trigger not just a growth slowdown and substantial Fed easing -- our long-standing view -- but also an outright recession," Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients Wednesday. "The latest data suggest that recession has now arrived, or will very shortly."

The recent rise in unemployment is particularly worrisome, Goldman indicated.

"The recession is likely to last 2-3 quarters and should be relatively mild by historical standards, with a cumulative decline in real GDP of only about 0.5 percent (not annualized)," Goldman noted.

 

Three factors will soften the projected recession's impact, Goldman said. First, the Fed will lower rates, probably beginning with a 50-basis point cut at its end-of-January meeting, the investment bank predicted. In addition, the federal government will likely take some stimulus action. And in the background, a weakening dollar will give exports a boost, helping the overall business picture.

 

Nevertheless, Goldman said real gross domestic product would only rise 0.8 percent for 2008. The investment bank added that the economy would contract by 1 percent on an annualized basis in both the second and third quarters. As a result, the unemployment rate would jump to 6.5 percent in 2009 from the current 5 percent, it said.

Consumer spending and corporate profits will be hurt, the bank said.

"With our switch to an outright recession call, we have also deepened our forecast for the cumulative decline in nominal house prices, to a 20-25 percent peak-to-trough decline from a 15 percent drop previously," Goldman said.

 

The federal funds rate currently stands at 4.25 percent. Goldman, in the note authored by economist Jan Hatzius, said the Fed would be forced to bring that rate down to 2.5 percent.

The Fed has already cut rates three times in the latter half of last year.

© 2008 CNBC.com

URL: http://www.cnbc.com/id/22570827/

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Citi&Merrill brauchen mehr Auslandskapital

3
10.01.08 09:57

Citi, Merrill in Talks for Foreign Capital: WSJINVESTMENT BANKING, CITIGROUP, MERRILL LYNCH, FOREIGN WEALTH FUNDS, FOREIGN INVESTMENTBy ReutersReuters| 10 Jan 2008 | 02:18 AM ET

Citigroup and Merrill Lynch are in discussions to receive more capital from investors, primarily foreign governments, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Citigroup could get as much as $10 billion, likely all from foreign governments, while Merrill is expected to get $3 billion to $4 billion, much of it from a Middle Eastern government investment fund, the report said.

The report also said Citigroup's board is expected to discuss cutting the firm's dividend in half, a move that could save it more than $5 billion a year.

Representatives were not immediately available for comment at either bank.

 

U.S. banks have been wrestling with huge subprime mortgage losses, prompting some to seek cash from sovereign wealth funds.

In December, Merrill Lynch shored up its capital base by as much as $7.5 billion after selling a stake to a Singapore government investment fund and an asset manager. Morgan Stanley has said it would receive $5 billion from China after recording $9.4 billion of writedowns.

Citigroup in November agreed to sell up to a 4.9 percent stake to Abu Dhabi for $7.5 billion, while UBS accepted a $9.75 billion investment from a separate Singapore state fund.

Copyright 2008 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

URL: http://www.cnbc.com/id/22584046/

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Problembanken suchen angeblich frisches Geld

4
10.01.08 10:01
Sehen wir den Anfang einer weltweiten Rezession? Anti Lemming
Anti Lemming:

Das Problem und seine Lösung

3
10.01.08 12:39
Die Chinesen und anderen Asiaten wurden lange verspottet, weil sie Milliardenberge aus angeblich wertlosem "grünen Klopapier" angehäuft hatten. Am lautesten lachten die Spötter in der Phase der "globalen Hyperliquidität", die letzten Juli schlagartig endete.

Nun haben wir das Gegenteil, einen extremen "regionalen Liquiditätsmangel" in USA und teils auch (durch USA verschuldet) in Europa.

Das Schlaueste, was die Asiaten jetzt machen können, ist, ihre reichlich entwerteten Dollars in US-Assets zu stecken, was ihnen in normalen Zeiten gar nicht in diesem Umfang gestattet würde.



Die Asiaten und andere "Sovereign Wealth Funds" schlagen damit mehrere Fliegen mit einer Klappe:

- Sie tauschen ihr angeblich grünes Klopapier gegen werthaltige "real assets" - nämlich Aktien bzw. Firmenbeteiligungen in USA, die sich nicht "beliebig weiterdrucken" lassen und im Gegensatz zu US-Staatsanleihen Kurssteigerungs-Potenzial haben.

- Dabei haben sie wegen ihrer hohen Kapitalkraft sogar die Macht, drohende weitere Einbrüche zu verhindern. Sie sind willkommene Geldgeber zurzeit.

- Investitionen in US-Finanzwerte versprechen hohe Langzeit-Kursgewinne, da sich die Börsenkurse vieler US-Banken und Finanzinstitutionen seit Sommer bereits HALBIERT haben. Der US-Bankindex BKX (unten, blaue Linie) ist auf dem Stand von Sommer 1998 bzw. Winter 2003.

- Der Downtrend bei US-Finanzwerten könnte durch den asiatischen Einstieg sogar BEENDET werden. Asiaten haben, wie Soros bei seinen Währungsgeschäften (Sturz des engl. Pfunds und 1987 des Thai-Bahts), die Macht, mit massivem Kapitaleinsatz eine nachhaltige Trendumkehr zu bewirken/erzwingen, da die Schuldenprobleme der Banken durch die Kapitalzuflüsse gemildert oder gar behoben würden. Freilich führt dies auch zur Kursverwässerung - wie alle externen Rettungsaktionen. Entscheidend bleibt aber das langfristige Potenzialwachstum und die Tatsache, hier überhaupt "einen Fuß in die Tür" zu bekommen.

Dabei gleichen sich auch die "globalen Ungleichgewichte" teilweise wieder aus. China kauft mit seinem überschüssigen Geld einen Teil von Amerika, und "alles wird gut". o;)
(Verkleinert auf 96%) vergrößern
Sehen wir den Anfang einer weltweiten Rezession? 140856
Sehen wir den Anfang einer weltweiten Rezession? permanent
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Banken suchen verzweifelt Kapital

 
11.01.08 06:36
Sehen wir den Anfang einer weltweiten Rezession? permanent
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UBSSays Can't Predict Final Impact of SubprimeUBS

 
11.01.08 09:13

UBS Says Can't Predict Final Impact of SubprimeUBS, EUROPEAN BANKS, SUBPRIME, CREDIT CRUNCHBy ReutersReuters| 11 Jan 2008 | 02:25 AM ET

Swiss bank UBS said it cannot predict the final impact of the U.S. residential mortgage crisis on its subprime mortgage related securities, but expects its capital position to remain strong.

 

"During 2008, the environment for financial markets, especially in the U.S., is uncertain, and we need to manage through this period from a position of financial strength," the bank said in a letter to shareholders, dated Jan. 10 and released to media on Friday.

The Swiss bank has been one of the biggest casualties of the collapse in the U.S. subprime mortgage market, which resulted in billions of dollars in writedowns by banks in the value of their securities portfolios.

"We cannot, at this time, accurately predict the future development of U.S. residential mortgage markets and therefore the ultimate impact on our positions in sub-prime mortgage related securities," the letter said.

Landsbanki Kepler analyst Dirk Becker said the UBS letter was likely an attempt to explain matters to shareholders and not an attempt to send a new message.

Reassuring Letter

"They are saying that if there are further declines they won't need further capital and this is reassuring. But you would expect this in such a letter," Becker said.

"We should not read anything into this. The next message will be on Feb. 14 when UBS posts its results," he said.

In December, UBS announced a new $10 billion writedown on its subprime-related exposures, which came on top of an earlier charge of $4.4 billion on UBS's risky subprime exposures.

 

Last month, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) and an unidentified Middle East investor pumped 13 billion Swiss francs ($11.7 billion) of fresh capital into UBS by agreeing to subscribe to a mandatory convertible bond.

After completion of the capital injection, which will be put to a vote by UBS shareholders in February, GIC will own 9 percent of the Swiss bank and the Middle East investor will own about 1.5 percent.

UBS said it was confident its capital position would now remain strong even if the U.S. housing market continued to deteriorate.

Copyright 2008 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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Giant Writedown Is Seen for Merrill Lynch

 
11.01.08 09:15

Giant Writedown Is Seen for Merrill LynchMERRILL LUNCH, SUBPRIME LENDING CRISIS, EARNINGS, CREDIT CRUNCH, MERGERS & ACQUISITIONSBy Julia Werdigier and Jenny Anderson,The New York TimesThe New York Times| 10 Jan 2008 | 11:01 PM ET

Merrill Lynch is expected to suffer $15 billion in losses stemming from soured mortgage investments, almost double its original estimate, prompting the firm to raise additional capital from an outside investor.

 

Merrill , the nation’s largest brokerage firm, is expected to disclose the huge writedown when it reports earnings next week, according to people who have been briefed on its plans. The loss far exceeds the $12 billion hit many Wall Street analysts had forecast.

To shore up its deteriorating finances, Merrill is now in discussions with investors in the United States, Asia and the Middle East, including American private equity firms, to raise about $4 billion in the coming days, these people said.

The developments underscore the rising toll that the mortgage crisis is taking on many once-proud Wall Street banks. In recent months Merrill and several other firms have grabbed financial lifelines from wealthy foreign governments. Further investments by so-called sovereign wealth funds could prompt scrutiny by Congress.

The latest moves at Merrill come as John A. Thain, who became the company’s chairman and chief executive in December, struggles to bolster the firm’s capital, burnish its reputation and avoid the toxic internal battles that have hurt the firm in the past.

 

Mr. Thain, who won plaudits as head of the New York Stock Exchange, has wasted little time. After he took over last month, Merrill Lynch promptly sold a $5.6 billion stake to Temasek Holdings, which is controlled by the government of Singapore, and Davis Selected Advisers, a money management firm based in Tucson.

During a meeting in December in London, Mr. Thain told anxious employees that Merrill expected further losses after an $8.4 billion write-down in the third quarter. He also said the firm would require additional capital. He said the fourth quarter would be a "very bad quarter," those attending recalled.

Mr. Thain has made clear that Merrill would not sell its 49 percent stake in BlackRock, the global money management firm. But he has said that Merrill is considering selling noncore assets like its stake in Bloomberg, the financial news and information company founded by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York. In a research report, Brad Hintz, a securities analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, said that stake was worth about $4 billion.

 

Mr. Thain also said at the London meeting that Merrill's management style needed to change. Recalling his days as a co-president of Goldman Sachs, Mr. Thain said that he wanted employees to build consensus.

Among other things, that means Merrill will now pay fewer bonuses based on individual performance and instead focus on the performance of a team. Many employees received bonuses this week that included a greater portion of stock than in the past.

Merrill is hardly alone in seeking capital from overseas. United States financial institutions have raised more than $29 billion from foreign governments and their related investment entities, according to the market research firm Dealogic.

In recent months, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, Singapore’s lesser-known government fund, invested $9.7 billion in UBS; Citigroup sold a $7.5 billion stake to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority; and the China Investment Corporation poured $5 billion into Morgan Stanley .

If a foreign government takes another big stake in Merrill, Congress might ratchet up its scrutiny of sovereign wealth funds, which have ballooned thanks to rising oil prices and booming emerging markets.

On Thursday, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, expressed concern about the amount of money American financial institutions are contemplating raising from sovereign wealth funds.

 

"Foreign investment, in general, strengthens our economy and creates jobs," Senator Schumer said. "Because sovereign wealth funds, by definition, are potentially susceptible to noneconomic interests, the closer they come to exercising control and influence, the greater concerns we have."

So far, none of the foreign investors that have bought into United States banks have sought management roles. "All have been very consciously structured to be passive," said H. Rodgin Cohen, chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell, who has worked on a number of these deals. "None have asked for directors."

In addition to seeking funds from outside investors, which heavily dilutes the stakes of existing shareholders, Merrill Lynch has sought alternative ways to raise capital. In December, it agreed to sell most of its commercial finance business, Merrill Lynch Capital, to General Electric, raising about $1.3 billion in equity.

Mr. Hintz, the securities analyst, suggested another option would be to reduce the firm’s fixed-income business by a third, which would add about $3 billion in capital.

He estimates that Merrill will write down its $27 billion of combined collateralized debt obligation and subprime-related exposures by $10 billion and report a loss of $5.10 a share for the fourth quarter. Any write-down above $20 billion, he said, would "significantly increase leverage and would threaten the credit ratings of the firm."

During the London meeting, Mr. Thain said that Merrill would have to build its presence in China as well as expand its principal investing businesses, including private equity, commercial real estate and infrastructure.

Copyright © 2008 The New York Times

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Gold als Hafen der Sicherheit in unsicheren Zeiten

 
11.01.08 09:32

Citigroup, Merrill, UBS.........wie geht es weiter. Noch stehen die Anleger aus Asien und Arabien bereit um den notleidenden Banken unter die Arme zu greifen und das Weltfinanzsystem zu stabilisieren. Diese Mission ist sicher im eigenen Interesse der Anleger, bekommen sie doch eine horrende Verzinsung für ihr Geld und gleichzeitig sichern sie sich den Werterhalt ihrer Petrodollars oder Dollar aus Leistungsbilanzüberschüssen. Auch bekommen sie die Gelegenheit einen erheblichen Einfluss auf der Bühne der Hochfinanz zu erlangen, der ihnen unter „normalen“ Umständen sicher verwehrt geblieben wäre.

Noch vor Jahresfrist hätte es in der Schweiz, in den USA sowie anderen westlichen Staaten einen Aufschrei der Entrüstung gegeben, hätte sich ein Araber anschicken wollen einen signifikanten Anteil an der eignen Hochfinanz zu sichern. Wie schnell sich die Zeiten doch ändern obwohl doch im Grunde genommen alles abzusehen war. Jeder Überschwang kommt einmal zum Ende.

Die Goldbugs –zu denen ich mich sicher nicht zähle obwohl ich einen kleineren Teil meines Vermögens in Silber angelegt habe- feiern die Unsicherheit an den Finanzmärkten als ihren Triumph. Sicher kann Gold vorrübergehend zulegen und als Hafen der Sicherheit gelten. Ich glaube sogar an einen weiteren Anstieg aber nicht aus tiefer Überzeugung. Was legt man sich bei näherer Betrachtung mit einer Anlage in Edelmetalle in sein Depot?

Einen Haufen nutzlosen Schrott –gilt für Silber etwas eingeschränkter da ein industrieller Nutzen vorliegt-. Wieso hat Gold einen Wert? Weil es der Menschheit seit Jahrtausenden so beigebracht wurde, es ist ein uns anerzogener Wert und nicht mehr. Durch die Anlage in Gold wird lediglich die Überliquidität von den Märkten abgeschöpft, seien es die Notenbanken die Devisen in Gold tauschen oder irgendein ETF der Gold in einen Tresor legt. Gleich wer es ist der Gold kauft es wird lediglich ein nutzloser Wert, der diesen nur hält solange Menschen daran glauben zur Lagerung verwahrt.

Und doch glaube ich wie hier angemerkt kurzfristig an einen weiteren Anstieg der Edelmetalle. Menschen reagieren nicht rational, Gold gilt als sicherer Hafen zur Verwahrung von Kaufkraft. In diesen sicheren Hafen werden die Anleger aus „guten“ Gründen getrieben solange es gut geht.

Ich bleibe weiter in Silber investiert, allerdings nur als Beimischung und wünsche euch ein schönes erholsames Wochenende.

 

Permanent

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Amerika entscheidet sich für Inflation

 
11.01.08 12:32
HANDELSBLATT, Freitag, 11. Januar 2008, 12:02 Uhr
Der Markt-Monitor

Amerika entscheidet sich für die InflationVon Frank Wiebe

 


Der Druck auf die Notenbank in den USA ist hoch. Und ihr Chef, Ben Bernanke, hat jetzt quasi angekündigt, dass er ihm nachgeben und die Zinsen Ende des Monats kräftig senken wird. Damit wird noch deutlicher als bisher: Die Stabilität des Geldes ist Moment Nebensache. Erst einmal wollen die Amerikaner ihre Wirtschaft retten.

Man kann ihnen das nicht übel nehmen. Da letztlich auch weltweit immer noch viel an der US-Wirtschaft hängt, und weil die Börsen meist der Wall Street zumindest ansatzweise hinterher laufen, haben letztlich alle etwas davon. Aber es gibt auch einen Preis, und der heißt "Inflation". Die muss nicht gleich in horrendem Ausmaß einsetzen, aber sie könnte doch in einigen Jahren höher liegen als bisher.

Man kann einwenden, dass die US-Notenbank in den letzten Jahren auch einige Male die Zinsen drastisch gesenkt hatte, ohne Inflation hervorzurufen. Richtig. Sie hat dann jeweils Blasen produziert, an den Aktienmärkten und dann an den Finanzmärkten. Dafür blieben die Verbraucherpreise einigermaßen stabil. Aber wird es jetzt wieder so laufen?

Die Verbaucherpreise blieben vor allem stabil, weil die Konkurrenz der Schwellenländer viele Produkte unglaublich billig gemacht hat. Doch dieser Effekt dürfte nach und nach etwas abnehmen, denn die Leute in China wollen auch nicht ewig zu Hungerlöhnen arbeiten. Dafür nimmt der Effekt, dass die Schwellenländer immer mehr Rohstoffe verbrauchen und dort die Preise hochtreiben, vielleicht noch zu. Außerdem: Wir hatten jetzt alle Blasen durch, möglicherweise sind die Finanzmärkte daher nicht mehr so aufnahmefähig für zusätzliches Geld. Das alles könnte dazu führen, dass Inflation doch wieder ein Thema wird.

Die Frage ist, ob Europa sich abkoppeln kann. Die Europäische Zentralbank wird im Moment auch von Amerikanern dafür gelobt, dass sie stur an ihrem Stabilitätskurs festhält. Aber je niedriger die Zinsen in den USA sinken, je schwächer der Dollar wird, desto mehr wächst der Druck auf die EZB, auch etwas nachzugeben. Möglicherweise wird daher Inflation auch bei uns wieder ein Thema - wenn auch vielleicht abgemildert gegenüber dem Dollarraum.

Inflation - das heißt, nominales Geldvermögen schrumpft tendenziell. Immoblien und Aktien sollten theoretisch ihren Wert behalten. Aber häufig steigen die langfristigen Zinsen und machen diese beiden Anlageformen unattraktiver. Es ist also nicht automatisch so, dass man bei einer leicht steigenden Inflation - von mehr rede ich hier nicht - automatisch mit "Realwerten" besser fährt. Sicher ist nur, dass die mögliche Inflation ein zusätzliches Thema für Anleger wird.

Sehen wir den Anfang einer weltweiten Rezession? permanent
permanent:

Die US Rezession ist hier, die Metallpreise

 
09.03.08 10:30
haben sich hier nur teilweise als verlässlicher Indikator erwiesen.

Die Lagerbestände sind immer noch auf einem recht niedrigen Niveau, noch hält die Nachfrage aus den aufstrebenden Nationen -allen voarn China- die Rohstoffproduzenten und Händler auf trab.

Langfristig muss noch viel Geld in die Infrastruktur gesteckt werden was die Nachfrage nach Rohstoffen befeuern sollte, kurzfristig könnte es mit dem Beginn der olympischen Spiele in Peking zum Einbruch kommen.

Permanent
Sehen wir den Anfang einer weltweiten Rezession? Aggermann
Aggermann:

# 263 zum Einbruch kommen.

 
09.03.08 10:44
Wieso das ??
Sehen wir den Anfang einer weltweiten Rezession? oljun80
oljun80:

Dow(n) under..

 
09.03.08 19:22

Kreditkrise - nächster Akt


Veröffentlich am 09.03.2008 13:36 Uhr von Klaus Singer

Die Zahl der nicht mehr bedienten Hypothekenkredite in den USA erreicht ein Rekord-Hoch. Das verstärkt die Gefahr, dass die Kreditkrise, die einmal eine Immobilienkrise war, nach Abschreibungen und Wertverlusten mit zunehmender Dauer auch zu Pleiten von Unternehmen führt, die sich mit Hypothekenfinanzierungen und Derivaten auf solche Kredite zu weit aus dem Fenster gelegt haben.



Am Donnerstag war es so weit: Die Hypothekenfinanzierer Carlyle Capital und Thornburg Mortgage melden Zahlungsschwierigkeiten, bzw. Insolvenz. Die zur Carlyle Group gehörende Carlyle Capital hatte in der Vergangenheit von Fannie Mae und Freddy Mac US-Hypothekenschulden guter Qualität gekauft. Die Refinanzierung erfolgte durch Ausgabe von Verbriefungen (ABS usw.), denen diese Schulden als Sicherheit zugrunde liegen. Als zusätzliche Sicherheit muss der Kreditnehmer bei solchen Geschäften eine Bareinlage hinterlegen (margin call), die umso höher ist, je stärker die zugrundeliegenden "originalen" Hypothekenschulden im Wert fallen. Wenn der Schuldner, in diesem Fall Carlyle Capital, dem nicht (mehr) nachkommen kann, droht der Bankrott.

Dem Vernehmen nach erreichte der Kredithebel bei Carlyle den stolzen Wert von 30, dabei ist das Geschäftsmodell von Carlyle zwar einzigartig hinsichtlich des Risikos, aber nicht einzigartig im Sinne von "singulär". Es war eine zeitlang äußerst profitabel und so fand es breite Umsetzung. Vom Pleiterisiko sind zahlreiche Institutionen nicht nur in den USA betroffen.

Je länger der Handel mit den Hypothekenderivaten brach liegt, je stärker die Hauspreise abrutschen, je weiter die Kreditspreads werden, je wahrscheinlicher ist es, dass hier nun eine Bewegung anläuft, die die Behauptung stützt, dass es sich bei der gegenwärtigen Krise nicht um Liquidität geht, sondern um Solvenz. Dagegen aber sind monetäre Erleichterungen relativ wirkungslos. Sie mögen zwar den Schuldendienst erleichtern, aber wenn nicht der Schuldendienst, sondern die Schuldenmasse den Schuldner erdrückt, hilft das nicht viel. Das erklärt auch, warum nach den gewaltigen Liquiditätsinjektionen der Zentralbanken und massiven Zinssenkungen in den USA die Spreads zwischen den kurzfristigen Zinsen und den (langen) Kreditzinsen sogar größer werden. Die Hypothekenzinsen in den USA sind aktuell höher als im Oktober 2007.

Als unmittelbare Reaktion auf die Pleitemeldungen erhöhte die Fed am Freitag die für März geplanten Liquiditätsinjektionen drastisch. Das ist konsistent zu den bisherigen Maßnahmen und dürfte aber ebenso die diese am eigentlichen Problem, der Gefahr eines Insolvenz-Flächenbrandes, nicht viel ändern. Gleichzeitig signalisiert sie damit weitere deutliche Zinsschnitte.

Ganz anders die EZB: Sie ließ am Donnerstag die Leitzinsen unverändert und setzt gleichzeitig ihre Inflationserwartungen auf 2,6-3,2 Prozent hoch, für 2009 auf 2,1 Prozent. Trichet sagte, auch hierbei liege das Risiko noch an der Oberseite. Man werde alles tun, damit die Inflationserwartungen nicht noch weiter steigen, heißt es. Damit scheint die Tür für baldige Zinssenkungen jetzt fest geschlossen. Trichet sagte auch, es gebe keine Zeichen für eine Kreditklemme im Euro-Raum. Die Wachstumsperspektive bleibe "sehr positiv". Die EZB scheint mit der Euro-Stärke einverstanden, gibt das doch einen gewissen Inflationsschutz. Mir scheint, die EZB träumt den Traum der Abkopplung von den USA.

Auch wenn jetzt zunächst einmal Intermediäre mit dem beschriebenen Geschäftsmodell unmittelbar im Feuer stehen, sind auch normale Banken mit ihrem sorgsam gepflegten Image der Solidität keineswegs "aus dem Schneider" sind. Sie sind hoch gehebelte Institutionen, deren Kapitalreserven bereits durch eine vergleichsweise kleinen Wertverfall der von ihnen gehaltenen "Assets" aufgezehrt werden können.

Das Eigenkapital und gleichgestellte Reserven der bei der amerikanischen FDIC versicherten Institutionen haben per Dezember 2007 knapp 1 Billion Dollar erreicht. Das sind 7,7 Prozent der 13 Billionen Dollar an ausgewiesenen "Asset"-Werten. Davon entfallen rund 7,3 Billionen Dollar auf Engagements im Hypothekensektor.

Die Hauspreise sind in den USA mittlerweile um 10 Prozent gefallen. Das führt jedoch gegenwärtig nicht zu einem Wertverlust der entsprechenden Finanzengagements in gleicher Höhe, da beim normalen Hypothekengeschäft nicht zu 100 Prozent finanziert wird. Legen wir hier einen heute realistischen Wertverlust von einem Prozent zugrunde, werden 7,3 Prozent des Eigenkapitals der Banken ausgelöscht.

Geht der Verfall der Haupreise weiter, reduziert sich der Sicherheitsabstand zwischen Sicherheit und Kreditvolumen und schlägt mit weiter steigender Zahl der nicht mehr bedienten Hypothekenkredite schließlich voll durch. Hinzu kommt, dass vom oben genannten Gesamtbetrag an Hypothekenengagement etwa 1,3 Billionen auf handelbare Mortgage backed Securities (MBS) entfallen. Hier dürfte die Ausfallrate deutlich höher sein und schneller steigen. Dann könnten eines Tages auch 10 Prozent Wertverlust beim Hypothekenengagement der Banken realistisch werden. Damit würden dann knapp 73 Prozent des Grundkapitals ausradiert. (Die Zahlen können über den entsprechenden Link unter "Intermarket" auf der Web-Seite der TimePattern eingesehen werden.)





Mittlerweile spiegelt auch der amerikanische Arbeitsmarkt die Konjunkturschwäche deutlich wider. Die Zahl der Beschäftigten außerhalb der Landwirtschaft verringerte sich im Februar um 63.000 gegenüber dem Vormonat. Das ist der stärkste Rückgang seit März 2003. Volkswirte hatten ein Plus von 25.000 Beschäftigten erwartet, im Januar waren 22.000 Stellen abgebaut worden. Nach allgemeiner Lesart manifestiert sich ein Trend frühestens nach drei aufeinanderfolgenden gleichgerichteten Datenpunkten. Damit würde eine weiterer Arbeitsplatzabbau im März letzte Gewissheit geben, dass der Arbeitsmarkt kontrahiert. Der 12-Montas-Durchschnitt fällt jedoch bereits seit drei Monaten. Zudem werden monatlich mehr als 100.000 neue Stellen gebraucht, damit das Beschäftigungsniveau bezogen auf Struktur und Entwicklung der Bevölkerung konstant bleibt. Mit Ausnahme von Oktober 2007 liegt die Zahl der neugeschaffenen Arbeitsplätze den achten Monat in Folge unter dieser Marke. So gesehen, hat der Abwärtstrend längst eingesetzt.

Damit ist es auch von dieser Seite so gut wie sicher, dass die US-Wirtschaft bereits in einer Rezession ist. Das aber beschleunigt die Abwärtsspirale bei den Hauspreisen und verstärkt die zu Beginn des Artikels diskutierten Insolvenzgefahren im Bereich der Hypothekenfinanzierer und Banken: Der Vorhang zum nächsten Akt der Kreditkrise ist aufgezogen.

Interessant war die Reaktion des Dollar im Zuge der Veröffentlichung der Arbeitsmarktdaten: Man sollte meinen, dass der angesichts der miserablen Nachrichtenlage weiter in den Keller rutschte. Er markierte auch kurz ein neues Rekordtief bei 1,5450 gegen Euro, lege dann aber eine scharfe Wende hin und schloss bei 1,5350. Parallel dazu erholte sich das Währungspaar Dollar/Yen von 101,50 zunächst auf über 103 und beschloss den Handel am Freitag bei 102,70. Dies könnte signalisieren, dass die Akteure nun meinen, es sei jetzt mal genug mit den schlechten Nachrichten.

Das bedeutet noch nicht, dass bereits ein Boden im Aktiengeschäft erreicht ist. Aber nachdem die Auswertung des VIX die Akteure fast den gesamten Februar mit seinem alles andere als bullischen Kursverlauf in trügerischer Zufriedenheit gesehen hatte, kommen jetzt starke Zweifel auf. Es fehlt nicht mehr viel bis zum Angst-Niveau, wo üblicherweise Abwärtsswings auslaufen.

Aktuell ist der Dow ist an einem statischen Support angekommen, SPX und NDX finden Unterstützung an Abwärtslinien. Fraglich allerdings, ob diese Zonen so stabil sind, dass sie für mehr als eine begrenzte Gegenbewegung taugen. Als vorläufige übergeordnete Zielmarken bieten sich im Dow das Niveau bei gut 11600 an, im SPX wäre 1240 zu nennen, im NDX 1630 bis 1645.


Global Facts


Sehen wir den Anfang einer weltweiten Rezession? permanent

Marc Faber

 
hat recht behalten.

Gruß

Permanent

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