All Content

Mike Mayo: writedowns worse than the Great Depression

Despite the fact that I can envisage a cyclical upturn this Winter, the menace of bank writedowns is ever-present. One analyst who has been particularly prescient on warning on this front is Mike Mayo, now working at Calyon. Below David Faber of CNBC talks about a recent prediction by Mayo that writedowns will be even worse than the Great Depression. […]

Read more ›

Links: 2009-04-06

As I am away, I thought I would let my blogger brethren do the talking for me. Enjoy. Sign of strength or evidence of weakness? China’s dollar reserves – Brad Setser A Tale of Two Depressions – Vox IMF recommended euroisation to eastern Europe – A Fistful of Euros Why Creditors Should Suffer, Too – Tyler Cowen CBS Face the […]

Read more ›

Links: 2009-04-05

William Black on Bill Moyers – Paul Kedrosky Canadian Banks: A better system – National Post I’m sure Marshall loves this one Wall Street Back To Its Criminal Ways? – Tyler Durden Interesting take Life expectancy to fall as living standards drop North Korean Rocket Passed Japan, Satellite Possible – Bloomberg Here are a few interesting takes on Obama’s recent […]

Read more ›

Links: 2009-04-04

I have a ton of links today, so I have broken then out into sections. See the news feed for other stories. Finance Inside Obama’s bank CEOs meeting – Eamon Javers – POLITICO.com “My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.” Lehman Brothers’ Dick Fuld Has a New Gig – Deal Journal – WSJ […]

Read more ›
Unemployment: U-6 data versus the Great Depression

Unemployment: U-6 data versus the Great Depression

Because of changes in the way the unemployment rate is calculated, the figures today are apple to oranges comparisons to the ones quoted for the Great Depression or even the 1970s. Further, changes in the economy (less manufacturing) and the labor force composition (more women) make comparisons equally difficult. Nevertheless, it bears noting that the unemployment rate in the United […]

Read more ›

Think outside the box: ten outrageous predictions for 2009

Update: 3 Apr 2009: I have been getting more positive about the possibility of a cyclical upturn before 2009 is over (what I like to call a fake recovery). Meanwhile, the punderati are seeing black when they should be seeing shades of grey. As a result, I wanted to re-post this article as a reminder to all of you and to myself of the perils of becoming wedded to a certain ideological bias.



Also see the following article on the site Overcoming Bias.



Here’s the original post:



For a long time Byron Wien of Morgan Stanley used to have his “Ten Surprises for” whatever year we were about to enter. The predictions were sometimes head-scratchers and they were definitely ‘out there.’ Most of the time, these predictions ended up being wrong. Now, Saxobank has taken over from Morgan Stanley in this department. Their list is outlandish — and I’ll get to it in a moment. But, first, I want to say these predictions serve a very useful purpose. It’s called thinking outside the box.

Read more ›

Traveling: Mexico and Germany

Over the next two weeks I will be traveling and will have a pretty sparse and sporadic posting schedule. Next week is Mexico and then the week after is Germany. I am definitely looking to post but it probably will not be in the quantity you have come to expect. While I am on the admin theme, I should note […]

Read more ›
Spain’s savings banks may have 40 billion in writedowns

Spain’s savings banks may have 40 billion in writedowns

We should consider Spain one of the four original bubble markets where residential property markets soared to ridiculous levels during the housing bubble.  The bubble has now popped and those countries, the U.K., the U.S., Ireland and Spain, are reeling.  To be sure, there were bubbles in other markets as well. However, these four markets should certainly be the big […]

Read more ›

Switzerland gets deflation too

First Spain, now Switzerland: Consumer prices in March were down 0.4% from a year ago, the Federal Statistics Office said, a 50-year low. The country has been close to deflation all year, with inflation having fallen from a peak of 3.1% in July 2008. The rate was 0.2% in February. The Swiss National Bank predicts that inflation will average -0.5% […]

Read more ›
Employment situation report paints grim picture

Employment situation report paints grim picture

I have just finished looking at the latest employment situation report and there is absolutely no good news there. This report is miles apart from the jobless claims data I reviewed yesterday and does not cofirm we are anywhere close to a bottom. The headline number here was 8.5% unemployment, a 26-year high. However, upon digging a little deeper, even that number is relatively benign because of change in methodology. Below is a synopsis of what the further details reveal:

Read more ›

A few comments about mark-to-market

Because I received a message via e-mail that my previous post on mark-to-market was misleading, I thought I would clarify what is happening with FAS 157 and provide some good links. The long and short of the rule is it gives more specific guidance as to when a market is distressed and an asset must not be marked-to-market as a […]

Read more ›

Links: 2009-04-03

M2M Change = Time to buy banks? – FT Alphaville Recession Hits Social Security Increases “The banks” versus “some banks” – Paul Krugman Blog – NYTimes.com Medvedev Renews Call for Alternatives to Dollar – Real Time Economics – WSJ The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – Genes, Race, And IQ Buffett Penalized as Citigroup Borrows for Less – Bloomberg.com […]

Read more ›