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  Quotations - Invest  
[Quote No.33559] Need Area: Money > Invest
"In economics, the Dutch disease is a concept that purportedly explains the apparent relationship between the increase in exploitation of natural resources and a decline in the manufacturing sector [sometimes referred to as a 'two-speed' economy]. The theory is that an increase in revenues from natural resources will deindustrialise a nation’s economy by raising the exchange rate, which makes the manufacturing sector less competitive and public services entangled with business interests. However, it is extremely difficult to definitively conclude that natural resource exploitation is the primary or sole cause of decreasing revenues in the manufacturing sector, since there are often many other factors at play in the very complex global economy. While it most often refers to natural resource discovery, it can also refer to 'any development that results in a large inflow of foreign currency, including a sharp surge in natural resource prices, foreign assistance, and foreign direct investment'. The term was coined in 1977 by 'The Economist' to describe the decline of the manufacturing sector in the Netherlands after the discovery of a large natural gas field in 1959, culminating in the world's biggest public-private partnership N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie between Esso (now ExxonMobil), Shell and the Dutch government in 1963. ...[The great danger to the economy and the country's wealth and living standards with this 'disease' is] If the natural resources begin to run out or if there is a downturn in prices, [as] competitive manufacturing industries do not return as quickly or as easily as they left. ...There are two basic ways to reduce the threat of Dutch disease: by slowing the appreciation of the real exchange rate and by boosting the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. One approach is to sterilize the boom revenues, that is, not to bring all the revenues into the country all at once, and to save some of the revenues abroad in special funds and bring them in slowly [for example in sovereign wealth funds]. Sterilisation will reduce the spending effect. Another benefit of letting the revenues into the country slowly, is that it can give a country a stable revenue stream, rather than not knowing how much revenue it will have from year to year. Also, by saving the boom revenues, a country is saving some of the revenues for future generations... Another strategy for avoiding real exchange rate appreciation is to increase saving in the economy in order to reduce large capital inflows which are able to cause an appreciation of the real exchange rate. This can be done if the country runs a budget surplus. A country can encourage individuals and firms to save more by reducing income and profit taxes. By increasing saving, a country can reduce the need for loans to finance government deficits and foreign direct investment. Investing in education and infrastructure is able to increase the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. An alternative is that a government can resort to protectionism, that is, increase subsidies or tariffs. However, this could be a dangerous strategy and could worsen the effects of Dutch Disease, as large inflows of foreign capital are usually provided by the export sector and bought up by the import sector. Imposing tariffs on imported goods will artificially reduce that sector’s demand for foreign currency, leading to further appreciation of the real exchange rate." - Wikipedia
the free encyclopedia
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[Quote No.33582] Need Area: Money > Invest
"The superior doctor [or manager] prevents sickness; The mediocre doctor [or manager] attends to impending sickness; The inferior doctor [or manager] treats actual sickness!" - Chinese Proverb

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[Quote No.33590] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Regulatory change brings uncertainty, and uncertainty brings lower asset prices." - Charlie Aitken
Southern Cross Equity's chief equity strategist.
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[Quote No.33607] Need Area: Money > Invest
"These times of ours are serious and full of calamity, but all times are essentially alike. As soon as there is life there is danger." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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[Quote No.33609] Need Area: Money > Invest
"I always know what's happening on the court. I see a situation occur, and I respond." - Larry Bird
(1956 - ), famous American NBA basketball player.
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[Quote No.33627] Need Area: Money > Invest
"[Sometimes markets can be very volatile and be] as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs... [with] all the consistency and predictability of an old pickup with a busted clutch." - Megan McArdle
Quoted from 'The Business Insider', published 20th May, 2010.
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[Quote No.33632] Need Area: Money > Invest
"The Store Where You Buy Stocks: Imagine that you were going shopping at your local Wal-Mart (WMT) store. As you drove into the parking lot you noticed it was full of cars. Then as you entered the store, the isles were full of shoppers with loaded shopping carts. Suddenly, the store manager’s voice comes over the PA system with the following announcement: 'Ladies and gentlemen, for being such loyal Wal-Mart customers we are going to reward you. For the next hour, all merchandise in the store is going on sale at 10% off. Thank you for shopping Wal-Mart.' Then inexplicably, all the customers abandon their loaded carts and flood out of the store. Then the store manager, coming to his senses, turns on the loudspeakers in the parking lot and announces: 'Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for our mistake. If you will return to the store, all merchandise will be offered at 10% higher prices than before you left.' At this point, all the customers hastily re-park their cars and re-enter the store. Then they begin ripping merchandise off the shelves at a much more feverish pace than they previously had. All was now good in Wal-Mart land. Obviously, sane Wal-Mart shoppers would never behave in such an irrational way. When perfectly good merchandise went on sale, they would become more motivated buyers. The stock market is the only market on earth where shoppers flee the store when the merchandise goes on sale." - Charles (Chuck) C. Carnevale
Co-founder and the CIO of EDMP, Inc. He has been working in the securities industry since 1970: he has been a partner with a private NYSE member firm, the President of a NASD firm, and Vice President and Regional Marketing Director for a major AMEX listed company.
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[Quote No.33640] Need Area: Money > Invest
"A wise man fights to win, but he is twice a fool who has no plan for possible defeat!" - Louis L'Amour
Famous American author.
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[Quote No.33649] Need Area: Money > Invest
"If there is a serious question of the lack of a strong management sense of trusteeship for the shareholders, the investor should never seriously consider participating in such an enterprise." - Philip Fisher
Famous and successful share investor. Quote from his highly regarded book, 'Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits', published in 1958.
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[Quote No.33650] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow [rather than frenetic short-term buying and selling]. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas." - Paul Samuelson
Nobel prize-winning economist
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[Quote No.33651] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Investment portfolios, like gardens, need constant maintenance. There are routine jobs to be done and emergency tasks that will not wait. An attentive caretaker will cherish, nourish and protect in the full knowledge that if he or she fails to do what is necessary, there will be a price to pay. Like gardens, investments are dependent on an environment that changes. And where gardeners look to the seasons, investors look to the economic and market cycles. Like garden plants, investments have periods when they catch the attention - when they are flourishing - but they also need time to be left undisturbed, for preparation, rest and regeneration. Some investments last a long time; others have a shorter life expectancy. Left to their own devices, they can go to seed quickly. With time and effort, skill and some luck, there are rich rewards to be harvested." - Robert Cole
Author of 'The Unwritten Laws of Finance and Investment'.
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[Quote No.33652] Need Area: Money > Invest
"If a government squeezes business profits with excessive taxes, high interest rates and over-regulation, this will genuinely hurt the economy and could cause an exodus of investment and jobs. If a government helps business by curbing inefficient public spending and improving work incentives, this will genuinely strengthen the economy. These are the true political realities that determine business confidence. All the rest is humbug." - Anatole Kaletsky
a journalist for the 'Times' newspaper and an economist based in the United Kingdom.
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[Quote No.33661] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Credit Storm in Europe; Politics on Capital Hill: Credit market turmoil in the Eurozone has ignited frenzied trading on global markets. On Tuesday [25th May, 2010], shares tumbled nearly 300 points on the Dow Jones before launching an unconvincing 257-point late-day comeback. Wednesday the mayhem continued; all the major indexes seesawed wildly as positive news on durable goods was nixed by reports on wobbly EU banks. Erratic selling pushed the S&P down to 1,067 while the Dow slipped below 10,000 for the first time since February 7. Rising Libor is increasing volatility, a red flag indicating trouble in interbank lending. Banks are wary of each others collateral as Greece and other underwater Club Med members appear to be headed for debt-restructuring. Libor is not yet at pre-Lehman levels, but the rate that banks charge each other for short-term loans has rocketed to a 10-month high. Improving economic data has not eased fears of another meltdown or removed the rot at the heart of the system. The banks are still loaded with loans and assets that are losing value. The credit system is breaking down. When banks post collateral overnight for short-term loans, the collateral is effectively downgraded limiting the banks access to capital. This is what triggered the financial crisis two years ago, a run on repo. Regulated 'depository' institutions now rely on a funding system that operates beyond government oversight, a shadow banking system. The banks exchange collateral, in the form of bundled securities and bonds with institutional investors (aka— 'shadow banks'; investment banks, hedge funds, insurers) via repurchase agreements (repo) for short-term loans. The repo market now rivals the the traditional banking system in terms of size but lacks the guard rails and stop signs that make the regulated system safe. The system is inherently unstable and crisis-prone as a recently released paper by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) admits. Moody’s rating agency summarized the paper’s findings like this: the tri-party repo market will remain a major source of systemic risk, especially given the current market volatility and the fact that the Federal Reserve’s primary dealer emergency lending facilities are no longer in place... the market remains structurally vulnerable to a repo run... If cash investors pulled away in a stressed environment, the clearing banks would be faced with a choice (as they were several times in 2008) of taking on large secured credit exposure to dealers or severely constraining intra-day credit to them. Such market mechanics can exacerbate the effect of a systemic and/or a dealer-specific crisis.. Until the remaining issues in the tri-party repo market are resolved, the risk of a repo run remains in place. (Moody’s, thanks to zero hedge) It’s too bad [the U.S.] Congress doesn’t take time to read Moody’s analysis before gutting the derivatives and capital requirements provisions in the new reform bill. It might help them understand that by placating Wall Street they’re laying the groundwork for another financial disaster. When Lehman failed, Fed chair Ben Bernanke stepped in as lender of last resort to keep the banking system functioning. He deftly shifted from lending facilities to quantitative easing (QE)–a ploy that allowed the Fed to relieve the Wall Street behemoths of their toxic assets and non performing loans. The Fed’s efforts revived the economy but transferred gigantic losses onto its own balance sheet. The EU lacks the political infrastructure to enact a similar fiscal strategy. When banks collapse in Spain or Greece, the losses must be written down, adding to deflationary pressures. That has world leaders worried that their economies will be pulled back into recession. Here’s a recent post from David Rosenberg which sums up the present situation: 'The downdraft in the market in recent weeks reflects the financial risk related to the European debt crisis, the monetary tightening in China and the re-regulation of the financial sector that is currently making its way through to Congress. The next leg down in the equity market specifically and cyclical assets more generally is economic risk. Equities went into this period of turbulence priced for peak earnings in 2011 and with a tailwind of positive earnings revision and positive guidance ratios from the corporate sector. If the ECRI and the Conference Board’s own index of leading economic indicators, which dipped 0.1% in April, are prescient, then they are portending a period of sub-par economic growth ahead.' (Breakfast with Dave, David Rosenberg, Gluskin Sheff) The media characterizes troubles in the EU as a 'sovereign debt crisis', reflecting 'deficit cutting' the political agenda of its authors. In fact, this is a straightforward banking crisis, undercapitalized banks whose downgraded assets are leading them towards default. The banks alone are responsible. In the US the problem has been resolved by the historic bank/state merger. 'Too big to fail' implies that the primary function of the state is to preserve its core financial institutions. For many reasons, this remedy won’t work in Europe. The individual countries will have to bailout banks at their own expense or resolve them through the bankruptcy courts. Austerity measures in the Eurozone will derail Obama’s efforts to increase exports to compensate for the slowdown in consumer spending. The administration’s economic strategy, to large extent, depends on a weak dollar, a strong EU and a prosperous China. That plan vaporized earlier this week when Spanish regulators took over CajaSur one of the country’s biggest mortgage lenders. Spain’s property crash is intensifying the contraction and pushing banks to the brink. As credit tightens and economic activity slows, the prospects of a strong recovery become more remote. The downturn could last for years. Deteriorating conditions in Europe have set off alarms at the Fed. For Fed chair Ben Bernanke, the trouble in the EU money markets and commercial paper markets, must seem like a recurrent nightmare, Lehman all over again. Bernanke wants to stop the repricing of bank assets that would trigger firesales and another round of deflation. So, he’s reopening 'swap lines' to help EU banks roll over their short-term loans. His proposal would slash rates to near-zero and make the Fed liable in the exchange of questionable loans and assets, putting both the taxpayer and the dollar at risk. Here’s a clip from the Wall Street Journal: 'The Federal Reserve has a lever it can pull to help European officials combat a worsening financial crisis: Reducing the interest rate it charges on U.S. dollar loans it makes through the European Central Bank to dollar-starved commercial banks in Europe... The loans currently are priced one percentage point above a market rate called Overnight Indexed Swaps (OIS), which tracks the expected path of the Fed’s benchmark federal funds rate. The loans are set above OIS to discourage foreign banks from using the government program too aggressively. But the Fed could reduce that penalty to encourage more borrowing and ease some of the financial strain on foreign banks in need of dollars... Many European banks, and their U.S. branches, need dollar funds because they hold U.S. dollar assets. But lenders have become more wary of extending them the cash. That’s made dollar loans more costly for European borrowers and the funding they do get is has been for shorter maturities.' ('Fed’s Next Move Could Be Reduced Rate on Dollar-Euro Swaps', Jon Hilsenrath, Wall Street Journal) The Fed is operating far beyond its mandate to maintain price stability and full employment. It’s applying its own arbitrary pricing mechanism and usurping the authority of the EU central bank. Here’s how Clifford Rossi explains the Fed’s action in a recent post on Institutional Risk Analysis: 'The mechanism for the bailout of Europe is the Fed’s provision of dollar credit in virtually unlimited amounts via central bank swaps lines... the Fed swap lines help the bankrupt nations of the EU ignore their mounting fiscal problems... Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is engaged in a little geopolitical engineering in Europe — and the people of the EU do not yet realize that a political change in control has occurred... the leaders of Europe now find themselves beholden to the Fed for their continued political existence... Chairman Bernanke and the FOMC have but to terminate the Fed’s swap lines with the various central banks of Europe or start selling the MBS portfolio in the US, and governments from Washington to Berlin will start to fall.' ('More fed swap Lines for Europe and the End of Globalization', Clifford Rossi, Institutional Risk Analysis) The swap lines are designed to keep asset prices artificially high, so the contagion doesn’t spread to the US where [FASB] accounting gimmickry helps to hide bank losses. Bernanke is perpetuating the repo-scam, by assisting banks and other financial institutions to amplify crumbs of capital into humongous bubbles which can take down the whole economy. The Wall Street Journal exposed a similar repo scam this week in an above-the-fold article on Wednesday. Here’s an excerpt: 'Three big banks–Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, and Citigroup Inc.—are among the most active at temporarily shedding debt just before reporting their finances to the public, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows. The practice, known as end-of-quarter 'window dressing' on Wall Street, suggests that the banks are carrying more risk most of the time than their investors or customers can easily see... Over the past 10 quarters, the three banks have lowered their net borrowings in the 'repurchase,' or repo, market ['repo' is a method that replaced unsecured short-term lending, where what used to be loans are now arranged as sales with repossession/repurchase contracts signed at the same time ensuring sale back of the security with interest added on a certain date, just like a loan] by an average of 41% at the ends of the quarters, compared with their average net repo borrowings for the entire quarter, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve data. Once a new quarter begins, they boost those levels... The data suggest 'conscious balance-sheet management,' said Robert Willens, an accounting specialist who heads Robert Willens LLC. If there are big gaps between average quarterly and quarter-end data, he said, the quarter-end numbers 'are at best meaningless and at worst misleading and disingenuous.' ('Banks trim Debt, Obscuring Risks', Michael Rapoport and Tom Mcginty, Wall Street Journal) So the banks are intentionally masking their leverage to conceal their true condition to investors. And its all done with derivatives and repo; the lethal combo that led to the crisis of ‘08. Unfortunately, Wall Street’s lobbying campaign has been so successful that, even now, real change is unlikely. In fact, [U.S.] House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank openly opposes Blanche Lincoln’s comprehensive derivatives legislation saying that it 'goes too far'. Frank has signaled that the bill would be killed or rewritten in committee. Derivatives trading is a main profit-center for the nation’s largest banks and they have spent millions to preserve the status quo. 'I don’t see the need for a separate rule regarding derivatives because the restriction on banks engaging in proprietary activities would apply to derivatives as well as everything else,' Frank said on Monday. Even without Frank’s support, the bill would have faced fierce resistance from a contingent of Wall Street Democrats who were planning to strip the critical provisions from the legislation. Rep Michael McMahon (NY-D) defended the banks saying, 'The House bill is based on principles on how to reduce risk and make the system more transparent, it’s not based on wiping out the system or destroying the system and that’s what the provision does.' The credit storm in the EU has had no effect on Congress. Wall Street has won this round. The window for real reform has closed, and now it’s 'business as usual' until the next catastrophe." - Mike Whitney
Regular columnist for Novakeo.com, published online at Novakeo.com, May 28, 2010.
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[Quote No.33666] Need Area: Money > Invest
"I love storms...[for the opportunities they bring. Like the Chinese say 'There is opportunity in crisis.']" - Mahatma Gandhi

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[Quote No.33668] Need Area: Money > Invest
"[When there is a sovereign debt crisis, beware government debt, bonds, etc:] Only Debt Restructuring Can Save Greece - Athens must raise €240 billion by 2015 — an almost impossible task at any interest rate. The financial crisis in Greece [early 2010] is best understood by looking at the hard numbers : Over the next five years, Athens has to raise €240 billion, roughly the country's current gross domestic product [GDP]. Of that amount, €150 billion is to pay down the principal owed on maturing bonds. The rest [€90] is interest. This illustrates why the euro-zone offer of a €30 billion standby credit facility is just a drop in the bucket compared to Greece's overall cash requirements. Athens is unlikely to be able to raise this much money from private investors at any interest rate. When Europe's 'bridge' financing is exhausted—probably by the early months of next year [2011] —Greece's government will be in the same plight it is in right now: With a triple-B-minus rating, an unacceptably high and rising debt ratio, and a contracting economy, the country will be just as unable to finance itself next winter as it was last week. To fix the problem—restoring Greece's creditworthiness—two things have to happen. First, the public finances have to be rebalanced. If the government's plans are implemented as announced, this year's spending cuts will reduce the fiscal deficit by one third. This will cause a crippling recession, but Greece will have to make budget cuts of the same size in 2011 and again in 2012. Second, the big 'hump' of principal bond payments due between now and 2015 has to be flattened if investors are to believe that the Greek government can afford to service its debt without default. Writing down these obligations is not an acceptable route. However, the payments could be smoothed out and lowered in the near term by modifying the debt obligations to spread the amortization over a longer period ['extend and pretend' - 'delay and pray']. A multi-year restructuring agreement is a way to do this. Maturities due in the next few years could be distributed evenly over the next three decades. Done properly, no more bridge-financing would be needed. In the early 1980s, banks used multi-year restructuring agreements to avert defaults on the then-massive loan obligations of their Latin American sovereign customers. All the loans each country had taken out were consolidated into a single, long-term obligation. On average, loans that were about to mature in the 1980s—a 'hump' of principal payments similar to that faced by Greece today—were bundled together into one jumbo loan for each borrower with an average maturity of 25 years. A similar multi-year restructuring of Greece's bond obligations could lower the nation's debt service burden. Roll up all of Greece's bonds due to mature between now and 2019 into one bundle ['consolidation loan'] and refinance that pool of debt into a single, self-amortizing 25-year bond. The interest rate on this composite bond could be 4.5%, exactly the weighted average yield on Greek bonds outstanding today. Spreading the amortization schedule of maturities over 25 years would lower Greece's financing requirement [annual payments] over the next five and a half years by 60%, or €140 billion. The improvement in the government's near-term cash flow would give politicians 'breathing room' to undertake the fiscal reforms needed to stabilize the country on a permanent basis while ensuring a debt-service profile that would make access to credit affordable. The plan would not require any government subsidies or guarantees or write-downs of the principal amounts owed. In this kind of restructuring, it is the creditors [bond holders, etc in particular French and German banks], not Greece's partner governments in the euro zone, who would shoulder the burden of adjustment [although the 'hair-cut' may reduce the capital adequacy ratios of these countries' banks to the point that their governments may then have to 'bail them out' again]. Not all present holders of Greek bonds may agree to such a restructuring. Investors who thought they were buying a 10-year bond will end up with a 25-year obligation on different terms than they started with [changing the net present value of the bonds, etc]. However, the risk of default [non-payment on the lowered annual payments] on new Greek bonds after a multi-year restructuring would be much lower than on the original paper, which is not a small compensation. Still, a legal framework would be needed to enable the Greek government, as a special sovereign borrower under severe financial stress, to restate the terms of its bond obligations unilaterally. Investors who do not like the newly dictated terms could always sell their restructured bonds to other investors. A multi-year restructuring of government debt may also be the only viable solution for other, larger, highly indebted euro-zone economies when the time comes that they no longer can borrow on capital markets. Italy's GDP and debt, for instance, are six and a half times Greece's. Even very short-term bridge financing would not be an option for bigger countries like Italy or Spain. Using Greece's crisis to develop the template for restructuring obligations of other highly indebted euro-zone economies is an investment in the longer-term stability of the single currency zone. The bridge-financing European finance ministers agreed to last weekend does not, by itself, fix anything. It can only buy time until a full solution—debt restructuring—is implemented." - Carl B. Weinberg
Chief economist at High Frequency Economics who also teaches economics at New York University. Published in 'The Wall Street Journal', 14th April, 2010.
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[Quote No.33671] Need Area: Money > Invest
"When traders, US banks and US money managers significantly pare back their exposures to countries' banks - due to fear of bank and sovereign indebtedness and possible crisis - the benchmark US dollar London interbank offered rate – the interest rate banks charge each other to borrow – rises. When this occurs the US government through the Federal Reserve can step in to support the world money markets by assisting European, etc banks’ dollar funding requirements using US Federal Reserve USD Swaps - OIS Overnight Index Swaps - where the Fed has more control over the interest rates charged." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.33672] Need Area: Money > Invest
"[Often] We should be very cautious about how we interpret the meaning of the gyrations in... stocks. A market driven almost exclusively by speculators, and with little to no participation by fundamental or value investors, is not a market that pays much attention to long-term growth prospects. It is driven largely by fads, technical factors, liquidity shifts, and government signalling." - Michael Pettis
Financial market commentator
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[Quote No.33680] Need Area: Money > Invest
"There is only one way to make a great deal of money [get rich], and that is in a business of your own [or an equity interest - 'silent' partnership - with a successful business]." - J. Paul Getty
One of the richest men in the world.
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[Quote No.33682] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell." - Sir John Templeton
Famous share investor.
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[Quote No.33683] Need Area: Money > Invest
"[Under]valuation is a necessary but insufficient condition to turn the tide of a [falling] market on its own. " - Chris Shaw
Financial commentator with FNArena.com
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[Quote No.33684] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Systemic Liquidity: Much has been written and said about recent increases in LIBOR, which is said to be reflecting growing anxiety in the global banking system: banks are, once more, becoming reluctant to lend to each other. To put this into perspective, three month US dollar Libor exceeded 0.5 per cent last week for the first time since July [2009]. At that time the TED spread was around 32 basis points and last week it was around 38 bps. In Australia, the spread between the three-month overnight index swap and bank bill rate [BBSW] was also around 38 bps, last week. It last saw this level in February 2010. These are not crisis levels and are well below the extreme spreads of 447 bps and 143 bps respectively, seen in early October 2008. Moreover, just to confirm that there are no signs of stress in Australia, the average daily balance of funds held in exchange settlement accounts with the Reserve Bank has been just A$1.4 billion, this month and last. Very much at the low end of the range and well below the October 2008 peak of A$8.7 billion." - Banking Day
Banking industry newsletter, 'Banking Day' - May 31, 2010.
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[Quote No.33686] Need Area: Money > Invest
"No wise pilot, no matter how great his talent and experience, fails to use his checklist. [The same is true of successful investors.]" - Charlie Munger
Famous share investor, lawyer and property developer as well as Warren Buffett’s business partner.
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[Quote No.33689] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Banks under pressure over borrowing costs: Markets used by banks to obtain funding are showing signs of growing stress, as Europe's debt crisis threatens to drive up borrowing costs. While sharemarkets plunged in recent weeks, the global gauge of bank borrowing costs - the spread between the safe haven of US Treasury bonds and interbank lending rates - has been moving in the other direction. Known as the 'TED spread', it has hit a 10-month high of 37 basis points, reflecting growing nervousness among lenders. This is a fraction of peaks reached in the global financial crisis, but the rise reflects fears that contagion could spread beyond Europe to the US financial system. Australian gauges of short-term funding costs are also on the rise. The spread between the cash rate and the bank bill swap rate - which measures the willingness of investors and banks to lend to each other - has also doubled in the past week from about 20 basis points to 43 points yesterday. The chief interest rate strategist at Westpac, Damien McColough, said the increase reflected concerns that fallout from Europe's debt crisis could reach Australia, as occurred after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. However, current spreads are nowhere near as extreme - spreads ballooned to near 150 basis points at the peak of the financial crisis. Australian banks are also seen as well-funded after raising about $47 billion from wholesale markets this year. Westpac has been the most active, raising $15.6 billion, followed by the Commonwealth Bank with $13.5 billion. 'There's a perception out there that the banks themselves have done a lot of offshore raisings and are ahead of their funding needs at this stage,' Mr McColough said. But while Australian lenders maintain they have ready access to credit markets, bank treasury sources have said longer-term debt has become substantially more expensive over the past few weeks. The chief economist at NAB Capital, Rob Henderson, said global pressures did not present any immediate threat, but if credit tensions persisted banks would probably need to raise short-term money. 'It's just a bit of a sign that some of that nervousness about Europe is starting to find its way back here,' he said. For Australian banks a proxy for long-term funding costs is credit default swap spreads - an indicator of the perceived risk of default on US-dollar-denominated, five-year senior debt. Yesterday, the CDS spread for Commonwealth Bank's five-year debt was trading at 136 basis points, up from a low of 67 points at the end of April. During the worst of the global credit crisis the spread ranged between 100 and 170 points." - Clancy Yeates and Eric Johnston
'Sydney Morning Herald', May 27, 2010
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[Quote No.33721] Need Area: Money > Invest
"As soon as you trust yourself [and not the crowd], you will know how to live [and invest]. " - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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[Quote No.33723] Need Area: Money > Invest
"[Property] Auction clearance rates provide an excellent indication of current market sentiment - the results are more timely than private treaty results which are subject to time lags." - Cameron Kusher
rpdata.com senior property research analyst
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[Quote No.33725] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Markets make opinions. [In other words, the action of the market drives opinions, not the other way around, especially in the media as it tries to describe and explain the movement.]" - Greg Canavan
Editor of 'Sound Money. Sound Investments'.
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[Quote No.33726] Need Area: Money > Invest
"When there is a drop and you are debating if you should wait for a bounce to get a little more profit, or less of a loss, before selling - as you feel the market is starting to fall over and will go even lower - there is an expression, 'Don't try to pick up pennies in front of a steam-roller' that should come to mind. Remember it is better to take a small loss now than a bigger one later." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.33727] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Markets binge, then purge." - Dan Denning
'The Daily Reckoning' newsletter
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[Quote No.33732] Need Area: Money > Invest
"On the road to investment success with any company or portfolio, you should be psychologically prepared for many bumps and potholes." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.33738] Need Area: Money > Invest
"[Here are some comments about sovereign debt default:] Picture yourself as a senior economic policy-maker in an important nation. You have a choice: embrace the difficulty of working off debt in your economy or kick the can down the road with stimulus spending to support demand, and cross your fingers that something crops up in the meantime. This is the choice currently facing the world [June 2010], and the answers are coming thick and fast. John Dizard of the 'Financial Times' made a comment over the weekend that is very significant when thinking about how this quandary applies to the eurozone: 'Greece is still running large fiscal and trade deficits, so it cannot yet run its economy on a cash basis, as Argentina and others did after their defaults. That is why the European Union-International Monetary Fund stabilisation package is needed to cover maturing debt issues and also the continuing twin deficits, at least for the three years the facilities are supposed to be in place. From the Greek point of view, though, it doesn’t make sense for the three-year plan to run its course, even if the country meets its financial targets. Assuming it all works, Greece would have a substantially higher debt that would not be in the form of loosely covenanted Greek-law bonds, but virtually un-defaultable obligations to European governments, the EU and the IMF ... In a few months, though, after the horrifyingly animated SPV raises itself off the operating table, the real work for the sovereign debt lawyers and bankers will begin. Their first issue ... is how deep a cut in real value needs to be imposed on holders of Greek bonds if the country is to have a chance for sustainable recovery. Then, once we have that number, call it 30 or 40 per cent, the reschedulers will prepare the menu of options for the ‘voluntary’ exchange ... The easiest pick for many banks or institutions will be the so-called ‘par bonds’, or bonds with the same face value as the old bonds, but much longer maturities and lower coupons, and, therefore, a lower real value. The bank regulators and accountants could allow these to be kept on the books in held-to-maturity accounts at face value, which would be good for bankers’ careers. The use of par bonds for rescheduled sovereign debt was initiated by the Japanese in the Brady emerging market exchanges of the late 1980s. Under-reserved Japanese banks could then maintain the fiction of a positive book value.' This column will note that this is precisely the kind of painful course of debt-reduction that policy-makers will choose. Outright liquidation is simply not an option. And from a certain perspective, the fact that there is a workout scenario for indebted European nations is good news. Albeit one that turns its banks into zombies, like Japanese banks before them, because the solution also means bank capital is tied up in low yielding assets much longer than expected, meaning less money is available to lend." - David Llewellyn-Smith
Published in the well respected Australian financial journal, the 'Business Spectator', 7 June, 2010.
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[Quote No.33739] Need Area: Money > Invest
"The Taylor Rule is an interest rate forecasting model invented and perfected by famed economist John Taylor in 1992 and outlined in his landmark 1993 study 'Discretion Vs. Policy Rules in Practice'. Taylor operated in the early 1990s with credible assumptions that the Federal Reserve determined future interest rates based on the rational expectations theory of macroeconomics. The Taylor rule looks like this: i= r* + pi + 0.5 (pi-pi*) + 0.5 ( y-y*). Where: i = nominal fed funds rate, r* = real federal funds rate (usually 2%), pi = rate of inflation, p* = target inflation rate, Y = logarithm of real output, y* = logarithm of potential output. [Other forecasting rules include the Mankiw Rule]" - Brian Twomey
Published on Investopedia.com
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[Quote No.33740] Need Area: Money > Invest
"[Recessions and sovereign debt problems in the ECC - European Common Market - are particularly difficult to fix because the ability of the country's currency to devalue to make exports more competitive - which is one of the advantages of having a floating currency - does not work very well when most European countries export between themselves using a common currency - the Euro. Therefore the only way for countries to export more is to become more productive - usually including lower wages or reduced growth in wages in comparison with their trading partners.] I'm not suggesting for a moment that things are hunky dory in Euroland – except for one big positive: the currency. The euro has already devalued significantly and appears to be heading for parity with the US dollar, which is a further 20% down. If the basket cases can meet their fiscal consolidation [spending cuts and tax hikes] targets under the EU/IMF bailout, they might just muddle through with competitiveness restored by the falling currency. The problem for the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) is that they mainly need competitiveness within the Eurozone, which can only arise from lower wages since they can't devalue their currencies. That's why there is persistent talk of Greece, and possibly others, leaving the EU." - Alan Kohler
Australian financial journalist. Published in the 'Eureka Report', June 7, 2010.
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[Quote No.33741] Need Area: Money > Invest
"When you hear the phrase 'terms of trade' what is meant is what the country earns from exports compared to what it pays for imports. When it rises it in turn boosts the economy via higher profits, investments, wages and tax receipts." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.33743] Need Area: Money > Invest
"[What happens as companies, banks and sovereigns - countries look like having large debt problems can be seen in the following article:] Bank Risk Nears Record High on Spain’s $60 Billion Capital Call Bank credit-default swaps [also LIBOR, TED Spread] surged near to a record on concern Spanish lenders will have to raise $60 billion to shore up capital as lawmakers struggle to finance a swollen budget deficit. The Markit iTraxx Financial Index of swaps on 25 European banks and insurers climbed as much as 14 basis points to 208, approaching the all-time closing high of 210 basis points set in March 2009, JPMorgan Chase & Co. prices show. Banco Santander SA, Spain’s biggest bank, increased 23 basis points to a record 258, according to CMA DataVision. Spanish lenders need as much as 50 billion euros ($60 billion) of capital, according to Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, as they face mounting writedowns triggered by a housing market collapse and losses on government bond holdings. Civil servants went on strike today to protest at Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s efforts to tame the euro area’s third-largest deficit. 'There is illness in the Spanish banking system,' said Jeroen van den Broek, head of credit strategy at ING Groep NV in Amsterdam. 'It’s very similar to 2008, when the market was hunting down the next bank failure. Now, the market’s hunting the next sovereign fiscal problem.' The spread between Spanish 10-year securities and German bunds widened 10 basis points to 213 basis points, a level not seen since before the introduction of the euro in 1999. Stocks slumped with Spain’s IBEX 35 Index falling 1.4 percent to 8,669.8, heading for a third straight decline and to the lowest in more than a year. Capital Needs - Spanish bank capital needs may amount to about 5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product of about 1 trillion euros through 2013, Bilbao-based BBVA said yesterday. The estimate exceeds a forecast by Standard & Poor’s that a state-backed rescue of Spain’s banking industry could cost 35 billion euros. At least 16 savings banks known as 'cajas' that account for about half of Spanish loans, have embarked on plans to merge since the Bank of Spain seized CajaSur on May 22 after judging it was insolvent. Finance Minister Elena Salgado said last week that the cost of restructuring the savings banks wouldn’t be much more than 12 billion euros already raised by a government rescue fund. Swaps on Bancaja, the Valencia-based lender downgraded by Fitch Ratings on June 1, rose 32.5 basis points to 668.5, CMA prices show. Contracts on BBVA increased 23 basis points to a record 292, Banco de Sabadell SA climbed 20 to 369 and Banco Pastor SA rose 35.5 to 495, CMA prices show. Bank Risk - Investors are paying record high rates to protect bonds of banks in Europe from default relative to the rest of the market. The Markit iTraxx Financial Index is more than 60 basis points higher than the corporate Markit iTraxx Europe Index, according to JPMorgan. As recently as January, the relationship was reversed. The corporate benchmark increased 4.75 basis points to 140.4. 'There’s no doubt that this EU sovereign crisis will change the course of economic history,' Jim Reid, head of fundamental strategy at Deutsche Bank AG in London, wrote in a note to investors. 'It may be up to the central banks to provide stability going forward.' Credit-default swaps pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should a borrower fail to adhere to its debt agreements. A basis point on a contract protecting 10 million euros of debt from default for five years is equivalent to 1,000 euros a year. Oil Swaps - The cost of insuring against losses on oil companies surged as the U.S. Minerals Management Service said it’s looking into a report that a second Gulf of Mexico oil-drilling rig is leaking. Default swaps linked to Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. rose 46 basis points to 202 after Businessinsider.com said the company’s Ocean Saratoga rig is leaking oil in the Gulf. Contracts on Transocean Ltd., whose Deepwater Horizon rig caught fire April 20 and triggered the biggest U.S. oil spill on record, jumped 17 basis points to 169. Swaps on Technip SA, Europe’s second-largest oilfield-services provider, climbed 27.5 basis points to 130 and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. increased 44 basis points to 420." - Abigail Moses
June 8 (Bloomberg)
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[Quote No.33745] Need Area: Money > Invest
"A while back I wrote that the blame for the credit crisis [2007-9 Now called the GFC Great Financial Crisis or the Great Recession to differentiate it from The Great Depression in 1929-33] and the subsequent affect it had on the stock market should land on the shoulders of the people who didn’t repay their loans and the lenders who lent them the money. Everything else followed from those two sets of players. Many of you objected that I was letting Wall Street off easy. You were right. I was right. We were both right. Read on because here’s what happened. And if you want to know more, read a great book called 'The Big Short', by Michael Lewis. The Federal Reserve lowered the cost of borrowing to prevent a recession. These cheap loans made real estate payments go down and real estate prices to go up because for the same money per month borrowers could afford bigger, more expensive houses. Real estate prices shot up and made real estate speculation seem like investing as people borrowed and bought houses to sell them and make profits. At the same time, the Feds encouraged banks and mortgage companies to lend to marginal [sub-prime] borrowers by threatening to sue banks for discrimination and by pushing Fannie Mae to buy more marginal loans. Investment banks discovered they could bundle these loans and sell the cash flows from them as different mortgage [backed] securities with different risk and return levels. With the help of the rating agencies and the supposed subordination of the bonds some of these cash flows were even rated AAA. These bonds were a big hit with investors because they had a high rate of return and the (supposed) low level risk of a government bond. The big demand for these mortgage bonds encouraged lenders to do even more lending to even less qualified borrowers because they weren’t holding the mortgage — they were selling it to investment banks or the federal government and then using the cash to make more loans. The worst of the pool of mortgages - the subprime mortgages - were harder to sell. The investment banks solved that problem by pooling all of the worst mortgages together into a mortgage bond and got it rated AAA as well. As Lewis puts it, 'This was financial alchemy, turning lead into gold.' It was accomplished by the use of a mathematical formula that had worked for many years. The formula ‘proved’ that if you combine a lot of unrelated high risk loans into one big bond, the risk of the bond as a whole was quite low. The rating agencies and investment banks didn’t realize that subprime loans in California were, in fact, related to subprime loans in Florida by the fact that both were owed by speculators and the moment real estate started to level off, the borrowers would stop paying their mortgages. Formula in hand, the investment bankers convinced the rating agencies these bonds were AAA and then convinced AIG to insure them. The demand for these types of mortgage bonds worsened the problem as now there was a great deal of money earmarked to lend to just about anyone. (If you want to know more, Lewis really lays out the details on how the investment banks turned low quality loans into high quality mortgage backed securities.) Still, there was no real problem yet because if these bonds failed, the investors would lose and then there would be less money to lend, which would shut down the machine. Not a good situation, but not a crisis. Here comes the problem: Some very smart insiders saw the writing on the wall and knew that these risky bonds would default as soon as the real estate bubble burst. These investors wanted a way to profit if these bonds failed completely. But… at the time there was no good way to do that. Several clever investment banks created an insurance policy against the default of the bonds and got AIG to write it for a small premium. AIG didn’t understand the risk these bonds represented, because they are in the business of insuring investments that rarely go bad. By buying insurance against the bonds defaulting, these investors would make a fortune when the bonds defaulted. Because they knew they were going to default. Then these investment banks realized the insurance policy was just like the original bond. If the bond was good, then the insurance wouldn’t pay off. So they created a derivative of the bond insurance policy (which was already a kind of derivative of the mortgage bond, which was already a derivative of the original mortgages). This derivative acted just like the bond except with massive leverage. If the bond goes down, you lose beyond huge. This derivative was taking the other side of the smart guy’s short. In other words, they were betting that the bonds would stay solvent. Just as they securitized the original mortgages, investment banks sold securities on these derivatives of derivatives of derivatives and got a portion of them rated AAA, too. The bond sales guys sold these things everywhere because they were AAA low risk and had a high return. They ate their own cooking and bought billions of dollars of these things for their own firms. Then real estate did the inevitable and stopped going up. Subprime mortgage borrowers did what they had to do and started defaulting almost immediately, surprising almost everyone except the guys who saw it coming and had insured against it (went short). And the bonds started failing. Investment banks lost billions and suddenly had no money to pay off their daily investing trades, which threatened to boil into a worldwide credit freeze. The situation became worse because the bonds that had been guaranteed by AIG weren’t so guaranteed after all because AIG didn’t have the money to pay up on the insurance policies. Nearly every single major financial company threatened to go bankrupt, either because it made investments in securities that went bad, or because they could not get paid on their investments held by institutions becoming insolvent. Our federal government decided to save all these firms and we now owe trillions. The moral of the story? Depends on who you talk to, but as an investor I think we can conclude that the mere fact that everyone is doing something is a huge sign to not do it. Watch for signs. Is there a stampeding crowd? Think before you follow it. There’s a good chance it doesn’t know where it is going. When strippers in Las Vegas are paying mortgages on 5 houses (see the book), you might want to short real estate. Just remember what we’ve learned over and over from history: Where there is massive greed [and few people seeing and/or heeding any danger], run the opposite way." - Phil Town
Financial author. Published 14 April, 2010.
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[Quote No.33746] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Investing is one of the most morally charged and important things we can do. If we are privileged enough to be among the few who have more money than is necessary to survive, we must be careful how we allocate that excess capital. Ultimately, it could determine how the world works for our children." - Phil Town
Financial author. He wrote 'Rule #1'.
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[Quote No.33747] Need Area: Money > Invest
"American [and all other country's] investors: Predictably stupid: Not only are our brains irrational, but our behavior is easily predicted by wolves on Wall Street, who are only too eager to lead us sheep to the slaughterhouse. Yes, I am mad as hell again. Wall Street's soulless, immoral, greedy bankers really believe that the vast majority of America's 95 million investors are not only predictably irrational but stupid, words Forbes use to sum up the views of a JPMorgan Chase investment officer a while back. Worse, Main Street investors are losers for continuing to trust Wall Street after it lost 20% of our retirement money in the last decade. Now, worst of all, Wall Street's traders have profiled Main Street investors in their algorithms: Yes, investors are predictably stupid losers, what con artists call a 'mark,' a dumb gambler who can be easily coaxed out of his money. Why so blunt? ...One reader commented: 'I worked at the Bear Stearns . . . every word written here is true. Fact is, bankers regard themselves as wolves and the public as prey, and speak about it openly among themselves.' Then he added a sucker punch: 'What is extraordinary to me is how willingly the sheep submit to this.' Yes, folks, Wall Street is certain that America's 95 million [in fact, regardless of place, all 'average'] investors are clueless sheep headed for the slaughterhouse. But wait, that's not news. Twenty years ago, former bond trader Michael Lewis' 'Liar's Poker' described the insanity of our addiction to gambling in a few memorable lines: 'Men on the trading floor may not have been to school but they have Ph.D.s in man's ignorance.' They know that 'in any market, as in any poker game, there is a fool. The astute investor Warren Buffett is fond of saying that any player unaware of the fool in the market probably is the fool in the market.' And, as we now know, in the stock market, the vast majority of America's 95 million [and the rest of the world's] investors are fools - predictably stupid losers. Lewis says traders instinctively know that the more people chasing a trend [whether they just have watched the price move up or follow technical charting theories] 'the easier it was for them to delude themselves that what they were doing must be smart. The first thing you learn on the trading floor is that when large numbers of people are after the same commodity, be it a stock, a bond or a job, the commodity quickly becomes overvalued,' making it easy for traders to generate hundred-million-dollar-profit days. Sorry, but that's exactly how Wall Street [and the rest of the world's share markets] sees you: predictably stupid losers... Wall Street's already programmed your psychological profile into their trading algorithms. They're light-years ahead of you, misleading you into their slaughterhouses and casinos. [So how do you avoid their slaughterhouses? Value investing! It is the way that investors stop being predictably stupid losers and become the envied, successful 'smart money'. Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, self-made and gained through share investing, should know and he has been singing the praises of the value investing philosophy and practice his whole investing career. And it worked brilliantly for him and others. All it takes is the decision to stop being a predictably stupid trend follower and to learn to become a disciplined, patient, value-calculating investor.]" - Paul B. Farrell
MarketWatch.com, 8 June, 2010.
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[Quote No.33748] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Bernanke Says Fed to Take Necessary Steps on Growth: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the U.S. central bank will act as needed to aid financial stability and economic growth after restarting emergency currency-swaps to help contain Europe’s debt crisis. 'Our ongoing international cooperation sends an important signal to global financial markets that we will take the actions necessary to ensure stability and continued economic recovery,' Bernanke said today in testimony to a House Budget Committee hearing. The impact of the crisis on U.S. growth is 'likely to be modest' if financial markets 'continue to stabilize,' he said. He reiterated that the U.S. recovery is being restrained by the housing and commercial real-estate markets and repeated his call for lawmakers to come up with a long-term deficit- reduction plan. Bernanke and most of his fellow policy makers have given little indication they will soon back off from the central bank’s pledge to keep interest rates at a record low for an 'extended period,' given high unemployment and low inflation. Two days ago, Bernanke said that while the Fed will raise rates before the economy reaches 'full employment,' growth isn’t fast enough to reduce joblessness quickly. While recent use of the [OIS Overnight Index Swaps - USSOC:IND USD SWAP OIS 3 MO] swap lines that restarted in May is 'quite limited,' the program is 'nevertheless providing an important backstop for the functioning of dollar funding markets,' [due to the significant increase in the cost of LIBOR -London-Interbank Offered Rate US0003M:IND LIBOR USD 3M, from 2.5 basis points to 5.5, recently with the sovereign and bank debt problems and government fiscal tightening in Europe over the past month] said Bernanke, 56, a former Princeton University economist who began his second four-year term in February. ‘Stimulative’ Policy - Bernanke said in his prepared remarks that the economy is being supported by 'stimulative' monetary policy without elaborating. European finance ministers this week put the finishing touches on a rescue fund backed by 440 billion euros ($526 billion) in national guarantees, seeking to halt the spread of Greece’s debt crisis. The Fed had $6.64 billion of swaps [Overnight Index Swaps] outstanding as of June 2, compared with a record $583.1 billion in December 2008. Treasuries fell after Bernanke’s comments, pushing the yield on the 10-year note up three basis points to 3.22 percent at 10:52 a.m. in New York. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.7 percent to 1,068.88. The S&P index has dropped 12 percent since April 23, with investors battered by the widening debt crisis in Europe. The euro fell below $1.19 on June 7 for the first time since March 2006. Today, the euro strengthened to $1.2033 against the dollar. ‘Imprint’ on U.S. - While the drop in stocks and Europe’s 'weaker economic prospects' [as governments reduce Keynesian fiscal spending stimulation, worried about the increasing size of deficits and debt to GDP and how the bond markets are demanding higher yields and paying lower prices due to the ever increasing risks of default by governments and banks] will have 'some imprint' on the U.S. economy, the effects may be offset by declines in Treasury yields and home- loan rates and lower prices on oil and other commodities, Bernanke said. 'The Federal Reserve will remain highly attentive to developments abroad and to their potential effects on the U.S. economy,' he said. Bernanke’s outlook for the U.S. economy echoed comments he made two days ago. Fed policy makers’ projections for about 3.5 percent growth this year and a 'somewhat faster pace' in 2011 would mean 'only a slow reduction in the unemployment rate over time.' In addition, 'inflation is likely to be subdued,' [as deflation is the major problem at present] Bernanke said. The Fed chief said June 7 that the unemployment rate is likely to stay 'high for a while.' Given the depth of the recession, the recovery is 'moderate paced,' Bernanke said in a question-and-answer session in Washington. He repeated today that the economy is growing at a 'moderate pace' so far this year and that consumer spending will rise at a 'moderate pace.' Sustain Recovery - Responding to a question, Bernanke said the recovery appears to have made an 'important transition' from relying on government support and inventory rebuilding to private demand. At the same time, the chance of a relapse into recession ['a double-dip recession' as in 1972,74 and 1980,82]' can never be ruled out,' Bernanke said. Last week, Bernanke said he’s concerned about the toll that joblessness is taking on Americans. U.S. companies hired fewer workers in May than forecast and workers dropped out of the labor force, a government report showed June 4. Private payrolls rose by 41,000, trailing the 180,000 gain forecast by economists, while the jobless rate fell to 9.7 percent from 9.9 percent, according to the Labor Department report. Including government, employment rose by 431,000, boosted by a jump in hiring of temporary census workers. The jobless rate was 4.6 percent at the start of the financial crisis in August 2007. Hiring Prospects - 'Expectations of both businesses and households about hiring prospects have improved since the beginning of the year,' Bernanke said. 'In all likelihood, however, a significant amount of time will be required to restore the nearly 8-1/2 million jobs that were lost over 2008 and 2009.' At the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on April 27- 28, policy makers raised their U.S. growth estimates for 2010 and lowered forecasts for unemployment and inflation. Officials said the economy will expand in a range of 3.2 percent to 3.7 percent this year, and the jobless rate will average 9.1 percent to 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter. Bernanke and his colleagues will give updated economic projections when they next meet in Washington June 22-23. The remarks extend Bernanke’s campaign for lawmakers to set a path of reducing the record federal budget deficit. He said in April that 'addressing the country’s fiscal problems will require difficult choices, but postponing them will only make them more difficult.' Debt Forecast - U.S. debt is forecast to rise from 53 percent of the economy to about 90 percent [of GDP recognised by economists to at this level reduce GDP by 1%] in 2020, according to the non- partisan Congressional Budget Office. The White House budget office projects a record $1.55 trillion deficit in the year ending Sept. 30, up almost 10 percent from last year’s $1.41 trillion. 'Achieving long-term fiscal sustainability will be difficult,' Bernanke said today. 'But unless we as a nation make a strong commitment to fiscal responsibility, in the longer run, we will have neither financial stability nor healthy economic growth.' The U.S. Senate approved regulatory-overhaul legislation last month, setting up a conference with House lawmakers to reconcile it with a bill approved in December. Under both bills, the Fed would keep its authority to supervise banks such as Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and get the power to oversee other large, nonbank financial firms." - Scott Lanman and Joshua Zumbrun
Bloomberg.com, 9 June, 2010.
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[Quote No.33749] Need Area: Money > Invest
"The first rule in calculating liquidating value [of any company] is that the liabilities are real but the assets are of questionable value." - Ben Graham
Father of value investing and security analysis.
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[Quote No.33750] Need Area: Money > Invest
"...in equity investing, when you don't have any really good ideas (i.e. excellent companies at very attractive prices) doing nothing - or selling - is the best course of action." - Lou Simpson
1988 GEICO annual report.
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[Quote No.33751] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Risk managers need to be perceived like good goalkeepers: always in the game and occasionally absolutely at the heart of it, like in a penalty shoot-out." - Anon
Source: Economist.com, 'Confessions of a Risk Manager'.
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[Quote No.33752] Need Area: Money > Invest
"To believe is very dull. To doubt is intensely engrossing. To be on the alert is to live, to be lulled into security is to die." - Oscar Wilde

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[Quote No.33753] Need Area: Money > Invest
"I have two basic rules about winning in trading as well as in life: If you don't bet, you can't win. If you lose all your chips, you can't bet." - Larry Hite
'Market Wizards'
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[Quote No.33755] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Money makes Money, and the Money that Money makes, makes more Money." - Benjamin Franklin

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[Quote No.33756] Need Area: Money > Invest
"It's not whether you are right or wrong that's important, but how much money you make when you're right and how much you lose when you're wrong." - George Soros

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[Quote No.33763] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Buy when others are despondently selling and sell when others are greedily buying." - Mark Mobius

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[Quote No.33766] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Success from the financial and from the prestige point of view ... is not enough; what matters even more is ...adherence to high moral and aesthetic standards." - Siegmund Warburg
(1902 – 1982), He was the founder of S. G. Warburg & Co. in 1946, which was a major British investment bank, and was the bank's managing director until the 1970s. The firm is now part of UBS AG.
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[Quote No.33767] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Free Markets Show U.S. Has Tamed the Bond Vigilantes [for the present] Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has tamed the bond vigilantes. While investors punish European nations from Greece to Spain for deficits [and the increasing risks of sovereign debt default] by pushing up bond yields, [U.S] Treasury rates [considered a safe haven in troubled times like now] of all maturities have fallen to an average of about 2 percent from 2.75 percent a year ago even as the amount of marketable debt outstanding increased 20 percent to $7.96 trillion. The market’s advocates of fiscal discipline [the bond traders - sometimes called 'the bond vigilantes'] are being placated as Bernanke keeps benchmark interest rates at a record low, allowing them to profit from the gap between short- and long-term yields [called 'playing the yield curve - where they borrow short and invest long] with inflation at a four-decade low. Bill Gross, the manager of the world’s biggest bond fund [PIMCO], said as recently as March that 'bonds [their prices - the inverse of their yields] have seen their best days.' On June 4, he called Treasuries 'attractive' [perhaps in comparison to the dangers of default with European bonds]. 'Central banks by keeping rates near zero have basically covered the bond vigilantes in duct tape,' said [the highly regarded economist] Edward Yardeni, who coined the term in 1983 for investors who protest inflationary monetary or fiscal policies by selling bonds and driving up government borrowing costs. 'They have stymied them from expressing their displeasure over runaway government deficits and social welfare spending,' Yardeni said. 'We are not getting any votes of protest from the bond vigilantes in the U.S. because short-term rates are so low.' Rising Returns - After losing 3.72 percent in 2009, U.S. debt [government bonds and notes], the most liquid fixed-income securities in the world, has returned 4.49 percent since December, the best start to a year since gaining 5.81 percent during the same period in 2003, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Master Treasury Index. Ten-year Treasuries yielded 3.29 percent today, down from this year’s high of 4 percent on April 5. Bonds are preserving value as investors such as billionaire George Soros predict the financial crisis is 'far from over' with nations in Europe struggling to contain spending and stock markets from the U.S. to Germany and Japan posting declines. Greece’s 10-year notes yield 5.03 percentage points more than U.S. Treasuries, compared with a median spread of 0.68 percentage points over the past five years. While yields are low on an absolute basis, they’re relatively high by other measures. [i.e. yield curve differential:] The yield on 10-year notes is 2.54 percentage points higher than two-year notes, more than double the average of about 1 percent since the 1980. After taking into account consumer prices, excluding food and energy, the yield equals 2.33 percent, up from last year’s low 0.71 percent in January. ‘Fast Asleep’ - 'The famed bond vigilantes are fast asleep,' Joachim Fels, co-head of global economics at Morgan Stanley in London, said in a June 2 report. 'But this is not new: bond markets also took years to take onboard the ‘Great Inflation’ of the 1970s and the big disinflation of the 1980s and 1990s.' Economists and strategists are cutting their yield forecasts, predicting 10-year Treasury rates will end the year at 3.8 percent, based on the median of 60 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey from June 2 to June 8. That’s down from 4.1 percent in May’s survey and 4.25 percent in April. Even if the yield matches the highest forecast, 5.25 percent, it would still be below the average of 7.18 percent since 1980, reflecting growing confidence [or perhaps fear of a bond price collapse from a sovereign or bank debt default in Europe in the near future] since Paul Volcker led the central bank in the 1980s. The consumer price index fell 0.1 percent in April, the first drop since March 2009, figures from the Labor Department in Washington showed May 19. Excluding food and fuel, prices were unchanged, for the smallest 12-month gain in four decades. Real Yields - Slower inflation preserves the value of fixed-interest payments, especially for longer-maturity bonds. Thirty-year debt has returned 8.72 percent this year, compared with a decline of 2.11 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Real yields [difference between nominal yield and inflation rate] averaged 2.30 percent over the past decade, compared with 3.45 percent in the 1990s and 4.42 percent in the 1980s, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 'The U.S. is the sovereign debt of choice right now,' said John Spinello, chief technical strategist in New York at Jefferies Group Inc., one of 18 primary dealers that trade with the Fed. 'The fact that we have low inflation [dis-inflation or even the dreaded deflation] is keeping a lid on any rise in rates.' Lower Treasury yields may also reflect investor demand for a haven amid concern Europe’s debt crisis will slow the global economy. Gross, who manages the $228 billion Total Return Fund, called the U.S. the 'least dirty shirt' in a 'world full of dirty shirts in terms of excessive debt.' ‘Significant Haven’ - 'A 30-year Treasury bond at just mildly above 4 percent is not a great value, but it’s a significant haven of storage, so to speak, for investors [concerned about the return OF capital rather than the return ON capital],' Gross, the co-chief investment officer at Newport Beach, California-based Pacific Investment Management Co., said in a radio interview June 4 on Bloomberg Surveillance with Tom Keene. 'It’s attractive from the standpoint that inflation, in a new-normal economy, stays in the 1 to 2 percent area.' Gross boosted his fund’s investment in U.S. government- related debt in April to the highest level in five months. A month earlier he said in a separate Bloomberg Radio interview that 'bonds have seen their best days.' U.S. debt is forecast to about 90 percent of the economy [GDP - which is considered by economists to reduce the potential growth by at least 1%] in 2020 from 53 percent currently, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The White House budget office projects a $1.55 trillion deficit in the year ending Sept. 30, up almost 10 percent from last year’s record. [GFC] 'Act II’ - Soros said that the world economy bears similarities to the 1930s, another time when governments were under pressure to narrow their budget deficits amid weak economies. 'We have just entered Act II' of the [Great Financial] crisis, Soros said at a conference in Vienna on June 10. History shows yields can remain low as deficits rise. When the U.S. was in the midst of the Great Depression, 10-year yields fell to 3.12 percent in 1934 from 3.34 percent in 1931, according to 'A History of Interest Rates' by Sidney Homer. Then, America’s budget deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product rose to 5.9 percent from 0.6 percent as the government boosted spending to revive the economy, Office of Management and Budget data shows. [Economists consider about 3% of GDP to be about the highest safe deficit.] Last year, the deficit was 9.9 percent of GDP, up from 3.2 percent in 2008. The OMB estimates the ratio will rise to 10.6 percent this year before falling to 8.3 percent in 2011. Inflation Outlook - Even though government spending is forecast to remain elevated, bond investors don’t foresee faster inflation [in fact many believe there will be deflation as prices fall in many consumer items as demand dwindles due to high unemployment, falling wealth per capita with house prices still falling and maybe further stock markets falls as people liquidate their stocks through fear and the desire to deleverage their balance sheets and people holding off buying as they believe things will be even cheaper tomorrow]. The difference between yields on 10-year notes and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, a gauge of trader expectations for consumer prices, stood at 1.99 percentage points today, down from this year’s high of 2.47 percent in January. Investors are piling into U.S. government debt, supporting President Barack Obama’s recovery efforts, because they can profit from buying longer-term government debt funded by short- term loans at lower rates in carry trades [called 'playing the yield curve' carry trade]. The Fed has kept its benchmark rate for overnight loans locked in a range of zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008. 'The factor that really matters is how the financial markets deal with the financing,' said Bruce Kasman, chief economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York in a Bloomberg Radio interview on June 8. 'And right now, we are dealing with falling interest rates and not rising interest rates. From a near-term point of view, the drag from debt is not one that worries me from the point of view of growth [although this makes banks fearful of lending and therefore can cause a 'credit crunch' that could put more businesses and their staff out of work].' Bank Demand - The difference in short- and long-term rates [was designed by the Federal Reserve to and] has helped banks shore up profits after taking $1.77 trillion in writedowns and losses since the start of 2007, according to Bloomberg data. Commercial banks’ holdings of Treasuries and agency debt reached $1.51 trillion in April, an almost 37 percent increase from January 2008, and the highest level since at 1973, Fed data show. Holdings were $1.481 trillion in the week ended June 2. 'Banks are doing this [playing the yield curve] carry trade because there is no price for credit as interest rates are being kept so low,' said Joseph Mason, a professor of finance at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Investors who borrowed dollars at the three-month London interbank offered rate and invested in 10-year notes over the last year would have on average earned about 3.21 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The annualized rise in core consumer prices was 1 percent in April. ‘Gated Community’ - Central banks are raising concern about the risk to investors in the carry trade when rates begin to rise. The increase in such trades 'has contributed to raising the risk of their abrupt unwinding which, if it were to occur, would most likely raise the risk of higher interest-rate volatility' in the U.S. and euro zone, the European Central Bank said in its biannual Financial Stability Report May 31. Treasuries lost 3 percent in 1994 as former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan began six rate increases that were earlier and larger than investors anticipated. Global capital losses that year were about $1.5 trillion, according to estimates by the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. Bernanke and Fed policy makers have given little indication they will back away from the pledge to keep rates at a record low for an 'extended period,' given the unemployment rate is above 9 percent, [house mortgage arrears are rising while their prices are falling, negative equity is becoming more common, foreclosures and mortgagees walking away from their homes is increasing as is housing inventory and time for sale, the number of Adjustable Rate Mortgages that must reset this year is also significant] the inflation rate is trending down and the Europe remains in turmoil. 'The reality is that most bond vigilantes live in a gated community - called the yield curve,' Yardeni said. 'It’s either bonds or money-market instruments. So, you have to swallow your pride and all your anxieties about out of control fiscal policy and buy the bonds anyway [for the time being] because the alternative is zero percent.' " - Liz Capo McCormick
Bloomberg, June 14, 2010.
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[Quote No.33768] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Lagging economic indicator, Australian unemployment] ...suggests that Australia's economic recovery is not running out of steam amid the new fallout in global financial markets. Instead, it may even be running into ‘full employment’ at a 5 per cent jobless rate ... Last week's March quarter national accounts suggested the economy was going through a soft spot, with the Rudd government's budget stimulus spending underpinning a modest 0.5 per cent quarterly rise in gross domestic product. But sharply higher coal and iron ore export prices are producing a new surge of mining export revenue that will pump up national income and spending. And this threatens to push the jobless rate below [5%] what economists call the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment, or NAIRU [creating inflation that the Reserve Bank tries to quell by monetary policy - i.e. raising interest rates to slow demand and therefore prices by slowing people's capacity to borrow to spend]." - Michael Stutchbury
in 'The Australian' newspaper, June, 2010.
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[Quote No.33771] Need Area: Money > Invest
"Investing in a company without understanding it's financial statements, history and potential, is like driving at night without lights." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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