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Monday, August 20, 2012 – Diminished Expectations

Diminished Expectations-by Sinclair Noe DOW – 3 = 13,271SPX -0.03 = 1418NAS -0.38 = 307610 YR YLD un = 1.81%OIL – .05 = 97.70GOLD + 5.40 = 1622.20SILV +.72 = 28.91PLAT + 12.00 = 1496.00 Apple already boasts the largest market value of any public company. Today it became the most highly valued public company ever. With an increase in its share price, Apple broke the record for the biggest market capitalization, $616.34 billion, set by Microsoft on Dec. 27, 1999. Of course, shortly thereafter, Y2K hit and destroyed modern civilization as we know it; or maybe it was because Apple invented the iPod and the iPhone and the iPad, and Microsoft gave us Zune. Who knows?  Apple’s stock closed at $665.15, giving it a market value of $623.52 billion. Microsoft’s 1999 market value is still far higher than Apple’s when adjusted for inflation. The Microsoft of late 1999 would be worth $850 billion in today’s dollars. To beat Microsoft’s inflation-adjusted market value, Apple needs to close at $910. The Microsoft of August 2012 is worth $257 billion. I’m not sure what it says about our economy, that Apple is the most valuable company ever, but I suspect it is problematic.  ECB President Mario Draghi is scheduled to speak at this year’s Jackson Hole symposium. A fellow named Ben Bernanke is already scheduled to speak at the symposium, and so there has been a little speculation that there might be some coordinated action that will be announced. I’m not sure …

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Thursday, July 12, 2012 – Banks Taking Risks, Evading Taxes, Discriminating, Foreclosing, And Yes It Is A depression

Banks Taking Risks, Evading Taxes, Discriminating, Foreclosing, And Yes It Is A depression-by Sinclair NoeDOW – 31 = 12,573SPX – 6 = 1334NAS – 21 = 286610 YR YLD -.02 = 1.48%OIL – .23 = 85.85GOLD – 4.40 = 1573.20SILV +.07 = 27.31PLAT – 12.00 = 1423.00After the financial meltdown of 2008, regulators vowed to overhaul supervision of the nation’s largest banks. Last year, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York replaced almost all of its roughly 40 examiners at JPMorgan Chase. The thinking was that the regulators shouldn’t get too cozy with the regulated. They brought in some new regulators. By the time they got up to speed, it was too late.The New York Fed’s shake-up only aggravated a continuing struggle between JPMorgan executives and regulators from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which supervises banks. For years, the agency, with dozens of its own examiners at JPMorgan, worried that the bank had been miscalculating how much money it could lose in extreme situations.Examiners challenged the executives; the executives stonewalled. At one point in early 2012, JPMorgan briefly stopped providing examiners with an important risk estimate for the chief investment office, the group at the center of the recent trading losses. Executives told examiners not to worry. For their part, regulators say it is not their job to micromanage or remove risk altogether. Their goal is to protect the financial system broadly.Around that time, the bank changed the value-at-risk measure for the chief investment office, which they …

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Thursday, June 21, 2012 – Like Crack for Bankers – by Sinclair Noe

DOW – 250 = 12,573SPX – 30 = 1325NAS – 71 = 285910 YR YLD – .02 = 1.62%OIL – 3.20 = 78.25GOLD – 41.60 = 1566.20SILV – 1.24 = 26.98PLAT – 19.00 = 1445.00Here is the bottom line on today’s declines; Wall Street has become addicted to free money from the Federal Reserve. Stimulus from the Fed is like crack for the Wall Street bankers. Yesterday, the Fed refused to pass out more free money. Today, Wall Street got a bad case of the shakes.One of the concerns when Bernanke and pals fail to act is that they can’t really think of anything they might do that would have any real effect, or maybe they’re satisfied with 2% inflation and 8.2% unemployment. So what if Bernanke doesn’t have any more ammo?Then we are left to the devices of fiscal policy, in other words; what can the politicians in Washington do to stimulate the economy? The most likely answer is that the politicians can drive the economy over a cliff. While that might seem cynical, it’s really just pragmatic. And then, of course there is the Lehman Brothers event with subtitles looming in Europe. If Europe collapses, the thinking is that Bernanke will find a few more bullets in the form of QE3, and he will once again toss money at the Wall Street bankers. The Wall Street crack whores will fire up their pipes and place “risk-on” trades with the certainty that the Fed will place a put against any …

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Friday, June 15, 2012 – Greeks Look for a Bargain – by Sinclair Noe

DOW  +115 = 12,767SPX + 13 = 1342NAS + 36 = 287210 YR YLD -.02 = 1.59%OIL – 1.11 = 82.80GOLD + 3.40 = 1627.70SILV + .10 = 28.84PLAT – 8.00 = 1490.00Sunday there will be an election in Greece. I don’t know how the election will turn out. I can’t find any consensus opinion. There may not be a consensus, even if there is a definitive winner. It appears the extremes are gaining in Europe because centrist parties are offering voters no meaningful choices. Pasok and ND (New Democracy) and Syriza. New Democracy is the old-guard conservative party; Pasok is the old-guard socialist party; Syriza is the new-upstart far left party. Golden Dawn is the new-upstart far right/neo-nazi party but they went to far during a televised debate last week when a spokesman started beating a woman on camera – that went too far and destroyed that fringe element. For Greeks that want to vote against the status quo they have no alternative but to vote for extremists. Right now it looks like New Democracy and Syriza will get the most votes, but not a majority, so they will have to pull together a coalition government, which they failed to do one month ago. But again, the election could swing in any number of unusual ways. Some common themes from Greek voters is that they feel they are being blackmailed into voting for parties that drove the economy into a ditch and blindly imposed austerity measures. The Euro-zone support for …

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