2015: The Bubble Has Been Fully Restored: Goldman Is Selling A Synthetic CDO

Earlier this week, Bloomberg ran a story that carried the headline “Goldman Sachs Hawks CDOs Tainted By Credit Crisis Under New Name.” Here’s an excerpt:  “The 2008 financial crisis gave a few credit products a bad reputation. Like collateralized debt obligations, known as CDOs. Or credit-default swaps. But now, a marriage of the two terms (using leverage, of course) is making a comeback — it’s just being called something else. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is joining other banks in peddling something they’re referring to as a ‘bespoke tranche opportunity’… The deals are ‘attractive for credit-savvy investors in the post-QE credit picker’s market,’ according to a January U.S. credit derivatives outlook by Citigroup Inc., The transactions offer the potential for higher returns than buying a typical corporate bond, especially if an investor focuses on first-loss slices or uses borrowed money.” This is the latest installment in a series of articles […] Read More

2014: 14 Reasons Why The U.S. Economy’s Bubble Of False Prosperity May Be About To Burst

Did you know that a major event just happened in the financial markets that we have not seen since the financial crisis of 2008?  If you rely on the mainstream media for your news, you probably didn’t even hear about it.  Just prior to the last stock market crash, a massive amount of money was pulled out of junk bonds.  Now it is happening again.  In fact, as you will read about below, the market for high yield bonds just experienced “a 6-sigma event”.  But this is not the only indication that the U.S. economy could be on the verge of very hard times. Retail sales are extremely disappointing, mortgage applications are at a 14 year low and growing geopolitical storms around the world have investors spooked.  For a long time now, we have been enjoying a period of relative economic stability even though our underlying economic fundamentals continue […] Read More

2014: Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere

Is there any doubt that we are living in a bubble economy?  At this moment in the United States we are simultaneously experiencing a stock market bubble, a government debt bubble, a corporate bond bubble, a bubble in San Francisco real estate, a farmland bubble, a derivatives bubble and a student loan debt bubble.  And of course similar things could be said about most of the rest of the planet as well.  In fact, the total amount of government debt around the world has risen by about 40 percent just since the last recession.  But it is never sustainable when asset prices and debt levels increase much faster than the overall level of economic growth.  History has shown us that all financial bubbles eventually burst.  And when these current financial bubbles in America burst, the pain is going to be absolutely enormous. You know that things are getting perilous when […] Read More

2014: Financial Bubbles Are Caused By The Fed, Not The Market

Submitted by Jeffrey Snider of Alhambra Partners, More of the same from Janet Yellen in her latest speech, but her focus on “resilience” caught my attention as it relates to very recent developments. The taper threat experience last year may have been a warning, but it doesn’t seem like it resonated with her or policymakers. The major bond selloff, which led to global ripples of crisis in credit, funding, and currencies, was the opposite of flexibility. Perhaps a better definition of the word would be a place to start. But her meaning was a bit different, in that it is clear (from this speech and prior assertions, wrong as they were, about the mid-2000’s housing bubble) she sees bubbles as “market” events in which the central bank’s role is primarily shock absorption. In other words, idiot investors wholly of their own accord create bubbles and it’s the job of […] Read More