Sunday, November 11, 2007

9/11


Not September 11, 2001 but November 9, 2007 which can also be written 9/11.

The day the U.S. stock market crashed from its current consumer credit crisis.
Stocks fell for a third session on Friday after a disappointing outlook from Qualcomm Inc triggered more weakness in technology shares and helped send the Nasdaq down to its biggest weekly point loss since the September 11, 2001, attacks.

I just thought the coincidence of the dates was one of those interesting occult significators that occurs as part of the psychology of the market. A market in a recession that many dare not admit is happening.

Adding to the negative tone, Fannie Mae , the largest source of mortgage financing in the United States, posted a third-quarter net loss that was double its loss from a year ago. Its shares ended the session down 1.6 percent at $49.00, after earlier dropping 10.6 percent to a fresh 52-week low at $44.54.

And Wachovia Corp , the fourth-largest U.S. bank, shook up financial markets some more by reporting a potential $1.7 billion loss on mortgage-related debt. Wachovia's stock fell more than 5 percent to a 52-week low at $38.05, but then rebounded to finish the day up 0.9 percent at $40.65.



And while Wall Street will continue its daily boom and bust cycle it is now part of global stock market, one which means that crashes occur not just on the street but around the globe as we witnessed with the bank crash last month in England.
The Economist cites various phenomena that are contributing to converging global markets. Among them: reduced controls on capital, a larger number of cross-border listings, and multinational mergers.

In just the past few months alone, some of the world's biggest stock exchanges have announced agreements or mergers to integrate trading systems. Back in April, NYSE Group merged with European market Euronext to create what is now NYSE Euronext. The European Union's internal market commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, said that the NYSE/Euronext union marks the beginning of stock market mergers and "at some point we will see moves toward a common pool of liquidity."

Furthermore, many companies are listed in multiple global markets in order to gain access to foreign capital. Just as some foreign companies appear on U.S. exchanges -- like GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), Novartis (NYSE: NVS), and CNOOC (NYSE: CEO) -- U.S. companies such as IBM (NYSE: IBM), Home Depot (NYSE: HD), and General Electric (NYSE: GE) are listed on the Frankfurt and London exchanges.

Finally, a few major international mergers have taken place in the past five years, including Alcatel-Lucent and Arcelor Mittal. The effects of such unions increase global market correlation because the newly formed companies are known in multiple countries and generate revenues in multiple markets.
CIBC joins the writedown parade
Bank will take a $463-million hit in fourth quarter on its exposure to U.S. mortgage market

The credit crunch, which has been hammering the largest U.S. financial institutions, is increasingly taking its toll on Canadian banks.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce yesterday said it will take a $463-million fourth-quarter charge on its exposure to the U.S. mortgage market, bringing its total writedowns to the market to $753-million in the past six months.

In other developments late yesterday, Bank of Montreal's shares fell almost 5 per cent - much of that decline in the final hours of trading - as that bank contends with its exposure to structured investment vehicles, or SIVs. And Royal Bank of Canada's stock closed yesterday near its 52-week low.

In the sector at large, tens of billions of dollars have already dropped off the banking system's balance sheets, and the dominoes continue to fall.



It is America's Main Street, which has kept the U.S. economy going on cheap credit and the resulting consumption, is now drowning in the quicksand of rising rates, personal bankruptcies and foreclosures. Whose impact will continue through out
2008.

And both the pro-business types and the left agree that the American financial markets have an addiction to being bailed out.

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board acted "like a bartender" in lowering interest rates and its actions are contributing to a stock market bubble in the U.S., Marc Faber, the Hong Kong-based publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, said.

"Each time you bail out, it becomes bigger and bigger, and the credit problems become much, much larger," said Faber, managing director of Marc Faber Ltd. The Fed "feeds its customers with booze, and when they get totally drunk and are about to fall off their chairs, the bartender gives them more booze to keep them going. One day, it will lead to the ultimate breakdown."

"The best for the system would be if a major player would go bust," Faber said. "Then there would be an example for investors and for the players, the Wall Street establishment, the banks, to be more prudent."

As most people now realize, the mortgage industry is on life-support. Many of the ways that the banks were generating profits have vanished overnight. The “securitization” of debt (mortgages, car loans, credit card debt etc) has ground to a halt. What had been a booming multi-billion dollar per-year business is now a dwindling part of the banks’ revenues. Investors are steering clear of anything even remotely associated to real estate.

Bloomberg News ran a story last week which sheds more light on the jam the banks now find themselves in:

Banks shut out of the market for short-term loans are finding salvation in a government lending program set up to revive housing during the Great Depression. Countrywide Financial Corp., Washington Mutual Inc., Hudson City Bancorp Inc. and hundreds of other lenders borrowed a record $163 billion from the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks in August and September as interest rates on asset-backed commercial paper rose as high as 5.6 percent. The government-sponsored companies were able to make loans at about 4.9 percent, saving the private banks about $1 billion in annual interest.

Is it possible that anyone with a pulse and a minimal ability to reason couldn’t see the inherent problems of building a financial edifice on the prospect that millions of first-time homeowners with bad credit history and no collateral would pay off there mortgages in a timely and responsible manner?

No. It is not possible. The real reason that the subprime swindle mushroomed into an economy-busting monster is that the markets are no longer policed by any agency that believes in intervention. The pervasive “free market” ideology rejects the notion of supervision or oversight, and as a result, the markets have become increasingly opaque and unresponsive to rules that may assure their continued credibility or even their ability to function properly.

The “supply side” avatars of deregulation have transformed the world’s most vital and prosperous markets into a huckster’s shell-game. All regulatory accountability has vanished along with trillions of dollars in foreign investment. What’s left is a flea-market for dodgy loans, dubious over-leveraged equities and “securitized” Triple A-rated garbage.

U.S. Financial business is crying for state intervention while their political cronies in the Republican party deny their citizens universal health-care, child care, pharma-care, and secure pensions because that smacks of socialism. But socialism for the rich is okay.

See:

Bank Smack Down

Purdy Crawford Rescues the Market

Sub Prime Exploitation

Canadian Banks and The Great Depression

Wall Street Deja Vu

Housing Crash the New S&L Crisis

US Housing Market Crash


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2 comments:

Mutton Chops said...

So now you and your lefty buddies have two reasons to celebrate 9/11.

eugene plawiuk said...

Yeah me and Ron Paul