muses of the moment

January 22, 2014

Hackers

Filed under: Odds 'n ends, Taxes — totallygroovygirlfriday @ 1:10 am

Hackers, the new barbarians at the gate of Rome…..

Click here for a spot on hacking the healthcare.gov site. Apparently, not only will you have to buy health insurance you can’t afford, or as the Supreme Court said, pay a tax; you will have to dole out a monthly fee for identity protection. Nice….

This should end well.

January 21, 2014

Prof Black…love him!

Another great video interview with Prof. William Black, economics and banking, on usawatchdog.com. It’s about 30 minutes. Another must-watch!! Click here.

Missing Reporter

Filed under: Credit Derivatives, Odds 'n ends, Peak Energy, Stock Market — totallygroovygirlfriday @ 10:10 am

In the informational age, missing reporters and/or their computers always make gg’s ears perk up. It usually means that they ran into a major truth. gg is always interested in the real truth. Here is a US reporter who was writing about the US oil glut that has not been seen for 11 days. Click here. Read the article carefully to see the truth and what might happen in the near future, barring extended market manipulation.

Updates: gg just heard a radio interview in which it was suggested that the oil/energy glut, thus over-production/lowered prices, was going to/is creating more investment from businesses, jobs, and economic growth. That is not the truth, it is either dumb or a distraction. The truth is hidden in the link above. What is the truth?  Why would lower energy prices not cause an increase in economic growth, but something else? Who might be upset about this? Should prices actually be lower, but aren’t? Think, search for the real. Perhaps Pam’s full article will help your search. Click here.

Here are some other articles to help with your research. These articles are not about Shell, it is about how oil companies (and all commodity companies) do business, make profits, and structure their debt. Who owns that debt? Through what investment vehicles do they own that debt? Click here and here and here.  Does OPEC make money on oil production/sales or other investment vehicles?

Questions. Questions. Questions lead to more questions.

And of course, here, gg did the underlining:

Alongside the pull-back from some western banks, another emerging advantage for the oil majors is the capability to offer more competitive pricing. This is both through their ability to embed derivatives in the physical supply deals they will have with firms in such industries as shipping and also through the fact they aren’t required to add on a credit valuation cost.

What has happened over the past couple of years is that banks have been pricing in CVA [credit valuation adjustment] for counterparty risk. Oil majors typically do not price in CVA, which in some cases makes them more competitive,” says Standard Chartered’s Koh.

Richard Ng, a Singapore-based venture capitalist with Kind Resources and former co-head of global commodities marketing at UBS, points out that for corporates, embedding derivatives in physical deals avoids mark-to-market losses.

“[Having] embedded derivatives contracts with physical trading houses or oil majors essentially solves having to recognise mark-to-market losses on derivative contracts,” he says.

Dodd-Frank has moved commodity derivatives away from US banks and transparency. Derivative contracts (especially losses) may not appear on oil company balance sheets. It also makes market manipulation of the underlying asset very inviting to those with that influence. 

This post is in gg’s humble opinion, she is not an energy market expert by any means.

Latest Blog Post from Martin Armstrong dated January 21, 2014

Filed under: Economic Confidence Model Cycle, Gold and Silver Investing, Martin Armstrong, Precious metals — Tags: — totallygroovygirlfriday @ 9:56 am

Click here for Martin Armstrong’s latest blog post entitled Gold and the Inversion dated January 21, 2014. This is a good one. He explains turning points and past predictions of the gold market.

January 18, 2014

John Williams with shadowstats.com

Summary of John Williams’ real stats:

– Inflation Picks Up as the Economy Slows Down
– December Annual Inflation: 1.5% (CPI-U), 1.5% (CPI-W), 9.1% (ShadowStats)
– Real Retail Sales Declined by 0.1% in Industry’s Flagship Month of December; Slowing Annual Growth Signaled Recession
– Real Weekly Earnings Declined in December

gg says: quite a disconnect between inflation formula of today and inflation formula of the pre-1980’s. If you don’t like the number, just change the formula! Did your wages and/or investments go up 9% after taxes?

January 17, 2014

New lending laws

Filed under: Economic Confidence Model Cycle, Global Debt, Housing Market, Martin Armstrong, The Banking Crisis — totallygroovygirlfriday @ 11:14 am

Dodd Frank is slowing changing the housing and commercial real estate market. So far, gg’s research on Dodd Frank and its long-term impact confirms Martin Armstrong’s Real Estate Cycle conclusion that there will be a long-term decline in US real estate from 2015 thru 2032.

Click here for a summary of the latest Dodd Frank rules that took effect January 10, 2014.

This most recent rule is a modification of how balloon or interest only loans are designed and qualified will have the most impact on commercial lending. Commercial lending has been slowly moving to private lenders (ie. hedge funds, private equity trusts, individual accredited investors) for the last few years. This new rule will just continue to push that trend. A couple of things about that trend: private investors want higher rates/returns than the bank and commercial real estate has been built on balloon loan structures. The cashflow, revenue returns and business expenses are based on this underlying development budget: interest only loans and renewal of those “balloon loans” every 5-7 years (thus never really paying down the principal). During the last crisis, commercial real estate balloon loans got renewed by that flood of money from the Fed and influence from the gov in order keep the system afloat for a while. In other words, cans kicked down the road. Thoss loans will need private money or new loans structured or lot of cash or all of the above between 2015-2020. This will be a big impact. Private investor lending is in control of the real estate market now. Cash is king.

For residential lending, the impact will be a continued squeeze on prices. If you can’t get a mortgage, you can’t buy a house. And we have alot of foreclosures still sitting on the banks’ balance sheets that need to be sold. Foreclosures that can’t be refinanced because of continued unemployment or the new loan rules. You might note that student loans must be included in the debt-income ratio (which was lowered on 1-10-14). Young people will not be able to buy a house with a traditional mortgage without lower debt-to income ratio, a job, higher credit score, cash in the bank if they want a balloon mortgage, higher down payment, and cash for closing costs. Low mortgage interest rates from commerical banks doesn’t mean a thing if applicants can’t meet these new rules. Young people will rent when they move out of their parents’ house.

These rules are changing the real estate lending system in the US. Private lending is taking over: from hedge funds to crowdfunding. gg sees a few things happening from this change. Lots of cash/capital stuck in these funds until people realize that the system has changed and understand/learn how they can navigate/make a profit the new system. Real estate prices continuing to fall coupled with private lending will mean capital/cash will be lost in the coming years. (Some hedge funds and crowd-funding entities may become Ponzi schemes.) Private investors require higher rates, negating any impact “lower rate” moves from the Fed on the real estate market

If you are going to use cash to invest in private lending funds or other entities, do your due diligence. If you own your house outright, you could owner-finance and actually sell your home. But do your due diligence.

These new rules are designed to buffer non-performing loans from the secondary market impact (derivatives, etc.), like we had in 2007-2009 that banks use to hedge their loans and make their fees. It is designed to keep downturns in the residential and commercial real estate within that market to not move into insurance, stock, and bank markets. There will be unintended consequences to these changes. Lending moves to private capital (which may or may not be transparent), interest rates go up, and money will be lost as investors figure out how this new system works.

Be very careful, do your due diligence!! Young people especially seem to be geared toward trusting crowdfunding systems and use word of month as their due diligence. Learn to read a balance sheet and an income statement and ask for them from any investment you get involved with. And always have a exit strategy!! Think of this change like the tech boom of the end of the last century. Everyone got very excited, everyone eventually got in, and lots of people lost money, but a few got very rich.

The most important impact on the market will be the continued long-term contraction of the real estate market. gg highly doubts that the new lending investors and funds will take that into consideration for their ROI formulas. Bad info in, bad info out.

Cash is king and more people will rent. If you going to get in this system change in the next 15 years , the rewards will be great for the right deal structure. But, do your research and have a couple of exit strategies.

This is part of the over-all paradigm shift during this winter season of the longer-term 80-100 year cycle.

January 14, 2014

Martin Armstrong’s Updated Market Watch January 13, 2014

Click here for Martin Armstrong’s latest Market Watch Charts from 1-13-2014. He covers Global Markets. Make sure to read the “How to Read These Charts” pdf, very important.

Baltic Index Continues to Decline

Filed under: European Debt Implosion, Global Debt, The Banking Crisis, The Financial Crisis — totallygroovygirlfriday @ 9:06 pm

Click here for more info via zerohedge. Although this is only one indicator, it is part of the disconnect between liquidity sloshing around the globe and that “free” money actually boosting global economic growth and business.

January 12, 2014

Silence

Filed under: Odds 'n ends — totallygroovygirlfriday @ 11:03 am

Perspective

Filed under: Odds 'n ends — totallygroovygirlfriday @ 2:10 am

Here is a short video about how far we have come. Some stats may not be perfect, but try to embrace the idea here. Celebrating successes and knowing where you really are in the big picture, helps move forward with positive action and motivation. Groovygirl challenges readers to take a 24 hour to one week sabbatical from information and news whenever possible.

 

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