The Subprime Mortage Crisis, Fed Decision and Blackstone IPO
Seeking Alpha had outstanding coverage of the three hottest issues in the market this week, thanks to its contributors. As the subprime mortgage crisis unfolded, J.D. Steinhilber wrote Don't Expect Fed to Accomodate Market's Subprime Woes, followed by Chad Brand's Who's to Blame for Subprime Woes? Not the Fed. Todd Sullivan's argument that the issue is over-hyped, in Housing and Subprime: Enough Already - This Was No Surprise didn't stop Vahan Janjigian from writing Don't Celebrate Quite Yet: Housing Still Hasn't Bottomed. Michael Dawson analysed IndyMac's claim that it wasn't a subprime lender in IndyMac's Indignant Press Release: Sometimes it Pays to Just Be Quiet. The home builders have been discussing the housing market on their earnings calls over the last few weeks (see transcripts from KB Home, Hovnovian and Toll Brothers). KB Home (NYSE:KBH) then reported that its net income plummeted by 84% (see News Brief), and the week was capped off by a Barron's article on Asset Manager Sy Jacobs' Subprime Longs and Shorts.
Meanwhile, rumors circulated that private equity firm Blackstone was about to file for an IPO. Mark McQueen had already raised the possiblity that the sub-prime crisis was starting to impact the private equity market. Roger Ehrenberg then wrote Implications of A Blackstone IPO and followed up with Private Equity Leaders: Seeing the Big Picture. Blackstone then filed its S-1 with the SEC (see News Brief); here's Paul Kedrosky's analysis, Blackstone S-1 Filing: That's a Lot of Money. Blackstone will likely use the ticker symbol BX, under which you can now find Seeking Alpha's coverage of the firm.
And then the Fed held rates steady and eased its stance, causing the market to rocket. Seeking Alpha's contributors provided remarkable coverage and discussion of the Fed decision: Toro on Inflation or Recession? Parsing the Fed Statement, James Cullen on Fed Hides 'Rate Hike' Language: Mr. Bernake, We Still Have a Problem, Eddy Elfenbein on The Effect of Lower Interest Rates on Equities, Tim Iacono on FOMC Statement Changes Scream Stagflation, Herb Greenberg on Why a Fed Rate Cut Won't Help Stocks, and two outstanding articles from Barry Ritholtz: Fed Statement, Revised For Reality, and Not All Fed Rate Cuts Are Created Equal. Jeff Miller surveys the range of viewpoints in The Fed Move: Interpretations Span the Spectrum.
Welcome to David Merkel and Vahan Janjigian
I mentioned last week that Seeking Alpha recently crossed the 400th contributor line. Since then, we've continued to add more outstanding contributors. Here are two of our latest additions:
David Merkel is a leading commentator at RealMoney.com and a senior investment analyst at Hovde Capital. He writes on equity and bond portfolio management, macroeconomics, derivatives, quantitative strategies, insurance issues, corporate governance, and more. His specialty is looking at the interlinkages in the markets in order to understand individual markets better. His latest articles are on David Merkel's Seeking Alpha author page.
Vahan Janjigian is V.P. and Exec. Director at Forbes Inc. and host of MoneyMasters, which can be seen on the Forbes.com Video Network. He is also Editor of the Forbes Growth Investor and Forbes Special Situation Survey investment newsletters. He is a graduate of Villanova University, a CFA charterholder, and he holds a Ph.D. in finance from Virginia Tech. His initial contributions are on his author page; look at his article Less Earnings Guidance Means More Investor Risk.
ETF Resources on the Internet
Personal finance columnist Scott Burns answers readers' questions in The Dallas Morning News. A recent question he discussed:
One problem I am having is finding a source for ETFs, a place where they are listed by type and rank. Could you recommend something?
His answer recommended the WSJ, Morningstar and Seeking Alpha:
Another good site for information, analysis and reporting is seekingalpha.com. One of the site's nice features, on its home page, is a listing of ETF categories. Click on a category and you'll have a ticker symbol list of funds in that category. Click on a ticker and you'll get basic information and a listing of articles. The largest single provider of ETFs is Barclays. Its Web site for ETFs, www.ishares.com, has a nice feature called the "iShares Quick Finder," which will take you to fund descriptions by a variety of categories.
Finally, there is a good selection of ETFs that focus on dividend income. On the Seeking Alpha site you'll find them listed under the category "Equity Income ETFs."
Seeking Alpha Contributors and Barron's
Mark McQueen, who recently become a Seeking Alpha contributor, submitted an article about the US Mortgage Liquidity Crisis Spreading to Private Equity that was then quoted in Barron's lead column, Up and Down Wall Street. Mark then wrote on his blog:
Barron's Reads Blogs: I never thought we’d be writing that headline, at least not in relation to our own blog. But there you go; Barron’s has discovered our modest effort at a backwater blog and while we thought the point was worth making, apparently Barron’s (Pg. 8, March 17/07) found it interesting as well... All thanks to Seeking Alpha, a global market site that asked us to become a contributor last week.
As our readership grows, we hope to deliver more and more exposure to our contributors.
Hope the rest of your weekend is good,