Seeking Alpha

Econ Grapher's  Instablog

Econ Grapher
Send Message
Econ Grapher currently publishes the Econ Grapher blog. He previously worked in markets, trading, investment management, and corporate strategy. He has also set up two internet research businesses in stock research and economic research.
My company:
Econ Grapher
My blog:
Econ Grapher
View Econ Grapher's Instablogs on:
  • Top 10 Financial Crisis Documentaries
    The global financial crisis of 2008/9 has left a significant economic dent, with the global economy slow to rebound, and with a banking crisis transitioning to a sovereign debt crisis in some countries. Indeed many people have felt the impact on their own balance sheets; with house prices and stock prices well off their highs, and in some cases with fixed income assets wiped out. The crisis is sure to leave a lasting psychological impact on all who were touched by it. But of course, with great challenge comes great opportunity, and one of the opportunities is for learning. So after watching a series of crisis related documentaries, I present here what I think are among the top 10 financial crisis documentaries.

    1. The Fall of Lehman Brothers
      To me the very title of this documentary was one of the defining moments of the financial crisis. What was previously unthinkable became reality, and at this moment I believe the greatest shock-wave was sent out across the global financial markets. So if there's any documentary on the financial crisis to watch, I think this one tops the list.
    2. America's Bankrupt Banks (Inside the Meltdown)
      And of course, before there was Lehman's there was Bear Stearns. Bear Stearns was much closer to the sub-prime crisis and played the game in such a way that it was first to bear the full brunt of the collapse in the housing market. This documentary focuses on the collapse of Bear Stearns.
    3. Meltdown
      The 4-part documentary from Al Jazeera released this year is one of the most talked about documentaries on the financial crisis. Meltdown takes you through all of the facets of the crisis, but places a particular emphasis on the human impact, and reviews some of the civil unrest that grew out of the discontent that the crisis left behind.
    4. How the Banks Never Lose
      This one takes you over the other side of the ocean to get a glimpse at the conditions that led up to the banking crisis in the UK, where a similar story was unfolding alongside the US banking crisis.
    5. The Boom & Bust Years (The Age of Risk)
      This BBC documentary provides more background on the activity and conditions that lead to the crisis. Of course we are blessed with hindsight, but looking back it is at once appalling, mystifying, and embarrassing what was going on, and it seems to leave little wonder that a crisis was the logical conclusion.
    6. Breaking the Bank
      We've got Lehman's and Bear Stearns on the list here, but another key bank (which actually survived)  that played a pivotal role through the crisis was Bank of America. This documentary follows the actions of Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, and the events that went on at the Treasury that prevented the collapse of the entire banking system.
    7. Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders
      The list would be incomplete without a close look at consumer credit. The core cause of the crisis was really an unsustainable explosion in the growth of debt and credit. For a time debt was super cheap and super easy to get, so of course asset prices were sent to unsustainable levels, unsustainable industries were propped up, and people borrowed well beyond their means. Of course, because of this the recovery from this crisis has and will continue to be hard because people (and governments) still need to get back to more sustainable levels of borrowing.
    8. Debtocracy
      The last 3 documentaries on this list are not about the 2008 crisis, but are well worth a look for additional context. This one in particular talks about the Greek debt crisis that has precipitated in the wake of the financial crisis, and which has caused considerable contagion and escalation of economic distress in Europe, and much more water has yet to pass under the bridge.
    9. Prisoners of Debt: Inside the Global Banking Crisis
      This is not about the banking crisis of 2008, no this is about the 1980's third world debt crisis. It bears stark resemblance to today's banking, and of course Sovereign debt crises. I'm sure most people who watch this documentary will think "why didn't we learn?" 
    10. The Crash of 1929
      Like number 9, this is not about the 2008/9 crash, but many people have drawn parallels to the great depression and the crash of 1929 with today's crisis. So to be able to participate in the debate it is well worth taking a look into what went on all the way back then. But also, in terms of the scale of the crisis and the impact, the 1929 crash is the closest comparison to the 2008 crash.
    Thanks to www.financedocumentaries.com for finding all these documentaries (and others!)


    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Dec 19 11:24 AM | Link | 2 Comments
  • Economic Calendar: China Data and Developed Market Inflation
     Here's the economic calendar for the week commencing the 12th of June 2011. This week the main event is China’s monthly data dump, where it will release CPI, PPI, retail sales, industrial production, new loans, money supply, and fixed asset investment figures.  Speaking of inflation data, the US, UK, and EU all also have inflation data due out this week.  Also, Japan, Switzerland, and India are among the central banks announcing interest rate decisions this week.

    Date

    GMT

    Country/ Currency

    Event

    Forecast

    Previous

    SUN

     

    CNY

    Actual FDI (YoY)

     

    15.20%

    SUN

     

    NZD

    REINZ House Sales (YoY)

     

    -4.20%

    SUN

     

    CNY

    New Yuan Loans

    650.0B

    739.6B

    SUN

     

    CNY

    Money Supply - M0 (YoY)

     

    14.70%

    SUN

     

    CNY

    Money Supply - M1 (YoY)

    13.70%

    12.90%

    SUN

     

    CNY

    Money Supply - M2 (YoY)

    15.50%

    15.30%

    SUN

    23:50

    JPY

    Machine Orders (YoY)

    4.90%

    9.10%

    MON

    08:00

    EUR

    Italian Industrial Production n.s.a. (YoY)

    2.00%

    0.80%

    MON

     

    JPY

    Bank of Japan Rate Decision

    0.10%

    0.10%

    MON

    00:01

    CNY

    China Manpower Survey

     

    29.00%

    MON

    02:00

    CNY

    Producer Price Index (YoY)

    6.50%

    6.80%

    MON

    02:00

    CNY

    Consumer Price Index (YoY)

    5.50%

    5.30%

    MON

    02:00

    CNY

    Retail Sales (YoY)

    17.00%

    17.10%

    MON

    02:00

    CNY

    Retail Sales YTD YoY

    16.90%

    16.50%

    MON

    02:00

    CNY

    Industrial Production (YoY)

    13.10%

    13.40%

    MON

    02:00

    CNY

    Industrial Production YTD YoY

    14.00%

    14.20%

    MON

    02:00

    CNY

    Fixed Assets Inv Excl. Rural YTD YoY

    25.20%

    25.40%

    TUE

    04:30

    JPY

    Industrial Production (YoY)

     

    -14.00%

    TUE

    08:30

    GBP

    Consumer Price Index (YoY)

    4.50%

    4.50%

    TUE

    08:30

    GBP

    Core Consumer Price Index (YoY)

    3.50%

    3.70%

    TUE

    08:30

    GBP

    Retail Price Index (YoY)

    5.20%

    5.20%

    TUE

    12:30

    USD

    Producer Price Index (YoY)

    6.60%

    6.80%

    TUE

    12:30

    USD

    Producer Price Index Ex Food & Energy (YoY)

    2.10%

    2.10%

    TUE

    12:30

    USD

    Advance Retail Sales

    -0.40%

    0.50%

    TUE

    12:30

    USD

    Retail Sales Less Autos

    0.30%

    0.60%

    TUE

    12:30

    USD

    Retail Sales Ex Auto & Gas

    0.30%

    0.20%

    WED

    05:30

    EUR

    French Consumer Price Index (YoY)

    2.10%

    2.10%

    WED

    07:15

    CHF

    Producer & Import Prices (YoY)

    -0.10%

    0.10%

    WED

    08:30

    GBP

    Jobless Claims Change

    6.5K

    12.4K

    WED

    09:00

    EUR

    Euro-Zone Industrial Production w.d.a. (YoY)

    4.80%

    5.60%

    WED

    12:30

    USD

    Consumer Price Index (YoY)

    3.40%

    3.20%

    WED

    12:30

    USD

    Consumer Price Index Ex Food & Energy (YoY)

    1.40%

    1.30%

    WED

    13:15

    USD

    Industrial Production

    0.20%

    0.00%

    WED

    13:15

    USD

    Capacity Utilization

    77.00%

    76.90%

    WED

    22:00

    NZD

    Westpac NZ Consumer Confidence

     

    97.90

    WED

    02:00

    CNY

    China April Leading Economic Index

     

     

    THU

    07:15

    CHF

    Industrial Production (YoY)

    5.60%

    6.10%

    THU

    07:30

    CHF

    Swiss National Bank Rate Decision

    0.25%

    0.25%

    THU

    08:00

    EUR

    Italian Consumer Price Index (YoY)

    3.00%

    3.00%

    THU

    08:30

    GBP

    Retail Sales (YoY)

    1.50%

    2.80%

    THU

    08:30

    GBP

    Retail Sales w/Auto Fuel (YoY)

    1.50%

    2.80%

    THU

    09:00

    EUR

    Euro-Zone Consumer Price Index - Core (YoY)

    1.60%

    1.60%

    THU

    09:00

    EUR

    Euro-Zone Consumer Price Index (YoY)

    2.70%

     

    THU

    09:00

    EUR

    Euro-Zone Employment (QoQ)

     

    0.20%

    THU

    09:00

    EUR

    Euro-Zone Employment (YoY)

     

    0.20%

    THU

    12:30

    USD

    Building Permits

    552K

    563K

    THU

    12:30

    USD

    Housing Starts

    545K

    523K

    THU

    12:30

    USD

    Current Account Balance

    -$130.0B

    -$113.3B

    THU

    23:50

    JPY

    BOJ Minutes of May 19-20 Board Meeting

     

     

    FRI

    09:00

    EUR

    Euro-Zone Construction Output w.d.a. (YoY)

     

    -4.90%

    FRI

    13:55

    USD

    U. of Michigan Confidence

    74.00

    74.30

     

    As noted the main event this week will be the China data, which is always good to check up on to gauge how the world’s second largest economy is tracking. One of the key indicators to watch will be inflation, i.e. CPI, which is expected to show a slightly higher year on year rate, about 5.8% as property expenses and food prices have been tracking upwards in May. The other data points; industrial production, retail sales, and fixed asset investment should come in more or less flat, but watch for any significant changes or extension of slowing in some of the points.


    Another key data set will be the inflation numbers. The United States is expected to show a slight increase in both headline and core inflation, with year on year CPI inflation expected around 3.4%. The UK is expected to see a slight slowing of its core inflation rate and headline should stay around 4.5%. The Euro Zone will likely see headline inflation stick around 2.7% and core about 1.6%. So, not expecting anything dramatic, but a slight upward tick in inflation.


    In the monetary policy space there’s the Bank of Japan on the 14th of June (expected to hold at 0.10%), Central Bank of Chile on the 14th of June (expected to raise 25bps from current 5.00%), Central Bank of Iceland on the 15th of June (expected to hold at 4.25%), Central Bank of Philippines on the 16th of June (expected to raise 25bps from current 4.50%), the Reserve Bank of India on the 16th of June (expected to raise 25bps from current 7.25%), and The Swiss National bank also on the 16th (expected to hold at 0.25%). Of course there is also a chance the People's Bank of China will do something when the inflation figures come out.


    Elsewhere there’s some key US data points to watch: Producer prices are expected to show little change, retail sales are expected to decline – but post a small gain excluding autos, industrial production may show a small gain, while the UoM confidence index should stay around 74. Outside of the US, Japan has machine orders and industrial production figures, and the Euro Zone has some employment numbers.


    So as always, have a great week, watch out for surprises, and stay tuned for updates...

    Sources

    ·         DailyFX

    ·         Forex Pros

    ·         Forex Factory

    ·         Bloomberg

    +various statistics websites and central bank websites for verification



    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    Jun 12 12:42 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Brits Get Rich in China
    While I was whittling my precious weekend hours away I stumbled on to a finance documentaries website and found a very interesting documentary on China. The film is called "Brits Get Rich in China" and follows three entrepreneurs as they go to China to make their fortunes. As any one familiar with China can imagine, anything like this makes for very interesting viewing!

    I wont give too much away, but I would highly recommend it to anyone who's thinking about doing business in China, or with Chinese businesses - and that includes investing. Sure, it is only anecdotal evidence, but it just shows that when you go to do business (or invest) in a place like China it pays to know what you're doing, or at least to know someone who knows what they're doing.

    Business is tough in China, Chinese are tough, they play a hard business game. If you go in expecting to do business like you would in likes of the US or UK, to some degree you're right, but a lot of aspects are accentuated so you need to sharpen up your act. You need to carry a healthy mistrust, you need to know at least some of the language and customs (more language skills are better) or have a very trustworthy partner who does.

    But though business and investing in China can be fraught with risk and challenge, it doesn't mean it's not worth going. As you'll see the people in the documentary the rewards can certainly make it all worth it (and then some). But then that's what investing and business is all about isn't it? Taking risk and doing the hard yards to achieve your dreams.

    <object width="640" height="390"><param name="movie" value="www.youtube.com/v/n_n4pTMJLnE&hl=en_...;></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="www.youtube.com/v/n_n4pTMJLnE&hl=en_...; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></embed></object>

    Watch the documentary here: http://www.financedocumentaries.com/2011/05/brits-get-rich-in-china.html


    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
    May 29 2:33 AM | Link | Comment!
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers

StockTalks

More »

Latest Comments


Posts by Themes
Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.