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Moon Kil Woong

 
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  • The Heart of the Too-Big-to-Fail Problem [View article]
    "The first priority of an effort to reduce systemic risk should be to attack TBTF by reducing the socialization of risk... Rather than a serious effort to address systemic risk, this seems to be populist boob bait."

    So right you are. The issue should not be how to fund too big to fail bailouts but how to prevent this from even happening. Enshrining the concept is worse than when we started out assuming implicitly that financial institutions could dump their garbage on the unknowing and unwilling American citizens.

    Now we get to see if they get away with it so they can be assured of an automatic TARP 2 the next time they falter (it won't be that long if such laws are passed.)
    Nov 1 10:17 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Today in Commodities: Vindication as Markets Make Sense [View article]
    A decline in commodities is fundamentally neccesary if the Federal Reserve want's to keep on with their dollar depreciation. Everyone has been quite worried about strong commodities. Unfortunately weakness will benefit all stronger dollar currency countries. As is, the US can only hope to keep prices flat if it hopes to keep stimulus going and the artificial economy chugging along.
    Nov 1 05:31 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economy Is Bipolar: Get Used to It [View article]
    The government is hell bent on increasing leverage, atificially decreasing risk, increasing money supply, and causing inflation. The natural reprucussions are bubbles, increasing risk, and market and asset misallocation and dislocation. For some reason they don't get it, yet the market does.

    Inevitably, market participants especially financial institutions will turn towards investing in artificially low risk and means of profiting on free money the same way consumers realize that the Federal reserve disincitivizes savings and rewards debt and consumption. Risk begets more risk that inevitably leads to instability and market crashes. Every administration fails on this point or gets it and just tries shirking the ramifications onto the next administration. Either way America loses.
    Oct 31 10:43 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • We're Out of Recession, But a Long Way from Recovery [View article]
    Inventory also falls because there is simply less demand and production drops to reflect that. Consumer spending rose but wages droped as well as savings. This is clearly not sustainable. For every positive there is a conterveiling negative.

    The title of the article is more accurate than the article. We appear to be a long way from recovery. All else is speculation and wishful thinking. Listen to the economists not the bobbleheads on TV.
    Oct 30 06:27 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Merits of an Economic Slowdown [View article]
    In reading artful analysis on other countries problems by major brokerage houses it is amazing the lack of utter disconnect people have seeing those very same problems in our own system. The perchant for government to reward the few by laying the cost of the many and desire short term fixes without regard to long term consequences exists in every government.

    Thus the simple calculation of how much the government plays a role in the market is a great barometer to how poorly a country is managed. For America that analysis is increasingly turning up to be very poorly. America is not immune to the effects of poor government intervention. It destroys us the same way it destroys blatantly socialist regimes.
    Oct 30 05:43 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Europe Is Breaking Up Its 'Too Big to Fail' Banks [View article]
    t is hard to argue any bank is too big when you have the Federal reserve around. They are the single biggest systemic risk around.

    Anyway onto other banks, implementing Glass Stegall and enforcing confict of inteterest and anti-trust laws would prevent a lot of this mess. That's why they don't want it.

    Also, shouldn't someone monitor leverage and derivatives exposure? What's the use of regululating too big to fail banks if you don't make common sense rules dealing with the underlying financial instruments that caused this recession in the first place? Either get serious about fixing things or just admit your paid off by banks and don't give a damn about America or it's citizens. It's that simple.

    This bill is more tokenism and clever ways of making sure TARP automatically happens the next time banks fail so legislators don't have to vote on it.
    Oct 30 02:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GMAC's Deal with Sheila Bair [View article]
    In the old days if you couldn't float a bond at the risk premium you were at you were toast. Let's just call government backing bonds what it is, a free money givaway which transfers all risk to the taxpayer. They seem to be under the impression that what the public don't see is free. The costs are apparent to me and everyone feeding out of the free money trough.

    That's why the Federal Reserve refuses to publish all the companies bonds they backstopped. It would be too easy to identify the swine.
    Oct 29 11:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pay Caps for Criminals [View instapost]
    I'm not thinking pay caps, I'm thinking clawbacks.
    Oct 29 11:16 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ING Shows How Bank Dismemberment Is Done [View article]
    This is one good reason why Europe is recovering faster than the US for once. The US is quickly becoming the new model for an economy stymied by an over-reliance on government crutches.

    Although some may say breaking ING up is bad for ING, it's most certainly good for the economy. Similarly Glass-Stegall is good for the US even though financial institutions loathe it.
    Oct 29 11:04 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inflation by Stealth [View article]
    I like your ninja analogy. There is other things stalking the banks worse than inflation though, it's called mark-to-market losses and off the books derivatives.

    Mark-to-market has already stung banks and is like a slow acting poison since they can hide their condition with accounting tricks.

    Off the book derivatives is like gangrene. Already a great portion if not all of many too big to fail banks are dead. Thus banks are forced to hoard every last bit of zirpish money they can and then some to stay alive. The extra comes in the form of service fees and churing out even more bad home loans which they can mark up and dumping on Fannie and Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the FHA.

    These afflicted banks sucking up all our economic green blood are much more likely to die long before the ninja arrives.
    Oct 29 10:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GDP Is 'Better' [View article]
    Once again Karl's drilldown is most telling that this was not a very good GDP number although the headline number looks good. Sadly, this is the initial number. After revision it is bound to get worse.

    In my view decreasing private sector wages, growth, and savings is negative. Rising public sector costs (yes they are costs even if you don't pay for them) are bad, especially when they become systemic. Like hardening of the arteries, they clog up your economic system and suck up capital preventing your economy from ever being able to run again. People saying increased government spending at the unsustainable levels we have now are fools. GDP gains based on government spending is nothing to cheer about.
    Oct 29 10:42 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Recession Is (Unofficially) Over [View article]
    "The Department of Commerce reported that the U.S. economy expanded in the third quarter for the first time in a year, the improvement driven by government subsidized consumer spending and an increase in homebuilding."

    The increase in homebuilding was in part driven by first time buyer tax credits and continued zirp and QE policies. Thus pretty much all of it is artificial with a giant dollop on rising commodity prices. I suppose we are all really happy about higher gas and food prices. Cheer for higher prices. Higher prices help the econony. Be a patriot, pay more for basic neccesities. The presumption that this is good is patently ridiculous.
    Oct 29 10:32 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alpha's Razor [View article]
    Considering most funds can't even beat their benchmarks and hedge funds often lop on the volatility even if they try to stay market directionally neutral (they make it up in buying much more volitile stocks both ways) I would tend to agree Aplha is probably low to non-existent. Where alpha can be proven is certainly worth a premium but as we can see, proving real aplha is not that easy. Most don't bother because it tends to make their fund look quite a bit shabbier than they can claim otherwise.

    In the end there is no free riskless money. There is, however, statistical games. I always love the hedge fund start up method. Make 20 or so portfolios, randomize them, then cherry pick the one statistical winner and sack the rest, call yourself a genius and go to market.

    When shopping for someone to invest in it's best to go beyond the brochure and ask, is their market strategy really that unique and how can they prove that they generate real value above say, gambling. Personally, I tend to commend people on how they lower risk more than how they boost returns. Lower risk is much harder to achieve than higher. Lower risk and the same or better benchmark returns. That's where you get me excited.
    Oct 29 10:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bemused by GDP Figures [View article]
    I never cease to be amazed at the initial GDP readings reaction, especially when they invariably get revised down. Likewise, with unemployment up and consumer sentiment down going into the all important holiday season what good news is this really?

    Should we cheer that commodities cost 10-20% more than 2008, our dollar fell 12%, and domestic revenue is down but somewhat offset by higher revenue in dollar terms overseas thanks to dollar depreciation? I still don't get it. Is destroying our asset value really worth pulling a single number into positives just so you can claim the recession ended? Commenters are right, this is a technical end to a recession and indicates nothing whatsoever about real recovery.
    Oct 29 10:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Contrarians Denninger, Dent, Faber and Hoye Looking for Dollar Rebound [View article]
    The dollar may rebound but I believe it will just be a short term ploy. While it does expect the stock market to drop.
    Oct 29 06:57 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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