I'm presently in a moderately bearish stance. There's no denying the super run up in the various indices over the last couple of months, but I'm very concerned that too much is being assumed, and too much is being disregarded.
A few miscel... items gleaned from today's FT:
An excellent piece on how the Chrysler bankruptcy might effect the debt markets, going forward. The administration's way of "adjusting" the capital hierarchy by means of altering the way assets are approportioned in a bankruptcy, might well put additional pressure on interest rates in the future, as potential bond purchasers demand higher rates to compensate for the risk of "government intervention".
Taiwan's exports dropped over 38% from the previous month (8 declining months in a row)...substantially more than the forecast 28% or so, A large portion of Taiwan's exports are in the area of semiconductors. An increase in exports to China, and to a lesser extent, other Asian countries, wasn't enough to offset declines in shipments to the US and the EU. Given that the tech sector has done exceedingly well recently, it makes me wonder if the strength there can continue. Granted, the balance sheets of many, if not most, tech companies are in good shape, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to sales.
The RGE Monitor had an interesting piece on the possibilites of a Latvian default. I'm guessing most US citizens might easily confuse Latvia with "Latka", a character from the sitcom "Taxi", played by the late Andy Kaughman, and would be hard-pressed to find it on a map, but never the less, problems there might well trigger problems with neighboring Estonia and Lithuania, two more countries on the "hard to find" list. The reason that would be problematic, is that Swedish banks have become the defacto "Central Banks" of the Baltic states and hold mountains of debt from those countries. Trouble there could easily bleed into the rest of Western Europe. The Asian crisis started with defaults and problems in little known (at that time, anyway) Asian nations. Like it, or not, de-coupling has been shown to be something of a myth, and we (national economies) are all joined at the hip.