Seeking Alpha

Sterling Hayden

Sterling Hayden
Send Message
View as an RSS Feed
View Sterling Hayden's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • A primary cause of the crisis was "government policies promoting homeownership," Henry Paulson says, urging lawmakers to shrink Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC). Barry Ritholtz isn't buying Paulson's "thinly veiled attempt to rewrite what actually occurred... to shift his own sad role from conductor of the theft to hapless victim."  [View news story]
    While I am not a fan of Paulson's tenure as Sec. Of the Treasury, the housing bubble was well in place long before he was appointed. Fannie and Freddie were major contributors to the bubble, although ultimately Alan Greenspan would be my choice for the major culprit.
    Jul 30, 2010. 02:25 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Deflation Really That Scary? [View article]
    I agree with the view that Deflation might be natural and necessary to flush out excessive debt, but the fact remains that those that hold too much debt (public and private parties) will fight it and will have the political powers that be on their side. Still, I think they are fighting a losing battle for the next couple of years.
    Jun 19, 2010. 04:27 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Gold the Magic Hedge Against Both Inflation and Deflation? [View article]
    Take a look at Gold's performance relative to inflation in the 80's. In Fact, Gold has virtually no historical correlation to inflation over the long term, despite the current popular mythology.
    Jun 2, 2010. 10:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Facebook and Twitter May Not Be White Knights for Internet Advertising [View article]
    Hasn't it been clear for a while that the social networks will have to come up with another revenue source besides ads in order to ever become profitable? Unfortunately, every "revenue enhancement" they try is met with howls of protest from their users.
    Feb 14, 2010. 08:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Housing Double Dip? Zillow Says Yes, NAR Can't See It [View article]
    A quick look at Lawrence Yun's record over the last few years shows that he is just a cheerleader for the Real Estate Industry. It's hard to fathom why anyone would even quote him anymore?
    Feb 12, 2010. 08:57 AM | 15 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The New York Times (NYT) unveils its plans to charge for website content beginning in 2011, using a metered model in which readers will have access to several free articles per month. Shares -1.5%.  [View news story]
    Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic.
    Jan 20, 2010. 09:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Housing Bubble: In Defense of Bernanke? [View article]
    If you're going to talk about low interest rates you need to examine the real ( inflation adjusted) interest rates, not just nominal rates. You make a reference to interest rates being 9% sometime in the 70's, but they were probably very low or even negative adjusted for inflation. It is true in 2003 that the Fed was extremely concerned with the risk of deflation and so the real rates weren't that extraordinarily low.( At least for a while)
    The other major factor that does not get mentioned often enough is that banks and hedge funds were allowed to increase their leverage drastically sometime during the 90's. This expansion of buying power was instrumental in encouraging the housing bubble.
    Jan 10, 2010. 08:35 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Newsweek's cover story this week, Harvard economist Niall Ferguson calls the U.S. "An Empire at Risk": "If the United States succumbs to a fiscal crisis, as an increasing number of economic experts fear it may, then the entire balance of global economic power could shift." Paul Krugman responds: "These [debt] numbers look huge, but our entire economy is huge."  [View news story]
    Newsweek cover articles are the best contrary indicator of the last few decades.
    Nov 29, 2009. 10:43 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wells Fargo's Mortgage Conversion Scheme: Delaying the Inevitable [View article]
    I guess "delay and pray" is WFC's best strategy to stay in business. They know the government will keep them on life support for the foreseeable future.
    Nov 7, 2009. 09:58 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Consumer Credit: Dreadful [View article]
    I think it would be a lot more useful to have a longer term graph so we could compare credit levels to the time period before everyone took out 2nd mortgages to finance their lifestyles of excessive consumption, and consumers would receive multiple unsolicited credit card offers in the mail each week.
    Nov 7, 2009. 09:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Imminent Collapse of Municipal Bonds [View article]
    One interesting factor is that while municipalities can go bankrupt, states can't. Major tax increases in the biggest spending states look extremely likely in the near future.
    Nov 5, 2009. 08:12 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In a rare response to media reports, NY Fed's general counsel explains why it directed AIG (AIG) to pay top dollar on credit-default swaps: "In its negotiations with its counterparties, AIG just didn't have the same bargaining power that it did with the Federal Reserve standing in the background. The only sensible outcome was to give them what they were legally entitled to."  [View news story]
    Unlike the bondholders of GM?
    Oct 29, 2009. 03:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why the Home Buyer Tax Credit Is a Bad Idea [View article]
    I haven't heard anyone outside of the real estate industry recommend that this tax credit be continued. (Except perhaps for the most pandering politicians around). Hopefully Congress's recent realization that they may lose their jobs if they continue spending might inject some cold logic on the folly of extending this credit.
    Oct 22, 2009. 06:31 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Great op-ed by author Calvin Trillin, who explains the real reason the financial system nearly collapsed in the fall of 2008: The smart guys did it.  [View news story]
    Every speculative bubble has a few common characteristics: Excess Liquidity, Over Leverage, and Public Greed. The first two factors we can lay at the hands of the Fed, and the last on Main St. Derivatives and securitization have been around for decades. They simply provided lubrication to the system in this latest bubble. Of course Wall St had tremendous over growth, but You can't have a speculative bubble unless the average Joe on Main street starts to believe there is free money available.
    Oct 14, 2009. 10:41 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Banks and Delinquent Borrowers: The Chickens Are Coming Home to Roost [View article]
    Before the current crisis, I believe the historical success rate for loan modification was slightly under 50%. Given the dramatic decline in home prices ( and equity) of the last couple years, I'm certain that the success rate will be much less going forward. I'm sure banks are aware of this.
    Oct 13, 2009. 10:29 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment