Sitemap  |  Feedback  |  RSS  |  Kontakt  |  Links

Markt-Daten.de    web

Die tödlichen D’s

Carmen Reinhart, die zusammen mit Kenneth Rogoff  in einer Studie die Folgen von 18 Finanzkrisen nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg untersucht hat, kennzeichnet in einem neuen Artikel die tödlichen Folgen solch einer Krise, die tödlichen D’s. Den ursprünglichen Entwurf hatten wir Anfang Januar  in den Blog gestellt (“The Aftermath of Financial Crises”). Die Studie selbst wird erst im Mai diesen Jahres publiziert und wird mit Spannung erwartet. Wir haben es im Auge.

Zu dem neuen Artikel ‘The economic and fiscal consequences of financial crises’:

The “deadly d’s”: Sharp economic downturns follow banking crises; with government revenues dragged down, fiscal deficits worsen; deficits lead to debt; as debt piles up rating downgrades follow. For the most fortunate countries, it does not end in default.

The economic and fiscal consequences of financial crises

Heute steht zunächst ein Teil des Abschwungs (downturns) im Fokus.

Für die 18 Finanzkrisen wurden gemeinsame Merkmale ausgemacht:

  1. Aktienmärkte kollabieren tief und langanhaltend, durchschnittlich 55% über dreieinhalb Jahre
    reale Hauspreise sinken durchschnittlich 35% gestreckt über sechs Jahren
  2. die Arbeitslosenquote steigt durchschnittlich 7% während der Kontraktionsphase, die durchschnittlich vier Jahre andauert.
    Die Produktion schrumpft während der Rezession durchschnittlich um 9%, dies dauert durchschnittlich zwei Jahre
  3. die inflationsbereinigte öffentliche Verschuldung explodiert in diesen Phasen. Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg ist diese durchschnittlich um 86% gestiegen. Ursächlich waren nicht die Konjunkturspritzen oder Subventionen verantwortlich, sondern grossteils die deutlich geringeren Steueraufkommen.

Wenn alles “durchschnittlich” verlaufen wird, wo stehen die USA dann momentan?

Reinhart und Rogoff haben sich angesichts des Ausmaß der aktuellen US Rezession auf systemische Finanzkrisen fokussiert, in der Studie waren unter anderem fünf “ältere” Krisen in Industrieländern enthalten. Dies waren Spanien (1977), Norwegen (1987), Finnland (1991), Schweden (1991) und Japan (1992).  Allerdings wurden auch bereits sechs Staaten für die Krise ab 2007 in die Studie einbezogen.

Für die Aktienmärkte:

Tabellarisch dargestellt der Rückgang einzelner Finanzmärkte; ohne den Kursverlust der vergangenen Monate liegt der isländische Markt weit vorne.

Tabelle

Der S&P500 verbuchte seit seinem Allzeithoch im November 2007 einen Abschlag von maximal 56,8% innerhalb von 18 Monaten. Die preislichen Voraussetzungen für eine durchschnittliche Performance sind somit erfüllt; auf der Zeitachse fehlen allerdings noch knapp zwei Jahren.

S&P500

Für die Arbeitslosenquote:

Eine Arbeitslosenquote von >20% wurde nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg nicht mehr gesehen, allerdings notierten die Arbeitsmärkte der Industriestaaten in der Vergangenheit in der oberen Spannbreite.

Tabelle - Arbeitslosenquote

Der Korrekturbedarf des US Arbeitsmarktes scheint weder zeitlich noch preislich abgeschlossen. Von den durchschnittlich erzielten 7% Zuwachs stehen noch 3,8% aus.

Arbeitslosenquote

Für das Bruttoinlandsprodukt; die Autoren verwenden in ihrer Studie das reale, also inflationsbereinigte, Bruttoinlandsprodukt pro Kopf. Bis auf Finnland (1991) erreichte der Rückgang des Bruttoinlandsproduktes im Zusammenhang mit einer Finanzkrise in den Industriestaaten nicht annähernd den Durchschnitt von -9,3%.

Tabelle - Bruttoinlandsprodukt
Das reale Bruttoinlandsprodukt pro Kopf erreichte im zweiten Quartal 2008 ein zyklisches Hoch und hat seither -2,23% abgegeben.


Zum Abschluss noch ein Chart, der den S&P500 Index seit 1920 mit den US Rezessionen zeigt:

S&P500 und US Rezessionen

Armes, reiches Amerika

In der rezessionsgeplagten USA gibt es auch durchaus Wirtschaftszweige in Hochkonjunktur. So kann Yossi Dina, seines Zeichens Pfandleiher in Beverly Hills, von einer regen Betriebsamkeit seines Unternehmens berichten. Diverse Pretiosen werden zum zunächst vorübergehenden Verbleib untergebracht. Der Bargeldbedarf seiner Kunden hat ihm in den letzten drei Monaten das Geschäft seines Lebens gebracht.

Yossi Dina im Gespräch: Pawnbroker to the Stars on the Economy

China bläst zum Sturm auf die Dollar-Bastion

Zum bevorstehenden G-20 Treffen am 2. April fordert der chinesische Notenbankchef, Zhou Xiaochuan, eine Reform des internationalen Währungssystems.

Reform the International Monetary System

Die aktuelle Krise offenbare die Verwundbarkeit und systemischen Risiken des bestehenden internationalen Währungssystems. Xiaochuan hat drei Anforderungen an eine Reservewährung:

  1. stabile Bewertung mit festen Regeln
  2. liquide genug um einer wechselnden Nachfrage zu begegnen
  3. unabhängig von wirtschaftlichen Lage und Interessen einzelner Staaten.

Zhou Xiaochuan sieht  nun eine größere Präsenz des IMF, fordert die SDRs als Reservewährung.

Diese Sonderziehungsrechte oder auch Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) sind ein Währungskonstrukt bestehend aus den vier Währungen USD (44%), Euro (34%), Yen (11%) und britische Pfund (11%). Alle fünf Jahre wird diese Zusammensetzung neu festgelegt; zuletzt war dies Ende 2005. Laut dem IMF wurde bei der Gewichtung u.a. das Exportvolumen berücksichtigt aber auch inwieweit andere IMF Mitglieder die Währung als Reservewährung halten.
Der chinesische Yuan findet bisher keine Berücksichtigung. Dies wird frühestens 2010 passieren.

Mehr zu den Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) – IMF
tägliche Notierung

Die chinesischen Währungsreserven bieten einen Überblick auf die zunehmende Verflechtung USA- China:

chinesische Währungsreserven

Chinas Interesse an einem stabilen  US-Dollar lässt sich angesichts des exponentiell gewachsenen Dollar-Volumens nachvollziehen

Prozente

Prozentrechnung scheint in unserer Evolution keinen wesentlichen Beitrag zu besseren Überlebenschancen geleistet zu haben, anders kann ich mir auch meine eigenen Verständnisprobleme nicht erklären. ;-)

Im DGF war kürzlich ein amüsanter Thread mit dem Thema “95% aller (Bank) Schulden werden zurückgezahlt” oder so ähnlich. Der Verfasser witterte nach dieser – möglicherweise richtigen- Beobachtung eine neue Konspiration denn wenn 95% der Schulden bedient werden kann das ja alles gar nicht so schlimm sein bei den Banken. Die  Kommentatoren teilten zwar nicht unbedingt seine Ansicht, aber keiner hat mal nachgefragt worüber man eigentlich diskutiert bzw. was für Konsequenzen könnten diese nicht gezahlten 5% haben ?!

Hier zu ein paar vereinfachte Beispiele :

Das sogenannte tier1 Eigenkapital / Vermögen ( zum größten Teil Kredite ) Verhältnis der großen Banken muß bei ca. 4% – 7% liegen. Liegt in Realität eher darunter.

Eine sehr simple Überlegung würde also bereits darauf hindeuten, daß Abschreibungen von 5% auf diese Kredite die Banken bereits an den Rande des Konkurses bringen.

Fannie Mae alleine hatte bei einem Eigenkapital von ca. 40 Milliarden US$ Hypos in Höhe von 5.300 Milliarden US$ vergeben. Ein Preisrückgang von nur einem Prozent der zum großen Teil mit 100% (und mehr ! ) beliehenen Immobilien hätte theoretisch das Eigenkapital bereits komplett aufgezehrt.

Oder zB. General Electric GE hatte im Sept 08 laut Bilanz 825 Milliarden$ Vermögenswerte und 13 Milliarden$ Eigenkapital. Eine kleine Wertberichtigung von 2% und schon ist GE pleite. Natürlich nur theoretisch.

Auch Mervin King guckt jetzt bei Gideon Gono ab

Für alle die es nicht wissen sollten,  Gono ist der Dr. Gideon Gono von der ZB von Simbabwe

Direktes kaufen von Staatsanleihen nennt man jetzt in GB boosting money supply, na ja in Zim hat das ja offenbar gut funktioniert ;-)

Bank of England seeks permission to boost money supply

By William L. Watts
Last update: 4:49 a.m. EST Feb. 18, 2009
LONDON (MarketWatch) — The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to seek authority from the U.K. Treasury to purchase a range of assets, including government debt and other securities, in an effort to increase the money supply, according to minutes of the nine-member panel’s meeting on Feb. 4 and 5 released Wednesday. The move comes amid fears that further cuts in interest rates wouldn’t be enough to prevent inflation from falling well below the bank’s 2% annual target. The MPC also voted 8-1 in favor of cutting the bank’s key lending rate a half point to 1%. David Blanchflower, the sole dissenter, argued for cutting the rate a full point to 0.5%. End of Story

AIG braucht wieder Geld

Obwohl AIG gerade 150 Milliarden $ erhalten hat und davon 450 Millionen an ihre Derivaten Händler zahlte, vermutlich als  Prämie für die erfolgreiche Zerstörung der grössten US Versicherungsgesellschaft will man diesen Armleuchtern weiterhin Steuergelder reinstopfen :

The WSJ: AIG in Talks for U.S. to Backstop Assets

Email aus Amerika

Two excellent video interviews with Mort Zuckerman, Chairman of Boston Properties, discussing the economic crisis, commercial real estate, how he got victimized by Madoff, and Wall Street.

(He was paying an investment manager $27 million per year, and the manager turned over all the money to Madoff.  Nice work if you can get it.)

http://www.ft.com/cms/8a38c684-2a26-11dc-9208-000b5df10621.html

We need more jails to hold all the people from the banking system, hedge fund community, and Wall Street in general that need to be in them.

Once they clear out all the terrorists and would be terrorists from Guantanamo, maybe they could fly all the bankers down there on their corporate jets for an open ended stay.

JS

The Road to Ruin – weils gerade so schön passt

Aus deutscher Sicht  fehlt noch Herr Assmussen

Road to ruin

Twenty-five people at the heart of the meltdown …

The worst economic turmoil since the Great Depression is not a natural phenomenon but a man-made disaster in which we all played a part. In the second part of a week-long series looking behind the slump, Guardian City editor Julia Finch picks out the individuals who have led us into the current crisis

Poll: Who led us down the Road to Ruin?

Greenspan Testifies At Senate Hearing On Oil Dependence

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who backed sub-prime lending. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Alan Greenspan, chairman of US Federal Reserve 1987- 2006
Only a couple of years ago the long-serving chairman of the Fed, a committed free marketeer who had steered the US economy through crises ranging from the 1987 stockmarket collapse through to the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, was lauded with star status, named the “oracle” and “the maestro”. Now he is viewed as one of those most culpable for the crisis. He is blamed for allowing the housing bubble to develop as a result of his low interest rates and lack of regulation in mortgage lending. He backed sub-prime lending and urged homebuyers to swap fixed-rate mortgages for variable rate deals, which left borrowers unable to pay when interest rates rose.

For many years, Greenspan also defended the booming derivatives business, which barely existed when he took over the Fed, but which mushroomed from $100tn in 2002 to more than $500tn five years later.

Billionaires George Soros and Warren Buffett might have been extremely worried about these complex products – Soros avoided them because he didn’t “really understand how they work” and Buffett famously described them as “financial weapons of mass destruction” – but Greenspan did all he could to protect the market from what he believed was unnecessary regulation. In 2003 he told the Senate banking committee: “Derivatives have been an extraordinarily useful vehicle to transfer risk from those who shouldn’t be taking it to those who are willing to and are capable of doing so”.

In recent months, however, he has admitted at least some of his long-held beliefs have turned out to be incorrect – not least that free markets would handle the risks involved, that too much regulation would damage Wall Street and that, ultimately, banks would always put the protection of their shareholders first.

He has described the current financial crisis as “the type … that comes along only once in a century” and last autumn said the fact that the banks had played fast and loose with shareholders’ equity had left him “in a state of shocked disbelief”.

Politicians

Bill Clinton, former US president
Clinton shares at least some of the blame for the current financial chaos. He beefed up the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act to force mortgage lenders to relax their rules to allow more socially disadvantaged borrowers to qualify for home loans.

In 1999 Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which ensured a complete separation between commercial banks, which accept deposits, and investment banks, which invest and take risks. The move prompted the era of the superbank and primed the sub-prime pump. The year before the repeal sub-prime loans were just 5% of all mortgage lending. By the time the credit crunch blew up it was approaching 30%.

Gordon Brown, prime minister
The British prime minister seems to have been completely dazzled by the movers and shakers in the Square Mile, putting the City’s interests ahead of other parts of the economy, such as manufacturers. He backed “light touch” regulation and a low-tax regime for the thousands of non-domiciled foreign bankers working in London and for the private equity business.

George W Bush, former US president
Clinton might have started the sub-prime ball rolling, but the Bush administration certainly did little to put the brakes on the vast amount of mortgage cash being lent to “Ninja” (No income, no job applicants) borrowers who could not afford them. Neither did he rein back Wall Street with regulation (although the government did pass the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the wake of the Enron scandal).

Senator Phil Gramm
Former US senator from Texas, free market advocate with a PhD in economics who fought long and hard for financial deregulation. His work, encouraged by Clinton’s administration, allowed the explosive growth of derivatives, including credit swaps.

In 2001, he told a Senate debate: “Some people look at sub-prime lending and see evil. I look at sub-prime lending and I see the American dream in action.”

According to the New York Times, federal records show that from 1989 to 2002 he was the top recipient of campaign contributions from commercial banks and in the top five for donations from Wall Street. At an April 2000 Senate hearing after a visit to New York, he said: “When I am on Wall Street and I realise that that’s the very nerve centre of American capitalism and I realise what capitalism has done for the working people of America, to me that’s a holy place.”

He eventually left Capitol Hill to work for UBS as an investment banker.

Wall Street/Bankers

Abi Cohen, Goldman Sachs chief US strategist
The “perpetual bull”. Once rated one of the most powerful women in the US. But so wrong, so often. She failed to see previous share price crashes and was famous for her upwards forecasts. Replaced last March.

“Hank” Greenberg, AIG insurance group
Now aged 83, Hank – AKA Maurice – was the boss of AIG. He built the business into the world’s biggest insurer. AIG had a vast business in credit default swaps and therefore a huge exposure to a residential mortgage crisis. When AIG’s own credit-rating was cut, it faced a liquidity crisis and needed an $85bn (£47bn then) bail out from the US government to avoid collapse and avert the crisis its collapse would have caused. It later needed many more billions from the US treasury and the Fed, but that did not stop senior AIG executives taking themselves off for a few lavish trips, including a $444,000 golf and spa retreat in California and an $86,000 hunting expedition to England. “Have you heard of anything more outrageous?” said Elijah Cummings, a Democratic congressman from Maryland. “They were getting their manicures, their facials, pedicures, massages while the American people were footing the bill.”

Andy Hornby, former HBOS boss
So highly respected, so admired and so clever – top of his 800-strong class at Harvard – but it was his strategy, adopted from the Bank of Scotland when it merged with Halifax, that got HBOS in the trouble it is now. Who would have thought that the mighty Halifax could be brought to its knees and teeter on the verge of nationalisation?

Sir Fred Goodwin, former RBS boss
Once one of Gordon Brown’s favourite businessmen, now the prime minister says he is “angry” with the man dubbed “Fred the Shred” for his strategy at Royal Bank of Scotland, which has left the bank staring at a £28bn loss and 70% owned by the government. The losses will reflect vast lending to businesses that cannot repay and write-downs on acquisitions masterminded by Goodwin stretching back years.

Steve Crawshaw, former B&B boss
Once upon a time Bradford & Bingley was a rather boring building society, which used two men in bowler hats to signify their sensible and trustworthy approach. In 2004 the affable Crawshaw took over. He closed down B&B businesses, cut staff numbers by half and turned the B&B into a specialist in buy-to-let loans and self-certified mortgages – also called “liar loans” because applicants did not have to prove a regular income. The business broke down when the wholesale money market collapsed and B&B’s borrowers fell quickly into debt. Crawshaw denied a rights issue was on its way weeks before he asked shareholders for £300m. Eventually, B&B had to be nationalised. Crawshaw, however, had left the bridge a few weeks earlier as a result of heart problems. He has a £1.8m pension pot.

Adam Applegarth, former Northern Rock boss
Applegarth had such big ambitions. But the business model just collapsed when the credit crunch hit. Luckily for Applegarth, he walked away with a wheelbarrow of cash to ease the pain of his failure, and spent the summer playing cricket.

Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin
Cioffi (pictured) and Tanninn were Bear Stearns bankers recently indicted for fraud over the collapse of two hedge funds last year, which was one of the triggers of the credit crunch. They are accused of lying to investors about the amount of money they were putting into sub-prime, and of quietly withdrawing their own funds when times got tough.

Lewis Ranieri
The “godfather” of mortgage finance, who pioneered mortgage-backed bonds in the 1980s and immortalised in Liar’s Poker. Famous for saying that “mortgages are math”, Ranieri created collateralised pools of mortgages. In 2004 Business Week ranked him alongside names such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as one of the greatest innovators of the past 75 years.

Ranieri did warn in 2006 of the risks from the breakneck growth of mortgage securitisation. Nevertheless, his Texas-based Franklin Bank Corp went bust in November due to the credit crunch.

Joseph Cassano, AIG Financial Products
Cassano ran the AIG team that sold credit default swaps in London, and in effect bankrupted the world’s biggest insurance company, forcing the US government to stump up billions in aid. Cassano, who lives in a townhouse near Harrods in Knightsbridge, earned 30 cents for every dollar of profit his financial products generated – or about £280m. He was fired after the division lost $11bn, but stayed on as a $1m-a-month consultant. “It seems he single-handedly brought AIG to its knees,” said John Sarbanes, a Democratic congressman.

Chuck Prince, former Citi boss
A lawyer by training, Prince had built Citi into the biggest bank in the world, with a sprawling structure that covered investment banking, high-street banking and wealthy management for the richest clients. When profits went into reverse in 2007, he insisted it was just a hiccup, but he was forced out after multibillion-dollar losses on sub-prime business started to surface. He received about $140m to ease his pain .

Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide Financial
Known as “the orange one” for his luminous tan, Mozilo was the chairman and chief executive of the biggest American sub-prime mortgage lender, which was saved from bankruptcy by Bank of America. BoA recently paid billions to settle investigations by various attorney generals for Countrywide’s mis-selling of risky loans to thousands who could not afford them. The company ran a “VIP programme” that provided loans on favourable terms to influential figures including Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate banking committee, the heads of the federal-backed mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and former assistant secretary of state Richard Holbrooke.

Stan O’Neal, former boss of Merrill Lynch
O’Neal became one of the highest-profile casualties of the credit crunch when he lost the confidence of the bank’s board in late 2007. When he was appointed to the top job four years earlier, O’Neal, the first African-American to run a Wall Street firm, had pledged to shed the bank’s conservative image. Shortly before he quit, the bank admitted to nearly $8bn of exposure to bad debts, as bets in the property and credit markets turned sour. Merrill was forced into the arms of Bank of America less than a year later.

Jimmy Cayne, former Bear Stearns boss
The chairman of the Wall Street firm Bear Stearns famously continued to play in a bridge tournament in Detroit even as the firm fell into crisis. Confidence in the bank evaporated after the collapse of two of its hedge funds and massive write-downs from losses related to the home loans industry. It was bought for a knock down price by JP Morgan Chase in March. Cayne sold his stake in the firm after the JP Morgan bid emerged, making $60m. Such was the anger directed towards Cayne that the US media reported that he had been forced to hire a bodyguard. A one-time scrap-iron salesman, Cayne joined Bear Stearns in 1969 and became one of the firm’s top brokers, taking over as chief executive in 1993.

Others

Christopher Dodd, chairman, Senate banking committee (Democrat)
Consistently resisted efforts to tighten regulation on the mortgage finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He pushed to broaden their role to dodgier mortgages in an effort to help home ownership for the poor. Received $165,000 in donations from Fannie and Freddie from 1989 to 2008, more than anyone else in Congress.

Geir Haarde, Icelandic prime minister
He announced on Friday that he would step down and call an early election in May, after violent anti-government protests fuelled by his handling of the financial crisis. Last October Iceland’s three biggest commercial banks collapsed under billions of dollars of debts. The country was forced to borrow $2.1bn from the International Monetary Fund and take loans from several European countries. Announcing his resignation, Haarde said he had throat cancer.

The American public
There’s no escaping the fact: politicians might have teed up the financial system and failed to police it properly and Wall Street’s greedy bankers might have got carried away with the riches they could generate, but if millions of Americans had just realised they were borrowing more than they could repay then we would not be in this mess. The British public got just as carried away. We are the credit junkies of Europe and many of our problems could easily have been avoided if we had been more sensible and just said no.

Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England
When Mervyn King settled his feet under the desk in his Threadneedle Street office, the UK economy was motoring along just nicely: GDP was growing at 3% and inflation was just 1.3%. Chairing his first meeting of the Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC), interest rates were cut to a post-war low of 3.5%. His ambition was that monetary policy decision-making should become “boring”.

How we would all like it to become boring now. When the crunch first took hold, the Aston Villa-supporting governor insisted it was not about to become an international crisis. In the first weeks of the crunch he refused to pump cash into the financial system and insisted that “moral hazard” meant that some banks should not be bailed out. The Treasury select committee has said King should have been “more pro-active”.

King’s MPC should have realised there was a housing bubble developing and taken action to damp it down and, more recently, the committee should have seen the recession coming and cut interest rates far faster than it did.

John Tiner, FSA chief executive, 2003-07
No one can fault 51-year-old Tiner’s timing: the financial services expert took over as the City’s chief regulator in 2003, just as the bear market which followed the dotcom crash came to an end, and stepped down from the Financial Services Authority in July 2007 – just a few weeks before the credit crunch took hold.

He presided over the FSA when the so-called “light touch” regulation was put in place. It was Tiner who agreed that banks could make up their own minds about how much capital they needed to hoard to cover their risks. And it was on his watch that Northern Rock got so carried away with the wholesale money markets and 130% mortgages. When the FSA finally got around to investigating its own part in the Rock’s downfall, it was a catalogue of errors and omissions. In short, the FSA had been asleep at the wheel while Northern Rock racked up ever bigger risks.

An accountant by training, with a penchant for Porsches and proud owner of the personalised number plate T1NER, the former FSA boss has since been recruited by the financial entrepreneur Clive Cowdery to run a newly floated business that aims to buy up financial businesses laid low by the credit crunch. Tiner will be chief executive but, unusually, will not be on the board, so his pay and bonuses will not be made public.

Dick Fuld, Lehman Brothers chief executive
The credit crunch had been rumbling on for more than a year but Lehman Brothers’ collapse in September was to have a catastrophic impact on confidence. Richard Fuld, chief executive, later told Congress he was bewildered the US government had not saved the bank when it had helped secure Bear Stearns and the insurer AIG. He also blamed short-sellers. Bitter workers at Lehman pointed the finger at Fuld.

A former bond trader known as “the Gorilla”, Fuld had been with Lehman for decades and steered it through tough times. But just before the bank went bust he had failed to secure a deal to sell a large stake to the Korea Development Bank and most likely prevent its collapse. Fuld encouraged risk-taking and Lehman was still investing heavily in property at the top of the market. Facing a grilling on Capitol Hill, he was asked whether it was fair that he earned $500m over eight years. He demurred; the figure, he said, was closer to $300m.

… and six more who saw it coming

Andrew Lahde
A hedge fund boss who quit the industry in October thanking “stupid” traders and “idiots” for making him rich. He made millions by betting against sub-prime.

John Paulson, hedge fund boss
He has been described as the “world’s biggest winner” from the credit crunch, earning $3.7bn (£1.9bn) in 2007 by “shorting” the US mortgage market – betting that the housing bubble was about to burst. In an apparent response to criticism that he was profiting from misery, Paulson gave $15m to a charity aiding people fighting foreclosure.

Professor Nouriel Roubini
Described by the New York Times as Dr Doom, the economist from New York University was warning that financial crisis was on the way in 2006, when he told economists at the IMF that the US would face a once-in-a-lifetime housing bust, oil shock and a deep recession.

He remains a pessimist. He predicted last week that losses in the US financial system could hit $3.6tn before the credit crunch ends – which, he said, means the entire US banking system is in effect bankrupt. After last year’s bail-outs and nationalisations, he famously described George Bush, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke as “a troika of Bolsheviks who turned the USA into the United Socialist State Republic of America”.

Warren Buffett, billionaire investor
Dubbed the Sage of Omaha, Buffett had long warned about the dangers of dodgy derivatives that no one understood and said often that Wall Street’s finest were grossly overpaid. In his annual letter to shareholders in 2003, he compared complex derivative contracts to hell: “Easy to enter and almost impossible to exit.” On an optimistic note, Buffett wrote in October that he had begun buying shares on the US stockmarket again, suggesting the worst of the credit crunch might be over. Now is a great time to “buy a slice of America’s future at a marked-down price”, he said.

George Soros, speculator
The billionaire financier, philanthropist and backer of the Democrats told an audience in Singapore in January 2006 that stockmarkets were at their peak, and that the US and global economies should brace themselves for a recession and a possible “hard landing”. He also warned of “a gigantic real estate bubble” inflated by reckless lenders, encouraging homeowners to remortgage and offering interest-only deals. Earlier this year Soros described a 25-year “super bubble” that is bursting, blaming unfathomable financial instruments, deregulation and globalisation. He has since characterised the financial crisis as the worst since the Great Depression.

Stephen Eismann, hedge fund manager
An analyst and fund manager who tracked the sub-prime market from the early 1990s. “You have to understand,” he says, “I did sub-prime first. I lived with the worst first. These guys lied to infinity. What I learned from that experience was that Wall Street didn’t give a shit what it sold.”

Meredith Whitney, Oppenheimer Securities
On 31 October 2007 the analyst forecast that Citigroup had to slash its dividend or face bankruptcy. A day later $370bn had been wiped off financial stocks on Wall Street. Within days the boss of Citigroup was out and the dividend had been slashed.

Kathleen Corbet, former CEO, Standard & Poor’s
The credit-rating agencies were widely attacked for failing to warn of the risks posed by mortgage-backed securities. Kathleen Corbet ran the largest of the big three agencies, Standard & Poor’s, and quit in August 2007, amid a hail of criticism. The agencies have been accused of acting as cheerleaders, assigning the top AAA rating to collateralised debt obligations, the often incomprehensible mortgage-backed securities that turned toxic. The industry argues it did its best with the information available.

Corbet said her decision to leave the agency had been “long planned” and denied that she had been put under any pressure to quit. She kept a relatively low profile and had been hired to run S&P in 2004 from the investment firm Alliance Capital Management.

Investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York attorney general among others have focused on whether the agencies are compromised by earning fees from the banks that issue the debt they rate. The reputation of the industry was savaged by a blistering report by the SEC that contained dozens of internal emails that suggested they had betrayed investors’ trust. “Let’s hope we are all wealthy and retired by the time this house of cards falters,” one unnamed S&P analyst wrote. In another, an S&P employee wrote:

“It could be structured by cows and we would rate it.”

• Tomorrow in part three of the Road to Ruin series – The Barons of Bankruptcy – how going bust can be a profitable business

China to the rescue …

China’s National Bureau of Statistics released fourth quarter GDP growth statistics for 2008 today, and it turns out that (according to their initial estimates) the Chinese economy expanded by 6.8 per cent in the last quarter of the year when compared with the same period in 2007. This was the weakest quarterly year on year growth rate in seven years. For the year as a whole, the economy grew 9 per cent, down from the revised 13 per cent growth rate in 2007.

China must surely devalue Investors now reluctantly accept that this recession is the worst since The Great Depression…Yet beware: outright deflation has already arrived and world trade is collapsing.
Korean GDP has just declined a MASSIVE annualized 21% in 2008 Q4! China is now joining the rest of the world in the stinking cesspit of uncontrolled economic slump…
The data out of Asia today was truly shocking and removes any lingering doubt in my mind whether we are truly facing a global economic depression. The 20% annualized collapse in South
Korean GDP in Q4 last year was not the worst of it. Japanese exports declined at a record annual pace, contracting an incredible 35% yoy!…

Strikingly, Japanese exports to the US were down some 37% yoy, losing some 26pp since the 11% yoy contraction in July. But we cannot highlight strongly enough how truly mindboggling Japan’s collapse in exports to China are. Last July they were expanding at a 16% yoy pace. Now they are contracting at a 35% yoy rate! This is a phenomenon throughout the region. Hence despite the notoriously manipulated Chinese GDP data showing a shocking slowdown in GDP growth to 6.8% yoy, I would eat my hat if the Chinese economy was doing anything other than contracting right now. Albert Edwards Societe Generale

The Aftermath of Financial Crises

Carmen M. Reinhart
University of Maryland. NBER and CEPR
Kenneth S. Rogoff
Harvard University and NBER

rogoff-2008-12-19

Nothing New under the Sun …

Author Ron Chernow in the NY Times:

For inspiration, Congress should turn to the electrifying hearings
of the Senate Banking and Currency Committee, held in the waning months of the Hoover presidency and the early days of the New Deal. In historical shorthand, these hearings have taken their name from the
committee counsel, Ferdinand Pecora, a former assistant district attorney from New York who, starting in January 1933, was chief counsel for the investigation.
On Black Thursday of 1929, the nation had applauded a seemingly heroic attempt by major bankers, including Albert Wiggin of Chase and Charles Mitchell of National City, to stem the market decline. Pecora showed that Wiggin had actually shorted Chase shares during the crash, profiting from falling prices. He also revealed that Mitchell and top officers at National City had helped themselves to $2.4 million in interest-free loans from the bank’s coffers to ease them through the crash. National City, it
turned out, had also palmed off bad loans to Latin American countries by packing them into securities and selling them to unsuspecting investors. By the time Pecora got through with the bankers, Senator
Burton Wheeler of Montana was likening them to Al Capone and the public referred to them as “banksters,” rhyming with gangsters. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/opinion/06chernow.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Die EZB intervenierte wieder

wie man hiertick data Euro/USD leicht erkennen kann.

Wann werden diese Armleuchter endlich kapieren, daß die Weltwirtschaft und die Märkte sich nur mit einem schwachen Dollar erholen werden ??

Latest Roubini

II. US Verschuldung im Ausland

Zuvor: I.  Verschuldung der USA – Überblick

Der Anteil der US Verschuldung, der vom Ausland gehalten wird, belief sich im dritten Quartal 2008 auf 15,2%. Dies war nur marginal unter dem Allzeithoch von 15,3% aus dem Vorquartal. Bei einer gesamten Verschuldung von 51,8 Bill. USD waren es 7853,3 Mrd. USD, die vom Ausland getragen werden. Die Jahresrate beläuft sich auf 12,8%.

Im Bild der historischen Verlauf der vom Ausland gehaltenen US Verschuldung:

ausländischer Anteil der US Verschuldung

Das Volumen der US Treasuries wurde dabei kräftig ausgeweitet, im Jahresvergleich lag der Zuwachs bei 30,1%, dem höchsten Niveau seit dem 1. Quartal 1996 (32,5%). Weiterhin wird mehr als die Hälfte der US Treasuries von Ausländern gehalten. Nach 51,6% im Vorquartal hielten die Ausländer nur noch 50,4% der US Treasuries – der langfristige Verlauf ist im Chart unten zu sehen.

China hat mittlerweile Japan als größten ausländischen Halter von US Treasuries abgelöst – siehe auch  den Blog-Beitrag. Der chinesische Anteil belief sich im Oktober 2008 auf 21,5%; der Anteil Japans lag bei 19,2%. Gut 3/4 des Netto Kaufs von US Treasuries ging an asiatische Adressen.

ausländische Anteil von US Treasuries

Erstmals seit dem dritten Quartal 2003 waren die Agency Bonds zum Vorquartal rückläufig; auf Jahresbasis lag der Zuwachs bei 8,5%. Das Ausland reduzierte seinen Anteil von 21,1% auf 19,8%.

Der Appetit des Auslands auf US Unternehmensanleihen hatte merklich nachgelassen; das erste Mal seit dem 4. Quartal 2005 sank der Bestand zum Vorquartal, die Jahresrate erreichte mit 4,9% den niedrigsten Stand seit dem 4. Quartal 1994 (4,6%).

Die Zentralbanken halten mittlerweile nahezu 70% der US Staatstitel – US Treasuries (67,3%) und Agency Bonds (68,1%).

Abgebildet ist jeweils der Anteil der Zentralbanken:

Zentralbankenanteil

Ergänzend findet sich eine aktualisierte Version von ‘Flow of Funds Accounts’ – US Verschuldung im Ausland entweder als PDF oder bei den Einzel-Themen zusammen mit älteren Ausgaben.

I. US – Verschuldung

Wir haben jetzt eine neue Rubrik ‘Verschuldung‘ eingerichtet; in dem Maße wie die Einzelstaaten Rettungsrufe der Unternehmen erhören, wird diese noch weiter in den Fokus geraten.

Überblick

Heute geht es los mit der US Verschuldung; zunächst einen Überblick, dann demnächst die Verschuldung der USA im Ausland, gefolgt von den privaten Haushalten, der öffentlichen Hand …

Einleitend einige Daten und Charts zur stetig wachsenden Verschuldung der US Amerikaner. Grossteils stammen die Daten aus dem vierteljährlich erscheinenden Flow of Funds Bericht.

Die gesamten Kreditmarktinstrumente wachsen 6,2% gegenüber dem Vorjahr und beliefen sich im dritten Quartal 2008 auf 51,8 Billionen USD. In Relation zum Bruttoinlandsprodukt lag die Verschuldung bei 359,4%. Der historische Verlauf ist im Chart unten zu sehen.

Außerhalb des Finanzsektors liegt die Verschuldung bei 33,0 Billionen USD oder 228,8% vom Bruttoinlandsprodukt.

Verschuldung/Bruttoinlandsprodukt

Aufgeschlüsselt nach den einzelnen Sektoren ergibt sich für die Verschuldung (Kreditmarktinstrumente) folgendes Bild:

Die Gesamtverschuldung notierte im dritten Quartal 2008 1,4% höher als noch im Vorquartal. Auf Jahresbasis liegt die Veränderung bei 6,2%, dies ist der niedrigste Stand seit dem dritten Quartal 1993 (5,7%). Die Verschuldung außerhalb des Finanzsektors stieg im dritten Quartal 2008 um +1,8% zum Vorquartal und +6,1% zum Vorjahr, dem niedrigsten Stand seit dem dritten Quartal 2001 (+5,9%). Die Jahresrate bietet eine gewisse Vorlauffunktion für das geglättete Wachstum des Bruttoinlandsproduktes. Beides ist in unten stehendem Chart abgebildet.

Aktuell diktiert der Staat (Federal government) das Kreditwachstum; ein fast zehnprozentiger Anstieg zum Vorquartal wie 15,2% auf Jahresbasis zeugen davon.  Erstmals seit Beginn der Datenserie (1952) ist die Veränderungsrate der gesamten privaten Haushalte negativ; ausschlaggebend war  die rückläufige Hypothekenverschuldung.

Jahresrate Verschuldung versus BIP