Uncategorized Archive

Caterpillar report – what export economies look like

Caterpillar Sees ‘Definite Threat’ of US Recession (CNBC)Caterpillar’s fourth-quarter earnings rose more than 10 percent, helped by strong sales to mining, energy and construction customers outside the United States, but the company warned it sees a recession as a “definite threat” to the U.S. economy. The Peoria, Ill. company, which is often ...Read More

Falling default credit crisis

The jobless recovery morphed into the full employment recession characterized by falling credit defaults: Global loan defaults down in 2007 but expected to rise in 2008 (Thomson Financial) Twenty issuers defaulted on 2.9 bln usd in syndicated bank loans in 2007, down from 32 issuers and 6.3 bln usd in loans in ...Read More


Not to mention my bent is inflation and growth are, at best, very weak functions of interest rates, and they work mostly through the cost side, but that’s another story – see ‘MANDATORY READINGS‘. ECB’s Weber Says Interest Rates ‘Accommodative’, Dismisses Cut Bets by John Fraher and Andreas Scholz (Bloomberg) European Central ...Read More

Mortgage applications soar

Home loan demand surges to near four-year high By Julie Haviv (Reuters) U.S. mortgage applications surged last week, with demand hitting its highest in nearly four years as interest rates plunged, an industry group said on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both ...Read More

Indexing French wages

A bit of structural inflation being introduced: Sarkozy Plans to Index Civil Servants’ Salaries to Inflation by Helene Fouquet and Francois de Beaupuy (Bloomberg) French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he’d index civil servants’ salaries to inflation and make good on unpaid overtime hours to improve their purchasing power. “It’s a fact that ...Read More

Countrywide fundings up

Another sign of a possible October/November bottom: Countrywide fundings inch higher CALABASAS, Calif. (AP) – Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation’s largest mortgage lender, said Wednesday its December loan fundings rose 1 percent from November and were ahead of internal forecasts. The stock, which lost nearly a third of its value on Tuesday ...Read More

Re: banking system proposal

Dear Philip, Yes, as in my previous posts, bank stability is all about credible deposit insurance. I would go further, and have all regulated, member banks, be able to fund via an open line to the BOE at the BOE target rate. That would eliminate the interbank market entirely, and let all ...Read More

A very British bubble for Mr Brown

A very British bubble for Mr Brown Leader Sunday December 16 2007 The Observer The buzz words in the world of finance these days are ‘moral hazard’. That is economist-speak for what happens when people who have engaged in risky business and fallen foul of market forces are let off the hook. ...Read More

It’s been hard for me to get in sync with markets where higher energy prices mean lower interest rates!

♥ ...Read More

AMT tax reduction passes

Looks like it adds about $50 billion to 2008 after tax incomes. Demand can use all the help it can get right now! Congress Gives AMT Relief For 20 Million Taxpayers Congress acted in its final hours Wednesday to block growth of the alternative minimum tax, putting off an economic hardship affecting ...Read More