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The defining book for the current

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Gordon T Long

RESEARCH ANALYTICS for the GLOBAL MACRO

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Sultans of Swap: Smoking Guns!

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Sultans of Swap: The Sting!

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Sultans of Swap: The Get Away!

 

 

ALSO

SULTANS OF SWAP: Explaining $605 Trillion in Derivatives!

 

SULTANS OF SWAP: Fearing the Gearing!

 

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SULTANS OF SWAP: Gold Swaps Signal the Roadmap Ahead

 

SLIDE REFERENCE PAGE: Shadow Banking

 

The news rocked the global gold market when an almost obscure line item in the back of a 216 page document released by an equally obscure organization was recently unearthed. Thrust into the unwanted glare of the spotlight, the little publicized Bank of International Settlements (BIS) is discovered to have accepted 349 metric tons of gold in a $14B swap. Why? With whom? For what duration? How long has this been going on? This raises many questions and as usual with all $617T of murky unregulated swaps, we are given zero answers. It is none of our business!

Considering the US taxpayer is bearing the burden of $13T in lending, spending and guarantees for the financial crisis, and an additional $600B of swaps from the US Federal Reserve to stem the European Sovereign Debt crisis, some feel that more transparency is merited. It is particularly disconcerting, since the crisis was a direct result of unsound banking practices and possibly even felonious behavior. The arrogance and lack of public accountability of the entire banking industry blatantly demonstrates why gold manipulation, which came to the fore in recent CFTC hearings, has been able to operate so effectively for so long. It operates above the law or more specifically above sovereign law in the un-policed off-shore, off-balance sheet zone of international waters.

Since President Richard Nixon took the US off the Gold standard in 1971, transparency regarding anything to do with gold sales, leasing, storage or swaps is as tightly guarded by governments as the unaudited gold holdings of Fort Knox. Before we delve into answering what this swap may be all about and what it possibly means to gold investors, we need to start with the most obvious question and one that few seem to ask. Who is this Bank of International Settlements and who controls it?

READ MORE

 

 

EXTEND & PRETEND: Stage I Comes

to an End!


The Dog Ate my Report Card

 

Both came to an end at the same time: the administration’s policy to Extend & Pretend has run out of time as has the patience of the US electorate with the government’s Keynesian economic policy responses. Desperate last gasp attempts are to be fully expected, but any chance of success is rapidly diminishing.

Before we can identify what needs to be done, what the administration is likely to do and how we can preserve and protect our wealth through it, we need to first determine where we are going wrong. Surprisingly, no one has assessed the results of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act 2009 (ARRA) which was this administration’s cornerstone program to place the US back on the post financial crisis road to recovery.

We can safely conclude either:

1-    The administration completely under estimated the extent of the economic crisis, even though we were well into it when the ARRA was introduced.

2-    The administration was unable to secure the actually required stimulus amount which was likely four to five times that approved.

3-    The administration failed to implement the program in a timely manner.

4-    The administration failed to diagnose the problem correctly and that in fact it is a structural problem versus a cyclical and liquidity problem, as they still insist it to be.

I personally believe it is all four of the above.

READ MORE

 

POPULAR ARTICLES:

SULTANS OF SWAP: BP Potentially More Devastating then Lehman!

 

EXTEND & PRETEND - Manufacturing a Minsky Melt-Up

 

EXTEND & PRETEND: A Guide to the Road Ahead


READER ROADMAP -  2010 TIPPING POINTS aid to positioning COMMENTARY

 

 

 

1

         

SOVEREIGN DEBT PIIGS

EU BANKING CRISIS
BOND BUBBLE

STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT

CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE
BANKING CRISIS II
RISK REVERSAL

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

CREDIT CONTRACTION II

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE - PHASE II
EXPIRATION FINANCIAL CRISIS PROGRAM
US FISCAL IMBALANCES
PENSION CRISIS
CHINA BUBBLE

TODAY'S TIPPING POINTS UPDATE

Last Update: 07/24/2010 03:38 AM

RED ALERT

AMBER ALERT

ACTIVITY

MONITOR

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POSTS:   FRIDAY 07-23-10

 

 

GEO-POLITICAL TENSIONS - ISRAEL / KOREA / IRAN

 

IRAN

Suggestions of Iran nuclear sabotage  FT

 

ISRAEL

 

KOREA 

U.S. Pinpoints Where Torpedo That Sank the Cheonan Was Made Chosun

 

SOVEREIGN DEBT & CREDIT CRISIS

 

Court looks at ‘crown guarantee’ for BT  FT

Immediate spending cuts and tax rises urged for industrialised world

Obama Weighs Austerity With U.K. Stiff Upper Lip Gilbert

 

Endgame for the Euro? Levy

Without Major Restructuring, The Eurozone is Doomed

Swiss endure safe-haven agony from euro flight Pritchard

 

GREECE

Greece's big debt denial Fortune

 

SPAIN / PORTUGAL

Spain halts works projects worth €6.4bn  FT

 

FRANCE

 

GERMANY

 

ITALY

 

UK

 Economy set for triple whammy, admits Bank chief Independent

U.K. Economy Grows More Than Expected  WSJ

 

JAPAN

Many in Japan Are Outsourcing Themselves NYT

CHINA

 

USA

Leading indicators drop in June as recovery slows AP Conference Board





 
 

 

EU BANKING CRISIS

 

Morgan Stanley Warns- The Euro Stress Tests Could Still Flop, And The Euro Is Headed Back To Its Lows  BI

The presumption is that the stress tests are guaranteed to be a success. No surprises.

Stephen Hull at Morgan Stanley is not convinced, not because any bank will fail, but because the stress tests themselves look like a joke:

We continue to believe that the correction in EUR/USD from
1.19 to 1.30 is probably complete and that the euro will revisit
the year’s lows in the second half of 2010. The results of the
stress tests will be known tomorrow, and it seems likely to us
that there is plenty of scope for disappointment, particularly
with respect to their openness and whether they are stringent
enough. With this in mind, it is interesting to observe that when
a similar exercise was done in the US, bank stocks peaked in
the near term on the announcement of the tests. Obviously, if
the European banking system comes under more pressure in
coming weeks, this is likely to hinder the euro.
government bonds again.

chart

 

BOND BUBBLEBOND BUBBLE/b>

 


SSTATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT


Decline in smoking means decline in state revenue Stateline


CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE

 

Macro Monitor: Estonia Danske

 

HUNGARY

Hungary PM rejects new IMF deal and austerity  FT

 

BANKING CRISIS II

 

Profit Patch- Cutting Reserves  WSJ
First Horizon National and other banks, citing improving credit conditions, are returning to profitability by reducing their reserves for loan losses.

 

DODD FRANK ACT

 SEC suspends rule requiring credit agency signoff AP
G&M:
“Ford Motor Co.’s financing arm was forced to delay a sale of bonds backed by automobile loans because it couldn’t find a rating agency willing to grade its securities.”

RATING AGENCIES

China plots a move into credit ratings Independent

Dagong Global Credit Rating, which already has a 25 per cent share of the domestic market, is becoming an increasingly aggressive international player. 

China rating agency condemns rivals FT

“The financial crisis was caused because rating agencies didn’t properly disclose risk and this brought the entire US financial system to the verge of collapse, causing huge damage to the US and its strategic interests”

SEC Breaks Impasse With Rating Firms   WSJ

The SEC said it would temporarily allow bond sales to go ahead without credit ratings in deal documents, a move that would end an effective stalemate between ratings firms and issuers.

 

RISK REVERSAL

 

 

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

 

 

RRESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE - PHASE II

 

Existing-Home Sales Slow in June NAR 

Mortgage rates hit new record low  

Housing Market Stumbles WSJ

Last month, nearly 39,000 borrowers received government-backed loan modifications, but more than 90,000 borrowers fell out of the program, 

More News To Be Swept Under The Rug- Housing Inventory Jumps From 8.3 Months To 8.9 Months, Highest Since August 2009  ZH

One of the most conveniently ignored data points from today's NAR report, is that the inventory of existing homes available for sale rose to 3.99 million, representing an 8.9 month supply at the current sales pace. This is up from 8.3 months in May, and is the worst number since August 2009, when it was at 9.2 months. Of course, if one adds the shadow housing inventory estimated by Morgan Stanely at around 5 million, and we get shadow inventory of just under two years. Obviously this is deflationary as it kills the pricing power of any household trying to sell their home. And in other news, the market now spikes on deflation concerns.

 

 

 Existing Home Inventory Increases 4.7% Year-Over-Year


Click on graph for larger image in new window.

Earlier the NAR released the existing home sales data for June; here are a couple more graphs ...

The first graph shows the year-over-year (YoY) change in reported existing home inventory and months-of-supply. Inventory is not seasonally adjusted, so it really helps to look at the YoY change.

Inventory increased 4.7% YoY in June. This is the third consecutive month of a year-over-year increases in inventory, and this is the largest YoY increase since early 2008.

This increase in inventory is especially bad news because the reported inventory is already historically very high, and the 8.9 months of supply in June is well above normal.

The months-of-supply will jump in July as sales collapse - probably to double digits - and a double digit months-of-supply would be a really bad sign for house prices ...



The second graph shows NSA monthly existing home sales for 2005 through 2010 (see Red columns for 2010).

Sales (NSA) in June 2010 were 8.3% higher than in June 2009, and also higher than in June 2008.

With the expiration of the tax credit, I expect to see existing home sales below last year starting in July. In fact I expect sales in July to be well below last year, and probably the lowest since 1997 (or so).

This was another a weak report. Sales were slightly above expectations (5.37 million at a seasonally adjusted annual rate vs. expectations of 5.3 million), but the YoY increase in inventory and the increase in months-of-supply are the real stories.

If months-of-supply increases sharply as I expect, then there will be additional downward pressure on house prices.

EXPIRATION FINANCIAL CRISIS PROGRAM/font>

 

 

PENSION & ENTITLEMENTS CRISIS


The Real Nightmare In U.S. Debt May Be Hidden In Entitlements>  BI

From Michael Cembalest of JPMorgan, via Paul Kedrosky:

TTheThe unfunded entitlements on the U.S. are simply staggering, over $60 trillion according to Cembalest's report. It makes Europe look positively austere (though the size of their economies are smaller, they still appear to be in better shape).

US undfunded entitlements

BT’s pension liability may hit £22.8bn   FT
Court looks at ‘crown guarantee’ for BT  FT

CHRONIC UNEMPLOYMENT

 

Jobless Claims in U.S. Increase More Than Economists Forecast to 464,000 BL DOL

GOVERNMENT BACKSTOP INSURANCE

&nbs 

Time for true debate on Fannie and Freddie

Mortgage Securities It Holds Pose Sticky Problem for Fed NYT

 

CORPORATE BANKRUPTCIES

 

BBP - British Petroleum

 

Did BP Keep Drilling Even Though It Had Lost Control of the Oil Well Much Earlier

I'm NOT saying - and I never had said - that the well has been leaking since February. I AM asking - and government investigators are ALSO asking - whether containment problems starting months ago are related to the April blow out./div>

 

BiBig Storm to Hit Gulf of Mexico ... All Oil Relief Operations Will Be Suspended ... Cap Will Stay On, Unattended  ZH

MAP OF THE DAY- What Happens When The Tropical Storm Bonnie Hits The Oil Spill  BI

Tropical Depression Three is going to become Tropical Storm Bonnie sometime today. And guess where it's headed.

BP has already halted relief well drilling and evacuated all non-critical vessels from the area -- and may soon evacuate everyone from the area. The well is capped for now and hopefully won't pop open or crack any more leaks during the delay.

Here's a map of where the storm's heading from NOAA (wi(with the oil spill dropped on top):

motdoil

BP Spill Tars Hackett's Anadarko Deepwater Drilling Success  BL
Investigators Drill In on BP's Cost Concerns on Doomed Gulf Rig  BL
Probe Extends to BP Managers  WSJ
Two managers from BP have been named as subjects of a federal investigation into the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.


 

OTHER TIPPING POINT CATEGORIES NOT LISTED ABOVEng>

FLASH CRASH - HFT - DARK POOLS

 

MARKET WARNINGS

S&P 500 Turns Back at the 50-Day...Again BeSpoke

For the fourth time since the 'flash crash' in early May, the S&P 500 has tried and failed to rally significantly above its 50-day moving average.  First, it was debt concerns out of Europe (5/13).  Then it was the negative reversal following China's statement to let the yuan appreciate (6/21).  Then it was weak earnings reports from the Financials and a weak Michigan Confidence report (7/16).  Today, it was Bernanke's testimony that preceded the sell-off.  Bulls had been hoping that strong earnings would be the catalyst to take the S&P 500 to the other side of its 50-day, but so far the bears (and Bernanke) are having none of it.

 
 

11th Sequential (And Massive) Equity Outflow Reignites Speculation Market Terminally Broken  ZH

ICI reports that the week ended July 14 saw another massive outflow from domestic equity mutual funds of $3.2 billion, bringing the July total to $7.3 billion, and year-to-date equity outflows to a stunning $37.5 billion. Yet neither liquidations, nor redemptions, nor mutual fund capitulation, nor lack of liquidity, nor lack of human traders, nor rumors that it is all one big scam, can tame the market's most recent bout of irrational exuberance: in a time when equity funds had to redeem over $7 billion in stocks, the stock market surged by 90 points! Just like last week, despite huge order blocks of selling pressure, the fact that volume is so light and liquidity so tight, the market succeeds in ramping ever higher, now that the few remaining carbon-based market participants have reverse engineered the key algo "predictive" frontrunning mechanisms, and manage to fool them that there is bid side interest, into which all domestic equity mutual funds manage to sell en masse. Soon enough there will be little left to sell, which will, paradoxically cause a much overdue market crash. (It is a bizarro market for a reason). And even as equity mutual funds are running on fumes (explains Bill Miller's call of desperation yesterday), all the money in the world continues to rush into credit funds: the past week saw inflows into every single bond category, with a total of $5.8 billion going into all taxable bond funds. We are gratified that behind the fake equity facade of "alliswellishness", everyone is pulling their money out of stocks with an increased sense of urgency. Retail has had it with this pathetic shitshow of a market: the computer can front run each other for all anyone cares. We are fairly confident that the Obama administration will not have a soft spot in its heart to bail out the quant community... unless, of course, Rahm Emanuel discovers some way to unionize algorithms and give them voting rights.

 

GOLD MANIPULATION

 

 

VIDEO TO WATCH

 

 

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
The President should stop talking and acting on anything else – not the deficit, not energy, not the environment, not immigration, not implementing the health care law, not education. He should make the whole upcoming mid-term election a national referendum on putting Americans back to work, and his jobs bill. But none of this is happening.

Robert Reich
Former Democratic Secretary of Labor
We're in a One-and-a-Half Dip Recession Reich

The U.S. economy continues to face the predictable effects of credit obligations that quite simply exceed the cash flows available to service them, coupled with the predictable shift away from the consumption patterns that produced these obligations. The misguided response of our policy makers has been to defend bondholders at all costs, using public funds to make sure that lenders get 100 cents on the dollar, plus interest, while at the same time desperately trying to prod consumers back to their former patterns of overconsumption. These policies are designed to preserve exactly the reckless and unsustainable behavior that caused the recent downturn. They are likely to fail because the strategy is absurd. The ultimate outcome, which will be forced upon us eventually if we do not pursue it deliberately, will be the eventual restructuring of debt obligations and a gradual shift in the profile of U.S. economic activity toward greater saving – either to finance exploding government deficits, or preferably, to finance an expansion in productive investment, research and development, and capital accumulation.

From my perspective, bolder approaches are required. Debt that cannot be serviced should be restructured, rather than socializing the losses of reckless private decision-making. We will inevitably have a large "stimulus" package, but it will be essential to craft it in a way that emphasizes incentives to create and accumulate productive capital, both private and public.

On the tax side, we also have options. There are far more possibilities than simply preserving or discarding the Bush tax cuts. Frankly, I was never a fan of those cuts, which added more variation, not less, in tax rates across various forms of income. Ideally, efficient tax systems should feature flat rates and very broad bases. You define income in a very wide manner, and you tax it all at the same rate. You introduce a progressive tax structure by creating large exclusions from taxes at low income levels, so that people at lower income scales pay no tax at all. In my view, the same thing should be done with Social Security – drop the rate substantially, but include all income – wage and non-wage. Three-quarters of Americans pay more in payroll taxes than in income taxes. By reducing the wedge between the hourly amount earned by employees and the hourly cost paid by employers, this strategy would create immediate incentives for employment. Moreover, it would raise more revenue because at present, even Warren Buffett only pays Social Security taxes on the first $106,800 of income. Combining a flatter income tax with a flatter and broader payroll tax would stimulate growth, employment, and greater economic efficiency without compromising total revenues.

JOHN HUSSMAN - Hussman: Here's Why The Market Is NOT Cheap And You Should Start Saving

 
Harvard economics professor Robert Barro says the real myth is the Keynesian multiplier, which is supposed to convert a fiscal stimulus into a significantly larger boost to aggregate demand. On the contrary, supersized deficits are denting business confidence, not least by implying higher future taxes.

 


ZH - Zero Hedge - Business Insider, WSJ - Wall Street Journal, BL - Bloomberg, FT - Financial Times

 

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Gordon T Long is not a registered advisor and does not give investment advice. His comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. While he believes his statements to be true, they always depend on the reliability of his own credible sources. Of course, he recommends that you consult with a qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction, before making any investment decisions, and barring that, we encourage you confirm the facts on your own before making important investment commitments.

 

© Copyright 2010 Gordon T Long. The information herein was obtained from sources which Mr. Long believes reliable, but he does not guarantee its accuracy. None of the information, advertisements, website links, or any opinions expressed constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any securities or commodities. Please note that Mr. Long may already have invested or may from time to time invest in securities that are recommended or otherwise covered on this website. Mr. Long does not intend to disclose the extent of any current holdings or future transactions with respect to any particular security. You should consider this possibility before investing in any security based upon statements and information contained in any report, post, comment or recommendation you receive from him.

 

         

TODAY'S NEWS

FRIDAY

07-23-10

JULY
S M T W T F S
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4 5 6 7 8 9 10
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25 26 27 28 29 30 31

ARCHIVAL

SOVEREIGN DEBT PIIGS

EU BANKING CRISIS
BOND BUBBLE

STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT

CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE
BANKING CRISIS II
RISK REVERSAL

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

CREDIT CONTRACTION II

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE - PHASE II
EXPIRATION FINANCIAL CRISIS PROGRAM
US FISCAL IMBALANCES
PENSION CRISIS
CHINA BUBBLE
CHRONIC UNEMPLOYMENT
INTEREST PAYMENTS
US PUBLIC POLICY MISCUES
JAPAN DEBT DEFLATION SPIRAL
US RESERVE CURRENCY.
GOVERNMENT BACKSTOP INSURANCE
SHRINKING REVENUE GROWTH RATE
FINANCE & INSURANCE WRITE-DOWNS
RETAIL SALES
CORPORATE BANKRUPTCIES
US DOLLAR WEAKNESS
GLOBAL OUTPUT GAP
CONFIDENCE - SOCIAL UNREST
ENTITLEMENT CRISIS
IRAN NUCLEAR THREAT
OIL PRICE PRESSURES
FOOD PRICE PRESSURES
US STOCK MARKET VALUATIONS
PANDEMIC
US$ RESERVE CURRENCY
TERRORIST EVENT
NATURAL DISASTER

 

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Gordon T Long is not a registered advisor and does not give investment advice. His comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. While he believes his statements to be true, they always depend on the reliability of his own credible sources. Of course, we recommend that you consult with a qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction, before making any investment decisions, and barring that, we encourage you confirm the facts on your own before making important investment commitments.

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© Copyright 2010, Gordon T Long. The information herein was obtained from sources which the Gordon T Long. believes reliable, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. None of the information, advertisements, website links, or any opinions expressed constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any securities or commodities. Please note that the Gordon T Long. or its principals may already have invested or may from time to time invest in securities that are recommended or otherwise covered on this website. Gordon T Long does not intend to disclose the extent of any current holdings or future transactions with respect to any particular security. You should consider this possibility before investing in any security based upon statements and information contained in any report, post, comment or recommendation you receive from us.