Global Investing

from MacroScope:

Should central banks now sell gold?

July 5, 2010

Central banks in debt-strapped countries have a golden opportunity ahead of them, if you will excuse the pun, to help their countries' finances by selling their yellow metal holdings.

Scrambling for debt

May 25, 2010

Developing countries must be eyeing with alarm the vast amounts of bonds that the euro zone and the United States are planning to sell this year and for years to come. Having borrowed large sums, starting a couple of years back to fund the bailout of  U.S. and European banks, developed economies must now raise the cash to repay the holders of those old bonds  – in market parlance, they need to roll over the debt.

Act now or forever hold your (b)-piece, Obama

February 11, 2010
It appears the penny has finally dropped in Washington. Bank bailout watchdog Elizabeth Warren, chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, has unveiled a report that outlines the shocking state of the U.S. commercial mortgage sector, which left unaided could spark “economic damage that could touch the lives of nearly every American”. The Havard Law School Professor and her panel colleagues are talking the kind of apocalyptic language that may just shake the White House and its star policy advisers into facing problems we have now rather simply obsess about those we may or may not encounter in the future. The global banking system may well need some kind of Volcker-esque guidelines to curb the next generation of excessive risk-takers but Obama is putting the cart before the horse in his efforts to haul the economy back on track. Certainly, his and the previous administration has toiled long and hard to stabilise the U.S. housing market, propping up Fannie and Freddie and their dysfunctional offspring, but the subprime mess has distracted attentions from the toxic commercial market, where the clean-up task is no less important. Warren reckons there is about $1.4 trillion worth of outstanding commercial real estate loans in the U.S that will need to be refinanced before 2014, and about half of them are already “underwater,” an industry term that refers to loans larger than the property’s current value. But bank brains are wasting too much time figuring out how the so-called “Volcker rule” might affect their operations and future profitability, instead of getting their arms around underwater real estate loans that could break their institutions in two long before the anti-risk measures even take hold. Obama’s premature challenge to their investment autonomy, which he says cultivated the collapse of banks like Lehmans, is like suturing a papercut while your jugular gapes wide open. Maybe now, as Warren’s report hammers home the threat posed by unperforming commercial real estate debt, Obama will give Wall Street a chance to refocus on the “now” and worry about “tomorrow”, tomorrow.

It appears the penny has finally dropped in Washington.

A black swan in the desert

November 26, 2009

Just when investors were settling down to lock in a few of the year’s profits and put their feet up for the end of the year holidays, a black swan has come waddling out of the desert to put everything on edge.

from DealZone:

Cocos – credit market classics?

November 10, 2009

 "Cocos" has become the user-friendly name for a new type of hybrid bond created to help UK bank Lloyds raise money from investors to break away from a government insurance scheme for bad loans.

from John Irish:

Mid-East business leaders to discuss economic recovery

October 25, 2009

Starting Monday, Reuters is inviting  business leaders from various sectors in Dubai, Riyadh and Cairo to discuss key challenges facing them in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and the lessons they have learnt.

Addicted to Credit

October 23, 2009

The Federal Reserve’s expansionist monetary policies are the equivalent of giving an alcoholic another drink or the heroin addict another fix, according to Dr Marc Faber, also known as Dr Doom, and a fierce critic of Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke.

But what does Argentina’s presidential couple think?

October 7, 2009

Markets are waiting for Argentine President Cristina Fernandez and her husband and predecessor ex-President Nestor Kirchner to show they support plans for Argentina to return to international credit markets after a long absence.  Fernandez and Kirchner are known as the presidential couple and no major Argentine policy move can go forward without their stamp of approval.  Decision making is seen as almost entirely concentrated in them.

Austrian subprime woes turn into political hot potato

July 27, 2009

The Austrian government debt agency’s two-year old foray into subprime investments has turned into a political hot potato and sparked an increasingly heated debate between the Social Democrats and conservatives, caught in an uneasy but coalition government without viable alternative.

Global government-backed bonds surging

January 30, 2009

Government-backed lending programs around the world have sparked a revival in financial and corporate borrowing — for now. Worldwide sales of corporate bonds rose to $251 billion in January, the highest level since May 2008, marking the first signs of a thaw after a long global capital markets winter. The following are the global sales totals and a list of the biggest borrowers, according to Thomson Reuters data.