Diary of a Financier

Bookshelf Update: Top Newsstuffs (January 16-February 12)

In Bookshelf on Sun 12 Feb 2012 at 19:05

It’s been a while. My apologies for the hiatus/lack of Diary maintenance. Here’s some of the top tidbits I’ve read over the past month:

“Grexit”: Here’s How Greece Would Leave The Euro | Willem Buiter

The Alternative Energy Matrix | The Oil Drum

Bait And Switch: California High-Speed Rail to Nowhere | testosteronepit
Rail project 80% covered by Federal government and the rest by Proposition 1A (GO Muni issue). Cost has soared from $35.7B to a range of $98.5-117.6B. Cali is out of money again, needing $3.3B by March 8.

Class III prices slip on strong U.S. milk production | The Country Today

Forget The BRICs, Here’s the Most Exciting Emerging Markets | Bloomberg

Rumors That ECB Will Transfer Greek Bonds To EFSF | Peter Tchir

The Elephant in the Room is Spain, Not Italy | Marshall Auerback

The Income Theme Is Still Intact | David Rosenberg

Here’s Who Gets Clobbered If Greece Defaults | Business Insider

Leverage This | Epicurian Dealmaker
In support of a return to shareholder recourse and the end of limited liability.

Alpha Natural Resources falls 4.7% AH | Seeking Alpha
ANR slashing coal production Kentucky and W. Virginia mines, because of lower demand. Reduces annual production by roughly 4M tons and displaces 320 employees. Cites rising natural gas production affecting coal sales to utilities.

What Lies In Store For The “Cradle That Rocks The World” – A History Lesson In Crisis | ZeroHedge

Entering the Intervention Zone | Bruce Krasting
EURCHF only 44 pips from the SNB lower bound of 1.20. It’s the logical finding currency for buying Eurozone assets like Italian/Spanish debt, so intervention to the upside could send everyone running to cover shorts (and selling PIIGS debt).

Get ready for a Greek spring surprise | MarketWatch
Expects an orderly Greek withdrawal from Euro.

The Coming Tech-led Boom | Wall Street Journal
Led by three factors: big data, smart manufacturing and the wireless revolution.

How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’ | The Indypendent

Cutting Into Muscle: The Record Corporate Margin Juggernaut Has Just Rolled Over | ZeroHedge
I’ve talked a lot about the new growth recipe (repeating margin expansion & inventory restocking), but last 3 quarters have all recorded 8.9% net margins for SPX co’s. No more fat to trim?

Have Some Perspective: Work, Trading Not the Best & Worst of Life | bclund

Gundlach says Ginnie Maes risk haircuts | Bloomberg
I sold my MBB 1/12, because the technicals looked too hot (holds over 20% GNMAs). Glad to hear Jeff agrees, citing refinance risk given the Fed/White House promotion of mortgage market.

Chart o’ the Day: Spanish Unemployment | The Reformed Broker
Something I didn’t know: Spanish unemployment resided over 15% through the late 1980s & ’90s, much of the time above 20%. Makes today’s 23% seem normal.

Obama expanding HAMP | Seeking Alpha
Told you so: changes include expansion of eligibility to borrowers with under 31% equity, rental property owners and Fannie/Freddie if they allow servicers to forgive principal on modifications.

Correlation Nation | Dow Jones Expert
Republicans Demand Block of US IMF Funding To Bail Out Europe | ZeroHedge
Includes updated chart of Fed USD FX Swaps with ECB.

Portugal Reenters Bailout Radar As Traders Realize Greek “Rescue” Model Is Not Feasible Here | ZeroHedge
Due to negative pledges & UK bond law, a Portuguese bailout is impossible unless bailout funds were subordinated (and unsecured).

Japan ‘More Than Hollowing Out’ With First Trade Gap Since 1980 | Bloomberg

The 37th Parallel: Market Anthropology

Greece’s Creditors Have Made ‘Maximum’ Debt-Swap Offer | Bloomberg

Cameron LNG Approved to export | Seeking Alpha
“U.S. DOE authorizes Cameron LNG, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (SRE), to export liquefied natural gas, opening the door wider for U.S. natural gas companies to send their resources overseas. The export permit is only the third awarded in the U.S., and will allow the natural gas distributor to ship up to 1.7 bcf per day of LNG to countries possessing free-trade agreements with the U.S.”

222 Years Of Long-Term Interest Rates | The Big Picture
30-year Treasury rates since 1790.

Why Has the IMF Asked for $500 Billion That it Probably Won’t Get? | naked capitalism
If it were true that ECB will monetize Eurozone debt (via LTRO) as a fix, it has the resources to do that on its own. Christine Legarde’s $500B cash call says that the IMF does not think the ECB will go the distance, and the IMF will need to step up in a meaningful way.

Beach Energy Takeover Seen With Australia Shale 2% of U.S. Value | Bloomberg
US shale oil/gas so hot that companies are turning to Australia for asset acquisitions, where shale sells fo 2% of the price of US sites ($406/acre vs $25,000).

Analog analysis points S&Ps to 1,500 | PeterLBrandt
Using YE2010 as his overlay.

Time to Stop Fearing the Greek CDS Boogeyman | Pragmatic Capitalism
Since CDS are marked-to-market, the ECB should stop worrying about banks’ exposure to short CDS (vis a vis the “negotiated” restructuring of Greek bonds).

Six Sanity Checks For A Seemingly Virtuous VIX | ZeroHedge

Gold vs. Debt Ceiling: What is the Correlation? | The Big Picture

The Rise Of Activist Sovereign Hedge Funds, The “Subordination” Spectre, And The Real “Coercive” Restructuring Threat | ZeroHedge
Hedge funds building “Blocking Stakes” in Greek bonds (GGBs): “If one party managed to accumulate between a quarter and a third of a given series it might be able to block a debt exchange, making it likely that investors would focus on particular bond maturities. Foreign-denominated Greek debt that is subject to English law is also thought to be particularly targeted by vulture funds.”

–Romeo

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