Diary of a Financier

Top Newsstuffs (October 1-7)

In Bookshelf on Sun 7 Oct 2012 at 07:27

Get yours, on newsstands now…

That Money on the Sidelines Is “All In” | ZeroHedge
Net long interest in S&P 500 E-mini Futures (ES/) is at its highest level since December 2008, after which SPX crashed 25%.

Rail Traffic Weekly: A Little Underlying Improvement | Association of American Railroads (AAR)
Carloads -2.5% and Intermodal +3.6 (cumulative ytd volume); -3.7 and +2.5 respectively (vs. this week last year).
14 of 20 carload groups posted gains: Petroleum products +59.4%, Iron steel/scrap +16.6 & Stone/sand/gravel +14.7; Metallic ores -19.6%, Coal -17.3 & Waste -11.3.

Photograph of the Year Contest (2012) | National Geographic Traveler
Winner & runners-up among more than 12,000 entries from 6,615 photographers in 152 countries around the globe.

Grid Parity: Why Solar Power Is Failing | AllianceBernstein
The cost of solar is not competitive with other sources of electricity & vendors keep delaying their grid parity projections. Currently, solar costs 4x the average retail price of US electricity ($375/Mwh to justify investment without subsidy), and that’s before the costs of backup storage (+25%) & real estate.

Gap Between College Tuition & Income Hits Record Levels | Sober Look
Not only is the spread between average tuition & disposable income per capita at historic wides, but there’s been an unprecedented spike in delinquencies as student debt is displacing the deleveraging gains made in auto & credit card debt (as a % of income).

11 months of QEternity Have Already Been Priced-In | David Rosenberg (Gluskin Sheff)
SPX has outperformed the Fed balance sheet by 220 points since July, translating to market expectation for 11 months of QE3 (20 SPX pts= $40B QE).

Sovereign Defaults: Spot The Odd One Out (Greece) | ZeroHedge
Comparing recent sovereign defaults, Argentina & Iceland quickly achieved GDP growth… but not the Greek PSI–a soft restructuring/bailout, not a hard default.

Equity sentiment barely lifted off record low | Merrill Lynch
Sell Side Consensus Contrary Indicator shows that 44.4% (v. July’s record low 43.9%) of strategists are bullish on equities.

Ahead Of Major October Redemptions, Spanish Treasury Cash Slides To Two Year Low | ZeroHedge
Banco de España says Spain has only €19B in cash left (post-Lehman low was €16.3B 8/2009). Treasury is burning ~€4B/mo, but there’s a substantial €15B net bond redemption in October, so Spanish yield curve will invert & Mariano Rajoy will have to request a bailout or face replacement a la Silvio Berlusconi (Italy).

The economics of video games | The Washington Post
Videogame creators consulting economists to manage complex virtual realities: “this is an economy that has activity equal to a small country in real life, there’s nothing ‘virtual’ about this world.”

Global Purchasing Managers Index (September 2012): Global Improvement, Albeit Still Contracting | Business Insider
Ending a slide that began in May, most of Asia (including China) still report contraction, but at a decelerating pace. US PMI is still expanding (51.1).


  1. […] Top applicants: Photograph of the Year Contest (2013) | National Geographic Early frontrunners as submissions are still being accepted until 11/30, before finalists are selected. [Previously: 2012 winners] […]


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