Diary of a Financier

Top Newsstuffs (October 8-14)

In Bookshelf on Sun 14 Oct 2012 at 07:18

Black & white & read all over…

Consumer Confidence soars to highest level since September 2007, biggest beat since 2005 | Joe LaVorgna (Deutsche Bank)
UMichigan survey beat expectations by 5 standard deviations: 83.1 actual v 77.9 expected, still below 85-100 range from 2003-06.
[Another bullish spike in economic data, although I’m not a fan of surveys. #Optimism]

Google’s driverless car draws political power | The Wall Street Journal
GOOG secretly had autonomous, robot-driven cars clock >100k miles in 2010. Most states neither prohibit or permit such technology, but GOOG is seeking nationwide legalization of the vehicles by getting state legislatures into test drives.

Rail Traffic Weekly: Back down to trend growth overall; prior iron/steel spike erased | Association of American Railroads (AAR)
Carloads -2.6% and Intermodal +3.7 (cumulative ytd volume); -6.3 and +3.8 respectively (vs. this week last year).
10 of 20 carload groups posted gains: Petroleum products +46.1%, farm products +30.0 & lumber +11.2; coal -18.1, iron/steel scrap -17.9 & waste -11.5.
[Iron/steel were +16.6% out of nowhere last week, and the sector rallied in response; return to -17.9% growth this week isn’t as bad as it looks since it’d been the normal ytd run rate.]

Proliferation of Paid-In-Kind (PIK) notes signals frothy credit markets | Bloomberg
PIK notes have the option of paying bondholders’ interest in the form of additional bonds (as opposed to cash). PIK issuance of $2.1B in the last 30-days is more than 1/3rd of 2012 ytd deals, and “You only hear about PIK bonds when the high-yield markets are really frothy.”

US total debt hits lowest level since 2006 | Bloomberg
Including government, business & household borrowing, total US Debt/GDP is down to 3.29x (lowest since 2006) from a high of 3.59 in 2008. Private sector borrowing has fallen $4T to $40.2T–somewhat offset by proliferation in public debt.

Existing home Shadow Inventory declined 10% yoy (July 2012) | CoreLogic
In July, Shadow Housing Inventory -10.2% y/y to 2.3M units (a 6 month supply & back down to March 2009 levels). Responsible for the decline, distressed sales (short sales + REO) have more than offset an increase in serious delinquencies (90+ days), but these such sales have begun to slow in recent months.

Places to see (before they’re gone) | jet pac
10 travel/vacation destinations nearing extinction: Galapagos Islands, Maldives, Great Barrier Reef, Venice, Dead Sea, The Alps, Madagascar, Congo Basin, Glacier National Park & Taj Mahal.

Interview: The world according to Ralph Acampora (Parts 1-3) | JC Parets (All Star Charts)
Mr. Acampora is a pioneer of technical analysis and co-founder of Market Technician’s Association (MTA).

Video: Bill O’Reilly v. Jon Stewart mock debate | Rumble 2012
Disappointing to see Mr. Stewart’s ideology slip more toward defending the status quo (an Obama Presidency) than constructive reform. Maybe it’s his election year objective–a waste of a good soapbox.


  1. […] who came out with conviction-enough 4 years ago to declare this a new, secular bull market.  (He doubled-down on that call in 2012 too.)  While maintaining that secular bull thesis, Mr. Acampora recently […]

  2. […] what this could do for grocery shopping, deliveries, business inventories, etc. Previously: Google's driverless cars] #Disruptive technology $AMZN $EBAY […]


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