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Helocs and refis are dead..consumer drive dead

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Feb 5, 2008 5:03 pm

For the 34 million households who took money out of their homes over the last four years by refinancing or borrowing against their equity — roughly one-third of the nation — the savings rate was running at a negative 13 percent in the middle of 2006, according to Moody’s That means they were borrowing heavily against their assets to finance their day-to-day lives. 

Real estate values have plumeted, lenders have tightened, solvency is an issue for all levels of finance. Line of credit on home equity are now dead..and so it this consumer driven "growth economy".   We have been in a technical recession since 1999 on the macro (dollar value level).  Where does the growth come from now? What is left for the feds and the economic powers to pump into the system to keep this facade going?  That question scares me.   M
Feb 6, 2008 1:49 am

The Fed is running out of levers to pull. Maybe the Chinese will help us out by devaluing the yuan vs. the dollar, buy some mortgage CDO’s/SIV’s, or maybe just maybe their sovereign wealth fund will bail-out the bond insurers.

  Uh huh, yeah right...
Feb 6, 2008 3:17 pm

MC - Due to your message of hope & optimism, I’m planning on writing you in for President in Nov. You know, when the stock market will be back above $13,000.

Feb 6, 2008 7:36 pm

will get through this credit crunch just as we’ve gotten through ever other crisis. we seem to have a major crisis every 3 years or so

Feb 6, 2008 8:23 pm

 Brace for the possibilitiy of 5-8 P/E ratios due to this "credit crunch"

Feb 6, 2008 8:46 pm

Feb 6, 2008 9:08 pm

Yeah…I think the  6.7 PE ratio we had in 1980 was hilarious!!

Feb 6, 2008 9:50 pm

have a little faith MC! What about the ingenuity/productivity of the American worker? what about tech advances? you continue to sound like these clients that think “we’re all going down…just you wait”. PLEASE

Feb 6, 2008 10:01 pm

Yeah…I think the  6.7 PE ratio we had in 1980 was hilarious!!

  ...yeah...interest rates are exactly what they were in 1980...
Feb 6, 2008 10:21 pm

I’m glad you understand. This situation would be recoverable for the near term if we had high interest rates. Lil’ Ben has a few more cuts left… and then?

Feb 7, 2008 12:02 am

I remain unconvinced.  Why don’t we just let hindsight settle this?  Pick a number for the S&P 12 months from now and I’ll pick one.  In one year, we’ll see who was closer, OK?

Feb 7, 2008 12:54 am

I remain unconvinced.  Why don’t we just let hindsight settle this?  Pick a number for the S&P 12 months from now and I’ll pick one.  In one year, we’ll see who was closer, OK?

  Can we pick negative numbers?
Feb 7, 2008 1:47 am

On a separate note, I just read that former Fed Chief Volker is endorsing Obama.

Feb 7, 2008 4:22 am

Dob, sure you can, but I was thinking more like ending index values rather than returns…

Feb 7, 2008 4:49 pm

The numbers guessing game is an impossible one to peg.  I’ve never made a guess other than saying Bull or Bear as there are too many variables to factor in.   In a 12 month period, the dollar could fall significantly, giving us a decent dow and snp number, the war could be escalated to a new level manipulating the markets.  The list goes on and on.  But the status of the economy is dire without a total change in fundamentals that cannot occur without a crash.

   Even the feds are looking for a total market reset.  D. Lockhart said today :"I see the U.S. markets headed toward a "new normal," not a return to normal."   That is a profound statement coming from Lockhart, a total reorganization of economic reality, and a transformation in our way of thinking about, and ordering, life in general, a fundamental change in our lifestyle.   I am expecting the big bear to continue as I have for a while now.   Agree or disagree, it is just my opinion.   MC
Feb 7, 2008 5:27 pm


Feb 7, 2008 5:42 pm


Feb 7, 2008 5:43 pm


I think MC is saying exactly what you are... WAR would be a stimulous for many industries, and the falling dollar makes the market numbers "look" good, even though they are not.  These are 2 of many econonomic stimulous that may be used by the powers that be to keep things is just that we do not know when, and to what extent.     I do know the $150 billion dollar stimulous plan  (printing money from nowhere) will lower the dollar and pump the market to a brief bear rally.  After the feds have no more rate cuts,they may continually feed us funny money. This is why I cannot predict a number fo the S & P 1 year from now, anyone who can and get it right needs to call BEN right now.    So, you have a number in mind??    
Feb 7, 2008 6:39 pm
The falling dollar is the end game trap .  It will stimulate manufacturing and exports...some would argue.  In the end, it could be hyper-inflationary.  What good is that if it takes $12 to buy a gallon of milk?  The danger it the feds and treasury can control this one of many economic stimulis.  The dollar has been shrinkng for the last 7 years, at an alarming rate.   As war as my was ecsalation comment. The current war in the middle east has been costing about $1,000,000,000 a day.  That has been stimulating our Raytheon, Haliburton, etc, appearing for us to look like we have been Bullish since late 02. Now please look at the dollar index chart:   Where is the funding coming from?   Mostly from thin air.  Thereby killing the dollar from about 120 to 75 since 2002 to today (down 38%).    All of you know that the dow is an index of 30 stocks in a dollar amount... It is $12,220 right now... what is it in 2002 dollars?   WE are sitting at DOW 7500  today.   So as the gov starts to give us free money, it is imperative that you know where it is coming from and the repercussions of why they are doing it (dollar down).   It is possible for the feds to keep pumping money into the system by all sorts of means....if the dollar index is reset to 38 right now, without changing anything else, the dow would be 24400, but all consumables would go up 100%.   It is all a ponzi scam, a house of cards..and we are trapped.   So as the fed  rates approach zero, and many start to see free money in the mailbox, we know exactlty whats going on.   SnP could be 4000 this time next year..or it could also be 400. It depends on what the powers that be aim for..hyperinflation, or deflation.        
Feb 7, 2008 8:06 pm

Assuming a modestly higher dollar, 1600 by 2/7/09…and I suspect that’s low.  I won’t bother calling Ben as my opinion is no more valid than those in the sky-is-falling camp.  I don’t claim any special clairvoyance…I am simply listening to a conference call each day with guys like Lincoln Anderson and Jeff Kleintop who are considerably smarter than me and have no vested interest in seeing me lose money for clients.  They are still pretty bullish, especially when considering the forward P/E’s and while you can argue that they are pollyannas, I don’t see it.  Every opinion is well-reasoned and well-supported and most strike me as very moderate.  I tend to shy away from predictions to both extremes, as these are rarely realized and I don’t see enough ingredients to predict either extreme.  I’ve heard questions asked about some of the extreme predictions made in these forums and for the most part, they’ve discounted the extremes as unlikely given the current circumstances.  (BTW, it sounds like most do not believe the service sector ISM number is accurate.  Lincoln said that not even the bears he spoke with felt it was a true representation).

  Count me as a centrist.  Life on the fringe consumes too much energy for me to live there...