Bubble Bursting Alert: Stocks Are At “Eye-Popping Levels”, US Factory Orders Drop Adds to Slowdown Concern, China Bear Stearns Moment Seen by BofA in Solar Default
Factory Orders Miss 3rd Month In A Row As Inventories Hit Record High
For the 3rd month in a row, US Factory Orders missed expectations with a major downward revision to December’s data (-2%) and has fallen two months in a row. Inventories continue to rise – up nine of the last ten months to the highest level since records began. Better just hope for all that pent-up demand to flood back or we have a problem.
US jobless queue shortest in 3-months; but workers less productive in Q4
Financial sector takes in new reality and cuts jobs: report
The financial sector slashed jobs in February, more than doubling the number of cuts from the month before, making it the top sector with the heaviest cuts.
“Staples to close 225 stores”
Fed’s Fisher raises red flag on stock values
Fed’s Fisher Admits Stocks Are At “Eye-Popping Levels”
While Janet Yellen fell back on the ubiquitous central banker statement that she “would do all that [she] can” it was Dallas Fed’s Richard Fisher who raised the most eyebrows yesterday. In a speech in Mexico City, the central banker said he wasconcerned about “eye-popping levels” of some stock market metrics warning that the Fed must monitor the signs carefully to ensure bubbles were not forming. While other Fed members have paid lip-service to bubbles, Fisher explicitly discussed stocks in the context of the dot-com boom of the late ’90s warning of “the ghost of ‘irrational exuberance'” and worried about corporate bonds too.
Staples tumbles on weak earnings, outlook
This event set off the 2008 financial crisis. Now it could be replaying in this country.
The growing risk of default by Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co. may become China’s “Bear Stearns moment,” prompting investors to reassess credit risks as they did after the U.S. securities firm was rescued in 2008, according to Bank of America Corp.
“We doubt that the financial system in China will experience a liquidity crunch immediately because of this default but we think the chain reaction will probably start,” Hong Kong-based strategists David Cui, Tracy Tian and Katherine Tai wrote in a note yesterday. During the U.S. financial crisis, it took a year “to reach the Lehman stage” when investors began to panic and shadow banking froze, the strategists added.
The maker of solar cells said March 4 it may not be able to make an 89.8 million yuan ($14.7 million) interest payment in full by the deadline tomorrow. As sub-prime mortgages fell amid the 2008 U.S. financial crisis, banks began hoarding cash, causing two Bear Stearns Co. hedge funds to seek bankruptcy protection. The troubled bank was sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co. in March of that year in a deal facilitated by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Six months later, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed in the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
Chaori’s potential failure to pay investors would mark the first bond default in Asia’s largest economy, highlighting the strain in China’s $4.2 trillion bond market after a trust product issued by China Credit Trust Co. was bailed out in January. There haven’t been any defaults in China’s publicly traded domestic debt market since the central bank started regulating it in 1997, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
The following are the top 12 signs that the U.S. economy is heading toward another recession…
#1 We recently learned that the number of new mortgage applications in the United States had fallen to the lowest level that we have seen in nearly 20 years.
#4 Obamacare is really starting to hammer the U.S. health care industry…
“The Affordable Care Act is creating significant financial uncertainty to health care organizations,” said a survey respondent from the health care and social assistance industry.
“With little warning, the negative impact on revenuehas been unprecedented.”
#5 Trading revenue at the “too big to fail” banks on Wall Street is way down…
Citigroup Inc. (C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) are bracing investors for a fourth straight drop in first-quarter trading, a period of the year when the largest investment banks typically earn the most from that business.
Citigroup finance chief John Gerspach said yesterday his firm expects trading revenue to drop by a “high mid-teens” percentage, less than a week after JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said revenue from equities and fixed income was down about 15 percent. If trading at the nine largest firms slumps that much, it would extend the slide from 2010’s first quarter to 36 percent.
#6 One of the “too big to fail” banks, JPMorgan, is planning to fire “thousands” more workers.
#7 Moody’s has downgraded the credit rating of the city of Chicago again. Now it is just three notches above junk status.
#8 The U.S. economy actually lost 2.87 million jobs during the month of January according to the unadjusted numbers. Over the past decade, the only time the U.S. economy has lost more jobs during the month of January was in 2009 at the peak of the last recession.
#9 In January, real disposable income in the U.S. experienced the largest year over year decline that we have seen since 1974.
#10 Only 35 percent of all Americans say that they are better off financially than they were a year ago.
#11 Global retail sales for machinery giant Caterpillar have fallen for 14 months in a row.
#12 The economic data show that virtually all of the largest economies on the planet are slowing down right now. The following is from a recentZero Hedge article…
The last 3 weeks have seen the macro fundamentals of the G-10 major economies collapse at the fastest pace in almost 4 years and almost the biggest slump since Lehman. Despite a plethora of data showing that ‘weather’ is not to blame, US strategists, ‘economists’, and asset-gatherers are sticking to the meme that this is all because of the cold on the east coast of the US (and that means wondrous pent-up demand to come). However, as the New York Times reports, for the earth, it was the 4th warmest January on record.
For much more on how the rest of the global economy is also slowing down, please see my recent article entitled “20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire“.
Meanwhile, things in Ukraine continue to become even more tense, and the Russian government continues to debate how it will respond if the U.S. does end up deciding to hit Russia with economic sanctions.
According to one Russian news source, the Russian parliament is actually considering the confiscation of the property and assets of U.S. businesses in Russia if the U.S. decides to go ahead with economic sanctions against Russia…
The upper house of Russia’s parliament is mulling measures allowing property and assets of European and US companies to be confiscated in the event of sanctions being adopted against Russia over its threatened military intervention in Ukraine.