Tag Archives | subprime crisis

Dalian Apr11.png

China’s Dalian trading suggests trouble lies ahead

They don’t ring bells at market tops, to warn about what might happen next. But the above chart may turn out to be the next best thing. It shows the relationship between WTI crude oil prices (blue line) versus LLDPE (linear low density polyethylene, red line) on China’s Dalian futures exchange. The exchange has been […]

Continue Reading
US housing Jun10.png

US housing starts down 17% as tax incentives end

Spring should be a boom time for building new homes in the USA. But in fact, May’s single family housing starts (bottom chart) fell 17.2% versus April, as the $8k tax credit ended. Yet affordability should be high, with prices down 30% from the peak, and mortgage rates at the lowest levels for decades. This […]

Continue Reading
IMF right.jpg

Credit crisis losses head for $4 trillion

To misquote the famous HL Mencken phrase, “nobody ever went broke under-estimating the losses caused by the credit crisis”. Initially, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke estimated the losses at just $100bn. Then, a year ago, the IMF said its estimate was $1 trillion. Now, the IMF is raising its estimate even higher, this time to $4 […]

Continue Reading
WaMu.jpg

‘The largest bank failure in American history’

Another day, another bank failure. That almost seems to be the pattern in US financial markets at the moment. Yesterday the nation’s 6th largest bank, Washington Mutual, was taken over by government regulators and sold to JP Morgan. The 119 year old bank, headquartered on the US West Coast in Seattle, had $307bn in assets […]

Continue Reading
Steinbruck.jpg

A debate opens up

Peer Steinbrück, the German finance minister, has joined the growing list of politicians with a view on the current economic crisis. His analysis differs markedly from that expressed by President Bush on Wednesday. ‘The financial market crisis is above all an American problem’, Steinbrück told the Bundestag (German Parliament) yesterday. He added that ‘the current […]

Continue Reading
bailout.jpg

5 key questions about the US bailout

The proposal now before Congress to authorise the spending of $700bn to bail out Wall Street contains just 849 words. It avoids the need to go into further detail via its suggestion that the Treasury Secretary should simply have unlimited authority to act as he ‘deems necessary’. But 5 key questions are bound to be […]

Continue Reading

Financial ‘toxic waste’

The Wall Street Journal draws an apt comparison between the strict regulation of chemical companies, and the lack of effective regulation on financial firms. It comments: ‘Chemical companies are under strict government regulations about what kinds of toxic waste they can produce, where they can store it, and how they can handle it and dispose […]

Continue Reading

OPEC says oil market ‘over-supplied’

This morning, the blog is awarding itself a pat on the back. This is because, almost alone, it forecast in mid-July that oil prices ‘could easily fall $50/bbl to $100/bbl’ in the absence of any military action on Iran. And it had the courage to repeat this comment on 4 August. It added that if […]

Continue Reading
S&P Aug.jpg

US house prices keep on falling

US house prices, according to today’s S&P/Case-Shiller Index, are still falling quite sharply. As shown in the chart, they are now down 17% versus last year. The key influence, according to S&P, is that ‘the markets that were the high-flyers during the recent real estate boom continue to be the ones that are leading the […]

Continue Reading
China PMI.jpg

China’s growth slows

China’s growth rate is slowing quite sharply. Exports to the US grew just 9% in H1, half the 2007 rate. In addition, ICIS news has reported that China’s important textile industry has seen a 25% decline in orders, whilst US polyethylene exports to China are also slowing. And the above chart showing China’s latest Purchasing […]

Continue Reading