Recession: glimmers of hope? Recession: glimmers of hope?
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  1. #1

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    Default Recession: glimmers of hope?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/4...s-of-hope.html

    Recession: glimmers of hope?
    The first glimmers of hope are starting to emerge across the world. The pace of economic decline is slowing. Housing sales are picking up, even if prices are falling. Credit markets have begun to thaw.

    This is the time-honoured pattern expected to be seen when the downward spiral burns itself out and the cycle starts, very slowly, to turn, helped this time by an unprecedented global monetary and fiscal blitz. But it may equally be a false dawn.

    The Baltic Dry Index measuring freight rates for iron ore and other bulk goods has been creeping up for two months after crashing 94pc in the worst fall in shipping history. Copper prices are also edging up after plunging by two-thirds from their June peak. So are lumber prices.

    The debt markets have opened like a flower in spring, at least in one sense. Companies issued $246bn (£171bn) in bonds in January, the most since the credit crisis began. France's EdF has raised €9bn (£8bn). Shell and RWE each raised €3bn this week. Blue-chip groups can borrow again.

    "The mood is upbeat. There are swathes of cash pouring back into credit," said Suki Mann, a credit strategist at Société Générale. "The market closed down after the Lehmans collapse so there was a lot of pent-up demand, but they are having to pay materially higher spreads than pre-Lehmans."

    So far this has not helped the rest of the corporate universe. Average yields on BBB-rated debt are a prohibitive 19.6pc. "The market is absolutely closed. There is no trickle-down yet," he said.

    The interbank freeze has started to thaw, again in one sense. David Buik, from BGC Partners, said interest spreads on three-month dollar Libor have come down to 1pc from the extremes above 2pc at the height of the panic. "The cost of money is coming down, but the banks are still not lending to each other. It's virtually moribund," he said.

    The US Federal Reserve's loan survey this week showed that lending is again picking up, albeit tentatively. The number of banks expecting to tighten credit has fallen from 80pc in the autumn to nearer 60pc, the lowest in a year.

    Mortgage demand has stabilised, though that is small comfort in a country where 19m homes are standing empty and foreclosures are running at 6,000 a day. The number of evictions reached 2.2m last year. But at least the Fed is taking drastic action by purchasing mortgage securities (with printed money) in order to drive down the costs of home loans. The rate for 30-year mortgages has fallen to 5.28pc from 6.5pc two months ago.

    The first fruit of these actions is ripening. Pending home sales rose by 6.3pc in December, led by the South and Midwest, a sign that the great glut of unsold houses may start to clear – albeit at very low prices, and very slowly. Some 45pc of the all homes sold in December were foreclosures or distressed sales.

    US house prices have fallen 27pc from their peak, according to the respected Case-Shiller index, dropping every month since July 2006. They will fall further. The downward momentum is overwhelming, and the $200bn "option-arm" time-bomb is only just starting to detonate as these rates ratchet up. But it is telling that the shares of builders D.R. Horton, Toll Brothers, and Lennar have begun to rally. The ITB builders share index has risen 45pc from its nadir in December.

    The bloodbath in manufacturing industry across the world since September has been frightening – Korea's GDP fell by an annualised 21pc rate in the fourth quarter – but the leading indicators in a clutch of countries look slightly less awful. China's PMI purchasing index rebounded for a second month in January, even if actual output has been declining for four months.

    "There are tentative signs of stabilisation. China's manufacturing is no longer in free-fall," said BNP Paribas.

    The indexes also bounced in the US, the eurozone, and Britain, despite cataclysmic car sales. The inventory cycle of the OECD club of rich states may be turning. Companies ran down their stocks during the credit crunch when capital costs soared. At some point this process must exhaust itself, forcing companies to start producing again. Michael Vaknin from Goldman Sachs said we are getting "closer to the point" in the re-stocking cycle where industrial output stabilises.

    Veterans of Japan's Lost Decade know that these moments of optimism can be intoxicating – and costly. Japan had four bear market rallies before investors finally had the stuffing knocked out of them. Global debt deflation this time may prove just as powerful.

    "Nothing moves down in straight lines," said SocGen's perma-bear Albert Edwards. "There will be little bounces. But our view is that investors can afford to be lazy and wait. There is not a cat's chance in hell that this really is the bottom of the cycle."
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    Oh fantastic timing, I've got a 'performance review' with my boss today (God knows why as I am a contractor) so thank God the crunch is over finally! Not a moment too soon either. bring on the big rate increase....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan.goodvibes View Post
    Oh fantastic timing, I've got a 'performance review' with my boss today (God knows why as I am a contractor) so thank God the crunch is over finally! Not a moment too soon either. bring on the big rate increase....
    client

    Having a performance review meeting with your client is acceptable surely?
    The cycle of life: born > learn > work > learn > dead.

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    Well they're called 'Per Capita' for the permies, my 'boss' at clientco wanted me to do one as well. Had to do all that permy guff like writing answers to questions about what i have done for the last 6 months and what I am good at etc etc etc.

    We are going to 'discuss' it a 4pm today.

    Actually when I put it down on paper I've actually been pretty fecking productive and proactive and lots of other things starting with 'pro' over the last 8 months - they really aren't paying me enough...

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan.goodvibes View Post
    Oh fantastic timing, I've got a 'performance review' with my boss today (God knows why as I am a contractor) so thank God the crunch is over finally! Not a moment too soon either. bring on the big rate increase....
    I think the rate increase is a "lagging indicator"
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    You beat me to it with the Telegraph article, I was going to give it the title, "Boomed, well almost, well infact not at all".

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrilloPad View Post
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/4...s-of-hope.html

    Recession: glimmers of hope?
    The first glimmers of hope are starting to emerge across the world. The pace of economic decline is slowing. Housing sales are picking up, even if prices are falling. Credit markets have begun to thaw.

    This is the time-honoured pattern expected to be seen when the downward spiral burns itself out and the cycle starts, very slowly, to turn, helped this time by an unprecedented global monetary and fiscal blitz. But it may equally be a false dawn.

    The Baltic Dry Index measuring freight rates for iron ore and other bulk goods has been creeping up for two months after crashing 94pc in the worst fall in shipping history. Copper prices are also edging up after plunging by two-thirds from their June peak. So are lumber prices.

    The debt markets have opened like a flower in spring, at least in one sense. Companies issued $246bn (£171bn) in bonds in January, the most since the credit crisis began. France's EdF has raised €9bn (£8bn). Shell and RWE each raised €3bn this week. Blue-chip groups can borrow again.

    "The mood is upbeat. There are swathes of cash pouring back into credit," said Suki Mann, a credit strategist at Société Générale. "The market closed down after the Lehmans collapse so there was a lot of pent-up demand, but they are having to pay materially higher spreads than pre-Lehmans."

    So far this has not helped the rest of the corporate universe. Average yields on BBB-rated debt are a prohibitive 19.6pc. "The market is absolutely closed. There is no trickle-down yet," he said.

    The interbank freeze has started to thaw, again in one sense. David Buik, from BGC Partners, said interest spreads on three-month dollar Libor have come down to 1pc from the extremes above 2pc at the height of the panic. "The cost of money is coming down, but the banks are still not lending to each other. It's virtually moribund," he said.

    The US Federal Reserve's loan survey this week showed that lending is again picking up, albeit tentatively. The number of banks expecting to tighten credit has fallen from 80pc in the autumn to nearer 60pc, the lowest in a year.

    Mortgage demand has stabilised, though that is small comfort in a country where 19m homes are standing empty and foreclosures are running at 6,000 a day. The number of evictions reached 2.2m last year. But at least the Fed is taking drastic action by purchasing mortgage securities (with printed money) in order to drive down the costs of home loans. The rate for 30-year mortgages has fallen to 5.28pc from 6.5pc two months ago.

    The first fruit of these actions is ripening. Pending home sales rose by 6.3pc in December, led by the South and Midwest, a sign that the great glut of unsold houses may start to clear – albeit at very low prices, and very slowly. Some 45pc of the all homes sold in December were foreclosures or distressed sales.

    US house prices have fallen 27pc from their peak, according to the respected Case-Shiller index, dropping every month since July 2006. They will fall further. The downward momentum is overwhelming, and the $200bn "option-arm" time-bomb is only just starting to detonate as these rates ratchet up. But it is telling that the shares of builders D.R. Horton, Toll Brothers, and Lennar have begun to rally. The ITB builders share index has risen 45pc from its nadir in December.

    The bloodbath in manufacturing industry across the world since September has been frightening – Korea's GDP fell by an annualised 21pc rate in the fourth quarter – but the leading indicators in a clutch of countries look slightly less awful. China's PMI purchasing index rebounded for a second month in January, even if actual output has been declining for four months.

    "There are tentative signs of stabilisation. China's manufacturing is no longer in free-fall," said BNP Paribas.

    The indexes also bounced in the US, the eurozone, and Britain, despite cataclysmic car sales. The inventory cycle of the OECD club of rich states may be turning. Companies ran down their stocks during the credit crunch when capital costs soared. At some point this process must exhaust itself, forcing companies to start producing again. Michael Vaknin from Goldman Sachs said we are getting "closer to the point" in the re-stocking cycle where industrial output stabilises.

    Veterans of Japan's Lost Decade know that these moments of optimism can be intoxicating – and costly. Japan had four bear market rallies before investors finally had the stuffing knocked out of them. Global debt deflation this time may prove just as powerful.

    "Nothing moves down in straight lines," said SocGen's perma-bear Albert Edwards. "There will be little bounces. But our view is that investors can afford to be lazy and wait. There is not a cat's chance in hell that this really is the bottom of the cycle."
    Naaaaah, a good dose of protectionism should clear that up.

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