Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Market Decline Will Lead To Pension Collapse, USD Devaluation, And NWO - Raymond_Matison
2.Uber’s Nightmare Has Just Started - Stephen_McBride
3.Stock Market Crash Black Swan Event Set Up Sept 12th? - Brad_Gudgeon
4.GDow Stock Market Trend Forecast Update - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold Significant Correction Has Started - Clive_Maund
6.British Pound GBP vs Brexit Chaos Timeline - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Cameco Crash, Uranium Sector Won’t Catch a break - Richard_Mills
8.Recession 2020 Forecast : The New Risks & New Profits Of A Grand Experiment - Dan_Amerman
9.Gold When Global Insanity Prevails - Michael Ballanger
10.UK General Election Forecast 2019 - Betting Market Odds - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
China's Grand Plan to Take Over the World - 19th Nov 19
Interest Rates Heading Zero or Negative to Prop Up Debt Bubble - 19th Nov 19
Plethora of Potential Financial Crisis Triggers - 19th Nov 19
Trade News Still Relevant? - 19th Nov 19
Comments on Catena Media Q3 Report 2019 - 19th Nov 19
Venezuela’s Hyperinflation Drags On For A Near Record—36 Months - 18th Nov 19
Intellectual Property as the New Guild System - 18th Nov 19
Gold Mining Stocks Q3’ 2019 Fundamentals - 18th Nov 19
The Best Way To Play The Coming Gold Boom - 18th Nov 19
What ECB’s Tiering Means for Gold - 17th Nov 19
DOJ Asked to Examine New Systemic Risk in Gold & Silver Markets - 17th Nov 19
Dow Jones Stock Market Cycle Update and are we there yet? - 17th Nov 19
When the Crude Oil Price Collapses Below $40 What Happens? PART III - 17th Nov 19
If History Repeats, Gold is Headed to $8,000 - 17th Nov 19
All You Need To Know About Cryptocurrency - 17th Nov 19
What happens To The Global Economy If Oil Collapses Below $40 – Part II - 15th Nov 19
America’s Exceptionalism’s Non-intervention Slide to Conquest, Empire - and Socialism - 15th Nov 19
Five Gold Charts to Contemplate as We Prepare for the New Year - 15th Nov 19
Best Gaming CPU Nov 2019 - Budget, Mid and High End PC System Processors - 15th Nov 19
Lend Money Without A Credit Check — Is That Possible? - 15th Nov 19
Gold and Silver Capitulation Time - 14th Nov 19
The Case for a Silver Price Rally - 14th Nov 19
What Happens To The Global Economy If the Oil Price Collapses Below $40 - 14th Nov 19
7 days of Free FX + Crypto Forecasts -- Join in - 14th Nov 19
How to Use Price Cycles and Profit as a Swing Trader – SPX, Bonds, Gold, Nat Gas - 13th Nov 19
Morrisons Throwing Thousands of Bonus More Points at Big Spend Shoppers - JACKPOT! - 13th Nov 19
What to Do NOW in Case of a Future Banking System Breakdown - 13th Nov 19
Why China is likely to remain the ‘world’s factory’ for some time to come - 13th Nov 19
Gold Price Breaks Down, Waving Good-bye to the 2019 Rally - 12th Nov 19
Fed Can't See the Bubbles Through the Lather - 12th Nov 19
Double 11 Record Sales Signal Strength of Chinese Consumption - 12th Nov 19
Welcome to the Zombie-land Of Oil, Gold and Stocks Investing – Part II - 12th Nov 19
Gold Retest Coming - 12th Nov 19
New Evidence Futures Markets Are Built for Manipulation - 12th Nov 19
Next 5 Year Future Proof Gaming PC Build Spec November 2019 - Ryzen 9 3900x, RTX 2080Ti... - 12th Nov 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

$4 Billion Golden Oppoerunity

Bernanke Bubblenomics Succeeds in Inflating Another Bubble, Get Those Wheelbarrows Ready

Stock-Markets / Liquidity Bubble Feb 12, 2011 - 06:44 AM GMT

By: Mike_Whitney

Stock-Markets

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe game is on. Two years of zero rates, limitless guarantees, and a $2 trillion drip-feed from the Fed, has lifted Wall Street from the canvas and put the speculators back in the thick-of-things. It's a miracle. Who would have thought that Bernanke could engineer another bubble this fast. But he has. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are increasing, LBO's (Leveraged buyouts) are on the rise, revolving credit ("plastic") is expanding, and investors are scarfing up low-yield junk bonds wherever they can find them.


Still can't believe it? Then, take a look at this from Businessweek:

"Home loans that inflated the U.S. housing bubble...are fueling the fastest gains in the mortgage-bond market....Prices for senior bonds tied to option adjustable-rate mortgages, called "toxic" by a government commission, typically jumped 6 cents to 64 cents on the dollar in the past month, according to Barclays Capital.

Rising values show Federal Reserve efforts to stimulate the economy by purchasing an additional $600 billion of Treasuries and holding interest rates near zero percent are driving investors into ever-riskier securities.....

The market is pricing in defaults on option ARMs of about 75 percent, according to hedge fund Metacapital Management LP in New York. As the worst housing slump since the Great Depression deepened, assumptions reached as high as 90 percent, said Whalen, who's based in Los Angeles."("'Toxic' Mortgages Rally as Resets Accelerate: Credit Markets", Businessweek)

Got that? Investors are loading up on these garbage bonds even though they expect 75% of them will go belly-up. That's what you call a Bernanke gold rush! And the author even points to Bernanke's QE2 as the proximate cause for the feeding frenzy.

And then there's this from dailyfinance.com:

"The New York Stock Exchange released data showing that margin credit -- money investors borrow to buy shares -- increased to $276 billion in December, up from $233 billion at the start of the year. That reflects a sharply higher stock market but also an increased appetite for borrowing." ("With Consumer Credit Up Sharply, Is America Releveraging?", dailyfinance.com)

Yup, it's bubble-time again.

But, you're probably wondering how consumer credit can expand when households and consumers got whacked for $11.4 trillion in the meltdown and their debt-to-disposable income is still way off trend? Well, just go to Google News and take a peak at all the zero-down intro offers on auto loans. That will explain the whole thing. We're back to Square 1; selling products to people with shaky credit who can't come up with a couple hundred bucks for a down payment. Credit expansion is easy when you offer people something for nothing. It's getting repaid that's hard.

The other big area of credit expansion is student loans, the government-backed scam of the century. The banksters have figured out how easy it is to swindle college-age kids with promises of hefty 6-figure salaries when the finish their 5-year stint at the for-profit Bunko University. Of course, when they finally graduate--drowning in red ink--they discover that their job has been outsourced to Bangalore and they're left with the prospect of either cleaning bedpans at the local retirement center or moving back in with the parents. Here's more from student loan expert Alan Nasser:

"The student loan industry is huge. It was announced last summer that total student loan debt, at $830 billion, now exceeds total US credit card debt, which is itself bloated to the bubble level of $827 billion. And student loan debt is growing at the rate of $90 billion a year....It estimated that over their lifetime between 19 and 31 percent of college freshmen and sophomores will default on their loans (depending on the type of loan and when it was taken on). For community college students, the prospects were grimmer still: between 30 and 42 percent were expected to default. And the future was most discouraging for students at for-profits: between 38 and 51 percent were anticipated to default."

Whoa. Some of these turkeys will default at a rate of 51% and we are allowing this swindle to continue?!? Remember, even at the height of the housing bust, the subprimes only defaulted at a 20% rate. Student loans are much worse. Our kids are taking a sheering so Wall Street can pad the bottom line...and no one seems to give a hoot!

So, where else is Bernanke's Bubblenomics working?

Well, traders are still making beaucoup off currency swaps, derivative contracts and high-frequency trading (HFT). But there's also a resurgence in private equity that's worth noting. The big firms like Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), who appeared to be down-for-the-count less than a year ago, have come roaring back to life. Here's a clip from Bloomberg:

"With previous buyouts back from the dead, the world's largest private equity funds are planning a new round of takeovers. KKR is seeking to raise $8 billion to $10 billion for a new fund. In an interview with Bloomberg TV at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Blackstone co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman said that there is capital to fund leveraged buyouts of as much as $10 billion as debt becomes more available.

"We're all absolutely shocked at how fast leverage snapped back from where we were, say, two years ago," says William G. Welnhofer, a managing director at Robert W. Baird & Co. in Chicago. "I don't think anyone who's honest would have expected such a move." ("Easy Money Is Bringing Buyouts Back to Life", Bloomberg)

Indeed, we are all shocked. Private Equity is having its Lazarus moment while all of Wall Street is begins to releverage. Yipee. And we can only thank Ben Bernanke for his outstanding work in reflating the bubble and nudging us ever-closer to the next big crash. Only next time, it won't just be the financial system that takes a drubbing, but the cornerstone upon which all of this speculative activity now rests; the dollar.

Get those wheelbarrows ready.

By Mike Whitney

Email: fergiewhitney@msn.com

Mike is a well respected freelance writer living in Washington state, interested in politics and economics from a libertarian perspective.

© 2011 Copyright Mike Whitney - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Mike Whitney Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules