Tag Archive for financial crisis

Next Financial Crisis

I was reading these days several articles in the financial press. All is so quiet… dangerosuly quiet. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, LA Times, Forbers etc they are all silent about what the banks are doing or what other financila insitutions are up to. To me, this means only trouble brewing.
Economic data for US looks slightly promissing and the real estate market is slowly growing. Not an accelerated pace (foreclosures in US declined to 650,000 in August, down from 1 million 1 year ago and 3 million 5 years ago), but still… EU is stalling, with Germany and France almost to a halt (industrial production -0.1% to LY, first time in recent history when Germany stumbles a bit). Usually US profits from these moves.
So what next? Read more

Devil’s Government Bonds – a Greek Tragedy

Hello Reader,

Several months ago I finished reading a book Nick Dunbar’s “Devil’s Derivatives“) and liked it very much. According to my habits, I posted a review in here (as I do for every one of the financial books I like and I found something to learn from) It is like reading a family story – and indeed these guys are a weird family… reminds me of the Sopranos (guys only, code of silence, massive amounts of money, win loose game etc). I also liked the gloomy words from the end about the Greece default… and guess what, it is happening! When will we see also a sequel to this book, based on the safest investments possible, the government bonds?

EU Deal on Greek Bonds – History Repeating

Do you remember the days before the collapse of the Lehman Brothers bank in 2008? Well, the history is repeating – only this time is spoken in more languages and has a different continent behind.
Today EU decided to wipe out 50% of the Greece debt – in effect the private bondholders have agreed with a 50% cut on their holdings of the Greece debt. The agreement, struck after nearly 11 hours of talks at a summit of eurozone leaders, includes a new €130bn bail-out of Greece by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
This situation is identical with the resolution of the mortgage crisis’s conclusion 3 years ago, when the US government agreed that the banks are too big to fail. A similar pattern will occur probably with the European banks with a large exposure to the Greece bonds – they will need to be re-capitalized, governments will bail those out on taxpayer’s money, and 2 years later we will find out that they made record profits from another type of transactions and they re-purchased the government shares. Nothing really new here, I guess.
The only problem remains the externality generated by this bailout. How many of these costs will be supported by the European taxpayer? What will be the consequences for the Eurozone economic growth? How long will now the recovery take? Nobody knows, but I have this feeling that the costs will not be small. We’lll see…

“The Devil’s Derivatives” by Nicholas Dunbar – a Financial Book Review

the-devils-derivatives-by-dunbar-courtesy-review-wwwdoitinvestcom Well, this was a treat for me. The book was launched on July 12th in the US, and by a day later it landed on my desk, courtesy of the publishers (Harvard Business Review Press), who by a skillful marketing found out that I like such (financial management) books … and sent me this copy without any request from my side. Nice surprise.
I have read many books about the financial innovation and the crisis (at least 5 in the last year) – this should qualify me not as an expert, but at least as a knowledgeable person.
“The Devil’s Derivatives” is a book about both, so if you expect some stories about the history of the derivatives or a crash course on how to make money late in the night in front of your computer screen – call an expert. “The Devil’s Derivatives” rather illustrates the point of view of an outside historian – thus representing a relatively objective view on how the derivatives world exploded and then imploded in the last years.
“The Devil’s Derivatives” tells the most interesting financial story of our times – how the banks invented new financial products to make more money, how were the worldwide investors lured to buy them and how regulators were seduced by the siren song and adopted lax rules for the derivatives. It is a story of greed and deception, a story of smoke and mirrors in the heart of the world’s financial system.
Nicholas Dunbar is well placed to tell such a story. First of all, he is a well known financial journalist in the UK, and thus he followed the story step by step as it developed. Secondly, by his own account he lived in both London and New York and saw live the banking mentality. From the money splashing of the bonus system to the secrecy of the boardrooms, nothing is missed by “The Devil’s Derivatives”.
At last (but not at least), Dunbar is a physicist by education – thus the assertions that the derivatives are more complex that the quantum physics has finally found a worthy tester. He is actually drawing a very neat comparison between the two fields of science – with interesting results. Read more

An Investment Book Review –“International Corporate Finance” by J. Ashok Robin

Well, this came as almost a treat – corporate finance, which in itself is an investment topic to be studied, on an international context. There are many textbooks on the market which study the corporate finance topics, from the main financial decisions of a corporation to financial instruments or the (in)famous weighted average cost of capital (WACC). In an international context, there are quite few study texts.
The field of International corporate finance deals with the various financial activities of international corporations or multinational companies. This book is even more focused – it concentrates on the multinational companies (MNC’s or MNE’s) and on their blood who keeps pumping and make them grow –the flow of money. Read more

2010 Nobel Prize in Economics vs Ig-Nobel Prize…On Economics Too, of Course

Everybody’s obsessed with finance and the flow of money these days. No wonder that we at doitinvest.com go for the same theme and now wonder that the Nobel committees are looking at the same stuff.
This year the Nobel prize for economics was shared by three gentlemen. The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2010 was awarded jointly to Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen and Christopher A. Pissarides “for their analysis of markets with search frictions”. The guys looked actually at the imperfections of the markets – why are they not frictionless but full of hidden costs? Read more

Banks, Financial Crisis and Capitalism

I was reading recently an article regarding the imminent bankrupcy of the emerging markets (especially the ones from Eastern Europe). The author said in his investment blog that banks are now forcing up the interest rates in those countries. The increase in the interest rates would lead to a wave of personal bankrupcies in those markets, allowing the foreign investors to buy the local assets (especially the real estate assets from those emerging markets) very cheap. The scenario would be unfolding as we speak, whilst the peak of the crisis in the Eastewrn Europe should arrive somewhere in the middle of 2010.
The fallacies of this story are many. I will not enter into the details of the cosnpiration theory which seems to hide behind this pessimistic approach to the Eastern Europe economies. I will also not discuss here the fact that it is hard for the big banks to cooperate among them. Or the bank cooperating with the big investment funds, their competitors, would be a highly unlike – ier scenario. I will just mention the recent lessons that Dubai and Greece, two sovereign countries, whose recent developments are linked tot tourism and real estate investmentst, taught us. Read more