Goldman sees $1.2 trillion global credit loss

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs forecasts global credit losses stemming from the current market turmoil will reach $1.2 trillion, with Wall Street accounting for nearly 40 percent of the losses.

U.S. leveraged institutions, which include banks, brokers-dealers, hedge funds and government-sponsored enterprises, will suffer roughly $460 billion in credit losses after loan loss provisions, Goldman Sachs economists wrote in a research note released late on Monday.

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“Pay day” loans exacerbate housing crisis

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – As hundreds of thousands of American home owners fall behind on their mortgage payments, more people are turning to short-term loans with sky-high interest rates just to get by.While figures are hard to come by, evidence from nonprofit credit and mortgage counselors suggests that the number of people using these so-called “pay day loans” is growing as the U.S. housing crisis deepens, a negative sign for economic recovery.

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“We’re hearing from around the country that many folks are buried deep in pay day loan debts as well as struggling with their mortgage payments,” said Uriah King, a policy associate at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL).

A pay day loan is typically for a few hundred dollars, with a term of two weeks, and an interest rate as high as 800 percent. The average borrower ends up paying back $793 for a $325 loan, according to the Center.

The Center also estimates pay day lenders issued more than $28 billion in loans in 2005, the latest available figures.

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Fed May Buy Mortgages Next, Treasury Investors Bet

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March 24 (Bloomberg) — Forget lower interest rates. For the Federal Reserve to keep the financial markets from imploding it needs to buy troubled mortgage bonds from banks and securities firms, say the world’s biggest Treasury investors.

Even after cutting rates by 3 percentage points since September, expanding the range of securities it accepts as collateral for loans and giving dealers access to its discount window, the Fed has been unable to promote confidence. The difference between what the government and banks pay for three- month loans almost doubled in the past month to 1.69 percentage points.

The only tool left may be for the Fed to help facilitate a Resolution Trust Corp.-type agency that would buy bonds backed by home loans, said Bill Gross, manager of the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. While purchasing some of the $6 trillion mortgage securities outstanding would take problem debt off the balance sheets of banks and alleviate the cause of the credit crunch, it would put taxpayers at risk.

Read moreFed May Buy Mortgages Next, Treasury Investors Bet

Silver Shortage gets Worse, Price Drops Again!

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Silver 6 Months

(If you don’t hold it, you don’t own it)

Three more major silver dealers are reported to be out of silver today: The U.S. Mint, Kitco, and Monex. This, on top of the major dealers yesterday, Amark, Perth Mint, CNI Numismatics, and APMEX, all reported sold out. Further, nearly all of Canada is reported to be out of silver, from Vancouver to Toronto.

This is unprecedented, and is a perfect case of market manipulation in the paper market at COMEX and other futures exchanges to see silver prices continue to drop down to below $17/oz. today. Paper promises can be created endlessly, but real silver cannot.

This is NOT a case of the dealers getting spooked, and selling out to the refiners just in time, at peak prices. This is a case of the public buying up the stock at coin shops across the world ever since gold hit $1000/oz.. That event finally sparked a little of the public’s buying of silver and gold. Thus, the typical coin shop flow of silver to the refiners just stopped in the last few weeks, and especially the last two days.

This is NOT a case of the public creating a top with ‘everyone’ in silver, because nobody’s in silver yet. In 2006, only $1 billion was spent on investment silver, which is 0.007% of the $13.5 trillion of money in the banks. As I have long reported, the silver market is so small, there is no room for new investor demand, not even 0.1% of money could be spent on silver, because that would be $13 billion, which would push silver prices to $200/oz., and we are seeing only the tiniest beginnings of that.

Read moreSilver Shortage gets Worse, Price Drops Again!

Silver Shortage: 19 dealers reported “Sold Out”

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(SOLD OUT!!)
Silver Stock Report

You know me, I don’t send out two emails in one day, so this must be important. Since my email earlier tonight, where I reported that 5-6 major silver dealers (Amark, Tulving, 2 in Vancouver, my local dealer, NWT Mint) are “out of inventory”, 13 more reports came in, saying that the dealers were out of silver inventory. Some of these names are big names in the business, Scotia bank, the Perth Mint in Australia, CNI Numismatics in LA, APMEX says they have some items, but are looking to buy.

Read moreSilver Shortage: 19 dealers reported “Sold Out”

Jobless Claims Jump by 22,000

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of newly laid off workers filing for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level in nearly two months, providing more evidence that the weak economy is drying up jobs.The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for jobless benefits totaled 378,000 last week. That was an increase of 22,000 from the previous week and was a far bigger jump than had been expected.

The four-week average for new claims rose to 365,250, which was the highest level since a flood of claims caused by the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The current economic slowdown, which many economists believe has already turned into a full-blown recession, is starting to show up in the labor market in terms of higher layoffs and weaker hiring numbers.

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A worker prepares the walls for a new home at the Huntington Homes modular home factory in East Montpelier, Vt., Tuesday, March 11, 2008. The troubles in housing with falling sales and prices in many parts of the country have acted as a drag on the overall economy, contributing to a serious slowdown that many analysts are worried could push the country into a recession. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

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“We’re in a crash,” …

Stock Veterans Granville, Stovall Predict More Losses

March 17 (Bloomberg) — Joseph Granville and Robert Stovall, octogenarians who’ve seen every financial market downturn since the 1950s, say the current one may be the worst and is far from over.

Granville, born in 1923, remembers his banker father’s bad moods following the stock-market crash of 1929. The younger Granville began his career at defunct brokerage E.F. Hutton in 1957, quit in 1963 to begin publishing a weekly newsletter and wrote nine books on investing.

“We’re in a crash,” Granville, 84, said in a telephone interview from Kansas City, Missouri, where he lives and works. “This is the worst I’ve seen, and I’ve studied every bit of history all my life.”

U.S. stocks plunged to the lowest since July 2006 today after JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s purchase of Bear Stearns Cos. for less than a 10th of its market value sent financial shares falling around the world. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index neared a so-called bear market drop of 20 percent from its Oct. 9 record.

Read more“We’re in a crash,” …

Investment banks are borrowing from Fed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investment banks Goldman Sachs Group Inc , Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc and Morgan Stanley are testing a new program that allows investment banks to borrow directly from the Federal Reserve, according to people at the banks.In a bid to stabilize jittery markets, the Fed said on Sunday that it would allow investment banks to borrow from its discount window using a wide range of investment-grade securities as collateral.

(Hey, hey lets spend all our money and then just ask Uncle Bernanke for a few more billions.
Come on guys lets do that. Uncle Bernanke can print a few billions for us if we are broke.
Good to have him around. Life is so good. – The Infinite Unknown
)

Read moreInvestment banks are borrowing from Fed

Venezuela’s state-run oil company begins demanding payment in euros as US dollar weakens

CARACAS, Venezuela: Venezuela’s state-run oil firm is starting to demand payment in euros a measure aimed at protecting revenues from a weakening U.S. dollar, Venezuela’s oil minister said Tuesday.

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