Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Baloney News In Institutional Finance This Week

My news feeds are sending me more baloney this week than I bargained for when I logged on.  I have very little patience for this kind of thing but I can't let it go unanswered.

Germany and France think the worst of the euro crisis is behind them.  I say they are wrong.  Portugal, Spain, and Italy await their funding crises (most likely in that order, with the kick-off time and event unknown).

The Fed thinks most U.S. banks are in good shape.  Yeah, right.  Defining "good" as "good enough to be made whole by another taxpayer bailout and emergency Fed swap line" is the only way that assessment makes sense.    Citigroup's failure of its stress test only means it will be first in line for the next bailout.

Fitch upgraded Greece's debt rating after its bond swap.  This one makes even less sense than the first two articles. The swap increased Greece's overall sovereign debt by 30% and the deal's required austerity measures will depress economic growth, hurt tax revenue and make debt repayment even more difficult.

Reading these three news stories in sequence shows a progressive decline in critical thinking skills when comparing European finance ministers to Fed analysts to credit rating analysts.  No wonder gold keeps rising in price.  Investors just don't believe qualified finance professionals anymore, so they'd rather trust a shiny metal with easily recognizable value.

Full disclosure:  No positions in banks or Eurozone debt at this time.  Long GDX with covered calls.