Is the Credit Crunch Over?
Bottom line: Recent sentiment change created by Financial Wizard market manipulation is all smoke and mirrors – the PPT is trying to re-establish faith and trust in markets (and a currency) that are ready to implode.
What manipulation am I talking about?
Let’s look at the recent precious metals sell-off: Gold and Silver took their worst beating in years during the recent commodities smack-down. How in the world could these metals get crushed so badly when dealers are overwhelmed with orders and can’t get or keep enough products on their shelves?
Must see this link (and pictures below) to understand what I’m talking about: Silver Shortage: 19 dealers reported "Sold Out"
Additionally, I received this message via email from APMX just yesterday:
Due to the OVERWHELMING demand for precious metals, our online ordering system has been unable to keep up with our customers’ needs. We have had to disable the APMEX ordering system to allow us ample time to upgrade our site to accommodate the increased demand. We apologize for this temporary problem. In the mean time, we will be accepting telephone orders for the following items only as we have them available:1 ounce Gold American Eagles1 ounce Gold Canadian Maple Leafs1 Ounce Gold Krugerrands100 oz Silver BarsMisc Generic .999 Fine Silver90% Coin SilverDuring this time, we will have a minimum order of $5,000. We regret we have had to make this drastic change to our ordering process and rest assured, we are working expeditiously to correct the problem. As soon as we have our new site up and running, we will notify you via e-mail when you can again place orders online.
Or how about this one:
High Demand for 2008 Silver Maple Leafs: The Royal Canadian Mint has found itself unable to fully meet the unprecedented demand for silver Maple Leaf coins with its current supply, and has temporarily suspended shipments. This situation is temporary until more of this fine bullion product can be struck and shipped. Because many of our customers want to purchase this product at today's prices, Northwest Territorial Mint will accept orders now for shipment when the product becomes available, which we expect will exceed 30 days. If the wait for product proves too lengthy, we reserve the right to substitute a similar silver product.
OK, if there is such a supply shortage, why did PM prices crash this last week?
It was a PPT manipulated paper smack-down (through engineered margin call selling of futures, options, etc – to fry the longs, destroy prices and signal an end to the commodity boom) that has changed none of the underlying precious metals supply/demand/inflation-hedge/flight-to safety fundamentals.
But it did provide a great buying opportunity – could be a very good time to back up the truck and load up w/physical…
Take a look at who is taking advantage of this smack-down:
Asia jewellers on buying spree as price sinks-- It probably won’t be too long before PM prices regain their footing..
Jewellers across Asia rushed to buy gold on Thursday after prices tumbled more than $100 an ounce since spiking to a record above $1,000 an ounce this week, pushing up premiums in key bullion trading centres. Gold fell more than 2 percent to hit a 1-month low of $920.30 an ounce as funds sold bullion after pushing up the price to a lifetime high of $1,030.80 on Monday.
Superb comment from a reader at a PM blog I routinely visit -- summarizes the situation perfectly: Somebody took advantage of a short trading week to slam PMs - on options expiration week (saving the shorts' shorts!) - and by the same token make a "double-top" appear out of the blue - to signal "an end to the commodities bull" and "an end to the bearish dollar" - based on NO REAL PHYSICAL TRADING - just "PAPER"...
With our manipulation discussion out of the way, what about the credit crisis being resolved?
Goldman, Lehman Rating Outlook Cut to Negative by S&P (Update3)
March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the biggest U.S. securities firm, and smaller rival Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. had their credit-rating outlook cut to negative by Standard & Poor's, which said Wall Street banks' profits may fall as much as 30 percent in the coming year.
``Our current expectation is that net revenue could decline'' at least 20 percent for independent securities firms, S&P said in a statement today.
Or this one:
The crisis in the credit markets is threatening to engulf one of the largest commercial finance companies in the United States.
The CIT Group, a century-old company that lends money to small businesses and midsize corporations, drew on $7.3 billion of emergency bank credit lines on Thursday, causing its shares and bonds to plummet.
CIT, whose businesses range from making student loans to financing purchases of airplanes and railroad cars, announced that it would try to sell some assets or businesses to raise cash and repay its debts. Analysts said the tightening credit squeeze could drive the entire company into the arms of a bidder.
The developments at CIT suggest that the credit troubles that felled Bear Stearns this week continue to spread, despite efforts by the Federal Reserve to encourage banks to lend to other financial companies.
There are 93 US companies at risk of defaulting on $53 billion in debts, a new report shows, marking a 50 percent jump since last June, when the credit crisis started. Many of these debt-laden companies were involved in giant leveraged buyouts.
Standard & Poor’s ‘‘weakest links’’ report is forecasting that 75 US companies will default on their debts in the next 12 months. Of the 93 companies at risk, more than half were involved in takeovers by big-name private equity firms, including Boston’s Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital, and J.W. Childs Associates.
The sectors worst hit are media and entertainment, and consumer and retail. Many of the names are familiar to consumers, like Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp., the Boston-based pizza restaurant group; Linens ‘n Things Inc., the home goods chain; and Univision Communications Inc., the Spanish-language television and radio company.
‘‘This is just the beginning,’’ said Diane Vazza, managing director and head of Global Fixed Income Research at Standard and Poor’s in New York. For companies struggling with debt payments, she said, ‘‘There’s no way in a slowing economy, potentially a recessionary economy, to grow out of that.’’
I could go on with additional links to illustrate the depths of this credit crisis, but I think you get the point—the recent smoke and mirrors caused by PPT market manipulation has solved nothing. Our banking system is still insolvent and the fed is pumping money into a bottomless pit.
BOTTOM LINE: A one or two day turn around for stocks and commodities means little.
NOTHING, absolutely nothing regarding underlying fundamentals has changed from last week, except the titanic has taken on a bit more water, and the captain is desperately trying to reassure us by saying -- "it's only a small leak and lifeboats (PM's) won't be needed."
Go ahead and trust the captain -- but at your own peril...
OK, my doom and gloom is out of the way -- how about some closing funnies?
Regards and happy easter to all!