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Friday August 31, 2007 - 10:14:00 GMT
Black Swan Capital - www.blackswantrading.com

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High yield happy in front of B & B

Key News
High-yielding currencies came back into favour and the yen fell on Friday as news that U.S. President George W. Bush would announce proposals later on Friday to help subprime mortgage borrowers reassured investors. (Reuters)

A high yield barometer AUDJPY Daily:

083107_audjpy_daily_2 

• Barclays rushed to reassure investors and depositors on Thursday night after it was forced by what it said was a technical glitch to borrow from the Bank of England’s emergency reserves for the second time in just over a week.  (FT)

The pound still acting well in light of UK banking concerns GBPUSD Daily:

083107_gbp_daily

But the euro seems to be playing a bit of “wait and see” (EURUSD Daily) this morning, it’s not yet following the high yield move:

083107_eur_daily

Key Reports Due (WSJ):
8:30a.m. July Personal Income. Expected: +0.3%. Previous: +0.4%.
8:30a.m. July Personal Spending. Expected: +0.3%. Previous: +0.1%.
9:45a.m. Aug Chicago PMI. Previous: 53.4.
10:00a.m. End-Aug Reuters/U Of Mich Sentiment Index. Previous: 83.3.
10:00a.m. July Factory Orders. Expected: +2.5%. Previous: +0.6%.

Quotable

“Our crisis will go down in history for different reasons.

One is the sheer size of the debt in which people have belatedly lost faith. The issuance of one kind of mortgage-backed structure — collateralized debt obligations — alone runs to $1 trillion. The shocking fragility of recently issued debt is another singular feature of the 2007 downturn — alarming numbers of defaults despite high employment and reasonably strong economic growth. Hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities would, by now, have had to be recalled if Wall Street did business as Detroit does.

“Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd, in the 1940 edition of their seminal volume ‘Security Analysis,’ held that the acid test of a bond or a mortgage issuer is its ability to discharge its financial obligations “under conditions of depression rather than prosperity.” Today’s mortgage market can’t seem to weather prosperity.

A third remarkable aspect of the summer’s troubles is the speed with which the world’s central banks have felt it necessary to intervene. Bear in mind that when the Federal Reserve cut its discount rate on Aug. 17 — a move intended to restore confidence and restart the machinery of lending and borrowing — the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen just 8.25 percent from its record high. The Fed has so far refused to reduce the federal funds rate, the main interest rate it fixes, but it has all but begged the banks to avail themselves of the dollars they need through the slightly unconventional means of borrowing at the discount window — that is, from the Fed itself.

“What could account for the weakness of our credit markets? Why does the Fed feel the need to intervene at the drop of a market? The reasons have to do with an idea set firmly in place in the 1930s and expanded at every crisis up to the present. This is the notion that, while the risks inherent in the business of lending and borrowing should be finally borne by the public, the profits of that line of work should mainly accrue to the lenders and borrowers.

“…Now comes the bill for that binge and, with it, cries for even greater federal oversight and protection. Ben S. Bernanke, Mr. Greenspan’s successor at the Fed (and his loyal supporter during the antideflation hysteria), is said to be resisting the demand for broadly lower interest rates. Maybe he is seeing the light that capitalism without financial failure is not capitalism at all, but a kind of socialism for the rich.”

     Jim Grant, New York Times op-ed


We thought Jim Grant’s recent op-ed said it best and sets the tone well as we find out what President Bush and Fed Chairman Bernanke have to say today.

Take care and enjoy your weekend.

Jack Crooks

Editor’s Note:  A holiday weekend in the US—labor day.  Hopefully we will be laboring at the beach.  We will publish again next Tuesday.

 

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