Thursday, October 02, 2014 04:30am
North Adams, MA now: 55 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
SIGN IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
@theMarket: Economy Sputters, Stocks Stutter
By: Bill Schmick On: 06:08PM / Friday August 27, 2010
Important
0
Interesting
0
Funny
0
Awesome
0
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0

The markets were so oversold by Friday that even a hint of positive news was enough to send stocks higher. The trigger was the revision downward of the nation's gross domestic product to 1.6 percent for the second quarter. The initial GDP reading had been 2.4 percent.

"Why is that good news?" asked a perplexed client from Long Island.

"The revision could have been worse," I explained.

Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke also helped push stocks higher by throwing the market a few straws of reassurance. He said he would consider another large scale investment in the markets if the economy deteriorated further or if deflation became a problem. At the same time, he said it might not be necessary because he still sees the economy growing next year.

The Fed has three options to further add liquidity to the system. They could buy more government bonds and possibly mortgage backed securities and drive mortgage rates even lower than they are now. A 30-year, fixed rate mortgage is now below 4.5 percent. In this atmosphere of uncertainty, they could further clarify exactly how long they expect to keep interest rates near zero. To date, they have only said rates would be low for an "extended period."

Finally, they could cut to zero the interest rates the Fed pays banks to park their reserves at the Fed. Right now they are paying 0.25 percent. That might seem a nominal sum to most, but when you have billions of dollars sitting there, that quarter of a percent adds up. This last option, I believe, is the key to getting out of the liquidity trap we find ourselves in.

For the last year and a half, the Federal Reserve has been dumping mountains of money into the financial system, hoping that the banks and corporations will in turn lend it to consumers and use it to hire workers, build new plants and buy equipment. Instead, financial institutions have been hoarding the cash and getting paid by the Fed to do so.

Why? Given the uncertainty of the recovery, the high unemployment rate and the risk of even more bad debts coming through the door, the banks believe it is better to keep the cash then risk losing it on future bad loans or, in the case of corporations, on hiring workers that they won't need in a double-dip recession. Fear is the name of that game.

"Play it safe, after all," they say, "a 0.25 percent return is better than no return at all."

This monumental timidity in the face of 9.5 percent unemployment and a housing market that is tipping precariously back into a downward spiral should be unacceptable to all of us. So how do we get the banks to lend again?

Simple, instead of reducing the rate the Fed is paying to zero, make it minus 1 percent or 2 percent. That's right; in order to park your cash at the Fed instead of lending it out, it's going to cost you. I believe faced with losing 1 to 2 percent on their money or risking it by lending to you and I at 5 to 6 percent, fear will turn to greed. This good ole American financial system will begin to work for us again instead of against us.

In the meantime, we are bouncing around the 1,050 level on the S&P 500 Index. I still maintain that 950 is in the cards. It's simply a matter of time before that occurs. I know this five-month trading range is frustrating to investors but patience will be rewarded, possibly as soon as September. The doom and gloom is building but has not yet built to a crescendo. We may well get another bounce this coming week but once again it will be on low volume and will simply be another bear trap, so don't be fooled.



1 Comments
Tags: stocks, GDP      
News Headlines
Pittsfield To Examine Privatizing Water Treatment
Clarksburg Planners Advise 'Stop Work' on Golf Course
Electric Rate Increase Tamed By Lenox's Group Purchasing
Cheshire Asks for Verizon Pole Cleanup, Hears Park Update
North Adams Vigil Celebrates Addiction Recovery, Mourns Loss
Longtime MCLA Staffer Degen Retiring
Does Your Plan Need A Makeover?
Girl Scouts to Host 'Geek Is Glam' STEM Expo
Williamstown Elementary Clothing Sale Benefits Classrooms
North Adams Happenings: Oct. 1-7
Bill Schmick is registered as an investment advisor representative and portfolio manager with Berkshire Money Management (BMM), managing over $200 million for investors in the Berkshires. Bill’s forecasts and opinions are purely his own and do not necessarily represent the views of BMM. None of his commentary is or should be considered investment advice. Anyone seeking individualized investment advice should contact a qualified investment adviser. None of the information presented in this article is intended to be and should not be construed as an endorsement of BMM or a solicitation to become a client of BMM. The reader should not assume that any strategies, or specific investments discussed are employed, bought, sold or held by BMM. Direct your inquiries to Bill at 1-888-232-6072 (toll free) or email him at Bill@afewdollarsmore.com Visit www.afewdollarsmore.com for more of Bill’s insights.

 

 

 



Categories:
@theMarket (145)
Independent Investor (197)
Archives:
September 2014 (5)
August 2014 (7)
July 2014 (2)
June 2014 (6)
May 2014 (9)
April 2014 (8)
March 2014 (6)
February 2014 (6)
January 2014 (7)
December 2013 (8)
November 2013 (7)
October 2013 (6)
Tags:
Stock Market Oil Currency Bailout Europe Pullback Federal Reserve Housing Debt Metals Recession Japan Commodities Retirement Selloff Energy Stocks Interest Rates Banks Euro Taxes Jobs Debt Ceiling Economy Congress Election Fiscal Cliff Crisis Rally Greece Markets Fed Stimulus Deficit Europe
Popular Entries:
The Independent Investor: Understanding the Foreclosure Scandal
The Independent Investor: Don't Fight the Fed
The Independent Investor: Does Cash Mean Currencies?
@theMarket: QE II Supports the Markets
@theMarket: Markets Are Going Higher
The Independent Investor: General Motors — Back to the Future
The Independent Investor: How Will Wall Street II Play on Main Street?
The Independent Investor: Will the Municipal Bond Massacre Continue?
@theMarket: Economy Sputters, Stocks Stutter
The Independent Investor: Why Are Interest Rates Rising?
Recent Entries:
@theMarket: Wash, Rinse and Repeat
The Independent Investor: Is Wall Street Responsible for Climate Change?
@theMarket: Waiting on the Fed
The Independent Investor: The United States of Scotland?
The Independent Investor: Europe Follows the U.S. lead
@theMarket: What's Up With Bonds?
The Independent Investor: Baby Boomers and Retirement
@theMarket: Labor on Their Mind
The Independent Investor: Financing ISIS
@theMarket: Geopolitical Risk Trumps Economic Growth


View All
Soccer:Taconic vs Lee
Lee won 6-2 over Taconic Tuesday afternoon. Submitting...
Soccer: Lenox vs Mount...
Dan Flynn scored both his goals after half-time to lead...
Girls Soccer: Wahconah vs...
Monday afternoon girls soccer game between Wahconah and...
Golf: Drury vs Pittsfield
Nick Boulger carded a 40 to lead the Drury High School golf...
Bike Night 2014
Motorcycles packed into the Visitor Center parking lot...
Girls Soccer: Pittsfield vs...
Trinity Cookis tallied three of Pittsfield’s seven goals...
Soccer: PHS vs Taconic
Pittsfield boys, top Taconic 5-0
Football: Smith Voc vs McCann...
McCann over Smith Voc. 53-0.
Soccer: St. Joe's vs Taconic
St. Joe 1, Taconic 1: 1st half: Tac - Ryan Abel (Colin...
McCann Tech Golf
The McCann Tech golf team dropped a 19-5 decision to...
Girls Soccer: Hoosac vs Mt....
Rand made two of her six saves in the last six minutes, and...
Berkshire Works Career Fair...
The annual Berkshire Works Career Fair connected hundreds...
Soccer: Mount Everett vs...
Bradley Lupiani scored twice to lead the Mount Everett boys...
Cross Country at Wahconah
Boys:Wahconah beat Hoosac Valley 28-31; Lenox beat Hoosac...
Soccer: Commerce vs McCann
McCann Tech's Fuller Closing in on Hundredth Point. Nico...
UCP Annual Meeting 2014
United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County dedicated its...
Soccer:Taconic vs Lee
Lee won 6-2 over Taconic Tuesday afternoon. Submitting...
Soccer: Lenox vs Mount...
Dan Flynn scored both his goals after half-time to lead...
Girls Soccer: Wahconah vs...
Monday afternoon girls soccer game between Wahconah and...
Golf: Drury vs Pittsfield
Nick Boulger carded a 40 to lead the Drury High School golf...
Bike Night 2014
Motorcycles packed into the Visitor Center parking lot...
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved