Danièle Nouy, chair of the ECB’s newfangled bank regulator that doesn’t exist yet, had a term for it: “do whatever has to be done” so that the banking sector “is seen as sound and safe and transparent.” Is seen as…. Smoke and mirrors.
Last quarter was tough on large US corporations – those in the S&P 500 index. Unperturbed, the index soared all year. But its 343 companies that have reported so far have exposed the ugly underbelly of the worldwide economy: revenue “growth.”
It’s “a technology everyone is going to have,” said a Bay Area real estate broker as he explained why realtors use drones to shoot aerial videos of high-end properties. And it’s illegal. But no one is going to be able to stop it, he implied.
It’s not like Europe is out of the woods, after years of recession, lurching from bank bailout to country bailout, and sweeping remaining fetid matters under the rug. But its banks are now sinking deeper into an even greater morass: the emerging-markets fiasco.
The last stock-market bears have gone into hibernation, browbeaten and humiliated and ridiculed by years of brilliant rallies. Clinging to their analyses and the now silly notion that stocks should trade based on economic realities, they lost clients and money and their jobs.
The Fed must have seen the relentlessly spiking margin debt. Leverage is a sign of investor confidence. The great accelerator. On the way up. And on the way down. Margin debt has a nasty, very consistent habit of peaking just when the stock market begins to crash.
Carl Icahn must have tossed and turned Monday night, after the Apple debacle. Reeling from his losses, he was out there on Tuesday hyping the stock with all his might. They’re all doing it, from Warren Buffett on down, guys with billions of play-money and a loud voice.
“Global emerging markets are now trading in full-blown panic mode”
Tech isn’t exactly booming, as we’ve seen from numerous revenue and earnings debacles, collapsing sales in China and Russia, massive layoffs…. But that hasn’t kept “valuations” of money-losing tech startups from being pushed into the stratosphere – for the benefit of a very elite club.
“Thank goodness equities went up in 2013, otherwise it might have been a rather depressing year” – Societe Generale’s exasperated Global Quantitative Research team.