Archive for the ‘investments’ Category

Stock Markets: When Will the Bull Return?

March 6, 2009

The stock market is crashing — slowly, and in plain view of the people who count on it most. The 53% plunge in the Dow Jones industrials since October 2007 has wrecked the college- and retirement-savings plans of millions of investors. It has permanently lowered the long-term investment projections of private endowments and pension funds. It has sent corporate compensation experts scrambling to figure out how to reward top employees. All told, more than $10 trillion of stock market wealth has vanished, and with it the confidence that springs from financial security.

By David Henry
Business Week
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While 17 months may feel like an eternity, it could turn out merely to be a prequel. The questions on the minds of investors, money managers, and corporate executives are threefold: How much longer will the bear market last? How low will the averages go? And when might investors get their money back?

As Warren E. Buffett has said: “Beware of geeks bearing formulas.” It’s especially difficult to predict the direction of the markets these days because the most popular gauges, from price-earnings ratios to measures of investor “capitulation,” have stopped working. The peculiar nature of this bear market limits the kit of useful tools to just a handful of bond market and business confidence indicators.

Those signals, along with interviews with financial historians, market strategists, and economists, point mostly to painful scenarios. Stocks don’t seem likely to fall much more from here — but market turmoil could continue for months or even years. Worse, by the time the market revisits its highs, so many years are likely to have passed that many older people will have gotten out of stocks, missing out on the rebound. The flip side is that new money put into the stock market now will likely do comparatively well over the long term. That’s welcome news for twentysomethings and executive compensation consultants, but perhaps not for soon-to-be retirees.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/bw/200
90306/bs_bw/0911b4123026586146

Related:
http://throwingstones.wordpress.com/2009/0
3/05/moderates-uneasy-with-obama-plan-ma
nu-raju-politicocom/

Chinese Premier Blames Recession on U.S. Actions; Beijing Rethinks Some of Its American Investments

January 29, 2009

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao squarely blamed the U.S.-led financial system for the world’s deepening economic slump, in the most public indication yet of discord between the U.S. government and its largest creditor.

By JASON DEAN in Beijing, JAMES T. AREDDY in Shanghai and SERENA NG in New York
The Wall Street Journal

[chinese premier wen jiabao] 

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Photo: Associated Press

Leaders in China, the world’s third-largest economy, have been surprised and upset over how much the problems of the U.S. financial sector have hurt China’s holdings. In response, Beijing is re-examining its U.S. investments, say people familiar with the government’s thinking.
Mr. Wen, the first Chinese premier to visit the annual global gathering of economic and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland, delivered a strongly worded indictment of the causes of the crisis, clearly aimed largely at the United States though he didn’t name it. Mr. Wen blamed an “excessive expansion of financial institutions in blind pursuit of profit,” a failure of government supervision of the financial sector, and an “unsustainable model of development, characterized by prolonged low savings and high consumption.”

Chinese leaders have felt burned by a series of bad experiences with U.S. investments they had believed were safe, say people familiar with their thinking, including holdings in Morgan Stanley, the collapsed Reserve Primary Fund and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As a result, the people say, government leaders decided not to make new investments in a number of U.S. companies that sought China’s capital. China’s pullback from Fannie and Freddie debt helped push up rates on U.S. mortgages last year just as Washington was seeking to revive the U.S. housing market.

To be sure, China’s economy now is so closely intertwined with the U.S.’s that major, abrupt changes are unlikely. The U.S.-China economic relationship has become arguably the world’s most important. China has been recycling its vast export earnings by financing the U.S. deficit through buying Treasurys, helping to keep U.S. interest rates low and give American consumers more spending power to buy Chinese exports.

Read the rest:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1
23318934318826787.html

Bush Excluded by Latin Summit as China, Russia Loom

December 15, 2008

Latin American and Caribbean leaders gathering in Brazil tomorrow will mark a historic occasion: a region-wide summit that excludes the United States.

Almost two centuries after President James Monroe declared Latin America a U.S. sphere of influence, the region is breaking away. From socialist-leaning Venezuela to market-friendly Brazil, governments are expanding military, economic and diplomatic ties with potential U.S. adversaries such as China, Russia and Iran.

By Joshua Goodman
Bloomberg

James Monroe
Above: James Monroe

“Monroe certainly would be rolling over in his grave,” says Julia Sweig, director of the Latin America program at the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington and author of the 2006 book “Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century.”

The U.S., she says, “is no longer the exclusive go-to power in the region, especially in South America, where U.S. economic ties are much less important.”

Since November, Russian warships have engaged in joint naval exercises with Venezuela, the first in the Caribbean since the Cold War; Chinese President Hu Jintao signed a free-trade agreement with Peru; and Brazil invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a state visit.

“While the U.S. remains aloof from a region it no longer sees as relevant to its strategic interests, other countries are making unprecedented….

Related:
Get the Feeling Russia and China Are Slicing Up The World and the U.S. Will Be Left Out?

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20
601087&sid=a0a8IQrfwSFU&refer=worldwide