If you’ve been wondering if you’re the only person confused by what all the hub bub is about, this is your opportunity to get caught up.
One of the effects of a US Government downgrade is a municipal downgrade to follow.
If you’ve been following my newsletters over the past few years, you know I’ve advised you to watch your municipal holdings closely if you have any at all.
The free (relatively) capital market ultimately determines the cost municipals will have to pay to borrow money.
If the US Gov’t is downgraded (I argue when not if) then 7,000 municipal bonds will be automatically downgraed as well. At least according to Moody’s.
This really hurts retirees as they’re the largest part of this market.
I’ll be writing this summer about the US ability (and struggles) to sell bonds and finance the debt, particularly as QE2 ends and the Chinese bubble bursts (at some point in the future).
This article talks in depth about an issue we may see more of in the future–US debt being downgraded. This is from a German, not US, rating agency, but it could be just the… Read More
I happen to agree personal consumer debt has been a huge problem for our country and will continue to be a major factor in the next crisis.
What can you do?
Get your personal debt under control and as low as possible. If you need help with strategies around this, please let me know me.
This article takes a contrarian view, particularly on the debt, which I want to present to you.
He argues there are “diamonds in the rough”, which is almost always true.
I’m still quite negative on municipals in general, but it’s good to see the other point of view.
… Read More
The first quarter was a bumpy ride for US Treasuries (as I mention in my video which you should have listened to already), and essentially ended flat to slightly negative.
Much of what will happen in the next quarter will be dependent on the ending of quantitative easing in June and whether the Federal Reserve increases interest rates.
What to do? Stay tuned and be diversified. Too much of an… Read More
We have a huge federal deficit. We need people to buy Federal bonds to lend money to the government.
With the huge influx of money from the Fed in the past few months, foreign investors were squeezed out. Will they come back? The answer is not as simple as you’d think.
I’ll be writing more and more about this as the… Read More
The deficit levels of the Japan government are among the highest of the developed countries, and expected to increase in the coming years.
This is not good news for Japan. As the rating decreases, the extra premium paid to borrow money goes up. So, a 3% cost of borrow might increase to 4%.
Anyway, this is something to watch as the United States deficit to GDP is increasing rapidly.
The Euro has rallied against other currencies recently.
Do I think this is a short term rally? Yes. Do I think the Euro and Europe in general still have long term problems? Yes.
Outflows are huge right now and I anticipate they will continue while states determine how to balance their budgets.
To do: Continue to avoid Municipal Bonds unless you’ve really done your homework
Revenues are still way down, and without the big influx from stimulus money the worst is yet to come.
What is your interest rate sensitivity? If you reply “what does that mean”, then you definitely need to listen to my video below.
I talk about a quick and dirty way to estimate how a Rising Interest Rate will negatively effect your particular bonds and/or bond funds… Read More
We’re now seeing the worst falls in Municipals since Lehman’s collapse back in September 2008. Ouch! I also say that the worst is before us, not behind.
To do: Watch your municipal holdings and know what your exposure is!
Ireland has a bailout (thank you EU and IMF) and now the yields for Portugal, Spain, and Italy are going… Read More
I think the problems are starting to hit and 2011 will be a big year of reckoning.
Look at the chart to the right. Ugly.
Why is this happening?
There’s the looming end of the Build America Bonds program, questions about how state and local governments will manage their debts, and the impact of huge pension and health care obligations that seem unsustainable.
This is something to celebrate, right? People are paying off their debt, right?
Wrong. It is almost scary how closely the decline in US Household debt correlates with the charge-offs of mortgage and consumer loans.
People are defaulting, not paying them off.
… Read More
However, there are reasons to be optimistic about Greece and that it can rise from it’s difficult situation.
… Read More
State pensions are in a world of hurt, and you and I will be subsidizing them in the future. Do you think this will cause some slowdown in state revenues and resources? Of course.
… Read More