Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Financial Headlines 6/29/2010

A few snippets of news/data for the market to worry about (200 point drop in Dow so far and counting):
  • Everyone worried about growth in China again. Cause the thing is, China is supposed to suck the entire universe out of its economic funk. So the Chinese economy had better keep growing at double digits, or else we're in some deep poop.
  • Speaking of economic funks, the ECB's monster one-year 442 billion euro funding facility is due to expire on Thursday. There are some concerns that banks will have trouble finding other places to park their garbage collateral. Greek and Spanish banks might even have trouble finding anyone willing to lend against their good collateral. To smooth the transition, the ECB is planning to offer three-month money (ye old extend and pretend) and markets are watching how much of the one year funds will be rolled into the three-month facility.
  • Our venerable SEC has been approving new listings for companies from the Ukraine and Russia with no assets and zero revenues. Apparently, nine such companies were approved in the past two years without the SEC asking any questions. Now this is just flat-out SEC-bashing. I mean, this is a HUGE improvement over the years 1998-2000, when the SEC gave the green light to around 1,000 internet start-ups that had zero revenues and zero assets.
  • Forget what everyone has said about consumer confidence improving. The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence dropped 10 points to 52.9, which is just a smidge below the 62.5 our cheerful economists were expecting.

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