Wat je vandaag moet weten (beursdag 8 februari): studentenleningen

Even geen Grieks drama
Maar een luchtig blijspel buiten Europa. Want in Macro-land is er zoveel
meer, neem de studenten in de VS. Die lenen om te studeren om een goede baan
te krijgen zodat ze hun leningen kunnen afbetalen. Een prima plan, behalve
als er geen banen zijn omdat je in een zware recessie zit.

Vandaar deze headline: “Rising
U.S. student debt could be next ‘bomb
‘ for economy – Almost half of U.S.
bankruptcy attorneys representing consumers say that potential clients with
student-loan debt have "significantly increased" over the past
three to four years, a survey found. The National Association of Consumer
Bankruptcy Attorneys, a group that represents consumer debtors and their
lawyers, released a survey today of 860 bankruptcy attorneys in the U.S who
are members of the organization. Federal and private student-loan debt is
approaching US$1- trillion and surpassed credit-card debt for the first time
in 2010, according to Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org, a college
grant and loan website. The borrowing represents a threat reminiscent of the
mortgage crisis, the attorneys group said in a statement. Under U.S. law,
student-loan debt – unlike credit-card borrowings – can rarely be discharged
in bankruptcy court. "Take it from those of us on the frontline of
economic distress in America," William E. Brewer, Jr., president of the
group, said in a statement. "This could very well be the next debt bomb
for the U.S. economy."

Zie het orginele rapport hier
.

Even geen Nederlands vastgoed
Maar een kijkje naar de stenenschuiversbranche buiten Nederland. Zou het daar
meevallen? Antwoord: mwah… “Banks forced out of property sector, fund warns
— The head of the world’s largest manager of property funds has warned that
the pressure being placed on banks by governments is forcing them out of the
property market. In an interview with the Financial Times, Brett White,
chief executive of CBRE, which has almost $100bn under management, said that
the scrutiny on banks, the traditional source of finance to the industry,
was helping pave the way for a greater involvement of private equity funds.
“It is not that [banks] don’t want to play in the real estate market any
more, but rather that they cannot as they come under so much scrutiny from
their governments,” Mr White said.”

Arme banken
Die arme banken worden door regels zo gestraft dat ze niet meer mee kunnen
doen.. Zijn dat alleen die Zuid-Europese banken? Nee hoor. Bloomberg
schrijft: Denmark’s Zombie Banks Fair Game in Regulatory Revamp, FSA Says —
Denmark’s financial regulator defended its determination to impose more
rigorous bank capital standards amid warnings from industry groups that the
measures are depriving firms of credit and stifling growth.

“The whole approach in Denmark is that it’s better to get the risks on the
table,” said Ulrik Noedgaard, director general of the Financial Supervisory
Authority in Copenhagen, in an interview. “We feel we get the balance right,
and that getting these sorts of zombie banks out of the equation is good.”

Surprise audits by the FSA last year led to three bank failures after they
were found to have understated their bad loans, leaving them in breach of
capital rules. The approach is spooking banks and spurring a wave of loan
retrenchment that’s left businesses without the funds to grow, according to
Karsten Dybvad, the head of the Confederation of Danish Industries.

He says Denmark’s $300 billion economy is in the grip of a credit crunch
that’s getting worse. Amagerbanken A/S, Fjordbank Mors A/S and Max Bank A/S
were declared insolvent last year after the FSA told them to book bigger
loan losses. Two of those failures fell under Denmark’s bail-in law and
pushed losses on to senior creditors.

Since then, most of the country’s 120 banks have been frozen out of debt
markets as investors balk at the prospect of losses.

Caveat emptor
Een gewaarschuwd handelaar telt voor twee (en via leverage wellicht voor 10),
en de waarschuwing komt vandaag uit ‘Down Under’: RBA Growth Girl Warns
Aussie Too High as Stevens Holds Rates — Incoming Australian central bank
board member Heather Ridout aims to bring more attention to the nation’s
overvalued exchange rate as she joins the policy debate amid deliberations
on lowering interest rates.

“There’s too much froth in the Australian currency,” which economic
fundamentals indicate ought to be worth 90 to 95 U.S. cents, Ridout,
outgoing head of the Australian Industry Group, said
in an interview yesterday. She said “speculative” buying stoked by rate
differentials had spurred the local dollar, which traded at $1.0792 at 3:03
p.m. in Sydney. Ridout, 58, will bring the perspective of the country’s
manufacturers to the Reserve Bank of Australia, which unexpectedly left its
benchmark rate at 4.25 percent yesterday.

Enige probleem met posities tegen de AUD in, is dat dit een vreselijke
pijntrade is waar iedereen al inzit. Belangrijke reden is de bankensector
(die aandelen zijn het afgelopen jaar keurig gedaald) vanwege de
huizenbubble aldaar. Short in AUD levert ongetwijfeld geld op, maar het is
geen positie voor tere zieltjes.

Inflatie en banen
Een gezonde portie debunking over twee onderwerpen. Ten eerste: Inflatie en
Monetair beleid. “bernanke-led-economy-proving-critics-clueless-about-federal-reserve-policy.html” target=”_blank”>Bernanke-Led
Economy Proves Critics Clueless About Fed Policies
"The numbers are proving Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s
critics wrong. More than a year after Republicans from House Speaker John
Boehner of Ohio to presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas warned that the
Fed’s second round of asset purchases risked a sharp acceleration in prices,
the surge has failed to materialize. … “The criticism about the Fed being
inflationary is not fact-based,” said Mark Gertler, an economics professor
at New York University who has co-written research with Bernanke. “In terms
of an inflation record, the facts are the Fed has been as close to
impeccable as you can possibly get.”

Het is een beweging ten goede dat dit weer gewoon kan worden gezegd in de VS,
zonder dat de sprekers meteen in het communistische kamp worden geplaatst.

Ten slotte: het banencijfer van afgelopen vrijdag, daar hoor je nog steeds de
vreemdste bezwaren over.

Barry Ritholtz en collega’s slaan terug: “BLS
Warned About Census Adjustment in December 2011
– Barry has been
crushing the BLS
flat-earthers
the
past few days.

Conclusie: “Point being, there’s no need to go out with bad information or run
your mouth when you have doubts. Of course, this will be of no comfort to
the tin-hatters who claim the agencies are in the bag.” Er is meer dan
genoeg economische ellende in de wereld, maar het banencijfer van vrijdag
was goed.

Jacob Jurg is verbonden aan AFS en
verantwoordelijk voor nieuws en research.
De informatie in deze
column bevat geen individueel beleggingsadvies of aanbeveling tot het doen
van bepaalde beleggingen.

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