TALF, Another failed policy?
Steve Cook on Disciplined Investing

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Economics

   This Week’s Data

    The International Council of Shopping Centers reported weekly sales of major retailer down .6% versus the prior week and down .8% versus the comparable period in 2008; Redbook Research reported month to date retail chain store sales down 1.5% on a year over year basis.

    Auto sales were down 40% in February:
    http://econompicdata.blogspot.com/2009/03/auto-sales-and-boom-goes-dynamite.html
   
   Other

    The nonstatistical news yesterday was the announcement of the general terms for the so called TALF plan which another government lending facility.  This particular fund will loan money to private investors to underwrite consumer credit card debt, auto loans and other asset backed securities.  As I understand this program, the loans must be AAA rated, they must be new loans--not those that the banks are currently choking on and the taxpayers are taking most of the risk.  My bottom line: it will only be helpful at the margin and more importantly it does nothing to correct the main problem our economy faces, to wit, a sick banking system.  Until we solve the bank balance sheet problem, nothing has changed.
http://kudlowsmoneypolitics.blogspot.com/2009/03/government-announcements-lead-to.html

    Data on problem banks from the FDIC:
    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/03/problem-banks-in-2008-nowhere-close-to.html

    Data on loan delinquency rates:
    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/03/bank-deliquency-rates-for-2008qiv.html

    Barry Ridholtz on the AIG bailout:
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/solvent-insurer-insolvent-insurer/
   
    The odds of a depression:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123612575524423967.html

Politics

  Domestic

More on our immigration policy:
http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/03/why-skilled-immigrants-are-leaving-us.html

    Potential good news:
    http://www.cqpolitics.com/cq-assets/eap/static/dem-revolt1.html

  International War Against Radical Islam

    A new policy for handling terrorists?:
    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTMyNTY5YTk1ZDJhOGY2MWI0NGE1ZmU3ZTgwYWZkODE=

The Market
    
    Technical

    A pretty strong argument for a technical bounce:   
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/sp-500-index-vs-200-day-moving-average/

    A history of market performance in years with a terrible start:
    http://bespokeinvest.typepad.com/bespoke/2009/03/2009-by-far-the-worst-start-to-a-year-since-1900.html

*********************************
   
    The Averages (DJIA 6726, S&P 676) seemed to take a breather yesterday; but remain in a water fall formation.  I am hoping that somehow we get some sort of climatic selling and a bounce long before equity prices approach the only visible support levels (thirty year uptrend line [DJIA 3554, S&P 446]/ the 1994 lows [DJIA 3871, S&P 581]) that I see.  In the meantime about the only firm number to watch is the old support level (DJIA 7146, S&P 741) which now has become resistance levels.   Bottom line: the trend is down until it is not. 

   Fundamental
   
    Charlie Gasparino on what’s wrong with the Market:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-03-02/is-the-worst-yet-to-come/

    Another problem in stock land:   
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=alwTE0Z5.1EA





Posted 03-04-2009 8:24 AM by Steve Cook
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