Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Market's Up, And?

Yes, DOW's up, but the underlying problems are serious and will remain for some time. And it's not clear yet what this means for equity markets in the short- and near terms. If equity prices are currently 'undervalued' (assuming that they will be 'corrected' to some golden-rule P:E/EBITDA ratio), then one would expect to see more people moving into the market than we see now.

As a general measure, take the terms of Buffet's investments in GE and Goldman Sachs. Yes, he put in some billions, but the more aggressive the terms, the less bullish he is, really. He's not pouring cash into general equities at the moment, instead, GE and Goldman drew up these insanely privileged contracts for a new class of shares, all his own, with a generous dividend and almost infinite options.

The questions now are:
  1. Now that the banks have FED capital, when, and how far will LIBOR rates drop? (Meaning, When will the banks start trusting, and loaning to, each other, regardless of the spin that's being given to the general public at the moment?)
  2. How honest will the banks be in stating their losses in the next earnings report?
  3. How aggressively will the Financial Accounting Standards Board enforce the rules on valuing the toxic assets in the next round of earnings reports? (Meaning, When will the charade end, and when will finally know what debt's good and what debt's bad?)
  4. As the FED racks up more debt (DOWWTF?! earlier predicted that the final tab will come in at $1.5 trillion, though that's now looking kinda low), who will keep buying the T-Bills?