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    Daily Digest – Apr 29

    by Davos

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009, 2:58 PM

  • Canadian Solar Soaking China’s Sun, and Money (CSIQ)
  • US Treasury 2nd Quarter Borrowing to hit $361 Billion…
  • A Fantastic Invention! (Video)
  • Robert Shiller at Seattle Pacific University (Audio on page)
  • FSN April 25, 2009 (Audio, I haven’t listened to it yet Part III Looks really good)
  • Evidence to the Contrary
  • What Did This Cost? (Video)
  • Obama Orders Review of New York Flight as Cost Put at $328,835
  • Changing Sides
  • From The Coming Depression Blog (Video, Bank Destroys Homes)
  • Jim the Realtor: Still Flippin (Video) 


Canadian Solar Soaking China’s Sun, and Money (CSIQ) 

Solar maker Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ) is incorporated in Canada, but all operations are based in China. The company has announced that three Chinese banks will kick in a total of $2.2 billion “in potential credit facilities that can be used to finance domestic and overseas solar projects where Canadian Solar is the provider of solar modules.” Canadian Solar may establish a holding company in China to “manage these and other transactions.”

The company also announced a $1.1 million matching fund from the government of Suzhou New District for building new PV solar installations in the district. The funds are available only to Canadian Solar.

It is interesting that the amount of backing that the Chinese government is willing to put into manufacturing is a few orders of magnitude greater than its willingness to invest in domestic projects. China appears to have decided to support domestic PV solar manufacturing in whatever way necessary to keep the industry afloat in the country.

The news has bumped the share price by 4.5% in pre-market trading, to $5.80. The company’s 52-week range is $3.00-$51.80.

US Treasury 2nd Quarter Borrowing to hit $361 Billion… 

Math, it’s not fun when it works against you, and the Fed, the central banks, and your government are all working against you. The second fiscal quarter is the one where the revenues are supposed to be the strongest and borrowing the least. However, not this year:

US Treasury April-June borrowing to hit $361 bln

WASHINGTON, April 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department said on Monday it expects to borrow $361 billion of marketable debt in the April-June quarter, up $196 billion from earlier estimates, as government spending soars in the deepest and longest recession in decades.

The amount is a record for the quarter, in which borrowing usually diminishes because most Americans’ annual income taxes are filed by April 15. Borrowing needs include $200 billion to support Federal Reserve liquidity programs aimed at reviving lending after the housing market crash and surge in credit defaults.

The previous record borrowing for the April-June quarter is $60 billion in 2003. The Treasury cited weak revenues and greater spending to support economic recovery programs as among reasons for greater borrowing needs.

The Treasury said it expects to borrow $515 billion of marketable debt in the July-September quarter. In the January quarter it borrowed $481 billion, slightly less than earlier estimates.

The Treasury on Wednesday announces its quarterly debt refunding needs. (Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

The previous record for the quarter is $60 billion? That almost sounds quaint! Well, I think I know how to do simple math and that means that this year we are SMASHING THE ALL TIME DEBT RECORD BY A FACTOR OF 6! Six times more than ever before?!

You can’t say you were never warned: U.S. Budget Disaster Strikes…

Hey, sorry to those who believe the crisis is over, but I think I see that train a coming… and we’re all stuck in Folsom Prison!

A Fantastic Invention! (Video)


Robert Shiller at Seattle Pacific University (Audio on page) 

Professor Shiller spoke at Seattle Pacific University today. After the Q&A, reader Erik asked Shiller:

Q: Why does the FHFA (OFHEO) index show house price gains for the last two months, whereas the Case-Shiller is showing prices are still falling?

A (Erik’s notes): He thought about it for a bit, and said "I haven’t studied it yet", I think it is because the "OFHEO index doesn’t capture foreclosures as much our index." They tend to use conventional mortgages more and conventional mortgages seem to hold out longer and as a result "there may be an upward bias to their numbers." He then paused and said, "the OFHEO numbers are a bit fishy (he looked perplexed) to me because they seem to have broken the smooth trend (he gestured with his hand the trend and finished with an upward movement) and I can’t quite figure out where they came from, but I suspect it is from them capturing too few foreclosures or us capturing too many (laughs) even OFHEO has said they don’t know why or can’t explain their own numbers from the last two months."

I’ll revisit this question soon, but I prefer the Case-Shiller index.

Tim at the Seattle Bubble Blog has more:

One amusing part of the afternoon session was a story Dr. Shiller related about a localized Los Angeles housing bubble in 1885. In describing the mentality in 1885 Los Angeles, he said that people thought “Los Angeles is special!” He also quoted from an article in the LA Times which was published during the aftermath of the collapse in 1886: "We Californians have learned something. And that is that home prices can’t just go up forever—they have to be supported by something. Never again will Californians make this mistake."

For anyone interested in hearing the entire afternoon lecture, you can listen to it right here.

Report: BofA, Citi Told May Need to Raise Capital 

From the WSJ: Fed Pushes Citi, BofA to Increase Capital

Regulators have told Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. that the banks may need to raise more capital …

Executives at both banks are objecting to the preliminary findings …

Industry analysts and investors predict that some regional banks, especially those with big portfolios of commercial real-estate loans, likely fared poorly on the stress tests. Analysts consider Regions Financial Corp., Fifth Third Bancorp and Wells Fargo & Co. to be among the leading contenders for more capital….
The article also notes that the results of the stress test could be released the week of May 4th – and not on May 4th as originally announced.

No one will believe the test results if Citi isn’t required to raise more capital.

FSN April 25, 2009 (Audio, I haven’t listened to it yet Part III Looks really good)

Evidence to the Contrary 

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, mainstream types keep insisting on two things: that what we are going through right now is a recession — albeit a severe one — and the worst is (or will soon be) over.


What Did This Cost? (Video)

Obama Orders Review of New York Flight as Cost Put at $328,835 

April 28 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama ordered a review of a publicity-photo shoot with one of the planes that serves as Air Force One that cost taxpayers $328,835 and caused a furor in New York City.

Changing Sides

There was a time when I disagreed with the inflationistas and the gold bugs. In my view, they did not anticipate the deflationary flash flood that would rip through the global economy once history’s biggest credit bubble began to burst, and they failed to understand that this was just the set-up needed to transform the last of the allegedly prudent policymakers into full-on Mugabes-in-the-making.

Now, though, as some deflationistas grow ever more confident that we are set for a replay of what took place 80 years ago, I am in the process of switching sides. As I see it, the combination of intellectual hubris and a relentless determination by central bankers and politicians to beat the GD 2.0 rap, as well as an increasingly contagious urge to embrace all manner of fiscal insanity, suggest we are nearing the point where people will begin to lose faith in those who control the pursestrings — and the printing presses.

From The Coming Depression Blog (Video, Bank Destroys Homes)


Jim the Realtor: Still Flippin (Video)

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