John Dizard/2010

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Articles: 2010

  • Irish bail-out’s unintended consequences - Ireland and its European friends could have avoided the unintended consequences of the bailout by injecting public money into the banking system. Or they could have recapped the banks with senior paper. But they didn’t - 18th December
  • So what’s become of credit derivatives? - What’s happened to credit derivatives since the ‘experts’ made safe Wall Street and the City’s explosive devices? Much less than you think, but it’s about time artificial barriers to price transparency and fundamental data were removed - 13th December
  • Iceland deal sets interesting precedents - Iceland was supposed to be the cautionary tale for euro-area countries caught in banking and fiscal crises. But things have been working out well for Iceland, and a settlement between it and the UK and the Netherlands is expected in the next few weeks - 6th December
  • Trade for some from political stalemate - Mr Market is still giving Greece the thumbs down and in the US, prepare for the return on the lobbyist, providing a level playing field for those who own bulldozers - 29th November
  • Eyes return to Greece after Irish bail-out - Among those preparing for Greece’s forthcoming orderly default, there is disagreement over timing, writes John Dizard, who is putting his money on the second quarter of next year - 22nd November
  • The Greek debt drama would be better played sooner than later - Among those preparing for Greece’s forthcoming orderly default, there is disagreement over timing, writes John Dizard, who is putting his money on the second quarter of next year - 20th November
  • Sovereign default system makes sense - Eurocrats have now run out of time. Within a month or so, the seize-up in the peripheral bond markets will lead to serious and immediate operating issues for the financial system - 15th November
  • It’s time for some trend reversals - The political season just past has led to America being somewhat over-despised, now it’s time for some trend reversals, a dollar rally maybe, a decline in the gold and silver price . . . - 7th November
  • Lazy mindset misses African growth story - Even worldly and experienced investors in the developed world have low opinions of assets in Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, writes John Dizard, but they are wrong - 1st November
  • Bypass burden-sharing bank bonds - A word to those still tempted by burden-sharing bank bonds after the Anglo Irish exchange offer – if you’re that hungry for yield why not instead buy shares in operating companies with high dividends - 25th October
  • Iceland is hotter than you might think - Iceland’s fundamentals are good and there were long-term beneficial effects of the failure of the Icelandic elite, it will soon be the hotttest investment property - 16th October
  • Debate over shale gas decline fires up - A debate over how quickly shale gas wells decline is firing up – it could well turn into a big argument over our energy future given the US’s financial commitment to the industry - 11th October
  • New banking opportunities open up - It’s a good time to become a commercial and industrial lender right now and pick up some of the good business now being thrown out the banks’ windows - 4th October
  • For-profit school battlers dig in heels - Education reformers’ battle to tackle the for-profit schools issue is transforming into trench warfare as both sides mobilise troops - 27th September
  • Speculators hanging on actuarial stats - Actuarial comments over pension underfunding is grabbing speculators’ attention. But how best to use the information for seasonal stock speculation is tricky - 20th September
  • Please leave Anglo Irish bonds in a bog - The Irish state’s ultimate losses on Anglo Irish could amount to €5,600 for every man, woman and child, which is why an EC veto on bond-holder bail-outs would be a blessing - 13th September
  • How huge houses consume fortunes - Cheap housing, like cheap oil, or cheap food, is good. Huge houses don’t preserve fortunes, they consume them - 6th September
  • Argentine rollercoaster may be worth the ride - Argentine GDP warrants combine all kinds of danger but John Dizzard says these derivatives are an interesting speculation which are possibly under-priced compared with other risks - 23rd August
  • Short sellers and liberal reformers unite - The with-profit education companies’ controversy has brought investors and reformers together - 9th August
  • Estonia’s recovery defies economists and academics - The troubled euro members have too much debt to do similar internal devaluations - 2nd August
  • In need of luck on the risky frontier - Like the value investors I’m bullish on frontier markets such as Kazakhstan, but straight equity risk rather than complicated fixed income risk is a better bet - 26th July
  • The shale gas fairytale continues - The PowerPoint wielding shale gas marketers have done a great job, but if the economics were so good why do the operators need to raise so much outside money - 19th July
  • IMF plans mega bail-out for next crisis -There is a new set of mega-bail-out plans being put together in preparation for the next international financial crisis, so choose your investments carefully and consider the potential avalanche of money that might crush you - 12th July
  • It’s no secret: Greece is restructuring debt - You don’t need to be a secret agent to find out that Greece has started to restructure its state debts - 6th July
  • Coal plant dousing faster than expected - There will be a more rapid retirement of coal-fired generation plant over the next five years than the market anticipates, and a more rapid rise in natural gas prices and imports - 28th June
  • Irish banks may test contagion theory - And if a particularly loathed Irish bank were to be allowed to default on its subordinated debt, the creditworthiness of the Republic might even be enhanced. John Dizard issues a warning to holders of the bonds - 20th June
  • Euro bondholder haircuts would help - If, or when, any euro area countries need to effect a systematic restructuring of their banking systems, the model would be the relatively well handled Nordic banking crisis. Shareholders in all countries were eliminated or diluted - 14th June
  • The real vultures vs the eurozone - Real vultures knew their naked short on Greece was vulnerable before chancellor Merkel violated the game laws by shooting at them. They sold their CDS hedges to the usual hapless bank bureaucrats months ago - 7th June
  • Greece’s plan B needs decision on bonds - The current stabilisation plan for Greece is unlikely to survive long after the details of the European facility are agreed. So how deep a cut in real value will need to be imposed on holders of Greek bonds - 1st June
  • For-profit schools facing cuts - The for-profit post-secondary US school sector will be one of the first in line for cuts given that such a high percentage of revenues comes from government and margins are so impressive - 24th May
  • Eurozone crisis averted – for now - If the restructurers are right, Greece will not want the ‘Nordic solution’ of austerity measures while continuing to borrow money at high interest rates and instead in less than 18 months Greece will choose to follow Argentina’s example and restructure its massive debt - 17th May
  • A Greek restructuring to avoid euro tragedy - The Greeks need only look south of Europe for precedent on state debt rescheduling, and once in place the eurocrats can stop panicking and deal with other distressed nations - 10th May
  • Cry for Greece to restructure its debt - Emerging market distressed bond players believe Greece will restructure its official debt, and they say the Brady Plan should form the framework for any exchange offer - 4th May
  • Timetable to realising value in Kazakhstan - In the case of the Kazakhstan economy, there actually is that rare event: a timetable for post-bubble paper - 26th April
  • Strategies for the coming correction - The strength of economic recovery is being understimated and interest rates will rise sooner than expected - 24th April
  • Goodbye Mr Bond: Sell your Treasuries - The market for US Treasuries seems unlikely to be rescued in the nick of time. So John Dizard’s advice, in plain English, is: sell the T bond - 12th April
  • Europe’s ills and the policy tribe’s placebo - On the face of it, Estonia’s success in imposing austerity measures can be held up as an example to put the Greeks to shame, but with a little decisiveness and fewer eurocrats the Greeks could yet surprise - 5th April
  • Treasuries are for losers – you decide - The bounceback in commodities and stock prices look promising, but John Dizard has to concede there are compelling arguments in favour of deflation and the value of owning Treasuries - 30th March
  • The sleight of hand over shale gas costs - The true costs of producing gas from shale rock are higher than we’re led to believe, so why is industry drilling as much as it is when prices are as low as they are - 22nd March
  • Copper market looking tarnished - Demand for copper appears to be rising, at least cancelled warrants would suggest so, or would they? John Dizard hears a snort of disbelief among the market knowledgeable - 15th March
  • The true cost of shale gas production - Shale gas is not magic. Production costs are high, and probably underestimated, at the risk of being considered heretical - 8th March
  • No real sign of structural reforms - The “Stuy Town” default in New York City illustrates what little has been done to fix the mortgage backed securities (CMBS) markets - 1st March
  • Will 3P be a rare win for bipartisanship? - The clean air amendments bill, known as 3P, would score a rare win for bipartisanship and revive a highly effective market in emission credits - 22nd February
  • Beware speculating on the euro future - Speculators have a problem if they take positions on the euro future – those who make the key decisions would like it if the specs were to lose all their money - 15th February
  • Brussels offer won’t help Greek woes - Brussels’ proposed monitoring of the Greek is unlikely to help. The best it can do is limit the economic and political damage by adopting the lowest possible profile - 7th February
  • Estonia takes right route to euro entry - Estonia has defied the odds and has not only made it through a bleak economic winter, but is starting to grow again - 1st February
  • On2 dissidents are an example to all - The On2 dissidents’ challenge to Google’s proposed takeover has shown how small shareholders can effectively defend their own interests - 25th January
  • Smart to reform US for profit schools - The for-profit school business in the US is going to be forced by the Obama administration to show value for money and that will prove beneficial - 18th January
  • My good calls and bad ones in 2009 - John Dizard measures how useful his weekly column might have been for investors over the past year - 4th January