Weil on Finance: China’s Shadow-Banking Bomb
Happy Friday, View fans. Here are your morning links. Have a great weekend.
What’s up with these crazy Chinese trust products going kaput?
Bloomberg News has a good explainer about the $496 million “Credit Equals Gold No. 1” product on the brink of default that suddenly has investors nervous again about China’s $4.8 trillion shadow-banking debt. It would be nice if credit equaled gold. But the only way the investors in this piece of garbage will get paid is if they get a rescue. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, which distributed the product, is balking at demands that it pony up. But given the choice for China’s largest bank and the Chinese government –- bailout, or risking a full-blown credit crunch –- bailout seems the more expedient route.
Why would anybody want to buy something with a name like nontransparent ETFs?
This actually is what people call these things: “nontransparent exchange-traded funds,” as in you can’t see what’s inside them. That’s some brilliant branding there. Anyway, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange has asked regulators for permission to list these things on its Arca trading platform. And why not? If people knew what was inside these ETFs, they might not want to trade them. So this way it works out much better for everyone involved.
Floyd Norris on Janet Yellen and interest rates.
The New York Times columnist says not to expect the Federal Reserve to raise rates anytime soon, notwithstanding that the unemployment rate is within striking distance of the 6.5 percent target that the Fed set a little more than a year ago: “Ms. Yellen has gone out of her way since then to point to a number of other labor market indicators, none of which have improved as much as the unemployment rate.”
The Reformed Broker doesn’t like the way investors are behaving.
It was a bad day for the stock market yesterday, and Joshua Brown is bothered by what he sees: “One thing I think is highly apparent and disturbing is the current lack of tolerance for stock market losses. Newbie investors and veterans with selective memory seem to be incapable of quietly coping with downward moves in the stocks they own. It’s like they weren’t counting on not being immediately up in everything they bought, as though unrealized gains were an unalienable right in the constitution. Financial media and the Twittersphere are wailing as though we’re at a Great Chieftain’s funeral. The reality is that we’re within a percent or two of all-time record highs.”
Here’s a Times story from this week about a woman who got a job at Oracle Corp. but first had to go through weeks of interviews, which included asinine questions like: “If you were a pizza-delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?” Oddly enough, Thomas Claburn, a writer for InformationWeek, had an article last week called “16 Stupid Tech Job Interview Questions,” along with the answers they deserve. His list had the same one about the pizza guy and the scissors, which he said came from Apple Inc. Anyway, here are the answers he suggested: (1) “I would be equipped to become a pizza delivery woman.” (2) I would also be able to deliver cold cuts.” (3) “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize auditions for MacGyver were ongoing.”
(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)