Buy Spain! And don’t sell Italy.

Let’s continue on yesterday’s line of reasoning against fear on Grexit yes or no.

In Alphaville’s Long Room interaction space, this is the most popular post now:

Go long Europe risk

Posted by NothingButValue on May 15 22:14.

European stocks are trading at extremely attractive historical valuations.  Assuming you’re an investor with a longer time horizon (say 5-10 years) and you can ignore continued volatility, Europe is now a strong buy.  Let’s take three large markets:

  1. Italy: the market capitalization of equities/GDP (one of Buffett’s favorite metrics for the US equity market) is roughly 22%.  Recent (last 10-15 years) normalized average is around 40%.  That’s 85% upside.  This measure in Italy has bottom roughly at 15% historically.  So you’ve got 31% downside.  That’s 2.8 upside/downside, a great risk/reward.
  2. France: mktcap/GDP of 45% vs. average of 77%, for 42% upside.  Historical downside is 17%.
  3. Spain: mktcap/GDP of 33% vs. average of 83%, for 155% upside.  Historical downside is 14%.  Spain is clearly priced for a depression.  When the unemployment rate in a country gets close to 25% (i.e. Great Depression levels), pretty much everything bad is already known.

Sure, everything can get worse for a while.  Europe may even break up.  That won’t reduce the long term fundamental earning power of the companies making up these indexes, be that in euros, marks, or liras.  They will adjust, and rebound.  At these valuations, a huge amount of bad news is already priced in.

So, while upside/downside are around 2.5 in Italy and France, it’s worth 11 in Spain. BUY SPAIN is a safe suggestion. Besides keeping in mind the Sovereign Crisis rule no-1: for some time in the past and the near future, in general shares are safer and increasing value more than bonds. But Spain shares do it better!

Published in: on May 17, 2012 at 9:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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€ break-up scenarios

Here’s a 50 pp document by Nomura (various authors), I got from the Long Room area of alphaville – ft. In an interesting Section: financial weapons of mass destruction:-)


“Currency Risk in the Eurozone:

Accounting for break-up and redomination risk”

Published in: on January 6, 2012 at 6:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Who didn’t pay the Titanic ticket?

Greece and the Brazilian new-colony Portugal didn’t pay the ticket: so what?

Europe already sank

In, Neil Hume quotes RBS rate guru Harvinder Sian:


Is this the start of German credit erosion, the point at which Germany finds out that it is only the first class passenger on the Titanic? The media headlines in the next few days will point this way.

I essentially see much more market stress before Bunds are able to sustain a sell-off. More specifically:

1. Do not expect the ECB to capitulate on demands to ease the debt crisis as a lender of last resort any time soon. This should become obvious at the 9th December EU Summit. The pain threshold for the ECB and Germany is far higher and will likely involve concerns that some countries are about to pull out of the Euro, bank runs or both. Think blind panic and you are close to the picture that I have in mind. I see this as a necessary condition for some type of solution effort given the political failure to get ahead of the crisis.

2. Greece risks a hard default, mostly likely in Q1-12, as the PSI will fail to get enough private sector contribution and other EMU countries will be reluctant to pile in more cash. The default risk is likely to remain elevated into year end if the Greek ND leader Samaras does not fully back the IMF/EU deal.

3. The German view is hardening towards using conditional rescue entities for countries in need (EFSF/IMF) and Germany still looks fully behind the idea that countries with unsustainable debt can see haircuts. This is the logic of the ESM and this is a far cry from the debt mutualisation that is the current consensus. This is important in the German credit assessment.

4. From a flow-of-funds perspective, we expect to see a continuation of ex-EMU residents dump all debt, including Germany. The EMU region is however self-financing. Over 75% of debt issued in EMU stays in EMU and that number can and will get higher. As such, many of those exiting periphery and weaker AAAs will need some exposure to debt markets, with Germany still the de-facto location. Buying Treasuries (or Gilts) over Bunds makes sense as a trade; but not the macro data.

As such, my ongoing bullish Bund conviction rests on the idea that the market is too hopeful on a near term solution, is not prepared for hard default risks, and ignores the closed economy nature of the Euro region.

In sum, Europe and € are going to experience a near-death in 12s1, when Greece might go into an orderly-to-chaotic mess, while Monti’s Italy might find a last minute escape, eventually. The too late acceptance of QE by Germany in 2012, will sanction the €-centred phase 2 (after $ubcrime phase 1) of the 2007-about 2025 #GreatOECDepression.

Published in: on November 26, 2011 at 6:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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A bubble graph of “the BBBubble”

Read carefully and .. meditate (COMPENSATION obviusly refer to top executive incentives). But, please (see previous post, below, in case of TEMPTATION), don’t hurry up to ANY scapegoat conclusion, pleeeeeeease: it’d be highly misleading, just a proto-antropoid RITE for the sake of changing nothing. And we are sincerely FED UP with scapegoat mechanisms (René Girard had explained it almost all, but perhaps this was useless, since we are still Sapiens doomed to repeat horrific rites  on and on- Le Sacré du Printemps, et c’est juste Printemps).

I cut and copy:

Tempting fate

Dare we put up a bubble chart? Apparently we do. From Zero Hedge.

Zero Hedge - Writedowns, leverage and compensation

Related links:

The Merrill bubble – Zero Hedge
Salaries from a bygone era – FT Alphaville

This entry was posted by Tracy Alloway on Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 at 13:55 and is filed under Capital markets.