Archive for May, 2012

Jangan Menjadi Lengah!

May 29th, 2012 No comments

“Financial institutions such as JP Morgan love to buy derivatives because they are opaque, create fictional income that leads to real bonuses and when (not if) they suffer losses so large that they would cause the bank to fail, they will be bailed out.”

-William K. Black

Kolumnis besar, Richard Russell, mengingatkan pembacanya di Dow Theory Letters bahwa “something BIG is heading our way,” dan bertanya-tanya “how much longer the decline will continue to be orderly.”

Berikut adalah reaksi Russell setelah penutupan pasar 23 Mei 2012, yang dipublikasikan di King World News:

“As of today’s closing, Dow down 14 out of 16 sessions!  This is one you can tell your kids about.  And still no collapse in breadth, and still no crash.  The only thing I can make out of it is that a lot of people are standing their ground.

“Maybe it’s just the Dow that is dying, and the rest of the market is OK.  But don’t you believe it.  The Dow represents the manufacturing capabilities of the United States, and when you see the Dow doing what it’s doing, you can be sure that somewhere ahead business is going to take it on the chin.

“By the way, on May 1st, the Dow recorded a high, but that high was not confirmed by the Transports.  The two averages then plunged below their April lows, delivering a bona fide Dow Theory bear signal.  So yes, this is a continuation of the bear market.  But it’s starting out in a stranger way than any bear market I’ve ever seen.  Maybe the experts are so fascinated with the Dow and Facebook that they’re not taking in what’s happening.

“Stay in cash, because I intuit that something BIG is heading our way …  I believe the proper position is to be on the sidelines with zero stock holdings.  We are entering the second half of the bear market …  After all these years following markets, sometimes I have the feeling that I’ve seen everything.  But not this time.  Hey, would you believe the Dow could go down 14 out of 16 sessions, and people would still be complacent?

“There are so many potentially bearish scenarios in the wind that my head is spinning.  Last night, I noted that the Dow futures were down 55 points.  I can’t remember ever seeing a series like this in my lifetime.  As a loyal American, I’d feel better if people were scared out of their wits.  What’s it going to take to scare people – the Dow going down to 4000?”

Saya sangat menghormati Russell, karena dia telah menjadi penulis newsletter-nya lebih dari setengah abad – sejak 1958 – sehingga dia benar-benar tahu apa yang dibicarakannya. Saya sarankan untuk mendengar/memahami apa yang dia katakan dan bertindaklah sesuai yang dimaksudkannya.

Setelah tenggelam dalam di wilayah oversold, indeks S&P 500 mengalami kenaikan di akhir pekan kemarin. Seperti Anda dapat lihat pada daily chart di atas, RSI (Relative Strength Index) memberikan buy signal pada 5 hari perdagangan lalu.

Jika indeks S&P 500 melanjutkan rebound di pekan ini, maka perhatikan resistance pertama yang sebelumnya merupakan areal support yang telah ditembus, di areal 1355.  Namun saya harus mengulangi kembali bahwa ini nampaknya hanya merupakan rebound dari kondisi oversold, dan bukan merupakan awal dari uptrend yang baru.

Jadi kenaikan saat ini mungkin akan berlangsung tajam dan seketika, dan juga akan cepat retrace.  Selain itu juga ada fakta dalam grafik harian di atas bahwa indeks S&P 500 kemungkinan sedang membentuk wave 4 dalam beberapa hari ke depan yang artinya kita masih akan memiliki 1 gelombang penurunan (pada wave 5).

Seperti janji saya sebelumnya, berikut saya lampirkan bagian kedua artikel mengenai DERIVATIVES dari Eric J. Fry yang menulis laporan cemerlang tersebut untuk The Daily Reckoning.

Mari kita melanjutkan ceritanya dengan sebuah pertanyaan, yakni ‘What could possibly go wrong?’

“To begin answering that question, let’s take a closer peek at JP Morgan’s exposure – specifically, the calculation of its “Derivative Receivables” relative to its tangible equity capital (TEC).

“Derivative Receivables” represents the money other folks owe to JP Morgan, based on the current pricing of the derivatives on JP Morgan’s books.  These are Morgan’s “winning bets” in other words.  But as every gambler knows, a winning bet is not automatically a moneymaker.  You must also collect the bet from the loser.  Thus, the “Receivables” line item on the balance sheet represents uncollected bets.

“So, what would happen if a couple of the losers didn’t pay … just like Lehman Brothers didn’t pay its bets a few years ago?  Would that be a problem?  In a word: yes.

“Obviously, the size of the problem would depend upon the size of the reneged bet or bets.  So just for kicks, let’s imagine that almost everyone made good on their bets with JP Morgan.  Let’s say that 19 out of 20 repaid their bets, while only one out of 20 refused to answer his phone.

“If something like that occurred, Morgan would be short roughly $90 billion – a shortfall that would completely wipe out Morgan’s tangible equity capital.  In other words, just one deadbeat gambler out of 20 could imperil the bank’s very existence.  Morgan would be insolvent … at least until the Treasury and the Fed flew in their “financial medevac” choppers to airdrop billions of dollars onto the disaster scene.

“We aren’t saying a disaster is likely to strike.  We are merely saying that it is not unimaginable.

“And here’s the really crazy thing; there aren’t even 20 gamblers in the derivatives markets to diversify the risks, there are only four that matter – all four of whom are also “the House.”  In other words, because only four big banks hold 94% of the derivatives, they all owe money to each other in virtually incalculable ways.

“Yes, they can each count the actual receivables and payables, but they still cannot quantify the “what ifs” they could ensue if one piece of this multi-trillion daisy-chain breaks down.  “The high concentration of derivatives among the top four players,” warns Reggie Middleton of the Boombustblog, “strongly suggest that they may be subject to extreme levels of counterparty risk towards each other.  JPM is the largest player in derivative markets accounting for approximately 40% of total notional value of derivatives in the US.  JPM’s notional value of derivatives as of March 31, 2009 stood at 39.0 times its total assets and 959 times its tangible equity.”

“These spectacularly large data points concern us.  Enormous, opaque and illiquid risk exposure is rarely a good thing.

“That said, we would quickly add that we have no axe to grind with JP Morgan … or any of the other big banks.  Maybe they are great banks in every way, maybe they aren’t.  We have no idea.  We are all about hating the sins, not the sinners.  And we are concerned about the sizeable risks that linger just beneath the surface of the world’s financial markets.

“Any fool can see that the four big derivatives banks should be dialing back their exposures before the next credit crisis, rather than necessitating the next mega-bailout.  But Fed Chairman Bernanke is no fool.  He’s got enough education and advanced degrees to understand that two drunks leaning against one another are actually “net sober.”

“We aren’t that smart … and probably never will be.”

Selasa (22 Mei 2012) lalu Nigel Farage, anggota parlemen Eropa (MEP) dan pemimpin Partai Kemerdekaan Inggris, seperti biasanya memberikan pidato yang bergairah di parlemen Eropa.

Sungguh bersyukur masih ada orang seperti dia di dunia ini, meskipun seharusnya lebih banyak lagi dibutuhkan orang seperti dia yang tegas dan tidak selalu bicara bertele-tele. Dan berikut adalah komentarnya:

“President, we’re in the midst of an economic and increasingly humanitarian crisis and yet Commission president Barroso is not here.  Indeed, Herman van Rompuy is not here either.  Not that it really matters, because they’re not prepared to listen to any debate or any argument.  They’re intent on pursuing their political dream of a United States of Europe.  They’re prepared to commit economic suicide for an entire continent.

“Tomorrow night, Mr. van Rompuy has called yet another summit at which he’s going to present a strategy for growth and jobs.  Elected MEPs, representatives of the people of Europe from left and right – we’ve heard it all before – remember the euro itself was supposed to create growth and jobs and yet it is actively destroying both of those things.

“The remedy we’re being offered is more of the same.  I would suggest that the medicine is killing the patient, and to increase the dosage is madness.

“And don’t listen to those who will tell you that the only alternative is for Greece to stay in the euro.  Everyone’s pushing this.  David Cameron, all the other leaders are saying, we must keep Greece in the euro, if she leaves the sky will fall in.

“It won’t!  There’ll be a few difficult weeks and then things will settle down.  There’ll be a boom in tourism, investment will start to come back into Greece, innovation will start to come back into Greece as people start making products to beat expensive imports.

“Indeed Greece outside of the euro zone may well provide to be an inspiration for Spain, for Portugal and many other countries.  We need to recognize that a terrible mistake has been made.  We must resolve to put it right.  We’ve got to give people hope because out there now is absolute despair.”

Berikutnya silahkan lihat gambar di bawah ini, dari JP Morgan Chase yang berjudul “European Exposure”, yang menunjukkan wilayah dunia mana yang potensial terkena dampak paling besar jika kondisi menjadi tidak beraturan di Eropa. Selain itu juga perhatikan wilayah yang akan mengalami dampak paling kecil, yakni emerging markets Asia.  Dan ini merupakan alasan lain, dari yang pernah saya katakan untuk serius mempertimbangkan Indonesia – yang merupakan negara terbesar di Asia Tenggara – sebagai tujuan investasi Anda mendatang.

Jika Anda akan memanfaatkan posisi jual dan menghindari posisi beli untuk saat ini, sebaiknya lihat grafik SP 500 untuk basis minguan di bawah ini.  Kemungkinan target penurunan ke depan adalah di sekitar 1248 dan 1207, masing-masing merupakan 50% and 61.8% fibonacci retracements dari gerak naik sebelumnya.

Terakhir saya ingin lampirkan 2 gambar lucu terkait dengan kerugian JP Morgan yang senilai lebih dari $2 milyar dari kantor investasinya yang berbasis di London.  Selamat menikmati, dan ya Anda diperbolehkan tertawa …

(Dibuat 28 Mei 2012)

Categories: Pasar Internasional Tags:

Senjata Pemusnah Massal Mengancam Dunia

May 28th, 2012 No comments

“Like a doomed marriage, it is better to have rules for the inevitable divorce that make separation less costly to both sides.  Make no mistake: an orderly euro exit by Greece implies significant economic pain. But watching the slow, disorderly implosion of the Greek economy and society would be much worse.”

-Nouriel Roubini

Meskipun indeks Dow Jones berhasil naik secara moderat semalam, bursa saham Asia tidak mengikutinya.  Dalam beberapa hari terakhir ini mulai ada sedikit ketenangan, meskipun para investor masih ‘lelah’ dengan masalah di negara-negara Eropa Selatan.

Selain itu, tutupnya pasar AS Senin mendatang menyebabkan orang-orang enggan bertransaksi.  Jadi pada akhirnya aset beresiko kembali dijauhi dan mereka lebih suka bersikap wait and see sampai Yunani memutuskan akan tetap menggunakan mata uang euro atau tidak.

Sekarang mari ke topik utama hari ini: DERIVATIVES.  Mungkin Anda masih sedikit (atau mungkin banyak) bingung mengenai derivatives, yang pernah disebut senjata pemusnah massal oleh Warren Buffett.  Akhir-akhir ini kesalahan transaksi JP Morgan sering menjadi pembicaraan, tapi apakah Anda benar-benar tahu bagaimana bahayanya bagi pasar finansial?

Untuk itu menurut saya adalah bagus jika melihat lebih rinci saat ini agar memperoleh pengertian yang lebih baik terhadap instrumen resiko yang samar dan tidak liquid tersebut.  Sebagian dari artikel mengenai derivatives berikut datang dari Eric J. Fry yang menulis untuk The Daily Reckoning.

Namun karena tulisannya agak panjang, maka sebaiknya saya kutip sebagian untuk hari ini dan sisanya pada Senin mendatang.

“The worldwide marketplace of financial derivatives is enormous.  No one disputes that fact.  But the potential destructive impact of these arcane, opaque securities is very much in dispute.

“The apologists for financial derivatives usually say something like, “Sure, the derivatives markets are huge on a gross basis, but relatively small on a net basis.”  According to this logic, a bank that purchased $1 trillion worth of Spanish interest rate swaps from one party, but also sold $1 trillion worth of Spanish interest rate swaps to another party, has zero “net exposure.”

“Mathematically, that statement is correct.  Realistically, it is a delusion.  If the financial markets should hit a pothole or two, that “zero net exposure” has the potential to behave a lot more like the $2 trillion of gross exposure.  How could that happen?  Very simple.  One or more of the parties to these enormous transactions would have to renege on its obligations, thereby triggering a domino effect.  Very simple … and not difficult to imagine.

“In the derivatives markets, the term “net exposure” conveys a sense of certainty and reliability – a sense of finely calibrated balance.  In fact, “net exposure” more closely resembles the image of two drunks leaning against one another.  The net balance between the two drunks is the only pertinent risk factor, the apologists argue.  As long as the two drunks are leaning towards one another, the two of them can toss as many tequila shots as they wish.  On a “net basis,” they behave as if they are completely sober.

“But what if one of the drunks should keel over backwards, instead of merely leaning toward his fellow drunk?  “That won’t happen,” comes the practiced response from the derivatives industry.  “That won’t happen.  Don’t worry about it.  The four largest banks operating in the derivatives markets maintain very manageable levels of net exposure.”

“These levels of net exposure are only manageable … until they aren’t.  Furthermore, these exposures are growing rapidly.  Since 2000, the notional value of US derivatives outstanding has multiplied ten times faster than world GDP.  At last count, American banks had conjured more than $200 trillion of financial derivatives into existence, according to the Options Clearing Corporation – a staggering sum that is equal to roughly three times world GDP!

“Even scarier, this mind-blowing enormous pile of risk is highly concentrated inside the finance industry.  A mere four banks hold 94% of all derivatives contracts outstanding.  JP Morgan’s exposure, alone, is larger than the entire world’s GDP … while the gross exposures of Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs do not trail very far behind.

“In its 2011 annual report,” reports James Grant, editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, “JP Morgan Chase & Co. discloses that the great bulk of the bank’s [derivatives] … are classified as ‘level 2’ assets, i.e., they are valued, in part, by analogy.”

“JP Morgan’s derivatives book is not unique.  A whopping 97% of all derivatives trade “over-the-counter” where illiquidity and opacity are the norm.  In other words, they do not trade on a public exchange where buyers and sellers continuously exchange cash for securities, thereby establishing real-world, real-time values for the securities they trade.

“Let’s summarize: 1. Gross US derivatives exposure is more than three times world GDP.  2. Four banks hold nearly all of this risk.  (And by the way, each of these four banks received billions of dollars from the Federal Reserve and Treasury four years ago to ensure their survival).  3. Almost none of these securities trade on a transparent, public exchange.  Therefore, they are valued, as Jim Grant says, “by analogy.”

“What could possibly go wrong?” (Akhir dari bagian pertama)

Selain itu, Reuters pada laporan bulanannya Rabu lalu menulis bahwa bank sentral Jerman (Bundesbank) mengatakan situasi di Yunani sangat mengkhawatirkan dan membahayakan program bantuan finansial berikutnya karena tidak mau melaksanakan reformasi yang telah disepakati pada 2 bailouts terdahulu.

Bundesbank juga mengatakan bahwa keluarnya Yunani dari zona euro akan menjadi tantangan yang menurutnya “considerable but manageable” bagi para mitra Eropa, sehingga menyebabkan tekanan pada Yunani agar tetap menjalankan reformasi ekonominya yang sangat berat tersebut.

Bukankah ini seperti lelucon?  Mungkin bagi Jerman keluarnya Yunani bisa dianggap manageable, namun bagaimana bagi Portugal, Spanyol dan Italia?  Pada akhirnya yang paling penting adalah CONFIDENCE, dan ketika kepercayaan tersebut menghilang, negara manapun juga bisa bermasalah dengan cepat.  Misalnya masalah eskalasi yield obligasi, perbankan, demonstrasi dengan kekerasan, dan kerusuhan di jalan-jalan …

Karena keterbatasan ruang dan waktu, kemarin saya tidak dapat memberikan informasi mengenai laporan COT (Commitment of Traders) di pasar emas.  Berikut ini adalah petikan wawancara Dan Norcini dengan King World News (KWN) mengenai hal tersebut:

“The hedge fund net long exposure is at the lowest level we’ve seen since December of 2008.  Another way of saying it is the hedge funds are the most bearish on gold since December of 2008.  KWN readers need to remember that marked the bottom in gold at the end of 2008.  It will be interesting to see if we go lower from here or not.”

Dan seperti Anda bisa lihat di bawah ini, Dan Norcini juga menyertakan grafik yang bermanfaat ke KWN mengenai korelasi emas pada Desember 2008 dengan saat ini:

Terutama saat ini sentimen sedang berada dekat rock-bottom yang memberikan ujian besar bagi kesabaran pelaku pasar. Dan ini dapat menjadi sinyal lain yang patut diperhitungkan, bahwa emas sudah mendekati akhir dari koreksinya.

Dalam laporan ekonomi Asia Timur dan Pasifik semesteran, Bank Dunia mengatakan bahwa perlambatan di Cina akan menyeret pertumbuhan negara-negara berkembang Asia Timur ke level terendah 2 tahunnya untuk 2012 ini, bahkan diingatkan juga bahwa krisis hutang Eropa yang sedang meningkat dapat menimbulkan kerusakan lebih besar jika terus memburuk.

“With the European Union accounting for one-third of global import demand, a recession there will inevitably take its toll on East Asia,” demikian menurut Bank Dunia.

Cina, yang merupakan pusat jaringan produksi Asia dan memberikan kontribusi 2/3 dari total ekspor Asia yang bernilai $592 milyar ke Eropa pada 2011, akan menjadi negara pertama yang terkena dampak jika terjadi penurunan ekspor, sebelum ke negara-negara Asia lainnya, demikian tambah Bank Dunia.

Menurut Bank Dunia pula, bank-bank Eropa yang menyediakan 1/3 dari total pendanaan untuk proyek dan perdagangan di Asia juga akan turut menekan negara-negara berkembang saat krisis utang Eropa, karena mereka akan menarik investasi untuk repatriasi dana kembali ke Eropa dalam rangka memenuhi rasio modal yang meningkat.

Jelasnya, Cina akan merupakan faktor kedua setelah Eropa yang menekan aktifitas ekonomi regional Asia, dan menurut Bank Dunia ekonomi Asia Timur seharusnya bisa mencapai pertumbuhan 5,2 persen tahun ini dari 4,3 persen di 2011 jika ekonomi Cina tidak melambat.

Ada satu hal yang harus dipikirkan menurut saya, jika anda berencana berinvestasi di Asia.  Indonesia adalah negara yang akan mampu keluar dari tekanan tanpa cedera karena net export hanya menyumbang sekitar 11% kepada GDP-nya, dibandingkan private consumption atau pembelanjaan konsumen yang menyumbang sebesar 58% (lihat diagram di atas).

Dan yang terakhir masih dari Yunani, dan saya tahu beberapa dari Anda mungkin mengalami “Greek fatigue,” namun John Mauldin dalam tulisannya di mingguan investasi Thoughts from the Frontline menjelaskan masalah utama yang ada di Yunani, dan bagaimana mengatasinya. Tentunya Yunani punya pilihan untuk mengatasinya secara lambat atau cepat.

“… staying in the euro does not solve Greece’s most significant problem.  Greece has a serious trade deficit.  Its workers are not as productive as those in the core of Europe, and relative wages need to come down.  And while that is easy to say in the abstract economic world, it is hard to do in the real world.  What Greek worker thinks he is overpaid by 30% relative to a German worker?  Try and sell that in Athens.

“But that is the judgment of the market.  And until the trade imbalance is solved, there will be no lasting solution to the Greek crisis.  The imbalance will either be solved by a swift change of currency and a revaluation of the new drachma or a slow, tortuous process that could result in more than a decade of recessions and slow growth, with chronic high unemployment.

“Europe is visibly getting weary of dealing with Greece.  And while Greeks may be tired of austerity, and they are, they have not yet come to the realization that the rest of Europe may not be willing to let them live as they want.

“Greece will not be kicked out of the euro, but it is entirely possible and even likely that their funding will dry up without a continued austerity program.  And that will eventually push voters to demand a government that promises them a return to their own currency.  “How could it be worse?” they will think.  But for a year or so it will get worse.  Then it will get better.  But the changes will be severe.”

Secara pribadi saya berharap itu semua bisa selesai dengan cepat, namun pilihan tetap di tangan mereka. Kita hanya bisa menunggu hingga pelaksanaan pemilu ulang Yunani di pertengahan bulan Juni nanti …

(Dibuat 25 Mei 2012)

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Emas atau Uang Kertas?

May 24th, 2012 No comments

“The vast majority of people do not seek wisdom; they seek affirmation of their core beliefs.”

-Author unknown

Tidak banyak yang bisa dikomentari tentang pasar Asia pagi ini karena pergerakannya relatif flat, setelah saham-saham di bursa Wall Street Rabu sebelumnya mengalami pemulihan setengah jam sebelum penutupan yang membantu mengatasi hampir seluruh tekanan di sepanjang sesi tersebut.

Selanjutnya saya akan fokus pada peran emas pada sistem keuangan saat ini.  Meskipun tidak dianggap sebagai uang bagi kebanyakan orang – bahkan juga bagi Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve – emas merupakan sebuah aset (moneter).

Jika memang bukan uang, lalu apakah emas itu?  Apakah juga termasuk komoditas atau hanya logam yang hampir tidak memiliki daya guna?  Untuk menjawabnya, mari lihat tulisan sangat bagus John Aziz dari Azizonomics yang berjudul “Gold Tells The Truth”:

“John Maynard Keynes, Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett all said or implied that gold was a barbarous relic.  But what’s the barbarous relic?  The precious metal that shows prices without a veneer of manipulation, or the paper currency that smudges the true state of supply and demand through money printing, thus misleading markets and society?  Charlie Munger says gold is not for civilized people, but in reality gold may be the most civilized currency of all – because it allows civilized people to purchase insurance against the risk of civilization failing.

“A central bank can claim to have demonetized gold.  It can claim gold is a barbarous relic (even while keeping thousands of tons on its books), or just an “instrument to hedge tail risk” (although Jamie Dimon surely disagrees – JP Morgan prefers to “hedge tail risk” by making huge speculatory prop bets on credit derivatives).

“But gold is still gold.  It’s still that same shining yellow metal that investors have for thousands of years held up as a unit of account and store of value, and a medium of exchange.

“Central bankers can’t just abolish history.  On the other hand, history may very well abolish the central bankers and their fiat currencies.”

Sudah pasti akan muncul pertanyaan, ‘Bukankah sudah jelas bahwa para investor akan lebih memilih obligasi dan mata uang dolar AS yang merupakan aset-aset dengan resiko rendah? Kenapa musti mempertimbangkan untuk membeli emas, yang saat ini sudah merosot 20 persen dari level tertinggi yang dicapainya September 2011 lalu serta sudah memasuki wilayah bearish kemarin?

Untuk menjawab hal-hal tersebut dengan baik dan jelas, berikut saya ketengahkan kutipan dari John Embry, seorang Chief Investment Strategist dari Sprott Asset Management,  dalam wawancaranya dengan King World News, yang memberikan penjelasan yang luar biasa mengenai alasan pemikirannya bahwa “we are on the cusp of a major explosion in the gold price”:

“I don’t think the public realizes how explosive this gold scene is.  There are three factors that are going to come together that will lead to a rise in demand for gold that is going to absolutely stun the investing public.  The first is the need to continually print money in order to keep the system together.

“You can name almost any country in the world and they all are infected with the same problem.  They have far too much debt and they have no way of dealing with it other than to print more money so the existing debt doesn’t crash.

“But at the same time, 99% of the public doesn’t recognize what’s going on.  They are sitting comfortably in their paper instruments, suffering from cognitive dissonance and believing all of the propaganda from the mainstream media …

“Right now I think gold and gold related assets constitute materially under 1% of all financial assets.  When you get a real bull market going, you’ll get that up to 5% to 10%.  When people panic out of paper and into gold, that’s going to have a huge impact.

“To top it off, there’s this massive amount of paper gold sitting out there.  We’ve seen the numbers of 100:1 paper gold to underlying physical gold.  Who knows what the number is?  I wouldn’t be surprised if the number is higher than that if you factored in all of the derivatives.

“But it doesn’t make any difference because these people that think they are protected by holding paper gold, when they really need it they are going to discover they don’t have anything other than paper.  That will create yet another source of demand for physical gold.

“So you put the three things together and you can easily underwrite gold prices in the future that people today can’t even imagine in their wildest dreams.”

Jika Anda berada di antara keranjang aset mata uang utama dunia (US dollar, euro, pound sterling, Japanese yen serta Aussie dollar) dan keranjang lain yang hanya berisi koin emas, apa yang akan Anda pilih?  Apakah Anda sulit untuk menentukannya…?

… Atau Anda masih bingung aset mana yang akan melestarikan nilainya paling baik dalam beberapa tahun ke depan?  Sebaiknya mari lihat 10 kutipan berikut dan berpikirlah kembali:

“Indeed, there can be no other criterion, on other standard than gold. Yes, gold, which never changes, which can be shaped into ingots,bars, coins, which has no nationality and which is eternally and universally accepted as the unalterable fiduciary value par excellence.”

-Charles de Gaulle

“All the governments are doing – whether it’s the Chinese government or the US government, all they have been doing since the panic of ’08 is printing digital money, not worth the paper it’s not printed on, to keep the Ponzi scheme going.  And that’s all it is – one big Ponzi scheme.”

-Gerald Celente

“The crack-up boom appears.  Everybody is anxious to swap his money against “real” goods, no matter whether he needs them or not, no matter how much money he has to pay for them. Within a very short time, within a few weeks or even days, the things which were used as money are no longer used as media of exchange.  They become scrap paper.  Nobody wants to give away anything against them.”

-Ludwig von Mises

“When all else is suffering from devastation, when politicians have destroyed their own sovereign money, gold will still have value, and gold will still represent buying power.  I’m holding mine for the same reason that I own health insurance.

-Richard Russell

“It is a tautology of both logic and economics that any good which can be produced at zero cost and in infinite quantities (like the bankers’ paper currencies) is worthless.  The logic is irrefutable. If such a good was not worthless, then infinite quantities of that good would/could be created (at zero cost) and then exchanged for any/every item of value on the planet.  It would be nothing less than an act of total theft.  Indeed, this precisely describes the entire bankster scam known as “fiat currencies”. Print up ever increasing quantities of their paper, at a lower and lower cost (now zero in the US and Japan), and exchange all of that worthless paper for any/every item of value you can steal. With US dollars now permanently being created at zero cost, the only factor preventing the US dollar from instantly plummeting to zero is that the apathetic dolts in charge of our markets do not yet perceive that US dollars are being created in (effectively) infinite quantities.  However, pile another $15 trillion of this worthless paper onto the global market and that perception could change instantly.”

-Jeff Nielson,

“Gold, unlike all other commodities, is a currency … and the major thrust in the demand for gold is not for jewelry.  It’s not for anything other than an escape from what is perceived to be a fiat money system, paper money, that seems to be deteriorating.”

-Alan Greenspan, ex-US Federal Reserve Chairman, August 23, 2011

“The last time the price of Gold soared to this extent was in late 1979. Back then, Paul Volcker as Fed Chairman brought it to heel by letting go of US interest rates and watching while short-term rates soared to 20 percent plus.  That “solution” today would turn every nation in the “developed” world into a giant sized Greece.  The fiat money system just “celebrated” its 40th birthday. It won’t have many more.

-Bill Buckler, The Privateer, 21 August 2011

“The idea that QE is primarily to help the economy recover isKeynesian guff, a cover for the true reason.  Without it, the US and UK would have to compete for global savings at far higher interest rates.  What price $2 trillion in new Treasuries with no QE?  What price £175 billion in new gilts?  The debt trap has already sprung.  And few investors yet seem aware of the irony that loading up banks with Treasuries and gilts is exactly what the euro zone banks have already done for the PIIGS.  Whatever the current difficulties faced by European banks and the US and UK governments and their banking systems, there is only one option for all of them: Buy time by printing yet more money.  This is why the banking system in the euro zone and elsewhere will survive.  Banks need governments as much as governments need them.  The cost of this survival will be borne by the unwitting saver, who has been frightened into cash only to find it being debased more rapidly than before.”

-Alasdair Macleod

“When legislators, after having ruined men by war and taxes, persevere in their idea, they say to themselves, ‘If the people suffer, it is because there is not money enough.  We must make some.’  And as it is not easy to multiply the precious metals, especially when the pretended resources of prohibition have been exhausted, they add, ‘We will make fictitious money, nothing is more easy, and then every citizen will have his pocket-book full of it, and they will all be rich.’

-Frédéric Bastiat

“What’s so appealing about gold is that it does have intrinsic value.  It’s paper money, it’s the dollar and the euro that ultimately have no intrinsic value.  They are just pieces of paper with numbers written on them.  The government can put any number they want on that paper, but gold is real. The government can’t create gold out of thin air, it has to be mined.  The big picture is all bullish for gold.”

- Peter Schiff, CEO of Europacific Capital

Secara teknis emas sedang berada dalam konsolidasi setelah naik ke puncaknya di $1,920 September tahun lalu. Pekan kemarin, emas tertekan ke level terendah tahun ini di $1,527 per troy ounce, sebelum mengalami rally 2-harian terbesarnya sejak Oktober akibat maraknya aksi short-covering para trader (lihat grafik berikut ini).

Terlihat jelas ada TRIPLE BOTTOM (masing-masing di $1,534.49, $1,521.94 dan $1,527) pada grafik di atas. Indikator Relative Strength Index (RSI) pun berada di level yang sangat rendah pada tanggal 16 Mei lalu.

Pertanyaannya sekarang adalah, ‘Apakah emas sudah mencapai bottom-nya?’  Menurut pendapat saya, emas nampaknya masih rentan terhadap penguatan dolar AS, dan bisa saja masih akan tertekan terlebih dahulu sebelum menembus resistance maupun membentuk sebuah major bottom.

Apakah emas memiliki kemampuan untuk rally akan sangat bergantung pada pergerakan mata uang euro dalam beberapa hari kedepan.  Namun logam mulia ini masih bisa rebound setelah berhasil menguji support-nya di sekitar $1,530.

Dalam jangka pendek emas kemungkinan dalam proses pembentukan bottom, namun saya belum bisa menyimpulkan bullish selama key resistance trend lines (R1 dan R2 pada grafik di atas) belum pecah.  Jika saja harga emas ditutup di atas resistance trend line tersebut dalam 2 hari perdagangan berturut-turut, maka harganya sudah menyelesaikan proses bottoming yang kemudian akan memicu kenaikan secara signifikan.

Akan tetapi sebelum itu terjadi, sebaiknya terus waspada dan ingat bahwa pembentukan bottom memerlukan waktu.  Sabar saja dan amati hari demi hari.

Ada satu hal yang pasti bahwa: saya secara pribadi telah hedge portofolio saya terhadap depresiasi mata uang dengan membeli emas (dan juga perak) di harga rendah.  Bagaimana dengan Anda?

(Dibuat Tanggal 24 Mei 2012)

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Jerman Akan Memimpin Eropa?

May 23rd, 2012 No comments

“We have been through a big global financial crisis, the biggest downturn in world output since the 1930s, the biggest banking crisis in this country’s history, the biggest fiscal deficit in our peacetime history, and our biggest trading partner, the euro area, is tearing itself apart without any obvious solution.”

-Sir Mervyn King

Ternyata rebound di pasar Asia tidak bertahan lama.  Seluruh indeks saham utama Asia kembali tertekan pagi ini, setelah bursa saham AS ditutup hampir flat kemarin.

Risk-aversion kembali populer setelah euro melemah lebih dari 1 persen terhadap dolar AS karena adanya berita yang mengutip pernyataan mantan Perdana Menteri Yunani, Lucas Papademos, bahwa persiapan Yunani untuk keluar dari zona euro sedang dipertimbangkan dan akan terealisasi.

Hari ini seluruh fokus akan tertuju pada pertemuan tak resmi para pemimpin Eropa, yang diperkirakan akan membahas ide obligasi euro yang akan ditanggung bersama oleh seluruh anggota zona euro.

Namun perkiraan tersebut tidak terlalu tinggi dan pertemuannya kemungkinan tidak akan menghasilkan solusi atau tindakan tegas.  “The market is likely to be more prone to disappointment.  There’s this delusion of a quick fix either via monetary policy with the European Central Bank or via some kind of fiscal decision, but unfortunately this won’t happen,” demikian menurut Matteo Regesta, analis dari BNP Paribas.

Jadi apakah Jerman akan mendorong untuk zona euro bersatu? Ini adalah pertanyaan berharga 1 juta dolar sekarang ini yang melintas di pikiran banyak orang dan menyebabkan beberapa dari mereka susah tidur.

Dalam sebuah wawancara dengan The Sunday Times, sejarawan kuangan Niall Ferguson mengatakan bahwa euro akan bertahan dan krisis saat ini akan meninggalkan Jerman sebagai pemimpin sebuah federal Europe.

Berikut beberapa paragraph di artikel tersebut, yang menunjukkan mengapa dia berpikir bahwa perpecahan di zona euro mungkin namun sulit terjadi:

“It is still possible that the game of chicken between Athens and Berlin ends with the two cars colliding.  But my sense is that both will swerve at the last minute – the Greeks because they see the costs of exit would be catastrophic for them, and the Germans because – if they don’t realize it already, they pretty soon will – the banking crisis that this would unleash as deposits fled the periphery would be highly destabilizing for the whole euro zone, Germany included.

“The Greeks say, ‘We’re not going to comply with our commitments’.  The Germans say, ‘Then you’re out’.  They’re both bluffing.

“The Germans have the biggest interest in preserving the euro.  It has been highly advantageous to German business not have a super strong Deutschmark, and I think that’s one of the reasons Germans will swerve in this game of chicken, because anything that threatens monetary union is pretty threatening to German business … Germans are going to have to make some kind of concession to the periphery.  It’s not enough just to say ‘austerity, austerity’.”

Dia juga menambahkan bahwa dirinya hanya mencoba realistis, tidak optimis secara berlebihan (padahal mungkin beberapa pembacanya juga berpikir sama setelah membaca kutipan wawancara tersebut):

“As a Scotsman, I’m not a congenitally optimistic person.  I’m just telling you from a historian’s vantage point which seems the more likely of two difficult scenarios.

“Even if just one country leaves the euro zone, that creates a massive contagion effect, and no one knows where the ripples would stop – it could even be a tsunami that hits New York.

“Also, although the German political elite appears slowmoving and plodding, it wasn’t slowmoving and plodding in 1989/90 when the opportunity presented itself to reunite Germany: monetary union with East Germany was the product of political thinking, not economic logic.  But the point is, I think you might be surprised by how quickly they move when the chips are down.

“Are the Greeks going to choose to self-destruct?  And are the Germans going to let Greece self-destruct?  Then there would be an unstoppable effect as deposits exit Portugal, exit Spain, exit Italy.

“It is easier by miles for the Germans to say, ‘Okay, austerity wasn’t quite enough; we’re also going to have structural funds deployed to Greece; we are also going to have recapitalization of the Spanish banks.’  And the money is there …

“They should have done this two years ago, but they thought they could kick the can down the road.  What they didn’t realize was that each time they did that, the can got more explosive.  I’m not an optimist about Europe.  That’s why I live in America.  So don’t call me an optimist.”

Pada akhirnya, apakah Jerman masih akan fokus terhadap AUSTERITY sebagai sebuah solusi utama untuk krisis hutang zona euro, atau apakah Jerman akan setuju dengan Perancis yang menghimbau pemerintah zona euro untuk merilis COMMON  BONDS? Hanya waktu yang akan bicara …

Di akhir tulisan ini saya ingin menyajikan beberapa kutipan yang saya anggap layak untuk dibaca:

►  Bumi, salah satu saham yang banyak dimiliki luas di Indonesia, dan juga terdaftar di London Stock Exchange, melonjak hingga 16% di bursa London setelah rekomendasi Barclays dan menyebut saham ini “a diamond in the rough”.  Ini merupakan kenaikan terbesarnya dalam basis intraday sejak perusahaan menjual sahamnya pada Juli 2010.

Meskipun saham ini sangat populer di antara investor ritel, secara pribadi saya tidak merekomendasikannya karena perusahaan masih berkutat dengan tingginya level hutang (DER > 500% atau 5x berdasarkan laporan keuangan terakhir) serta dengan isu pengelolaannya.

►  Jika Eropa mengalami keruntuhan keuangan, kerugian yang dialami oleh bank-bank AS dapat berpotensi menghancurkan. Berikut ini adalah dari sebuah artikel terbaru oleh Graham Summers dari Phoenix Capital Research:

“According to Reuters once you include Spain and Italy as well as Credit Default Swaps and indirect exposure to Europe, US banks have roughly $4 TRILLION in potential exposure to the EU.

“To put that number in perspective, the entire US banking system is $12 trillion in size.”

Masih perlu bukti lebih bahwa kondisi Spanyol semakin bertambah buruk? Coba lihat grafik di sebelah kanan ini dari, maka Anda memiliki kesimpulan bahwa situasi Spanyol akan sangat buruk.  Contoh, Moody’s baru-baru ini menurunkan peringkat hutang 16 bank Spanyol, termasuk Banco Santander, yang merupakan salah satu bank terbesar di zona euro. Dan yield obligasi pemerintah bertenor 10 tahun kembali naik ke atas level 6.1% …

►  Terakhir ada berita tambahan mengenai kerugian besar perdagangan JP Morgan, yang beberapa hari lalu diberitakan sebesar $2 milyar namu kini $3 miliar, demikian ditunjukkan dalam laporan Nelson Schwartz dan Jessica Perak-Greenberg di The New York Times. Mengapa? Karena setiap hedge fund di dunia mengetahui bahwa JP Morgan terjebak dalam posisi yang sangat besar sehingga tidak dapat melepasnya dan mereka pun bertaruh melawannya.

Rick Santelli kepada King World News mengatakan bahwa para traders dan hedge funds menyebabkan semakin mahal bagi JP Morgan untuk melepas $2 milyar+ posisi yang merugi.  Santelli mengatakan “this is a position that they hold in CDS’s, at least part of their position that caused their $2 billion and potentially higher loss.  Well, the hedge funds that dabble in this type of esoteric derivative, they know which way JP Morgan is (positioned).

So I guess my anecdotal story is it’s going to be much more painful for JP Morgan to flee or unwind this complicated position/hedge, with the competition just breathing down their neck.”

Sementara saya memiliki opini bahwa $2 atau $3 milyar hanya sebagian kecil dari yang belum disebutkan. Jika Anda tidak percaya, silahkan baca artikel di The Economic Collapse tanggal 14 Mei 2012 dan akan ditemukan jawaban kenapa penulisnya berpikir bahwa jumlah tersebut hanya sebagian kecil dari yang belum disebutkan:

“When the “too big to fail” banks make good bets, they can make a lot of money.  When they make bad bets, they can lose a lot of money, and that is exactly what just happened to JP Morgan.  Their Chief Investment Office made a series of trades which turned out horribly, and it resulted in a loss of over 2 billion dollars over the past 40 days.  But 2 billion dollars is small potatoes compared to the vast size of the global derivatives market.  It has been estimated that the notional value of all the derivatives in the world is somewhere between 600 trillion dollars and 1.5 quadrillion dollars.  Nobody really knows the real amount, but when this derivatives bubble finally bursts there is not going to be nearly enough money on the entire planet to fix things.

“We never learned one of the basic lessons that we should have learned from the financial crisis of 2008.  Wall Street bankers take huge risks because the risk/reward ratio is all messed up.  If the bankers make huge bets and they win, then they win big.  If the bankers make huge bets and they lose, then the federal government uses taxpayer money to clean up the mess.  Under those kind of conditions, why not bet the farm?

“Sadly, most Americans do not even know what derivatives are.  Most Americans have no idea that we are rapidly approaching a horrific derivatives crisis that is going to make 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.  According to the Comptroller of the Currency, the “too big to fail” banks have exposure to derivatives that is absolutely mind blowing.  Just check out the following numbers from an official US government report …

JP Morgan Chase – $70.1 Trillion

Citibank – $52.1 Trillion

Bank of America – $50.1 Trillion

Goldman Sachs – $44.2 Trillion

“So a 2 billion dollar loss for JP Morgan is nothing compared to their total exposure of over 70 trillion dollars.  Overall, the 9 largest US banks have a total of more than 200 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives.  That is approximately 3 times the size of the entire global economy.  It is hard for the average person on the street to begin to comprehend how immense this derivatives bubble is.  So let’s not make too much out of this 2 billion dollar loss by JP Morgan.  This is just chicken feed.  This is just a preview of coming attractions.  Soon enough the real problems with derivatives will begin, and when that happens it will shake the entire global financial system to the core.”

(Dibuat Tanggal 23 Mei 2012)

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Apakah ini merupakan akhir dari Bull Market?

May 22nd, 2012 No comments

Kemarin terjadi tekanan jual besar pada bursa saham Indonesia. Investor asing menjadi net sellers senilai Rp. 1,412 trilyun (atau sekitar US$150 juta) di bursa kita.

Tentu saja ini merupakan peningkatan penjualan mereka karena sebelumnya bursa saham Indonesia tutup pada hari Kamis dan Jumat memperingati libur nasional. Meskipun demikian saya mengakui bahwa net selling asing semakin meningkat belakangan ini, dan sebagai akibatnya Indeks Harga Saham Gabungan atau Jakarta Composite Index dapat tertekan dalam beberapa waktu ke depan.

I Made Sentana dari Dow Jones Newswires melaporkan bahwa obligasi pemerintah Indonesia juga terus tertekan karena para investor mengalihkan dananya dari aset-aset di emerging market menyusul meningkatnya ketidakpastian ekonomi dan politik Eropa. Selain itu, seorang dealer menambahkan bahwa “foreign funds continue to trim their holdings in local government bonds despite Bank Indonesia’s [suspected] move to support the rupiah in the currency market.”

Kemudian sebuah penelitian baru dari Dana Moneter Internasional (IMF) menunjukkan bahwa negara maju dan berkembang telah tumbuh saling keterkaitan sedemikian erat sehingga jika ada ketegangan di suatu wilayah akan memberikan dampak menyeluruh dan bahkan bisa melebihi tahun 2008 ketika perusahaan jasa keuangan AS Lehman Brothers ambruk.

“The world is much, much more interconnected than at any time before.  In 2003, this market linkage was 42 percent, but today the equity market linkage between the United States and Asia is 81 percent,” ujar Zhu Min, seorang deputy managing director of IMF, pada sebuah konferensi di pekan lalu saat mendiskusikan penelitian IMF tersebut.

Jadi tidaklah benar jika emerging markets, dalam hal ini Indonesia, bisa terhindar dari dampak penurunan pasar dunia.  Terlebih lagi setelah IHSG mengalami performansi terbaik di antara emerging market equities pada tahun 2011 (lihat grafik di atas).

Pertanyaannya adalah apakah ini merupakan akhir dari bull market.  Namun akhir dari bull market yang saya maksud adalah the CYCLICAL BULL MARKET dan bukan the secular bull market yang dimulai Oktober 2002, seperti Anda dapat lihat dalam grafik bulanan Indeks Harga Saham Gabungan (IHSG) Jakarta di bawah ini.

IHSG hampir pasti menyelesaikan Intermediate wave (1) dari Primary wave 3 ƒ. Dan seharusnya saat ini akan membentuk Intermediate wave (2), yang akan terdiri dari tiga Minor waves (A, B dan C), dalam beberapa bulan ke depan.

Intermediate wave (2) merupakan sebuah Corrective Wave, yang didefinisikan sebagai “a three-wave pattern, or combination of three wave patterns, that moves in the opposite direction of the trend of one larger degree.” Dengan kata lain, bursa saham Indonesia dapat mengalami koreksi yang dalam di sepanjang paruh kedua tahun ini hingga awal tahun depan, serta dapat me-retrace sebagian uptrend sebelumnya atau Intermediate wave (1).

Pada grafik mingguan berikut terlihat jelas bahwa bull market IHSG mulai mereda. Dan kita dapat melihat kembali IHSG mungkin akan mengakhiri rally-nya belakangan ini (pada Minor wave 5), yang diperkuat dengan bullish divergences pada indikator Relative Strength Index dan MACD.

Dalam jangka pendek para traders kemungkinan akan memanfaatkan setiap rebound untuk memperoleh keuntungan dalam waktu yang singkat. Namun… pasar akan menghadapi resistance yang cukup keras di sekitar 4017, yang besar kemungkinannya akan menghambat kenaikan (lihat grafik di bawah ini).

Seperti yang dikatakan Teeka Tiwari dari The Tycoon Report belum lama ini:

“Always remember that the market hates uncertainty, and we have some big unknowns right now.  Short term investors will want to go with the current trend and look for shorting opportunities on rallies.  However, long term investors should be looking at this pull back as a buying opportunity.”

Selain itu, Larry Levin dari dalam tulisannya yang paling memukau Kamis lalu, mengungkapkan opininya mengenai “Fraud Street” dan menunjukkan secara singkat masalah utama Eropa:

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”

-Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part III.

“Surely everyone on Fraud Street is thinking of the quote above wondering: Are they ever going to stop pulling Greece (Michael) back into the picture?  Today’s early market action looked very positive, as if an actual reversal would hit the tape, but they pulled the bear back in: Greece will not be supported by the ECB.

“How can Greece continue to be a problem?  Wasn’t the Greek debt problem solved with MORE CREDIT … THREE TIMES?  Of course it wasn’t!  Like giving a crack addict more crack won’t make him sober, neither will giving a debt addict more debt make him (or a country) solvent.  It only makes it worse.

“If the Greeks can’t hold it together – will the Portuguese?  Will the Irish?  What about the larger economies of Spain and Italy?  This is the “contagion” that Fraud Street is finally coming to grips with.

“A friend asked me quite a while ago – “Why doesn’t Wall Street worry about Greece’s blatant insolvency?”  My answer was something like “Wall Street doesn’t worry about anything – until it’s too late.”

“Said another way and expanded: Good news is extrapolated to infinity, while bad news is ignored until it can be ignored no longer.

“FRAUD Street indeed!”

Akhirnya muncul pertanyaan apa yang harus dilakukan para investor terhadap dana mereka di saat ketidakpastian seperti ini?  Dan Jim Rogers kepada Jumat lalu mengatakan “roiling capital markets aren’t going to calm any time soon so investors would be better off putting their money in hard assets like gold, silver and agricultural commodities.”

“I own real assets because if the world economy gets better I’ll make money because of shortages and if things get worse they’ll print more money,” Rogers said. Dan… hanya sebagai catatan, ia juga menambahkan bahwa ia menghindari saham pada saat ini.

(Dibuat Tanggal 22 Mei 2012)

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