Monday, January 19, 2009

How to Profit From the Credit Crunch

Last year, just before Easter I wrote:
I've said it before, Mr. Gongloff has as good a feel for markets as any journalist I've come across....*
With the disclaimer:
*Full disclosure: we've got a soft spot in our heads for Mr. Gongloff.
(okay mom, I used your line, will we have pie this weekend?)
In the weekend Wall Street Journal he writes:
Investors shell-shocked by two nasty bear markets in stocks in less than a decade are starting to look elsewhere for good returns. In the wake of the worst credit crunch since the Great Depression, some analysts suggest they might take a look at, believe it or not, credit.

Their reasoning: Bonds and other credit instruments have arguably suffered much more than stocks during this downturn, meaning they could have further to climb when the economy starts to recover. What's more, as credit led the economy and stocks into the valley, it might have to lead them back out, meaning it could recover before stocks do.

Stocks "are historically first out of the block" in a recovery, says Binky Chadha, chief U.S. equity strategist at Deutsche Bank, "but given the credit crisis this time, credit has to recover before we can get equity returns."

Stocks took several steps back from a recovery last week, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.7%. The blue-chip index is down 5.6% so far this year and 42% from its record high in October 2007. Last November, at the depths of the current bear market, the Dow was off 47% from its record, the worst decline since the 1930s.

But the suffering in the credit market has been unprecedented, as investors have come to avoid credit risk like poison. They have demanded record-high interest rates on debt, at levels that suggest a record wave of corporate defaults....MUCH MORE, including a tactic or two to layer onto the general strategy.