Email of the day (1)
Comment of the Day

May 19 2010

Commentary by David Fuller

Email of the day (1)

On TCS and bank shares
"I attended Eoin's chart seminar last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was great to learn such a straightforward system devoid of all the nerdy stuff that most chartists serve up. No Eliot Waves that can be adjusted and readjusted to prove more or less anything - in hindsight. No stochastic or MACDs to show again, in a different form, what is already on the graph.

"I personally have a penchant for Fibonacci levels because they give you a heads up for potential danger levels. But I guess everyone is allowed their foibles. I also like to draw the odd support or resistance line and project it forward, again to warn of possible areas of change. They also help visualise if a trend is consistent or not.

"Anyway it was great and I have come home with lots to think about.

"I also came away with a big question. We looked at charts of large western banks and they all looked pretty sickly. Now that you have had time to think about this particular observation do you think that it a signal of serious trouble to come, despite the favourable monetary conditions? Don't the charts suggests that those in the know can see something ahead that is hidden from the rest of us?

"I understand it was meant as a joke but I wonder how close to the truth Liam Byrne was, when he left David Laws a letter saying simply: "Dear chief secretary, There's no money left."

"Thanks for a terrific couple of days."

David Fuller's view Many thanks for this thoughtful email and I am sure that Eoin, currently on route back to Ireland, would want me to thank you for your contributions to the workshop. In a two-day seminar, presenters derive their inspiration from delegate participation.

There is more than one approach to technical analysis, as you are well aware. Too each his own and we are not missionaries. However, I have always maintained that investors and traders will miss too many important market clues if they do not understand the behavioural psychology behind chart trends and patterns, and if they have not mastered the art of factual price chart reading. Fullermoney is more interested in price facts than analytical theories. However, theoretical/mathematical approaches such as Fibonacci can have a behavioural influence if a sufficient number of market participants are looking at them. Most delegates find the TCS approach analytically refreshing and practical in application.

Regarding banking sectors, we have always seen them as leading indicators and they have generally led on this correction. That is a fact but I am also interested in what may be behind a particular move. Sometimes this is hidden from those who are not insiders, such as the real extent of the CDO scandal when bank shares began to underperform in 2007.

Today, I suspect the problem is very different because this has been and remains an excellent time for banks to make money, borrowing from the central bank at interest rates near zero and leveraging up at minimal risk in long-dated government paper which is being supported by quantitative easing. In other words, governments have bailed out banks via the yield curve, as they always do following periodic banking crises.

Banks will not always be subsidised and despite this bailout, there are still some legitimate concerns over bad loans. However, my guess is that the current weakness of banks has more to do with regulatory issues which are still being debated and drafted. Obviously tighter regulation will not be popular with banks which were previously off the leash with lax, incompetent or compromised regulation.

Additionally, investment banks have more to fear following the SEC's charge against Goldman Sachs of "fraudulent misconduct". To the extent that this is provable and assuming that these investigations continue, we should not be surprised if some other investment banks are implicated.

Back to top