THE PAIN IN SPAIN…

Here’s a really incredible chart.   Do you follow the Spanish stock market?  Yes, me neither.  So I was surprised to notice this incredible chart of the pain in Spanish equities.  Despite recovering briefly in 2009 they’ve been on a perpetual downward spiral ever since.   The IBEX 35 now sits just 6% above the March 2009 panic low and a staggering 50% below the 2007 highs.   Incredible.

 

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Cullen Roche

Mr. Roche is the Founder of Orcam Financial Group, LLC. Orcam is a financial services firm offering research, private advisory, institutional consulting and educational services.

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Comments

  1. Guess what will be the best performer next quarter starting sometime in June. Yep…Spain. Maybe I can get into Space, Ibiza this summer for free.

    Hey…look on the bright side. Oil is getting cheaper!

    4.5% move down on the SPX and the world is ending.

  2. They never recovered from the housing boom/ bust. It is basically an agrarian + tourism economy that cannot sustain its overeducated population looking for high tech jobs. Youth unemployment is at 50%. And they don’t’ really want to work in low pay jobs servicing tourism.
    Euro is probably not helping their tourism either.
    This is where I wonder if education and innovation is the answer to everything. Spain and Korea examples are not very encouraging. Koreans are probably the most overeducated people ever.

  3. Hey lad tha never understands tha message.Spain is ‘cheap’ because it is heading down the toilet and if you think the lows of 2009 are going to be tha bottom picking opportunity then tha knows nowt about Spain worth knowing. Suggest tha thinks Japan in the early days of tanking and think where would you price a business when tha workforce is sitting idle with mountains of so called investment assets (property) that are not only not working ,but are actually depreciating due to climate and maintenance etc and will do so for years because there are not enough silly buggers who want to buy them.
    Spain is actually lagging badly badly behind the US,UK etc in terms of accepting price markdowns on what is the hugest property overhang in the world. That should tell you everything you need to know about their banking Industry and IF the intermediary system is stuffed then that should also tell you what you need to know about their future prospects for consumption.etc etc.
    Only through the nonsense that passes for economic and financial analysis can it have taken this long to stop ‘fooling’ that everything will be ok in Spain.If you believe in that then it’s time we put Hot Chocolate on for a spin..sing it Errol “I believe in miracles…”

  4. SC

    Hilarious. Your so dug in you can’t see the light. Nothing will change your view…not even Spain stocks. Since when do stocks follow the economy? Look at the charts. You don’t think the market is pricing in rapidly the future today NPV. I’ll be building a position slowly over the next 18 months into Europe. In 17 years when my son hits 18 and this account by law becomes his. He will thank me I did what seemed to many at the time as follish. Invest in economies left at deaths doorstep with all the reasons you gave. Comparing Japan to Spain is just silly. It’s sad how many times people miss opportunities. Thinking it must go to 0. Even then they’ll demand a negative print on the SX5E.
    Will I be buying the SX5E for clients today? NO. But If I was visiting with someone who was 25 and had 100k to invest I’d direct them to some ETFs in Europe and tell them to divide 100k by 24 months and direct invest 4,100 per month and go live your life. You’ll be rich in many years while many people lecture on Spains Banks, R.E and anything else that history has shown will get worked out. In spite of what the masses believe.

  5. Who cares why. All that matters is it did. Does the fact it wasn’t on fundamentals change what it did or didn’t do?
    Does it make it wrong that it went to a level you thought was fundamentally not moral?
    Right now the market looks terrible. Does it matter why? NO. All that matters is what the market does next. Will it hold here and go higher or will it crater and call 1420 the top. Why it does this is a waste of time.
    Heck discussing the issues of Spain is a waste of time. When the price changes favorably go in regardless of the bears. If you can’t figure out how to do this then treat Europe like a 401k and invest monthly over 24 months and don’t read one article why the Spanish peopel will just give up on life. You can thank me later.

  6. Glad I have amused you.Let me know when you want to sell me something ;)
    On Spain I dare say you suffer from two major issues.One,you know nothing about it other than it is on the far side of the water from you and second ,that you likewise understand little about it’s composition.
    Having said that,your comments about long term allocation are not as silly as your earlier post as long as the person owning that money can take the heat.As I have said before this game is all about us as individuals.When we don’t understand ourselves and our tolrances then we get it horribly wrong.
    Re Spain though you’re still talking nonsense as we stand.Keep your powder dry, why catch someone else’s falling knife when there are enough other fools willing to ddo that job for you.

  7. SC

    Why would I care about understanding Spain? It’s just a distraction. Fundamentals and all the things you listed are worthless. I’ve never been their. Can you tell me the composition of the U.S that caused the SPX to rip? It doesn’t matter why. I have no interest in kicking the tires of Spain or any other investment I ever own. What a waste. I don’t want to know John Mauldins Spain. I dont’ want to be smart on Spain. I want to buy it when others are worried about it’s compostion and the chart say BUY ME in Spanish Yelow and Red.

    Same old story. Someone lecturing on all the wrong things to look at..dug in…quoting age old investing maxims with knives they can never seem to pull out of them selves to make money. Funny how the wealthy always do the opposite of what someone tells me to do.

  8. SC

    Everything I’ve ever made the most money on had every characteristic of Spain. Someone who knows all the reasons why it is crap. So well known..so easy to avoid.
    Stocks 4th quarter after 9/11
    Egypt during MENA
    Cal Munis- after 60 minutes
    Japan after the Quake
    Russia, Mexico, BP after the Spill, it just never ends. Spain 3rd Quarter will RIP higher only because eveyone knows it can’t.
    Best performing fund this quarter…..you guessed it HSGFX. Why because he’s left for dead. It never changes.

  9. Now I have to tell you V I am wealthy and I have to tell you that last year when the crap was hitting the fan I bought heavily into bank debt which I may add I have just offloaded the other week for a nice bite.So please do not try to tell me my onions about the behavioural aspects of the markets. I’ve been cranking this crap out for longer than you have been alive and understanding what I am doing and why I am doing it is exactly what it is all about.
    Charts are fine. I use them a lot myself,but is that all I have got ?No,not by along chalk would I be totally dependent only on a chart and I don’t know anyone making serious money who only uses charts and nothing else. To date you’ve shown me nowt that tells me you are the first.Now that’s all from me so my last word on this subject must be ,buy the chorizo !!

  10. Reading a chart by the way don’t confuse yourself that a market panic crescendo is the same as a slow and steady downtrend.The former is emotion,the latter is simply increasing realisation that something is a dog for a reason.

  11. I came to Prag Cap from http://humblestudentofthemarkets.blogspot.co.uk/. I find Mr Hui’s analysis extremely insightful especially his political analysis in particular of Europe.
    Anyway, what Spain needs is a Margaret Thatcher to eliminate ‘Spanish practices’ as we know them in the UK. Her freeing up of the labour market and reduction in union power caused Britain to find a new gear in economic development that I am sure the Spanish could discover too, if only they looked for it.

  12. SC

    Your Wealthy, your smart and you understand many things. I get it. You don’t have to prove wealth to me or your smarts. I’m straight and happily married. And I have two 40 and 40 friends and the market doesn’t care how smart and wealthy you are.

    Look, if your looking at Europe than the chart says stay away. So I stay away. But for ME….I don’t get into all the reasons why Spain is this or that. It’s just a distraction. For ME..at some point yep..your 100% right I will catch a knife in Europe. I will more times than not throw out the charts when you get valuations that are cheap and a compostion that is well known.

    Every year that passes there is a new Russia,Iceland, Greece, Spain etc. Everyone sharpens their pencils and lays out why that group of people will fail. They never give the human race enough credit. Funny…many of the bears will tell you why Spain will crumble and what needs to be done. As if the Spanish leaders will never do what they read on some economic site.

    I just can’t believe how negative everyone is about everything. I have nothing against you..SC..I always take the other side especially when it comes to why a group of people will as you say, “heading down the toilet”. They won’t. I have alot of confidence in my fellow man to figure out how to keep it’s head out of the toilet. Unless there on holiday in Ibiza listening to the great Darude at Sunset drinking Sangria at Cafe Del Mar.

    Don’t you get tired SC with all that money and smarts..worrying about a country in the toilet?

  13. You’re looking at a chart of the S&P without Ben Bernanke. However, I think Ben has simply delayed the inevitable and we will join Spain in testing those 2009 lows, despite all his money printing.

  14. Now tha’s got very silly with that closer havn’t you? I’m not going to join you in that, buy the chorizo son!!

  15. VII, what makes you think Spain will avoid Greece’s fate? Not saying it will or won’t, but I question your assertion that you can buy and hold it without fundamental work, based solely on the fact that it’s down a lot.

    See http://www.google.com/finance?q=INDEXDJX%3AGRDOWD and zoom in to mid-2008 to mid-2010, looks basically like the chart above. And it’s fallen another 70% since.

  16. Paging B Ferro. What say you? More downside to come? Nice call on the turn after being raging bull Jan-Mar.

  17. I love chorizos…I tend to eat too many though. The ones at Disneyland are my favorite!

  18. I didn’t say Spain will avoid Greece. Let me be clear. I think it’s all a distraction. The less you know about most of this stuff the more money you’ll make. You could have known nothing about the U.S and bought monthly from 2007 at the high and into 2009 and today you’d be up 60% + or -.
    Walter…I have NO idea about Spain. I love the people and the food.
    I know this..many here will laude the perfect mouse trap to make money waiting for knives to land on the ground. I will look at some charts and buy an ETF at some point scaling in 5% then another 5% when it turns. More than likely Europe as opposed to Spain. But…everyone makes a mess of opportunities. They get religion on Spain and it’s problems.
    I will say this…I have an automatic buy in my sons Ishares 529 with 10% going to Europe..In 17 years I wonder what will do better. My voodoo charts and expensive research or the simplicity of $XXXX going into my sons 529 buying up Europe in spite of the Spanish people heading into the toilet as SC says.
    I believe in man. I believe in progress and if their are prolems they’ll get fixed. How or why I could care less. I know how much people love to talk about how much they know…but I know nothing of Spain. But I’ve been around long enough to know..my sons 10% allocation will do better than the perfect mouse trap.

  19. So you are basically saying blind dollar cost averaging is the way to go. Implicit in that strategy is the assumption that whatever you’re DCAing into will bounce back eventually. I think that is a reasonable assumption for a diversified basket like the S&P 500. As for something like MSCI Spain, in which Banco Santander alone makes up 20% of the index…

  20. I am spaniard and look this chart every day.
    What is the problem?
    Thanks to this down, you have now Santander Bank with a 11% dividend yield, Telefonica (telecom) with a 12% and so on.
    If you prefer cash, Santander (the largest bank of the eurozone and the 4º in the world) will pay to you a 3% interest rate for a credit account. Yes, 3% per year with full liquidity of money (you can take your money when you want)

    And all of this in euro, a very strong currency that hasn’t behind a central bank nor a government printing money to devalue it against other currencies.

    By the way, the 35 companies of Ibex earn half of their profits outside of Spain (most in Latin America)

    Anyone can imagine a better scenario for a long term investor?
    Oh yes, the S&P 500 fuelled by the printing machines of the Fed (no printing but government’s deficit will say Cullen) with a ridiculous low interest rate that will stay long time to push investors to risky assets.

    Ok, speculate, speculate. Be long in S&P and short in spanish banks to take the short term profit.
    Meanwhile, I weigh up and prepare my cash for a double-your-money investing, dreaming with the moment when I will feel like Warren Buffet investing in bargains.

  21. @ Walter

    Yes and No. I’m not a big DCA guy although for my son at 13 months yes. For my clients with 401ks it’s worked well..they never stopped after 2008. For someone getting close to 58ish you need to be careful with simple investment strategies. If you don’t have the money yet at that age having a sober conversation given todays valuations is warranted. I actually agree with you and SC. I just want to do my best to help play the other side when we start giving up on each other.
    I understand why Spain and Europe are in trouble and may get cheaper. I’m just tired of the buzzards circling why the Spanish in the toilet, The Greeks are lazy, The germans are this and the americans are that. Were all in this together. At this point it times for us all to pull each other up and not down. I’m tired of the lecturing by one person why this or that group of people deserves to live in austerity etc. As usual..Sorry about my tactics.

  22. Hey CRL. Thanks on the call thing…

    I’m not short anymore as of today and am now long.

    Thus far, I’ve not seen anything in this sell-off that makes me believe prices don’t head highe over the intermediate term.

    That said, there seem to be more and more cracks in the bull armor that are somewhat worrisom; analytical lines in the sand if you will that to me, define cyles, that seem precariously close to tipping into favor of the bears.

    As always, trying to be as objective as possible here…

    I’d struggle to believe a top wasn’t in if we close this or next week below 1363-ish, the weekly closing high from last April.

    Seems to me that break-outs above previous highs (1363) typically need to be tested as support, as we’re doing now, but need to hold and hold well. The rest of the week will tell us a lot I think.

    If 1363 breaks I have no idea where we end up but I can’t imagine it’d be a positive if you were bullish…at a min I think it implies your cycle is over and 1325 gets tested at a min…

    All just guess-work though…

  23. @ Darth Salocin

    Hi, Just interested what Santander’s TRUE Debt to Equity ratio is right now? Will any equity be left when the Ponzi debt all comes home to roost? That would be my big worry about holding ANY EZ bank equity exposure irrespective of yield today. Yield is high for a reason -> high yield = high risk

  24. Yes the printing press sure makes a difference. We pretty much escaped even a mild recession here in Australia (depending on how you define these things)and we keep getting told how great our economy is and yet our stock market has gone nowhere in 6 months and we remain close to 40% off our highs. In recent years whenever the US market has gone on a tear , so has our currency (or the US currency has tanked – however you wish to look at it)

    There is clearly a huge currency effect as our market priced in AUD gets capped by the rapidly appreciating AUD , seeing as we haven’t got involved in the printing game. Not only is there an effect on the nominal value of companies but the level of the currency is destroying tourism , exporters (other than metals where prices have so far kept up) and those who earn a lot of money in the US etc..

    Add to that the highest bank rates (AFAIK) in the Western World ..standard rates around 7.3% at the moment and that’s after a cut or two…….and you have a Reserve Bank that may soon have to cut rapidly as the inflation in the one sector of the economy that has been powering (mining) falls on its face. And don’t get me started on the government constantly bailing out Government Motors in this country to prop up a dud industry which leads to labour shortages in the stronger parts of the economy and drives up wages in the mining sector to nutty levels and adds pressure to interest rates.

    One thing I do respect our RBA for is not getting involved in trying to use the stock market as a tool of monetary policy. The sort of admissions made by Uncle Ben in recent times are mind blowing and would see central bankers in this country lynched. I do wonder though what’s going to happen to our economy as everyone but us keeps printing away.

    The currency effect (whilst not the only factor , as USA have many of the best multinationals that would outperform anyway) should not be underestimated from what I’ve seen on our market.

  25. I’ve been called a lot but never a liar…appreciate that SS!

    This is an art not a science. I decided to keep the short that day even though we closed above 1407. Would be happy to share my confirms from my prime broker. Will also be glad to tell you what I traded position wise, which was 150% short the R2K.

    Nor did I state there was a 100% chance we get to 1800; I said history suggests that chance exists.

    Regardless, for a guy that provides his trades to this community 100% of the time in as transparent an open a manner as possible, I’m disappointed to see somebody say something so incendiary in return.

    This is the market, not politics, I am allowed to flip flop as much as I want; I’d be a fool not to.

    If you really want to know what I do invest in my fund or pay me to help, but don’t be a jerk when you lack all the info or I’ll just quit posting all together…

  26. So now you were short 150% the R2K even though your comments didn’t reflect this at all. Okay buddy. I believe you. I really do. When the market rebounds you’ll be talking about how bullish you were all along and your 1800 guarantee will be all you’re talking about. Unless someone calls you out again when it doesn’t come true. Ha.

  27. @ SS

    My understanding is B Ferro swings it around. If the market changes so does he. So should all of us. I hold positions very loose in a secular bear market. Just because he doesn’t give us his daily calls doesn’t mean anything.

    Please don’t call anyone a liar here. We should treat each other better.

    Why would someone in his position update us daily. He’s not Hussman. Let’s keep it civil. There’s enough junk out there..this site tends to be a safe place. Let’s keep it cool. Banter is good fun but defaming someone’s character isn’t.

  28. Right. I’m so duplicitous I actually use my own last name when I post. Makes sense.

    For the record I went long today 60% the SPX at 1363 and remain bullish until the market proves me otherwise.

    When the market does prove otherwise I plan on shorting with impunity…

    I could care less which way it goes and if people like you think I’m lying so be it.

    I’ll be wrong over and over and over but refuse to stay wrong for long…

  29. I’m not defaming anyone. I read this website every day and Ferro has been a raging bull. Just yesterday he was questioning Cullen’s short thesis. And now after the Russell falls 7% he’s suddenly 2X short it. His comments here are not consistent with his claims. Call that whatever you want. I call it lying.

  30. Ferro’s a long time reader and I can vouch for his integrity here. No need to get all pissy about one call or another. I was wrong about my short call for weeks on end. It turned out fine, but I still lost on a relative basis even though I made money on it. So we all make mistakes. Welcome to the investment business!

  31. Actually if anyone care, the short builder call posted last week is so spot on. A lot of money could have been made by those who followed it.

  32. I have been reading a few of your posts. You sound like an ex bear who has thrown in the towel and will excuse anything to justify your new perma bull bias. I think you will get hurt badly. Be flexible.

  33. V
    My problem with you is one of communication. Reading through your posts here you have transmorphed from a comment about a single qtr outperformer to a long term averaging strategy on a continent rather than a country.In toher words the goalposts keep shifting.
    For clarity I’m not negative nor am I giving up on my fellowman. I’m simply the most pragmatic guy around. We do fix things that are broke and indeed my main problem with Spain and Europe is they keep refusing to fix the sodding thing chossing instead to do exactly what every trader knows is wrong …that is they won’t take the first loss,not even the 5th bloody loss.Instead they take the wrong policies and go for slow sodding death by a thousand cuts which I may add is exactly what Japan did.Hence ,my earlier comments about Spain and Japan because as it stands the former is right onboard the same damn monetary ship that Japan launched. Indeed the similarities given the interplay of banking crisis and massively overhung property portfolio is disturbingly close.
    As far as charts goes the appraoching double bottom is only that until becomes a continuation pattern and indeed the appearance of NPV is valid ,but unfortunately only based upon the markets current outlook for Spain rather than the outlook that will unfold. At this point I would say the markets being kind because it is expecting a change of policy to ride to the rescue.I don’t happen to share that view as we stand.

  34. Both SC and you VII make valid points.

    Yes at some point Spain will be a great investment opportunity but not at this moment. In fact I would rather hold senior corporate bonds than equity but that’s another matter for discussion.

    I was looking at the recent car sales figure in Europe in February, and it really validates the point made in the discussion about value and growth after default/restructuring of an economy.
    Whereas car sales in France were down in cumulated terms by around 23%, in Italy down by 27%, Portugal and Greece down by around 49%, in Iceland there were up by 96% in cumulated two months in February and up by around 140% on the month, I rest my case. Indeed, there economic growth after restructuring…

    Best,

    Martin

  35. I’ve been watching EWP too
    Santander, Telephonica, Repsol are all global multinationals at very low PE, PCf and high yield
    they do not represent the spanish economy at all
    I already own VGK to diversify across the entire region.
    Looking to buy TEF actually

  36. B Ferro:

    You are a great trader. “flip flop” is the most important part to be a great trader. And you have it. If somebody called it ” lying”, I guess it just because he does not understand trading well. Thanks for all the thoughts and trades that you posted here.
    The post that I really like here are yours, VII’s and for sure Cullen’s. Because those posts show honesty, intelligence, serious thinking and flexibility.

  37. Look by yourself here:

    http://memoria.santander.webfg.com/2011/index.php?sec=bienvenido&lang=en

    The core capital is 10%, that I think is large enough, if you compare with investment banks in USA.

    You say yield is high because high risk. It depends of what you consider the meaning of risk. If you think that risk = volatility (speculators notion of risk), then yes, SAN is very risky.

    But if you are a long term investor, volatility isn’t so important.

  38. spain will be a buy in 2016.

    whole lot of pain coming between then and now.

    liquidity will not be solvency this time around.

    debt endgame….reset…..go again.

    lessons learned?……none.

  39. I don’t think Spain is a buy yet. We need real panic. Blood in the streets. Then it will be time to buy with both hands. And yes, there is no guarantee that the real panic will ever happen. The EuroZone powers could come up with a fix that unifies the EU under a single Federal Government, or the ECB could buy 2 trillion worth of Spanish debt to let the property sector deleverage. But those things haven’t happened yet, and I have the feeling that Germany and France don’t care about Spain any more than they care about Greece.

  40. at PE<8, and 8% yield, EWP is priced for a deep recession already.
    the question is how much will dividends be cut? how long will this recession last?

  41. Funny, the Italian stock market since 2007 makes the IBEX look like a star performer.

    Take a look at that chart sometime – I was blown away yesterday since it was the first time I actually paid attention to the chart. It looks like the Nasdaq after the bubble burst in 2000.

  42. @ crosscreek
    I wish I could lay out what I see to you. It would help out. I’ve got my ass covered by the best. But I recognize half of my team was wrong.. But I always want to be in the game. Maybe 25% invested maybe more. I rember reading Howard marks and he is always 100% invested. That’s extreme for me but many of you have confused this idea that you can’t get hurt investing. I plan on taking hits. I never said I would not get hurt. In fact those lessons are part of the gray hair. It is part of the contract we must sign when we get into the ring. If you don’t have herpes you were t having enough fun.
    If I’m always right I’m doing something wrong. It’s impossible. But I’ve had one down year in 2008 but professionally 2011 felt worse. (since1997).
    But can u read your comment one more time.
    Your telling me to be flexible… But your telling me to stick with what has not worked?
    That is silly. Read that again…. Be open but don’t change?
    What is more flexible than changing . Im on my way to Meet with a client in Pismo beach… I have some great numbers sent to me from some bears… They are not flexible in spite of the data there sending me that points to near term positive SPX.

  43. I’m surprised it’s not lower. How much is a domestic-oriented business worth in a country with declining GDP, declining household income, 50% higher labor costs relative to others in the same currency union, unfavorable politics, very high probability of devaluation …
    As mentioned above, just like Mexico in the 90s, wait for Spain to exit EZ, buy during the initial (new) currency plunge.

  44. that chart is not quite different from Portugal,Ireland , France or Italy, the exception is Germany but for how long ? not more than a year I guess( DAX crashed 70% from its highs during 2000-2002 when its exports slumped)

  45. @ Darth Salocin

    according to FT Alphaville, Santander has been the biggest borrower of LTRO funds in the EZ. As Spanish banks collectively have been buyers of Spanish Govt Debt in return, this places a question over their position should Spain itself face a sovereign debt problem. Despite 1+Trillion Euro LTRO, recent moves in the Spanish 5 and 10 year bonds suggests all is not well. Santander has its assets squarely positioned in the middle of this mess, remember the Greek haircuts? This is why I say risk is high.

  46. Yes… As soon as I figure out how to make money buying at the dollar store and selling that item in bulk at the 99cent store.

    My UNG trade reminds me of the prostate I got caught with in Vegas back in 01. My buddies came back to the room and hide in the closet. I thought I had gotten her out of the room..and the moment the door shut they fell out laughing. To this day there’ ll never let me live it down. You should have seen her….$250..and that was $249 more than she was worth.

    Thanks for bringing that up…I’ll never live that one down. Not sure which is uglier

  47. it seems to me the highly liquid large cap stocks have less domestic sales and earnings as the years go on.
    so owning a country fund such as EWP isn’t much of a call on Spain
    or EWI on Italy
    it’s more a call on the industry allocation of the top holdings.
    the main reason EWP isn’t below 2009 low is mainly because Repsol is a oil stock and oil is well above 38. right now