by Chart School - April 3rd, 2011 11:52 pm
Courtesy of Chris Kimble
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
TLT has rallied off of support and broke above its falling wedge at (1), with a test of its new rising channel support line taking place at (2).
Game Plan…Remail long TLT after a purchase at (1). Will “harvest” the TLT position on a break of support at (2) by 1%.
by Zero Hedge - April 3rd, 2011 11:51 pm
Courtesy of 4closureFraud
Mortgage mess: Who really owns your mortgage?
Do you know who really owns your mortgage? As Scott Pelley reports on “60 Minutes” this week, that question has become a nightmare for many homeowners since the invention of mortgage-backed securities. Yes, those were the exotic investments that sparked the financial collapse in this country. And the’re still causing problems.
As it turns out, Wall Street cut corners when it bundled homeowners’ mortgages into securities that were traded from investor to investor. Now that banks are foreclosing on people, they’re finding that the legal documents behind many mortgages are missing. So, what do the banks do? As Pelley explains in this video, some companies appear to be resorting to forgery and phony paperwork in what looks like a nationwide epidemic.
Even if you’re not at risk of foreclosure, there could be legal ramifications for a homeowner if the chain of title has been lost. Watch the “60 Minutes” report and listen to Pelley’s discussion with “60 Minutes Overtime” editor Ann Silvio about the findings of his reporting team.
Have you contacted your mortgage servicing company to find out whether your mortgage has been bundled and sold? Did you get a clear answer and a copy of your mortgage paperwork to back it up?
by Zero Hedge - April 3rd, 2011 11:42 pm
Courtesy of MoneyMcbags
The big news in the market on Friday was the release of the (No) Labor Department’s NFP Jobs Report (more commonly known as the Labor Force Participation Rate Report, or fiction) which showed the ponzeconomy™ added 216k jobs in March which was enough for the administration to pat themselves on their well insured backs and head to their local church to celebrate. So break open the Dom, dish out the beluga, and try not to look the 13.5MM unemployed people in the eyes (or the additional ~10MM U6 fucking unemployed people), because at this rate the ponzeconomy™ will be back to full employment just around the time Bernie Madoff gets out of prison or when former Bush economic adviser Glenn Hubbard‘s sex change is finally complete (he was a woman at one point right? Or is he just trying to crack this list?).
Money McBags would like to break down the jobs report with brilliant insight, unheard of prescience, and tons of boobs (as he did last month), but the story is exactly the fucking same. No really, Money McBags could simply cut and paste this month’s numbers into last month’s column, rinse, repeat, and be done so he can spend his time building out his library and celebrating India’s victory in the Cricket World Cup, but he knows his readers have spent their hard earned dignity clicking over to the award winning When Genius Prevailed and demand new material, so Money McBags will do his best to polish this turd.
1. It’s the math, stupid. Just taking a step back and looking at the numbers in aggregate helps you realize the spin being put on them is more absurd than Don Quixote (though thankfully shorter) or a she-male who is in to chicks. It doesn’t take Daniel Bernoulli, Grigori Perelman, or Patricia Heaton to see that the unemployment rate going from 9.77% to 8.83% since November while an aggregate ~725k jobs were added to the ponzeconomy™ makes less sense than supply side economics (or any economics for that matter).
There were 15MM unemployed people in November, which is now down to 13.5MM, but as we just saw, only ~725k jobs were added, so um, something smells fishier than Cy Waits schlong. Shit, remember that in January a headline 50k jobs…
by Zero Hedge - April 3rd, 2011 10:37 pm
Courtesy of Leo Kolivakis
When I was studying at McGill University, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in life so I majored in economics, minored in mathematics and took a bunch of health science courses as electives just in case I wanted to follow my father, brother and friends into medicine. That meant a full year of organic chemistry, biochemistry and physiology. For my intellectual stimulation, I audited Charles (Chuck) Taylor’s courses in political philosophy. He’s the greatest professor I ever had, a true genius.
My friends thought I was nuts, a masochist who was biting off more than he can chew. They were right but I didn’t care. I never obtained the perfect grades needed to apply to medical school because rogue memorization of biochemical pathways just bored me to death. So I went on to finish my Master’s in Economics as I was more comfortable with macroeconomics (even though the stuff they teach students in university isn’t what I call hands-on economic and financial analysis; it’s way too theoretical, almost entirely based on mathematical theorems).
I ended up getting an “A” in my Master’s thesis criticizing the literature on growth empirics (see my comment on Galton’s Fallacy and the Myth of Decoupling). I was proud of that accomplishment because at that time (1997) I got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 26 and had to take some time off from writing my thesis. I went through a tough period where I withdrew from my family and friends and spent all my time at the McGill medical school scouring over all the articles on MS I could find. I wanted to know everything: the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
This lasted for a couple of months but at one point I got sick and tired of reading articles on MS and decided to get on living my life. I did, however, learn a lot about MS and diet which led me to Ashton Embry’s wonderful site, Direct-MS.org. It’s there that I learned about nutritional strategies and the importance of vitamin D3 supplementation. Ashton and I have kept in touch ever since.
by Zero Hedge - April 3rd, 2011 10:23 pm
Courtesy of Tyler Durden
On March 31st, David Sokol appeared on CNBC Squawk Box (to the most distraught Becky Quick we have ever seen) in an attempt to explain why his purchase of of Lubrizol Corp, prior to Berkshire Hathaway’s purchase of the Company, was perfectly acceptable. In attempting to provide evidence of this“perfectly acceptable” practice David Sokol said a curious thing (17 minutes 15 seconds in):
I don’t believe I did anything wrong. Charlie Munger owned 3% of BYD before he asked me to go look at it.
Because we all know if everyone is doing it, then it isn’t illegal or unethical. Especially if everyone is a member of the Berkshire inner circle. But if the SEC as is now widely reported, is about to make a public spectacle out of David Sokol (if not actually press civil charges because, well, the SEC doesn’t actually pursue large scale securities fraud), shouldn’t they be looking at ole’ Charlie “Suck It In” Munger?
In September of 2008 MidAmerican Energy (a company controlled by Berkshire), bought 225 million shares of BYD (10%) at a cost of $230 million. On February 27, 2010, according to the WSJ, Buffet valued this stake at $1.99B. Since that time the stock has fallen about 60% and we would roughly value MidAmerica’s stake at $852M. A nice 370% gain since the initial purchase. Which means that Munger’s 3% is now worth about $280m. This 3% stake in BYD makes up about a little less than 30% of Munger’s $1 Billion total net worth . A not inconsequential sum, and significantly more valuable that the $13m stake Sokol had in Lubrizol.
Charlie Munger dispatched then loyal Berkshire lieutenant David Sokol to do the due diligence on BYD. But make no mistake, the purchase of MidAmerica’s stake in BYD was initiated by, and subsequently endorsed by, if not executed by, one Charlie Munger.
Buffett, who is 78, was intrigued by Munger’s description of the entrepreneur behind BYD, a man named Wang Chuan-Fu, whom he had met through a mutual friend. “This guy,” Munger tells Fortune, “is a combination of Thomas Edison and Jack Welch – something like Edison in solving technical problems, and something like Welch in getting done what he needs to
by ilene - April 3rd, 2011 10:18 pm
Courtesy of MIKE WHITNEY
Originally published at CounterPunch
The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site. The warning follows an analysis by a leading US expert of radiation levels at the plant….
Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima, told the Guardian workers at the site appeared to have "lost the race" to save the reactor…" ("Japan may have lost race to save nuclear reactor", The Guardian)
Levels of radiation in the ocean next to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have surged to record highs, the government said Wednesday, as operators try to deal with large amounts of radioactive water—the unwanted byproduct of operations to cool the reactors.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said water taken Tuesday afternoon from the monitoring location for the troubled reactors Nos. 1 to 4 had 3,355 times the permitted concentration of iodine-131. That is the highest yet recorded at the sampling location, which is 330 meters south of the reactors’ discharge outlet." ("Seawater Radiation Level Soars Near Plant", Wall Street Journal)
by Zero Hedge - April 3rd, 2011 9:31 pm
Courtesy of Tyler Durden
Several days ago, courtesy of an analysis by JPM’s Michael Feroli, we quantified that the implied “rents” benefit to the US economy arising from squatters not paying mortgages is about $50 billion per year, or just about 0.4% of GDP. Today, thanks to 60 Minutes, this number is about to soar, because if anyone didn’t know before that paying mortgages is for suckers, now virtually every single mortgage borrower, and there are about 48 million of them, will think long and hard before mailing out the next mortgage payment. And if not all, then certainly the 11.1 million underwater mortgages will be one step closer to throwing in the towel on feeding the mortgage monster. Considering that 4.6 million mortgages are currently delinquent for 30 days or more, look for this number to at least double as everyone who is underwater says no mas to a losing game. Which of course is precisely what the banks want: consider that the “rents” benefit is about to double to $100 billion per year, all of which will accrue to the banking system first, then one can see why a $20 billion settlement deal is not a bad investment for the bank to generate a 2.5x ROI in a few short months.
Full 60 Minutes clip on Fraudclosure:
by ilene - April 3rd, 2011 8:52 pm
Surprise! (Seriously) "Sawdust, Shredded Newspaper, Diaper Chemicals Fail to Plug Leak at Japan Nuke Plant"
Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan (R) speaks to an employee of the Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) clad in a protective suit as he visits J-village, about 20km (12 miles) from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, at Naraha town in Fukushima prefecture, April 2, 2011. (REUTERS/Prime Minister’s Office of Japan/Handout)
Absorbent yet to soak up radioactive water at Fukushima plant
Workers tried Sunday to block the leakage of highly radioactive water into the sea from the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant by injecting polymeric water absorbent that can soak up 50 times its volume, but the water flow remains unaffected, the government’s nuclear safety agency said.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, meanwhile, told a press conference that it could take several months before radiation stops leaking from the plant, suggesting a lengthy battle ahead to resolve the crisis triggered by the devastating March 11 quake and tsunami.
Engineers put 8 kilograms of the polymeric water absorbent together with 60 kilograms of sawdust and three bags of shredded newspaper into pipes leading to a pit connected to the No. 2 reactor building where a 20-centimeter crack has been found to be leaking radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, the agency said.
by Zero Hedge - April 3rd, 2011 8:44 pm
Courtesy of Tyler Durden
No QE3? Really? Oh yes, Zero Hedge 1, Goldman Sachs (who can possibly forget Goldman’s shark jumping “New US Golden Age” report from December after all it took was one bad NFP print for Goldman to launch QE2 back in August?) 0 (here and here)
Just out from Jan Hatzius
1. With the first quarter now behind us, we have downgraded our Q1 GDP estimate to 2.5% from 3.5%. By itself, that’s not a big deal. Most indicators other than those that happen to go into the GDP bean count—in particular, virtually all business surveys and labor market indicators—continue to look solid and are probably a more accurate guide to the economy’s true strength. We believe that first-quarter GDP was held down by temporary factors, including poor weather and perhaps a bad draw from noisy data. Because temporary factors must eventually reverse by definition, this could mean a very strong quarterly GDP reading in Q2 (we are at 4%).
2. But the risks to our second-half GDP forecast of 4% also remain on the downside, and that’s more meaningful. We don’t see anything dramatic at this point, just a few weaker signals here and there. Gasoline prices are making new highs again, fiscal policy is starting to tighten a bit more aggressively, and a couple of indicators—specifically ISM new orders and consumer expectations—have softened a bit. So H2 is on downgrade watch.
3. The inflation news is also a thorn in our side. We still think the pass-through from commodity prices into core inflation will be very limited, and there is still a large amount of slack even after the 1-percentage-point drop in the unemployment rate over the past four months. But the core inflation data has clearly been a little firmer than we thought, with rent and owners’ equivalent rent leading the way. At some level, this sounds a bit odd because it’s hard to believe that the battered housing sector is a genuine source of upside inflation risk. Nevertheless, the risks to our forecast that core inflation will stay at 1% are on the upside.
4. Some Fed officials have reacted to the firmer inflation numbers by slightly hedging their earlier calls for continued accommodation, emphasizing that significant second-round effects and higher inflation expectations would not be tolerated, and implying that monetary policy may…
by ilene - April 3rd, 2011 8:44 pm
Courtesy of The Daily Bail
Bloomberg reporter Bob Ivry discusses the release of the Federal Reserve’s discount-window lending records and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s borrowing history.