Posts Tagged ‘FASB’


Courtesy of Jim Quinn, The Burning Platform

“We now have an economy in which five banks control over 50 percent of the entire banking industry, four or five corporations own most of the mainstream media, and the top one percent of families hold a greater share of the nation’s wealth than any time since 1930.   This sort of concentration of wealth and power is a classic setup for the failure of a democratic republic and the stifling of organic economic growth.” - Jesse –

Source: Barry Ritholtz

“All of the old-timers knew that subprime mortgages were what we called neutron loans — they killed the people and left the houses.” - Louis S. Barnes, 58, a partner at Boulder West, a mortgage banking firm in Lafayette, Colo

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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Elderly Asian woman in kimono standing on bridge

My position over the last 2 years has been as follows: this is a Main Street debt crisis.  I have been highly critical of the government’s incessant interventionist policies over the last few years largely because they ignore the actual problems at hand.  First it was Mr. Bernanke saving the banks because he believed the credit crisis started with the banking sector.  The great monetarist gaffe ensued.  Tim Geithner piled on with the PPIP.  FASB jumped on board the bank rescue plan by altering the accounting rules.  And then the icing on the cake was the Recovery Act, which, in my opinion, just shoveled money into the hole that had become the output gap, without actually trying to target the real cause of the crisis – those burdened by the debt.  In essence, the various bailouts primarily targeted everyone except the people who really needed it.

A year ago I posted a story citing the many reasons why we were sinking into the deflationary Japanese trap.  The primary flaw with the US response to the crisis was that we never actually confronted the problem at hand.  I have often cited Japanese economists such as Richard Koo who appear to have a good grasp on the problems in Japan and now in the USA.  In this case, I cited Keiichiro Kobayashi who is now looking most prescient:

We continue to ignore our past and the warnings from those who have dealt with similar financial crises. Keiichiro Kobayashi, Senior Fellow at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry is the latest economist with an in-depth understanding of Japan, who says the U.S. and U.K. are making all the same mistakes:

“Bad debt is the root of the crisis. Fiscal stimulus may help economies for a couple of years but once the “painkilling” effect wears off, US and European economies will plunge back into crisis. The crisis won’t be over until the nonperforming assets are off the balance sheets of US and European banks.”

Read that last paragraph again.  These are scarily accurate comments.  While the USA claims to have many economists who understand the Japan disease and/or the Great Depression the policy actions we’ve undertaken do not appear to be in line with any understanding of this history.

What we’ve done over the last few years is repeat the mistakes…
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Death-Spiral Intercept

Death-Spiral Intercept

Tiffany & Co. Grand Opening Cocktail Party

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Well well well….

In essence, White was saying: "it’s the debt, stupid."  When aggregate debt levels build up across business cycles, economists focused on managingwithin business cycles miss the key ingredient that leads to systemic crisis. It should be expected that politicians or private sector participants worried about the day-to-day exhibit short-termism. But White says it is particularly troubling that economists and their models exhibit the same tendency because it means there is no long-term oriented systemic counterweight guiding the economy.

This short-termism that White refers to is what I call the asset-based economic model. And, quite frankly, it works – especially when interest rates are declining as they have over the past quarter century. The problem, however, is that you reach a critical state when the accumulation of debt and the misallocation of resources is so large that the same old policies just don’t work anymore. And that’s when the next crisis occurs.

It seems that Mr. [Edward] Harrison has it figured out.  He goes on to spend a lot of digital ink on the periphery of the bottom line, which is that we continue to think of debt in terms of service costs (indeed, you’ll hear Bernanke talk about it, but never about the actual gross financial system debt outstanding.)

When you boil all this down, however, you get to the following chart (trendline added by moi):

You can see what’s going on here – each "crisis" leads to lower lows and lower highs. 

This presents two problems:

  • Lower lows have run into the zero boundary.  That wasn’t sufficient this time, which of course is why we got "Quantitative Easing" and other similar abortions intended to distort market rates – like guarantees on bank debt, for example.  Ultimately this devolves into The Fed or The Government (as if there’s a real difference) guaranteeing everything to prevent spreads from blowing out.
  • Far more sinister, however, is what happens to the top line.  The top line – that is, the maximum rate between crises, declines because it becomes impossible to normalize rates - nobody can afford to pay "normal" rates with the amount of leverage they have.

This is where the ultimate failure in policy arrives, and it…
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Did The Fed Just (Surreptitiously) Bail Out Europe?

Did The Fed Just (Surreptitiously) Bail Out Europe?

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

No, not just Greece – all of Europe.  Without Congressional authorization or notice, of course.

Hattip to a nice emailer….

Or if you prefer it on a one-year time scale…

That nice little vertical line is a gain of $421.8 billion dollars of outstanding loans and leases in one week’s time.


You won’t find anything like that in the records – because it’s never happened before.  That’s beyond unprecedented, it’s ridiculous, and assuming it’s also accurate, someone has some ‘splaining to do on what clearly appears to be some sort of back-door game being run.

Update: It has been suggested that this may be related to the FASB changes and securitized loans coming back on the balance sheet.  If so, where’s the alleged memorandum items on the other side and the footnote on FRED?  The latter is missing, but the necessary data on FRED to confirm that is not yet updated.

Nonetheless, if this is the case, it’s still bad (just not catastrophic) as this will directly hit capital ratios.  Or, put another way, where’s the additional capital that "should" be there to support what is now on balance sheet and was previously off (never mind that it was crooked as hell to have it off in the first place!) 


Karl’s follow-up post:

What The Hell? (Outstanding Credit)

Go read this Ticker first (it’s right below this one on the top page)

Some more digging around FRED has found additional disturbing data.  Specifically:


An $84.2 billion increase in one month, or annualized, a significantly more than 100% run rate?

Something’s not right here folks. I can’t find the rest of the one-week ramp yet, as the data is not current enough for me to do so, but that’s an insane increase.

C&I loans picked up a bit (614 .vs. 591.8) which is a significant move as well, but then again it also dropped a lot between 3-17 and 3-24 (605 to 591.8), so in context it’s not nearly as material.

Where did the more than $400 billion go that was "borrowed"? 

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Most Wall Street Banks Using Lehman Style Accounting Trickery Enabled by the Fed to Hide Their Risk

Most Wall Street Banks Using Lehman Style Accounting Trickery Enabled by the Fed to Hide Their Risk


This analysis from the Wall Street Journal indicates that most of the big US Banks are engaging in the same kind of repo accounting at the end of the quarter that Lehman Brothers was doing to hide their financial instability until deteriorating credit conditions and liquidity problems made them precipitously collapse, as all ponzi schemes and financial frauds do when the truth becomes known.

The basic exercise is to hold big leverage and dodgy debt, but swap it off your books with the Fed at the end of each quarter for a short period of time when you have to report your holdings.

This could easily be corrected by requiring banks to report four week averages of their holdings for example, rather than a snapshot when they can hide their true risk profiles so easily, compliments of that protector of consumers and investors, the Fed.

This is nothing new to us. Many of us have noted this sort of accounting trickery and market manipulation at key events especially at end of quarter.

It is facilitated by the Federal Reserve, and FASB, and the agencies.

"Their Fraud doth rarely falter, and is subsidized, instead, 
for none dare call it bank fraud, if it’s sanctioned by the Fed."
(apologies to Ovid)

The US is Lehman Brothers on a scale writ large. And when it is exposed by some series of events, the implosion could be more sudden than any can imagine. But in the meantime the US is still the ‘superpower’ of the world’s financial system, through its currency, its banks, and its ratings agencies.

Big Banks Mask Risk Levels
April 9, 2010

Quarter-End Loan Figures Sit 42% Below Peak, Then Rise as New Period Progresses; SEC Review

Major banks have masked their risk levels in the past five quarters by temporarily lowering their debt just before reporting it to the public, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

A group of 18 banks—which includes Goldman Sachs

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Big Banks: “You Will Cancel FASB 166 So We Can Continue Pretending All Is Good… Or We Will Kill Lending Even More”

Big Banks: "You Will Cancel FASB 166 So We Can Continue Pretending All Is Good… Or We Will Kill Lending Even More"

threatsCourtesy of Zero Hedge

At first it was just the smaller banks, but now the big boys have joined the collective cry against FASB 166 and 167, according to which beginning January 1, banks will likely see up to $900 billion in off-balance sheet assets being onboarded to bank balance sheets. This would likely mean banks need to dramatically increase their Tangible and Tier 1 Capital to offset the capital needed to account for possible asset deterioration. And that, of course, is unacceptable to banks who know too well the deep shit they still find themselves in.

The irony is that banks, which have already virtually halted lending to those in need of credit, are threatening they will cut any available credit even futher. How anyone could admit to being stupid enough to believe this latest episode of Mutual Assured Destruction courtesy of the US banking system is a mystery. And yet this is precisely the type of "gun against the head" negotiating that Max Keiser was fulminating against, and that the banks are once again perpetrating:

“With any increase in required capital, a banking institution is likely to reduce the amount of lending using such securitization vehicles, as well as other lending,” the American Bankers Association wrote in a letter to regulators. The association, the nation’s biggest banking lobby, suggested that any transition period should be three years at least, with no change in regulatory capital impact in the first year.

Taking a cue from the ABA, the big 3 record earners have decided to join in: last thing one would want is JPMorgan not earning yet another record amount in Q4. First Citi chimes in:

Banks should be given three years to raise capital for offsetting assets and liabilities that must be brought onto their balance sheets, Citigroup Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said yesterday in a letter to regulators. Requiring banks to “assume the risk-based capital effects immediately, or even over one year, is an undeniably severe penalty,” he wrote.

Then you have record earner JPMorgan:

The capital requirements “will have a significant and negative impact on the amount of consumer-conduit funding that will be made available by U.S. banks,” said

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not headline news FASB vs. financial industryCourtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Okay, I can see how this story might not be a headliner, but we’ve heard practically nothing in the mainstream media about the upcoming battle between FASB and the financial industry with regards to accounting changes.  According to Bloomberg FASB is expected to expand the use of fair value accounting after the drastic changes that took place in Q1 – the same changes that have helped so many of the banks in the near-term.  FASB knows they made a mistake and got pressured by politicians and the Treasury to change the rules in the middle of the game.  Well, now they’re considering changing them back (kind of).  The rule change would have sweeping effects on the banks and as regular readers know, I believe would have an enormously positive impact on the long-term well being of the country.  Bloomberg reports:

The scope of the FASB’s initiative, which has received almost no attention in the press, is massive. All financial assets would have to be recorded at fair value on the balance sheet each quarter, under the board’s tentative plan.

This would mean an end to asset classifications such as held for investment, held to maturity and held for sale, along with their differing balance-sheet treatments. Most loans, for example, probably would be presented on the balance sheet at cost, with a line item below showing accumulated change in fair value, and then a net fair-value figure below that. For lenders, rule changes could mean faster recognition of loan losses, resulting in lower earnings and book values.

The board said financial instruments on the liabilities side of the balance sheet also would have to be recorded at fair-market values, though there could be exceptions for a company’s own debt or a bank’s customer deposits…

Differing Treatment

While balance sheets might be simplified, income statements would acquire new complexities. Some gains and losses would count in net income. These would include changes in the values of all equity securities and almost all derivatives. Interest payments, dividends and credit losses would go in net, too, as would realized gains and losses. So would fluctuations in all debt instruments with derivatives embedded in their structures…

Imagining the Impact

Think how the saga at CIT Group Inc. might have unfolded if loans already

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FASB Grows A Pair? Watch Those Stocks!

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FASB Grows A Pair? Watch Those Stocks!

FASB, "Napoleon's exile to Elba3"Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

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James Chanos and Kyle Bass Vanity Fair interview

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

James Chanos and Kyle Bass speak with Bethany McLean at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit on the global economy and stock markets.

Also see

China’s $34 Trillion Experiment Is Blowing Up – Kyle Bass 

Watch this video on The Scene.

The post James Chanos and Ky...

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Zero Hedge

Clinton State Dept Spent 5.4 Million Taxpayer Dollars On 'Crystal Stemware', $630k On Facebook 'Likes'

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Cameron Cawthorne, originally posted at The Washington Free Beacon,

The Republican National Committee revealed Thursday in a 21-page memo that Hillary Clinton’s State Department spent millions of dollars on lavish goods and initiatives on the taxpayers’ dime.


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Phil's Favorites

FBI Reopens Clinton Probe: Too Little Too Late? Surprising Krugman Tweet

Courtesy of Mish.

It should be clear to even the casual observer that the FBI purposely failed to investigate the Hillary email server scam as well as improprieties the Clinton foundation.

Today the FBI reconsidered. So here we are, 11 days from the election, with an unprecedented FBI probe of the likely next president of the United States, who will undoubtedly be given a pardon by president Obama in his final finger to US citizens.

NBC reports FBI Says It Will Investigate New Hillary Clinton Emails.

The FBI is reviewing a new batch of Hillary Clinton emails, bureau director James Comey said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Fr...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Dollar Near Seven-Month High as Stocks, Bonds Fluctuate on GDP (Bloomberg)

The dollar held near a seven-month high while stocks and bonds fluctuated after data showing a pickup in the world’s largest economy bolstered the case for higher interest rates this year. Oil fell.

Brexit Pains: The Pound Takes a Serious Pounding (Bloomberg)

The U.K. currency has become the most prominent victim of the Brexit debate, falling 18 percent against the dollar since the British voted in June to w...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Amazon; Potential bearish reversal pattern, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Without a doubt, Amazon (AMZN) remains in an uptrend (higher highs and higher lows) over the past decade plus. Last nights earnings does NOT change this trend!

Below updates the pattern on Amazon and highlights that this week, it is could be creating a pattern it has seldom created, over the past 10-years.


As mentioned in the chart, a few t...

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Chart School

Small Caps Head South, Large Caps Drift Lower

Courtesy of Declan.

After failing to build a swing low at September's lows, the Russell 2000 went the other The breakdown has moved out of the consolidation which has been in play since July, opening up for a retest of the June swing low at 1,086. Technicals are heavily oversold, so a reaction bounce, potentially from the open, would not be surprising.

The Nasdaq is felling the pinch. The upside break from the (then) bearish rising wedge had looked to catch shorts on the short, but this has since turned against bulls and ...

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Digital Currencies

Needham Raises Bitcoin Price Target To $848: Here's Why

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With bitcoin breaking out of its recent trading range as Chinese buyers once again flock to the currency as the Yuan slides (as we predicted over a year ago they would), even Wall Street analysts are starting to pay attention, and in a recent report by Needham's Spencer Bogart, the analyst has raised his price...

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Members' Corner

Heil The Candidate?

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

Remember the 2016 Presidential Election is only thirteen days away. During this election campaign, both 2016 election candidates and the incumbent President, have been amongst other things, vilified as Hitler-esque.

Above Heil Hitlary! courtesy of LULZY T-Shirts

Above Heil Trump! image...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 24th,2016

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...

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Epizyme - A Waiting Game

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

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