Posts Tagged ‘financial meltdown’

Geithner’s Crimes Through AIG – Will The Truth Come Out

Courtesy of The Daily Bail 

Geithner’s Crimes Through AIG – Will The Truth Come Out

Video – Max Keiser & Stacy Herbert

At issue is Tim Geithner’s criminal behavior in orchestrating the AIG bailout to favor Goldman Sachs through counterparty payouts at par, and then the massive cover-up.

Further reading…


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Has the Fed Painted Itself Into a Corner?

Has the Fed Painted Itself Into a Corner?

Courtesy of Yves Smith

[unclescrooge.jpg]A couple of articles in the Wall Street Journal, reporting on a conference at the Boston Fed, indicates that some people at the Fed may recognize that the central bank has boxed itself in more than a tad.

The first is on the question of whether the Fed is in a liquidity trap. A lot of people, based on the experience of Japan, argued that resolving and restructuring bad loans was a necessary to avoid a protracted economic malaise after a severe financial crisis. But the Fed has consistently clung to the myth that the financial meltdown of 2007-2008 was a liquidity, not a solvency crisis. So rather than throw its weight behind real financial reform and cleaning up bank balance sheets (which would require admitting the obvious, that its policies prior to the crisis were badly flawed), it instead has treated liquidity as the solution to any and every problem.

Some commentators were concerned when the Fed lowered policy rates below 2%, but there we so many other experiments implemented during the acute phases that this particular shift has been pretty much overlooked. But overly low rates leaves the Fed nowhere to go if demand continues to be slack, as it is now.

Note that the remarks by Chicago Fed president John Evans still hew to conventional forms: the Fed needs to create inflation expectations, and needs to be prepared to overshoot.

This seems to ignore some pretty basic considerations. First, the US is suffering from a great deal of unemployment and excess productive capacity. The idea that inflation fears are going to lead to a resumption of spending (ie anticipatory spending because the value of money will fall in the future) isn’t terribly convincing. Labor didn’t have much bargaining power before the crisis, and it has much less now. Some might content the Fed is already doing a more than adequate job of feeding commodities inflation (although record wheat prices are driven by largely by fundamentals).

From the Wall Street Journal, “Fed’s Evans: U.S. in ‘Bona Fide Liquidity Trap’”:

The Federal Reserve may have to let inflation overshoot levels consistent with price stability as part of a broader attempt to help stimulate the economy, a U.S. central bank official said Saturday.

“The U.S. economy is best described as being in a bona


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Inside Job, A Story of Economic Collapse

Courtesy of smartknowledgeu

I’m not in the habit of promoting films, but if the above documentary, an investigation of the root causes of the 2008 global financial meltdown, is anything like the director’s documentary on the Iraqi war, "No End in Sight", not only are we in for a relentless presentation of propaganda busting facts and an endless calling out of financial shills from Wall Street firms, but we will also be presented with a very sober reminder that our current administration, like the Dubya, Clinton, and Bush Sr. administrations that preceded it, has failed to address or fix in any substantive manner any of the root problems that created our first financial meltdown. Thus, get ready your popcorn ready for a front row seat to financial meltdown, part deuce, coming to your in-home theater in 2011. 


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Goldman Sachs: Too Big To Obey The Law

Call to break up the big banks – more to follow. – Ilene 

Goldman Sachs: Too Big To Obey The Law

13 Bankers Courtesy of Simon Johnson, co-author of 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown, at Baseline Scenario 

On a short-term tactical basis, Goldman Sachs clearly has little to fear.  It has relatively deep pockets and will fight the securities “Fab” allegations tooth and nail; resolving that case, through all the appeals stages, will take many years.  Friday’s announcement had a significant negative impact on the market perception of Goldman’s franchise value – partly because what they are accused of doing to unsuspecting customers is so disgusting.  But, as a Bank of America analyst (Guy Mozkowski) points out this morning, the dollar amount of this specific allegation is small relative to Goldman’s overall business and – frankly – Goldman’s market position is so strong that most customers feel a lack of plausible alternatives.

The main action, obviously, is in the potential widening of the investigation (good articles in the WSJ today, but behind their paywall).  This is likely to include more Goldman deals as well as other major banks, most of which are generally presumed to have engaged in at least roughly parallel activities – although the precise degree of nondisclosure for adverse material information presumably varied.  Two congressmen have reasonably already drawn the link to the AIG bailout (how much of that was made necessary by fundamentally fraudulent transactions?), Gordon Brown is piling on (a regulatory sheep trying to squeeze into wolf’s clothing for election day on May 6), and the German government would dearly love to blame the governance problems in its own banks (e.g., IKB) on someone else.

But as the White House surveys the battlefield this morning and considers how best to press home the advantage, one major fact dominates.  Any pursuit of Goldman and others through our legal system increases uncertainty and could even cause a political…
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Are You Ready for the Next Crisis?

So we get the prize for extreme income inequality. The failure of our government – many people, over many years - to prevent the disaster is bad enough.  Now the non-effort to correct the factors leading up to the financial meltdown supports the view that there are few people in government who have any desire to do so. Because, it’s simple, people do what they want to do. – Ilene  

Are You Ready for the Next Crisis?

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS at CounterPunch 

Evidence that the US is a failed state is piling up faster than I can record it.

One conclusive hallmark of a failed state is that the crooks are inside the government, using government to protect and to advance their private interests.

Another conclusive hallmark is rising income inequality as the insiders manipulate economic policy for their enrichment at the expense of everyone else.

Income inequality in the US is now the most extreme of all countries. The 2008 OECD report, “Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries,” concludes that the US is the country with the highest inequality and poverty rate across the OECD and that since 2000 nowhere has there been such a stark rise in income inequality as in the US. The OECD finds that in the US the distribution of wealth is even more unequal than the distribution of income.

On October 21, 2009, Business Week highlighted a new report from the United Nations Development Program concluded that the US ranked third among states with the worst income inequality. As number one and number two, Hong Kong and Singapore, are both essentially city states, not countries, the US actually has the shame of being the country with the most inequality in the distribution of income.

The stark increase in US income inequality in the 21st century coincides with the offshoring of US jobs, which enriched executives with “performance bonuses” while impoverishing the middle class, and with the rapid rise of unregulated OTC derivatives, which enriched Wall Street and the financial sector at the expense of everyone else.

Millions of Americans have lost their homes and half of their retirement savings while being loaded up with government debt to bail out the banksters who created the derivative crisis.

Frontline’s October 21 broadcast, “The Warning,” documents how Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, Deputy Treasury Secretary
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Has Central Bank Management of the Economy Failed?

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Has Central Bank Management of the Economy Failed? 

grand experiment, central banksCourtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds

The conventional wisdom is that the current financial meltdown resulted from the failure of "capitalism" (As if crony/State capitalism was ever anything but a simulacrum of free market enterprise.)

But perhaps the current slow-moving collapse is merely the final failure of the Grand Experiment: that central banks can manipulate the economy to some steady-state "growth" without end.

It is an irony, to be sure, that the emergence of central banks in the early years of the 20th century was in reaction to short-lived but scary financial seizures like the 1907 Panic. The irony is that such panics were sharp but also short-lived. Now that the central banks have spent decades manipulating the economies of the world with mad "behind the scenes" pulling of monetary and fiscal levers, downturns are not getting shorter but longer, and not getting shallower but deeper.

I think the following charts make a good case that the Grand Experiment was ontologically doomed to fail. I would argue that policy is not a feedback loop like the market; you cannot eliminate feedback from the real world and substitute manipulation in its stead. This is akin to enforcing the "policy" that relieving the patients’ symptoms is equivalent to restoring their health.

Relieving symptoms is not equivalent to being healthy, as these charts suggest.

Job Losses

Courtesy of my astute colleague Karl Denninger at Market Ticker:

income, assets, debt

It is not coincidence that the deep recessions of 1974-75 and 1981-83 were followed by a rise in debt. Look at the first chart and then the second one. Note the ramp-up of debt after the Federal Reserve realized that its usual levers of monetary "loosening" were ineffectual.

Their "solution" was to create credit--lots of it. the credit machine started gaining speed and finally achieved lift-off when Greenspan countered the modest 2001 recession with a full-blown explosion of low-interest-rate credit expansion.

Predictably, this explosion of debt triggered an asset bubble in a variety of asset classes, most notably real estate. The results are visible here:

Easy margin requirements and free-flowing credit helped boost the dot-com boom in the late 90s, which resulted in a rise in equity. As that bubble burst, the Fed turned the spigots wide open and…
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Zero Hedge

Truth... Hurts

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

What a difference one word can make...

Source: Townhall.com

...

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ValueWalk

Advanced Brain Science: Optogenetics and Expansion Microscopy | Ed Boyden

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Published on Feb 25, 2017

Despite library shelves sagging under the weight of neurology books, what we know about the brain so far is unfledged. MIT professor Edward Boyden explains how research teams are using expansion microscopy to map the densely packed neurons so we can understand how the brain is wired and apply that to human therapies. He also explains a technology called optogenetics (using light to control cells) that he hopes will do many things lik...



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Phil's Favorites

Cybersecurity of the power grid: A growing challenge

 

Cybersecurity of the power grid: A growing challenge

Courtesy of Manimaran Govindarasu, Iowa State University and Adam Hahn, Washington State University

Called the “largest interconnected machine,” the U.S. electricity grid is a complex digital and physical system crucial to life and commerce in this country. Today, it is made up of more than 7,000 power plants, 55,000 substations, 160,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and millions of miles of low-volta...



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Chart School

Buyers Keep Shorts At Bay

Courtesy of Declan.

Just when it looks like shorts may have something to attack, buyers step in to make up the lost ground. The rally is out on a limb, but not enough to place it at the outer extremes of historic price action. So while there hasn't been any big pullback since the election, there isn't much to suggest a pullback is coming soon either.

The weakest of the indices is the Russell 2000 as 2017 continues to see money rotate out of speculative stocks into more defensive Large Caps.  However, Friday did offer some healthy a backtest of former resistance turned support, and buyers have a relatively low risk opportunity to take advantage; helped by the proximity of 20-day and 50-day MAs.

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of February 27th, 2017

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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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

The story of the week is Trump, Russia and the FBI. The rest is a distraction (The Guardian)

Narrative switching. That is what the Trump administration is desperately trying to do around Russia right now. The White House reportedly interfered with the FBI in the middle of an active investigation involving counter-intelligence. This was not only foolhardy but also suspicious, as it directly undermined their apparent objective: distracting us.

On 14 February, the New York Times reported that advisers and associates of Donald Trump may have been in direct and cont...



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Mapping The Market

Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds

Courtesy of Jean Luc

Good article about facts and why we reject them:

WHY FACTS DON’T CHANGE OUR MINDS

New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.

By Elizabeth Kolbert

In “Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us” (Oxford), Jack Gorman, a psychiatrist, and his daughter, Sara Gorman, a public-health specialist, probe the gap between what science tells us and what we tell ourselves. Their concern is with those persistent beliefs which are not just demonstrably false but also potentially deadly, like the conviction that vaccines are hazardous. Of course, what’s hazardous is not being vaccinated; that’s why vaccines were created in the first place. “Immunization is one of the triumphs of modern medicine,” the Gormans no...



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Digital Currencies

As Bitcoin Surges To Record High, China Prepares Its Own Digital Currency

Courtesy of Mike Shedlock (Mish)

Bitcoin hit an all-time high over $1200 today.

Traders are happy because the SEC is expected to rule on a Bitcoin ETF by March 11.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports China Is Developing its Own Digital Currency.
 

After assembling a research team in 2014, the People’s Bank of China has done trial runs of its prototype cryptocurrency. That’s taking it a step closer to becoming one of the first major central...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil; Energy stocks suggesting its about to fall, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below takes a look at the price action of Crude Oil, Energy ETF (XLE) and Oil & Gas Exploration ETF (XOP) over the past three years.

Could Energy stocks be suggesting the next big move in Crude Oil again? Which direction are they suggesting?

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

At this time the intermediate trend in Cru...



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Members' Corner

The Manchurian President

 

The Manchurian President

Courtesy of  at BillMoyers.com

As the Trump presidency unravels, unraveling the country along with it, there is no real political antecedent, no lessons from American history on which to draw and provide guidance. We are in entirely uncharted waters.

But there is an antecedent in our popular culture that provides a prism through which to view the contemporary calamity, especially the alleged collusion between Trump’s henchmen and Russian intelligence to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. I am not the first observer who has ...



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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Las Vegas Conference!

Learn option strategies and how to be the house and not the gambler. That's especially apropos since we'll be in Vegas....

Join us for the Phil's Stock World's Conference in Las Vegas!

Date:  Sunday, Feb 12, 2017 and Monday Feb 13, 2017            

Beginning Time:  9:30 to 10:00 am Sunday morning

Location: Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Notes

Caesars has offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night but rooms are limited at that price.

So, if you are planning on being in Vegas (Highly Recommended!), please sign up as soon as possible by sending...



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Biotech

The Medicines Company: Insider Buying

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

I'm seeing huge insider buying in the biotech company The Medicines Company (MDCO). The price has already moved up around 7%, but these buys are significant, in the millions of dollars range. ~ Ilene

 

 

 

Insider transaction table and buying vs. selling graphic above from insidercow.com.

Chart below from Yahoo.com

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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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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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