This news generated some worried-soundingheadlines. Think about it for a moment, though: If the resources available to insure $4.8 trillion in deposits (it’s actually more than that, but the FDIC doesn’t say how much more for reasons I will explain near the end of this post) really amounted to only $10.4 billion, we shouldn’t be worried. We should be completely freaking out—pulling our money out of banks and stuffing it in mattresses. I haven’t noticed this happening lately. So either (a) we are a nation in complete denial, or (b) the size of the FDIC insurance fund doesn’t matter much.
I’m going to go with (b). Yes, the continuing shrinkage of the deposit insurance fund from a peak of $52.8 billion at the end of March 2008 indicates that banks are troubled. (Who knew?) But the deposit insurance numbers that really matter are how much the FDIC can borrow from the Treasury to cover any shortfalls and how much it can charge still-solvent banks to pay back any borrowings and eventually rebuild its insurance fund.
First, the FDIC’s borrowing line with Treasury: In May, Congressvoted to increase it to $100 billion from $30 billion, with borrowings of up to $500 billion possible if the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Secretary give their okay. So we’re talking about $510.4 billion currently available to insure depositors. What’s more, Congress has stated in the past that FDIC-insured deposits are "backed by the full faith and credit of the United States." If losses passed $510.4 billion, Congress would presumably be good for them. If it welshed, argentinedrussia’dvallejoedjeffersoncountied, that would amount to a default on the nation’s obligations.
Taxpayers aren’t supposed to end up footing the cost of bank failures, though. Banks are, through the assessments (insurance premiums, basically) levied by the FDIC. The cost of these assessments tends to get passed on to depositors (in
General Electric (GE) was once revered as one of the bluest of all blue-chip companies in the world. During its glory days, GE was respected as an industrial conglomerate that manufactured some of the world’s best jet engines, locomotives, appliances and even the highly regarded General Electric light bulb. However, as best I can determine, the roots of General Electric’s ultimate demise were established in 1930 when the company, responding to the great depression, formed GE Finance in order to help their customers finance GE appliances over time.
The grace period between February and mid-May, when the US spent like a drunken sailor without regard for even structural limitations, and raked up over $300 billion in debt, or said otherwise when it was without an official debt limit, is over as of this weekend as we reported, and starting Monday the clock has been reset and wound up to the amount of the debt previously incurred in the phantom period. Courtesy of today's Daily Treasury Statement we now know that the new and improved debt target ceiling, at which the US immediately finds itself is: $16,699,421,095,...
Note from dshort: I've updated this commentary to include the April Consumer Price Index data published last week.
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U, or more generally CPI) is the most familiar gauge of inflation in the US. The data for the non-seasonally adjusted series stretches back a century to January 1913. But the news of late is about a relative newcomer to the inflation metrics of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Chained CPI for Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U). The BLS has a Frequently Asked Questions page on the Chained CPI that's been around for a while. At present the page footer says "Last Modified Date: April 6, 2005".
U.S. equity futures traded lower in early pre-market trade following a weaker than expected GDP report from the eurozone for the first quarter. GDP growth rose to -0.2 percent on a quarterly basis from -0.6 percent but missed forecasts of a 0.1 percent contraction. Weakness was notably seen in Germany, France, and Italy in the report, with the annualized rate of growth for Germany dropping to -1.4 percent vs. 0.2 percent growth forecast.
In other news around the markets:
The U.K. had fewer people claim unemployment benefits in April than expected, a positive sign for the labor market as the ...
So, what did the market want today? Nothing it appears. It traded on weak volume and had very little movement. This morning the market hated commodities especially silver, but by days end, the market liked silver, gold and even oil but not the dollar. Why?
Last week the economic reports were tough, with bad misses on more than one occasion. But the market tended to ignore the bad news, probably because money continues to pour into equities from money market funds, long term fixed income, and many struggling foreign economies. On Thursday, investors finally caved to even more bad news from Initial Jobless Claims and weak Housing Starts. Then on Friday, when Michigan Sentiment and Leading Indicators posted large positive surprises, the money came pouring back to generate qui...
VOYA - ING US, Inc. – Shares in ING Group’s U.S. retirement, investment and insurance business are up as much as 8.0% today to $26.98, the highest level since the company’s May 2nd IPO. ING US was rated new ‘buy’ at BTIG LLC with a 12-month target share price of $31.00 today. The stock has rallied nearly 40% over the IPO price of $19.50, and some options traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to extend gains during the second half of the year. November expiry options are the most ac...
Again, not much to add to this market in terms of analysis – nothing matters other than central banks. Last Wednesday/Thursday there were some 9 economic reports, 7 of which were disappointing or could be considered as such and all it got was one rare day down, and then new highs Friday. Markets are up 10 of the past 12 sessions and 17 of 21. Friday's move to 1666 was an exact 1000 point rally from March 2009's 666 bottom. Since this most recent leg of the move has been medium fast rather than a huge spike ala 1999, things are not necessarily overbought on the daily chart but we are seeing extremely rare action on the ...
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I am going to share with you how I manage my IRA and the power of reducing your cost basis. My goal each year is a 20% return in my IRA. Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don't, but I believe that all of my success is due to reducing my cost basis. To illustrate the power of reducing your cost basis here are some trades we did last year. These trades are taken from an educational portfolio we ran in a paper-trading account for a little more than a year.
We bought RIG on 5/15/2012 for $44.13, sold it on 1/18/2013 for $46 but booked a profit of $1,154.
We bought MT on 1/4/2012 for $19.24, sold it on 12/21/2012 for $15 but booked a profit of $454.
We bought CHK on 1/27/2012 for $21.93, sold it on 10/19/2012 for $18 b...
Stock market posts another record setting week, but the big news came after Friday’s close.
Courtesy of NASA
The stock market put on another record setting show with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) closing at a record high 15,118 and the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) closing at 1633.70, another all time closing high.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) gained 1%, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) climbed 1.2%, the Nasdaq Composite (NYSEARCA:...
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Well, well, well....it is good to know that there are others in the scientific arena who believed that YMI Bioscience's data (cough - Gilead) is a better drug than Incyte's Jakafi. Now, the definitive data are still unknown, but there was enough evidence from a Phase 2 trial to take a small risk for a huge reward. So, let's forget about Apple (AAPL), and do nothing but biotechs from now until Congress passes universal health care coverage for prescriptions....and drive the prices down so that research and development is no longer feasible to conduct in the US. Even Seattle Genetics (SGEN) has been on a tear as of late...
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