Posts Tagged ‘commercial banks’

The Volcker Rule & AIG: It’s Not About Prop Trading

The Volcker Rule & AIG: It’s Not About Prop Trading

Courtesy of rc whalen at Zero Hedge

Watching the President announcing his proposals to forbid commercial banks from engaging in proprietary trading, I am reminded of the reaction by Washington a decade ago to the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals, namely the Sarbanes-Oxley law.  The final solution had nothing to do with the problem and everything to do with the strange politics of the capital city and the national Congress.

The basic problems of the Enron/WorldCom scandals was financial fraud and the use of off-balance sheet vehicles to commit same.  By responding with more stringent corporate governance requirements, the Congress was seen to be responding — but without harming Wall Street’s basic business model.  In that regard, note that today former SEC chairman Bill Donaldson was standing next to President Obama on the dais, along with Paul Volcker and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

A decade on, we have the same basic problem, namely the use of OBS vehicles and OTC structured securities and derivatives to commit financial fraud via deceptive instruments and poor or no disclosure.  Another name for OTC markets is “bucket shop,” thus the focus on prop trading today in the President’s comments was entirely off target.  The Volcker Rule, at least as articulated today, does not solve the problem.  And what is the problem?

The poster child victim for this latest round of rape and pillage by the large dealer banks is, of course, American International Group (AIG) along with many, many other public and private Buy Side investors. The FDIC and the Deposit Insurance Fund is another large, perhaps the largest victim of the structured finance shell game. Prop trading was not the problem with AIG nor the cause of the financial crisis, but instead the rancid production from the securities underwriting side of the business.

Not a single major securities firm or bank failed due to prop trading during the past several years.  Instead, it was the customer side of the business, usually the mortgage conduit, that was the problem, the securities underwriting side of the business that the Volcker Rule conveniently ignores.  And this is the one area that you will most certainly not hear President Obama or Bill Donaldson or Chairman Volcker or HFS Committee Chairman Barney Frank mention.  You can torment prop traders, but leave the syndicate desk alone.

The dealers,…
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Capital City

Intro, courtesy of David at The Deipnosophist: 

No other way to state this, but baldly: The article, Capital City, is phenomenally brilliant and insightful. Its author, Kevin Drum, not merely knows his stuff, he did his homework and lays bare the connections for all to see.

And it comes with my strongest recommendation to read, despite its length. Not only will you learn a thing or two (I did), but it also is likely to bring your blood to a boil. 

(I do wish, though, that writers and their editors would learn the difference between "danger" and "peril" — they are not synonyms for the same notion. When Kevin Drum says, "dangerous" in fact he means "perilous.")
-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist

Capital City

A year after the biggest bailout in US history, Wall Street lobbyists don’t just have influence in Washington. They own it lock, stock, and barrel.

By Kevin Drum | January/February 2010 Issue of Mother Jones

THIS STORY IS NOT ABOUT THE origins of 2008′s financial meltdown. You’ve probably read more than enough of those already. To make a long story short, it was a perfect storm. Reckless lending enabled a historic housing bubble [1]; an overseas savings glut and an unprecedented Fed policy of easy money enabled skyrocketing debt; excessive leverage made the global banking system so fragile that it couldn’t withstand a tremor, let alone the Big One; the financial system squirreled away trainloads of risk via byzantine credit derivatives [2] and other devices; and banks grew so towering and so interconnected that they became too big [4] to be allowed to fail. With all that in place, it took only a small nudge to bring the entire house of cards crashing to the ground.

But that’s a story about finance and economics. This is a story about politics. It’s about how Congress and the president and the Federal Reserve were persuaded to let all this happen in the first place. In other words, it’s about the finance lobby—the people who, as Sen.Dick Durbin [5] (D-Ill.) put it [6] last April, even after nearly destroying the world are "still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place."

But it’s also about something even bigger. It’s about the way that lobby—with the eager support of a resurgent conservative movement…
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An Independent Look into JP Morgan

An Independent Look into JP Morgan

Reggie MiddletonCourtesy of Reggie Middleton’s Boom Bust Blog

The JP Morgan forensic preview is now available. Remember, this is not subscription material, but a "public preview" of the material to come. I thought non-subscribers would be interested in knowing what my opinion of the country’s most respected bank was. There is some interesting stuff here, and the subscription analysis will have even more (in terms of data, analysis and valuation). As we have all been aware, the markets have been totally ignoring valuation for about two quarters now. It remains to be seen how long that continues.

Click graph to enlarge

image001.png, JP Morgan Notional Derivatives

Cute graphic above, eh? There is plenty of this in the public preview. When considering the staggering level of derivatives employed by JPM, it is frightening to even consider the fact that the quality of JPM’s derivative exposure is even worse than Bear Stearns and Lehman‘s derivative portfolio just prior to their fall. Total net derivative exposure rated below BBB and below for JP Morgan currently stands at 35.4% while the same stood at 17.0% for Bear Stearns (February 2008) and 9.2% for Lehman (May 2008).

JP Morgan cartoonWe all know what happened to Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, don’t we??? I warned all about Bear Stearns (Is this the Breaking of the Bear?: On Sunday, 27 January 2008) and Lehman ("Is Lehman really a lemming in disguise?": On February 20th, 2008) months before their collapse by taking a close, unbiased look at their balance sheet. Both of these companies were rated investment grade at the time, just like "you know  who". Now, I am not saying JPM is about to collapse, since it is one of the anointed ones chosen by the government and guaranteed not to fail – unlike Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, and it is (after all) investment grade rated. Who would you put your faith in, the big ratings agencies or your favorite blogger? Then again, if it acts like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, is it a chicken??? I’ll leave the rest up for my readers to decide. 

This public preview is the culmination of several investigative posts that I have made that have led me to look more closely into the big money center banks. It all started with a hunch that JPM wasn’t…
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Market Gaming: Pressin’ Their Bets

This article by Karl Denninger helps explain Zero Hedge’s previous article on Goldman Sach’s principle trading unit and the ETF-underlying pair trades.

Market Gaming: Pressin’ Their Bets

Courtesy of Karl Denninger, The Market Ticker


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Phil's Favorites

Brick and Mortar Winners in a Post Covid World

 

Brick and Mortar Winners in a Post Covid World

Courtesy of Howard Lindzon

Before I get started…

Zoom zoomed past Exxon in market cap yesterday. At some level that makes sense as Zoom is the fuel for 2020 economy. Between alternative energy and COVID, I have no idea if Exxon can regain past glory.

Next up…

JC does a fun weekly show with me where we talk about the markets and a few favorite ideas, and his team does a great job of slipping in great edits to make it funny and worth sticking around. Here is this week’s e...



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Zero Hedge

UK Officer In Charge Of Submarine's Nukes Boarded "Staggering Drunk" While Clutching BBQ Chicken

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

On Monday the UK Ministry of Defence confirmed a hugely embarrassing incident involving a security and operations lapse aboard the British nuclear submarine HMS Vigilant while it temporarily was docked during a mission at a US naval base, specifically Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia.

The officer in charge of overseeing the vessel's nuclear warheads arrived to his shift "staggering drunk" while strangely carrying a bag of barbecue chicken.

...

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ValueWalk

Global Corporations Get Cracking On Oil & Gas Lending Exits

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

From zero to fifty, global financial corporations get cracking on major oil & gas lending exits

Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Accelerating divestment from oil and gas shows similar early trends to global financial institution’s exit from coal

Financial Institutions Restrict Oil And Gas Drilling In The Arctic

20 October 2020 (IEEFA): Fifty globally significant financial instituti...



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Chart School

Dow Gann Angle Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Time to see what happens to the Dow post US elections.

The Dow Gann Angle Target 3 (from 2007 top) is on the table, and what a ride that will be. The FED went BRRRRR is all the fundamental news you need to know. Gann angles are very good tool to see how the masses are pushing price.


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The last two US elections saw Bitcoin and the DOW rally well for 6 months, due to stimulus. The most bearish 2020 US Election case for the markets is a Biden win with the Senate and Congress controlled by the Democrats, somehow this blog feels that is very unlikely. So what could go wrong!


...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will 2020 Mark Historic Low For Interest Rates?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

US treasury bond yields have been trending lower for over 3 decades. Could the latest drop mark a significant low for bond yields and interest rates?

In today’s chart, we can see that interest rates have had several spike lows and highs, but that each low is lower and each high is lower. That’s the definition of a downtrend. BUT, each of these spike lows has resulted in big rallies within the downtrend channel. And each of these lows and subsequent rallies have been marked by significant momentum lows (see each green line and shaded box).

So is it time for short-term yields to rally?

Looking at the current set-up, we can see that yiel...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Coronavirus reinfection cases: what we know so far - and the vital missing clues

 

Coronavirus reinfection cases: what we know so far – and the vital missing clues

By Sheena Cruickshank, University of Manchester

As President Trump claims that he is immune to COVID-19 and isolated reports emerge of reinfection, what is the truth about immunity to COVID-19?

To date, there have been six published ...



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Politics

Dan's Covid Charts: Blue States vs. Red States Over Time

 

The trend of lower Covid-19 case numbers per capita in blue states compared to red states isn't itself surprising, but the magnitude of the differences may be. You can visualize the evolving differences in case loads by watching the infection's progression, as measured by cases per capita, at Dan's website.

[Visit Dan’s COVID Charts to see these amazing animated charts and more. Fortunately, Dan broke his Twitter hiatus to share his work.]

People say I should break my 12-year Twitter hiatus to share my latest animated COVID chart. It compares state cases factoring in partisanship since June 1, when science had proven methodology as to how to stop the spread after the initial sucker punch. ...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin: the UK and US are clamping down on crypto trading - here's why it's not yet a big deal

 

Bitcoin: the UK and US are clamping down on crypto trading – here's why it's not yet a big deal

Where there’s a bit there’s a writ. Novikov Aleksey

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, University of Liverpool

The sale and promotion of derivatives of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to amateur investors is being banned in the UK by the financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is a...



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Mapping The Market

COVID-19 Forces More Than Half of Asset Management Firms to Accelerate Adoption of Digital Marketing Technology

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

There is no doubt that the use of technology to support client engagement initiatives brings both opportunities and threats but this has been brought into sharp focus this year with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis has brought to the fore the need for firms to enable flexibility in client engagement – the expectation that providers will communicate to clients on their terms, at their speed and frequency and on their preferred channels, is now a given. This is even more critical when clients are experiencing unparalleled anxiety from both market conditions and their own personal circumstances.

...

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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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About Phil:

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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