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

Beirut explosion: the disaster was exceptional but events leading up to it were not - researchers

 

Beirut explosion: the disaster was exceptional but events leading up to it were not – researchers

A trade in waste flows from Europe to Asia. Avigator Fortuner/Shutterstock

Courtesy of Scott Edwards, University of Bristol and Christian Bueger, University of Copenhagen

At the time of writing at least 100 people have lost their lives and a further 4,000 have been wounded following an ...



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Zero Hedge

UConn Becomes First Major College In The US To Cancel 2020 Football Season

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

UConn's 2020 football season will forever remain the year that could have been.

The Connecticut flagship state university set a nationwide precedent on Wednesday when its athletic department announced that it would cancel its upcoming football season over fears tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

...



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The Technical Traders

Walk Through the Gold and Silver Charts to See What to Expect

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Check out the analysis of this morning’s Gold and Silver charts by our own Chris Vermeulen, Chief Market Strategist and Founder of TheTechnicalTraders.com, to see what is in store for precious metals. Make sure you check out our Gold and Silver article from August 4th, 2020 for additional context behind our predictions and rationale for continued price appreciation.

Learn more about our ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

What the huge COVID-19 testing undercount in the US means

 

What the huge COVID-19 testing undercount in the US means

Health care workers use a nasal swab to test a person for COVID-19 in Pembroke Park, Florida. Joe Raedle / Getty Images News

Courtesy of Melissa Hawkins, American University

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other institutions recently published a study which estimated that the true number of people infected by COVID-19 could be six to 24 times high...



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ValueWalk

Beyond Meat Has Not Disclosed Its Environmental Effects

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

A recent S&P Global Market Intelligence Trucost analysis found that Beyond Meat Inc., the maker of plant-based meat alternatives, has not disclosed the full extent of its environmental impacts. This includes the amount of greenhouse gases emitted or the volume of water discharged.

Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Beyond Meat Has "0" Disclosure Of Environmental Impacts

Key insights from the analysis include:

  • Beyond Meat’s weighted environmental disclosure ratio, which shows what percentage of its environmental impacts it discloses...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is the US Dollar Nearing Bottom? Or Is It Different This Time?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

The U.S. Dollar ran into a perfect storm in 2020: a pandemic (Coronavirus), an easy Federal Reserve, and trillions of dollars in government stimulus.

The result has been a steep decline in the greenback.

Looking at today’s chart, however, suggests that the US Dollar may be nearing a bottom. That is if recent history proves true.

The Dollar is testing its 9-year bullish up-trend support at (1) and US Dollar bulls are disappearing. In fact, investors are the least bullish the US Dollars (20% bulls) since 2011 at (2). Notice that each ...



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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results. The information here is delayed by a few months, members get the most recent content.



Date Found: Sunday, 29 March 2020, 07:00:37 PM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.


Comment: Silver Shorts Are In a Bind | Ted Butler youtu.be/qQc0AoJp-Q8



Date Found: Monday, 30 March 2020, 05:21:45 PM

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Comment: 5 Questions From You for Luke Gromen youtu.be/nVZD_fuxbQE


...

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Digital Currencies

Twitter Says "Human Error" And "Spear-Phishing Attack" Responsible For Massive Bitcoin Hack

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Twitter suffered from a major hack about two weeks ago and has now said that its staff was tricked by "spear-phishing", which is a targeted attack to trick people into simply handing out their passwords. 

Twitter staff were targeted through their phones, according to a new report from the BBC. The attacks then allowed hackers the ability to Tweet from celebrity Twitter accounts. Twitter has said it was "taking a hard look" at how it could improve its permissions and processes.

"The attack on July 15, 2020, targeted a small number of employees through a phone spear phishing attack. This attack relied on ...



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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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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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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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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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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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