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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Zero Hedge

Greenwich Single-Family Listings Fall Most On Record As Buying Frenzy Continues 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

New York City millionaires quickly realize their hometown has transformed into a socio-economic disaster that could rival the 1970s in terms of crime, unemployment, and taxes. Many have made a beeline for neighboring Greenwich. 

After years of stagnant demand growth for its multi-million dollar mansions due to the secular decline of "active" asset management, the hedge fund capital of the world is having a real estate renaissance in the town located in southwestern Fairfield County, Connecticut. And it only took a virus pandemic.&...



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Phil's Favorites

Have Bear Markets Changed Forever?

 

Have Bear Markets Changed Forever?

Courtesy of 

We’ve never seen a bear market like the one we just lived through. Nothing comes close in terms of how quickly it started and how quickly it ended.

In just 19 days, the Dow was 20% below its highs. In 22 days, it was 30% below. And in just 27 days, it was all over. The bottom was in. To call this unusual is an understatement. You can see in the chart below that most bear markets take literally hundreds of days to bottom.

This entire bear marke...



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Digital Currencies

A Unifying Theory of Everything

 

A Unifying Theory of Everything

Courtesy of Scott Galloway, No Mercy/No Malice@profgalloway

This week, New York Magazine let me go full stream of consciousness on … everything. Their editor pitched me the idea to articulate a unifying theory on “this whole crazy techno-fiscal moment.” Problem is, while I understand crypto better than 99 percent of people, I do not understand crypto.

On Wednesday, crypto pioneer Coinbase listed shares on the NASDAQ, and closed the day at an almost $100 billion valuation, making it nearly as valuable as Goldman Sachs. Coinbase’s big day made a bunch of wealthy people wealthier, but it also poked several bears — ...



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ValueWalk

Managing Investments As A Charity Or Nonprofit

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Maintaining financial viability is a constant challenge for charities and nonprofit organizations.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The past year has underscored that challenge. The pandemic has not just affected investment returns – it’s also had serious implications for charitable activities and the ability to fundraise. For some organizations, it’s even raised doubts about whether they can continue to operate.

Finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable returns for ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Scientists are on a path to sequencing 1 million human genomes and use big data to unlock genetic secrets

 

Scientists are on a path to sequencing 1 million human genomes and use big data to unlock genetic secrets

A complete human genome, seen here in pairs of chromosomes, offers a wealth of information, but it is hard connect genetics to traits or disease. HYanWong/Wikimedia Comons

Courtesy of Xavier Bofill De Ros, National Institutes of Health

The first draft of the human genome was publ...



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Chart School

Money Printing Asset Price Targets

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The FED giveth and the FED taketh away. Right now the FED is giving a lot into 2022 US Mid Terms. 

Unless the FED breaks the market, here are some BRRRRR asset price targets, not normal price targets but money printing adjusted price targets. 


BITCOIN 175,000 to 500,000 USD

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DOW to 40,000 to 50,000

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Politics

Colombia gives nearly 1 million Venezuelan migrants legal status and right to work

 

Colombia gives nearly 1 million Venezuelan migrants legal status and right to work

Venezuelans wait at the Colombian border to be processed and housed in tents in 2020. All Venezuelans now in Colombia will receive a 10-year residency permit. Schneyder Mendoza/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Erika Frydenlund, Old Dominion University; Jose J. Padilla, Old Dominion University...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will Historic Selloff In Treasury Bonds Turn Into Opportunity?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Long-dated treasury bonds have been crushed over the past year, sending ETFs like TLT (20+ Year US Treasury Bond ETF) spiraling over 20%.

Improving economy? Inflation concerns? Perhaps a combination of both… interest rates have risen sharply and thus bond prices have fallen in historic fashion.

Today’s chart looks at $TLT over the past 20 years. As you can see, the recent decline has truly been historic. $TLT’s price has swung from historically overbought highs to oversold lows.

At present, the long-dated bond ETF ($TLT) is trading 7.8% below its 200-...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Weekly Webinar - March 10, 2021

Don't miss our latest weekly webinar! 

Join us at PSW for LIVE Webinars every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 PM EST.

Phil's Stock World's Weekly Webinar – March 10, 2021

 

Major Topics:

00:00:01 - EIA Petroleum Status Report
00:04:42 - Crude Oil WTI
00:12:52 - COVID-19 Update
00:22:08 - Bonds and Borrowed Funds | S&P 500
00:45:28 - COVID-19 Vaccination
00:48:32 - Trading Techniques
00:50:34 - PBR
00:50:43 - LYG
00:50:48 - More Trading Techniques
00:52:59 - Chinese Hacks Microsoft's E...



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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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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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