Posts Tagged ‘conflict of interests’

Bernanke’s Conflict of Interest

Bernanke’s Conflict of Interest

Courtesy of Bruce Krasting 

Thank heavens for the Federal Reserve. Were it not for them our deficit would have been 6% higher in the just ended fiscal 2010. The hard working folks at the Fed have contributed a net of $76 billion to the general revenue. They are now earning at a rate equal to 1/3 of all corporate tax revenues. Think of that, just a handful of people are making one third of what our largest corporations contribute. Talk about doing some heavy lifting!

I, and a few thousand others, have been bashing the Fed on a nearly daily basis. But actually we should be dishing out some praise for a job well done. $76b still goes a pretty long way these days. The even better news is that in 2011 the Fed will make us even more money than last. Way to Go Ben B! Here’s how they made the long green:

A graph of the Fed balance sheet as of 9/30. The total balance sheet comes to a modest $2.2 trillion. The net income generated from all these holdings is the $76b estimated by the CBO:

The net income number comes to an interest spread on the portfolio of 3.45%. There are some folks in the portfolio management business who would die for that result. The Fed did it the easy way. They borrowed money at no cost thanks to ZIRP. 

We know the Fed is going to be buying in more paper during 2011. Jon Hilsenrath at the WSJ tells us that just about every day. If you don’t believe him just read the Fed minutes. QE-2 is baked in the cake. The leaks and guesses suggest that we are looking at another Trillion of POMO buys over the next year. The thinking is that the Fed will acquire a portfolio with an average maturity of around seven years. The yield on that maturity today is about 1.8%. Based on that a pro-forma look at the Fed BS a year out:

Assets: 3.2 Trillion
Income: 94 billion


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Ex-Fed Governor Mishkin Caught in ‘Pay for Say’ Over Icelandic Economy

"HE WHO LOSES WEALTH LOSES MUCH; HE WHO LOSES A FRIEND LOSES MORE; BUT HE THAT LOSES COURAGE LOSES ALL." MIGUEL DE CERVANTES

Ex-Fed Governor Mishkin Caught in ‘Pay for Say’ Over Icelandic Economy

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

The Icelandic Chamber of Commerce commissioned ex-Fed Governor Mishkin to write a glowing report on their economy, even while the country was being destroyed from within by a rogue banking system and a corrupt regulatory regime.

 

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SEC Charges Goldman Sachs With Fraud On Subprime Mortgages, Paulson & Co. Implicated

SEC Charges Goldman Sachs With Fraud On Subprime Mortgages, Paulson & Co. Implicated

Courtesy of Zero Hedge  

Washington, D.C., April 16, 2010 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Goldman, Sachs & Co. and one of its vice presidents for defrauding investors by misstating and omitting key facts about a financial product tied to subprime mortgages as the U.S. housing market was beginning to falter.

The SEC alleges that Goldman Sachs structured and marketed a synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO) that hinged on the performance of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). Goldman Sachs failed to disclose to investors vital information about the CDO, in particular the role that a major hedge fund played in the portfolio selection process and the fact that the hedge fund had taken a short position against the CDO.

"The product was new and complex but the deception and conflicts are old and simple," said Robert Khuzami, Director of the Division of Enforcement. "Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in an investment portfolio, while telling other investors that the securities were selected by an independent, objective third party." 

Kenneth Lench, Chief of the SEC’s Structured and New Products Unit, added, "The SEC continues to investigate the practices of investment banks and others involved in the securitization of complex financial products tied to the U.S. housing market as it was beginning to show signs of distress."

The SEC alleges that one of the world’s largest hedge funds, Paulson & Co., paid Goldman Sachs to structure a transaction in which Paulson & Co. could take short positions against mortgage securities chosen by Paulson & Co. based on a belief that the securities would experience credit events.

According to the SEC’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the marketing materials for the CDO known as ABACUS 2007-AC1 (ABACUS) all represented that the RMBS portfolio underlying the CDO was selected by ACA Management LLC (ACA), a third party with expertise in analyzing credit risk in RMBS. The SEC alleges that undisclosed in the marketing materials and unbeknownst to investors, the Paulson & Co. hedge fund, which was poised to benefit if the RMBS defaulted, played a significant role in selecting which RMBS should make up the portfolio.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that after participating in the…
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Economists Opposing Fed Audit Have Undisclosed Fed Ties

Ryan Grim is the senior congressional correspondent for the Huffington Post, former staff reporter with Politico.com and Washington City Paper, and author of the book, "This Is Your Country on Drugs." Ryan won the 2007 Alt-Weekly Award for best long-form news-story. – Ilene

Economists Opposing Fed Audit Have Undisclosed Fed Ties

Courtesy of Ryan Grim

Article appears originally in the Huffington Post

As the debate over an audit of the Federal Reserve intensifies in the House, one camp is trotting out eight academics that it calls a "political cross section of prominent economists."

A review of their backgrounds shows they are anything but.

In a letter to the House Financial Services Committee earlier this month, all eight wrote that they support the type of amendment now being introduced by Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.). Watt’s approach purports to increase Fed transparency while it actually would tighten restrictions on any audits that could go forward.

The letter was sent around Wednesday by Watt’s staff to members of the committee in advance of a vote scheduled for Thursday.

Watt’s measure is in competition with an amendment cosponsored by Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), which would repeal the restrictions that Watt leaves in place.

But far from a broad cross-section, the "prominent economists" lobbying on behalf of the Watt bill are in fact deeply involved with the Federal Reserve. Seven of the eight are either currently on the Fed’s payroll or have been in the past.

The Fed connections are not outlined in the letter sent around to committee members on Wednesday, but are publicly discernible through a review of their resumes, which are all posted online.

In September, Huffington Post reported that the Federal Reserve has accomplished a soft form of effective control over the field of monetary economics simply by employing — and being the means for career advance — for an overwhelming proportion of the discipline.

Now that the Fed is locked in a legislative battle on the Hill, it can call on those economists to give their "unvarnished" opinions to lawmakers.

The connections that the seven economists lobbying Congress have to the Fed are not incidental and four of them maintain current positions.

Let’s run the traps:

Frederic Mishkin is a former board member, having served from 2006-2008. His career at the Fed…
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Geithner Aides Reaped Millions Working for Banks, Hedge Funds

More links in the most mind-boggling conflict of interest network ever. - Ilene

Geithner Aides Reaped Millions Working for Banks, Hedge Funds

web By Robert Schmidt, at Bloomberg

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) — Some of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s closest aides, none of whom faced Senate confirmation, earned millions of dollars a year working for Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and other Wall Street firms, according to financial disclosure forms.

The advisers include Gene Sperling, who last year took in $887,727 from Goldman Sachs and $158,000 for speeches mostly to financial companies, including the firm run by accused Ponzi scheme mastermind R. Allen Stanford. Another top aide, Lee Sachs, reported more than $3 million in salary and partnership income from Mariner Investment Group, a New York hedge fund.

As part of Geithner’s kitchen cabinet, Sperling and Sachs wield influence behind the scenes at the Treasury Department, where they help oversee the $700 billion banking rescue and craft executive pay rules and the revamp of financial regulations…

Continue reading Bloomberg article here. >>

Photo courtesy of Free Foto.

 


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Phil's Favorites

Timing the Market

 

Timing the Market

Courtesy of 

In August 2017 I wrote “This will be my last post on the CAPE ratio.” I made it 16 months, which means I pretty much kept my word.

I was listening to Invest Like the Best when Cliff Asness said, “You do not want to make a career trying to beat the stock market based on whether it is cheap or expensive.” This sent me back to the drawing board.

There are no universal agreements...



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Zero Hedge

Job Market Euphoria: Companies Are Now Hiring "Sight Unseen"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The euphoria-induced tactic of just buying any stock sight unseen over the last decade has now been adopted by hiring managers nationwide. A recent Wall Street Journal article points out that many employers looking to hire people are doing just that – without ever meeting the prospective candidate in person.

In what has become the ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Junk Bonds sending 2000 & 2007 Bearish messages again!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

This chart looks at Junk Bond Fund (PHDAX) and the S&P 500 over the past 25-years. Junk bonds sent bearish messages “before stocks peaked in 2000 & 2007.” Bearish divergences took place for 24-months in 2000 and 7-months in 2007, prior to stocks peaking and turning much lower.

This year Junk bonds have been sending a bearish message to stocks for the past 16-months, as another bearish divergence has been taking place.

Junk bonds and the S&P 500 are currently testing 9-year rising support currently. If both break below 9-year support, they would be suggesting that a long-term low in stock...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Nov 18, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

A rough Monday sunk chances for a positive week on the indexes as the choppy action continues.   As we mentioned in last week’s recap while some technical indicators improved, solid markets show lower volatility than what we are currently seeing.  This week will be interesting because there is usually a positive bias Thanksgiving week as many professional traders are off for the week!  Not much news worthy this week – some fears around oil, Brexit, China trade, etc etc – mostly technical conditions continue to be weak.

Macro headwinds, including trade tensions, rising interest rates, a stronger dollar, and slowing growth abroad have also helped to trigger a pivot towards negative sentiment in the market. “This is where peak earnings growth comes in,” Essaye said, argui...



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Insider Scoop

The Street Reacts To BlackBerry's Cylance Acquisition

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related BB Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For November 19, 2018 BlackBerry Scoops Up Cybersecurity Company Cylance For $1.4B ...

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Members' Corner

NY Times: OPERATION INFEKTION

 

This is a three-part Opinion Video Series from NY Times about Russia’s meddling in the United States’ elections as part of its "decades-long campaign to tear the West apart." This is not fake news. Read more about the series here.

OPERATION INFEKTION

RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION: FROM COLD WAR TO KANYE

By Adam B. Ellick and Adam Westbrook

EPISODE 1

MEE...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin's high energy consumption is a concern - but it may be a price worth paying

 

Bitcoin's high energy consumption is a concern – but it may be a price worth paying

Shutterstock

Courtesy of Steven Huckle, University of Sussex

Bitcoin recently turned ten years old. In that time, it has proved revolutionary because it ignores the need for modern money’s institutions to verify payments. Instead, Bitcoin relies on cryptographic techniques to prove identity and authenticity.

However, the price to pay for all of this innovation is a high carbon footprint, created by Bitc...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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Biotech

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

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

 

Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1) is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans. Its protein, also called by the synonym BRCA1, is responsible for repairing DNA. ibreakstock/Shutterstock.com

By Jay Shendure, University of Washington; Greg Findlay, ...



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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 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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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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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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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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About Ilene:

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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