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

China's worldwide investment project is a push for more economic and political power

 

China's worldwide investment project is a push for more economic and political power

Courtesy of Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Rochester Institute of Technology

Inspired by the ancient Silk Road, China is investing in a massive set of international development projects that are raising concerns about how the country is expanding its power around the world.

Initially announced in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the so-called “Belt and Road Initiative” has China planning to invest in e...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bank Index Breakout? Stock Market Bulls Sure Hope So

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

One of the most important sectors of the stock market is the banking industry and bank stocks.

When the banks are healthy, the economy is likely doing well. And when bank stocks are participating in a market rally, then it bodes well for the broader stock market.

In today’s chart, we look at the Bank Index (BKX).

As you can see, the banks have been in a falling channel for the past 20 months. As well, the banks have been lagging the broader market during this time as well – see the Ratio in the bottom half of the chart above.

That said, th...



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Zero Hedge

Russia Scraps "Climate Change Plan" After Uproar From Businesses

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The Russian government has abandoned key provisions of a new "climate change" legislation package after the country's leading businesses - most operating in the "not quite" ESG arena - mounted a significant protest, according to Russian daily Kommersant (via the Moscow Times).

The abandoned legislation included quotas on carbo...



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Insider Scoop

Citigroup Appoints New Head Of Asia Pacific Business

Courtesy of Benzinga

American multinational financial services corporation Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) has appointed Peter Babej as the new chief executive officer of its Asia Pacific region, a memo sent to staff by Citi global CEO Mike Corbat shows. Babej previously served as the bank’s global head of financial institutions group.

He joined Citi in 2010 to co-head the company’s financial institutions...



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The Technical Traders

Market Trend Change Triggered Today

Courtesy of Technical Traders

CLICK HERE TO GET REAL TIME TRADE ALERTS!

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Chart School

Review of Andrew CardWell RSI with Wyckoff price waves

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

RSI measures relative strength of price action of a set period versus prior set periods. It helps review the price swings or waves, the power of each price thrust into new ground, or lack of it. Price thrust like many things relies on energy, and energy is not a constant, it has a birth, a life and a death and relative strength helps us see that cycle. 

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Digital Currencies

Zuck Delays Libra Launch Date Due To Issues "Sensitive To Society"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by William Suberg via CoinTelegraph.com,

Facebook is taking a much more careful approach to Libra than its previous projects, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed. 

“Obviously we want to move forward at some point soon [and] not have this take many years to roll out,” he said. “But ...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Look Out Bears! Fed New QE Now Up to $165 Billion

Courtesy of Lee Adler

I have been warning for months that the Fed would need new QE to counter the impact of massive waves of Treasury supply. I thought that that would come later, rather than sooner. Sorry folks, wrong about that. The NY Fed announced another round of new TOMO (Temporary Open Market Operations) today.

In addition to the $75 billion in overnight repos that the Fed issued and has been rolling over since Tuesday, next week the Fed will issue another $90 billion. They’ll come in the form of three $30 billion, 14 day repos to be offered next week.

That brings the new Fed QE to a total of $165 billion. Even in the worst days of the financial crisis, I can’t remember the Fed ballooning its balance sheet by $165 bi...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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

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