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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Politics

Why repressive Saudi Arabia remains a US ally

 

Why repressive Saudi Arabia remains a US ally

A demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with blood on his hands protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 8, 2018. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Jeffrey Fields, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman “approved an operation … to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” according to a...



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Phil's Favorites

Ensuring the minimum wage keeps up with economic growth would be the best way to help workers and preserve FDR's legacy

 

Ensuring the minimum wage keeps up with economic growth would be the best way to help workers and preserve FDR's legacy

It may seem like a lot, but it’s not the most important change in the bill. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Courtesy of Felix Koenig, Carnegie Mellon University

The US$1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill that the House ...



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Zero Hedge

Grimes Just Made $5.8 Million In 20 Minutes Selling Digital Art

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Elon Musk's baby-mama/love interest Grimes recently made a $6 million score in only 20 minutes by selling digital artwork in an online auction.

The art comes with a digital asset called an "NFT" that proves its authenticity, according to The Daily Mail. She told 10 items from a collection she is calling "WarNymph" (of course), which included "dramatic illustrations of winged baby goddesses battling in apocalyptic skies" (of course). 

The non-fungible token that the works come with is encrypted with the artist's signature and authenticates the art as original. It relies on blockch...



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ValueWalk

Top Five Click-Baits In Buffett's Annual Shareholder Letter, Number 4 Will Shock You!

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Investment legend Warren Buffett released his annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letter Saturday and with it a trove of wisdom for value investors. Surprisingly, the letter also showed off Buffett’s recently developed penchant for internet click-bait, as several of his asides uncharacteristically directed readers to follow internet fads previously ignored by the 90-year-old market magician. The Stonk Market has summarized those nonagenarian hot-takes below:

Q4...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bond Prices About To Fall Off The Cliff?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

The bull market in bond prices has steady, durable, and trustworthy. Over the past 40 years, if investors could count on anything, it was rising bonds and falling bond yields (interest rates).

But this trend / dynamic may be changing…

The post pandemic spike lower in interest rates (yields) sent bonds to all-time highs… but that quickly gave way to selling and steadily higher interest rates.

Is the bond market about to receive monster message?

As we have done many times before, today we share an “inverted” chart of ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

COVID-19 revealed how sick the US health care delivery system really is

 

COVID-19 revealed how sick the US health care delivery system really is

Many U.S. hospitals and clinics are behind when it comes to sharing information. Teera Konakan/Moment via Getty Images

Courtesy of Elizabeth A. Regan, University of South Carolina

If you got the COVID-19 shot, you likely received a little paper card that shows you’ve been vaccinated. Make sure you keep that card in a safe place. There is no coordinated way to share information about who has been vaccinated and who has not.

...

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Mapping The Market

Which Governments Ordered Johnson & Johnson's Vaccine?

 

Which Governments Ordered Johnson & Johnson's Vaccine?

Courtesy of Niall McCarthy, Statista

On Wednesday, U.S. regulators announced that Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine being developed by its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Belgium is effective at preventing moderate to severe cases of the disease. The jab has been deemed safe with 66 percent efficacy and the FDA is likely to approve it for use in the U.S. within days.

The Ad26.COV2.S vaccine can be stored for up to three months in a refrigerator and requires a single shot, ...



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Digital Currencies

Crypto - It Is Different This Time

 

Crypto – It Is Different This Time

Courtesy of Howard Lindzon

?I have been astonished as you know by the growth of crypto.

I remember back in 2017 when I noticed that Stocktwits message volume on Bitcoin ($BTC.X) surpassed that of $SPY. I knew Bitcoin was here to stay and Bitcoin went on to $19,000 before heading into its bear market.

Today Bitcoin is near $50,000.

Back in November of 2020, something new started to happen on Stocktwits with respect to crypto.

After the close on Friday until the open of the futures on Sunday, all Stocktwits trending tickers turned crypto. The weekend messages on Stocktwits have increased 400 percent.

That has continued each weekend...



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Chart School

The Fastest Money

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The fast money happens near the end of the long trend.

Securities which attract a popular following by both the public and professionals investors tend to repeat the same sentiment over their bull phase. The chart below is the map of said sentiment.
 


 

Video on the subject.


 

Charts in the video



 



 



Changes in the world is the source of all market moves, to ...



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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

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

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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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