Posts Tagged ‘Credit Default Swaps’

Ireland’s “String and Sealing-Wax Fix”; Irish PM Loses Confidence of Own Party; European Sovereign Default Risk Hits All Time High

Mish reports on Ireland’s "String and Sealing-Wax Fix"; Irish PM Loses Confidence of Own Party; European Sovereign Default Risk Hits All Time High.

irelandCourtesy of Mish

News in Europe regarding Ireland, Spain, and Portugal is ominous. Credit Default Swaps (CDS) are soaring in Spain and Portugal. European sovereign risk jumped to an all-time high.

Lloyds TSB says "Ireland’s debt woes may spread because investors have lost confidence in policy makers".

Members of his own party are calling on Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen to resign.

The quote of the day goes to Bill Blain, a strategist at Matrix Corporate Capital LLP in London who said "“Bailouts are nothing but a short-term string-and-sealing-wax fix”.

With that let’s take a look at some specific news.

Zero Confidence in Irish Solution

Lloyds says Ireland’s Woes May Spread on ‘Zero Confidence’

“The markets currently have virtually zero confidence that the bailout in Ireland will solve the European crisis even though fiscal austerity measures in both Portugal and Spain have been severe and prima facie, sufficient to ease market concerns,” Charles Diebel and David Page, fixed-income strategists in London, wrote in an investor note today.

“With markets effectively in a position to dictate policy, the risk is that the credibility crisis shifts to more sizeable European Union countries and thereby poses a greater risk to the system as a whole,” they wrote. That may also raise “valid questions about the prescriptive policy measures being sufficient to deal with issues of such magnitude.”

Credit Default Swaps Soar in Spain, Portugal

In spite of the Irish bailout, Spain, Portugal Bank Debt Risk Soars as Traders Look South

The cost of insuring Spanish and Portuguese subordinated bank bonds soared as traders of credit-default swaps turned their focus to southern Europe following Ireland’s bailout.

Swaps on Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo SA rose to a record while contracts on Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Spain’s second-biggest lender, climbed to the highest in more than five months. The benchmark gauge of European sovereign risk also jumped to an all-time high, while two indexes tied to bank debt surged the most since June.

Ireland’s rescue “achieves completely the opposite of what it allegedly tries to achieve, namely to calm markets,” Tim Brunne, at UniCredit SpA said in a report.

“Instead, the credit profile of both the sovereign and the impaired financial institutions has been weakened,” the Munich-based strategist wrote.


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Limited Liquidity in Corporate Bonds is Another Canary in a Coal Mine

Limited Liquidity in Corporate Bonds is Another Canary in a Coal Mine

Taxidermy canary under glass dome.

Courtesy of Rom Badilla, CFA – Bondsquawk.com

Bloomberg is reporting that liquidity is harder to come by as trading costs soar. 

The gap between the cost to buy and sell corporate credit reached the widest in nine months in another sign that investors are increasingly wary of all but the safest government securities amid Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.

The bid-ask spread for credit-default swaps on U.S. investment-grade bonds surged to an average 8.86 basis points as of May 21 from 5.42 basis points a month ago, according to CMA DataVision prices. The difference jumped to a one-year high of 10.57 on May 7, from as low as 3.1 in 2007.

Higher trading cost is not just centered on Credit Default Swaps but also their cash bond counterparts.

The bid-ask spread for AA rated U.S. corporate bonds has increased to about 5 basis points from about 1 basis point earlier this year, said Mark Jicka, managing director at Mizuho Securities USA in New York. The gap for lower rated investment- grade debt has widened to about 10 basis points from 5 basis points.

Liquidity begins to suffer as bond investors sell their holdings, flooding the market with supply.  Also, liquidity can tank as demand evaporates as dealers hunker down by either passing or giving “throw-away” bids to avoid building inventory and taking on risk on their balance sheet.  Furthermore, most dealers will widen out the bid and ask for bonds in their inventory in order to be compensated for the risk of holding it and the event of any deterioration of the credit.

I have seen similar markets where liquidity is poor and finding an exit on a corporate or mortgage bond is difficult.  The Long Term Capital Management episode in the late 90’s and the recent subprime crisis is a good example of poor liquidity during uncertain times.

When Wall Street begins to go into risk aversion mode where they are reluctant to buy bonds from an investor, its a clear signal that choppy waters are ahead.

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Merkel to the Banks and Speculators: Sprechen Sie Deutsche? Then Droppen Sie Dead

Droppen Sie Dead?  I think that means drop dead. 

Merkel to the Banks and Speculators: Sprechen Sie Deutsche? Then Droppen Sie Dead

German Chancellor Merkel delivers speech at DGB congress in Berlin

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

There is much surprise that the German government has declared a ban on naked short selling, including CDS, as of midnight tonight, with no prior notice or the niceties demanded by the banks when government chooses to act. This action seems to have perturbed some and confused many.

The reason for this may be quite simple.

After tonight, when hedge funds and the NY and London Banks call upon German financial firms and European governments to make payments on Credit Default Swaps or other financial instruments that are subject to the ban, the Germans will have a great big hammer in hand to help them to negotiate the terms.

Since the CDS will be deemed to be no longer legal, the option to default on them with the backing of the government may be an option. This seems quite similar to the stance that the Chinese government took on behalf of some Chinese firms that were caught on the wrong side of energy derivatives.

I have heard that there was a general disappointment in Europe and in parts of Asia at the lack of progress being made in the US Congress towards creating meaningful reforms in their financial system. In fact, there is a widespread belief that Washington is being dictated to by the Banks, and that their lobbyists are directing the conversation, and in many cases writing the actual legislation. The final straw was when the Obama Administration itself sought to water down and block key provisions of the legislation to limit the power and size of the Banks.

"To some degree this is a battle between the politicians and the markets," she said in a speech in Berlin. "But I am firmly resolved — and I think all of my colleagues are too — to win this battle….The fact that hedge funds are not regulated is a scandal," she said, adding that Britain had blocked previous efforts to do this. "However, this will certainly have taken place in Europe in three weeks," she said, without giving more details." Reuters, 6 May 2010

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel accused the financial industry of playing dirty. ‘First the banks failed, forcing states to


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The Silver Curtain

The Silver Curtain

Courtesy of Marla Singer, Zero Hedge 

On the 5th of March in 1946, in Fulton Missouri, at Westminster College, Winston Churchill delivered an address (since christened the "Sinews of Peace") lamenting the burgeoning power and influence being slowly but surely gathered up by the Soviet Union.  Perhaps the address will be familiar to some of you owing to its most famous passage:

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens alone — Greece with its immortal glories — is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation.

Ironic, as I will address, that he should mention Greece.

Much less well known perhaps is this later passage:

Our difficulties and dangers will not be removed by closing our eyes to them. They will not be removed by mere waiting to see what happens; nor will they be removed by a policy of appeasement. What is needed is a settlement, and the longer this is delayed, the more difficult it will be and the greater our dangers will become.1

The "Iron Curtain" came, of course, to signify the cavernous ideological, and eventually concretely physical, divide between East and West.  It took some 43 years before it was lifted once more, first and haltingly, in the form of the removal of Hungary’s border fence in mid-1989 and then, of course, finally via the fall of the Berlin Wall in November that same year.

Not to be compared with a production of Italian Opera, the Iron Curtain did not describe a sudden, smooth, abrupt descent over the stages of Eastern Europe.  Quite the contrary, its drop was in stutters of discrete, fractional lowerings, such that it was a full fifteen years after Churchill used the term before its ultimate expression, the Berlin Wall, was finally…
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Credit Default Swaps on Greece Hit Record High; IMF Calls Greece Crisis a “Wake-Up Call” on Sovereign-Debt Risks

Credit Default Swaps on Greece Hit Record High; IMF Calls Greece Crisis a “Wake-Up Call” on Sovereign-Debt Risks

General Strike Cripples Greece

Courtesy of Mish 

It will not be long before Greece is accepting aid from the IMF as credit default swaps on Greek debt surged to record levels, pushing up Greek borrowing costs. Please consider a pair of Bloomberg articles highlighting the problems.

Spillover Hits Portugal and Spain, Loonie Rises

Euro Drops for Fifth Day on Concern Greece Talks May Fall Short 

The yield premium investors demand to hold Greek 10-year bonds instead of benchmark German bunds climbed to 5.01 percentage points, the highest level since at least March 1998. Canada’s dollar touched the strongest level since June 2008 versus the greenback as traders increased bets on higher interest rates.

“People are anticipating what will happen when you move liabilities from Greece to the balance sheets of Germany, France and other healthy economies,” said Sebastien Galy, a currency strategist at BNP Paribas SA in New York. “Euro-dollar should be lower.”

Credit-default swaps on Greece surged 31 basis points, or 0.31 percentage point, to a record 495, according to CMA DataVision prices. Contracts on Portugal jumped 27 basis points to 228, and those on Spain climbed 16 to 161 basis points.

The Canadian currency, known as the loonie, traded at 99.90 Canadian cents per U.S. dollar after reaching 99.31, the strongest level since June 2008.

General Strike Cripples Greece

Wake-Up Call on Sovereign-Debt - Public Unions Protest

 

Greece Aid Talks Begin as IMF Signals Debt Threat

Greece began talks today on activating a 45 billion-euro ($61 billion) emergency aid package as the International Monetary Fund called the country’s fiscal crisis a “wake-up call” on sovereign-debt risks.

Greek officials joined counterparts from the euro-region, the IMF and the European Central Bank to begin hammering out the deficit-cutting measures Greece will have to accept to be able to tap the funds. The government needs to raise about 10 billion euros before the end of May, and its soaring financing costs are lending urgency to the talks.

“There is no chance that Greece will be left hanging in the month of May, whether borrowing from the market or borrowing from our partners,” Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said yesterday in Athens. He said the talks will take at least 10 days.

The surge in Greece’s deficit will push the country’s debt


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Numerous Derivative Swap Deals Blow Sky High In Europe

Numerous Derivative Swap Deals Blow Sky High In Europe

Time bomb with lit fuse

Courtesy of Mish 

Lost in the turbulence of a market focused on fraud charges against Goldman Sachs (see Rant of the Day: No Ethics, No Fiduciary Responsibility, No Separation of Duty; Complete Ethics Overhaul Needed), there are some interesting derivatives blowups in Europe to consider, similar in nature to swaps that blew up Jefferson County, Alabama.

Please consider Saint-Etienne Swaps Explode as Financial Weapons Ambush Europe

The worst global financial crisis in 70 years arrived in Saint-Etienne this month, as embedded financial obligations began to blow up.

A bill came due for 1.18 million euros ($1.61 million) owed to Deutsche Bank AG under a contract that initially saved the French city money. The 800-year-old town refused to pay, dodging for now one of 10 derivatives so speculative no bank will buy them back, said Cedric Grail, the municipal finance director. They would cost about 100 million euros to cancel today, he said.

Saint-Etienne is one of thousands of public authorities across Europe that tried to shave borrowing expenses by accepting derivatives deals whose risks they couldn’t measure. They may be liable for billions of euros, according to the Bank of Italy and consulting and law firms in France and Germany. As global economies climb out of recession, the crisis is hitting Saint-Etienne in central France, Pforzheim in western Germany and Apulia, an Italian regional government on the Adriatic. They may pay for their bets into the next generation.

From the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific coast of the U.S., governments, public agencies and nonprofit institutions have lost billions of dollars because of transactions officials didn’t grasp. Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, agreed last year to pay more than $900 million to terminate swaps that assumed interest rates would rise.

Under the interest-rate swap deals popular with European municipalities, a bank would agree to cover a locality’s fixed debt payment and the government or agency would pay a variable rate gambling its costs would be lower — and taking on the risk that they could be many times higher.

Use of swaps in Europe soared in the late 1990s and early 2000s because banks pitched them as the easiest way to reduce costs on fixed-rate loans, according to Patrice Chatard, general manager of Finance Active, which helps more than 1,000 localities across Western Europe manage


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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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Reform We Can Believe In

Reform We Can Believe In

Courtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts from the Frontline 

New York Mets Opening Day at Citi Field in New York

It’s Time for Reform We Can Believe In 
The Fed Must Be Independent 
Credit Default Swaps Threaten the System 
Too Big To Fail Must Go 
And This Thing About Leverage 
What Happens If We Do Nothing? 
New York, Media, and La Jolla

Casey Stengel, manager of the hapless 1962 New York Mets, once famously asked, after an especially dismal outing, "Can’t anybody here play this game?" This week I ask, after months of worse than no progress, "Can’t anybody here even spell financial reform, let alone get it done?" We are in danger of experiencing another credit crisis, but one that could be even worse, as the tools to fight it may be lacking when we need them. With attacks on the independence of the Fed, no regulation of derivatives, and allowing banks to be too big to fail, we risk a repeat of the credit crisis. The bank lobbyists are winning and it’s time for those of us in the cheap seats to get outraged. (And while this letter focuses on the US and financial reform, the principles are the same in Europe and elsewhere, as I will note at the end. We are risking way too much in the name of allowing large private profits.) And with no "but first," let’s jump right in.

Last Monday I had lunch with Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Mr. Fisher is a remarkably nice guy and is very clear about where he stands on the issues. My pressing question was whether the Fed would actually accommodate the federal government if it continued to run massive deficits and turn on the printing press. Fisher was clear that such a move would be a mistake, and he thought there would be little sentiment among the various branch presidents to become the enabler of a dysfunctional Congress.

federal reserveBut that brought up a topic that he was quite passionate about, and that is what he sees as an attack on the independence of the Fed. There are bills in Congress that would take away or threaten the current independence of the Fed.

I recognize that the Fed is not completely independent. Even Greenspan said so this past week: "There’s a presumption that …
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Which Way Wednesday – World of Worries Weighs on Wall Street

7 W’s in the title - that has to be some kind of alliterative record! 

What could we possibly be worried about with the market making new highs?  Well, I’m a little concerned that Shanghai housing prices fell 10% in a week.  That’s the kind of behavior that may make you think they may have a bit of a bubble that’s popping.  Of course they held up well compared to Shenzhen, where prices dropped 14% in the first week of March.  That was matched by a 14% decline in iron ore shipments from Australia as China’s demand fell from 11M tons in January to 8.7M tons in February.  So, if you were wondering how much China’s $600Bn stimulus spending was affecting their economy – 14% is the effect of them simply slowing it down a little

Japanese Machinery Orders fell 3.7% in January and Producer Prices fell a deflationary 1.5% in the World’s second-largest economy (for now).  “The gap between supply and demand in the domestic economy has yet to shrink,” said Morita at Barclays Capital. “It’ll be very difficult for companies to pass on those costs. That’s not good for their profits.”  The Baltic Dry Index is topping out just over our 3,200 target, signaling a possible end to the great commodity run of 2010.  Devan Kaloo, head of Aberdeen’s Global Emerging Markets is predicting that emerging markets (we are long EDZ, now $47) may fall as much as 15% this year.  “The markets will see a correction this year,” Kaloo, whose Aberdeen Emerging Markets Institutional Fund has beaten 93 percent of competitors in 2010, said in an interview in New York. “People get over-optimistic and expect too much out of earnings and global growth.”      

Sure, I know I’ve been saying this for a while but it sounds so much more official when a guy in charge of $22Bn says it!  China’s 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package, coupled with record bank lending in 2009, helped the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rally 80 percent last year. The gauge has dropped 6.4 percent in 2010.  “From a stock-picking perspective, we can find better opportunities” than China, Kaloo said. “The government pumped money into the financial system, but soon they’ll run out of money,” which will hurt the earnings of Chinese companies.

Amazingly, much of the tech growth we’re seeing in Asia is resulting from a mad rush to produce 3-D TVs in time for the holidays – something I believe may
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Are Traders Demanding US Credit Default Swaps Payable in Gold?

Are Traders Demanding US Credit Default Swaps Payable in Gold?

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

Moneymaking Investments

If another author had said this I might not pay it so much attention. Lately some have been given over to a tabloid approach to overstatement and sensational headlines to attract attention. This is a strong temptation as the blogosphere expands, similar to the development and evolution of newspapers as a popular medium in Victorian London for example.

But as you know, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Janet Tavakoli and her knowledge in this area. If she is seeing a new demand for Credit Default Swaps on the US payable in gold I would credit it since this is her area of expertise and industry connections, but would ask for some particulars, which I have done. This would match up with some other data I have seen from other sources, and desire to continue to put the puzzle pieces together without traveling false trails.

It does make sense, of course, to price a US default in something other than dollars. The question that comes to mind though, is not the suggested method of payment, but the nature and quality of the counter-party who could stand reliably behind such a claim without it being a fraudulent contract by its very nature.

If the US should default, what major financial institutions will be in a position to have written and then uphold the terms of these CDS, payable in anything at all? Surely only a sovereign bank like the US Fed, the Treasury, or the IMF, or some other central bank could be so capable. But what possible motivation could a non-profit-seeking official institution have in writing CDS on a US sovereign default? Perhaps more likely a private bank or GSE, with the buyers thinking it has some sovereign guarantees that would be upheld in extremis.

Truly, remember AIG? It was insolvent when payment was demanded, and acted improperly in paying collateral to Goldman ahead of its inevitable insolvency, and then receiving the support of the Treasury to pay obligations in full, above all others. It ought to have been placed in a receivership and its assets allocated with the previously disposed collateral clawed back. This kind of private arrangement between parties involving the sovereign wealth of nations may be indicative of things to come. The recent example of…
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Zero Hedge

China Responds To Trump's "Barbaric" Tariffs: Vows To Fight "Until The End" And Have "The Last Laugh"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

After Friday's blitz of reciprocal trade war escalations, which saw a furious Trump slam the two "enemies of the state", Fed Chair Powell and China president Xi, following China's widely expected tariff hike retaliation and Powell's uneventful Jackson Hole speech, and further raise tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports after stocks suffered another major selloff, we said that the next steps were clear.

And now China has to retaliate and so on

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) ...

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Phil's Favorites

S&P 500 Index Must Bounce Here Or Hold On Tight!

Courtesy of Technical Traders

The fragility of the markets can not be underestimated for investors at this time.  Our research has continued to pick apart these price swings in the US stock markets and our July predictions regarding a market top and an August 19...



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The Technical Traders

S&P 500 Index Must Bounce Here Or Hold On Tight!

Courtesy of Technical Traders

The fragility of the markets can not be underestimated for investors at this time.  Our research has continued to pick apart these price swings in the US stock markets and our July predictions regarding a market top and an August 19...



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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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bearish Divergences Similar To 2000 & 2007 In Play Again!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Does history at important junctures ever repeat itself exactly? Nope

Do look-alike patterns take place at important price points? Yup

This chart looks at the S&P 500 over the past 20-years.

In 2000 and 2007 bearish momentum divergences took place months ahead of the actual peak in stocks.

Currently, momentum has created a bearish divergence to the S&P 500 for the past 20-months, as the seems to have stopped on a dime at its 261% Fibonacci extension level of the 2007 highs/2009 lows.

Joe Friday Just The Fact Ma’am; A negative sign for the S&P 500 with the divergence in play, would take place if support b...



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Insider Scoop

Earnings Scheduled For August 22, 2019

Courtesy of Benzinga

Companies Reporting Before The Bell
  • Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $0.36 per share on revenue of $2.29 billion.
  • BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: BJ) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $0.37 per share on revenue of $3.38 billion.
  • DICK'S Sporting Good...


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Chart School

Gold Gann Angle Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Everything awesome? Gold over $1500. Central banks are printing money to generate fake demand. Germany issues first ever 30 year bond with negative interest rate. Crazy times!

Even Australia and New Zealand and considering negative interest rates and printing money, you know a bunch of lowly populated islands in the South Pacific with no aircraft carriers or nuclear weapons. They will need to do this to suppress their currency as they are export nations, as they need foreign currency to pay for foreign loans. But what is next, maybe Fiji will start printing their dollar. 

Now for a laugh, this Jason Pollock sold for more than $32M in 2012. 
 


 

Ok, now call ...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Watch Out Bears! Fed POMO Is Back!

Courtesy of Lee Adler

That’s right. The Fed is doing POMO again.  POMO means Permanent Open Market Operations. It’s a fancy way of saying that the Fed is buying Treasuries, pumping money into the financial markets.

Over the past 6 days, the Fed has bought $8.6 billion in T-bills and coupons. These are the first regular Fed POMO Treasury operations since the Fed ended outright QE in 2014.

Who is the Fed buying those Treasuries from?

The Primary Dealers. Who are the Primary Dealers?  I’ll let the New York Fed tell you:

Primary dealers are trading counterparties of the New York Fed in its implementation of monetary policy. They are also expected to make markets for the New York Fed on behalf of its official accountholders as needed, and to bid on a ...



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Digital Currencies

New Zealand Becomes 1st Country To Legalize Payment Of Salaries In Crypto

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been on a persistent upswing this year, but they're still pretty volatile. But during a time when even some of the most developed economies in the word are watching their currencies bounce around like the Argentine peso (just take a look at a six-month chart for GBPUSD), New Zealand has decided to take the plunge and become the first country to legalize payment in bitcoin, the FT reports.

The ruling by New Zealand’s tax authority allows salaries and wages to b...



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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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Promotions

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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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