Posts Tagged ‘investment banks’

Twilight of the Übermenschen

Courtesy of The Epicurean Dealmaker

Are you shooting at me?

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

Beware of the pursuit of the Superhuman: it leads to an indiscriminate contempt for the Human.

— George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

* * *

Steven Davidoff opens a recent piece at The New York Times DealBook blog with the following words:

Reputation is dead on Wall Street.

This is powerful language. What does he mean?

Well, for one thing he means that the reputations of individual investment banks are no longer coterminous with the reputations of their executives and employees. He ascribes this to the tremendous growth in scale and complexity of financial markets over the past three decades:

Today’s Wall Street is not the Wall Street of 1907 when J.P. Morgan single-handedly used his reputation and wallet to stem a running financial panic.

Until the 1980s,… Wall Street was made up of traditional partnerships. These were small groups of investment bankers who represented companies in offering and selling securities and occasionally acquisitions. These bankers put their individual reputations on the line, because there were so few of them. Morgan Stanley, for example, had only 31 partners in 1970 and fewer than 1,000 employees.

But this began to change in the 1980s. Trading markets became much more sophisticated, and trading and brokerage became the investment banks’ primary business. This is a technology game. The better the technology, the better the trading and brokerage operation. Individuals became less important.

The growth of more complex capital markets and a global economy also created much larger financial institutions. Morgan Stanley now has more than 62,000 employees. These banks could use their assets and position to compete in the market for finance and trading. Again, individuals were less important as size dominated. A client now trades or does business with a bank based on its positions or ability to make a market or loan. The executive at the bank executing the transaction is unimportant.

In one respect, this is true. Lazard is no longer Felix Rohatyn. Goldman Sachs is no longer Sidney Weinberg. The


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Goldman’s $430 Target, Screaming Buy On Apple At Its All Time High Is In Direct Contravention To Reggie Middleton’s Logic – Who’s Right? Well, Who Has Been More Right In The Past?

Courtesy of Reggie Middleton, posted at Zero Hedge and originally posted at Reggie’s BoomBustBlog

368322 09: A car passes by the sign in front of the Apple offices Computer April 21, 2000 in Cupertino, CA. The company is one of many computer technology corporations situated in Silicon Valley. (Photo by David McNew/ Newsmakers).

Goldman has recently issued a strong buy recommendation on Apple, offering a $430 price target. I have been on record many times stating that Apples will be facing the toughest competition of its existence since Microsoft nearly put them out of business. This, of course, appears to be in direct contravention to the Goldman Sachs call which just happened to come out the day Apple hits its all time high. Being that Apple has more than its fair share of fans who ignore common sense, this is enough to set the stock on fire. The question still remains though, “Is Goldman right?” Goldman very well could be right, but not for the reasons most retail investors believe. Despite overwhelming evidence plus plain old history to the contrary, many investors and mainstream media outlets still take the sell side of Wall Street at their word. Sell side analysts are marketing arms for the brokerage sales force, the investment banking sales force and the traders who move inventory in and out of their respective banks. What they are not are wealth and strategy advisers for retail and institutional investors. Their historical performance clearly illustrates this, thus their is not need to take this entrepreneurial investor and blogger’s word for it. Well, for those of you who either don’t know of me or don’t know of Goldman, here’s a quick recap of Reggie Middleton vs. Goldman Sachs:

Who was more accurate concerning Google? Google’s 3rd Quarter Operating Results: The Foregone Conclusion That Was Amazingly Unanticipated by the Street!!! Monday, November 8th, 2010

Who was more accurate concerning Lehman Brothers, the Ivy league, ivory tower boys doing God’s work or that blogger with the smart ass mouth from Brooklyn?

Please click the graph to enlarge to print quality size.

image006.png

As a matter of fact, who was more accurate during the ENTIRE Asset Securitization and Credit Crisis of the last three years?  We believe Reggie Middleton and his team at the BoomBust bests ALL of Wall Street’s sell side research:…
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Steve Meyers Global Perspectives Update

Extreeeemely bearish. Grawrl. 

Steve Meyers Global Perspectives Update

Via JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN


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The Financial Crisis Is Everywhere a Fraud, and Official Complacency Inevitably Leads to a Crisis

The Financial Crisis Is Everywhere a Fraud, and Official Complacency Inevitably Leads to a Crisis

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

"A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability." Robert F. Kennedy, 9 May 1966

The Fed is now engaged in a control fraud, and what appears to be racketeering in conjunction with a few big investment banks. They may have entered into it with good intentions, but they seem to have been turned towards deceit and corruption.

This is not an historical event, but an ongoing theft in conjunction with a number of Wall Street banks, and politicians whom they have paid off through a corrupt system of campaign financing and influence peddling.

This is nothing new in history if one reads the unsanitized version. But people never think it can happen today, that somehow yesterday things were different, as if one is looking at some distant, foreign land. This is a facet of the illusion of general progress.

Audit the Fed. Vote out incumbents until they give you what you demand. Take back the billions stolen through millionaire’s taxes similar to those in place before the ‘Reagan Revolution.’ If there is no profit in theft, it will not happen. EU Puts Tough Restrictions on Banker’s Bonuses.

The individuals in government are not a ruling class, and were never intended to be, although after a second term they start to feel themselves to be privileged, with better pensions and benefits and pay raises than the people whom they serve. These are your chosen representatives, sworn to uphold the law and governing with your consent. The United States is not the Congress, the Supreme Court and the Executive in Washington, it is the people joined freely by their mutual consent under the Constitution. It is of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Goldman Sachs, AIG, and the NY Fed are at the heart of it. Everyone in the government, the media, and on the Street knows this. We are now in the coverup stage of a scandal, similar to Watergate when the White House was stone-walling. The difference is that the corruption and capture of the government…
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Lehman’s Liar’s Loans and Other Cons

Lehman’s Liar’s Loans and Other Cons

William Black and Bill MoyersCourtesy of MIKE WHITNEY at CounterPunch 

Prof. William Black submitted a 24-page report on the Lehman bankruptcy to the House Committee on Financial Services on Tuesday. It is the best analysis of the underlying causes of the financial crisis to date. Black, who is a former government regulator and white-collar criminologist, shows that the crisis was not an unavoidable disaster, as Wall Street apologists suggest, but the result of large-scale fraud perpetrated by financial institutions like Lehman Brothers. The incidents of fraud were numerous, blatant, extreme and premeditated. In making his case against Lehman, Black exposes the omissions, failures and negligence of the primary regulators, particularly the Fed. Had the Fed not been derelict in its duties, the cyclical downturn would not have turned into a near-Depression. 

"Lehman’s failure is a story in large part of fraud," Black said in his testimony before the House. "Lehman was the leading purveyor of liars’ loans in the world. For most of this decade, studies of liars’ loans show incidence of fraud of 90per cent. … If you want to know why we have a global crisis, in large part it is before you." 

Man with toy gun

 As the Litigation Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board during the S&L crisis, Black knows what he’s talking about. He was so dogged in his investigation that Charles Keating "directed his chief political fixer that his ‘Highest Priority’ was to ‘Get Black … Kill him Dead.’” But Black didn’t buckle or give ground. He shrugged off the threats and continued to expose unsound practices and illegal activity. His team faced the same challenges that regulators face today, "elite frauds"  by powerful institutions that wield tremendous political power.

Black’s statement cuts through much of the ideological claptrap surrounding the crisis and shows that deregulation is really the decriminalization of fraud.  The notion that the market can "regulate itself"  has been jettisoned altogether and public support for reform is  gaining momentum. 

"It is insane to withdraw accountability for negligence," says Black. "Doing so encourages negligence."

Financial institutions have used "laisser faire" dogma for their own aims. It’s the mask behind which the voracity and predations remain hidden. To a large extent, that’s the story of Lehman, an institution that paid no attention to rules and regulations. Anything went. It’s a philosophy that was embraced by the nation’s chief regulator,…
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Simon Johnson and James Kwak on Bill Moyers

Simon Johnson and James Kwak on Bill Moyers

Click here for the Video.>> 

Bill Moyers, Simon Johnson, James Kwak

Transcript:

BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the JOURNAL. With all due respect, we can only wish those tea party activists who gathered this week were not so single-minded about just who’s responsible for their troubles, real and imagined. They’re up in arms, so to speak, against big government, especially the Obama administration. 

But if they thought this through, they’d be joining forces with other grassroots Americans who will soon be demonstrating in Washington and elsewhere against high finance, taking on Wall Street and the country’s biggest banks.

The original Tea Party, remember, wasn’t directed just against the British redcoats. Colonial patriots also took aim at the East India Company. That was the joint-stock enterprise originally chartered by the first Queen Elizabeth. Over the years, the government granted them special rights and privileges, which the owners turned into a monopoly over trade, including tea. 

It may seem a stretch from tea to credit default swaps, but the principle is the same: when enormous private wealth goes unchecked, regular folks get hurt – badly. That’s what happened in 2008 when the monied interests led us up the garden path to the great collapse. 

Suppose the Tea Party folk had dropped by those Senate hearings this week looking into the failure of Washington Mutual. That’s the bank that went belly up during the meltdown in September 2008. It was the largest such failure in American history. 

WaMu, as we were reminded this week, made sub-prime loans that its executives knew were rotten, then packaged them as mortgage securities, and pawned them off on unsuspecting investors. 

SEN. CARL LEVIN: And that was your responsibility to make sure that the securities which went out to the investors were following notice to the investors of everything that they needed to know in order that the information be complete and truthful. That’s what your testimony was, under oath. 

DAVID BECK: It’s a very real possibility that the loans that went out were better quality than Mr. Shaw laid out. 

SEN. CARL LEVIN: And you don’t - 

DAVID BECK: A very real possibility. 

SEN. CARL LEVIN: And there’s a very good possibility that they were exactly the quality that he laid out, right? Is that right? 

DAVID BECK: That’s right. 

SEN. CARL LEVIN: Okay. And you don’t know, and apparently you don’t care. And the trouble is, you should have cared. 

BILL…
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The Ugly Americans: Wall Street Excluded from European Government Bond Sales

Well, well, well, karma works in mysterious ways. – Ilene

The Ugly Americans: Wall Street Excluded from European Government Bond Sales

 

Jesse's Cafe Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

It will be interesting if Asia and South America pick up this theme of banning the Wall Street banks on ethical considerations. 

The cheating going on in the financial markets is really getting to be outrageous. 

Guardian UK
Europe bars Wall Street banks from government bond sales
By Elena Moya
Monday 8 March 2010 21.36 GMT

European countries are blocking Wall Street banks from lucrative deals to sell government debt worth hundreds of billions of euros in retaliation for their role in the credit crunch.

For the first time in five years, no big US investment bank appears among the top nine sovereign bond bookrunners in Europe, according to Dealogic data compiled for the Guardian. Only Morgan Stanley ranks at number 10.

Goldman Sachs doesn’t make the table. Goldman made it to number five last year and in 2006, and number eight in 2007, the data shows. JP Morgan was in the top ten last year and in 2007 and 2006 but doesn’t appear this year.

"Governments do not have the confidence that the excessive risk-taking culture of the big Wall Street banks has changed and they still cannot be trusted to put the stability of the financial system before profit," said Arlene McCarthy, vice chair of the European parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee. "It is no surprise therefore that governments are reluctant to do business with banks that have failed to learn the lesson of the crisis. The banks need to acknowledge the mistakes that were made and behave in an ethical way to regain the trust and confidence of governments."

European sovereign bond league tables are now dominated by European banks such as Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, and Société Générale, the Dealogic table shows. Their business model is usually seen as more relationship-based, while US investment banks have traditionally been focused on immediate deal-making(A euphemism for customer face-ripping – Jesse)

Being left out of government bond sales means missing out on one of the top fee-earning opportunities this year, given the relative drought in mergers and acquisitions and stock market flotations. Western European governments need to raise an estimated half a trillion dollars this year to refinance debts and pay for bank bailouts and rising unemployment….

Investment banks
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The Giant Vampire Squid’s Journey to the East

This is a chilling and complex, historical look at members of the species called Giant Vampire Squid. – Ilene

The Giant Vampire Squid’s Journey to the East

Couresy of Darryl Schoon at DRSchoon.com

Usury, once a venal sin, was now commonplace and bankers who live by the charging of interest were considered respectable. The hand of evil was everywhere as the end-times, the end of days, were upon them.

Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi’s description of Goldman Sachs as a Giant Vampire Squid which wraps itself around its victims draining them of their productivity and profits is chillingly accurate.

In truth, Matt Taibbi’s Giant Vampire Squid was created in the recesses of 17th century London, for Goldman Sachs is but one of many; but, unlike Frankenstein’s monster, the Giant Vampire Squid is not a fable. It is as real as are its appetites and victims; and, although now badly wounded, the Giant Vampire Squid is still alive—and it’s headed east.

Taibbi’s metaphor is an apt description for modern banks, especially investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Credit Swiss, RBS, etc. Allowed by governments to create capital from virtually thin-air, these banks have an in-house advantage in a world dependent on credit, an advantage they use to leverage the world’s need for money into profits and obscene bonuses for themselves.

Banking is simple. We profit by the indebting of others by taking advantage of their need for money. We do this by creating money from nothing using the savings of others to do so.
The Dark Arts: The Secrets of Banking, 14th ed.

THE FEEDING MECHANISM OF THE GIANT VAMPIRE SQUID

The feeding mechanism of the Giant Vampire Squid is simple. First, it expands the size of its victim by injecting it with credit through its beak. Over time, this will enlarge the victim to its maximum possible size.

This mimics the nurturing process in nature. But the Giant Vampire Squid’s intent is singularly self-serving. At first, the victim enjoys the squid’s credit, absorbing as much as possible. The victim experiences the increased growth as pleasant and positive; and so it is—but ultimately only to the benefit of the squid.

The victim, enlarged to its maximum size and thoroughly entwined by tentacles, the Giant Vampire…
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THE RETURN OF THE BIZARRO MARKET

THE RETURN OF THE BIZARRO MARKET

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Light volume, holiday, no news….perfect day to gun the futures market, right?   I am reading all sorts of reports about mergers and oversold conditions, but there is simply no reason for today’s 2% move in the major indices.  The futures were slightly positive heading into the open and for some odd reason the futures got gunned on 3 separate occasions at 9:45 CST, 10 CST, and 10:30 CST.   I wish I could say that the re-emergence of merger Monday was the culprit, but the futures would have been ramping before the open if this were the case.

 THE RETURN OF THE BIZARRO MARKET

 

Adding to the confusion is the positive dollar which is being shunned by the equity and energy markets today.  Tech, which is particularly dollar sensitive, is a market leader today.   But no one is benefiting from the no news rally more than the banks which are now trading almost 3% higher on the day.  If you don’t think the trading profits at each of the big i-banks and money center banks are going to be thru the roof again I suggest you head back to the drawing board.   The bizarro market is back.

 


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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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Phil's Favorites

A small trial finds that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating coronavirus

 

A small trial finds that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating coronavirus

A trial of an anti-malaria drug in France found different results from a similar study last month. Liliboas / Getty Images

Courtesy of Katherine Seley-Radtke, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

On Saturday the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of two antimalarial drugs, hydroxychloroquine and a related medication, chloroquine, for emergency use to treat COVID-19. The drugs were tout...



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Biotech/COVID-19

A small trial finds that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating coronavirus

 

A small trial finds that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating coronavirus

A trial of an anti-malaria drug in France found different results from a similar study last month. Liliboas / Getty Images

Courtesy of Katherine Seley-Radtke, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

On Saturday the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of two antimalarial drugs, hydroxychloroquine and a related medication, chloroquine, for emergency use to treat COVID-19. The drugs were tout...



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Zero Hedge

Google Publishing Location Data To Monitor Social Distancing

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Google has launched a website which uses anonymized location data to show where people are taking social distancing more seriously than others.

Collected from their various products and services, the COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports site will show changes in behavior - such as shopping and recreation, from a top-down look at entire countries - to individual states.

...

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ValueWalk

Junior gold stocks offer a place of refuge in a falling market

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Junior gold stocks have taken a beating alongside other stocks, but history suggests this could be the time to dive in. The Vaneck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF is down from where it was in February, although it’s starting to show signs that it could revive soon.

Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Crescat likes junior gold stocks

In their March update to investors, Crescat Capital said junior gold stocks retested the lows of a nine-year bear market. ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Depression Coming or Is the Bottom Already In? Joe Friday Says Your Answer Lies Here!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Are we headed towards a Depression or is the worst already behind us? In today’s world, comparisons to the great depression are easy to find.

Are the Depression concerns well founded or are the declines of late already pricing in a bottom?

In my humble opinion, this chart and the upcoming price action of this index will go miles and miles towards telling us if we are headed towards very tough times or if the huge declines of late are actually in a bottoming process.

This chart looks at the Thomson Reuters Equal Weighted Commodity Index on a monthly basis over the past 54 years. The index has been heading south, reflecting weakness in demand for basi...



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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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The Technical Traders

Founder of TradersWorld Magazine Issued Special Report for Free

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Larry Jacobs owner and editor of TradersWorld magazine published a free special report with his top article and market forecast to his readers yesterday.

What is really exciting is that this forecast for all assets has played out exactly as expected from the stock market crash within his time window to the gold rally, and sharp sell-off. These forecasts have just gotten started the recent moves were only the first part of his price forecasts.

There is only one article in this special supplement, click on the image or link below to download and read it today!

...

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Chart School

Big moving Averages and macro investment decisions

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

When price is falling every one wonders where demand will come in.


RTT black screen Tv videos study the simplest measure of price (simple moving average). What has happen before guides us now. 














Changes in the world is the source of all market moves, to catch and ride the change we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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Members' Corner

10 ways to spot online misinformation

 

10 ways to spot online misinformation

When you share information online, do it responsibly. Sitthiphong/Getty Images

Courtesy of H. Colleen Sinclair, Mississippi State University

Propagandists are already working to sow disinformation and social discord in the run-up to the November elections.

Many of their efforts have focused on social media, where people’s limited attention spans push them to ...



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Digital Currencies

While coronavirus rages, bitcoin has made a leap towards the mainstream

 

While coronavirus rages, bitcoin has made a leap towards the mainstream

Get used to it. Anastasiia Bakai

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

Anyone holding bitcoin would have watched the market with alarm in recent weeks. The virtual currency, whose price other cryptocurrencies like ethereum and litecoin largely follow, plummeted from more than US$10,000 (£8,206) in mid-February to briefly below US$4,000 on March 13. Despite recovering to the mid-US$6,000s at the time of writin...



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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

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

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.