Posts Tagged ‘Magnetar’

NYT Muffs Merrill/Magnetar Piece (And Why is No One Investigating the Related Bonus Fraud?)

NYT Muffs Merrill/Magnetar Piece (And Why is No One Investigating the Related Bonus Fraud?)

By Yves Smith and Tom Adams, an attorney and former monoline executive, at Naked Capitalism 

Radar Marking an Earthquake's Epicenter

Louise Story has penned what presents itself as an important story at the New York Times, one that charges Merrill Lynch with misrepresenting the size of its subprime, specifically, collateralized debt obligation exposures, in the runup to the global financial crisis. The ruse the article depicts is a CDO called Pyxis., which purportedly served as a dumping ground for exposures Merrill could not unload. Initially, Merrill was able to escape reporting these positions because it claimed to have hedged the risk. In fact, the hedges failed, the bank was ultimately on the hook and was later forced to ‘fess up to the magnitude of its holdings. This revelation sounds juicy in that Citigroup and some of its recent senior executives paid fines to the SEC for similar, albeit less convoluted-sounding, misconduct.

But in fact, the story is astonishingly incomplete, to the point of being misleading. While Merrill’s probable accounting improprieties are noteworthy and merit investigation by the authorities, they are not the most important element of this episode. CDO abuses amounted to accounting fraud to enable employees and executives to loot their companies. Moreover, they were not perpetrated by isolated actors, but were part of what Bill Black calls a criminogenic environment.

To put it more simply, if you think Merrill’s misrepresentations to investors are a big deal, they are only a small aspect of the bigger, and frustratingly largely untold, tale of the role of CDOs in the crisis. CDOs were the epicenter of the upheaval, the device that magnified a what otherwise would have been contained subprime bubble into an economy-wrecking meltdown. When the music stopped, it was the dealers themselves that wound up holding much of the toxic paper they’d created. AAA rated CDOs went from haircuts of 2-4% in early 2006 to 95% in later 2007. The collapse in CDO valuations and the resulting inability to use CDOs as collateral for repo was a major, if not the major, cause of dealer illiquidity and insolvency which resulted in massive bailouts and backdoor subsidies.

Accounts like Ms. Story’s are blind man and the elephant affairs: at best, they do a good enough job of depicting, say, the trunk, but leave the beast…
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Rahm Emanuel and Magnetar Capital: The Definition of Compromised

Rahm Emanuel and Magnetar Capital: The Definition of Compromised

By Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism 

Magnetar

1) A neutron star with an intense magnetic field, capable of emitting toxic radiation across galaxies
2) A hedge fund, the single market player most responsible for the severity of the 2008 financial crisis, through the toxic instruments it created

Rahm Emanuel

1) White House Chief of Staff
2) Politician selected by Magnetar’s CEO to be sole recipient of his political donations, 2006-2008

Strange as it may seem, nearly three years after the onset of the global financial crisis, its greatest, most destructive, and most profitable “it ought to have been a crime” has gone almost entirely unnoticed.

Most people believe that they understand the broad outlines of the financial crisis, and that a central element was an explosion in mortgages made to people who could not afford them.

But how did such destructive behavior occur on such a large scale? The conventional view is that the subprime mortgage blowup resulted from bank executives being short-sighted, greedy, or both.

But that simple story deters inquiry into how and why this disaster came to pass. Some recognize that the appetite for subprime mortgages seemed to come from investors. In fact, it resulted in a large degree from the way traders at certain large banks used subprime mortgages in a strategy to make their profits seem much larger than they actually were. The effect of this “negative basis trade” strategy was to overpay employees of those banks and consequently eviscerate the banks’ abilities to withstand future economic uncertainty.

The appetite for subprime mortgages was also inflated by people who were betting that the housing market would fail.

Moreover, the devastation wrought by this strategy remains virtually a secret. The fact that it has been almost invisible and appears to have been entirely legal, demonstrates a set of vexing problems. First, that investigations of the crisis have not delved deeply enough, and second, that the deregulation so keenly sought by the financial services industry has made activities legal that by any common-sense standard should be criminal.

But the sponsors of this toxic trade did bother to make sure they had a powerful friend. The head of the firm in question gave substantial amounts of money by political contribution standards to Rahm Emanuel’s PACs, and only his PACs, over the period when


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Phil's Favorites

Tell Me a Story

 

Tell Me a Story

Courtesy of Scott Galloway, No Mercy/No Malice,@profgalloway

“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

                                                    — Robert Browning

Entrepreneur is a synonym for salesperson, and salesperson is the pedestrian term for storyteller. Pro tip: No startup makes sense. We (entrepreneurs) are all impostors who must deploy a fiction (i.e. story) that captures imaginations and capital to pull the future forward and turn rhyme into reason. No business I have started, at the m...



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Zero Hedge

US To Close Borders To Unvaccinated Canadian, Mexican Truckers On Saturday

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

By Nate Tabak of FreightWaves,

The U.S. will close its borders to unvaccinated and partially vaccinated Canadian and Mexican truck drivers on Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security said on Thursday.

“These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Long COVID: For the 1 in 10 patients who become long-haulers, COVID-19 has lasting effects

 

Long COVID: For the 1 in 10 patients who become long-haulers, COVID-19 has lasting effects

Long COVID appears to affect about one in 10 people who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Manali Mukherjee, McMaster University and Zain Chagla, McMaster University

Even as the unpredictable rise and fall of COVID-19 infections continues at home and around the world, a new and ugly pandemic-related problem is emerging.

We know it generically as “...



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Chart School

Bitcoin Swings Down to Support

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Come on! Seriously do you think a 400% rally for Bitcoin was going to be given to the public easily. Without any pain! Come on muppets!

The uniformed (public) buy when price is rising or breaking new highs, the informed buy when price is falling or breaking lows.

The informed have to do it this way as they are large volume players and the only way they can buy large volume is to create chaos. The chaos brings to the market the weak holders and a forced sell. Price is moved to where the volume can be accumulated, in a bull trend that is down to critical support.

Of course if price is in a true bull market the 'chaos' created should not break critical long term trend signals, the short and intermediate term signals are fair game. The next fe...

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ValueWalk

Elm Ridge 4Q21 Commentary: The Punch You Don't See

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Elm Ridge commentary for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2021, titled, “The Punch You Don’t See.”

Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

“Graham and Dodd investors are people who place a very high value on having the last laugh. In exchange for the privilege they have missed out on a lot of laughs in between.” – Michael Lewis

“It’s the punch you don’t see coming that knocks ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Nasdaq Weakness Has Bears Circling Tech Stocks!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

One theme over the past several months has been tech stock’s under-performance. And 2022 seems to be amplifying this theme as we kick off the new year.

Today’s chart focus is on the ratio of the Nasdaq Composite to the S&P 500 Index. We have shared this ratio a few times recently as the price pattern has become a concern.

As you can see in the chart, there’s a potential that the ratio double topped last year at the 2000 highs. And weakness this month has it attempting to break dual support at...



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Politics

What Supreme Court's block of vaccine mandate for large businesses will mean for public health: 4 questions answered

 

What Supreme Court’s block of vaccine mandate for large businesses will mean for public health: 4 questions answered

New York City’s vaccine mandates are unaffected by the court ruling. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Courtesy of Debbie Kaminer, Baruch College, CUNY

The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13, 2022, blocke...



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Digital Currencies

The metaverse is money and crypto is king - why you'll be on a blockchain when you're hopping

 

The metaverse is money and crypto is king – why you’ll be on a blockchain when you’re virtual-world hopping

In the metaverse, your avatar, the clothes it wears and the things it carries belong to you thanks to blockchain. Duncan Rawlinson - Duncan.co/Flickr, CC BY-NC

Courtesy of Rabindra Ratan, Michigan State University and Dar Meshi, Michigan State University ...



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Promotions

Phil's Interview on Options Trading with TD Bank

TD Bank's host Bryan Rogers interviewed Phil on June 10 as part of TD's Options Education Month. If you missed the program, be sure to watch the video below. It should be required viewing for anyone trading or thinking about trading using options. 

Watch here:

TD's webinar with Phil (link) or right here at PSW

Screenshots of TD's slides illustrating Phil's examples:

 

 

&n...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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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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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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