Posts Tagged ‘Roddy Boyd’

A Reporter’s Notepad: My Almost Book On The Blame-Shifters

A Reporter’s Notepad: My Almost Book On The Blame-Shifters

Courtesy of Roddy Boyd, THE FINANCIAL INVESTIGATOR

Shadow Of Woman Writing

Editor’s Note: There is perhaps nothing so silly and attention-seeking as the reporter who willingly inserts him- or herself into a story for some narrative purpose or other, but I am going to make a (big) and one-time exception to this rule by posting this.

The backstory: Prior to committing to a book on AIG and its collapse, I had begun to pitch a book called “Shifting The Blame.”

The idea was simplicity itself: I’d take about eight or nine companies–from Overstock to Lehman, from Arthrocare to MBIA–who had hit the skids and who had, at some point, blamed some combination of reporters and short-sellers for their woes. As opposed to, say, embellishing their financials, lying, losing money, hiding losses, incompetence…you take the point. My goal was to fuse investigative reporting and the naturally dramatic arc of their sleazy behavior and comeuppances to make for an eye-opening read. I’d raise a few eyebrows, get some laughs, maybe make a deeper point about free speech, investigative reporting and the real scandals in the market.

My agent, summoning me to a breakfast one Saturday, said she loved the idea but, well, there was another book coming out by a fellow named Rick Sauer and it was going to hit on a few of the same themes. I lamely tried to suggest that Sauer’s book was an “Inside-the-SEC guy-turned-shortseller” type thing, where as my work was a series of inter-connected investigative essays.

No matter. The market is the market and the market didn’t, apparently, want two of these books. So I scrapped it.

This was the preface to the book, telling a story about an earnest PR guy who had the unenviable job of spinning a discredited yarn into gold for his revenge-hungry clients. I found it in a musty corner of the hard-drive and showed it to a few pretty smart former colleagues of mine who said they liked it.

I sort of do too. It’s dated, but like a hiss on an old record album, it gives it some gravity. Maybe.

The origin of this book lies with a series of phone conversations between myself and Jeffrey Lloyd, a partner at the public relations firm of Sitrick and Company, in the early autumn of 2008.

Lloyd, a courteous…
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AIG: Res Ipsa Loquitur

AIG: Res Ipsa Loquitur

Courtesy of Roddy Boyd, The Financial Investigator 

Scales

Editor’s Note: A graf was added describing the signal contribution of The Wall Street Journal’s Serena Ng and Liam Pleven in explaining the Securities Lending unit in a February 5, 2009 article. Rather than fold it into the graf where I describe how Miles Weiss and Andrew Ross Sorkin advanced the story, I chose to break it out seperately. Accountability and transparency, to say nothing of accuracy, is central to enterprise reporting and when I fall short, I seek to immediately remedy the situation.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s document release last Wednesday doesn’t offer the curious an answer to a question that hasn’t received much play since AIG’s collapse in September 2008.

The question is: “How Did AIG really collapse?”

Not: “How did they get in trouble?” Or: “Who is to Blame?”

But rather, what led to a firm that had a AA- rating, around $160-billion in market cap and $14-billion in profits–with real cash generation capacity to boot– in fiscal 2006 effectively go out of business in September 2008?

The answer is not Goldman Sachs.

It would be exceptionally easy–for no one more so than me since as I am in the process of writing a book on the collapse of AIG called Fatal Risk–if it had though.

The picture painted of Goldman Sachs, especially from legislators in Washington D.C. and the media–nowhere more so than the business desk of the New York Times–centers largely on the now infamous series of swaps that one of Goldman’s proprietary trading desks entered into with AIG as central to its collapse. In this view, Goldman’s meticulous enforcement of so-called credit support agreements and the billions of dollars in collateral calls forced upon AIG’s Financial Products unit is seen as fatal.

Yet months of investigation into the matter suggest a different answer: What killed AIG was much more likely the financial and managerial collapse within AIG Global Investment Corporation’s securities lending program.

The management of the unit, under Win Neuger, took a portfolio that had been throwing off about four basis points of profit since inception in the 1990s and in 2005 began imposing a 30-basis point profit target. Outside of the sheer impossibility of improving margins 7.5 times, the practical hurdles to obtaining creditworthiness and liquidity were formidable. So daunting, in fact, that creditworthiness and liquidity were tossed out and a…
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Zero Hedge

JCPenney Crashes After CEO Unexpectedly Quits To Join Lowe's

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

In the great race between JCPenney and Sears of which retailer will be the world's slowest melting icecube, and who will file Chapter 11 (or 7) first, today the former took a decisive lead when JC Penney’s CEO Marvin Ellison unexpectedly announced he is leaving the near-insolvent department store operator to join home improvement retailer Lowe’s.

The shocking announcement came less than 3 years after Ellison took the top job at JC Penney, following an activist attempt by Bill Ackman to "fix" JCPenney ended in disaster.

The ...



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Phil's Favorites

Flat Earthers vs climate change sceptics: why conspiracy theorists keep contradicting each other

 

Flat Earthers vs climate change sceptics: why conspiracy theorists keep contradicting each other

Would a flat Earth suffer from climate change? Shutterstock

Courtesy of Gareth Dorrian, Nottingham Trent University and ...



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Chart School

Narrow Trading Ranges Set Up New Breakout Opportunities

Courtesy of Declan.

The past few days have seen markets shape narrow mini-trading ranges, each following breakouts from larger consolidations. Large Caps show this best

The S&P cleared a dual 4-month and 6-week consolidation before shaping the past 8-day 'flag'. Look for a break of 2,740 and a push to challenge the next swing high at 2,800 - although a test of this should be enough to go on and challenge all-time highs.


The Dow Jones Index could be considered to have broken from its mini-consolidation. Volume was...

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Biotech

Could this be the year for a Canadian Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences?

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

 

Could this be the year for a Canadian Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences?

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

In 2013, Kyoto University’s Shinya Yamanaka was awarded one of the first Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences for his discovery of “induced” stem cells that enabled researchers to convert adult cells back into stem cells.

The Breakthrough Prize is not to be sneezed at. Founded in 2013, the prize “honours transformative advances toward understanding living systems and extending human life.” It’s also the most financially attractive aw...



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Insider Scoop

8 Stocks Moving In Monday's After-Hours Session

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related PTX Benzinga's Daily Biotech Pulse: FDA Panel Nod For Akcea, Synergy's Revenue Miss, FDA Warns E-Liquid Makers Again 18 Stocks Moving In Friday's Pre-Market Session Related 36 Biggest Movers From Friday ...

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Digital Currencies

5 Factors That Drive Bitcoin's Ups & Downs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

By Kayla Matthews via Hackernoon.com

The price of Bitcoin has been wildly volatile. From November to December 2017, it increased by 223 percent. It fell by 59 percent between January and February 2018, increased by 64 percent from February to March and then dropped again during March by 40 percent.

While this isn&r...



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ValueWalk

Buffett At His Best

By csinvesting. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Bear with me as I share a bit of my history that helped me create SkyVu and the Battle Bears games. The University of Nebraska gave me my first job after college. I mostly pushed TV carts around, edited videos for professors or the occasional speaker event. One day, Warren Buffet came to campus to speak to the College of Business. I didn’t think much of this speech at the time but I saved it for some reason. 15 years later, as a founder of my own company, I watch and listen to this particular speech every year to remind myself of the fundamentals and values Mr. Buffett looks for. He’s addressing business students at his alma mater, so I think his style here is a bit more ‘close to home’ than in his other speeches. Hopefully many of you find great value in this video like I have. Sorry for the VHS...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

The Stock Bull Market Stops Here!

 

The Stock Bull Market Stops Here!

Courtesy of Kimble Charting

 

The definition of a bull market or bull trends widely vary. One of the more common criteria for bull markets is determined by the asset being above or below its 200 day moving average.

In my humble opinion, each index above remains in a bull trend, as triple support (200-day moving averages, 2-year rising support lines, and February lows) are still in play ...



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Members' Corner

Cambridge Analytica and the 2016 Election: What you need to know (updated)

 

"If you want to fundamentally reshape society, you first have to break it." ~ Christopher Wylie

[Interview: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles' – video]

"You’ve probably heard by now that Cambridge Analytica, which is backed by the borderline-psychotic Mercer family and was formerly chaired by Steve Bannon, had a decisive role in manipulating voters on a one-by-one basis – using their own personal data to push them toward voting ...



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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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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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