Posts Tagged ‘Wall St.’

Amazing Arrogance, Gall, Chutzpa, and Unmitigated Effrontery from Berkshire Hathaway

Amazing Arrogance, Gall, Chutzpa, and Unmitigated Effrontery from Berkshire Hathaway

Courtesy of Mish 

It’s hard to know exactly the precise words to describe the arrogance and unmitigated effrontery of Charles Munger, the billionaire vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, who today rattled off an insane barrage of insensitive comments regarding the bailouts.

Please consider Munger Says ‘Thank God’ Bailouts Came Before Handouts

Charles Munger, the billionaire vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., defended the U.S. financial-company rescues of 2008 and told students that people in economic distress should “suck it in and cope.”

“You should thank God” for bank bailouts, Munger said in a discussion at the University of Michigan on Sept. 14, according to a video posted on the Internet. “Now, if you talk about bailouts for everybody else, there comes a place where if you just start bailing out all the individuals instead of telling them to adapt, the culture dies.”

“Hit the economy with enough misery and enough disruption, destroy the currency, and God knows what happens,” Munger said. “So I think when you have troubles like that you shouldn’t be bitching about a little bailout. You should have been thinking it should have been bigger.”

Germany was unable to stabilize its financial system in the 1920s, and, Munger said, “We ended up with Adolf Hitler.”

Nauseating Insensitivity

If that kind of arrogant insensitivity does not make you nauseous, what will?

It’s hard to know where to start, but let’s start with a blatant lie. This was no "little bailout", this was a multitrillion bailout, not just from the Fed and Congress but from every central bank in the world.

One of the beneficiaries of course was billionaire Charles Munger. Middle class America was the loser.

Displays of Ignorance

The biggest display of ignorance in Munger’s rant is his comparison of the current financial mess to Weimar Germany. Forgive me for asking but pray tell in what kind of fairytale fantasyland is the current deflationary credit bust remotely related to the war reparations imposed on Germany after the end of World War I that gave rise to Hitler?

Need for a Culture Change

The ridiculous Weimar comparison was not the Munger’s most galling statement, however.

This is: “Now, if you talk about bailouts for everybody else, there comes a place where if you just start bailing out all the individuals instead of telling them…
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BERNANKE’S GREAT MONETARIST GAFFE

BERNANKE’S GREAT MONETARIST GAFFE

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

I had to chuckle at the headline on Yahoo Finance throughout much of Monday’s trading session:

rateshead BERNANKES GREAT MONETARIST GAFFE

It’s an accurate headline.  Mortgage rates have declined in recent weeks as U.S. government bonds have surged.  But the actual article was filled with very dramatic certainties (most of which were inaccurate and/or misleading).  For instance, the excellent Mark Zandi of Moody’s was quoted saying that we are seeing a once in a generation buying opportunity in real estate:

“It’s the best time in our generation to buy.  It may be the best time in any generation. Mortgage rates are so low and with homes prices down and lots of inventory, you couldn’t pick a better time to buy or re-finance.”

Wow, sounds like we should all go out and buy houses, right?  It gets rosier though.  The article details why we should all run out and buy houses immediately:

But the decline in rates probably won’t last long, analysts say. So homeowners need to move fast.

“I think they won’t last much longer than a month or two at the best,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. “I can see them going up to 5.5 percent by the end of June if not sooner.”

Move fast, huh?  Prices are low.  Rates are going back up.  That sounds pretty convincing.  If interest rates (and home prices) are only going to be low for a brief period then we should capitalize on that opportunity.  Right?   But then the article takes a dramatic turn for the worst when they try to explain the actual fundamentals behind the rising interest rate argument:

“The US is fortunate now that there’s no pressure on interest rates,” Yun goes on to say. “But going forward, higher rates will be needed for financing the debt.”

(Screeching sound).   Uh oh.  Here we go again with the hyperinflation, the USA is dying, the dollar is finished, higher interest rates will be needed to “finance our debt”, argument.  The dots are easy to connect in this article.  In essence, the article implies that interest rates are at record lows because investors have sought the safety of government bonds and mortgage rates have subsequently declined.  What they fail to expand on is why interest rates have been declining in recent weeks when, according to…
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So We Now Have “Financial Reform”?

So We Now Have "Financial Reform"?  

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Who are these guys trying to kid?

The most-important part of the bill, stopping derivative abuse, was watered down to the point of irrelevance.  The exceptions and exemptions that remain for OTC trading are big enough to drive 200 West Street through – sideways – and Goldman will do exactly that.

Nor did we re-impose a hard leverage cap.  You know, the one that existed before 2004?

Nor did we reinstate a hard deposit cap limitation.

Nor did we fix The Fed illegally usurping the appropriation power of Congress or impose an actual audit on them.

Nor did we fix the off-balance sheet or "mark to fantasy" BS – in short, the outright lies printed in so-called "financial reports" every quarter.

President Obama came to the podium yesterday afternoon to "applaud" the passage of the rookery bill in the Senate, looking like he had a laser designator on his forehead – or a load that was about to intrude into his pants.  In a delicious bit of irony the sellout he had just perpetrated on the American People was graphically illustrated by nature:

Many commentators have said that’s a rat – but it doesn’t look like one to me, unless someone chopped off it’s tail.  But no matter what it might be on a species basis it’s definitely a rodent.   The Rat in Chief got one-upped by Mother Nature.  If you don’t appreciate the irony…..

On the other side of things we have Europe, which is really just the shape of things to come here in the US in the near future.  Yeah, I know, everyone says it won’t happen here.  Uh huh.  They said Europe wouldn’t have it happen either a year ago.  "They" were wrong then and they’re wrong now.

There is no solution to the mess we’re in found in borrowing and spending more money.  Yet that’s been the "solution" to recession ever since… well…. forever.  At least since 1929. 

Why has it "worked" up until now?  Well it didn’t work in 2003, as the chart I’ve repeatedly posted showed.  All it did was "support" the economy perpetually and embed into the economic fabric structural deficits.  Medicare Part "D" was one of the most-outrageous of these acts undertaken by the Bush Administration, but it was by no means the only one.

We have lied our way into idocracy.  Bwarney Frank stepped…
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Market Manipulation, Systemic Risk and Fraud, Pure and Simple, And It Continues Today

Market Manipulation, Systemic Risk and Fraud, Pure and Simple, And It Continues Today

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

This article by the Financial Times should remove any doubt in anyone’s mind that Goldman Sachs was willfully selling fraudulent financial instruments. It appears that they were working in conjunction with Ratings Agencies, Mortgage Origination Firms, and Hedge Funds to cheat investors.

"Cheat" means to circumvent or distort the normal price discovery process through misrepresentation, price manipulation, and omissions and distortion of key data.

Carl Levin summarized the situation in his opening statement this morning in tying together various Congressional hearings and investigations into aspects of the recent financial crisis and the underlying frauds. It sounds remarkably like the frauds that Enron had so recently inflicted on the American public.

In particular, Congressman Levin gave a good description of the key role that derivatives played in this control fraud.

"Of special concern was Goldman’s marketing of what are known as “synthetic” financial instruments. Ordinarily, the financial risk in a market, and hence the risk to the economy at large, is limited because the assets traded are finite. There are only so many houses, mortgages, shares of stock, bushels of corn or barrels of oil in which to invest.

But a synthetic instrument has no real assets. It is simply a bet on the performance of the assets it references. That means the number of synthetic instruments is limitless, and so is the risk they present to the economy. Synthetic structures referencing high-risk mortgages garnered hefty fees for Goldman Sachs and other investment banks. They assumed an ever-larger share of the financial markets, and contributed greatly to the severity of the crisis by magnifying the amount of risk in the system.

Increasingly, synthetics became bets made by people who had no interest in the referenced assets. Synthetics became the chips in a giant casino, one that created no economic growth even when it thrived, and then helped throttle the economy when the casino collapsed."

This is also a good description of the basis of the emerging scandal in the silver market, and other commodity markets such as those that Enron manipulated, in which synthetic bets are being used to manipulate price, and improbable sales are being misrepresented under the cover of secrecy and opaque markets as…
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Zero Hedge

Shocktober: Stocks Suffer Worst Pre-Election Plunge In History

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The Hunt for a Red October is over... must be the Russians...

Global stocks suffered their worst week since March as it appears the constant liquidity pukage is losing its impact...

Source: Bloomberg

And US stocks (down 6-7% across the board) also saw their biggest weekly drawdo...



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ValueWalk

Mixed Trick or Treat Bag for US Retailers this Halloween

By Refinitiv. Originally published at ValueWalk.

As a result of the coronavirus restraining normal activities, including traditional Halloween events, such as trick or treating and costume parties, retailers are feeling the pinch of a scary Halloween season.

Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

In collaboration with StyleSage, Refinitiv reviews this year’s Halloween discounts and consumer purchasing behavior in the report: It’s a Mixed Trick or Treat Bag at Hallowee...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Are the S&P 500 Index and Crude Oil Peaking Together Again?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

The price of crude oil has been an important indicator of the economy for quite some time. When oil is in demand and performing well, the economy likely is. And when oil is not performing well, the economy likely isn’t either.

Taking this one step further, it’s easy to see how crude oil can be a solid indicator of the stock market as well.

Often times, investors receive a bearish or bullish message from this relationship. In today’s chart 2-pack, we illustrate how the relationship between the S&P 500 Index and the ...



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Phil's Favorites

Despite Its Five Felony Counts, the Federal Reserve Has Entrusted $2 Trillion in Bonds to JPMorgan Chase

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Imagine that your neighbor across the street had been criminally charged with five felony counts for financial crimes in the past six years and admitted to committing each and every crime to the U.S. Department of Justice. Would you put one-third of all of your money in a safe, give that neighbor the combination, and ask him to hold the safe in his house for you? You would probably be suited up for a straight jacket if you did something like that.

That’s effectively what the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, has done when it comes to JPMorgan Chase. As of this past Wednesday, the Fed ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Achieving COVID-19 herd immunity through infection is dangerous, deadly and might not even work

 

Achieving COVID-19 herd immunity through infection is dangerous, deadly and might not even work

Under relaxed public health restrictions, deaths will spike far before herd immunity is achieved. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Courtesy of Steven Albert, University of Pittsburgh

White House advisers have made the case recently for a “natural” approach to herd immunity as a way to reduce the need for ...



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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results. The information here is delayed by a few months, members get the most recent content.



Date Found: Monday, 18 May 2020, 03:35:21 AM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.


Comment: Ooh so pretty, so pretty, ooh so!



Date Found: Thursday, 21 May 2020, 01:03:17 AM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.


Comment: Charlie Lee: All Things Litecoin (#MimbleWimble, ...



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Politics

How to track your mail-in ballot

 

How to track your mail-in ballot

Make sure you know when your ballot is arriving, and whether it’s been accepted for counting back at your election office. erhui1979/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images

Courtesy of Steven Mulroy, University of Memphis

Many voters who want to participate in the election by mail are concerned about when they’ll receive their ballot – and whether it will get back in time to be counted.

The pandemic has caused interest in ...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin: the UK and US are clamping down on crypto trading - here's why it's not yet a big deal

 

Bitcoin: the UK and US are clamping down on crypto trading – here's why it's not yet a big deal

Where there’s a bit there’s a writ. Novikov Aleksey

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, University of Liverpool

The sale and promotion of derivatives of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to amateur investors is being banned in the UK by the financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is a...



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Mapping The Market

COVID-19 Forces More Than Half of Asset Management Firms to Accelerate Adoption of Digital Marketing Technology

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

There is no doubt that the use of technology to support client engagement initiatives brings both opportunities and threats but this has been brought into sharp focus this year with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis has brought to the fore the need for firms to enable flexibility in client engagement – the expectation that providers will communicate to clients on their terms, at their speed and frequency and on their preferred channels, is now a given. This is even more critical when clients are experiencing unparalleled anxiety from both market conditions and their own personal circumstances.

...

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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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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! 

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