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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Phil's Favorites

Is Elon Musk getting cold feet? Why the entrepreneur may be trying to pull out of buying Twitter

 

Is Elon Musk getting cold feet? Why the entrepreneur may be trying to pull out of buying Twitter

New twists and turns, as Elon Musk raises concerns about Twitter before the purchase deal is complete. (Patrick Pleul/Pool via AP, File)

Courtesy of Anup Srivastava, University of Calgary

Has Elon Musk developed cold feet? Is he experiencing buyer’s remorse? Or is he trying to create drama for the markets, true to his public persona? Or could Musk be negotiating for a better price?

Musk started buying Twitter stock in January. On March 14, he announced a 9.2 pe...



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Politics

Energy at the End of the World Seminar - Peter Zeihan

 

Energy at the End of the World Seminar - Peter Zeihan

Peter Zeihan's Seminar to Naval Post-Graduate Course

 

...

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Biotech/COVID-19

What is monkeypox? A microbiologist explains what's known about this smallpox cousin

 

What is monkeypox? A microbiologist explains what’s known about this smallpox cousin

Monkeypox causes lesions that resemble pus-filled blisters, which eventually scab over. CDC/Getty Images

Courtesy of Rodney E. Rohde, Texas State University

On May 18, 2022, Massachusetts health officials and the Centers for Disease Control ...



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Zero Hedge

Anti-Government Protests Spread In Iran After Flour-Based Food Staples Jump 300%

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Large-scale street protests have been raging in Iran since last week, as inflation and the war in Ukraine have driven flour-based food staples to jump by as much as 300% - this also after the government moved to cut food subsidies.

Amid the soaring prices, already in an economy devastated by years of US sanctions gong back to the Trump administration's pullout of the JCPOA nuclear deal, the central government has few options in terms of relief for the populace given assets abroad remain frozen.

Demonstrators have been outraged over food ...



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ValueWalk

3 Retailers That Defied First Quarter Headwinds

By MarketBeat. Originally published at ValueWalk.

These Retailers Gave Positive Guidance For 2022

The takeaway from Q1 earnings for the retailers (NYSEARCA:XRT) is slowing growth and margin compression. Those factors have the sector down across verticals but not all retailers are feeling the same pain. Companies like Footlocker, V.F. Corporation, and Canada Goose were not only able to limit damage to their margins but provide a positive forecast for the year. While we can’t promise conditions won’t worsen, we can say these high-quality apparel manufacturers are defying the odds and producing results. In two cases, a...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will Gold Miners (GDX) Decline Find Support At $30?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

It’s been a rough past few weeks for the Gold Miners ETF (GDX).

A bearish reversal in April has sent shares spiraling into May, down nearly 25%.

Today’s “weekly” chart of the Gold Miners (GDX) from Marketsmith.com highlights this reversal, as well as important technical support.

As you can see, GDX has come down sharply of late. But what’s important to note here is that the Gold Miners are testing critical price support at (1). As you can see, GDX is trading near the $30 level that has been price support and resistance several times over the past 6 years.

Will the sharp se...



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Digital Currencies

Stablecoin volatility shows an urgent need for regulation to protect consumers

 

Stablecoin volatility shows an urgent need for regulation to protect consumers

Shutterstock/David Sandron

Courtesy of Matthew Shillito, University of Liverpool

Some cryptocurrencies have always been fairly volatile, with values soaring or plunging within a short space of time. So for the more cautious investor, “stablecoins” were considered the sensible place to go. As the name implies, they are designed to be a steadier and safer bet.

At the moment though, that stability is proving hard to find. The value of o...



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Chart School

Powell doing a Volker to crush inflation, yeah right!

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

In 1979, Volker was equal to Goliath as he had a good chance of crushing inflation, today the debt Goliath is massive.

In the video below David Rosenberg explains the FED is on a 'Volker' mission to crush inflation no matter what happens to risk on assets like stocks.

David Rosenberg thinking is challenged when ask about the current US debt levels, as Paul Volker did say that he could not have crushed inflation with the debt levels of today.  David Rosenberg simply says the FED is going to hike no matter what, until something very serious breaks.

The question remains will something break in the markets after 1%, 1.5% or 2% hikes. No one knows. But as the US debt to GDP% is over 120% this suggests s...



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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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