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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Shangai Index Soars Higher, Testing 11-Year Breakout Level!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is the Shanghai Index (SSE) about to experience a long-term breakout and send the world a bullish message?

An 11-year breakout test is in play that will answer this question.

The Shanghai index trend continues to send a bullish message, as it has created a series of higher lows for the past 24-years above line (1).

This long-term support line was tested at the March lows at (2) and it held.

The rally off the lows has the index testing dual resistance at (3).

Will this important index succeed in breaking out? If it does at (3), it will send a very bu...



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Phil's Favorites

As U.S. buys up remdesivir, 'vaccine nationalism' threatens access to COVID-19 treatments

 

As U.S. buys up remdesivir, ‘vaccine nationalism’ threatens access to COVID-19 treatments

Are we really all in this together? ‘Vaccine nationalism’ must be addressed to ensure equitable distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Pixabay)

Courtesy of Joel Lexchin, University of Toronto

At the end of June, the United States government announced that it had ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

As U.S. buys up remdesivir, 'vaccine nationalism' threatens access to COVID-19 treatments

 

As U.S. buys up remdesivir, ‘vaccine nationalism’ threatens access to COVID-19 treatments

Are we really all in this together? ‘Vaccine nationalism’ must be addressed to ensure equitable distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Pixabay)

Courtesy of Joel Lexchin, University of Toronto

At the end of June, the United States government announced that it had ...



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Zero Hedge

Prins: "We're Living In A Permanent Distortion"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Via Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com,

Three time best-selling book author Nomi Prins says long before the Covid 19 crisis, the global economy was faltering big time. The Fed stepped in with the start of massive money printing in late 2019 to save the day. 

Prins explains, “We were already in crisis mode as I mentioned at the end of my last book going into 2019."

"What did we see at the end of 2019?  We saw this pivot, and I call it phase two. . ...



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ValueWalk

Facebook Stock Crashes Due To Ad Boycott - Key Investing Points

By Sven Carlin. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) stock crashed 8.32% on Friday because of the announced ad boycott by many companies like Unilever, Coca Cola, recently Starbucks on Sunday that might push the stock down even more during this week.

Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

However, investing is about knowing how to differentiate between the noise and fundamentals and we discuss Facebook's recent news and compare it to FB fundamentals.

  • Facebook stock crash
  • Ad boycott
  • Facebook stock volatility
  • Facebook's fundamentals
  • Be sure of volatility
  • My po...


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Chart School

Golds quick price move increases the odds of a correction

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Every market corrects, maybe profit taking, maybe of allowing those who missed out, to get in!


The current open interest on the gold contract looks to high after a very fast price move, it looks like 2008 may be repeating. A quick flushing out of the weak hands open interest may take place before a real advance in price takes place. The correction may be on the back of a wider sell off of risk assets (either before of after US elections) as all assets suffer contagion selling (just like 2008).

This blog view is a gold price correction of 10% to 20% range is a buying opportunity. Of course we may see  a very minor price correction but a long time correction, a price or time is correction is expected, we shall watch and...

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The Technical Traders

Wild Volatility Continues As US Markets Attempt To Establish New Trend

Courtesy of Technical Traders

We’ve continued to attempt to warn investors of the risks ahead for the US and global markets by generating these research posts and by providing very clear data supporting our conclusions.  Throughout the entire months of May and June, we’ve seen various economic data points report very mixed results – and in some cases, surprise numbers as a result of the deep economic collapse related to the COVID-19 virus event.  This research post should help to clear things up going forward for most traders/investors.

As technical traders, we attempt to digest these economic data factors into technical and price analysis while determining where and what ...



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Lee's Free Thinking

These Charts Show COVID 19 Is Spreading in the US and Will Kill the Economy

 

These Charts Show COVID 19 Is Spreading in the US and Will Kill the Economy

Courtesy of  

The COVID 19 pandemic is, predictably, worsening again in much of the US. Only the Northeast, and to a lesser extent some Midwestern states, have been consistently improving. And that trend could also reverse as those states fully reopen.

The problem in the US seems to be widespread public resistance to recommended practices of social distancing and mask wearing. In countries where these practices have been practi...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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

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

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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