Markets

It’s True, People Lose 10 IQ Points When Talking About The Fed

Ron Paul’s Fed Transparency Act, which would require a fresh outside audit of the Fed, has passed the House, though it faces an uphill climb in the Senate.It’s got a lot of internet-borne support (duh!) in part, probably, cause nobody knows what the hell the Fed is or does, but […]
It’s True, People Lose 10 IQ Points When Talking About The Fed
Markets

Bernanke Was Right To Threaten Ken Lewis, Here’s Why

Ben Bernanke’s performance on Capitol Hill doesn’t make him look so great. At issue is whether he overstepped his bounds by pushing Bank of America (BAC) to stick with its Merrill Lynch acquisition, while (possibly) threatening Ken Lewis with termination if he invoked a (legally dubious) MAC clause.
Bernanke Was Right To Threaten Ken Lewis, Here’s Why
Markets

Ben Bernanke On The Hill

Ben Bernanke’s appearance on Capitol Hill begins at 10:00, and you can watch it online here at C-SPAN (Nobody cares enough anymore to embed it, it would seem). The question: Did Bernanke and Paulson abuse their power to force Bank of America (BAC) to swallow Merill Lynch, and did they […]
Ben Bernanke On The Hill
Markets

Do These Emails Doom Ben Bernanke?

Here’s some reading material for you in advance of tomorrow’s big hearings on the hill concering the Fed’s and Treasury’s role in the Bank of America (BAC)/Merrill Lynch merger.
Do These Emails Doom Ben Bernanke?
Markets

Cramer Freaks Out Over Congressman Attacking Bernanke

There was a time when Jim Cramer didn’t like Bernanke. You know, early on in 2007 he accused Bernanke of being asleep at the switch. But with the crisis abating, Cramer’s decided that Bernanke is the greatest Fed Chair ever, and he’s not happy that Darrell Issa would question Bernanke’s […]
Cramer Freaks Out Over Congressman Attacking Bernanke
Markets

Buffett: Yes, We’re Monetizing The Debt

Tim Geithner says it’s impossible because we have a strong independent Federal Reserve, but Warren Buffett has no reason to be politically correct. And in his interview with CNBC, he told Becky Quick: we are monetizing the debt. We are using printed paper to pay our government.
Buffett: Yes, We’re Monetizing The Debt
Markets

Deflation: It’s Back

At some point in the last month, everyone came to the conclusion that Ben Bernanke had whipped deflation (“it”), and that the only question left was how to avoid inflation once the economy rebounded.
Deflation: It’s Back
Markets

Is The Mafia Behind The Huge Haul Of Probably Phony Bonds In Italy?

So it looks like those Treasury bills discovered in the false bottom of a suitcase carried by two Japanese businessmen were probably counterfeit, and may be the handiwork of the Italian Mafia. An Italian blog reported today that Colonel Rodolfo Mecarelli of the Como provincial finance police had said  the […]
Is The Mafia Behind The Huge Haul Of Probably Phony Bonds In Italy?
Markets

Actually, Krugman Was A Huge Advocate Of The Housing Boom

All day Paul Krugman has been involved in a brouhaha over a 2002 column which seemed to be advocating a housing bubble to get us out of the recession. He says he wasn’t calling for a bubble, just that he was just explaining Alan Greenspan was trying to do.
Actually, Krugman Was A Huge Advocate Of The Housing Boom
Markets

JPMorgan Chase Repays All Of Its TARP Funds

JPMorgan Chase has repaid in full the $25 billion preferred stock investment it accepted through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the company said today. It also plans to inform the Treasury today of its intent to repurchase the 10-year warrant issued to the Treasury in connection with the preferred investment.
JPMorgan Chase Repays All Of Its TARP Funds
Markets

Weisenthal Talks The $134.5 Billion Bond Seizure On Glenn Beck

Surprise surprise. Fox News is the only “mainstream” US news outlet to be interested in the story of the $134.5 billion in (probably fake) bonds that were seized in Italy. Host Glenn Beck had us on to talk about the story, and they even got the first quote from the […]
Weisenthal Talks The $134.5 Billion Bond Seizure On Glenn Beck
Markets

Dick Bove: Bank of America Faces “Horrific” Loan Losses

Dick Bove has a decidedly mixed track record in predicting bank performance through the financial crisis. For quite some time, Bove has been bullish on Bank of America. So the headlines about his call today got our attention. “In the second quarter, (Bank of America’s) position as the largest lender […]
Dick Bove: Bank of America Faces “Horrific” Loan Losses
Markets

This Guy’s Getting More Power

The White House is set to unveil its much-anticipated revamp of the financial regulatory system this Wednesday, reports WSJ. Among the big, new changes: The Federal Reserve is set to get the power to unwind and shut down large institutions as the FDIC currently has for more plain vanilla banks.
This Guy’s Getting More Power
Markets

Duh, Of Course The Rally Is Inflation Driven

What’s odd about market conspiracy theories (plunge protection teams, weird ‘buy programs’ etc.) is that there’s a perfectly sane-sounding explanation that’s no less worrisome: That all the buying is the result of the massive amount of cash that governments have poured onto the market.
Duh, Of Course The Rally Is Inflation Driven
Markets

The Fed Gives Its First Tightening Warning

With more and more people convinced that the recession will be over this year, this week officially marked the beginning of the discussion: When does the Fed go into tightening mode to prevent inflation? CNBC even did a long segment with inflation hawk James Grant.
The Fed Gives Its First Tightening Warning
Markets

D-I-Y Stress Tests

From Reuters:  Mike at Rortybomb has the blog entry of the year I think; the background is here. Essentially he’s found a Rosetta-stone like table on page 6 of the stress test results, and has used it to create a fabulous spreadsheet which allows you to plug various different unemployment […]
D-I-Y Stress Tests
Markets

The Mortgage Uptick Just Killed The NYC Housing Recovery

I live on Bedford and South First in Williamsburg.  There is a building around the corner selling for $550,000, do I buy it? No brainer right?  Well, first check property shark and try to find one block that doesn’t have a brown field.  Then watch this little documentary: Toxic Williamsburg […]
The Mortgage Uptick Just Killed The NYC Housing Recovery
Markets

Bond Dealers Say Futures Traders Are Wrong

Fed funds futures contracts have been indicating a growing sense that the Federal Reserve will raise its interest rate targets by November. By Monday, the futures were showing a 58 per cent probability yesterday of a rate increase.
Bond Dealers Say Futures Traders Are Wrong
Markets

Peter Schiff On The Daily Show (VIDEO)

Peter Schiff was on The Daily Show last night. Believe it or not, he’s not joined the whole green shoots parade. He’s still talking about things like letting banks fail. That’s sooo March. Anyway, at least this disproves the idea that Schiff has been shunned by the mainstream media.
Peter Schiff On The Daily Show (VIDEO)
Markets

Did The Government Reject Any Applications To Repay TARP?

The Treasury announcement today that 10 of the largest  financial institutions participating in the TARP’s Capital Purchase Program have met the requirements for repayment carefully avoided answering one important question: did any financial instituion fail to meet the requirements?
Did The Government Reject Any Applications To Repay TARP?
Markets

Tim Geithner Is Protecting Vikram Pandit

Earlier today we mentioned that the government should be considering seizing Citigroup and breaking it up. Unfortunately, it seems that the Obama administration is going in the opposite direction: protecting Citi’s chief executive from FDIC bosslady Sheila Bair, who has been agitating for changes to Citi’s top management.
Tim Geithner Is Protecting Vikram Pandit
Markets

Seize Citi!

It’s terrific news that 10 large financial firms are going to repay the TARP funds. But we’re still a long way from restoring market processes in the financial sector and getting taxpayers off the hook for Wall Street’s mistakes.
Seize Citi!
Markets

Treasury Finally Makes It Official: 10 Firms Can Repay The TARP

This morning the Treasury Department revealed that it has given the greenlight to repay $68 billion in TARP funds to 10 large financial institutions. At 10, the number of institutions given the greenlight is higher than many earlier reports had estimated. The Wall Street Journal, for instance, said this morning […]
Treasury Finally Makes It Official: 10 Firms Can Repay The TARP
Markets

TARP Overseer: Time To Run The Stress Tests All Over Again!

TARP overseer Elizabeth Warren was on CNBC this morning, and since she’s always kind of a downer they stuck her on at 7:10, while people were in the car or the shower. But she actually had some interesting and reasonable points to make, including the fact that since unemployment is […]
TARP Overseer: Time To Run The Stress Tests All Over Again!
Markets

Obama Scales Back Financial Regulatory Overhaul

One of the big complaints about our regulatory system is that we have a lot of different bodies regulating different parts of the financial system and that the proverbial right hand doesn’t know what the left one is doing.
Obama Scales Back Financial Regulatory Overhaul
Markets

Krugman Against Ferguson: What Do Rising Treasury Yields Really Mean?

What does the recent rise in treasury yields mean for the economy?  The debate currently raging between Paul Krugman and Niall Ferguson pits traditionalists who think rising yields signal rising investor confidence against declinists who think yields are rising because the US is trashing its currency by monetizing debt. Unfortunately, […]
Krugman Against Ferguson: What Do Rising Treasury Yields Really Mean?
Markets

Yield Curve Flattens, Steepener Trade Blows Up

After several days of a rapidly-steepening yield curve, with traders dumping the long end of the curve, things are reversing themselves a bit. Today it’s traders selling the short end, ostensibly on fears that a Fed rate hike could come before the end of the year, leading to a more […]
Yield Curve Flattens, Steepener Trade Blows Up
Markets

Cramer’s Famous Bernanke Rant Was Weirdly Good (VIDEO)

We mentioned this earlier in the day, but we thought it was worth separating into its own post. Cramer’s famous BERNANKE WAKE UP rant from August, 2007 was weirdly good, particularly for all the crap Cramer takes for his theatrics. All that stuff about the bond market being horrible, how […]
Cramer’s Famous Bernanke Rant Was Weirdly Good (VIDEO)
Markets

Hyperventilating Over Hyperinflation

Are you among the many freaked freaked out by the steepening yield curve, convinced it means the world is pricing in massive inflation? Well, maybe it is, but first take a deep breath.
Hyperventilating Over Hyperinflation
Markets

Krugman: All This Inflation Fear-Mongering Is A Right-Wing Plot

All this talk about inflation, hyper-inflation, an inability to pay off our debts, printing money, the steepening yield curve… Paul Krugman is having none of it. Not only that, he argues in his latest column, it’s all being driven by conservatives eager to torpedo the Presiden’t recovery efforts.
Krugman: All This Inflation Fear-Mongering Is A Right-Wing Plot
Markets

World Markets Freak Out After Treasury Yields Spike

The big story that everyone will be talking about is the rapidly increasing yield on longer-term maturities, and what that means for both the economic recovery and the US’ ability to finance its gigantic debt. Matters of previously theoretical concern (what happens if the world doesn’t want to keep financing […]
World Markets Freak Out After Treasury Yields Spike
Markets

Momentum Builds For Ron Paul’s “Fed Transparency” Act

For years, Ron Paul has been a lone voice in Congress, questioning the wisdom of the Federal Reserve — both its various chairmans and the institution itself. His dogged questioning of Alan Greenspan, and then Ben Bernanke, make for great TV (otherwise, those hearings are total snoozefests).
Momentum Builds For Ron Paul’s “Fed Transparency” Act
Markets

Phew — Look Who’s Bearish Again

Former Fed Chief Alan Greenspanis usually a bit more sanguine on things, having recently pronounces his bullishness on stocks. So we wonder what his angle is with this.
Phew — Look Who’s Bearish Again
Markets

Fed Could Spend Trillions More On Quantitative Easing

The Fed has already spent $1.25 trillion to buy up Treasury securities in a (somewhat futile) attempt to reduce interest rates, spur borrowing and weaken the dollar. Unfortunately, Treasury rates have been climbing lately. It hasn’t worked. But it sounds like the Fed plans to do more of it. Whatever […]
Fed Could Spend Trillions More On Quantitative Easing
Markets

600 Banks Fail Stress Test

The Wall Street Journal has run its own version of the the Fed’s stress test on 900 small and midsize institutions, and it claims they’ll see losses of about $200 billion by the end of next year.
600 Banks Fail Stress Test
Markets

Yes, It’s True, The Stress Tests Were A Joke

The “stress tests” accomplished their main goal, which was to boost confidence in the banks enough that private investors would dig into their pockets and throw some money at them.  So hats off to Tim Geithner for engineering that one.
Yes, It’s True, The Stress Tests Were A Joke
Markets

Now Obama Wants Pay Caps At ALL Banks

The Obama administration is thinking seriously about setting wage controls across all of Wall Street, including at firms that haven’t taken TARP money, says the Wall Street Journal. 
Now Obama Wants Pay Caps At ALL Banks
Markets

Bernanke On The Stress Tests

At the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta 2009 Financial Markets Conference, Jekyll Island, Georgia May 11, 2009 The Supervisory Capital Assessment Program
Bernanke On The Stress Tests
Markets

Which CEOs Should Be Stressed Right Out Of Their Jobs?

So now that Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, and Sheila Bair have put banks  on notice that anyone who failed the stress test and needs to raise new capital (or recycle government capital) will need to review their existing management and board of directors, people are asking what this means.
Which CEOs Should Be Stressed Right Out Of Their Jobs?
News

Bad Bond Auction Accused Of Killing The Market

We’re still clinging to our theory that it was Manny Ramirez that killed the stock market. When people realised that our most charished national institution deserved as much trust as a AAA-rating on your CDO, they sold stocks and lsot confidence.
Bad Bond Auction Accused Of Killing The Market
Markets

BofA And Citi Given 30 Days To Fire Their CEOs

The results of the stress test are due to be released at 5:00 PM to ensure minimum news cycle impact, and the Feds have released a statement on what to expect. By this point, there’s been so much leaking and throat clearing, it almost seems like an old story at […]
BofA And Citi Given 30 Days To Fire Their CEOs
Markets

Stress Test Results Charted

We’ll have to wait for tomorrow to get the official stress test results. But in the meantime, EconomPic Data, using data compiled by Calculated Risk, has prepared a useful chart of banks’ purported capital needs as a percentage of their bank assets. (Hat Tip: FT Alphaville)
Stress Test Results Charted
Markets

Will Anyone Investigate The Stress Test Leaks?

The level of leaks coming out today about the stress test results that are scheduled to be official released tomorrow is simply outstanding. It’s all happened without much comment about the appropriateness of this kind of material information about public companies being leaked out through the press.
Will Anyone Investigate The Stress Test Leaks?
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