"TCW separately announced that Jeffrey E. Gundlach has been relieved of his duties as TCW's Chief Investment Officer and lead portfolio manager of TCW's high-grade fixed income funds and accounts and removed from the Board of Directors of TCW Group, Inc. The firm deeply regrets the need to take this action. Mr. Gundlach threatened to take certain actions that could have jeopardized the firm's ability to manage clients' fixed income assets. The firm had no alternative but to take the necessary steps to ensure the continuity and stability of its high-grade fixed income business and the highest standard of attention to client's interests." - TCW
And so Goldman will be forced to start revising its forecasts ever lower. Revised GDP came out at 1.3% versus preliminary annualized numbers of 4.8%. Now that's a miss that would make even the BLS and the D.C. propaganda bureau blush. Expectations were for 2.8% GDP.
It appears the only thing worse in this world than a measly $500,000 salary is getting no salary at all. And that's exactly what is about to happen to AIG General Counsel, Anastasia Kelly, who before joining the bankrupt firm, was a GC at such reputable organizations as MCI/WorldCon (sic) and Fannie Mae. To paraphrase the objections against a very prominent Treasury Secretary recently, the question is not whether or not she will leave the job, the question is how she got it in the first place. Kelly, who recently was protesting the $500k salary cap imposed by Pay Despot Ken Feinberg, yet was in Benmosche's black book, will likely be out of the organization, presumably involuntarily, by year end. We are confident that with the economy rocking she will be able to find a job that pays her much more in line with her true skills... which based on her track record hopefully involves more than leading three sequential companies straight into bankruptcy.
Spreads ended the day mixed in the US today with very low intraday ranges and only marginal moves as HY just outperformed IG. Breadth was modestly negative as TMT and CONSumer names underperformed. We note that credit has outperformed equity in the last couple of days as the dollar has sprung higher and perhaps this is another of the coal-mine's canaries that risk-aversion (think steam behind the run) is hitting stocks.
Geithner is in the blender, and Obama may be set to hit the liquefy (while pulsating) button. As the public is screaming for metaphoric blood, Obama may have finally decided to bring his lobbying efforts direct to Wall Street (instead of its coming to him via Timmy and Larry whispering sweet nothings). Which is why the President is meeting with top bankers once again this coming Monday. Of course, the pretext is innocuous, but many see this as Jamie Dimon's coronation moment, and the first step in his official transition into the public arena.
Gold is a hedge against a world monetary order on its death bed. The events of 2008 gave a
preview of a world without credit. When the dollar based paper money regime has gasped its
last, what will replace it? Will gold assume an official role? It is impossible to say. Currencies
of the future could quite possibly bifurcate, with some taking the form of scrip such as food
stamps, medical vouchers, or air miles used strictly for transactional purposes. An optimist
would hope that gold could perhaps coexist with government scrip as a vehicle for saving and
wealth preservation. However, that remains to be seen. Anything less would imply a world less
Austrian and more Orwellian.
For the contrarian, life has become more difficult even as it has become more gratifying. The
commotion surrounding gold makes the contrarian strand of thought harder to detect. It is not
that we don’t welcome the “Johnny come latelys” to the hard money cause. They are, for the
most part, elite investment thinkers who have a history of sound decision making. However, we
no longer enjoy the luxury of peace and quiet or as much time to reflect. Our periodic sanity
checks, based on the makeup of the opposition, are somewhat less frequent and perhaps not as
reliable. Still, we perceive that gold continues to be under owned and misunderstood by most.
While it is no longer enough to observe that the metal is of interest based on universal apathy, it
is safe to say that it has a long way to go before it becomes mainstream.
Grayson Rips Bernanke Over Latest AIG Bailout, Insinuates Attempted IRS Fraud In Grossly Illegal DealSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/08/2009 - 17:32
It has been a while since Alan Grayson had a public appearance. Today the man comes back with a bang.
Peter Santoro, Managing Director and Head of Institutional Markets at somehow still troubled hedge fund Citadel, has left for greener pastures, according to our rumor bag. One hopes it is not to join another former Citadel specialist, Misha Malyshev, former head of quant trading at the Chicago fund, who also bolted earlier this year and is currently embroiled in litigation with his former mothership. The departure of such a high profile trader right before bonus season is very suspect to say the least. In other news, Citadel is well on its way to becoming Jefferies-lite, after the "hedge fund" is close to finalizing the terms of the Targa Resources $150 million TL A and $550 million TL B.
It seems like yesterday that Bob Toll was propounding the benefits of stimulus packages for housing and the ever improving status of new home sales (solidly grounded in the same sands as Dubai is now sinking into). Yet while we at Zero Hedge have enjoyed taking repeated stabs at Mr. Toll's seemingly endless selling of his own stock, we have not learned our lesson. Which is why we present his insider transaction in a new and original way, courtesy of Bloomberg. As the image indicates, Mr. Toll's money is roughly 180 degrees from where his mouth is.
Mexican Stock Exchange Shuts Down For "Administrative Recess", Or Merely Redefining The Siesta BreakSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/08/2009 - 14:20
Merely Siesta break? Or something more... getting more information.
- Yields 1.223% vs. Exp. 1.229%
- Bid-To-Cover 2.98 vs. Avg. 2.92 (Prev. 2.62)
- Indirect Bid-to-Cover 1.32
- Indirects 60.9% vs. Avg. 57.70% (Prev. 54.15%)
- Alloted high 50.40%
Senate Panel Wants To Decide Bernanke's Fate On December 17, As Volcker Blasts Fin Innovation, Demands Return To Glass SteagalSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/08/2009 - 14:07
79% of America's population (those who know who the Fed Chairman is, and unanimously want him never to step into the hallways of the Marriner Eccles building ever again) has 10 more days of hope, before a Senate panel votes against the broad desires of more than two thirds of America's population, and votes for Bernanke's renomination, thus setting off on a course of virtually guaranteed financial catastrophe. Dow Jones reports: "A U.S. Senate panel will vote Dec. 17 on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's nomination to serve a second term as head of the central bank, the Senate Banking Committee said Tuesday." In the meantime, Volcker once again demands a return to Glass Steagal. His warnings continue to fall on ears enclosed by a tentacular vice grip.
Even as the BLS and the administration are trying to cover up the real state of unemployment affairs using assorted semantic gimmicks of just what it means to be unemployed, and as companies provide adjusted EPS numbers, while actual earnings continue to collapse, the true barometer of spending, provided by the Financial Management Service, tax withholdings (net of refunds), continues to paint the truest picture of just what is really happening with both America's consumer and the corporate world. And it ain't pretty. On a rolling 12 month basis, individual tax withheld has dropped by nearly 8% YoY, from $1.42 trillion to $1.31 trillion, while company witholdings are down a whalloping 64%, from $274 billion to just under $100 billion! This is money that will never be used to pay down the skyrocketing US deficit, because both the US consumer and average US company are simply not collecting the required cash to line the Treasury's pockets with the one traditional way to pad the deficit: taxes. Expect much, much, much more debt issuance in America's short, medium and long-term future.
The WSJ reporting that Istithmar, the investment arm of Dubai's royal family, has lost the foreclosure auction for the Union Square W Hotel, which as we pointed out a month ago was the most likely next CRE casualty. The winner: mezzanine specialist LEM Capital. We wish them all the best. Presumably this means the bottle service at the Underbar has all but dried up. Do you see what happens Larry when the bouncer doesn't rotate the B&T crowd to keep the banker-folk happy? And this happening even with all-time record bonuses? Travesty.