Sometimes I have to actually read articles twice, because it really seems that I have somehow missed the point the first time around. Well, on my third glance at this Bloomberg article, I still don't get it: SLM Sells Debt at Higher Interest Rate Than Students Pay
Fed Announcement: No Change, "Exceptional" And "Extended" Language Remains, Vote 9-1, Hoenig Did Not Want "Extended Period"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/16/2010 13:17 -0500
The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period. Voting against the policy action was Thomas M. Hoenig, who believed that continuing to express the expectation of exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period was no longer warranted because it could lead to the buildup of financial imbalances and increase risks to longer-run macroeconomic and financial stability.
I have warned my readers about following myths and legends versus reality and facts several times in the past, particularly as it applies to Goldman Sachs and what I have coined "Name Brand Investing". Very recent developments from Senator Kaufman of Delaware will be putting the spit-shined patina of Wall Street's most powerful bank to the test, as it appears he ain't playin'. Here's the speech from the esteemed Senator from Delaware (yes, the most corporate friendly state in this country), complete with an analysis that you will NEVER see in the mainstream media!!!
And so we learn that the Fed will get even bigger, Volcker will get some love, the SEC will be self-funded, the Fed's (lack of) disclosure requirements, Obama will soon likely appoint Blankfein to head the FRBNY, and that there is absolutely no mention of the undoubtedly biggest problem for the US economy - the GSEs - as usual.
How Lehman, With The Fed's Complicity, Created Another Illegal Precedent In Abusing The Primary Dealer Credit FacilitySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/13/2010 14:44 -0500
Five months ago, Zero Hedge observed the nuances of the Federal Reserve's Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF) and concluded that this artificial liquidity boosting construct was nothing more than yet another scam to allow banks to extract ever more money from taxpayers, with the complicit blessing of the Federal Reserve Board Of New York (as the original piece also provided an in-depth discussion of the triparty repo market which is now a parallel to the buzzword of the day in the form of Lehman's "Repo 105" off balance sheet contraption, it should serve as a useful refresher course to anyone who wishes to understand why while Repo 105 with its $50 billion in liability contingency may have been an issue, the true Repo market, with over $3 trillion of likely just as toxic assets, is where the real pain in the future will come from). The PDCF would allow assets of declining and even inexistent value to be pledged as collateral, thus making sure that taxpayer cash was funneled into sham institutions holding predominantly toxic assets, and whose viability was and is limited, yet still is backed by the Fed, which to this day continues to pour our money into them. Today, with a tip from the NYT's Eric Dash, we demonstrate just how grossly negligent the Federal Reserve was when it came to Lehman's abuse of the PDCF, and how the trail of slime of Lehman's increasingly obvious manipulation of its books goes to the very top of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and its then governor - a very much complicit Tim Geithner.
The "Repo 105" Scam: How Lehman Fooled Everyone (Including Allegedly Dick Fuld) And How Other Banks Are Likely Doing This Right NowSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/11/2010 17:53 -0500
Presenting a detailed look at "Repo 105" - the next soundbite sure to fill the airwaves over the next weeks and months, as more and more banks are uncovered to be using this borderline criminal accounting gimmick to make their leverage ratios look better. This is the first time we have heard this loophole abuse by a bank, be it defunct (Lehman) or existing (everyone else). There should be an immediate investigation into how many other banks are currently taking advantage of this artificial scheme to manipulate and misrepresent their cap ratio, and just why the New York Fed can claim it had no idea of this very critical component of the Shadow Economy.
As companies quietly and gradually move their pension funds out of stocks, buying long-term bonds, public pension plans are seeking higher returns to make up for ground lost in the last couple of years and to pay all the benefits promised to present and future retirees. As they "double up to catch up", are they putting pensions at risk?
The reality is that as the fluff was written down, reported earnings slumped 90% in the bear market and the S&P 500 dropped 60%. This is why the market bottom occurred a year ago with valuations at stretched levels relative to previous troughs. What changed were the rules of engagement as the Fed blew out its balance sheet in support of the mortgage industry, the government guaranteed the survival of the large banks, the shorting industry was sharply curtailed and the banks were allowed to hide losses again on their illiquid assets via accounting changes that were foisted onto the SEC from Congress in the name of saving the system. And of course, a government deficit that is now running at a record $1.5 trillion, and the spending to get the economy going has been so acute that even if revenues had not gone down with the economic turndown, the budget gap would still far exceed the $1 trillion mark. - David Rosenberg
When the time comes to tighten monetary policy, the Federal Reserve will be embarking on a tightening cycle like no other in its history. First, this tightening cycle will have two policy dimensions, in that the FOMC will have to decide on the path of its asset holdings in addition to the path of the short-term interest rate. Second, we will be using tools to drain reserves that are new and that will have to be implemented on a scale that the Fed has never before tried. And third, we will be operating in a framework of interest on reserves that has not been fully tested in U.S. markets. - Brian Sack, Executive Vice President and Undisputed Head of the Fed's Markets Group, Rumored Head of Mythical Plunge Protection Team.
Chairman Frank, Ranking Member Bachus, and other members of the Committee, I am pleased to present the Federal Reserve's semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.
Although the recession officially began more than two years ago, U.S. economic activity contracted particularly sharply following the intensification of the global financial crisis in the fall of 2008. Concerted efforts by the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, and other U.S. authorities to stabilize the financial system, together with highly stimulative monetary and fiscal policies, helped arrest the decline and are supporting a nascent economic recovery. Indeed, the U.S. economy expanded at about a 4 percent annual rate during the second half of last year... Etc
Some of the top secret AIG bailout info is out. One Goldman Sachs Guess who's at
the heart of it, making money by creating straight trash, selling it to
its clients then buying insurance to benefit from its inevitable
crash? I quote "divulging the names of the [trash] CDOs could erode their value: “We will be hurt because traders in the market will know what we’re holding.”.
Former Head Of Morgan Stanley Research And Global Strategy Slams Equity Rally: "It Is As Finite As The Excess Liquidity From QE"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/23/2010 15:56 -0500
David Roche, former Head Of Morgan Stanley Research And Global Strategy, and currently president of Independent Strategy shares perspectives that should be read closely by any bull who believes that there is anything else to this market rally than pure liquidity driven euphoria riding on the coattails of the Fed's Quantitative Easing program. Deconstructing one by one all the myths that make up the arsenal of every pundit who appears on CNBC to talk up their book, Roche concludes "Of course, the insider game between financial institutions and the central banks can go further. But we do not want to be a part of it because it is unsustainable. It is as finite as QE." And QE is ending in one month, at about the same time when Greece will have to bailed out as its money will finally run out. About 30 days and counting.
And Back To Greek Downgrade Triggers: Moody's Puts AAA Rating Of Most Greek Structured Finance Products On Downgrade ReviewSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/19/2010 10:25 -0500
Moody's has just placed $27 billion of AAA-rated bonds backed by Greek loans on review for possible downgrade due to increasing stress in the domestic economy. In essence thiscovers all Greek structured finance and covered bond transactions. Which is odd because Papandreou for the 1,485,384,495.4th time has just said that Greece is not looking for bailouts. Just this once, we will take Moody's word over someone else's.
Much has been said on these pages and elsewhere about the dangers embedded within quant groupthink, in which an ever increasing prevalence of fewer performing factors means that more and more speculators (note: not investors) line up on the same side of the trade pushing up offers, only to experience a regime change based on some heretofore unexpected exogenous event which renders existing signal translation models useless, and causes all former buyers to join the sellers. Whether that would result in a bidless market remains to be seen. If October 1987 is any indication, all signs point to yes. Yet in a sign that at least the bigger bankers may be anticipating just such an outcome, the Economist has disclosed that JP Morgan, in addition to reserving for general loan loss provisions on its balance sheet, has now taken a $3 billion reserve against quant error (yes, quants can be wrong... and for a lot of money at that). Just how many other investment banks demonstrate this kind of prudence? Without any specific regulatory guidelines for quant capital provisioning, we have no idea. While the bulge brackets may have joined JPM in a comparable form of "insurance" it is a certainty that the thousands of newly cropped up quant trading firms not only have no such reserves, but should a dramatic market reversal transpire, it is inevitable that wholesale asset dumping will have to take place to cover losses. And this assumes no leverage. Is the market prepared for such a contingency?
Minneapolis Fed President Kocherlakota Warns Massive Debt Load Can Only Be Paid By Tax Collections Or Debt MonetizationSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/16/2010 13:12 -0500
Minneapolis Fed's recently appointed president Narayana Kocherlakota had his first public speech before the Minnesota Bankers Association. His remarks on the economy were significantly much more cautious than some of the other Bernanke sycophants. While the Fed President espouses the need for bank regulation by the Fed (to be expected, the inverse would be equivalent to mutiny), Kocherlakota is much less sanguine than his Fed colleagues about the prospects for the $1+ trillion in excess reserves and how these may lead to (hyper)inflation in the future. His remarks that the only way to fix the debt excesses: increased taxes and debt monetization (even more so than to date), should let many readers reconsider just how appropriate the Fed is to regulate a system which never changes but keeps on keeping on, changing absolutely nothing in its policy approach, and merely hoping that a rising stock market (with or without its invisible hand) is sufficient to fix everything.