Bank of America

Here We Go: Moody's Downgrade Is Out - Morgan Stanley Cut Only 2 Notches, To Face $6.8 Billion In Collateral Calls

Here we come:

  • MOODY'S CUTS 4 FIRMS BY 1 NOTCH
  • MOODY'S CUTS 10 FIRMS' RATINGS BY 2 NOTCHES
  • MOODY'S CUTS 1 FIRM BY 3 NOTCHES
  • MORGAN STANLEY L-T SR DEBT CUT TO Baa1 FROM A2 BY MOODY'S
  • MOODY'S CUTS MORGAN STANLEY 2 LEVELS, HAD SEEN UP TO 3
  • MORGAN STANLEY OUTLOOK NEGATIVE BY MOODY'S
  • MORGAN STANLEY S-T RATING CUT TO P-2 FROM P-1 BY MOODY'S
  • BANK OF AMERICA L-T SR DEBT CUT TO Baa2 BY MOODY'S;OUTLOOK NEG

So the reason for the delay were last minute negotiations, most certainly involving extensive monetary explanations, by Morgan Stanley's Gorman (potentially with Moody's investor Warren Buffett on the call) to get only a two notch downgrade. And Wall Street wins again.

Taibbi Is Back With The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia

Someday, it will go down in history as the first trial of the modern American mafia. Of course, you won't hear the recent financial corruption case, United States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm, called anything like that. If you heard about it at all, you're probably either in the municipal bond business or married to an antitrust lawyer. Even then, all you probably heard was that a threesome of bit players on Wall Street got convicted of obscure antitrust violations in one of the most inscrutable, jargon-packed legal snoozefests since the government's massive case against Microsoft in the Nineties – not exactly the thrilling courtroom drama offered by the famed trials of old-school mobsters like Al Capone or Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo. But this just-completed trial in downtown New York against three faceless financial executives really was historic. Over 10 years in the making, the case allowed federal prosecutors to make public for the first time the astonishing inner workings of the reigning American crime syndicate, which now operates not out of Little Italy and Las Vegas, but out of Wall Street.

Guest Post: Who Destroyed The Middle Class - Part 2

The middle class has a gut feeling they are being screwed by somebody, they just can’t figure out who to blame. The ultra-wealthy elite keep up an endless cacophony of propaganda and misinformation designed to confuse an increasingly uneducated and willfully ignorant public while blurring the facts for those educated few capable of understanding the truth. They have been able to keep the masses dumbed down through government run education; distracted by sports, reality TV, Facebook, internet porn, and igadgets; lured by mass media messages of materialism; and shackled with the chains of debt used to acquire the goods sold by mega-corporations. We’ve become a society oppressed by a small faction of ultra-wealthy masters served by millions of impoverished, uneducated, sedated slaves. But the slaves are getting restless and angry. The illegally generated wealth disparity chasm is growing so large that even the ideologue talking head representatives of the elite are having difficulty spinning it. Even uneducated rubes understand when they are getting pissed on.

Big Bank Downgrade By Moody's Imminent

Even as Moody is now about a week late on its Spanish bank downgrade where the banks are rated higher than the sovereign (which obviously is kept in check to prevent yields on bonds from soaring even more), here comes the next wholesale bank downgrade:

  • Moody's expected to announce ratings downgrade for UK banks this evening - Sky Sources
  • Exclusive: Big news - I'm told Moody's will announce downgrades of some of world's biggest banks, incl in UK, after US mkts close tonight. - Sky's Mark Kleinman

Looks like that fabricated 2 notch Margin Stanley downgrade (because 3 notches just won't do - those 4 months of Gorman-led "negotiations" made that painfully clear) is about to strike. The real question is: What Would Egan Who Do?

Guest Post: The Economic Abuse Of Veterans In America

Volunteering to join the military has always been a process rife with internal and external conflictions.  A vital aspect of one’s ultimate decision to do so often depends greatly upon the era in which one becomes eligible.  U.S. citizens leaped at the chance to defend their country at the onset of World War II because the enemies were indeed a legitimate and obvious threat to the freedom and sovereignty of all nations.  During Vietnam, the waters were muddied (at least in the view of millions of citizens), and many Americans did not see the fight as their own.  The line between our system, and the enemies we were supposed to despise, had become progressively more foggy and disjointed.  For any wise and honorable man to go out of his way to risk his life, the fight must be clearly just, otherwise, he may feel that his death will serve no purpose.  No matter what era of war an American soldier happens to take part in, his desire is usually simple and honest; most seek to defend the underlying principles of freedom which have guided the soul of this country for generations.  They seek a righteous cause, and transparent leadership.  Unfortunately, for decades, sincere leadership by our government, from Washington D.C. down to the good-old-boy networks of county politics, has all but been erased.  Not even a trace of truth permeates the bedrock of our legal or bureaucratic structure anymore.  The system has become so corrupt, so leprous and putrid, that it now actually influences originally honorable men and women to do great evil just to survive and to thrive.  Our administrative structure encourages and even breeds thieves, murderers, and tyrants.  It is a self-perpetuating monster machine. 

Overnight Summary: All Must Pray For Saint Bernanke Absolution

The key headline in the overnight session was that China was willing to add a token pittance to the IMF "warchest" even as it itself is struggling to find ways to stimulate its economy. Ignore that China had demands of a complete quota overhaul that would see China nearly on par with the US in voting rights, something the US, which incidentally have exactly $0.00 to the bailout effort, would agree to. The amount that warchest has increased to is now $456 billion. It was $430 billion in April just to keep things in perspective. Hardly the Deus Ex the EURUSD is trying hard to make it appear. In the meantime, a gaping hole, as large as $350 billion has opened in Spain. And that excludes the hundreds of billions that will shortly be needed by Italy. Also out of Greece we get rumors that a government may or may not be formed. As to how long said pro-bailout government will last when over half the country voted against he memorandum, that is a different question entirely. Overall, expect a quiet session with everyone praying loudly that Bernanke will launch a new LSAP program tomorrow. If the Chairman does something far less spectacular like merely expanding Twist or raising the maturity of bonds for sale from 1-3 year to 1-4 year, the market will not be happy. Lastly, the G-20 came, ordered lots of shrimp Ceviche at the best restaurants Las Ventanas and One and Only Palmilla has to offer (charge the taxpayers of course), and conquered nothing. But issued a statement that they hope things will fix themselves all over again. In short: nothing but solid reasons for the futures to be up, up, and away.

Overnight Sentiment: Nothing New Under The Iberian Sun

That economic data out of Europe was disappointing overnight should come as no surprise to anyone. That Spain is broke, and there is no money to bail it out under the existing framework (and that Germany is unwilling to come up with a new bailout scheme), should also be no surprise. And yet they somehow manage to stun the market... each and every day. Which is why overnight action has now boiled down to a simple algorithmic exercise: is there a short covering squeeze: if yes, then rip, aka Risk On. If not, then Risk Off. So far, the squeeze has not been initiated which is also to be expected, following the biggest short covering squeeze in up to two years. This too may change if repo desks decide to pull borrow as they tend to do during regular hours, to give the impression that the latest and greatest bailout plan is "working." And in other news, which is completely irrelevant, here is the actual news.

China Joins Global Easing Party By Cutting The Lending And Deposit Rates By 25 bps

Update: 9:00 am has come and gone... and no global bailout unlike November 30, 2011. Not a good sign for those expect a central-bank D-Day.

While minutes ago the Bank of England followed in the ECB's footsteps, it was the China central bank that stole England's thunder, announcing an unexpected rate cut moments before 7 am, and thus finally joining the global easing party: this was the first Chinese interest rate cut since 2008. As a reminder, hours before the global central bank intervention on November 30, China announced its first (50 bps) reserve requirement cut since 2008. Is today's PBOC move, which is the first cut of deposit and 1 year lending rates also since 2008, a harbinger of something much bigger to come any second now?

And Then There Were Three...

Last September we were delighted to bring you the following great news:

DAVID BIANCO NO LONGER WORKS AT BOFA, SPOKESWOMAN SAYS

Now, we are even more delighted to bring you the following breaking news:

BLACKROCK CHIEF EQUITY STRATEGIST BOB DOLL TO RETIRE

And then there were three...

Frontrunning: June 4

  • Spain Seeks Joint Bank Effort as Pressure Rises on Merkel (Bloomberg)
  • Banks Cut Cross-Border Lending Most Since Lehman: BIS (Bloomberg)
  • Shirakawa Bows to Yen Bulls as Intervention Fails (Bloomberg)
  • Merrill Losses Were Withheld Before Bank of America Deal (NYT)
  • Investors Brace for Slowdown (WSJ)
  • China's lenders ordered to check bad loans (China Daily)
  • Obama Seeks Way Out of Jobs Gloom (WSJ)
  • Noda Reshuffles Japan Cabinet in Bid for Support on Sales Tax (Bloomberg)
  • China to open the market further (China Daily)
  • Australian Industry Must Adapt to High Currency, Hockey Says (Bloomberg)
  • Tax-funded projects to be more transparent (China Daily)