Bank of New York
German lawmakers are to review Bundesbank controls of and management of Germany’s gold reserves. Parliament’s Budget Committee will assess how the central bank manages its inventory of Germany’s gold bullion bars that are believed to be stored in Frankfurt, Paris, London and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, according to German newspaper Bild. The German Federal Audit Office has criticised the Bundesbank’s lax auditing and inventory controls regarding Germany’s sizeable gold reserves – 3,396.3 tonnes of gold or some 73.7% of Germany’s national foreign exchange reserves. There is increasing nervousness amongst the German public, German politicians and indeed the Bundesbank itself regarding the gigantic risk on the balance sheet of Germany's central bank and this is leading some in Germany to voice concerns about the location and exact amount of Germany’s gold reserves. The eurozone's central bank system is massively imbalanced after the ECB’s balance sheet surged to a record 3.02 trillion euros ($3.96 trillion) last week, 31% bigger than the German economy, after a second tranche of three-year loans. The concern is that were the eurozone to collapse, Bundesbank's losses could be half a trillion euros - more than one-and-a-half times the size of the Germany's annual budget. In that scenario, Germany’s national patrimony of gold bullion reserves would be needed to support the currency – whether that be a new euro or a return to the Deutsche mark. The German lawmakers are following in the footsteps of US Presidential candidate Ron Paul who has long called for an audit of the US’ gold reserves. It is believed that some 60% of Germany’s gold is stored outside of Germany and much of it in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Nearly two years after his catastrophic foray into Op-Ed writing, here is Tim Geithner's latest, this time making the hypocritical case to "not forget the lesson from the financial crisis"... which he himself ushered on America as head of the New York Fed. Frankly we are quite sure it is not even worth reading this drivel: the unemployed man walking has been a total disaster during his entire tenure (at both the New York Fed where he supervised all the banks that subsequently fell, and the Treasury), and we are fairly confident that reading anything written by this pathological failure will cost collective IQs to drop by 10 points at a minimum. Hey Tim: is there a risk the US can get downgraded? Any risk?
UK Parliament Member Lord James of Blackheath Alleges 15 Trillion Dollar Fraud Involving the Fed and Imaginary GoldSubmitted by George Washington on 02/29/2012 20:55 -0400
$15 Trillion Dollar Fraud … Or Nigerian Style Scam?
Since nobody else has any interest in downtown NY real estate, Goldman's Bill Dudley, currently incidentally in charge of the New York Fed, has decided to step up. "The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed) today announced that it has acquired the building at 33 Maiden Lane for $207.5 million from Merit US Real Estate Fund III, L.P. and established a new, wholly owned limited liability company called Maiden & Nassau LLC to serve as owner of the building. The acquisition provides a cost-effective, long-term alternative to the current practice of leasing space in this and other buildings and allows for greater control over maintenance, operation and security of the building." As a reminder, the 9th floor of 33 Liberty is where the ever elusive, but always present Plunge Protection Team, pardon the "markets group" at the Federal Reserve is housed (more here). And although in recent days it is no secret that the bulk of Fed open market stock order are routed via that one certain HFT powerhouse out of Chicago, it is always a good idea to keep all the market manipulating facilities under one roof. And so, the Fed now will have full domain over everything that transpires under its own roof. And since the building likely has an extended basement, it provides Dudley, and his muppet Ben Bernanke with a convenient location where to store the soon to be confiscated 107 tons of Greek gold.
The real world revolves around cash flow. Families across the land understand this basic concept. Cash flows in from wages, investments and these days from the government. Cash flows out for food, gasoline, utilities, cable, cell phones, real estate taxes, income taxes, payroll taxes, clothing, mortgage payments, car payments, insurance payments, medical bills, auto repairs, home repairs, appliances, electronic gadgets, education, alcohol (necessary in this economy) and a countless other everyday expenses. If the outflow exceeds the inflow a family may be able to fund the deficit with credit cards for awhile, but ultimately running a cash flow deficit will result in debt default and loss of your home and assets. Ask the millions of Americans that have experienced this exact outcome since 2008 if you believe this is only a theoretical exercise. The Federal government, Federal Reserve, Wall Street banks, regulatory agencies and commercial real estate debtors have colluded since 2008 to pretend cash flow doesn’t matter. Their plan has been to “extend and pretend”, praying for an economic recovery that would save them from their greedy and foolish risk taking during the 2003 – 2007 Caligula-like debauchery.
Debt default means huge losses for the Wall Street criminal banks. Of course the banksters will just demand another taxpayer bailout from the puppet politicians. This repeat scenario gives new meaning to the term shop until you drop. Extending and pretending can work for awhile as accounting obfuscation, rolling over bad debts, and praying for a revival of the glory days can put off the day of reckoning for a couple years. Ultimately it comes down to cash flow, whether you’re a household, retailer, developer, bank or government. America is running on empty and extending and pretending is coming to an end.
The Sophisticated and the Scammed – MBS Trusts Keeping Assets on the Books Long After they are LiquidatedSubmitted by 4closureFraud on 02/21/2012 12:28 -0400
This is just a small example of what we are uncovering. If we learned anything from the robosigning scandal, if there are more than two “irregularities,” there are thousands.
One thing is for certain, the litigation is beginning to shift from minor players to major players at the core of the Financial Crisis. Investors take note, this is a major shift and needs to be monitored as it will have major implications for market dynamics going forward.
- New Greek demands threaten debt deal (FT)
- Greek Finance Minister Heads to Brussels; Loan Talks Stall (WSJ)
- Talks Stalled on Greek Bailout as Venizelos Heads to Brussels (Bloomberg)
- US banks near historic deal on foreclosures (FT)
- Obama: Europe needs "absolute commitment" on debt crisis (Reuters)
- Fed's Lacker sees no need for more easing for now (Reuters)
- Europe compromise urged at summit (China Daily)
- China to Punish Illicit Bank Lending, Shanghai Securities Says (Bloomberg)
- Monti Meets Obama Amid ’Spectacular Progress’ (Bloomberg)
- Draghi’s First 100 Days Presage Greek Help (Bloomberg)
The last time the Fed tried to dump Maiden Lane 2 assets via a public auction in a BWIC manner, it nearly crashed the credit market. This time, the FRBNY, headed by one ex-Goldman Sachs alum Bill Dudley, has decided to go back to its shady, opaque ways, and transact in private, with no clear indication of the actual bidding process or transaction terms, and sell $6.2 billion in Maiden Lane 2 "assets" to, wait for it, Goldman Sachs, the same firm that would benefit in the first place if AIG's assets imploded (remember all those CDS it held on AIG which supposedly prevented it from losing money if AIG went bankrupt?). One wonders: does Goldman have a put option on the ML2 portfolio if the market experiences a sudden and totally impossible downtick some day? But all is well - we have assurance from the Fed that the sale happened in a "competitive process." Luckily, that takes care of any appearance of impropriety.
And so we've come full circle. The WSJ is reporting that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will be seeking bids by the middle of this week for roughly $6 Billion dollars worth of residential mortgage backed securities currently held in Mainden Lane II. This would be on the heels of a $7 Billion dollar sale on January 19th to Credit Suisse.
It was only logical that following its most profitable year in history, the world's most successful hedge fund (by absolute P&L), which generated $77 billion in profit in the past year, would follow up with mass promotions. In other news, it is now more lucrative, and with better job security, to work for the FRBNY LLC Onshore Fund as a vice president than for Goldman Sachs as a Managing Director. Also, since one only has to know how to buy, as the ancient and arcane art of selling is irrelevant at this particular taxpayer funded hedge fund, think of all the incremental equity that is retained courtesy of a training session that is only half as long.
Much has been said about the secretive vault situated 80 feet below ground level at 33 Liberty street, which contains over 20% of the world's gold (allegedly*), currently estimated at over $350 billion. Some have even robbed it: with the barrier between fantasy and reality a blur, courtesy of the total farce we live in which has rendered the IPO of TheOnion impossible, there is nothing wrong with actually believing Die Hard With A Vengeance did in fact happen. But if your knowledge of the vault is limited to the perspective of one John McClane, you are missing our on a lot. Which is why the new York Fed, in those rare occasions when it is not monetizing debt, and/or telling Citadel which securities to buy, has been courteous enough to put together "The Key To The Gold Vault" - the official brochure of the warehouse where more gold is stored than at any other place in the world.
The CDS index market remains one of the most liquid sources of hedges and positioning available (despite occasional waxing and waning in volumes) and is often used by us as indications of relative flows and sophisticated investor risk appetite. However, as Kamakura Corporation has so diligently quantified, the broad CDS market (specifically including single-names) remains massively concentrated. This concentration, evidenced by the Honolulu-based credit guru's findings that three institutions: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank National Association, have market shares in excess of 19% each has shown little to no reduction (i.e. the market remains as closed as ever) and they warn that this dramatically increases the probability of collusion and monopoly pricing power. We have long argued that the CDS market is valuable (and outright bans are non-sensical and will end badly) as it offers a more liquid (than bonds) market to express a view or more simply hedge efficiently. However, we do feel strongly that CDS (indices especially) should be exchange traded (more straightforward than ever given standardization, electronic trading increases, and clearing) and perhaps Kamakura's work here will be enough to force regulators and the DoJ to finally turn over the rock (as they did in Libor and Muni markets) and do what should have been done in late 2008 when the banks had little to no chips to bargain with on keeping their high margin CDS trading desks in house (though the exchanges would also obviously have to step up to the plate unlike in 2008).
- Fed Holds Off for Now on Bond Buys (Hilsenrath)
- Bonds Show Return of Crisis Once ECB Loans Expire (Bloomberg)
- Greek Debt Talks Enter Third Day After ‘Substantial’ Discussions (Bloomberg)
- Sharp clashes at Republican debate ahead of vote (Reuters)
- Lagarde Joins Warning on Fiscal Cuts Before Davos (Bloomberg)
- Investors exit big-name funds as stars fail to shine (Reuters)
- Payday lenders plead case to consumer agency (Reuters) - the EFSF included?
- EU Toughens Fiscal Pact Bowing to ECB Objections, Draft Shows (Bloomberg)
- Minister Urges Japan to Use Strong Yen (FT)
- China Eyes Pension Fund Boost for Stock Market (Reuters)
- China Manufacturing Contraction Boosts Case for Easing: Economy (Bloomberg)