Define irony: when the most vocal supporter of a dramatic change to the existing tax policy takes advantage of the last few days of the old one...
- BERKSHIRE HAS PURCHASED 9,200 OF CLASS A SHRS AT $131,000-SHR
- BERKSHIRE RAISED PRICE LIMIT FOR BUYBACKS TO 120% BOOK VALUE
- BERKSHIRE MAY BUY ADDED SHRS AT NO MORE THAN 120% BOOK VALUE
- BERKSHIRE BOOSTS BUYBACK PRICE LIMIT TO 120% BOOK VALUE VS 110%
A total $1.2 billion spent to avoid a few hundred million in new taxes. And now back to the hypocrticy of the "Buffett tax", and "Patriotic Millionaires for America." In other news, total donations to pay down the debt in Fiscal 2013 (starting October 1): $290,195.03.
Will Congress go over the fiscal cliff? Yes, we've been going for decades, really since the social unrest of the 1970s.
The details of the Spanish bad bank are being released and it is ugly - far uglier than many had expected. And while the Spanish government expects priovate interest to take some of this massively discounted 'crap' off their hands, we have three words: 'deleveraging' and 'no bid!'.
- *RESTOY SAYS BAD BANK AIMS TO BE PROFITABLE
- *SPAIN BAD BANK TO DISCOUNT LOANS AVG 46%; FORECLOSED ASSETS 63%
- *SPAIN AIMS FOR BAD BANK NOT TO COUNT TOWARDS PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
- *SPAIN TO DISCUSS BAD BANK WITH INVESTORS IN COMING DAYS
- *SPAIN BAD BANK TO INCLUDE FORECLOSED ASSETS, LOANS, STAKES
The Spanish government remain in a world of their own with this level of self-delusion. Discunt details below...
With the Associated Press report appended here, the German gold audit story has just exploded into the English-language press with some important revelations.
Overall, the acquisition of ANNB by FNB looks like a transaction that will create value for the acquirer’s shareholders, but it comes at a full price.
German Federal auditors handed in a report slamming the Bundesbank for not inspecting their foreign held gold reserves to verify their book value. The report says the gold bars "have never been physically checked by the Bundesbank itself or other independent auditors regarding their authenticity or weight." Instead, it relies on "written confirmations by the storage sites." The lion’s share of Germany's gold reserves (nearly 3,400 tons estimated at $190 billion) are housed in vaults of the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the Bank of France since the post-war days, when they were worried about a Cold War Soviet invasion. The Bundesbank stated, “There is no doubt about the integrity of the foreign storage sites in this regard". In contrast with best industry practices Germany’s gold reserves do not seem to be independently verified by a third party. Philipp Missfelder, a politician from Merkel’s own party, has asked the Bundesbank for the right to view the gold bars in Paris and London, but the central bank has denied the request, citing the lack of visitor rooms in those facilities, German’s daily Bild reported. The Bundesbank won't let German parliament members inspect the German gold vaulted abroad because the central bank vaulting facilities supposedly lack "visiting rooms." And yet one of those vaults, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, offers the public tours that include "an exclusive visit to the gold vault".
Our analysis of the physical gold market shows that central banks have most likely been a massive unreported supplier of physical gold, and strongly implies that their gold reserves are negligible today. If Frank Veneroso’s conclusions were even close to accurate back in 1998 (and we believe they were), when coupled with the 2,300 tonne net change in annual demand we can easily identify above, it can only lead to the conclusion that a large portion of the Western central banks’ stated 23,000 tonnes of gold reserves are merely a paper entry on their balance sheets – completely un-backed by anything tangible other than an IOU from whatever counterparty leased it from them in years past. At this stage of the game, we don’t believe these central banks will be able to get their gold back without extreme difficulty, especially if it turns out the gold has left their countries entirely. We can also only wonder how much gold within the central bank system has been ‘rehypothecated’ in the process, since the central banks in question seem so reluctant to divulge any meaningful details on their reserves in a way that would shed light on the various “swaps” and “loans” they imply to be participating in. We might also suggest that if a proper audit of Western central bank gold reserves was ever launched, as per Ron Paul’s recent proposal to audit the US Federal Reserve, the proverbial cat would be let out of the bag – with explosive implications for the gold price.... We realize that some readers may scoff at any analysis of the gold market that hints at “conspiracy”. We’re not talking about conspiracy here however, we’re talking about stupidity. After all, Western central banks are probably under the impression that the gold they’ve swapped and/or lent out is still legally theirs, which technically it may be. But if what we are proposing turns out to be true, and those reserves are not physically theirs; not physically in their possession… then all bets are off regarding the future of our monetary system.
After briefly attempting to stage a rise in the early overnight session, the EUR has since resumed its lower glidepath (something which Germany's export-focused economy and the only realy economic driver in Europe desperately needs: after all Europe is the only entity in the world whose central bank is working to promote a stronger currency) to the 1.2900 support, as once again Europe comes back into focus, exposing all its warts, scars and boils in perfect 1080HD resolution. Among the key events were a Spanish €4.00 billion bill sale as well as an Italian €3.94 billion 2 year bond sale, which despite selling at the maximum of the intended range, showed far less investor demand than on recent occasions, a development which Rabobank said is to be expected as the "Draghi effect" wanes, and once again Europe is left to its own devices. "The longer Spain delays on requesting bailout, the more the improvement in sentiment following Draghi’s pledge to save euro is likely to unwind" Richard McGuire, fixed income strategist at Rabobank, writes in client note. "Unraveling of “Draghi effect” may accelerate, with possible Moody’s downgrade this week and lack of progress at Oct. 8 Eurogroup summit." Other events out of Europe include the ongoing attempts in Spain to package lots of trash under the rug (see: Spanish Bad Bank Risks Investor Conflict With Stressed Lenders), the realization that the Swiss National Bank instead of continuing to exchange EUR for AUD, bought €80 billion of core debt according to S&P, the print of Italy's September consumer confidence which held near 15-Year lows, a French industrial sentiment which held near Two-Year lows, and so on. Greece too continues to make noises but it seems that the little country is being ignored by everyone. Catalonia's separatist tensions however are getting louder after the Barcelona province did not get the unconditional bailout it demanded (as we wrote yesterday).
With $1.6 Trillion In FDIC Deposit Insurance Expiring, Are Negative Bill Rates Set To Become The New Normal?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 09/24/2012 13:46 -0400
As we noted on several occasions in the past ten days, as a result of QE3 and its imminent transformation to QE4, which will merely be the current monetization configuration but without the sterilization of new long-term bond purchases, the Fed's balance sheet is expected to grow by over $2 trillion in the next two years. This also means that the matched liability on the Fed's balance sheet, reserves and deposits, will grow by a like amount. So far so good. However, as Bank of America points out today, there may be a small glitch: as a reminder on December 31, 2012 expires the FDIC's unlimited insurance on noninterest-bearing transaction accounts at which point it will revert back to $250,000. Currently there is about $1.6 trillion in deposits that fall under this umbrella, or essentially the entire amount in new deposit liabilities that will have to be created as a result of QEternity. The question is what those account holders will do, and how will the exit of deposits, once those holding them realize they no longer are government credit risk and instead are unsecured bank credit risk, impact the need to ramp up deposit building. One very possible consequence: negative bill rates as far as the eye can see.
Mr. Jenkins’ error rests on incomplete accounting and incorrect attribution analysis. In Frederic Bastiat’s terms, we have a confusion of what is seen and what is not seen.
The data suggests that relative to other tech companies AAPL is significantly overvalued. And going forward there is no guarantee that AAPL can justify today’s value by keeping up its dominance of the sector. Tech is an extremely fickle and fast-changing sector where one year’s turkey can be next year’s prize pig. And AAPL’s product lineup is still dominated by products developed under the charge of Steve Jobs — it will take a while longer to fully assess whether or not AAPL can succeed at the same magnitude over the entire product cycle from conception to sales without his leadership.
BoomBustBlog Challenges Face Ripping Facebook Share Peddlers That Left Muppets Faceless And Nearly 50% Poorer After IPOSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 08/17/2012 10:47 -0400
How anyone can possibly do asset management business with the Goldmans, Morgan Stanleys or JP Morgans of the world is beyond me, and to even hint that they have analysis or performance on par with the independent shops is even worse than those "yo mamma" jokes from grade school!
With bank exec heads rolling, investigations hotting up globally, politicians fuming and investors exercising caution in bank shares, the LIBOR scandal is fueling massive speculation about the long-term ramifications for the industry. Indeed, after all that the banking industry has faced in the wake of the bursting of the housing bubble, an anonymously quoted bank CEO in a recent Economist story proclaimed "This is the banking industry’s tobacco moment." While there are more reasons not to draw parallels between the banking industry now and the tobacco industry of the mid-1990’s than there are similarities, we thought it would be interesting to review the impact on Tobacco during its "moment", and beyond.
Since the 2009 stock market lows, Europe has demonstrated what happens to capital markets when there is no central planner willing and able to accept the risk of runaway inflation in the future (not to mention soaring deficits and deferred austerity) in exchange for instant stock market gratification right here, right now. End result: the French, Italian and Spanish stocks markets have barely budged since their 2009 lows (and Spain is well below). How does this look in the context of all global stock markets on a Price to Book ratio? The answer is below.
Facebook investors are about to get unliked...