Financial Accounting Standards Board

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Guest Post: Trying To Stay Sane In An Insane World - Part 1





Facts are treasonous and dangerous in an empire of lies, fraud and propaganda. It is maddening to watch the country spiral downward, driven to ruin by a psychotic predator class, while the plebs choose to remain willfully ignorant of reality and distracted by their lust for cheap Chinese crap and addicted to the cult of techno-narcissism. We are a country running on heaping doses of cognitive dissonance and normalcy bias, an irrational belief in our national exceptionalism, an absurd trust in the same banking class that destroyed the finances of the country, and a delusionary belief that with just another trillion dollars of debt we’ll be back on the exponential growth track. The American empire has been built on a foundation of cheap easily accessible oil, cheap easily accessible credit, the most powerful military machine in human history, and the purposeful transformation of citizens into consumers through the use of relentless media propaganda and a persistent decades long dumbing down of the masses through the government education system. This national insanity is not a new phenomenon. Friedrich Nietzsche observed the same spectacle in the 19th century: “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”

 
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Frontrunning: June 27





  • Hilsenrising interest rates Business Feels Pinch of Swift Rate Rise (WSJ)
  • Yellen Betting Defies 100-Year Jinx of Fed No. 2 Never Elevated (BBG)
  • No sign of cyber leaker Snowden on flight to Cuba (Reuters)
  • Back to the Future 2 is finally coming: Honda Sees ‘Flying Sports Car’ Making Profit by Decade’s End (BBG)
  • Europe’s Richest Person Kamprad to Move Back to Sweden (BBG)
  • Li’s Shock Treatment to China Lenders Evokes Ex-Reformer (BBG)
  • In India, Gold-Related Shares Melt Down (WSJ)
  • Citigroup Opens in Iraq to Tap $1 Trillion of Oil Spending (BBG)
  • France warned on budget deficit  (FT)
 
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Mark-To-Market Manipulation Hides $90 Billion Losses For UK Banks





Some have attributed the resurrection of the financial markets (or more appropriately the banks) from the March 2009 lows to the IASB/FASB changes to factual to fantasy accounting. The Telegraph reports today that from PIRC's and the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee that while banker bonuses continue to rise (for now), 'hidden' losses among UK banks could total GBP60 Billion (USD 90 Billion). HSBC topped the list with GBP10.4 Billion in bad debts that have yet to be written off and while the 'accounting' bodies are suggesting they will address criticism of this farce, as one analyst notes, they "can still make unprofitable lending appear profitable." Regulators expect to hear plans from lenders on how they intend to fill these holes before the end of the month to coincide either with the FPC’s meeting on March 19 or a statement scheduled for March 27. While outright recaps are unlikely, banks are expected to restructure and set out plans to raise their capital levels over the next couple of years. More fantasy...

 
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A Primary Dealer Cash Shortage?





When one thinks of the US banking system, the one thing few consider these days is the threat of a liquidity shortage. After all how can banks have any liquidity strain at a time when the Fed has dumped some $1.7 trillion in excess reserves into the banking system? Well, on one hand as we have shown previously, the bulk of the excess reserve cash is now solidly in the hands of foreign banks who have US-based operations. On the other, it is also safe to assume that with the biggest banks now nothing more than glorified hedge funds (courtesy of ZIRP crushing Net Interest Margin and thus the traditional bank carry trade), and with hedge funds now more net long, and thus levered, than ever according to at least one Goldman metric, banks have to match said levered bullishness to stay competitive with the hedge fund industry. Which is why the news that at noon the Fed reported that Primary Dealer borrowings from its SOMA portfolio, which amounted to $22.3 billion, just happened to be the highest such amount since 2011, may be taken by some as an indicator that suddenly the 21 Primary Dealers that face the Fed for the bulk of their liquidity needs are facing an all too real cash shortage.

 
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MF Global Hearing Live





Today's primetime popcorn event is about to begin: as reported earlier, the House Financial Services Committee will hold an oversight and investigations hearing on the collapse of MF Global, beginning at 3 pm. The hearing will focus on the decisions during the company's final days that led to the disappearance of up to $1.6 billion in customer funds. The party line is that "The investigation aims to "not only to find out where the money went but to identify what went wrong in order to prevent this from happening again," Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) said." What instead will happen is that a bunch of politicians will huff and puff, and nothing will happen once again, because to take down Corzine, would mean to start eating away at the entire rotten core of today's captured political system, which has and always will be run out of Wall Street. It will also be amusing to listen to Edith O’Brien plead the Fif

 
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Previewing Today's MF Global Hearing





Today at 2 PM, the House Financial Services Committee will hold its third hearing (and the fifth overall) on the ever more confounding topic of MF Global, its bankruptcy, and its vaporized client funds, which amount to about $1.6 billion at last check. And while Jon Corzine will not be there, virtually everyone else from the firm who can promise that said vaporitzation of funds was merely a softward glitch and not the fault of anyone in particular, will be present, from the General Counsel, to the CFO, to the Deputy General Counsel of JPMorgan, all the way to Edith O'Brien, assistant treasurer of MF Global, who is expected to plead the Fifth. One wonders why if there is nothing to hide, but that is the topic of another discussion. And as exposed last week by the WSJ, this hearing will be particularly interesting as now it has been made clear that Corzine specifically gave the order to transfer funds to JPM's account. As NJ.com summarizes: "Per JC’s direct instructions." This line, contained in an email that an MF Global finance official sent to explain a $200 million transfer to JPMorgan Chase from an MF Global account containing customer funds, will be a focal point of a congressional hearing today into the futures firm’s collapse. The email, disclosed in a congressional memo circulated Friday, has raised questions about whether the former governor and CEO of MF Global knew customer money was being used to plug holes in the firm’s finances as it plunged into bankruptcy during the last week of October. As much as $1.6 billion of client funds has gone missing, according to a trustee liquidating the futures firm."

 
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