Echoing Charlie Munger, Oaktree's Howard Marks warns today's institutional and retail investors that "everything that’s important in investing is counterintuitive, and everything that’s obvious is wrong." These words seem critically important at a time when the world and his pet rabbit is a self-proclaimed stock-picking export. Be "uncomfortably idiosyncratic," Marks advises, noting thaty most great investments begin in discomfort as "non-conformists don’t enjoy the warmth that comes with being at the center of the herd." Dare to be different is his message, "dare to be wrong," or as Charlie Munger told him, "it’s not supposed to be easy. Anyone who finds it easy is stupid." While Marks philosophically adds that "being too far ahead of your time is indistinguishable from being wrong," he warns the lulled masses that "you can’t take the same actions as everyone else and expect to outperform."
In the last election it was the Millennials (18-29 year olds) that brough President Obama home on his hope and change miracle tour; but now, just over a year later, a Harvard Institute of Politics poll finds that a stunning 57% of 18-29 year olds disapprove of Obamacare. As we noted before, this is a critical breakdown in making the Affordable Care Act 'affordable' but it seems less healthy customer are more likely to persevere through the techical obstacle to gain coverage than younger, healthier "customers" who feel less need for insurance (never mind the "easy" women and keg-standing men). The poll gets worse with 40% expecting the quality of their coverage to worsen, and as Bloomberg reports, even more troubling for the White House, almost half in that age group say they’re unlikely to enroll in insurance through a government exchange, even if eligible.
Bipartisan Proposal Would Substantially Reduce Budget Crisis
War-weary 'real' Americans appear to have the ear of their representatives (for once). Message such as "you don't stop a war by getting involved and shooting more," and "once you start launching missiles, anything can happen," appear to have moved both the staunchest tea-party Republican and the most anti-war Democrats to shun the position of Boehner and Pelosi. As Bloomberg reports, only about 20 members (or 5%) of the House is publicly supporting a military strike. Against this, 68 lawmakers (an uncomfrtable alliance of Dems and Reps) are actively opposed to a strike. 350 House members are 'undecided', with 217 required to make or break the vote. With 60 votes required in the Senate, Obama can currently only count on 20 'confirmed' yesses. Obama's problem arises from the fact that whipping the members in line is tough with a number of different strains of thought resisting Obama's urgings.
Giant Banks Take Over Real Economy As Well As Financial System … Enabling Manipulation On a Vast ScaleSubmitted by George Washington on 07/10/2013 01:37 -0400
Big Banks Move Into Uranium Mining, Petroleum Products, Aluminum, Ownership and Operation Of Airports, Toll Roads, and Ports, and Electricity
First Congressman Allowed to Read Secret Treaty Says “This ... Hands The Sovereignty of Our Country Over to Corporate Interests”Submitted by George Washington on 06/19/2013 13:40 -0400
Mussolini Is Cheering from His Grave ...
A Roundup of Opinions
MERS: The Center of the Mortgage Scam
Liberals and Conservatives Agree: Vote Third Party ... Plus Why Many Ron Paul Supporters (Like Me) Are Voting for Gary Johnson
Independent from Congress … or from the American People?
Last week we learned two things: that Jamie Dimon specifically telegraphed he is now more powerful than the Fed, and that the US economy is back down to the same March 2009 optical exercises in financial strength gimmickry to stimulate rallies. Recall that on FOMC day, the market barely budged on Bernanke's ambivalent statement and in fact was in danger of backing off as the readthrough was that of no more QE... until JPM announced a major stock buyback and dividend boost. The catalyst: a successful passing of the latest and greatest Stress Test, which according to experts was "much more credible" than all those before it. Wrong. The test was merely yet another complete farce and a total joke. But as expected, the test had its intended effect: financial shares soared across the board, and banks promptly took advantage of investors and robot gullibility to sell equity into transitory strength. Bloomberg's Jonathan Weil explains.
Last week we discussed the gradual unraveling of a topic we had been following for the past 3 years, namely the brazen and criminal manipulation in the Libor market, which directly and indirectly impacts a stunning $350 trillion worth of securities (and thus, their implied risk, and hence, prices). Today we are delighted to learn that the retribution against these banks who have been artificially representing to the market that they are in better condition than in reality (courtesy of Libor's "strict" self-reporting approach), are beginning to see lawsuits filed against them, with Schwab merely the latest out of the gate. And just as fraudclosure was the litigation topic of 2010 and 2011, sit down and watch as Li(E)borgate explodes into the biggest litigation pain for banks, with litigation expenses that could easily surpass both the robosigning scandal (and its robo-settlement) and the escalating banks Reps and Warranties scandal. Because as recent evidence confirms, there are likely emails proving manipulation exists black on white, as discussed last week. Which means that the case of Schwab, noted last summer by Reuters, is about to become a pandemic.
"Suckers" - Alan Grayson discusses the Federal Reserve's purchase of debt from Bear Stearns, including debt from recently foreclosed Red Roof Inn's.
Got Bank Of America CDS? New York AG Says BAC's $8.5 Billion Settlement Is "Unfair and Misleading"; BAC Equity Offering ImminentSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/04/2011 23:56 -0400
When we last looked at the Bank of America joke of a "non-settlement" settlement for a paltry $8.5 billion when $424 billion in total misrepresented (530 in total) Countrywide mortgage trusts were at stake, we said, "we are confident that the legal process will prevail and that the presiding judge on this case, and if not him then certainly the New York District Attorney, will step up and demand a thorough reevaluation of the settlement process." We were, oddly enough, correct. According to a just released filing from the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Bank of America (and Bank of New York Mellon, one of the tri-party repo banks mind you), violated New York state law and "misled investors." In a knock out punch to Bank of America (and Brian Lin who was profiled here previously), the bank allegedly violated the New York’s Martin Act and misled investors about its conduct tied to mortgage securitization as Bloomberg summarizes. Schneiderman said he has "potential claims" against Bank of America Corp. and its Countrywide Financial unit. As Zero Hedge alleged all along, "The proposed cash payment is far less than the massive losses investors have faced and will continue to face." What does that mean? Well, as the countersuit by the FHLB indicated (which we are certain will be the basis for the NY AG claims), the likely final settlement is probably going to be about $22 to $27.5 billion. Which also means that the bank's Tier 1 capital is about to be discounted by about 25% lower. Which, lastly, means that the stock is about to plunge due to a massive litigation reserve shortfall which will have to be plugged with, surprise, a new equity capital raise. Which brings us to our original question: got CDS (which closed around 200 bps today, roughly 25 bps wider - it is going much wider tomorrow, especially if the expected Sarkozy-Merkel-Zapatero meeting achieves absolutely nothing)? Cause this baby is going down...and it is probably about to be broken up into good BAC and bad bank, consisting almost entirely of all legacy Countrywide operations. Said otherwise, it could well be time for a CFC-BAC CDS pair trade.
It doesn’t matter what terms the President offers. It’s that simple. Boehner can’t deliver the votes...That's why Boehner is always crying--Alan Grayson