Michael Lewis

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The Crony Capitalist Pretense Behind Warren Buffett's Banking Buys





When Warren Buffet put $5 billion in Berkshire Hathaway funds into Goldman Sachs the week after Lehman failed, amidst total turmoil and panic, it appeared from the outside a high risk bet. Buffet had long tried to portray himself as a folksy engine of traditional stability, investing only in things he could understand, so jumping into a wholesale run of chained liabilities may have seemed more than slightly out of character. We have no particular issue with Buffet making those investments, only the pretense of intentional mysticism that surrounds them. The reason the criticism of crony-capitalism sticks is because this was not Buffet's first intervention to "save" a famed institution on Wall Street. If Buffet's convention is to stick with "things you know" then he has been right there through the whole of the full-scale wholesale/eurodollar revolution.

 
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Judge Dismisses Charges Against Sergey Aleynikov





FLASH BOYS’ PROGRAMMER IN GOLDMAN THEFT HAS CHARGES TOSSED OUT

 
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Frontrunning: May 29





  • Former House Speaker Hastert indicted on federal charges (Reuters)
  • Blatter expected to win re-election despite soccer corruption scandal (Reuters)
  • NYSE Looks to Ease Late-Day Pileup (WSJ)
  • What Will Happen to a Generation of Wall Street Traders Who Have Never Seen a Rate Hike? (BBG)
  • Japan spending slump casts doubt on central bank optimism  (Reuters)
  • Unclear rules, market volatility take toll on bank capital  (Reuters)
  • Greece Told Budget a Red Line for Creditors Venting at G-7 (BBG)
  • The Economist Who Realized How Crazy We Are (Michael Lewis)
  • Pimco Said to Have Considered Goldman’s Cohn for Top Job (BBG)
 
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Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Paul Singer Reveals The "Bigger Short"





"Today, six and a half years after the collapse of Lehman, there is a Bigger Short cooking. That Bigger Short is long-term claims on paper money, i.e., bonds."

 
EconMatters's picture

2010 Flash Crash Arrest Motivated By Greed





If the DOJ and CFTC is going to be consistent, then they have to indict the entire financial community from the CME, Exchanges, Brokers, Institutions, Investment Banks, Hedge Funds, Management Funds and High Frequency Trading Firms.

 
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"Crash Boys" - Michael Lewis Slays The Regulators In The Sarao Scapegoating Debacle





"One day while Sarao is busy trying to trick the U.S. stock market into falling, the market collapses, more sensationally than it has ever collapsed. And instead of digging some hole in Hounslow in which he might hide for a decade or so, or fleeing to Anguilla, where he has squirreled away his profits, he stays in his parents’ home and keeps right on spoofing the U.S. stock market -- and then is shocked when people turn up to accuse him of wrongdoing. He’s not some kind of exception to the standard operating procedure in finance. He’s a parody of it."

 
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Foodstamp Financiers: Wells Fargo Workers Protest Re-Emergence Of Predatory Practices





One of America’s biggest banks is going to be protested by an unlikely group today: its employees. As The Guardian reports, Wells Fargo bankers are protesting the bank’s alleged predatory practices – mainly the sales quotas imposed on some of its workers (which have led to at least 30 employees opening duplicate accounts, sometimes without customers’ knowledge, in order to inflate their sales numbers). One worker warns, “it is not in Wells Fargo’s best interest for customers to purchase products and services they don’t use or need.” Now where have we seen this kind of activity before? Wells Fargo bank workers are not the only ones struggling to make ends meet without breaking ethical standards as bank tellers have collected as much as $105m in food stamps.

 
EconMatters's picture

GE Resorts To Financial Engineering to Boost Stock Price





GE stock is down almost 13% over the last 7 years, and this is with record shares being taken off the market.  However, Jeff Immelt thinks he has a solution for this problem after 15 years at the helm of GE. 

 
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“Facts Do Not Cease To Exist Because They Are Ignored”





Huxley’s words describe a psychological condition termed cognitive dissonance. According to the American Psychological Association, cognitive dissonance is induced when a person holds two contradictory beliefs, or when a belief is incongruent with an action that the person has chosen freely to perform. Cognitive dissonance is on full display today in the financial markets. The U.S. economy has been supported for seven years by a zero interest rate policy, record fiscal deficits and unprecedented surges in the money supply. Despite all of the stimuli, the economy is slogging along well below trend. The actions taken by the Federal Reserve, federal government and governments around the world are unprecedented. In a normally functioning economy such actions would generate massive growth and inflation. Since growth has been tepid and inflation benign, there is obviously something amiss.

 
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Is This What's Causing Today's Market Puke?





Correlation is not causation but the plunge began just as The SEC voted in favor of high-speed trading firms being registered with FINRA...

 
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How HFT Destroys Markets: 50 Pages Of Evidence





Back in 2009, when aside from a few insiders, nobody had heard of HFT, Zero Hedge launched its crusade to expose the algorithmic scourge that has since then caused an equity, treasury and now US Dollar flash crash, and has been the subject of a Michael Lewis bestseller and resulted in countless market halts and failures. More importantly, there is now roughly 50 pages of just bibliography citing the evidence-based, academic research that has shown just how pervsavibely, maliciously and premeditatedly HFTs manipulate, destabilize, impair and otherwise destroy every single market in which they participate.

 
EconMatters's picture

The 5 Most Crowded Trades on Wall Street: Part 1





I would say Apple is the most dangerous holding on the street right now for portfolio managers.

 
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