So much for the strict, evil Volcker Rule which was a "victory for regulators" and its requirement that banks dispose of TruPS CDOs. Recall a month, when it was revealed that various regional banks would need to dispose of their TruPS CDO portfolios, we posted "As First Volcker Rule Victim Emerges, Implications Could "Roil The Market"." Well, the market shall remain unroiled because last night by FDIC decree, the TruPS CDO provision was effectively stripped from the rule. This is what came out of the FDIC last night: "Five federal agencies on Tuesday approved an interim final rule to permit banking entities to retain interests in certain collateralized debt obligations backed primarily by trust preferred securities (TruPS CDOs) from the investment prohibitions of section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, known as the Volcker rule." In other words, the first unintended consequences of the Volcker Rule was just neutralized after the ABA and assorted banks screamed against it.
A hungover America slowly wakes up from a day of society-mandated consumption and purchasing excess to engage in even more Fed-mandated excess in the equity markets. The only difference is that while the "90%" was engaged in the former and depleting their equity, and savings, accounts in the process, far less than 10% will be doing the latter. Overnight attention was drawn to the rapidly escalating territorial dispute between China and Japan, now in the air, Bitcoin's brief surge above the price of an ounce of gold, and the ejection of the Holland from the AAA Eurozone club (where only Germany and Finland remain), following an S&P downgrade of the Netherlands from AAA to AA+, which however had been largely priced in long ago (and was coupled with an upgrade of Spain from negative to stable outlook, as well as an upgrade of Spain from CCC+ to B-). Europe surprised pleasantly on both the inflation (better than expected) and unemployment rate (dropped from an all time high of 12.2% to 12.1%), even if youth unemployment rose to fresh record highs.
...understand the national threat that is our fragmented and perverted equity market microstructure that is driven by such esoteric order-types such a Post No Preference Blind Limit Order created through the buddy system of exchange/order volume producer.
Fed Releases Names Of Early FOMC Minutes Recipients: Include Employees Of ECB, Goldman, Barclays, JPM, Law And PE FirmsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/10/2013 15:31 -0500
We will release the full list of named recipients once we get it, but here is what we now for now, via BBG and CNN:
- EMPLOYEES AT GOLDMAN SACHS, BARCLAYS, JP MORGAN, CITI, NOMURA, UBS, HSBC RECEIVED FED MINUTES EARLY YESTERDAY
- MOST OF THE BANK EMPLOYEES APPEAR TO WORK IN GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Lobbies)
- ABA, SIFMA, SENATE STAFFERS RECEIVED FED MINUTES EARLY
- FED NAMES 154 RECIPIENTS OF EARLY RELEASE OF FOMC MINUTES
- FED MINUTES SENT EARLY TO BANKS, LAW FIRMS, PRIVATE EQUITY
- FED EARLIER SAID RELEASE WENT MAINLY TO CONGRESS, TRADE GROUPS
- NONE OF THE PEOPLE ON THE LIST ALERTED THE FED THAT THEY RECEIVED NONPUBLIC INFO A DAY EARLY
In other words: absolutely everyone who trades risk assets for a living.
Presenting Dave Collum's now ubiquitous and all-encompassing annual review of markets and much, much more. From Baptists, Bankers, and Bootleggers to Capitalism, Corporate Debt, Government Corruption, and the Constitution, Dave provides a one-stop-shop summary of everything relevant this year (and how it will affect next year and beyond).
In summary, things aren't always as they seem -- and the Fed is manipulating everything.
It is cloudy out there as Sandy enters the mid-Atlantic region, although for all the pre-apocalypse preparations in New York, the Frankenstorm may just be yet another dud now that its landfall is expected to come sufficiently south of NYC to make the latest round of Zone 1 evacuations about overblown as last year's Irene hysteria (of course it will be a gift from god for each and every S&P company as it will provide a perfect excuse for everyone to miss revenues and earnings in Q4). That said, Wall Street is effectively closed today for carbon-based lifeforms if not for electron ones, and a quick look at the futures bottom line, which will be open until 9:15 am Eastern, shows a lot of red, with ES down nearly 10 ticks (Shanghai down again as the same old realization seeps day after day - no major easing from the PBOC means Bernanke and company is on their own) as the Friday overnight summary is back on again: Johnny 5 must defend 1400 in ES and 1.2900 in EURUSD at all costs for just two more hours.
California Lt. Governor: This Aggression Against Our Expropriation Of Private Property Will Not Stand, ManSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/10/2012 12:21 -0500
It is not news that California, despite what the money laundering practices aided and abetted by the NAR at the ultra-luxury segment of housing may indicate, is and has been for the past 5 years neck deep in a massive housing glut (with millions of houses held off the books in shadow inventory), which together with a complete economic collapse of this once vibrant economy, which happened to be the world's 7th largest, led various cities to resort to the socialist practice of expropriation, or, as it is known in the US, eminent domain, whereby a citizen's rights in property - in this case their home - are forcefully expropriated with due monetary compensation, naturally set by the expropriator. It is also no secret, that Wall Street, which has the most to lose by handing over property titles on mortgaged houses in exchange for money that is well below the nominal value of the mortgage, is not happy about this draconian quasi-communist measure, and has apparently told California to cease and desist. It is, apparently news that California has had enough of these bourgeois capitalist pawns, and has decided to, appropriately enough, channel El Duderino, and to tell Wall Street that this aggression against forced socialist expropriation, by broke deadbeats, will not stand... man.
That the SEC is the most incompetent, corrupt, irrelevant and captured organization "serving" the US public is known by everyone. And while the details of the SEC's glaring lack of capacity to do anything to restore investor confidence in the capital markets, which has become a casino used exclusively by Wall Street to defraud any retail investor still stupid enough to play (which lately a moot point as there have been no material retail inflows into mutual funds in over three years), are scattered, courtesy of Bloomberg we now have the best summary of just how the utterly clueless SEC is a muppet plaything of Wall Street, and together with it, the "grand regulation" that was supposed to keep Wall Street in check, is nothing but what Wall Street demand it to be, and forced the SEC, way over its head on regulation, to accept every change, that the very banks that are supposed to be regulated, demands as part of Dodd-Frank reforms. In short: everything we know about Wall Street 'regulation' has been a farce, and a lie, exclusively thanks to corruption rampant at the now documentedly incompetent Securities And Exchange Commission.
Let them die.
Fed Chairman Bernanke should be impeached if he does not restore Fed surveillance over primary dealers immediately.
TrimTabs Explains Why Today's "Very, Very Suspicious" NFP Number Is Really Down 2.9 Million In Past 2 MonthsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/03/2012 15:01 -0500
We have examined the nuance of the euphoric jobs data this morning from every angle and by now there should be plenty of 'information' for investors to make their own minds up on its credibility. However, the avuncular CEO of TrimTabs, who despite channeling Lewis Black lately, likely knows this data a little better than the average Jim on the street having collected tax witholdings data for the past 14 years, is modestly apoplectic at the adjustments. In one of his more colorful episodes, and rightfully so, Charles Biderman notes that "Either there is something massively changed in the income tax collection world, or there is something very, very suspicious about today’s BLS hugely positive number," adding, "Actual jobs, not seasonally adjusted, are down 2.9 million over the past two months. It is only after seasonal adjustments – made at the sole discretion of the Bureau of Labor Statistics economists – that 2.9 million fewer jobs gets translated into 446,000 new seasonally adjusted jobs." A 3.3 million "adjustment" solely at the discretion of the BLS? And this from the agency that just admitted it was underestimating the so very critical labor participation rate over the past year? Finally, Biderman wonders whether the BLS is being pressured during an election year to paint an overly optimistic picture by President Obama’s administration in light of these 'real unadjusted job change' facts. Frankly, in light of recent discoveries about the other "impartial" organization, the CBO, we don't think there is any need to wonder at all.
2011 was a merry-go-round of more bailouts, more deferrals and more denial. Everyone is tired of the Eurozone. It’s not fixable. There’s too much debt. The politicians don’t know what’s going on. Nothing has structurally changed. We’re still on the wrong path. There’s more global debt than there was a year ago, and it’s the same old song: extend and pretend, extend and pretend,… around and around we go,… and it isn’t fun anymore. Just as we wrote back in October 2007, and again in September 2008, we feel compelled to state the obvious: that the financial system is a farce. It’s a complete, cyclical farce that defies all efforts to right itself. This past year continued the farcical tradition with some notable scandals, deferrals and interventions that underscored the system’s continuing addiction to government interference. With the glaring exception of US Treasuries and the US dollar (which are admittedly two of our least favourite asset classes), it was not a year that rewarded stock picking or safe-haven assets. Many developments during the year bordered on the ridiculous, and despite some positive news out of the US, we saw little to test our bearish view. If anything, our view was continually re-affirmed.
Earlier today, while discussing the implications of a US debt downgrade on a SIFMA call, JPM head of fixed-income Terry Belton told listeners that a US downgrade could cost the US an additional 60-70 bps in incremental interest. That's per year. He also added that US asset managers are unlikely to sell Treasurys on a downgrade, but that's irrelevant. Nobody can predict what all the knock off events from a US downgrade would be, as the Citi presentation from yesterday indicated. Should there be a downgrade, investors may not sell Treasurys, but they sure will be forced to sell other lower rated instruments to keep the overall rating distribution of their portfolio in line with mandated rating requirements. Which in turn, following margin calls, will result in, you guessed it, selling of Treasurys. Yet this debate is the topic of another post. What is more important is that on the same call, Belton said that a 70 bps increase in interest would result in an incremental $100 billion in interest expense each year. As a reminder, this is roughly the amount that the NPV of a realistic deficit reduction plan over 10 years would chop off from the US deficit on a yearly basis. Simply said: the US downgrade alone, now virtually taken for granted by everyone, will offset any beneficial impact from any deficit reduction that will have to happen for the debt ceiling to be increased. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why cash flows matters.