Bernanke: "None of the things you said are accurate"
Corker: "Oh yes they are"
Ben was in congress campaigning er, testifying mostly about the effectiveness of all things ZIRP and QE. He was grilled about possible risks with QE especially if interest rates should rise. The Bernank saying that interest rates would rise was unlikely but he then cavalierly stated if rates rise, the Fed would just “hold back on payments” er, stiff the Treasury. That’s no big deal for him since by then he’ll be down the road writing his memoirs, making speeches and joining some big Wall Street firm as a well-paid consultant. The Bernank was also asked if he noted any bubbles or market excess and said he saw none.
Bernanke's Tools: "Belts, Suspenders... Two Pairs Of Suspenders" And Other Senate Testimony HighlightsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/26/2013 20:20 -0500
Ben Bernanke: "In terms of exiting from our balance sheet, we have put out -- a couple of years ago we put out a plan; we have a set of tools. I think we have belts, suspenders -- two pairs of suspenders. We have different ways that we can do it."
The 2011 changes by the FDIC to the safe harbor for "true sales" may have been the end of "Too Big To Fail."
Here's Bernanke's list of the costs/risks associated with further asset purchases, and his assessment about the severity of those risks:
At 10 am Eastern the Chairman will go before Senate to deliver his agency's semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to lawmakers. Tomorrow he will do the same before the House. Speaking before the Senate Banking Committee, Bernanke will face questions about the nation's current economic situation. He is also likely to field lawmaker's comments on how the nation's economy will be impacted by sequestration. Perhaps someone will inquire about the Fed's exit plans, but that is unlikely as there are none. Perhaps someone else will inquire what Bernanke's closing print target for the S&P and the EURUSD are. We, and numerous GETCO synthetic momentum algos, are looking forward to both.
It may come as a surprise to some, but the largest single party in the Italian Chamber as a result of today's elections, when stripping away all alliance partners, is none other than Beppe Grillo's Movimento 5 Stelle. With 25.53% of the votes (96.44% of the vote counted), the comedian/blogger/counterestablishmentarian/contrarian received more votes than either Bersani's Democratic Party which got 25.51%, and Berlusconi's Popolo Della Liberta, which got 21.44%. Congratulations to both him, and to the Italian people who made the most symbolic vote of all: that they are done with a broken statist status quo, and that despite engrained beliefs to the contrary, there is a third alternative to the fake Party A-Party B paradigm.
Traders read the headlines. They know how the price “should” react to news, and they begin buying. For a while, the prophecy fulfills itself. But then what happens next? It may take an hour or a month, but sooner or later some of the new buyers begin to sell.
Speculators can drive the price quite far in either direction, in the short term. But it is the hoarders and arbitrageurs who drive the price in the long term.
... And this time it is a true parabola.
To the Execs at Walmart, and all of those other retailers that are feeling the SS pinch, I say "Welcome to the club".
The World Economic Forum (WEF), during its Davos jaunt, created an intriguing set of 50 'global risks'. Of course these are from the perspective of the elitest of the elite but with more than 1000 respondents, the results seem all-encompassing. The global risk that respondents rated most likely to manifest over the next 10 years is severe income disparity, while the risk rated as having the highest impact if it were to manifest is major systemic financial failure. There are also two risks appearing in the top five of both impact and likelihood – chronic fiscal imbalances and water supply crisis. The report covers five key categories of 'risk' - which we will be posting on in the next few days - Economic, Environmental, Societal, Geopolitical, and Technological. In this first post we expose the 50 risks by magnitude and probability, how they have evolved over the past few years, and the importance of their inter-connectivity.
How Many Constitutional Freedoms Do We Still Have?
The saga of the Heinz call option insider trade, first profiled here, and the Goldman trail, also first observed here ("Does GS stand for Goldman Sachs one wonders"), just got even more fun as revelations that it was none other than a client of Goldman's Private Wealth group out of Zurich that hit the buy key on those thousands in call options one day ahead of the announcement. From Reuters: "A Goldman Sachs private wealth client is the holder of the Swiss account at the center of an investigation into insider trading in H.J. Heinz Co options, regulators said in a court filing late Wednesday." Alas, and as before, the question of who leaked the inside information to this Goldman client still remains unanswered.
First it was Walmart letting the truth finally slip last Friday when a leaked memo showed recent sales are a "total disaster." Today, as anyone who has looked at AAPL premarket quotes will surmise, it's Apple's turn, following a report in the FT that FoxConn, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, "has imposed a recruitment freeze across almost all of its factories in China 5th as it slows production of Apple's iPhone." It is not an internal memo, but in this particular case actions speak even louder than leaked words: 'The suspension in hiring by China's largest private sector employer, and the biggest assembler of Apple products, is the first search countrywide move since the 2009 downturn, prompted by the financial crisis. It underscores the weakening demand for some Apple products, Which has put pressure on the American company's battered share price. "Currently, none of the plants in mainland China have hiring plans," said Liu Kun, a company spokesman at Foxconn's largest manufacturing facility in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen." So first Walmart, the world's largest private sector employer with over 2 million workers, and now FoxConn, the world's largest tech-focused employer with 1.2 million workers, is also realizing what a cashless, consumerless "recovery" means, regardless whether it is due to Apple or not. And the markets still continues to wave it off as one off events.
The Chinese New Year celebration is now over, the Year of the Snake is here, and those following the Shanghai Composite have lots to hiss about, as two out of two trading days have printed in the red. But a far bigger concern to not only those long the SHCOMP, but the "Great Reflation Trade - ver. 2013", is that just as two years ago, China appears set to pull out first, as once again inflation rears its ugly head. And where the PBOC goes, everyone else grudgingly has to follow: after all without China there is no marginal growth driver to the world economy. End result: China's reverse repos, or liquidity providing operations, have ended after month of daily injections, and the first outright repo, or liquidity draining operation, just took place after eight months of dormancy. From the WSJ: "Chinese authorities took a step to ease potential inflationary pressures Tuesday by using a key mechanism for the first time in eight months. The move by the central bank to withdraw cash from the banking system is a reversal after months of pumping cash in. That cash flood was meant to reduce borrowing costs for businesses as the economy slowed last year—but recent data has shown growth picking up, along with the main determinants of inflation: housing and food prices."