Fannie Mae

When Government Controls All Wealth

“It is just a matter of time,” says a friend writing from Switzerland, “before the feds own all our assets. They’re determined to keep prices high and they have unlimited resources.” Yes, stocks, bonds, old copies of Mad Magazine… everything will be owned by the government. Then our liberty will be complete. We will have nothing… and nothing to lose. We will have become what leading German post-war economist Wilhelm Röpke had anticipated: the “stable fed” animals that depend on their masters to keep them going.

Imagine...

Now imagine what might happen next...

Bank of America's Winning Excuse: "We Didn't Mean To"

A federal appeals court overturned a $1.3 billion judgement against Bank of America, ruling that good intentions at the outset shield bankers from fines for subsequent fraud... “Is the idea that a good state of mind initially can insulate you from fraud later on?” exclaimed one law professor, adding, "that would be a very strange and troubling doctrine...it almost seems like the 2nd Circuit fell victim to a lawyer’s trick."

Wells Fargo Reintroduces 3% Down Mortgages

Wells Fargo & Co. is rolling out a new mortgage for borrowers making minimal down payments, an offering that could allow the bank to step back significantly from a controversial Federal Housing Administration program. The bank’s new mortgage allows borrowers?with credit scores?as low as 620 on a scale of 300 to 850?to make down payments of as little as 3%, while also allowing them to use income from family members or renters to qualify.

How Hedge Funds Invest Heavily In Washington D.C.'s Culture Of Corruption

If you want to get a sense of what’s motivating Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders voters, it’s a desire to take people like Robert Shapiro, remove them from the halls of power, and toss them into a cardboard box on the street. Of course, that won’t be happening any time soon, but that’s what a lot of people want. As we detail below, confirmed recently by Congressman X, Washington is infested by the secretive world of the dark money groups representing mercenary hedge funds in their insatiable quest for more and more money. In many ways, it’s merely a microcosm of America in 2016. A culture in which ethics has become so irrelevant, it isn’t even a nuisance; it simply never factors into the equation.

Frontrunning: May 13

  • Nerves dominate before U.S. retail numbers (Reuters)
  • Stocks Give Up Week’s Gains as Commodities Fall; Yen, Bonds Rise (BBG)
  • Apple Invests $1 Billion in Didi, Uber’s Rival in China (WSJ)
  • Dollar hits two-week high, posts best fortnight since February (Reuters)
  • OPEC Sees Rival Oil Production Declining as Markets Rebalance (WSJ)
  • Trump on best behavior as he woos Republicans but differences remain (Reuters)

Bill Ackman Releases Ghastly Portfolio Update; Defends Valeant, Other Money-Losing Investments

Ackman just released his disastrous Q1 Portfolio Update, in which he made zero macro comments, and instead spent the entire letter defending his various investments such as Air Products, Canadian Pacific (of which he sold 30% of its position on April 22), Fannie Mae, his Herbalife short which recently has cost him even more hundreds of millions in losses, Howard Hughes Company, Mondelez (where he also sold 20 million share on March 16), Nomad Foods, Platform Specialty Products, Restaurant Brands, and Zoetis (where he sold a 16.85mm share block on May 9 taking his stake from 8.6% to 5.0%). Why all the liquidations? Because of Valeant of course, which remains Ackman's biggest headache, and to whose defense he dedicated the most time.

The Cult Of Central Banking Is Dead In The Water

So what is to be done, as Lenin once queried? In a word it is this. Fire the Fed. Attend to supply side policy. Let market capitalism do the rest. The cult of central banking is dead in the water.