Merrill Lynch

Previewing The Supreme Court Decision(s)

We posted this on Monday. With the SCOTUS ruling due out in minutes, here again is a preview of the various permutations that can come out today, and their impact on capital markets: "BofA outlines five possible scenarios and their potential impact across the healthcare sectors. They base the likelihood of their scenarios on a review of the March oral arguments, previous circuit court decisions, as well as surveys of legal experts and former Supreme Court clerks. Everything you need to know about the possible outcomes and actions to take."

The Obamacare Outcome Matrix

With the Supreme Court likely to announce its decision on the constitutionality of Health Care Reform Law this Thursday, BofA outlines five possible scenarios and their potential impact across the healthcare sectors. They base the likelihood of their scenarios on a review of the March oral arguments, previous circuit court decisions, as well as surveys of legal experts and former Supreme Court clerks. Everything you need to know about the possible outcomes and actions to take.

Guest Post: Who Destroyed The Middle Class - Part 2

The middle class has a gut feeling they are being screwed by somebody, they just can’t figure out who to blame. The ultra-wealthy elite keep up an endless cacophony of propaganda and misinformation designed to confuse an increasingly uneducated and willfully ignorant public while blurring the facts for those educated few capable of understanding the truth. They have been able to keep the masses dumbed down through government run education; distracted by sports, reality TV, Facebook, internet porn, and igadgets; lured by mass media messages of materialism; and shackled with the chains of debt used to acquire the goods sold by mega-corporations. We’ve become a society oppressed by a small faction of ultra-wealthy masters served by millions of impoverished, uneducated, sedated slaves. But the slaves are getting restless and angry. The illegally generated wealth disparity chasm is growing so large that even the ideologue talking head representatives of the elite are having difficulty spinning it. Even uneducated rubes understand when they are getting pissed on.

Mrs. Watanabe, Meet Mrs. Brown

"Risk on, risk off" might be the most essential hallmark of the current market, but just focusing on the day-to-day whims of capital markets ignores longer term changes to investor risk preferences.  Nic Colas, of ConvergEx looks at the topic from the vantage point of gender-specific investment choices.  For example, more women are participating in deferred compensation (DC) plans, and the data from millions of 401(k) accounts tells a useful story.  Their retirement accounts still lag those of their male counterparts in total value and they remain a bit more risk-averse. But for the first time in at least a decade they are more likely than men to contribute to a retirement account and are contributing a greater percentage of their earnings. You’ll never see pink or blue dots on the “Efficient Frontier” of academic models, to be sure.  However, both empirical data and psychological studies do point to subtle – but notable – differences in how men and women consider the classic risk-reward tradeoff inherent in the challenge of investing. Nick suggests it may make sense to reconsider the notion that continued money flows into bonds and other safe haven investments are really "Risk off" market behavior.  At least a piece of it may well be "Risk shifting," driven by the demographic and psychological factors as assets controlled by women are clearly increasing. "Risk off" may well be "risk shift."

And Then There Were Three...

Last September we were delighted to bring you the following great news:

DAVID BIANCO NO LONGER WORKS AT BOFA, SPOKESWOMAN SAYS

Now, we are even more delighted to bring you the following breaking news:

BLACKROCK CHIEF EQUITY STRATEGIST BOB DOLL TO RETIRE

And then there were three...

Frontrunning: June 4

  • Spain Seeks Joint Bank Effort as Pressure Rises on Merkel (Bloomberg)
  • Banks Cut Cross-Border Lending Most Since Lehman: BIS (Bloomberg)
  • Shirakawa Bows to Yen Bulls as Intervention Fails (Bloomberg)
  • Merrill Losses Were Withheld Before Bank of America Deal (NYT)
  • Investors Brace for Slowdown (WSJ)
  • China's lenders ordered to check bad loans (China Daily)
  • Obama Seeks Way Out of Jobs Gloom (WSJ)
  • Noda Reshuffles Japan Cabinet in Bid for Support on Sales Tax (Bloomberg)
  • China to open the market further (China Daily)
  • Australian Industry Must Adapt to High Currency, Hockey Says (Bloomberg)
  • Tax-funded projects to be more transparent (China Daily)

Nationalized Bankia Director Will Not Receive Millions In Severance

Earlier today we reported of an instance of fiduciary impropriety so gross and abhorrent - namely the director of insolvent and nationalized Bankia preparing to receive €14 million in severance - that the public outcry was furious and instantaneous. The result: less than 12 hours later Expansion reports that according to Bankia president Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri, the management of the the firm will waive their pension rights, and the infamous Aurelio Izaquierdo will not get his accrued pension when leaving the firm. Now, if only anyone in America had half the guts to do what it took Spain less than a day to turn around...

Swiss Parliament Examines ‘Gold Franc’ Currency Today

A panel of the Swiss parliament is discussing the introduction of the parallel ‘Gold franc’ currency. Bloomberg has picked up on the news which was reported by Neue Luzerner Zeitung. The Swiss parliament panel will discuss a proposal aimed at introducing a new currency, or a so-called gold franc. Under the proposal, which will be debated in the lower house’s economic panel in Bern today, one coin in gold would be worth about 5 Swiss francs ($5.30), the Swiss newspaper reported. The Swiss franc would remain the official currency, the paper said. The proposal may lead to a wider debate about the Swiss franc and the role gold might again play to protect the Swiss franc from currency debasement. The initiative is part of the “Healthy Currency” campaign which is being promoted by the country’s biggest party – the conservative Swiss People’s Party (SVP).