Since the beginning of this year the markets have primarily treaded water. The primary support for the bulls has been continued acknowledgement by the Fed on an inability to remove accommodative policy by raising interest rates. (Which should make you question what happens the first time they do.) The bears have been feasting on weak economic data and deteriorating fundamentals.
Approximately two years ago, a commentary was published entitled “The One Bank”. The empirical foundation for the article (and the paradigm) was an extensive computer model, produced by a trio of academics at a university in Switzerland, and originally reviewed in an article from Forbes.
Taibbi called Goldman "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity." This time, their victim was Sarvshreshth Gupta, a rookie analyst just 22 years old from the University of Pennsylvania. Gupta was found dead in a parking lot next to his apartment building on the corner of Sacramento Street and Brooklyn Place in San Francisco. He apparently fell from the building.After working 100 hours a week, he told his father, "This job is not for me." In March, he quit. However, like the crazy woman in Fatal Attraction, Goldman was not going to be ignored.
Sense of desperation among CEOs?
The current asset bubble depends on a number of perceptions that could easily be put to the test by unexpected developments. There is a widespread consensus on a number of issues. This includes the belief that the economy will strengthen, that the emergence of “price inflation” is practically impossible, that “QE” will always guarantee rising asset prices, and that central banks have everything under control. Now we learn that in addition to this, a surprisingly large number of traders has no experience beyond the ZIRP & QE era of recent years. Meanwhile, the market’s underpinnings in terms of liquidity exhibit numerous weaknesses.
Just when you thought the US regulators may have finally become less tone deaf to the shame of the revolving door, especially following last year's latest scandal confirming Goldman runs the New York Fed (and every other central bank), here comes the SEC with an absolute shocker, not only proving once and for all that when it comes to regulatory capture, there is nobody in charge quite like Lloyd Blankfein, but unveiling what may have been the first ever double revolving door in SEC history, after the SEC announced it had hired as its new chief of staff a former Goldman worker who had previously worked at... the SEC. And with that the we have gone not only full circle but full retard as well.
Nothing exposes the fallacies of the Fed’s policies of the last five years like its horror at the prospect of raising rates even a little bit.
Bank of America advocates adding gold to one’s portfolio along with higher levels of cash. Citing factors such as liquidity, profits, technological disruption, regulation, and income inequality they say there exists a potential for a “cleansing drop in asset prices.”
History has been so fascinated with oil and its price movements that it is indeed hard to imagine our future without oil. The world is still myopic when it comes to energy. Yes, it wants to embrace renewables but not at the cost of oil. Whatever happens to oil prices in the coming years, one thing is certain: that the age of oil isn’t ending anytime soon, at least not in the next 30 years.
What is extremely clear is that there is something amiss with the statistical headline employment and economic data. While there are indeed pockets of improvement, which should be expected following a recessionary contraction, there is a lack of widespread recovery. That sentiment is clearly reflected in every major poll of American's over the last year. What is important is that there is a clear disconnect between the financial markets, statistical economic headlines, and the reality of the vast majority of American consumers. So, riddle me this - what happens when that disconnect is eventually resolved?
In the coming months, however many hours Clinton spends introducing herself to voters in small-town America, she will spend hundreds more raising money in four-star hotels and multimillion-dollar homes around the nation. The question is: "Can Clinton claim to stand for 'everyday Americans,' while hauling in huge sums of cash from the very wealthiest of us?" This much cannot be disputed: Clinton's connections to the financiers and bankers of this country - and this country's campaigns - run deep. As Nomi Prins questions, who counts more to such a candidate, the person you met over that chicken burrito bowl or the Citigroup partner you met over crudités and caviar?
On a day full of exultation for The Oracle of Omaha, we could not help but see the irony of Warren Buffett losing yet another bet and not paying up...
When we first exposed in February how yet another bank - Bank of America - has been quietly preserving the post Glass-Steagall world in which cash depositing taxpayers are on the hook for a bank's stupidity, some shrugged it off and looked to stress test to solve all the problems. However, it appears - for once - the SEC is not willing to just ignore the bank's actions. Just as JPMorgan's CIO Office, aka the London Whale, took advantage of fungible, taxpayer-insured funding in the form of excess US deposits over loans, to corner the US credit market (in what was clearly a directional prop trade); so, as WSJ reports, The SEC is investigating whether BofA broke rules designed to safeguard client accounts, potentially putting retail-brokerage funds at risk in order to generate more profits using large complex trades.
Moments ago the NY Department for Financial Services announced that, in what is the largest Libor settlement in history, Deutsche Bank would pay $2.5 billion "in connection with the manipulation of the benchmark interest rates, including the London Interbank Offered Bank ("LIBOR"), the Euro Interbank Offered Rate ("EURIBOR") and Euroyen Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate ("TIBOR") (collectively, "IBOR")." Most importantly for DB's 98,138 employees is that while DB will "terminate and ban individual employees who engaged in misconduct" nobody will go to jail. Again. In other words it just cost DB's about $25,474 per employee to keep its Libor-manipulating employees (and thus, senior level management because the stench always goes to the very top) out of prison.
- Clinton charities will refile tax returns, audit for other errors (Reuters)
- China Warns North Korean Nuclear Threat Is Rising (WSJ), or another country realizes war is the only "exit"
- Shares, euro sag after euro zone PMIs disappoint (Reuters)
- China Manufacturing Gauge Drops to Lowest Level in 12 Months (BBG)
- Deutsche Bank Said to Pay $2.14 Billion in Libor Case (BBG), or roughly a €20,000 per banker "get out of jail" fee
- Brazil’s Petrobras Reports Nearly $17 Billion in Asset and Corruption Charges (WSJ)
- Can This Oil Baron’s Company Withstand Another Quake? (BBG)
- Bad for Q1 GDP: Raytheon sales fall amid weak U.S. defense spending (Reuters)