• Tim Knight from...
    09/16/2014 - 21:37
    What if it had gone differently? What if, six years ago, in the throes of the financial crisis, the political leaders in D.C. had decided that enough was enough, and they were going to seize the...

Prudential

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Frontrunning: October 21





  • FHFA Is Said to Seek at Least $6 Billion From BofA for MBS Sales (BBG)
  • Record Pact Is on the Table, But J.P. Morgan Faces Fight (WSJ)
  • Magnetar Goes Long Ohio Town While Shorting Its Tax Base (BBG)
  • Mini-Wall Street' Rises in Hamptons (WSJ)
  • Obama to call healthcare website glitches 'unacceptable' as fix sought (Reuters)
  • Starbucks Charges Higher Prices in China, State Media Says (WSJ)
  • Cruz Is Unapologetic as Republicans Criticize Shutdown (BBG)
  • Berlusconi struggles to keep party united after revolt (Reuters)
  • SAC Defections Accelerate as Cohen Approaches Settlement (BBG)
 
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Guest Post: Conservatism And The Debt Ceiling





The whole fulcrum of the bloated American state is beyond ready for a radical deconstruction. The same goes for most nation-states in the West. The continual borrowing, serviced indiscreetly by an accommodating central bank, has made an entirety of the populace fat and happy off of debt. This is no realistic method for operating any institution. Something has to give eventually. Any conservative who places high value on civil society over the intrusion of government should balk at the prospect of a higher debt load. It makes certain that the ruling political class will not cease in their effort to infiltrate private life. Unfortunately it appears as if some otherwise sharp minds have fallen prey to the liberal device of alarmism.

 
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Home-Flipping Bubble Bursts For All But The Uber-Wealthy... Where It Explodes By 350%





As RealtyTrac observes in its latest flipping report, while home-flipping among high-end homes, or those reserved exclusively for the New Normal aristocracy which buys and sells with reckless abandon almost exclusively on an all cash basis, is up 34% over the prior year with flipping on houses priced between $2 and $5 million was up a ridiculous 350%, overall flipping activity is finally starting to subside and in the third quarter was down by a third from Q3 and over 10% down from the the prior year. Not surprisingly, the bulk of the ultra-luxury flips were limited to New York and the four core California bubble markets. "More than three-fourths of all high-end flips were in five markets: the New York metro area and four coastal California markets — Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego.  Flips on homes priced between $1 million and $2 million increased 42 percent year over year, while flips on homes priced between $2 million and $5 million increased 350 percent year over year."

 
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Frontrunning: October 3





  • Mounting Wall Street fears of US default (FT)
  • This is what the US government does when it is "shut down" - CIA ramping up covert training program for moderate Syrian rebels (WaPo)
  • SEC Weighs Overhaul of Exchanges’ Self-Regulatory System (WSJ) - just let Goldman and JPM do all the policing; not like anyone cares anymore
  • Reid Sets Tone for Democrats in Shutdown Fight (WSJ)
  • No Movement in Shutdown Standoff (WSJ)
  • Shutdown will not slow Fed nomination, says Obama (FT)
  • Syrian Regime Chokes Off Food to Town That Was Gassed (WSJ)
  • Tesla Says Car Fire Began in Battery (AP)
  • China Services Index Increases in Sign of Sustained Rebound (BBG) or sustained data manipulation
 
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Frontrunning: September 20





  • JPMorgan Guilty Admission a Win for SEC’s Policy Shift (BBG)
  • Pricing Glitch Afflicts Rollout of Online Health Exchanges (WSJ)
  • This will end well: Japan LDP Considers Draft Bill to Put Government in Control of Fukushima Cleanup (WSJ)
  • How a German tech giant trims its U.S. tax bill (Reuters)
  • Despite Merkel's Popularity, Angst Creeps In (WSJ)
  • Hank Paulson warns of regulatory conflict (FT)
  • Rajan Surprises With India Rate Rise to Quell Inflation (BBG)
  • Apple Begins Selling New iPhones (WSJ)
  • Pope Says Church Should Stop Obsessing Over Gays, Abortion (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: September 4





  • Yes: Support Builds in Congress for U.S. Strike Against Syria (WSJ)
  • No: Boehner backs Obama on Syria, but House leaning toward ‘no’ (The Hill)
  • U.S. Congress fight over Syria pits establishment versus upstarts (Reuters)
  • Wednesday humor: Japan’s Abe Says Fukushima Will Be Resolved Before 2020 Olympics (BBG)
  • Bank of Japan to Consider Further Easing if Sales Tax Hike Goes Ahead (Reuters)
  • S&P accuses U.S. Justice Department of filing $5 billion lawsuit against it in "retaliation" for the company's downgrade of America's debt in 2011 (WSJ)
  • German Candidates Spar Over Records (WSJ)
  • Emerging Nations Save $2.9 Trillion Reserves in Rout (BBG)
  • Split Congress Mulls Denial of Military Force Request (BBG)
  • Sharp Fall in Overseas Investment By Chinese Firms (WSJ)
  • Jorge Lemann: He Is...the World's Most Interesting Billionaire (BusinessWeek)
  • Why Amazon Is on a Warehouse Building Spree (BW)
 
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Frontrunning: August 14





  • Vocal billionaire activist IRR - 150x: Icahn bought $1 billion of AAPL stock, seeks $150 billion buyback (BBG)
  • BlackBerry Said to Have Sought Buyers Since 2012 (BBG) - for a phone or the entire company?
  • IPhone Fingerprint Reader Talk Boosting Biometric Stocks (BBG) - also, the NSA will need to grow its Utah data center
  • UPS Jet Crashes in Birmingham, Ala. (WSJ)
  • America's Farm-Labor Pool Is Graying (WSJ)
  • Hong Kong Lowers Storm Signal as Typhoon Closes on China (BBG)
  • Indian submarine explodes in Mumbai port (FT)
  • BofA Banker Sued by Regulator Later Joined Fannie Mae (BBG)
  • Software that hijacks visits to YouTube uncovered (FT)
  • Chinese Billionaire Huang Readies Iceland Bid on Power Shift (BBG)
  • China to launch fresh pharmaceutical bribery probe (Reuters)
  • Defeat at J.C. Penney Hurts Ackman as Performance Trails (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: August 8





  • Fukushima: "300 metric tons of contaminated water were likely leaking into the ocean daily" (WSJ)
  • Unexpected strength in China trade data eases some gloom (Reuters) - actually, perfectly expected data fakery
  • Pimco, BlackRock Seek to Bar California Mortgage Seizures (BBG)
  • How will Amazon's Bezos change The Washington Post? (Reuters)
  • Montreal Maine Railway Files for Bankruptcy After Crash (BBG)
  • Fed Belongs to Everybody as Public Says It’s Our Money in Crisis (BBG)
  • Local Russian TV channel broadcasts rare critical segment about Putin (Reuters)
  • Loeb’s Reinsurer With No U.S. Staff Gains From Obama’s Jobs Act (BBG)
  • As Berlusconi star fades, daughter Marina tipped as new leader (Reuters)
  • Detroit Rattles Muni Market (WSJ)
 
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El-Erian Warns "Don't Be Fooled" By Europe's Tranquility





August is traditionally Europe’s holiday month, with many government officials taking several weeks off. In the process, important initiatives are put on hold until the “great return” at the beginning of September. This year, there is another reason why Europe has pressed the pause button for August. With a looming election in Germany, few wish to undermine Chancellor Angela Merkel’s likely victory.  Some of the recent economic news has seemed to justify this approach. Yet no one should be fooled. This summer’s sense of normality is neither natural nor necessarily tenable in the long term. It is the result of temporary and – if Europe is not attentive – potentially reversible factors. If officials do not return quickly to addressing economic challenges in a more comprehensive manner, the current calm may give way to renewed turmoil. In essence, Europe (and the West more generally) owes its recent tranquility to a series of experimental measures by central banks; consequently, the resulting surface calm masks still-worrisome economic and financial fundamentals.

 
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Frontrunning: July 22





  • Earthquake Sends Kiwis Screaming From Wellington Buildings (BBG)
  • China quake death toll more than doubles to 54, hundreds hurt (Reuters)
  • In 2011, Michigan Gov. Snyder said bankruptcy wasn't an option for Detroit. Two years later, he changed his mind (WSJ)
  • GlaxoSmithKline says Chinese laws might have been violated (FT)
  • SEC Tries Last Ditch Move to Put SAC’s Cohen Out of Business (BBG)
  • Detroit’s Bankruptcy Reveals Dysfunction Common in Cities (BBG)
  • Obama to start new offensive on economy (FT)
  • As WTI and Brent reunite, Gulf of Mexico faces squeeze, not glut (Reuters)
  • Extended Stay Files for Public Offering (WSJ)
  • Apple Developer Website Hacked: Developer Names, Addresses May Have Been Taken (MacRumors)
  • Treasuries Not Safe Enough as Foreign Purchase Pace Slows (BBG)
 
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1. Move To Daytona Beach; 2. Flip That House; 3. 82% Profit





The grotesque days of the first housing bubble are now being flatly trounced by the surreal second coming of the housing bubble, where courtesy of RealtyTrac we find that the old gross maximum profit potential of 63% realized in Orlando, FL house flipping, has two short months been eclipsed by flipping a house in Daytona Beach, generating a mindblowing 82% "flip that house" return! In brief: in the first half of 2013 there were 136,184 single family home flips — where a home is purchased and subsequently sold again within six months — in the first half of 2013, up 19 percent from a year ago and up 74 percent from the first half of 2011. Real estate investors made an average gross profit of $18,391 on single family home flips in the first half of the year, a 9 percent gross return on the initial purchase price. That was up 246 percent from an average gross return of $5,321 in the first half of 2012 and an average loss of -$13,206 in the first half of 2011.

 
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The Fed Is The Problem, Not The Solution: The Complete Walk-Through





"Perhaps the success that central bankers had in preventing the collapse of the financial system after the crisis secured them the public's trust to go further into the deeper waters of quantitative easing. Could success at rescuing the banks have also mislead some central bankers into thinking they had the Midas touch? So a combination of public confidence, tinged with central-banker hubris could explain the foray into quantitative easing. Yet this too seems only a partial explanation. For few amongst the lay public were happy that the bankers were rescued, and many on Main Street did not understand why the financial system had to be saved when their own employers were laying off workers or closing down." - Raghuram Rajan

 
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Margin Calls Coming On US Too-Big-To-Fail Banks





This week's biggest news is not the Non-Farm Payrolls, or the European Central Bank or even Portugal's government falling. No - this week's big deal is the openness with which the Federal Reserve is preparing a major margin call on the too-big-to-fail banks in the US. This has been a long time coming since the introduction of the Dodd-Frank law back in 2010 but it is a game changer. Remember all macro paradigm shifts come from policy impulses, often mistakes. Is the Fed about to given the whole banking industry a major margin call?

 
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Frontrunning: July 3





  • Portuguese bond yields soar amid political turmoil (FT)
  • Portugal Resignation Rocks European Markets (WSJ)
  • Portugal, Greece risk reawakening euro zone beast (Reuters)
  • Egypt’s military chiefs hold crisis meeting as Mursi snubs ultimatum (Al Arabiya)
  • Egypt Crisis Deepens as Mursi Refuses to Step Down (BBG)
  • Hidden microphone found in London embassy: Ecuador (AFP)
  • Health Law Penalties Delayed (WSJ)
  • Rise in mortgage rates cut into homebuyer demand last week (Reuters)
  • Bolivia angered by search of president's plane, no sign of Snowden (Reuters)
  • Olympus ex-chairman gets suspended sentence (FT)
 
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