State Street

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HSBC’s London Gold Vault: Is This Gold’s Secret Hiding Place?





HSBC’s main gold vault in London regularly comes under the media spotlight for a number of reasons. These reasons include: a) the HSBC London vault stores a very large amount of gold on behalf of the well-known SPDR Gold Trust (GLD); b) along with the Bank of England vaults and JP Morgan vault, the HSBC vault is one of the 3 largest gold vaults in London; c) the location of the HSBC vault in London is not publicised and so the secrecy creates intrigue; d) HSBC every so often throws out some visual or audio-visual media bait about the vault, most famously in the case of CNBC’s Bob Pisani; Despite all of the above, no one seems to have ever tried to figure out where this gold vault is actually located. Until now.

 
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Gold "Flight To Safety" Surges Amid Biggest Junk Bond Outflows In History





Something happened this week that has never happened before. While outflows from equity ETFs soared, the $3.6 billion redemptions from high yield bond ETF HYG this last few days is the largest ever - almost twice as big as the previous largest outflows (seen in May last year). As Bloomberg reports, the withdrawals from equity and credit funds highlighted the lack of faith in the rally that helped stocks briefly erase their annual losses last month. Equity traders have remained on the sidelines, with volume down in recent weeks as investors sought safer assets such as gold.

 
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"We Are Taking Them To The Cleaners" - State Street Caught Stealing From Clients With Up To 1,900% Markups





One of the more egregious examples in recent history of "nickel and diming" one's clients was revealed today when Massachusetts' top securities regulator alleged a unit of custody bank State Street routinely overbilled customers for items such as messaging services, even as an executive worried one client might "discover that we are taking them to the cleaners."

 
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The Fed Sends A Frightening Letter To JPMorgan, Corporate Media Yawns





Yesterday the Federal Reserve released a 19-page letter that it and the FDIC had issued to Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, on April 12 as a result of its failure to present a credible plan for winding itself down if the bank failed. The letter carried frightening passages and large blocks of redacted material in critical areas, instilling in any careful reader a sense of panic about the U.S. financial system. The Federal regulators didn’t say JPMorgan could pose a threat to its shareholders or Wall Street or the markets. It said the potential threat was to “the financial stability of the United States.”

 
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Federal Regulators Accuse Banks Of Not Having Credible Crisis Plans, Would Need Another Bailout





We were not surprised to read this morning that federal regulators announced that five out of eight of the biggest U.S. banks do not have credible plans for winding down operations during a crisis without the help of public money. Which is precisely the point: now that the precedent has been set and banks know they can rely on the generosity of taxpayers (with the blessing of legislators) why should they even bother planning; they know very well that if just one bank fails, all would face collapse, and the only recourse would be trillions more in taxpayer aid.

 
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"The Liquidity Just Dries Up In A Stressed Market" - How HFT Killed FX Trading





Collin Crownover, head of currency management at State Street Global Advisors Inc., which oversees about $2.4 trillion,  who during a panel presentation said that "we are concerned. During volatile periods, market participants are backing away until conditions settle down, making it harder to complete large orders."“A lot of the electronification of the market, which by and large is a good thing, has led to kill switches on a lot of that algorithmic-provided liquidity,” Crownover said. “The liquidity just dries up in a stressed market.”

 
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Futures Unchanged, Global Stock Algos Anemic Ahead Of U.S. Payrolls Report





US futures were largely unchanged overnight, with a modest bounce after the European close driven by a feeble attempt to push oil higher, faded quickly and as of this moment the E-mini was hugging the flatline ahead of today's main event - the January payrolls, expected to print at 190K and 5.0% unemployment, however the whisper number - that required to push stocks higher - is well lower, at 150K (according to DB), as only a bad (in fact very bad) jobs number today will cement the Fed's relent and assure no more rate hikes in 2016 as the market now largely expects.

 
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The Fed's Rate Hike Trickles Down: JPM To Hike Deposit Rates... For Its Wealthiest Clients





Two weeks ago we said that "those who have savings at US banks, please don't hold your breath to see any increase on the meager interest said deposits earn." We were wrong: some should certainly have held their breath, because as the WSJ reports today, "some bank customers won’t have to wait much longer to reap benefits from the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates." Some, such as clients of J.P. Morgan, which will begin raising deposit rates for some of its "biggest clients" in January. "Biggest" clients, of course, is a universal euphemism for "wealthiest."

 
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2015 Year In Review - Scenic Vistas From Mount Stupid





“To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious, but the stupid have an answer for everything.” ~Edward Abbey

 
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European Stocks, US Futures Surge On Last Minute Hopes Of "Extraordinary Policy Easing" By Mario Draghi





Yesterday's market swoon which unwound all of Tuesday's gains on concerns about a hawkish Fed and fears about terrorism in the US, are now completely forgotten, and have been replaced with the latest daily round of pre-ECB euphoria, driven by hopes that Mario Draghi will announce even more dovish details to Europe's Q€ 2 than just a 10 bps rate cut and a boost to QE more than €10 billion, both of which have been already priced in.

 
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Futures Flat Despite More Weakness Among European Banks, Volkswagen; Another Apple Supplier Warning





So far today's trading session has been a repeat of what happened overnight on Monday, when following a weak start on even more weak Chinese data, US equities soared on the first trading day of the month continuing their blistering surge since that dreadful September payrolls report, which as we showed was mostly catalyzed by a near record bout of short's being squeezed and covering, which accelerated just as the S&P broke the 2100 level.

 
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S&P Puts Too-Big-To-Fail US Banks On Ratings Downgrade Watch, Blames Fed





Having watched the credit markets grow more and more weary of the major US financials, it should not be total surprise that ratings agency S&P just put all the majors on watch for a rating downgrade:JPMORGAN, BANK OF AMERICA, WELLS FARGO, CITIGROUP, GOLDMAN SACHS, STATE STREET CORP, MORGAN STANLEY MAY BE CUT BY S&P. Despite all the talking heads proclamations on higher rates and net interest margins and 'strongest balance sheets' ever, S&P obviously sees something more worrisome looming. S&P blames The Fed's new resolution regime for its shift, implying "extraordinary support" no longer factored in. This comes just hours after Moody's put Bank of Nova Scotia on review also (blaming the move on concerns over increased risk appetite).

 
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Futures Continue Surge On Global Draghi Euphoria, Tech Earnings





Yesterday morning, when previewing the day's tumultuous events, we said that "Futures Are Firm On Hope Draghi Will Give Green Light To BTFD." And boy did Draghi give a green light, that and then some, when his press conference unleashed one of the biggest one-day US equity rallies in 2015. This morning it has been more of the same, with global market momentum on the heels of Draghi's confirmation that Europe's economy is again backsliding (it's a good thing, if only for stocks), leading to momentum for US equity futures, which together with soaring tech/cloud, earnings if no other, are on their way to take out recent all time highs.

 

 
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