State Street

The Rumors Were True: Paulson Liquidates A Third Of His GLD Gold Share Class; Buys More Bank Of America And Capital One

Well, he may not be liquidating, and he may be telling others he has experienced barely any redemptions, but Paulson's gold share class, represented entirely by the fund's GLD holdings would beg to differ: as of September 30, Paulson's total holdings of GLD were down by a third from 31.5 million shares or $4.6 billion at the end of Q2, to 20.2 million or $3.2 billion. And as is well known, GLD is not an actual investment for Paulson, but merely a representative asset class for those who opt to have their fund holdings represented in gold (the smart ones) instead of in dollars. Indicatively the only Paulson & co investors who made any money, or at least did not lose much, were those who opted for a gold share class. Either way, it is now safe to assume that at least a third of the fund has been permanently redeemed, further confirmed by the drop in the AUM from $29 billion to $20.7 billion as per the actual filing. But wait, there's more: while Paulson was busy selling across the board, in the process liquidating all of his JPM holdings as well as his positions in Comcast (no CNBC for you), Savvis, NYSE Euronext and State Street, and following in Tepper's footsteps in selling across the board, the former Bear trader did what all other allegedly doomed institutions do and added to, you guessed it, the biggest loser Bank of America, increasing his position by almost 4 million shares... even as the total value of his 64 million BAC stake, which closed Q3 at the same price it is today, dropped by $269 million! And that's why he is a billionaire and you are not. At least we know who Tepper was selling to. But that's not all: Paulson also added 1.1 million share to his CapitalOne position, bringing the total to 22.2 million shares, even as the total value of his revised position dropped by $210 million to $880 million. And so forth. Some other names in which he took brand new stakes in (picture that: he did not spend all of Q3 selling) in Motorola Mobility, Nalco, Cephalon, AMC and a bunch of irrelevant others. So to all those who are now in the same place they were in 2008: tough, but at least your fees made JP into a multi-billionaire. Congratulations.

Guest Post: A Raging Case Of Bailout Fatigue

Access to Fed backup support “leads you to subject yourself to greater risks,” Herring says. “If it’s not there, you’re not going to take the risks that would put you in trouble and require you to have access to that kind of funding.” All of this might conceivably make citizens revolt against an entity that uses their money to secretly fund the “Wall Street aristocracy.” It might make them vote for a Gary Johnson or a Ron Paul, someone who favors dismantling the Fed. Or not. When a story as big as this one generates a bare minimum of media coverage, you know it’s probably headed for that huge waste bin in the corner of the parking lot. The one marked Bailout Fatigue.

Is It Time For The Financial World To Panic? 25 Reasons Why The Answer May Be Yes

Every now and then it is easy to forget that the one or two "better than expected" data points blasted by flashing headlines do nothing that merely mask what is an otherwise quite deplorable and deteriorating reality. For the disconnect between America and the rest of the world look no further than this chart showing the dramatic divergence between the DJIA, which has just gone positive for the year, and every other major global stock market. Yet for those who require a narrative to go with their numbers, here is The Economic Collapse with the latest of their traditionally comprehensive bulletins, this time summarizing the "25 signs that the financial world is about to hit the big red panic button."

Presenting The Merger Arbs Getting Decimated By The News Corp-BSkyB Deal Collapse

For everyone asking who will be broadly liquidating to compensate for the News Corp-BSKYB merger arb catastrophe, meeting margin calls, and overall trying to prevent a fund blow up, here is the list. The biggest recent accumulators: Odey, Nomura, State Street, Lloyds, Taconic, Perry and PPM. These are the funds, which per CapIq loaded up LSE:BSY shares in the last 1-2 quarters, almost certainly based on merger arb assumptions.

Italian Regulator Urges Banks To Destroy Shorts, Pull All Stock Borrow, Generate Marketwide Squeeze

Frequent Zero Hedge readers may recall that back in the spring of 2009, when the market needed a desperate boost by any and all insivible hands, we exposed one of the methods of ramping stocks as being stock custodians, in this case State Street and Bank of New York, generating a wholesale squeeze by pulling borrow, or in other words retrieving lent out shares so those who are short are forced to cover. Many laughed assuming this was merely yet another deranged rant. It wasn't. Fast forward to today, when we learn that the Consob, Italy's market regulator and SEC equivalent, has "recommended to stakeholders who have lent shares in Italian companies to retrieve them" - i.e., playbook artificial short squeeze 101. This is two days after the Consob banned naked short selling: a move which had disastrous consequences after the market continued plunging and would have collapsed entirely had it not been for the ECB and/or China buying Italy bonds before yesterday's Bill auction. ""Yes, we've exercised moral suasion by asking all those who have lent shares to retrieve them," Consob Chairman Giuseppe Vegas told journalists on the sideline of a conference." And now you know how to generate a market-wide short squeeze.

Moody's Puts BofA, Wells Fargo And Citi On Downgrade Review: Cites Risk Of No Government Support, Mortgage Exposure As Risks

Moody's Investors Service has placed the deposit, senior debt, and senior subordinated debt ratings of Bank of America Corporation (A2 senior), Citigroup Inc. (A3 senior), Wells Fargo & Company (A1 senior), and their subsidiaries on review for possible downgrade. Each of these ratings currently incorporates an unusual amount of "uplift" from Moody's systemic support assumptions that were increased during the financial crisis. The review will focus on whether these ratings should be adjusted to remove this unusual uplift and include only pre-crisis levels of government support. At the same time, Moody's said that it will assess improvements in Bank of America's and Citigroup's standalone financial strength, and that this may temper the extent of any ratings downgrades that could result from its review of these firms' unusual level of systemic support...Despite this progress, these banks still have sizable residential mortgage exposures; their credit costs could therefore spike if the US economy were to contract again. Further, they continue to face litigation costs related to faulty foreclosure practices.

Aaaand.... It's Gone: Tiny Tim Plans Shelving Of AIG Stock Offering After Stock Plunge Continues

Remember the other most hyped up re-IPO ever, AIG (after that other Marxist-inspired, union-lubricating, channel-stuffing debacle GM)? The same company that nearly brought down the system, that insured more disaster prone garbage than even Berkshire Hathaway, which is  92% owned by the government because it wouldn't look cool if the government fully nationalized everyone after Lehman was left to die, and was subsequently eagerly attempting to buy back its toxic filth at half off prices from Goldman's Bill Dudley who just so happens works at 33 Liberty now? Well, you can kiss that goodbye: the FT reports that "AIG and the US Treasury are discussing whether to shelve or scale back plans for a large public offering this month because of the lacklustre performance of the insurer’s shares in recent weeks, people close to the situation said." You can also kiss the Treasury's boasts of a break even on its AIG "investment" - this despite 2 years of endless market levitation, forced short squeeze, margin hikes, several wars, $4 trillion in monetary and fiscal stimuli, and most certainly, the kitchen sink. "People involved said the most likely outcome of the deliberations would be for the offering to proceed at a smaller size and closer to the Treasury’s break-even point. This would allow the restructured company to provide a longer record to the market before a larger sale later this year. Shares in AIG have fallen more than 30 per cent since January 20, hitting $29.62 on Tuesday and jeopardising taxpayers’ profits on the share sale. Treasury’s break-even level is $28.73 a share and officials have been reluctant to approve an offering below that price." This likely also means that any follow on equity capital raises by AIG will be relegated to CDO issuance and other "silly paper" that will be bought only with other people's money.

PriceStats - The Beginning Of The End For BLS Data Manipulation?

Had enough of neverending BLS inflation data manipulation? You may be in luck. Hot on the heels of the MIT Billion Prices Project (which we were delighted to see recently came back on line), there now is... PriceStats, potentially the most revolutionary concept to come to the fielf of econometrics, and thus fiscal and monetary policy in ages.

GoldCore Questions On Comex Silver Default Due To Secret Buying By Russian Billionaire, Chinese Traders and People's Bank Of China

Let us reiterate a COMEX default on delivery of precious metals and specifically of silver bullion bars is far from “noise”. It is of significant importance and that is why we have covered its possibility for some months. A COMEX default would have massive ramifications for precious metals markets, for the wider commodity markets, for the dollar, for fiat currencies and for our modern financial system. Silver surged 3.4% yesterday to settle at a 31 year nominal high and rose by $1.55 on the day. Silver is up some 28% in April alone. The last time this happened is when Warren Buffett took a large stake in silver in 1987 and there were rumours of Buffett “cornering the market”. Silver remains in backwardation and the possibility of a COMEX default cannot be ruled out – especially as silver bullion inventories are very small vis-à-vis possible capital allocations to silver in the coming weeks and months. The possibility of an attempted cornering of the silver market through buying and taking delivery of physical bullion remains real and would likely lead to a massive short squeeze which could see silver surge to well over its inflation adjusted high of $140/oz. Indeed, a recent article in the Financial Times suggested that private or state interests with very deep pockets are attempting to corner the silver market. Bizarrely, this massive story which mooted the possibility of Russian billionaires, Chinese traders and even the People’s Bank of China and other central banks secretly buying silver, has subsequently been barely reported or commented on. There are now two “conspiracy theories”. One is the long side conspiracy theory which claims, a la the FT, that there are foreign private and state actors attempting to corner the silver market through secret buying.

112 Hedge Funds Scream In Pain As GM Drops To Fresh Post-IPO Low

Nobody could have expected this. Certainly not the 112 hedge funds which hold GM stock on expectations the government, the Fed and GETCO would never let "that company" plunge this far. Next up: a congressional hearing for GETCO regarding charges of ponzi maintenance dereliction. As for the much touted "breakeven" on GM by the US government, the WSJ summarizes it best: "To break even, the U.S. Treasury would need to sell its remaining
stake—about 500 million shares—at $53 apiece. GM closed off 27 cents a
share at $29.97 in 4 p.m. trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange,
hitting a new low since its $33-a-share November initial public
offering." Good luck with that: not even State Street can institute a short squeeze of such epic proportions.

To Geithner's Disappointment Non-AIG Bidders Emerge For Maiden Lane II Assets, Preventing Another Taxpayer Rout

When two weeks ago it was disclosed that AIG is willing to pay $15.7 billion for the same toxic securities that two years ago caused AIG to sell 92% of itself to an involuntary taxpayer, and currently make up Maiden Lane II (which is marked on the Fed's books by BlackRock at $15.9 billion) we asked why this process is not open up to broader public auction. After all these are taxpayer assets and should receive an arms-length treatment in recouping best returns for the taxpayer. It seems that other bidders are now starting to appear. The FT reports: "Barclays is among a group of investors weighing a rival bid for a portfolio of mortgage-backed securities that has already drawn a $15.7bn offer from AIG, people familiar with the matter said. AIG, which wants to buy back the assets to reduce its obligations to the government while finding a higher-yielding use for its cash, went public with its bid earlier this month after the New York Fed did not respond to a preliminary offer made in December."

Fed Gives Bank Dividend Green Light - Full Release

Following the clusterflock of black swans that has hit world markets in the past month, the Fed has realized it needs to act quick to distribute money to undercapitalized bank shareholders ahead of the upcoming bank sector bail out, which will naturally be funded by taxpayers all over again. According to the Fed, the 19 worst banks in America (in other words those that are allowed to issue dividends) are: Ally Financial Inc. (no, really, f/k/a GMAC is healthy), American Express Company, Bank of America Corporation, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, BB&T Corporation, Capital One Financial Corporation, Citigroup Inc., Fifth Third Bancorp, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Keycorp, MetLife, Inc., Morgan Stanley, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Regions Financial Corporation, State Street Corporation, SunTrust Banks, Inc., U.S. Bancorp, and Wells Fargo & Company. The surge in share prices of the mentioned banks confirms that this is nothing but the latest round of Fed-endorsed taxpayer rape, which nobody can do anything against as the Fed is an "unsupervised" entity, DC is owned by Wall Street, and the peasantry is downloading porn on their iPad.