The NFP was a snoozer. Today it is time to put the debate about Wells Fargo's Pick-A-Pay portfolio out to pasture. Please vote in the poll.
Wells Fargo filed its 2010 Form 10K late Friday. Extend and pretend is real - here are just 10 of the active ingredients (with a few musings from Mr. Buffett mixed in).
Silver backwardation continues and while spot silver is at $30.09/oz, the March 2011 contract is at $30.07/oz and April at $30.01/oz. Incredibly, the July 2012 contract is trading at $29.93/oz and the December 2013 contract at $29.91/oz. Backwardation is when the market quotes a lower price for spot delivery or a more nearby delivery date, and a higher price for a distant delivery date in the futures market. It indicates that buyers are concerned about securing supply in the future and are willing to pay a premium for spot delivery. It suggests that silver bullion in volume is difficult to buy and that the physical market is stressed and becoming less liquid. Backwardation starts when the difference between the forward price in the futures market and the spot price for physical delivery is less than the cost of carry, or when there can be no delivery arbitrage. This is generally because the asset is not currently available for purchase or is increasingly illiquid. It can end in default, failure to make delivery, and in sharply higher prices.
The largest US public pension fund accused Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc., its former top executives and numerous bond underwriters of fraud and making materially false statements about losses from mortgage-backed securities during the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008...
The market ran today like Ben Bernanke was giving out free money (which um, he kind of is, as long as...
One of the traditional characteristics of the financial media world in the last few days of any given year is the veritable cornucopia of next year "predictions" from those who believe their opinions are relevant/important/credible. Of course, with this whole process being nothing but an exercise in vanity, and resulting in pervasive ridicule by the rest of the media world 365 days later, unless of course one has immaculate luck, in which case playing the lottery has far better fringe benefits, Zero Hedge has no interest in actually predicting parallel outcomes, when event iterations are serial and just getting the one main thing right usually ends up paying off in droves (as such our one and only very vague prediction for the end of 2011 is that the Fed will be one year closer to completely losing control of its centrally planned schizophrenic reality, and the market will be ever closer to realizing this). That said, the following list of forecasts by Charles Hugh Smith is certainly worth reading. And with gems such as: Markets in precious metals, oil, commodities, stocks and bonds will rise and fall in an unpredictable fashion; The SNAP food stamp program will be expanded to include cable TV
access to a new U.S. government-sponsored channel, "Bread and Circuses, and QE3 will include issuing U.S. Treasury bonds directly to households you know this may well be the only set of predictions that gets the outcome right in our Bizarro world, TheOnion-style centrally planned reality.
Sprott's John Embry is in fine form today: in a just released oped in the Investor's Digest of Canada, the Chief Investment Strategist of Sprott Asset Management LP, and one of the biggest fans of shiny metals in history, makes the following bold prediction, which also explains how he views the concerted attempts by the LBMA to keep gold below the $1,420 all time high: "I am not in the least bit concerned about these shenanigans because I believe considerable additional quantitative easing is inevitable, irrespective of what the Fed says or does in the short term. Goldman Sachs's chief U.S. economist Jan Hatzius clearly shares my view as he has suggested that ultimately as much as $4 trillion maybe required although he anticipates that it will be staged. In my opinion this will act as catnip for gold and silver prices, which could go ballistic by year-end." Presumably, he means 2011. So forget all you have heard about interest rate (real or otherwise) correlations: they don't exist. All that does exist is the willingness of the Fed to 'print.' And with China increasingly starting to tighten, the Fed will need to do double duty if it wishes to keep global liquidity well-offered with near-free fiat paper. While we don't quite share Embry's enthusiasm for gold's imminent escape velocity, we are confident that as long as loose monetary policy is the only means to extend and pretend the ponzi, gold will, in turn, be well-bid.
Following Doug Kass' Prediction Of A 25% Drop In Gold, Here Is How His Other Recent Forecasts Have FaredSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/21/2010 09:14 -0500
Last night Doug Kass appeared on CNBC's Fast Money and caught the attention of the few who were watching the show with his gloomy prediction that gold would drop by 25% in the next year. As we noted last night, Kass' "thesis" was nothing more than a recap of the bearish half of the "All that glitters" letter released by Oaktree's Chairman Howard Marks, and not even a mention of the bullish section of the letter. That's fine. In fact, we welcomed this development as it at least partially offset the bullish sentiment on gold espoused by Kass' partner at The Street Jim Cramer, whose glowing recommendation of gold has had us very concerned about the price action in the precious metal into year end: after all there is no surer kiss of death that Cramer liking something. That said, as for Mr. Kass' predictive abilities, we would like to present his prior set of forecasts, specifically his prediction for 2010 issued a year ago almost to the day. With a predictive "hit rate" of about 25%, it is rather safe to assume that gold's path to $2,000 and higher is probably quite safe...
It has been a literal power struggle for the past few months between Dynegy, Inc. (DNY) and its investors. The climax came on Wed. Dec. 15 when Dynegy said it accepted a buyout offer of $665 million, excluding debt, from Carl Icahn.
Join Dylan Ratigan As He Kicks Off His "Steel On Wheels" Tour To Advocate American Job Creation For AmericansSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/15/2010 19:10 -0500
Dylan Ratigan, having recently reincarnated himself as an activitst against the meddling of the banking oligarchy in American everyday lives, and a proponent for job creation, has hit the road, literally, with his inaugural event for his Steel on Wheel movement. The event starts at 7pm, and will be held in Seneca Falls. The idea behind this event is to bring different sectors of the political spectrum, from activists to investors to corporate leadership, towards building a Jobs Movement where Americans advocate for jobs in America that make things for Americans. The focus will be on removing the four bottlenecks of jobs: megabanks, the health care cartel, corrupt trade practices, and the aristocratic tax code. The tour is done in partnership with Nucor Steel, whose CEO Dan DiMicco will be one of the participants in tonight's town hall.
For those who are concerned that the head executives of the bank that does god's work, and has repeatedly claimed it did not need taxpayer bailouts even though it borrowed from the Fed's Primary Dealer Credit Facility not once (that would be explainable), not twice (also), but 84 times, worry not: Bloomberg reports that in January, Lloyd Blankfein and his top deputies will receive $111.3 million in stock in a "payoff from last year and their record-setting 2007 bonuses." Specifically, Lloyd will get $24.3 million, $24 million will go to President Gary Cohn, $21.3 million to CFO David Viniar, $20.8 million to Jon Winkelried, and $14.3 million to Edward Frost, former co-head of investment management. And as Bloomberg reports: "The payouts, just a portion of the $67.9 million bonus awarded to Blankfein for 2007 and the $66.9 million paid to Cohn, reflect a 24 percent decline in the stock’s value since it was granted at $218.86." To be sure, this money was well-earned: "Within a year after the bonuses were approved, Goldman Sachs took $10 billion from the U.S. Treasury, converted to a bank and was borrowing as much as $35.4 billion a day from Federal Reserve emergency programs. This year the firm paid $550 million to settle U.S. regulators’ fraud charges related to a mortgage-security the company sold in 2007." Luckily, the violent images in the prior clip are from Athens, and not south Manhattan: after all Americans have so much to be grateful to their bankers for: for one, there are least 10% of the benefits in the recent tax extension left that have not been consumed by the recent spike in oil prices.
Today we will highlight the stocks “Gurus” have either recently been adding to their portfolios as new holdings or companies that they have recently increased their position in the last quarter and rate them using the Economic Margin Valuation model. In the coming weeks we will be taking the pros picks and give them letter grades (A,B,C,D,F) based on how we look at the company (based on value score).
One thing I do not want this article to be is a giant bashfest of New York City. I love this place. It is where I was born and it has shaped my personality in every way. The energy is like nothing else on the planet and it will always hold a spot near and dear to my psyche. Who knows, maybe I will return. That said, the current leadership in this city, and by that I mean the financial services industry and the TBTF banks in particular are destroying the city to such a degree that I think it could take a generation to recover. I hope I am wrong on this, but the longer the paper ponzi pushers control this town the worse the devastation will be... I feel very uncomfortable in New York City right now. It and Washington D.C. are at the heart of the gulag state and I have chosen to physically remove myself from it. Even if none of this was happening, I still feel like I eventually would have found myself out West. It just feels like the journey I am meant to take. The lower taxes and open spaces aren’t so bad either.
Nothing quite like the billionaire whose entire fortune is invested in the successful perpetuation of the ponzi, thanking the administration for taking trillions of dollars out of the taxpayers' pocket and preserving the broken system for a few more years, just so said billionaire can wax holier than thou on the pages of the administration's newspaper and thank the administration for allowing him to swim in his nickel pool through expiration. If one tries hard enough, one can almost spot a ridiculously hypocritical vicious loop in there somewhere...