Remember when it was your job to be cheerful and optimistic if creating forecasts for insolvent and nationalized entities, whose entire pseudo-business model is predicated upon the return of the housing bubble and the overall Ponzi resuming? Apparently not, especially if one has read the following forecast from none other than Fannie Mae. So while we have Barclays, Deutsche, JPM, TCW, and any other axed bank , you name it, defending PrimeX which is nothing more or less than a bet on the "safe" tranche of US home price prospects and housing overall, here is the one entity with more mortgages on its books than any other organization, telling us how it really feels.
First it was Citi's turn, when earlier, via Willem Buiter, it explained in granular detail, how the EFSF's latest incarnation as a 20% first loss insurance fund, will be not a bazooka but a "peashooter." Now it is the turn of RBS' Harvinder Sian (yes, yes, the same guy who in February 2010 accused Zero Hedge of falsely concluding Greek banks are insolvent... ahem) to mock and ridicule the Guardian's blatant attempt to lift the EURUSD just so momos and piggybackers provided a convenient receptacle for assets that French banks were offloading beginning at 3pm courtesy of this bogus plant, since refuted by Dow Jones. Seeing how Harvinder works for RBS (and was protecting his bank's Greek bond exposure last year...how did that work out), don't expect much original thought. After all, the specter of no Christmas Party must put what few employees the bank has in a perpetually ill mood. That said he does provide a convenient echo chamber for those who have already said the original things ahead of him.His conclusion is sufficient: "If this is delivered alongside more detail on a harder Greek PSI and an early ESM adoption, then expect the crisis to get more elevated and seriously engulf the early-stage stressed Belgian and French markets. In the meantime, such news headlines will make for choppy price action and destroy low conviction trading positions." Hear that momos? This Bud's for you.
In the last few weeks a slow slide in commodity prices – metals in particular – has turned into a full-scale nosedive. All through 2011 copper had remained essentially between US$4 and $4.50 a pound, but on September 11 it dropped below that range and didn’t really stop falling until October 4, when it bottomed at $3.05. Aluminum gained ground in the first half of the year to reach $1.24 per lb. in April, but after losing 10% in the last 30 days it is back below that, at $0.96. The spot price of nickel lost 19% in the last month; zinc prices fell 17%. Precious metals were not spared either: The price of silver shed a whopping 33% in 30 days, while gold is currently down 15% compared to its price on September 6. Grouping the commodities together really shows how rough the last few months have been. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI – an index of raw materials that tracks 24 commodity prices – is down 24% since April, when it hit a 32-month high. On October 4 it touched 572.92, its lowest level since November 26, 2010. Falling metal prices were the main culprit: Silver closed at its lowest price since February, and copper saw its cheapest settlement in 14 months.
There was a time when Nassim Taleb media appearances were a daily thing. Then he decided to take a sabbatical from the public's eye, and literally fell off the face of the planet. And while over the past year or so, he has gradually resurfaced, his extended discussions on various topics are still almost as rare as a double digit move in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Tonight he broke his vow of silence, and joined Bloomberg TV's in discussing the "Occupy Wall Street" protest, which he expects to devolve into class warfare, as well as his view of the global banking system. And an interesting tangential discussion to develop is his observation of applying the principles of the "Hammurabi's Code" to the banking system.
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