Thursday, October 13, 2011

Work In Banking? Find Out If You Will Be Laid Off... And If You Work At Bank Of America, Click Here Now

Something tells us this formerly well-hidden treasury trove of imminent layoff information will soon be the most visited webtsite for every bankers in the Manhattan area. Presenting the Department of Labor's Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification program, aka the advance notice of mass layoffs on wall street website. A great example presented below (our condolences Bank of Americans located at 1 Bryant Park).



Global Money Supply And Currency Debasement Driving Gold Higher

Developing China’s M2 money supply has been rising by a large 20% and Russia’s by a very large 30%. Even developed countries such as Switzerland have seen money supply growth of 25%. Japan’s M2 is gradually moving higher after the ‘Lost Decade’ and after recent events exacerbating an already fragile situation. Global money supply growth is increasing by 8%-9% per annum. Meanwhile annual gold production is less than 1.5% per annum. We looked at money supply growth and charts regarding global money supply, debt levels etc in a comprehensive article in early August (‘Is Gold a Bubble? 14 Charts, the Facts and the Data Suggest Not’ - ) when gold was trading at $1,670/oz or much the same price level as today. The charts and conclusions remain apposite. In order to fight economic problems brought about due to too much debt, debt based paper and electronic currency has been created at historically high levels. There is no sign of this abating any time soon given the scale of the global financial and economic crisis.

JPMorgan Uses Surge In Its Default Risk As A $1.9 Billion "Source" Of Revenue And Net Income

A quick look at the JPM earnings this morning would indicate all is well and that the company beat on the top and the bottom line: after all the company generated $23.76 billion in revenue on expectations of $23.26 and EPS of $1.02 relative to an expectation of $0.92. So far so good. The only problem is that unlike in previous quarter, when the primary driver of the bottom line was releasing reserves, this quarter, when everything blew out and blew up, that would have been seen as massively disingenuous, even by such permaclown as Dick Bove (which nonetheless did not stop the bank regardless, and JPM did take a $170 million reserve release, granted less than the $1.2 billion in Q2). So what does JPM do? Why it pulls the "Fair Value Option" card, discussed recently in the context of Morgan Stanley when we speculated whether the bank's biggest asset was their debt. Turns out we had the concept right, but the bank wrong, because $0.29 of EPS Net Income, or $1.9 billion pretax, was a "benefit from debit valuation adjustment (“DVA”) gains in the Investment Bank, resulting from widening of the Firm’s credit spreads." That's right: the fact that JPM spreads blew out in the quarter, and its default risk soared, for one reason or another actually served to "generate" not only net income but also revenue!  And now you see why American banks can never lose - in a good quarter, they release reserves; in a bad quarter they take FVO benefits in the form of Debit Valuation Adjustments, or in this case both! Winner, winner, always a chicken dinner for Jamie Dimon. Expect every other bank to do the same accounting BS this quarter to pad their numbers.

Fed leaves door open on QE3

Eric De Groot at Eric De Groot - 1 hour ago
The door that controls access to QE(n) fell off its hinges long ago. Any comment that implies monetary restraint is nothing more expectations management. Headline: Fed leaves door open on QE3 NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Federal Reserve policymakers left the door open to another round of asset purchases in the near future, according to minutes of their most recent meeting. At the two-day meeting... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] 

Europe Is Saving The Day, Not The System

Admin at Jim Rogers Blog - 2 hours ago
What they are doing in Europe is not saving the system, it`s saving the day..but it`s not saving the system. - in CNBC *Jim Rogers is an author, financial commentator and successful international investor. He has been frequently featured in Time, The New York Times, Barron’s, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and is a regular guest on Bloomberg and CNBC.* 

Financial Stocks Continue to Underperform

Eric De Groot at Eric De Groot - 3 hours ago
As long as relative performance of the banking stocks (BKX) against equities and gold remains down, it suggests outflows in the space and trouble ahead. I expect the 2009 lows in the BXK to gold ratio to be decisively broken between 2012 and 2015. Banking Index (BKX) to S&P 500 Ratio Banking Index (BKX) to Gold Ratio Headline: JPMorgan Chase's income falls 4 percent in 3Q JPMorgan... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] 

Global Liquidity Is Tightning

Admin at Marc Faber Blog - 3 hours ago
As far the dollar is concerned, the reason I’m actually quite positive is that global liquidity, despite of the fact that the ECB and the European governments will flood the market with liquidity to pay the sales out, that global liquidity is tightening. And whenever global liquidity is tightening, it’s bad for asset prices but good for the U.S. dollar as was the case in 2008. - in CNBC *Marc Faber is an international investor known for his uncanny predictions of the stock market and futures markets around the world.* 

Western Economies, Stagnation, Uprising & Minorities

Admin at Marc Faber Blog - 5 hours ago
As to that huge level of debts, I don’t see how the Western world, including the U.S., Japan and Western Europe can actually grow. They’re going to stagnate. And when you have stagnation over a longer period of time, people start to ask questions and then they go after minorities. And Wall Street is a minority – they are a minority and anyone else would have done the same. They use the system. But they didn’t create the system. The system was created by the lobbyists and by Washington. So they should actually go to Washington and also occupy the Federal Reserve on the way. - in CNB... more » 

The Message To Americans

Admin at Marc Faber Blog - 5 hours ago
“I’ll tell you what the U.S. needs. The U.S. needs a Lee Kwan Yew who stands in front of the U.S. and tells them, ‘Listen you lazy bugger, you need to tighten your belts, you need to save more, you need to work more for lower salaries.” - *in CNBC* *Marc Faber is an international investor known for his uncanny predictions of the stock market and futures markets around the world.* 

CNBC Video Interview With Larry Kudlow

Admin at Jim Rogers Blog - 5 hours ago

*Jim Rogers is an author, financial commentator and successful international investor. He has been frequently featured in Time, The New York Times, Barron’s, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and is a regular guest on Bloomberg and CNBC.* 

Van Rompuy And Barroso Announce €440 Billion EFSF Fully Functional; Now, How Do They Expand It To €3 Trillion?

Following the Slovak approval vote earlier, the EFSF is now fully functional, or so say Europe's two unelected leader Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Barroso (full statement here). Which is great, considering it only took Europe 3 months to ratify something that was supposed to be operational 2 months ago, and take over for the ECB's SMP declining bond purchases sometime in mid-September. And now, as Zero Hedge explained back in July, comes the hart part where the Eurozone realizes that the EFSF, which recently has found it has more uses than a Swiss Army Knife and can be used as a central bank, as a guarantor, as an insurance policy, as a CDO squared, cubed, etc, etc, or at least so the rumors go, has to be expanded from $440 billion to €3.5 billion. Recall: "slowly the sell side is coming to the realization that not only will the EFSF have to be expanded (that much was known), but that Germany, and specifically the outright economy, will be on the hook by an unprecedented amount of money. And expanded it will have to be: not by two, not by three, but by a cool four times, to a unbelievable €3.5 trillion which according to Daiwa's Head of Economic Research, Grant Lewis, is an act which will be necessary to convince financial markets of euro area resolve to save Italy and Spain." That was two months ago. Finally, the governments, which back then religiously denied such reporting as scaremongering, are getting on the bandwagon. It was none other than Le Figaro, mouthpiece of the country that has the most to lose from the inability to ringfence a Greek fallout, that said yesterday: "The euro area reflects one of several options to increase by up to five times, or more than 2500 billion euros, the firepower of its relief fund for countries in financial difficulty (EFSF), said on Wednesday AFP European sources." In other words, the target number is now known, and nobody is ashamed to put it out there: between €2.5 and €3.5 trillion. The only question is what form it will take: yesterday it was a bank, today it is an insurance "fund", tomorrow who knows - gotta keep those rumors a surprise after all: they don't call the EFSF the modern version of the Swiss Army Bailout knife for nothing.

30 Year Bond Prices At Record Low Yield As China Flees, Direct Purchases Soar

The "benefit" of Operation Twist for the long end shone through today as the Treasury priced $13 billion in a 30 Year reopening, which came at a record low yield of 3.12%: this was 4 basis points inside the When Issued of 3.16% so at first sight the auction was a stunning success, confirmed by the second highest Bid To Cover in the auction history of 2.94. Perhaps... The only problem is when one looks at the internals, where just like yesterday, the most prominent observation was the total collapse in the Indirect Bid, which accounted for just $3.7 billion of the take down or 28.7% of the total, less than the Direct portion which despite having plunged in all other recent bond auctions soared to a virtual record 29.5% of the total auction (less than just the 29.6% from March 2010). And now the question again arises: are the Directs merely London-based offshore entities doing China's bidding away from the Indirect bidder spotlight, or, is this some other operation that kicks in every time when a plunge in Indirects is expected, such as over the past two days with China seemingly doing all it can do show it is telegraphing a plunge in interest for US paper. We will know more today when at 4:30 pm the Fed discloses its most recent custodial Treasury holdings for the past week. In the meantime, the Primary Dealers and the Directs have the long-end firmly under control.

Guest Post: Thailand: Not Letting A Good Crisis Go To Waste

Parts of Thailand have experienced terrible flooding lately, and much of the country’s production shut down as a result. Thailand makes everything from tire factories to hard disk drive manufacturers to rice… and given the slowdown in the economy, it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Not to worry, though, the government has a plan to fix it. Let me explain: Thailand’s central bank is sitting on roughly $212 billion in net foreign reserves right now. That’s up 37% from last year and nearly 80% from 2009. Curiously, it all starts with Ben Bernanke.

Meet "Ben Pu" - The Aleynikov Sequel: Quant Powerhouse Citadel Arrests Former Employee For Stealing "Alpha" Code

Chicago hedge fund Citadel may not have the best of luck when it comes to running traditional financial businesses (it's recent disastrous foray into advisory and capital markets - nuf said), but when it comes to picking up nickels and dimes ahead of slower traders (yes there is a name for it, but for lack of immediate legal retaliation by an uber-sensitive Ken Griffin we will leave it to our readers' imagination) by virtue of faster computers and a massive collocated infrastructure, Citadel is second to none (well, except maybe now infamous Latour Trading). Which explains why it is so sensitive to any former employees "borrowing" its special sauce, aka the computer code that is the only thing that gives the hedge fund its fro... er, superior trading execution. It was only last year that the fund went all Friend-O on Misha Malyshev, whose Teza technologies was implicated as the future employee of one now legendary Sergey Aleynikov. Well, it is time for a redux. As Dow Jones reports, "a former technology employee of hedge fund manager Ken Griffin's Citadel LLC was arrested for allegedly stealing sensitive computer trade secrets from the company for his own personal use, the Department of Justice said. According to the complaint affidavit, 24-year-old Yihao Pu, also known as "Ben Pu," was found by Citadel's information technology department to have "downloaded several unauthorized programs," which allegedly allowed him to bypass Citadel's security protocols and transfer files or data from his Citadel computer to an external storage device."

PrimeX Update: The Rout Continues

Stocks may go up, and stocks may go down, but Prime X knows only one direction...

Raj Raj Gets 11 Years In Federal Prison

While Angelo Mozilo is working on his tan and pretending he did not engage in blatant 10(b)-5 fraud for years and years. Oh well, justice is served.  Don't look for the Gerson Lehrman IPO any times soon.

Slovakia Passes EFSF Expansion Vote

Well, that's that.
  • 114 voted for the EFSF, 30 against and 3 abstained from 147 present (out of 150
Now: perhaps we can finally get some details of what will happen next instead of just blind short covering squeeze on rumor-based headfakes? Oh wait, we won't? Because there are no real details and it is all just rhetoric?

Credit Suisse Buries European Banks, Sees Deutsche Bank And 65 Other Bank Failing Latest Stress Test, €400 Billion Capital Shortfall

A day after Credit Suisse killed the Chinese bank sector saying that the equity of virtually the entire space may be worthless if NPLs double, as they expect they will to about 10%, the Swiss bank proceeds to kill European banks next. Based on the latest farce out of Europe in the form of the third stress test, which is supposed to restore some confidence, it appears that what it will do is simply accelerate the flight out of everything bank related, but certainly out of anything RBS, Deutsche Bank, BNP, SocGen and Barclays related. To wit: "In our estimation of what could be the “new EBA stress test” there would be 66 failures, with RBS, Deutsche Bank, and BNP needing the most capital – at €19bn, €14bn and €14bn respectively. Among the banks with the highest capital shortfalls, SocGen and Barclays would need roughly €13bn with Unicredit and Commerzbank respectively at €12bn and €11bn. In the figure below we present the stated results. We note RBS appears to be the most vulnerable although the company has said that the methodology, especially the calculation of trading income, is especially harsh for them, negatively impacting the results by c.80bps." Oops. Perhaps it is not too late for the EBA to back out of this latest process and say they were only kidding. And it gets even worse: "We present in this section an overview of the analysis which we published in our report ‘The lost decade’ – 15-Sep 2011. One of our conclusions was that the overall European banking sector is facing a €400bn capital shortfall which compares to a current market cap of €541bn." Said otherwise, we can now see why the FT reported yesterday that banks will be forced to go ahead and proceed with asset firesales: the mere thought of European banks raising new cash amounting to 75% of the entire industry's market cap, is beyond ridiculous. So good luck with those sales: just remember - he who sells first, sells best.

Art Cashin On The Most Important History Lesson Of The Last Century

Today, instead of the traditional market observations by the Chairman of the Fermentation Committee, we share with readers a critical historical lesson from Art Cashin, focusing on an event that took place 89 years ago, which as Cashin says is "one of the most devastating economic events in recorded history and an important backdrop to Europe today. It all began with the efforts of a few, well-intentioned government officials." Many will know what we are talking about already...

A Slovak Twist: Slovakia's Sulik Announces EFSF Vote Has To Be Adopted By Constitutional Court First

With everyone so certain the Slovak EFSF vote passage was just a formality, it was only a matter of time before Richard Sulik's SaS threw a wrench in the best laid plans.... Sure enough, as of a few minutes ago, Sulik has announced that he is considering getting the constitutional court involved, a process which if anything will create an indefinite delay in the EFSF ratification, even assuming there is no additional doublecrossing of the outgoing PM Radicova involved.

How Obama Got His Groove (And Rating) Back

To think three years of soaring unemployment, central planning, political gridlock and relentless propaganda could have been fixed with just one well-timed punch...

The Status Quo Is Back - UniCredit Halted, Down 7.8%

As we said earlier, "it was fun while it lasted." Now reality, and the pricing in of tomorrow's Berlusconi vote of "confidence" comes back with a vengeance. From Reuters:
Fear not! the imminent surge in Italian CDS means that the Boot will report infinite EPS once its bonds hits zero: thank you JP Morgan.

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