Politics Barack Obama

  • No surprises from the Fed — that's putting it mildly. Worries about Greece, and maybe the economy, seems to have neutered the Fed completely. Yes, no change in the "exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period" phrase, but we knew that. Nothing on selling their stash of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) or agency debt, nothing on increasing the rate they pay on reserves. But the biggest disappointment..?

  • S&P cuts debt of Spain. And traders are already speculating that, since rating agencies tend to move in bunches, Ireland could be next for a downgrade. Here's what an Irish paper, the Independent, had to say about the state of finances in Ireland a few days ago.

  • The complex world of collateralized debt obligations was one that had no regulation. They were unrestricted securities being sold to sophisticated investors.

  • Speculation is over, a large utility deal gives a boost the U.S. M&A activity.

  • Sen. Max Baucus

    The financial regulation bill before the Senate has the potential to do a lot of good. But it also has at least one major flaw: it would not do enough to prevent taxpayers from paying the bill for a future crisis.

  • The 2-year Greek bond passed a 23 percent yield, which must surely be some kind of selling climax. National Bank of Greece (NBG) is up 10 percent. Meantime, the Greeks are boldly going to the heart of the problem: they have banned short selling of stocks for the next two months.

  • After testifying at the Senate hearing, Lloyd Blankfein talked with CNBC.

  • Many questions were raised as the head of Goldman was grilled on the Hill.

  • For the second day in a row, we end at the lows for the day. Volume heavy, 6.5 billion shares on the NYSE consolidated tape, but again watch Citigroup  — at 1.3 billion shares, it is 20 percent of total volume! Then there's Goldman...

  • The S&P 500 has stabilized after Europe closed at 11:30am ET. Two important points about today's trading: First, The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up as much as 20 percent today, its biggest one-day jump in several weeks, to the highest levels since February. And second..?

  • The point was made, yet again, that the lack of regulation played a pivotal role to the bad actions in this and other markets.

  • U.S. stocks weakened today as European indices headed south. Those European indices, which were weak all morning, weakened further about 11am ET, upon hearing that Portugal's long term sovereign credit ratings were lowered by S&P to A- from A+.

  • Will Fortune 500 companies continue to do business with the Wall Street giant?

  • The Senate hearings start off with tough questioning about what Wall Street owes its clients.

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    With all eyes trained on the financial-regulation bill and the Goldman Sachs hearings, I’d like to keep hope alive by focusing attention on the V-shaped recovery.

  • As the financial giant defends itself against the SEC civil suit, does the firm have a responsibility to admit any wrong doing, whether legal or illegal?

  • International stocks are weaker this morning. Greece stocks are infecting Portugal and Spain (both down more than 2 percent). China's Shanghai Composite Index is down another 2 percent, to the lowest levels since October last year, as they have been tightening rules on property borrowing recently...

  • The Parthenon in Greece

    The bailout of Greece has stirred ferocious debate and fallout in Germany, which has an election shortly.

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    Away from Wall Street, companies that are not involved in high finance are worried about how financial overhaul legislation will affect them, according to the New York Times.

  • Is there a tougher businesss to be in than construction in the U.S.? Still, Eagle Materials, which makes concrete, cement and wallboard, reported earnings ahead of expectations — a gain of 4 cents, better than the loss of 3 cents expected. The good and bad news..?