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Politics Barack Obama

  • Health Care Reform

    House Democratic leaders Thursday walked their rank-and-file members through last-minute agreements that could move President Barack Obama's overhaul of the nation's health care system a step closer to reality.

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    US regulators told banks not to increase dividends or buy back shares until political (and economic) uncertainty around the industry dissipates. They have to be smoking something. Define the end of political uncertainty.

  • Gary Gensler

    For 18 years, Gary G. Gensler worked on Wall Street, striking merger deals at the venerable Goldman Sachs. Today, he is emerging as one of the nation’s archreformers, pushing to impose some of the most stringent new financial regulations in history. The New York Times reports.

  • Congressional budget referees say Senate legislation that's now the foundation for President Barack Obama's health care plan would cut the federal deficit by $118 billion over 10 years.

  • If you think the present administration is coming down with Jimmy Carter syndrome, then this is the play for you.

  • Senate Banking Committee members from both parties said on Wednesday that they had agreed to include in their regulatory overhaul bill a new Office of Research and Analysis that would provide early warnings of possible systemic collapses.

  • NYSE traders

    If I told you that the dollar is up, gold is down, and profits are powerful, would you be bullish or bearish? Well, I would be bullish — at least for the short-run.

  • 2010 Toyota Prius

    Toyota's massive recalls are prompting Congress to reconsider whether the nation's auto safety agency has lived up to its mission of protecting motorists.

  • Citigroup did (finally!) announce the terms of its trust preferred offering: $2 billion (80 million shares), par $25, at a yield of 8.5 percent.  The surprise here is the yield: 8.5 percent, less than the 8.875 percent that traders had been told last night. Demand was much stronger than expected, resulting in a lower yield than initially telegraphed.

  • Cost of healthcare

    So now it becomes clear: President Obama as Ahab, a political martyr wannabe who willfully straps himself to his own Moby Dick, that great white whale of a $1 trillion health-care overhaul.

  • The big moves up in select financials has a confusing number of possible reasons — but concentrate on the most important one.

  • China reported better than expected February export data, up 45.7 percent (!) from a year ago. Banks continue to raise capital. Still waiting for Citigroup to announce details of their trust preferred offering. And Northeast regional bank Susquehanna Bancshares announced a pricing of common and trust preferred securities.

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    The key question facing investors right now — on the anniversary of a record-breaking stock surge, the best in 75 years — is whether we’re headed for a second bull-market year?

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    It never ceases to amaze how political leaders can shamelessly blame free markets and faceless speculators for the consequences of their lousy financial decisions.

  • Traders telling me that Citigroup will be pricing its preferred offering, $25 par, at a yield of 8.875 percent. Size is roughly $2 billion; one trader said it was “multiple times oversubscribed.”

  • Select financials moved midday: Citi up 7 percent, Fannie Mae up 13 percent, Freddie Mac up 16 percent, AIG up 16 percent. The one thing they all have in common: big government ownership of their shares. I have heard vague rumors that the government may attempt to restrict short selling in names that they own. This makes little sense, since the government has already had a poor experience with restricting short sales in financials....

  • Modest rally at the open, as United Airlines' (parent company: UAL) CFO said corporate travelers were starting to return, and that unit revenue growth (revenues for each passenger mile) jumped 17 percent in February, outpacing that of its rivals.

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    I do believe that this great stock market rally over the past year — the S&P 500 is up 68 percent and economy-sensitive small-caps are up 95 percent — is in part telling us that political regime change is coming our way this November.

  • Federal Reserve

    The Fed has made a lot of noise about the unconventional methods Bernanke and company will use to withdraw the vast stimulus that has been pushed into the system.

  • Economists at Independent Strategy have come to the conclusion that stimulus spending  has been a complete waste of time