Scoff if you like but bitcoin, despite its myriad defects and detractors, is getting an increasing level of focus in high finance.» Read More
Violence Erupts in Greece during Austerity Protest (New York Times) "Thousands of Greeks took to the streets of the capital on Wednesday for a protest against a fresh wave of austerity measures which was marred by violence as a general strike brought international travel and public services to a standstill. The walkout — Greece’s seventh general strike this year — grounded flights, kept ferries in ports, halted train services and shut down government offices and schools while leaving hospitals to operate on emergency staffing and causing a news blackout as journalists joined the action. Public transport was operating for most of the day to enable Athenians to attend demonstrations in the city center."
CNBC's Diana Olick on Negative Equity \(CNBC\) "There was a lot of talk last week about how negative equity, now at 22.5 percent of all homes with mortgages, according to CoreLogic, will affect the housing recovery. Then mortgage rates popped up to 5 percent overnight, thanks to the 10-year Treasury, and more folks voiced concern over today's potential home buyer and his or her ability to take advantage of this low-priced housing market. Owing more on your mortgage than your home is currently worth doesn't necessarily mean you can't afford your monthly mortgage payment or that you're going to go about your day any differently, other than feeling a little financially depressed. While it may make some more likely to walk away or 'strategically default,' most won't."
Salmon's basic thesis is this: that "the leverage-is-good meme simply refuses to die"—even though we should know better by now, especially n the wake of the last financial crisis.
He makes some excellent points about the article.
And his critique does make you wonder about the broader prevailing ethos surrounding debt on Wall Street in general.
To wit: Do all former leverage junkies live in perpetual danger of relapse?
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers—commonly referred to as the CPI-U—increased 0.1 percent in November, on a seasonally adjusted basis. The number was released earlier today by the Bureau of Labor statistics.
What—if anything—does that data point tell us about the broader economy?
Earlier today, I spoke with Dr. Robert Shapiro to help us put that number into context, and to provide a broader economic perspective.
Dr. Shapiro was Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs during the Clinton administration, and the principal architect of President Clinton's 1992 economic program.
"What we know from this number is what we knew without this number: Namely, the recovery is abnormally slow, unusually fragile, companies can't raise prices in that environment. Demand is not strong enough to support higher prices," Shapiro said.
John Kinnucan, the man who refused to wear a wire in an ongoing insider trading probe , just received a subpoena from the SEC.
If China is no longer the U.S. government's largest creditor who is?
You guessed it: The Fed.
(Against the backdrop of QE2, this probably isn't terribly surprising.)
Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge has crunched the numbers from today's release of TIC data (Treasury International Capital)—and some interesting facts have emerged.
First, the U.S. Federal Reserve holds a total of $996 Billion of U.S. Debt —versus the $907 billion in U.S. debt held by Mainland China.
Everyone today is obsessing over the 43-page UBS brochure setting forth an elaborate dress code.
"Dresscode UBS à l’attention des collaborateurs PKB" is the formal title of the document.
It's a very typically obsessive Swiss document, with advice on everything from how many pieces of jewelry to wear (maximum of 3 pieces for men, 7 for women) to what color underwear should be donned . There's also some weird stuff, like a ban on women wearing new shoes.
The dress code is being tested out in five branches in Switzerland but may be rolled out worldwide, according to the Wall Street Journal .
My favorite part consists of advice on how to wear a tie.
This is translated from French to English by Google Translator \(Pardon the unusual grammar\):
You'd expect Wall Street's most powerful banker to spend his lunch hour at Grill Room of the Four Seasons Restaurant. But Lloyd Blankfein would rather hit the salad bar at his company's cafeteria any day of the week.
Barclays Capital did not go too far to get their Yuletide cheer going this year.
Thomas Carlyle famously called economics 'The Dismal Science': But finance, it turns out, ranks only 9th in the Depression league tables.
This according to a new report by Health.com.
Whether coming in 9th—at anything, really—is cause for rejoicing, or for deepening your depression, depends largely on your perspective.
Let's compare finance to other professions. It turns out that Nursing Home & Child Care is the most depressing way to earn a living. Eleven percent of those employed in this field report a "bout of major depression".
Goldman Sachs is the best place to work on Wall Street. And Lloyd Blankfein is the most popular chief executive.
John Carney is a senior editor for CNBC.com, covering Wall Street and finance and running the NetNet blog.
Jeff Cox is finance editor for CNBC.com.
Lawrence Delevingne is the ‘Big Money’ enterprise reporter for CNBC.com and NetNet.
Stephanie Landsman is one of the producers of CNBC's 5pm ET show "Fast Money."