Friday's nonfarm payrolls report easily beat Wall Street expectations but may not be quite what Wall Street wanted.» Read More
When the Swiss central bank confirmed today that it has excluded Irish government debt from a list of assets considered eligible as collateral for its repo transactions, it created broader worries about the exposure of other eurozone nations to decisions from Alpine bankers.
The move against Irish debt was first reported by Irish blogger Lorcan Roche Kelly . It happened way back in December, after major credit rating agencies cut Ireland's rating below 'A,' but went largely unnoticed. My colleague Antonia Oprita confirmed the report today .
Nancy Pelosi will surrender the House Speaker’s gavel to John Boehner today. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives has already made its influence felt by forcing President Barack Obama to cut a deal to stave off scheduled tax increases for another two years—and the economy and markets seem to be responding positively.
Republicans, however, cannot afford to rest on this early victory. They rose to power—or at least, to power-sharing—on the confidence of tea party activists, Republican stalwarts and independent voters that they would press for reform on Capitol Hill. Spending restraint, deficit reduction, health care reform, respect for Constitutional limits on federal authority and regulatory reform must all be high on the Republican agenda if the Grand Old Party hopes to keep this confidence intact through 2012.
Welcome to the world of European sovereign debt restructuring proposals — where politicians dream of making the world other than it is by act of Parliament.
Today's installment begins with a discussion of two policy options for handling European sovereign bonds in the wake of the Eurozone's debt crisis.
That big positive surprise this morning from the ADP jobs report was nice while it lasted — which was all of about 30 seconds by market standards.
Unfortunately, a number of traders and economists aren't willing to take seriously the report that ADP and Macroeconomic Advisors put out suggesting the economy created 297,000 jobs over the past month.
A quick straw poll this morning showed a lot of disbelief in the ADP numbers, and the report did virtually nothing to move the stock market, though futures pared some losses immediately after the release.
Black Gold's run has been a wild one for investors, sparking oil analysts to recently raise their forecasts. While the U.S. economy and demand are not the drivers behind this rush, the momentum is there (for example as a currency hedge).
The next level everyone is watching is when crude breaks through $100 and many expect it will. I decided to talk to Kevin Book, Managing Director of Research at ClearView Energy Partners about his crude expectations.
Duh, Money never sleeps. So, neither do I. I mean, someone's gotta run this graveyard. Since I've been up \(way\) longer than you, here's what you missed, sleepyhead.
Portuguese Bond Yields Spike (CNBC via Reuters) "Portugal paid almost twice as much to sell 500 million euros ($660 million) of six-month paper on Wednesday as it did in September, keeping the country at the sharp end of persistent market concerns about euro zone debt. The yield rose to 3.686 percent from 2.045 percent in the previous auction. The auction produced a bid to cover ratio of 2.6, compared with 2.4 previously."
Treasury Prices Up As Fed Prepares to Buy \(Bloomberg\) "Treasuries rose as the Federal Reserve prepared to buy long-term debt today after saying improvements in the economy fell short of what's needed to scale back its bond-purchase program. Ten-year yields approached a two-week low after Vincent Reinhart, who was the Fed's chief monetary-policy strategist from 2001 until September 2007, said unemployment may lead the central bank to extend its purchases beyond the current plan to scoop up $600 billion of debt. A report today is forecast to show that private employment rose by the most since November 2007 last month. The notes also rose as the MSCI World Index of stocks fell for the first time in four days."
Sometimes It's Hard to Count Your Billions \(New York Times\) It's really tough to be in private equity when you don't know your own net worth: "It is the brass-tacks question every stock investor asks: What is this company really worth? But in the rarefied realm of private equity investing, the answer to that question is often hard to find, if it can be found at all. After so many public companies passed into private hands during the boom years, buyout specialists who defined that era of Wall Street wealth are seemingly at odds over how their investments are — or are not — panning out. Freescale Semiconductor, for instance, was taken over by a pack of private investment companies in 2006 for $17.6 billion, of which $7 billion came from the firms. That $7 billion is now said to be worth $3.15 billion. Or $2.45 billion. Or $1.75 billion. The owners — the Blackstone Group, the Carlyle Group, Permira Advisers and TPG Capital — disagree on its value."
Stocks Trend up after Fed Minutes (Wall Street Journal) "Blue-chip stocks tacked on a second straight session of gains this year, boosted by encouraging economic data and relief over a quiet set of minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 20.43 points, or 0.2%, to 11691.1, extending the gains from its surge on Monday, the first trading session of the year.
Other benchmark indexes closed with modest losses. The Nasdaq Composite fell 10.27, or 0.4% to 2681.25. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index shed 1.69, or 0.1%, to 1270.20."
Here is the lead sentence from the FOMC press release of the December 14, 2010 meeting minutes: "Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in November confirms that the economic recovery is continuing, though at a rate that has been insufficient to bring down unemployment."
The first paragraph also contains this gem: "Employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls. The housing sector continues to be depressed."
Once again: You could hear a similar summary—phrased in saltier language—at your neighborhood tavern.
The falling out between Bill Gross and his one-time partner Mohamed El-Erian has quickly turned into one of the ugliest bust-ups in recent history.
The founder of a hedge fund with $21 billion under management provided three investing rules and three favorite stocks.
Former executives at Dewey & LeBoeuf were accused of using accounting gimmicks to fool banks and investors.