Jefferies is backing a former senior SAC executive despite its own struggle with insider trading at an internal hedge fund.» Read More
The question of 'austerity' represents a fundamental schism in worldview among economists.
The acquisition of Countrywide Financial by Bank of America is the grift that keeps on grifting.
Yesterday a dozen or so insurance companies that invested in Countrywide mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007 filed a lawsuit accusing the mortgage lender of “massive fraud.”
Although single-family home prices fell for a fifth straight month in November, the latest numbers out of Case-Shiller’s composite index weren’t as bad as expected.
The consensus was for a decline of 0.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in the 20-city index. But the decline from October to November was just 0.5 percent. (Unadjusted for seasonal impact, the index fell 1 percent in Novemeber, a slowdown from the 1.3 percent in October.)
I’m sure you will hear lots of happy talk today about how the double-dip in housing prices seems to be decelerating. I don’t believe it. I think it was a head-fake.
The economic numbers out of London this morning are dismal.
Instead of the 0.5 percent growth in GDP that was forecast the British economy contracted by 0.5 percent—a total swing of negative 1 percent growth.
The open question is this: What is the cause of the drop?
It’s never as good as the first time. I’m talking bonuses here—get your head out of the gutter and into the Street. Too big or too small, Wall Street workers are getting paid billions of dollars in bonuses. And while first time bonuses are not the biggest, they are often the most meaningful and memorable.
"UK economy shrinks 0.5%" [Financial Times] UK economy shrinks a 0.5 percent: Austerity model questioned: "The Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday that the nation's GDP fell by 0.5 per cent in the quarter, rather than rising by the 0.5 per cent rate that was the average forecast of a poll of economists conducted by Thomson Reuters. The economy expanded by 1.2 per cent and 0.7 per cent in the second and third quarters of the year respectively."
Paulson Makes a Killing on Citi [Bloomberg Businessweek] "Paulson & Co., the $35.9 billion hedge fund run by John Paulson, told clients that it made more than $1 billion on its Citigroup Inc. investment in the past 18 months. Citigroup, which surged 43 percent last year, was the fund's most profitable bank holding last year, Paulson said in a letter to clients this month."
Happy hump day eve—c'mon, I'm trying here. Here's what you missed while I was manning the graveyard:
Significant Terror Attack in Moscow [Wall Street Journal] "A powerful suicide-bomb blast at Russia's busiest airport Monday killed at least 35 people just outside a high-security passenger-arrival zone, again raising questions about the government's ability to contain an Islamist insurgency rooted in the country's southern Caucasus region."
"How ‘Distressed’ Home Sales Are Fuzzing the Numbers" [CNBC] CNBC's Diana Olick teases through the home sales data: "After talking with Thomas Popik over at Campbell, I was struck by how much the sales volume in December was skewed by this surge in distressed sales. The normal seasonal pattern should have home sales flat between November and December, but that certainly wasn't the case, with sales up 12.3 percent seasonally adjusted and up nearly 14 percent not seasonally adjusted, according to the National Association of Realtors."
"Rising Commodity Prices Won't Cause Inflation" [CNBC] CNBC's Steve Liesman reports: "It’s not that inflation is not a significant worry. It’s that commodity prices are not enough to make it happen. "
SAC Orders A Large Pizza [SEC.gov] SAC Capital Advisors is buying to Domino's Pizza. Big Time.
It would be easy to make light of the current chaos in Tunisia.
“Carthage Makes Bid For Global Attention After 2000 Years Of Obscurity,” would probably make a great headline in the Onion.
One reason jokes come readily is that not many of us have given much thought to Tunisia. If it is familiar at all, it is probably as the real-life setting of George Lucas’s Tatooine, the home planet of Luke Skywalker. Steven Spielberg filmed parts of Raiders of the Lost Ark there. And students of the classics know that it is where Rome’s arch-nemesis, Carthage, once existed.
But there’s a serious lesson for Americans in Tunisia’s current struggles, although it’s a lesson many Americans may have trouble digesting.
CNBC's Patti Domm and Jeff Cox discuss the jobs report and the current dilemma of long-term unemployment.
CNBC's Patti Domm and Jeff Cox discuss the recent GDP numbers and what factors have been affecting it.
Investors give and investors take away, and nowhere has that been more true lately than in value stocks.
The lack of volume in this market might make it hard for the rally to continue, says veteran trader Art Cashin.
The mid-term election will be a disappointment—but that's a good thing for Wall Street, says hedge-fund manager Todd Schoenberger.
Charles Schwab has lost a case against Morgan Stanley, accusing it of improperly recruiting brokers from a Schwab San Francisco branch.