Happy Wednesday. We now return to our regularly scheduled program of spring.» Read More
It Ain't Brain Surgery—But the Pay is Twice as Nice [Bloomberg] "Wall Street traders discouraged by declining bonuses this month can take solace: They still earn much more than brain surgeons and top U.S. generals. An oil trader with 10 years in the business is likely to earn at least $1 million this year, while a neurosurgeon with similar time on the job makes less than $600,000, recruiters estimated. After a decade of deal-making, merger bankers take home about $2 million, more than 10 times what a similarly seasoned cancer researcher gets."
Economists See Improving Conditions [Wall Street Journal] "Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal are increasingly optimistic about the pace of the recovery, predicting the U.S. will grow at better than a 3.2% annual rate in each quarter this year."
The Federal Reserve’s easy money policies have created 3.5 million private jobs, if you believe Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen.
Michael Shedlock doesn’t believe her. But, he points out, even if you do believe that the Fed is creating 250,000 private sector jobs a month, it is doing so at an enormous cost .
“The Fed bloated its balance sheet by $2.3 trillion to allegedly create 3.5 million jobs,” Shedlock points out. “My math suggests it takes $657,142.86 in balance sheet additions to create a single job.”
We’re still an almost unnoticeable friendless peon when compared to our big sibling, CNBC, which has somewhere like 75,000 friends on Facebook.
But we’re still proud and we’re hoping you’ll sign up.
Technically, you cannot actually “friend” NetNet. Facebook has some silly rule that only real people can have friends. But you can “like” us on Facebook . That way you’ll get some of our posts in your Facebook newsfeed. Not more than a few a day, though. So don’t worry about having us clog up your Facebook page.
We’re also on Twitter . Actually, we’re on Twitter twice. There’s @cnbcnetnet , which is a feed of only our “greatest hits” during the day. If you are really hardcore and want every single NetNet post to show up in your Twitter feed, follow @netnetdigest.
The debt ceiling does not seem to have many friends these days.
John McDermott at FT Alphaville , the blog Self-Evident , and Felix Salmon have all issued thrashings . The gist of the complaints is that since the debt ceiling will eventually be raised, all the political debate leading up to the eventual raise is just political posturing at best, and dangerous demagoguery at worst.
The fears of the debt contagion spreading throughout Europe has been a source of concern this week as investors question which are countries too big to bail out. The acronym for the countries in question—Portugal,Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain is perfect—PIIGS .
These countries oinked out spending like it was going out of style and now they can't pay their debts. But unlike sending off a fat pig to slaughter, the economic ramifications of letting any of these pigs going belly up could create what many fear an economic catastrophe for the euro itself.
I decided to speak with Jim Rickards, Senior Managing Director for Market Intelligence at Omnis, about this threat.
Here is an aspect of the mortgage foreclosure story you may not have heard about: US banks are apparently booking income on cash flow that they have not yet received, according to a recent article on Forbes.com
The CEO of AngloGold Ashanti surprised even Joe Kernen this morning with his comment that it cost “more than $1000 an ounce across the industry to produce an ounce of gold.” Surprised me, too so I did a little research.
Sort of rich people feel bad about themselves because the truly rich are really richer.
That, in a nutshell, is the conclusion one economics blogger reached based on an analysis of income distribution data.
And the internets have been buzzing about it ever since.
Hedge fund regulation is having a seriously perverse—if entirely predictable—effect. Large hedge funds are growing larger, well-known star managers are accumulating more assets under management, and competition from start-ups is becoming scarcer.
Barrier to entry and costs of regulatory compliance have risen dramatically. A new fund must start its life with at least $100 million of assets under management to be commercially viable, according to Hester Plumridge of Heard On The Street . A few years ago, the price of entry was just $50 million.
US Foreclosures above 1 Million Mark for the First Time since 2010 [CNBC via Reuters] "Banks seized more than a million U.S. homes in one year for the first time last year, despite a slowdown in the last few months as questions around foreclosure processing arose, a leading firm said Thursday. Banks foreclosed on 69,847 properties in December, bringing the year's total to 1.05 million, topping the prior record of 918,000 homes seized in 2009, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said."
Eurozone Interest Rates Remain at 1 Percent, Questions Remain [CNBC via Reuters] "The European Central Bank will face a grilling on its assessment of the euro zone debt crisis and firming price pressures in the bloc after it left interest rates on hold at 1 percent on Thursday. The decision was correctly forecast by all economists polled by Reuters and keeps rates at the record low they have been at since May 2009."
Fed speak may trump earnings reports and economic data, guaranteeing another volatile trading day.
The Fed should "explicitly" say it will keep rates near zero until the economy is within a year of reaching Fed goals, a policymaker said.
Bill Ackman wants the world to have a better understanding of why people act the way they do.