Scoff if you like but bitcoin, despite its myriad defects and detractors, is getting an increasing level of focus in high finance.» Read More
Nicole Lapin, of CNBC's Worldwide Exchange, explains what she's long and what she's short this week.
When Congress comes back into session next week, it may consider measures intended to bolster the legal status of a controversial bank owned electronic mortgage registration system that contains three out of every five mortgages in the country.
The system is known as MERS, the acronym for a private company called Mortgage Electronic Registry Systems. Set up by banks in the 1997, MERS is a system for tracking ownership of home loans as they move from mortgage originator through the financial pipeline to the trusts set up when mortgage securities are sold.
The system has come under scrutiny by critics who charge MERS with facilitating slipshod practices. Recently, lawyers have filed lawsuits claiming that banks owe states billions of dollars for mortgage recording fees they avoided by using MERS.
Goldman Talks, China Drops? (Business Insider via ZeroHedge) China equities dropped 5.2 percent: And a Goldman Sachs note may be the cause. While the Wall Street Journal article cites fears of money tightening on inflationary pressure as the cause, the macroeconomic conditions have been in place for some time. ZeroHedge calls out the Goldman report: "With successive inflation prints above the policymakers’ comfort zone, another hike in the reserve rate earlier today, and more policy tightening likely in the works, the near-term risk/reward for this position also looks unappealing as we approach the year-end ‘roll-off’."
Birds fly, fish swim—regulators regulate.
I'm sure they mean well. British regulators, in their recent decision to record bank employees work cell phones must have lofty goals. For example: Protecting the investing public—and the economy at large—from rogue traders and corrupt bankers. But does anyone expect it to work?
“We expect the rules to increase the volume and quality of information available to us to use as additional evidence in insider trading cases,” Sarah Bailey, a spokeswoman for the F.S.A. said.
It makes you wonder if the following thought ever crossed the collective mind of the F.S.A.: Illegal trades executed on bank mobile phones were place there precisely because those lines are not recorded; and if those mobile lines were recorded, the trades would be placed on a different line.
Getting booted off the General Motors initial public offering will cost UBS tens of millions of dollars, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The Swiss bank had been named as one of the underwriters in the offering. But after a high yield research analyst at UBS sent out an unauthorized email to around 150 potential investors—violating the SEC's rules on marketing—the bank was kicked out of this role.
Spreads in the gold market are telling traders two things—first, that demand for physical gold continues to soar and secondly, that we are facing the biggest gold roll in the history of futures markets.
To the first point, it would seem intuitive that demand for physical gold is up—explosive growth in the gold ETF certainly a factor.
But, what we are seeing now is a demand for physical gold that is pushing the market into a short-term backwardation. The gold EFP or, Exchange-for-Physical as quoted by Newedge is currently negative $0.55 to—$0.60.
It's great fun to be a private equity master of the universe. For one thing, you get to say stuff like "“I’m not a bank, I’m a user of banks,” during closed-door meetings at the G-20 Summit.
The quote comes from Steven Schwarzman, chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group. The context: Remarks concerning why it does not make sense to apply mark-to-market accounting standards to hedge funds.
In fact, Schwarzman doesn’t think mark-to-market accounting standards are such a great idea for banks either. In his words:
“'When you have an asset that goes up and down' and “'it’s money good in any case,'…“to have that market, sometimes it’s not a deep market, crash that asset, and destroy the capital of the banking system and create a panic, seems to me to be on its face completely unwise, but we’re still doing it.”
Leaks, conspiracies and price wars. They don't describe a plot from a James Bond movie. Rather, they portray what the nation's largest retailers are up against as they position themselves for Black Friday steals and deals.
Even though the big retail day is more than two weeks away, the Black Friday promotions are in heavy circulation. Many retailers are saying their flyers were "leaked." But, by whom? Angry employee? Resourceful consumer? Or, an executive in the corner office?
"It's been fascinating to see the Black Friday circular leaks develop over the past five years. Initially, they were from a third party company or disenchanted people inside a retail company that were putting the information out there without the retailers' approval. In the last few years, we've see authorized and unauthorized leaks," says National Retail Federation Vice President Ellen Davis.
After outrage and boycott threats by consumers, Amazon has pulled the controversial e-book "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure".
The online retail giant told CNBC Wednesday they would not take down the book citing the first amendment but some say the sale of this book was in direct violation of their own style "standards" of not selling pornographic content.
"This is not about free speech whether on the pedophile guide or the kiddie porn videos," said Maureen Flately, Child Advocate and advisor on Masha's Law. "It's about harm to kids and encouraging criminal activity. The book and images are de facto evidence of both criminal intent and criminal activity. By almost any objective standard, Amazon would be in violation of Masha's Law for harboring and distributing images of child pornography."
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."