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  Thursday, 23 Dec 2010 | 11:44 AM ET

Bank of America Loses Key Battle In Mortgage Fraud Fight

Posted By: John Carney

A New York court ruled yesterday that a bond insurer claiming Bank of America’s Countrywide unit fraudulently induced it to insure $21 billion of mortgage-backed securities can use statistical sampling to prove its case.

Judge Eileen Bransten granted a motion to allow the insurer, MBIA, to use statistical sampling, turning down the objections by Bank of America.

Bank of America had told investors that it intended to fight repurchase requests—also known as put-backs —on a “loan-by-loan basis.” That process would have required MBIA and others seeking to force Bank of America to buy back loans it pooled into mortgage securities to proceed one loan at a time, a costly and time-consuming process.

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  Thursday, 23 Dec 2010 | 10:11 AM ET

Denmark Throws A Fit Over Liquidity Rules

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Did China Intercede on the United States' Behalf with North Korea? (Wall Street Journal) "The U.S. government believes China intervened with North Korea to
tamp down growing tensions on the peninsula—a sign, officials said, that Beijing may be willing to take a tougher stance toward its erratic neighbor. "

Irish Government Pours another €3.7 Billion into Banks (Wall Street Journal) "Ireland's Finance Minister Brian Lenihan Thursday announced plans to recapitalize Allied Irish Banks PLC by €3.7 billion ($3.93 billion) to meet the financial regulator's year-end capital requirements, effectively making it the fourth Irish lender to be nationalized."

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  Thursday, 23 Dec 2010 | 9:51 AM ET

Your Tweets Could be Worth Millions

Posted By: Jesse Bergman

Starting in February, a group of very bold hedge fund managers are launching a multi-million dollar hedge fund whose strategy relies on one very unusual market indicator: your Twitter account .

»Read more
  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 4:45 PM ET

The Ultimate Contrarian Indicator

Posted By: Ash Bennington

CNBC's Jeff Cox: Is the Popularity of Equities the Ultimate Contrarian Indicator? \(CNBC\)

"With investor sentiment bubbling at levels comparable to just before the market's historic highs in 2007, now may be the time to pull back some before the froth gets out of hand. Strategists are almost universal in expectations for the market to climb from 10 percent to 20 percent in 2011, and investor polls show bullishness around 60 percent. Those are numbers reminiscent of October 2007, just before the worst of the financial crisis hit and the market lost more than half its value."

Bank Bonus Dip is Global \(Reuters\)

"From Wall Street to the City of London to Hong Kong's Central District, bankers are bracing for bonuses to be down 7 percent on average from a year ago, and higher salaries will only partially cushion the hit, a Reuters/IFR global poll shows. Some finance industry professionals are expecting drops as steep as 30 percent after weak trading results that are depressing bank profits and shrinking the bonus pool, according to the poll of more than 25 professionals. Unlike in other industries, bankers typically rely on year-end bonuses for a large portion of their yearly compensation."

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  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 4:18 PM ET

DE Shaw's Party Was Way Better Than Blackstone's

Posted By: John Carney

Were told by someone who attended both the Blackstone Group's 25th anniversary party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last month and DE Shaws party at the New York Public Library last week, that the DE Shaw party was much, much better.

In the first place, it was a better crowd. It was younger, and the dates people brought were much better looking, the person said.

The person described the atmosphere as very different also. At Blackstone's Met party, people were acting very self-consciously low-key. They were huddled into little groups. But at the DE Shaw party people were, actually, partying, mixing, flirting and chatting.

Ironically, the New York Public Library is now officially called the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, named for the founder of the Blackstone Group.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 3:52 PM ET

Possible Foreclosure Freeze in NJ?

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Six mortgage lenders in New Jersey have been ordered by the State Supreme Court to appear on January 19th -- to demonstrate why the state should not suspend their foreclosure actions.

The Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, Stuart J. Rabner, spoke out on the matter during a conference call with reporters: "It’s important that the judiciary ensures judges are

»Read more
  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 2:47 PM ET

A 2+20 Payout from Trading Tweets?

Posted By: Ash Bennington

There's really no middle ground on this one: Trading stocks based on data collected through Twitter is either sheer genius or abject stupidity.

Twitter
Source: Twitter
Twitter



Derwent Capital Markets, a hedge fund, is going to begin trading in February based on just such a model.

Their trading model will be based on such things as " the number of times words on Twitter such as “calm” rise above or below average" According to a paper published jointly by the University of Manchester and Indiana University, "A change in emotions expressed online would be followed between two and six days later by a move in the index, the researchers said, and this information let them predict its movements with 87.6 percent accuracy."

Does the excessive precision of that citation bother you a little?

Yeah, me too.

There's really no middle ground on this one: Trading stocks based on data collected through Twitter is either sheer genius or abject stupidity.

» Read More
  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 2:13 PM ET

Why I Believe Julian Assange Has Dirt on Bank of America

Posted By: John Carney

This morning Dick Bove sent out a note to clients explaining that he doubts WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has “new information” about Bank of America.

Julian Assange
Getty Images
Julian Assange

I think Bove is likely to be proven wrong.

Bove knows a lot about Bank of America . He’s a smart and feisty guy who I admire.

But I don’t get his logic on WikiLeaks. Bove runs through the various types of information WikiLeaks could expose and dismisses them.

— Emails showing BofA employees didn’t have faith in toxic securities it sold? Bove says that’s possible but thinks the risk sections of the prospectuses will protect the bank.

— Dirt on departed management? That is not really relevant.

— Merrill- or Countrywide-related dirt? This has already been addressed through investigations and fines.

— Information about customers? That would backfire and expose Assange to legal liability for breaching bank customer confidentiality rules.

In other words, Bove thinks there can't be serious dirt on Bank of America in the Wikileaks data because ... he cannot imagine what it could be.

But Bove's failure to imagine a scandal is no indication that one doesn't exist.

» Read More
  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 2:09 PM ET

Is Old Man Winter Skewing the Retail Data?

Posted By: Stephanie Landsman

He usually gives Santa a run for his money. Not this year. Old Man Winter has been tame in much of the country. Is his restraint skewing the retail data?

"The biggest thing this season was the comparisons to last year. Last year, we had the 'Super Saturday' storm that impacted the whole I-95 corridor which is a huge chunk of humanity to the U.S.," said Paul Walsh, Atmospheric and Environmental Research Senior Vice President. "We had snowmaggedon. We dodged a bullet this year."

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  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 12:37 PM ET

Julian Assange Sex Charges, Animated

Posted By: John Carney

An animated version of the man behind WikiLeaks' in a satire of his alleged sex charges.

»Read more

About NetNet

  • NetNet is where you'll find the low-down and the high jinks of Wall Street. It's the place for insider stories, trader gossip, and tales of the foibles of the moneyed crowd and the culture of finance.Wall Street news and commentary served fresh all day long.

 

  • Jeff Cox is finance editor for CNBC.com.

  • Lawrence Develingne

    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."

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