Tuesday, 18 Jan 2011 | 11:11 AM ET

Looking for a New Theme for Your Nightmares:Try Smallpox

Posted By: Ash Bennington
Biochemical Warefare Masks
Getty Images
Biochemical Warefare Masks

Smallpox is the only disease in human history to be eradicated through vaccination. So why on earth would anyone want to maintain disease stocks of the horrible virus in laboratories? In a word: Bioterrorism.

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  Tuesday, 18 Jan 2011 | 9:43 AM ET

Citi Still Churned Out Flawed Mortgages Into 2010

Posted By: John Carney
Citigroup Building
Getty Images
Citigroup Building

The assumption that big banks stopped selling defective mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after the housing bubble burst is wrong.

That's the clear message from a study by Freddie Mac of hundreds of mortgages sold to the government-owned mortgage giant in 2009 and 2010.

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  Tuesday, 18 Jan 2011 | 8:42 AM ET

China's Lending Binge

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Citi Misses [CNBC] "Citigroup posted a quarterly profit but missed analyst estimates as revenues from securities and banking operations weakened. The company's net income was $1.3 billion and total revenue for the quarter was $18.4 billion"

"Success Questions at Apple after Jobs's Latest Medical Leave" [Wall Street Journal] "Steve Jobs's latest medical leave from Apple Inc. renews questions about the depth of the company's executive bench. In the near term, there's little doubt the Cupertino, Calif., company can be run ably by Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, who has successful"

China's Lending Binge [Financial Times] "China has lent more money to other developing countries over the past two years than the World Bank, a stark indication of the scale of Beijing’s economic reach and its drive to secure natural resources."

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  Tuesday, 18 Jan 2011 | 7:17 AM ET

Waking up With Nicole Lapin

Posted By: Nicole Lapin

I know you feel good after celebrating the life, legacy and day off MLK gave us. Here's what you missed while you were re-reading the "I have a dream" speech into the wee hours of the morning and need to know to channel those good-vibes into powering through this 4-day week:

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  Friday, 14 Jan 2011 | 4:50 PM ET

PIMCO's Gross Is Buying Mortgages

Posted By: Ash Bennington

PIMCO's Gross Is Long Mortgages [Bloomberg] Very interesting story:"Bill Gross, who runs the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., increased his holdings of mortgage debt to the highest level since July 2009 as prices of government securities fell. Gross cut the proportion of U.S. government and related securities in Pimco’s $241 billion Total Return Fund to 22 percent of assets in December from 30 percent in November, according to a report placed on the company’s website. That’s the least since February 2009. He raised mortgages to 45 percent from 43 percent. Pimco doesn’t comment directly on monthly changes in its portfolio holdings."

Tunisia's President Flees the Country [Wall Street Journal] "Tunisian Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi announced on state television Friday he was temporarily assuming power and that President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali has left the country for Malta under Libyan protection. In a statement Friday, Prime Minister Ghannouchi cited constitutional provisions that stipulate a president who is temporarily unable to conduct his duties should delegate them to the prime minister." Some news outlets are citing inflation as one of the causes.

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  Friday, 14 Jan 2011 | 4:14 PM ET

Coolest Eurozone Graphic. Ever. (Or: Information is Beauty)

Posted By: Ash Bennington

This may well be the coolest graphic I've ever seen.

»Read more
  Friday, 14 Jan 2011 | 3:42 PM ET

PIIGS, Banking, Multi-Axial Chaos

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Plot sovereign creditworthiness on the X-Axis—and aggregate bank credit worthiness on the Y-Axis—and what do you get?

Image Source: ft.com

Well, you get a slope you could ski down . Just check out this chart from the Financial Times. (Click here or on image for full size)

From beggared Greece to boring Sweden.

(I mean that as a compliment to Sweden. Banking is supposed to be boring. Sorry Greece)

Lately, banking has been very exciting.

Exciting like a twelve car pileup on the interstate.

Banking used to be boring.

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  Friday, 14 Jan 2011 | 3:30 PM ET

Uncle Ben & Uncle Tim Hold A Lot of Paper

Posted By: Ash Bennington
The US Treasury now directly holds a mind scrambling $1.07 trillion in securities—including yesterday's Permanent Open Market Operations. » Read More
  Friday, 14 Jan 2011 | 1:36 PM ET

Vincent McCrudden's List of "Corrupt" Regulators

Posted By: John Carney

McCrudden's website appears to have been scrubbed recently. But Google's archives captured a few revealing pages.

One is a list of people who McCrudden says should be "exposed for corruption and fired." Some are well known, such as Mary Schaprio. Others are new names to me.

"There are no good ways to execute this plan, but these people have to be exposed and held accountable," McCrudden wrote.

Here's his list:

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  Friday, 14 Jan 2011 | 12:42 PM ET

Arrested Asset Manager Was a 9/11 Truther

Posted By: John Carney
Vincent McCrudden
Source: alnbri.com
Vincent McCrudden

The asset manager arrested last night for threatening SEC and CFTC officials seems to have slipped off the rails of reality quite some time ago.

First, a bit of background, courtesy of NBC's Jonathan Dienst:

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