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  Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 | 1:55 PM ET

China No Longer Top Holder of US Treasuries

Posted By: Ash Bennington

If China is no longer the U.S. government's largest creditor who is?

US Capitol Building with cash
US Capitol Building with cash

You guessed it: The Fed.

(Against the backdrop of QE2, this probably isn't terribly surprising.)

Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge has crunched the numbers from today's release of TIC data (Treasury International Capital)—and some interesting facts have emerged.

First, the U.S. Federal Reserve holds a total of $996 Billion of U.S. Debt —versus the $907 billion in U.S. debt held by Mainland China.

» Read More
  Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 | 1:34 PM ET

How to Dress for Success, UBS-Style

Posted By: John Carney

Everyone today is obsessing over the 43-page UBS brochure setting forth an elaborate dress code.

"Dresscode UBS à l’attention des collaborateurs PKB" is the formal title of the document.

It's a very typically obsessive Swiss document, with advice on everything from how many pieces of jewelry to wear (maximum of 3 pieces for men, 7 for women) to what color underwear should be donned . There's also some weird stuff, like a ban on women wearing new shoes.

The dress code is being tested out in five branches in Switzerland but may be rolled out worldwide, according to the Wall Street Journal .

My favorite part consists of advice on how to wear a tie.

Source: UBS

This is translated from French to English by Google Translator \(Pardon the unusual grammar\):

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  Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 | 1:15 PM ET

Lloyd Blankfein Loves Goldman's Cafeteria

Posted By: Kerima Greene

You'd expect Wall Street's most powerful banker to spend his lunch hour at Grill Room of the Four Seasons Restaurant. But Lloyd Blankfein would rather hit the salad bar at his company's cafeteria any day of the week.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 | 12:33 PM ET

Wall Street Holiday Party Watch: Bowling For Barclays

Posted By: John Carney

Barclays Capital did not go too far to get their Yuletide cheer going this year.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 | 11:48 AM ET

Relax: Lots of Other People Are More Depressed Than You Are

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Thomas Carlyle famously called economics 'The Dismal Science': But finance, it turns out, ranks only 9th in the Depression league tables.

This according to a new report by Health.com.

Whether coming in 9th—at anything, really—is cause for rejoicing, or for deepening your depression, depends largely on your perspective.

Let's compare finance to other professions. It turns out that Nursing Home & Child Care is the most depressing way to earn a living. Eleven percent of those employed in this field report a "bout of major depression".

» Read More
  Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 | 11:00 AM ET

Goldman Sachs Is the Best Place to Work on Wall Street

Posted By: John Carney

It's official.

Goldman Sachs is the best place to work on Wall Street. And Lloyd Blankfein is the most popular chief executive.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 | 10:17 AM ET

Armey: We Have to Raise the Debt Ceiling

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

There used to be a joke that went like this. Two guys were sitting in a bar talking politics. "So what party do you support," one fellow asked. "I'm not a supporter of any organized political party," the other fellow said. "Me neither," said the first guy. "I'm a Democrat."

These days both the Democrats and Republicans seem to be fracturing under the weight of the government's budget deficit, taxes, and the still stymied economic recovery. I decided to speak with the Godfather of the Tea Party, Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. FreedomWorks, his organization, has been a vocal supporter on the extension of the tax cuts. I asked him about the division within the Democratic Party and the Republican Party when it comes to taxes.

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  Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 | 9:58 AM ET

Lloyd Blankfein: The Next de' Medici?

Posted By: Kerima Greene

Many architectural purists consider Goldman Sachs' new headquarters in lower Manhattan "totally foregettable."

»Read more
  Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 | 8:45 AM ET

Dynegy Board Accepts $6.6 Billion Icahn Buyout Bid—But Keeps Options Open

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Mortgage Rates Up, Applications Down (CNBC via Reuters) "Applications for U.S. home mortgages declined last week as home loan interest rates rose for a fifth consecutive week, to seven month highs, an industry group said on Wednesday. Mortgage application The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage application activity declined 2.3 percent to 589.7 in the week ended Dec.10. Application activity slumped as fixed 30-year mortgage contract rates rose to 4.84 percent in the week, the highest level since early May, from 4.66 percent in the prior week, according to the MBA data."

Spain's Bonds Down [Again]; Spain on Credit Watch [Again] (Bloomberg) "Spanish government bonds fell for an eighth day after Moody’s Investors Service said it may cut the nation’s credit rating, citing the potential struggle for the government to fund itself next year amid losses at banks. The decline pushed the 10-year Spanish yield up to within nine basis points of the highest since September 2000. Portuguese bonds fell after costs rose at a 500 million-euro ($664 million) sale of Treasury bills. Spain plans to sell bonds tomorrow."

Germany's Merkel Opposes Eurobond \(New York Times\) "Digging in her heels ahead of a European Union summit meeting, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted Wednesday that the introduction of shared “eurobonds” was not the answer to Europe’s debt challenges. Speaking to the German parliament, Mrs. Merkel made clear that Germany was not going to bow to pressure from countries such as Italy and Luxembourg — or from former top ministers in her previous coalition government — who support issuing jointly backed bonds as a way to restore long-term confidence in the euro. The 'collectivization of risks' would be a mistake, Mrs. Merkel said."

» Read More
  Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 | 4:05 PM ET

Stocks Up—On Stay-the-Course News from The Fed

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Fed Keeps Rates the Same: Continues Easing (CNBC via Reuters) "The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Tuesday the economic recovery was still too slow to bring down unemployment, reaffirming its commitment to purchase $600 billion in bonds to stimulate growth and create jobs.

In a statement that contained little acknowledgment of a recent uptick in the economic data but focused squarely on high unemployment, the Fed characterized the U.S. expansion as 'continuing,' a modest upgrade from its November description of the recovery as 'slow.'"

Fed Announcement: Alternate Coverage (NetNet) "Household spending is increasing at a moderate pace, but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. (Sigh. You could learn similar facts, stated in more accurate and less tedious language, at your neighborhood tavern.)"

Treasuries Drop on Fed Announcement (Bloomberg) "Treasuries plunged, pushing the 30-year bond yield to a seven-month high, as Federal Reserve policy makers said the U.S. recovery is continuing and maintained a $600 billion program of debt purchases.

The extra yield investors demand to hold 10-year notes over 2-year debt was the highest since April on speculation President Barack Obama’s agreement to extend tax cuts will win passage in Congress, supporting growth and stoking inflation. Retail sales rose more than forecast, and producer prices increased the most in eight months, government reports showed."

» 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 "Fast Money."

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