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  Thursday, 6 Jan 2011 | 10:43 AM ET

10 Fun Reads for Thursday

Posted By: James Altucher
Newspapers
James McHuff
Newspapers

Here's what you should be reading this morning.

1. 53 things I learned from Stocktwits founder Howard Lindzon. #1: make friends through violence.

2. Was the first Wikileaks really started in 1964 ?

3. Quora is quickly overtaking Twitter .

4. It's quite possible we could have10% unemployment forever .

» Read More
  Thursday, 6 Jan 2011 | 8:59 AM ET

Is Goldman Breaching The Volcker Rule With Its Facebook Deal?

Posted By: Ash Bennington
Facebook
Loic Venance | AFP | Getty Images
Facebook

Felix Salmon raises some interesting questions about Goldman Sachs' stake in Facebook.

The basic question he asks regards the letter and spirit of the Volcker Rule, which prohibits banking institutions from engaging in proprietary trading and other investments as principals.

Salmon writes "I’m not saying that the Facebook investment is illegal — for one thing, the details of the Volcker Rule have yet to be fully hashed out, which means it doesn’t yet have the full force of law. But this does look like it violates the spirit of Dodd-Frank."

The Volcker Rule, of course, is intended to limit the risk exposure of bank holding companies.

» Read More
  Thursday, 6 Jan 2011 | 8:57 AM ET

Job's Number a Mixed Bag

Posted By: Ash Bennington
Job's Number a Mixed Bag

[CNBC via Reuters] "New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but a decline in the four-week average to a fresh low in more than two years indicated the labor market improvement remained intact. The number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid fell 47,000 to 4.10 million in the week ended Dec. 25. That was in line with market expectations, and the prior week's number for the so-called continuing claims was revised up to 4.15 million from 4.13 million. The number of people on emergency unemployment benefits fell 133,625 to 3.58 million in the week ended Dec. 18, the latest week for which data is available. A total of 8.77 million people were claiming unemployment benefits during that period under all programs."

Showdown Looms as Gov't Bumps Against Debt Ceiling [CNBC] "As Republican lawmakers threaten a showdown over the federal debt limit, bond investors are calculating when they should start to get nervous. The answer: early March, and probably, really worried in April. Wall Street economists, looking at recent seasonal spending and revenue trends, estimate the $14.3 trillion debt limit will be reached toward the end of March or sometime in April if Congress fails to raise it before then. Hitting the limit could force shutdowns of federal offices, as happened in 1995, threaten payments for Social Security and other federal benefits, or even cause a default on federal debt payments."

» Read More
  Thursday, 6 Jan 2011 | 8:06 AM ET

Waking up With Nicole Lapin

Posted By: Nicole Lapin

C'mon, it's Friday eve, power on through. Plus, I've been up \(way\) longer than you, and not complaining. So, here's what happened while you were sleeping, sunshine:

» Read More
  Wednesday, 5 Jan 2011 | 5:03 PM ET

Will Facebook Be Forced to go Public?

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Goldman and Facebook: A Brave New World — Of Corporate Surveillance (Bloomberg) "Goldman Sachs employees receive a warning when they try to log onto Facebook at work. The message says that “access to this site is logged and audited” and that usage at the New York-based firm is restricted to 'legitimate business.'"

"Treasury Drops Short Sale Requirements" (CNBC) CNBC's Diana Olick on changes to the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative program: "As more and more homeowners dipped underwater on their mortgages last year and didn't qualify for loan modifications, the Obama Administration launched a program to help them out."

Goldman's Facebook Deal: Open Questions \(Reuters\) "Goldman Sachs’ old-school Facebook deal brings a new set of challenges. The bank is raising up to $1.5 billion from clients to invest in the social network while putting in $450 million itself. Like Morgan Stanley’s reported deal with online coupon service Groupon, it looks like classic merchant banking. With hot firms in the driver’s seat, however, the banks could find themselves in for a wild ride."

» Read More
  Wednesday, 5 Jan 2011 | 4:56 PM ET

Currency Carry Trade 'Carries' Investors to Losses

Posted By: Ash Bennington
NYSE Trader
Photo: Oliver Quillia for CNBC.com
NYSE Trader

"Currency traders that seek profits by borrowing in nations with low interest rates to fund purchases in countries with higher yields are losing more money than at any time in at least a decade."

So begins a Bloomberg News story , dated yesterday.

When I took my first job at an investment bank many years ago I didn't know anything.

It was back in those early years that I first heard the term 'carry trade'. I remember that when I first heard the concept it sounded like the most romantic and mysterious thing in the world.

Like I said, I didn't know anything.

Back then I was humble and inquisitive: So I asked a trader about how it worked.

» Read More
  Wednesday, 5 Jan 2011 | 4:49 PM ET

Capitol Hill Agenda: Reform Financial Reform

Posted By: John Carney

Reform of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms might be a good starting place for the Republicans who formally took control of the House of Representatives today.

Capitol Hill Agenda
Capitol Hill Agenda

In the wake of the financial crisis, it seemed for a time as if we might get sensible regulatory reform that would lead to a more robust financial system capable of providing financing for the future of the American economy.

What we got was a bill named for two of the principal architects of the old financial regulatory regime that was long on promises but short on actual reform.

We’ve asked for reader contributions. \(Send them our way by emailing NetNet@cnbc.com .\) For now here is our start for financial reform that would actually improve things:

» Read More
  Wednesday, 5 Jan 2011 | 3:35 PM ET

Facebook Versus The SEC

Posted By: John Carney
Facebook
Facebook

Facebook’s practice of raising capital on private markets largely out of the direct oversight of regulators has spurred an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Facebook recently cut a deal with Goldman Sachs and a Russian investment company called Ditigal Sky Technologies that will raise $500 million for the company. The terms of the deal reportedly value the company at $50 billion.

» Read More
  Wednesday, 5 Jan 2011 | 3:24 PM ET

Law Degree, Never Used, For Sale On eBay

Posted By: Stephanie Landsman

Just days after NetNet published “Getting Schooled in Law Loans ,” a law school graduate has turned to eBay due to “severe financial distress.”

“Resume Goddess” is selling a six year old law degree on eBay , never used, from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She tells NetNet that loans from the third tier law school have “ruined” her life.

» Read More
  Wednesday, 5 Jan 2011 | 2:41 PM ET

S&P on Steroids: Index To Hit 2,854 on Sept. 4, 2013, Birinyi Predicts

Posted By: Jeff Cox

Should the stock market continue on its current trajectory, the Standard & Poor’s 500 will approach 3,000 within the next two and a half years, analyst Laszlo Birinyi said.

Analyzing bull markets going back to 1962 led the Birinyi and Associates president to call for a 2,854 S&P when the current bull market wraps up on Sept. 4, 2013. That would represent a 125 percent gain from Tuesday’s closing price.

How can he be so precise?

» 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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