Howard Marks thinks that the drop in oil prices could finally expose low lending standards and provide better value in the markets.» Read More
Apple shareholders got a shock Monday.
While the U.S. markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Steve Jobs sent a letter to his employees saying he was taking a medical leave of absence but was still retaining his title of CEO. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook would again be responsible for the day to day activities.
His leave begs the question again of transparency and disclosure. Just how much should the company disclose to its shareholders on their CEOs health and when does disclosing too much breach Jobs' privacy? I decided to ask Bruce Weinstein, BusinessWeek.com's Ethics Columnist those questions.
What exactly is the balance of supranational versus national monetary policy in the Eurozone?
It's an excellent question: And, if the ongoing policy parsing over Ireland is any indications, it's an issue that's far from closed.
The best evidence that we're headed for a double-dip in housing is the quality of the mortgages during the recent period in which the housing market seemed to improve in many areas.
In the Freddie Mac review of Citigroup’s performing loans that I mentioned earlier today, the portion rated as “Not Acceptable Quality” was as high as 32 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. While this has obvious implications for the repurchase or "put-back" liability of Citigroup , it also has broader implications for the housing market and the economy.
While the news that Goldman Sachs is restricting its Facebook investment fund to investors outside the US is already prompting cries that US securities regulations have become perverse, the media seem to be missing an important part of this story. It seems fairly likely that Goldman has discovered—or fears the government will discover—that the news of the proposed $1.5 billion Facebook fund came from within Goldman Sachs itself.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, who broke the news of Goldman's investment and fund with Susan Craig, explains why Goldman now believes it must restrict its offering to non-US investors:
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.
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.
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."
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:
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.
This may well be the coolest graphic I've ever seen.
The surging power of activist investors is bolstered by a growing ally: public pensions and other big institutions.
Crude oil futures fell sharply, signaling traders that the selling is not over.
The Fed gave banks more time to meet a provision in the Volcker rule that bans them from betting with their own money through investments in risky hedge and private equity funds.