Central banks are in combat mode. On the front lines: Europe, Denmark, Canada, Switzerland, Peru and India.» Read More
US Foreclosures above 1 Million Mark for the First Time since 2010 [CNBC via Reuters] "Banks seized more than a million U.S. homes in one year for the first time last year, despite a slowdown in the last few months as questions around foreclosure processing arose, a leading firm said Thursday. Banks foreclosed on 69,847 properties in December, bringing the year's total to 1.05 million, topping the prior record of 918,000 homes seized in 2009, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said."
Eurozone Interest Rates Remain at 1 Percent, Questions Remain [CNBC via Reuters] "The European Central Bank will face a grilling on its assessment of the euro zone debt crisis and firming price pressures in the bloc after it left interest rates on hold at 1 percent on Thursday. The decision was correctly forecast by all economists polled by Reuters and keeps rates at the record low they have been at since May 2009."
Happy 3-day weekend Friday eve \(just sounds better\). Before you slosh through snowy slush, here's what missed and need to know to power through the day:
Muni Bond Smackdown! Bill Gross versus Meredith Whitney [Bloomberg] "Bill Gross, who manages the world's biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., clashed with Meredith Whitney, the banking analyst, when he said he doubted there would be many local-government bankruptcies."
Bumping our Heads on the Debt Ceiling: And the Folks Don't Like it One Bit [CNBC] "The U.S. public overwhelmingly opposes raising the country's debt limit even though failure to do so could hurt America's international standing and push up borrowing costs, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday. Some 71 percent of those surveyed oppose increasing the borrowing authority, the focus of a brewing political battle over federal spending. Only 18 percent support an increase."
All things Sarah Palin evoke a passionate response: Her 'Blood Libel' comment is no exception. (Wait: Did Palin really say 'pundent'?)
Data from today's Beige Book suggests that "economic activity continued to expand moderately from November through December."
Here are the highlights:
, analyst Meredith Whitney thinks it should cool down.
Implementing dividend hikes now is short-sighted, said Whitney, who spoke in an interview earlier with CNBC .
While banks have done a good job raising cash, they’d be better off putting it to work on overseas acquisitions that would pay off over the long term rather than stuffing it back into investors’ pockets in the short term, she said.
Welcome to the light.
Credit Suisse has launched a new "lit pool"—in contrast with the "dark pools"—which are periodically vilified for their absence of transparency.
Here's the thumbnail summary.
Although the report from the internal business standards committee at Goldman Sachs begins by acknowledging that the financial crisis had a profound impact on Wall Street, American businesses and households, it falls far short of rising to the challenges created by that impact.
Goldman was driven to initiate a review of its business practices and standards by an irony. The firm had outperformed nearly all of its Wall Street rivals, literally outliving some of them, through the financial crisis. It believes its risk management was so good that the firm, perhaps uniquely, had no need for government aid in 2008. Its traders reacted to the bursting of the housing bubble earlier and with more agility than those at any other big firms.
Some investors believe that declining oil prices are a good thing—for now—with $30 a barrel as the break point.
Owen Li, who blew up his own hedge fund and lost millions isn't an anomaly, warns ex-hedge-fund trader Turney Duff.