Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 4:45 PM ET

The Ultimate Contrarian Indicator

Posted By: Ash Bennington

CNBC's Jeff Cox: Is the Popularity of Equities the Ultimate Contrarian Indicator? \(CNBC\)

"With investor sentiment bubbling at levels comparable to just before the market's historic highs in 2007, now may be the time to pull back some before the froth gets out of hand. Strategists are almost universal in expectations for the market to climb from 10 percent to 20 percent in 2011, and investor polls show bullishness around 60 percent. Those are numbers reminiscent of October 2007, just before the worst of the financial crisis hit and the market lost more than half its value."

Bank Bonus Dip is Global \(Reuters\)

"From Wall Street to the City of London to Hong Kong's Central District, bankers are bracing for bonuses to be down 7 percent on average from a year ago, and higher salaries will only partially cushion the hit, a Reuters/IFR global poll shows. Some finance industry professionals are expecting drops as steep as 30 percent after weak trading results that are depressing bank profits and shrinking the bonus pool, according to the poll of more than 25 professionals. Unlike in other industries, bankers typically rely on year-end bonuses for a large portion of their yearly compensation."

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  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 4:18 PM ET

DE Shaw's Party Was Way Better Than Blackstone's

Posted By: John Carney

Were told by someone who attended both the Blackstone Group's 25th anniversary party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last month and DE Shaws party at the New York Public Library last week, that the DE Shaw party was much, much better.

In the first place, it was a better crowd. It was younger, and the dates people brought were much better looking, the person said.

The person described the atmosphere as very different also. At Blackstone's Met party, people were acting very self-consciously low-key. They were huddled into little groups. But at the DE Shaw party people were, actually, partying, mixing, flirting and chatting.

Ironically, the New York Public Library is now officially called the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, named for the founder of the Blackstone Group.

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  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 3:52 PM ET

Possible Foreclosure Freeze in NJ?

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Six mortgage lenders in New Jersey have been ordered by the State Supreme Court to appear on January 19th -- to demonstrate why the state should not suspend their foreclosure actions.

The Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, Stuart J. Rabner, spoke out on the matter during a conference call with reporters: "It’s important that the judiciary ensures judges are

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  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 2:47 PM ET

A 2+20 Payout from Trading Tweets?

Posted By: Ash Bennington

There's really no middle ground on this one: Trading stocks based on data collected through Twitter is either sheer genius or abject stupidity.

Source: Twitter

Derwent Capital Markets, a hedge fund, is going to begin trading in February based on just such a model.

Their trading model will be based on such things as " the number of times words on Twitter such as “calm” rise above or below average" According to a paper published jointly by the University of Manchester and Indiana University, "A change in emotions expressed online would be followed between two and six days later by a move in the index, the researchers said, and this information let them predict its movements with 87.6 percent accuracy."

Does the excessive precision of that citation bother you a little?

Yeah, me too.

There's really no middle ground on this one: Trading stocks based on data collected through Twitter is either sheer genius or abject stupidity.

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  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 2:13 PM ET

Why I Believe Julian Assange Has Dirt on Bank of America

Posted By: John Carney

This morning Dick Bove sent out a note to clients explaining that he doubts WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has “new information” about Bank of America.

Julian Assange
Getty Images
Julian Assange

I think Bove is likely to be proven wrong.

Bove knows a lot about Bank of America . He’s a smart and feisty guy who I admire.

But I don’t get his logic on WikiLeaks. Bove runs through the various types of information WikiLeaks could expose and dismisses them.

— Emails showing BofA employees didn’t have faith in toxic securities it sold? Bove says that’s possible but thinks the risk sections of the prospectuses will protect the bank.

— Dirt on departed management? That is not really relevant.

— Merrill- or Countrywide-related dirt? This has already been addressed through investigations and fines.

— Information about customers? That would backfire and expose Assange to legal liability for breaching bank customer confidentiality rules.

In other words, Bove thinks there can't be serious dirt on Bank of America in the Wikileaks data because ... he cannot imagine what it could be.

But Bove's failure to imagine a scandal is no indication that one doesn't exist.

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  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 2:09 PM ET

Is Old Man Winter Skewing the Retail Data?

Posted By: Stephanie Landsman

He usually gives Santa a run for his money. Not this year. Old Man Winter has been tame in much of the country. Is his restraint skewing the retail data?

"The biggest thing this season was the comparisons to last year. Last year, we had the 'Super Saturday' storm that impacted the whole I-95 corridor which is a huge chunk of humanity to the U.S.," said Paul Walsh, Atmospheric and Environmental Research Senior Vice President. "We had snowmaggedon. We dodged a bullet this year."

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  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 12:37 PM ET

Julian Assange Sex Charges, Animated

Posted By: John Carney

An animated version of the man behind WikiLeaks' in a satire of his alleged sex charges.

»Read more
  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 12:28 PM ET

Downtown 'Megahouse' to Become Boring Corporate Headquarters

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Sadly, a Chinese construction company has just purchased the 15,000+ square-foot "megahouse" that had been on the market in the Financial District.

It's a shame, really.

The speculation , in September of 2009, was that the house would become a mega-crib for some lucky Wall Street exec or hedge fund titan.

But it didn’t work out that way: And now the moralizing forces of class warfare have been deprived of a convenient metaphor for excess this holiday season.

They'll have to take what they can get. For example : the Dream List.

Ok, I have to admit it: I had my hopes too.

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  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 12:04 PM ET

Blackstone Is Hunting for a Mole

Posted By: John Carney

You may remember that private-equity giant Blackstone Group throw a 25th anniversary bash at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We described it as "disappointingly dull and surprisingly crashable."

Burke | Triolo Productions | FoodPix | Getty Images

Both descriptions were derived from the work of freelance journalist Kevin Roose, who reported on the party for New York magazine.

Now Blackstone is reportedly trying to catch the insider who tipped Roose off about the party.

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  Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 | 11:59 AM ET

David Einhorn Likes His iPad And Scotch

Posted By: John Carney

The Greenlight Capital president not only was critical of Lehman's balance sheet chicanery at a time when almost everyone else believed the firm really was bringing down its leverage, he's also one hell of a poker player .

David Einhorn
David Einhorn

Einhorn recently sat down with DealBreaker's Bess Levin for a game of cards and some conversation.

The long interview covers a lot of ground, including politics, the Fed's quantitative easing policy, and Einhorn's history. But our favorite part is where Bess asks Einhorn about Apple, and then somehow directs the conversation into talk about booze.

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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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