Howard Marks thinks that the drop in oil prices could finally expose low lending standards and provide better value in the markets.» Read More
Are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the enormous Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) that purchased about three quarters of the total single-family mortgages in the United States, about to step into the repurchase litigation fray ?
If so, it might be very frightening news indeed for the lenders potentially on the hook to repurchase the securities they sold to the GSE's.
First, a little background.
From the RealtyTrac article, a primer on Fannie May and Freddie Mac:
Don’t be so sure that the European Union’s emergency aid package for Ireland will stop the spread of debt concerns to other euro zone countries. In fact, it may accelerate it.
After Greece was bailed out of its own debt troubles this year, the various European government officials all voiced confidence that the stabilization programs put in place would probably not need to be drawn down. Just the existence of the programs—the expression of the will of European government’s to stabilize the markets—would be enough to stabilize markets. Indeed, the Eurocrats insisted that the point of constructing the bailout programs was to avoid ever having to use them.
Diamondback Capital Management, one of the three firms that was raided Monday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, says that its cooperating with the FBI's investigation .
"We received an inquiry this morning from the FBI," the hedge fund firm said in a statement that was emailed to MarketWatch . "Diamondback is voluntarily cooperating. The firm is fully operational and we, along with our team, continue to manage the portfolio and Diamondback's business for the benefit of our investors," it added.
Law student Samuel Jaffe won’t be standing in line in the wee hours of the night hoping to score a Black Friday deal.
"I'd rather be in a bathrobe at 3am ordering my discount gifts or buying gift cards than being in a stampede," says Jaffe.
A Mercator Advisory Group study finds $70.5 billion was spent on store gift cards last year versus $40 billion in 2003. Even though the amount has nearly doubled in the last six years, the growth pace has begun to stall. Purchases of gift cards were up just over two billion dollars from 2008 to 2009.
"Gift card growth over the past two years has slowed down because of the economy. People have been getting deals. So, why give cash when you can get something 50 to 60 percent off for something impressive," says Eric Beder, Brean Murray, Carret & Co. Retail Analyst.
The American media magnate and CEO of News Corp, Rupert Murdoch and Apple CEO, Steve Jobs worked secretively to create a tablet-based news outlet operating out of the 26th floor of the News Corp building.
The tablet-only news outlet called “The Daily” will contain what is being described as “highly visualized” and interactive content.
During the process of creating the project, the 27th and 25th floors were "quarantined" for purposes of secrecy.
How you get the news matters—particularly to finance professionals, not just accuracy but speed.
If you work for a bank or a hedge fund, and you need to stay on top of what's going on in the world, you probably read The Wall Street Journal. So what does the discussion of such things as news delivery models mean to you? That depends.
In an article in Saturday's New York Times, David Carr addresses just such questions.
Now that the Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp., Rupert Murdoch is among a very short list of the most powerful men in business news:
More absurdity from the SEC this week.
The Wall Street Journal Reports they are now investigating what are known as Expert Networks. These are private consulting firms that specialize in providing information and expertise on particular industries and companies. Hedge funds and mutual funds hire them to get an investment edge.
The Journal highlights a company that is being probed by the SEC, which does “channel checks” with manufacturers of technology equipment for bigger companies. That kind of research gives insight into strength of order flow and can provide clues as to the direction of the industry. \(Often times, they are run by, or staffed with, former employees of the companies in question. Sounds similar to the revolving door of members of congress who become lobbyists.\)
*Update: The FBI raided two hedge funds run by former SAC Capital employees, according to a report. A third hedge fund has also been raided, although it is unclear right now if there is any connection to SAC Capital.*
It’s been clear for nearly a year that the government has been targeting Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital in its insider trading dragnet. But it seems like the government keeps coming up empty.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Special Agent B.J. Kang—the guy who arrested Bernie Maddoff and Galleon founder Raj Rajaratnam—first investigated allegations of trading irregularities at SAC three years ago, although the inquiry concluded with no charges being filed against the firm. Reuters investigative reporter Mattew Goldstein first reported the investigation in 2009 .
Kang’s 2007 investigation sprang from a lawsuit filed a year earlier by Fairfax Financial Holdings, a Canadian insurance company, against 20 or so hedge funds—including SAC Capital—and stock analysts alleging the defendants were part of a scheme to sell the company’s stock short, have negative analyst reports published, then profit when the stock dropped. Critics of the lawsuit described it as a way of attempting to chill criticism of the company.
The mortgage documentation mess keeps getting stickier.
The latest is this: Countrywide Financial, now owned by Bank of America , appears not to have properly transferred necessary mortgage documents when it sold loans to other banks, which then in turn created residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) from the loans.
The documents Countrywide failed to provide are critical to the owners of the RMBS because without them homeowners can question the legal right of banks to foreclose on their homes.
What's new here? Based upon testimony delivered in a New Jersey bankruptcy court, this may have been a matter of policy at Countrywide—not just a case of a one-off error.
Based on Bank of America's current ownership of Countrywide Financial, it is possible that the largest bank in America, when ranked by deposits, may potentially be held liable for the problem.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in grasping the nature of the problem is that the details can overwhelm our ability to see the forest for the trees, so let's walk through it one step at a time.
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.