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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 4:34 PM ET

Gold and the Dollar Wrestle it Out

Posted By: Ash Bennington

QE2 Gets Bashed Abroad (CNBC via AP) Domestic detractors of QE2—many of them worried about inflation—are joined by a rising chorus of critics from abroad.

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 4:26 PM ET

Bankers & Traders in the UK to Have Cell Phone Conversations Recorded

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Birds fly, fish swim—regulators regulate.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Getty Images
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

I'm sure they mean well. British regulators, in their recent decision to record bank employees work cell phones must have lofty goals. For example: Protecting the investing public—and the economy at large—from rogue traders and corrupt bankers. But does anyone expect it to work?

“We expect the rules to increase the volume and quality of information available to us to use as additional evidence in insider trading cases,” Sarah Bailey, a spokeswoman for the F.S.A. said.

Really?

It makes you wonder if the following thought ever crossed the collective mind of the F.S.A.: Illegal trades executed on bank mobile phones were place there precisely because those lines are not recorded; and if those mobile lines were recorded, the trades would be placed on a different line.

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 3:59 PM ET

UBS Loss of GM IPO May Cost the Firm $50 Million

Posted By: John Carney

Getting booted off the General Motors initial public offering will cost UBS tens of millions of dollars, according to a person familiar with the matter.

UBS headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
Steffen Schmidt
UBS headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

The Swiss bank had been named as one of the underwriters in the offering. But after a high yield research analyst at UBS sent out an unauthorized email to around 150 potential investors—violating the SEC's rules on marketing—the bank was kicked out of this role.

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 3:40 PM ET

Demand for Physical Gold Rising

Posted By: Lori Spechler

Spreads in the gold market are telling traders two things—first, that demand for physical gold continues to soar and secondly, that we are facing the biggest gold roll in the history of futures markets.

Gold coins and bar
Gazimal | Iconica | Getty Images
Gold coins and bar

To the first point, it would seem intuitive that demand for physical gold is up—explosive growth in the gold ETF certainly a factor.

But, what we are seeing now is a demand for physical gold that is pushing the market into a short-term backwardation. The gold EFP or, Exchange-for-Physical as quoted by Newedge is currently negative $0.55 to—$0.60.

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 2:43 PM ET

Schwarzman Rips Mark-to-Market

Posted By: Ash Bennington

It's great fun to be a private equity master of the universe. For one thing, you get to say stuff like "“I’m not a bank, I’m a user of banks,” during closed-door meetings at the G-20 Summit.

Stephen A. Schwarzman
Getty Images
Stephen A. Schwarzman

The quote comes from Steven Schwarzman, chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group. The context: Remarks concerning why it does not make sense to apply mark-to-market accounting standards to hedge funds.

In fact, Schwarzman doesn’t think mark-to-market accounting standards are such a great idea for banks either. In his words:

“'When you have an asset that goes up and down' and “'it’s money good in any case,'…“to have that market, sometimes it’s not a deep market, crash that asset, and destroy the capital of the banking system and create a panic, seems to me to be on its face completely unwise, but we’re still doing it.”

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 2:36 PM ET

Black Friday Conspiracy, Steals & Deals

Posted By: Stephanie Landsman, Producer for "Squawk Box"

Leaks, conspiracies and price wars. They don't describe a plot from a James Bond movie. Rather, they portray what the nation's largest retailers are up against as they position themselves for Black Friday steals and deals.

A woman is seen reflected in a Macy's store window as she looks at a Christmas themed window display in San Francisco, California.
Getty Images
A woman is seen reflected in a Macy's store window as she looks at a Christmas themed window display in San Francisco, California.

Even though the big retail day is more than two weeks away, the Black Friday promotions are in heavy circulation. Many retailers are saying their flyers were "leaked." But, by whom? Angry employee? Resourceful consumer? Or, an executive in the corner office?

"It's been fascinating to see the Black Friday circular leaks develop over the past five years. Initially, they were from a third party company or disenchanted people inside a retail company that were putting the information out there without the retailers' approval. In the last few years, we've see authorized and unauthorized leaks," says National Retail Federation Vice President Ellen Davis.

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 2:25 PM ET

Amazon—In Violation of Masha's Law?

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

After outrage and boycott threats by consumers, Amazon has pulled the controversial e-book "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure".

Amazon.com
Amazon.com

The online retail giant told CNBC Wednesday they would not take down the book citing the first amendment but some say the sale of this book was in direct violation of their own style "standards" of not selling pornographic content.

"This is not about free speech whether on the pedophile guide or the kiddie porn videos," said Maureen Flately, Child Advocate and advisor on Masha's Law. "It's about harm to kids and encouraging criminal activity. The book and images are de facto evidence of both criminal intent and criminal activity. By almost any objective standard, Amazon would be in violation of Masha's Law for harboring and distributing images of child pornography."

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 1:28 PM ET

Eliot Spitzer's Favorite Hooker Is Now a Commodities Trader

Posted By: John Carney

The Wall Street Journal's Mary Pilon interviewed Alex Gibney , the filmmaker behind the Eliot Spitzer scandal documentary "Client 9."

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer on Squawk Box.
Oliver Quillia for CNBC.com
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer on Squawk Box.

Our favorite part of the interview was learning that the prostitute who was allegedly most frequently patronized by Spitzer is now a commodities trader.

Pilon reports:

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 1:21 PM ET

Roubini: The Fed Needs to Fight Deflation and a Double Dip Recession

Posted By: Ash Bennington

With all the second guessing of QE2 — and even chatter about a return to a gold standard—Nouriel Roubini is very clear about the primary challenge to the U.S. economy: "The risk is deflation—not inflation."

Nouriel Roubini
Getty Images
Nouriel Roubini

Roubini, of course, has been on record supporting quantitative easing for some time . But, in my interview with him, he made clear that he's still not sanguine about growth prospects—even after the injection of a fresh $600 billion.

What value does he see in QE2 (Federal Reserve easing quantitative easing)? Principally, he believes it's a necessary evil for allowing the U.S. economy to steer clear of catastrophe.

"It certainly reduces the tail risk of a double dip [recession]," he said."And it reduces the risk of outright deflation or the expectation of deflation."

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  Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 | 12:43 PM ET

Garrett to Wall Street: No More Bailouts on My Watch

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

The Capital Markets Subcommittee was put on the map by Representative Paul Kanjorski (D-PA), the present chairman of the subcommittee who penned the "Too Big To Fail" legislation otherwise known as the "Kanjorski Amendment."

Kanjorski lost his re-election bid and now with the Republicans taking control in the House, ranking member Scott Garrett \(R-NJ\) will be taking the gavel and with it, try and enact his plans in overhauling the financial services sector. Garrett got right to the point on what he plans to do once he takes the chairmanship.

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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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