Friday, 5 Nov 2010 | 11:00 AM ET

Did Obama Save Capitalism?

Posted By: John Carney

One of the most outlandish defenses of Obama's first two years has become one of the most emailed articles on the New York Times.

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama

In the Opinionater section on the website of the New York Times, Timothy Egan tells big corporate donors to be worried "about what you just bought."

He's talking, of course, about the Republican victory in the midterms, which has delivered the GOP control of the House of Representatives. But it's far from clear that big corporate donors "bought" anything in this election. Certainly, it's a canard to say they bought the Republican victory.

As Tim Carney explains , the top 12 corporate political action committees gave far more to Democrats than Republicans. More campaign cash from HMOs went to Democrats. Wall Street donated more to Democrats than Republicans. Lobbyists sent more money into Democratic campaigns than Republican campaigns. Politico showed that even when you include independent political expenditures, the Democratic-aligned political machinery had far more cash to spend than the Republicans.

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  Friday, 5 Nov 2010 | 9:27 AM ET

Nicole Lapin's Short & Long List

Posted By: Nicole Lapin
Nicole Lapin
Nicole Lapin

Nicole Lapin, of CNBC's Worldwide Exchange, explains what she's long and what she's short this week.

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  Friday, 5 Nov 2010 | 8:56 AM ET

Chinese Not Big Fans of QE2, Either

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Economics to English: NPR Translates Federal Reserve Communiqué (NPR) National Public Radio, via Slate Magazine and Planet Money, cleverly renders the latest Federal Reserve statement in language your mom will understand. (The news ain't pretty.)

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  Thursday, 4 Nov 2010 | 4:54 PM ET

Does Bank of America Need Another Bail Out?

Posted By: Ash Bennington
A roundup of the day's headlines. »Read more
  Thursday, 4 Nov 2010 | 4:50 PM ET

When Vik P Met Jay Z

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit and rapper Jay-Z were both honored recently at the same event by the New York Police and Fire Widows and Children's Benefit Fund, according to an article in the New York Times Dealbook blog .

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  Thursday, 4 Nov 2010 | 4:37 PM ET

Wall Street Bonuses Rising?

Posted By: Ash Bennington

A New York Times Dealbook post from earlier today cites a recent study by Wall Street compensation expert Alan Johnson demonstrating that pay for financial services employees will jump 5 percent this year — with some employees getting increases around 15%.

Bankers Bonus
Bankers Bonus

Earlier today I looked at a Bloomberg story about the decline in Wall Street compensation pools .

So who's right?

Meaningful data on this issue seems remarkably difficult to tease out.

Why? Mostly because it's difficult to make apples to apples comparisons based on the way banks are reporting their data. Let's engage in a little thought experiment to demonstrate how this type of analytic comparison is seriously problematic.

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  Thursday, 4 Nov 2010 | 4:35 PM ET

Ron Paul Is About to Totally Revolutionize the House Monetary Policy Panel

Posted By: John Carney

Odds are you haven’t heard of the monetary policy subcommittee. Officially known as the House Subcommittee for Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, it’s a subdivision of the House Financial Services Committee that has mostly occupied itself with pressing questions of issuing commemorative coins and whether or not to eliminate the penny.

Getty Images

That’s about to change. Ron Paul, the Republican Congressman from Texas, is the ranking member of the monetary policy subcommittee, and when the next Congress takes over he’ll likely be the chairman of the subcommittee.

And Congressman Paul has some big plans.

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  Thursday, 4 Nov 2010 | 3:59 PM ET

Bachus: Ending the Bail Out of Fannie and Freddie

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

Change is in the air in Washington and we are hearing more and more from the GOP leadership their plan to get America back on the path to prosperity. One of the top House Republicans who will take the lead in shaping Wall Street reform is Representative Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama).


Bachus is expected to be named Chairman of the Financial Services Committee when the Steering Committee meets in December. An outspoken critic on the Administration's spending and policies, Bachus took the time with me to lay out his plan on reforming the financial services industry.

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  Thursday, 4 Nov 2010 | 2:38 PM ET

Flaws Revealed in Citigroup's $50 Billion Loan Pipeline

Posted By: Ash Bennington

The flaws in the pipeline through which Citigroup moved mortgages into mortgage-backed securities may create far more opportunities for investors to demand their money back than the bank is expecting.

Mark Lennihan

In our article Tuesday , John Carney and I wrote about loan acquisition channels at Citigroup. Based on description of the flaws of those channels, we believe that Citi is far more exposed to mortgage put-backs than is commonly thought.

A mortgage put-back occurs when an investor in a mortgage-backed security successfully demands that a bank repurchase the underlying mortgages that do not adequately satisfy the representations and warranties the bank made about the mortgages when it originally sold the security. A bank can be forced to repurchase the mortgage at par under certain circumstances.

Citi says our view has "absolutely zero basis in fact." So let's take a deeper look at just one of their loan channels to examine Citi's potential exposure.

In April of 2010, former Citigroup executive Richard Bowen testified before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission \(FCIC\) . Bowen's testimony under oath before the FCIC reads like a roadmap to Citi's correspondent loan acquisition channels, and has been invaluable in our understanding of Citi's loan acquisition process.

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  Thursday, 4 Nov 2010 | 1:15 PM ET

Gold, Silver & Why Paulson Hearts Bernanke

Posted By: Lori Spechler

Gold investor John Paulson should send Ben Bernanke a nice present this holiday season. The yellow metal is off to the races due to the $600 billion in QE2 announced yesterday. Not unexpected, the result is still a weaker dollar and buying in all the so-called precious metals: gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

Gold Bars
Gold Bars

And John Paulson, the hedge fund manager who made billions in the mortgage meltdown, is long not just gold but gold stocks. According to this article by someone named John Carney , Mr. Paulson has an 11.3% stake, or 39,911,282 shares in AngloGold Ashanti at $32 per share. At today’s stock price, that one position has made over $930 million.

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