The active versus passive debate just got a new wrinkle, and one analyst thinks he knows why.» Read More
Woah! Estimated damage from Japan quake is about $309 billion — that's about four times Katrina [Bloomberg]
Egyptian stock market opens and tumbles [MarketWatch]
Fed objects to Bank of America dividend increase so the bank will ask again. [CNBC.com]
Lloyd Blankfein to testify at Galleon trial [NYTimes DealBook]
Donald Trump said he 'duped' Gaddafi [CNN Money]
The big question on everyone’s mind when it comes to municipal bonds is simple: Will states and cities be able to pay their interest and principal on time, and in full?
Unfortunately, no one really knows the answer. The source of our ignorance, ironically, is the historical strength of muni bonds—the low default rates. So few muni bonds have defaulted historically — only four major cities in 40 years, and zero states — that we just don’t know what metrics to use to predict defaults.
Is the muni leverage explosion a statistical illusion?
On Day 9 of the Raj Rajaratnam insider trading trial, the wiretaps were pulled out again after a day and half of straight testimony from Intel, PeopleSupport and Moody's executives.
As always, Raj starred in the recording. This time, his guest was Rajiv Goel, the former Intel executive who has already plead guilty to occasionally tipping his longtime friend on a merger between Sprint and Clearwire .
That sound of pounding hooves you’ve been hearing is of investors entering Japan, not leaving the disaster-ravaged country, which has become an unlikely darling for fund money.
Inflows into Japan ETFs since an earthquake and tsunami ravaged the nation have confounded market strategists and generated as many cautions as buy signals.
The preliminary estimate of the University of Michigan consumer confidence index unexpected dropped in March to the lowest level since last October. The headline index dropped from 77.5 to 68.2. But by far the worse drop was in the expectations of the future, which plunged from 58.3 to 71.6.
So what does plunging consumer confidence in the future mean for businesses, investors and consumers?
Municipal-bond prices fell Monday as we entered into one of the largest issuance weeks this year. The weakness in the face of increased supply may indicate that there is still a lot of nervousness about the muni market.
Note that, on a historical basis, the supply isn’t all that large.