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  Thursday, 17 Feb 2011 | 8:57 AM ET

Inflation Continues to Creep Higher; Jobless Claims Up

Posted By: Ash Bennington
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"Inflation Continues to Creep Higher; Jobless Claims Up" [CNBC via Reuters]

Bahrain military storms protest march. [Financial Times]

Iran cancels plans to send ships through Suez Canal. [BBC]

JPMorgan & Madoff: What did Jamie Dimon know and when did he know it? [WSJ]

Ratings cuts ahead for US states? [CNBC via Financial Times]

Former JPMorgan executive sets up shop in London with South African billionaire—post-fallout with Jamie Dimon.[DealBook]

»Read more
  Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 | 4:50 PM ET

Matt Taibbi: Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?

Posted By: Ash Bennington
Matt Taibbi: Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? »Read more
  Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 | 3:10 PM ET

Lousy Choices in London

Posted By: Ash Bennington
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Economic policy makers in the UK seem to be choosing among bad options.

Today, the pound dropped and gilts rose on an announcement that the Bank of England has no intention of raising interest rates in the near future.

Garth Theunissen of Bloomberg reports:

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  Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 | 1:47 PM ET

Except for Everything Going Up, Inflation is No Worry

Posted By: Jeff Cox
INFLATION_noTEXT.jpg
CNBC.com

Once the government declares that all new buildings must be made of Nerf and all vehicles will run on Jell-O, we’ll be able to put this inflation nonsense to rest.

Until then…

» Read More
  Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 | 12:29 PM ET

AllState Accuses JPMorgan Chase of Fraud

Posted By: John Carney
An Allstate logo is shown in Slidell, La., Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2006, (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Lm Otero
An Allstate logo is shown in Slidell, La., Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2006, (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Allstate accused JPMorgan Chase of fraud in a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court yesterday.

The insurance company claims that JPMorgan , Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual sold it over $750 million of mortgage-backed securities under the guise that they were highly rated, safe securities, while knowing that the underlying loan pools were "toxic." JPMorgan acquired Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns in 2008.

The banks "knew the pool was a toxic mix of loans given to borrowers that could not afford the properties, and thus were highly likely to default," according to Allstate's complaint.

The lawsuit also alleges that JPMorgan, Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns misstated the characteristics of the mortgages, such as the loan-to-value ratios. It says the banks lied to the ratings agencies to get higher ratings on the securities than they deserved.

"The systemic (but hidden) abandonment of the disclosed underwriting guidelines has predictably led to soaring default rates" in the underlying mortgages, according to the complaint.

JPMorgan Chase did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

In December, 2010, AllState filed a similar lawsuit against Bank of America.

Click here to read the complaint .

»Read more
  Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 | 10:54 AM ET

Barclays Traders Go Bonus Berserk

Posted By: John Carney
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You want another sign that we're in a new financial bubble? Here you go: drunk traders bragging about bonuses and buying ridiculous toys.

From the UK's Mirror :

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  Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 | 10:12 AM ET

Pirates and Insurgents: The Business Leaders of Tomorrow

Posted By: Ash Bennington
Somali Pirates
Mohamed Dahir | Getty Images
Somali Pirates

David James, an English Business professor, has been studying pirates.

Not the guys who sell illegally recorded music and movies—actual pirates. With boats and automatic weapons.

The general premise is this: Pirates get results.

» Read More
  Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 | 9:31 AM ET

‘The Asylum:’ New Book Uncovers the Dark Side of the New York Merc

Posted By: Leah McGrath Goodman

Guest Author Blog by Leah McGrath Goodman, Author of: "THE ASYLUM: The Renegades Who Hijacked The World’s Oil Market"

»Read more
  Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 | 8:52 AM ET

Madoff Busts Banks, Hedge Funds

Posted By: Ash Bennington
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Sanofi to Buy Genzyme. The price will be $20.1 billion— plus contingent value rights payouts for new drugs. [DealBook]

Madoff Busts Banks, Hedge Funds: They 'had to know;' were 'complicit'. [NY Times]

Goldman to shut down fixed income prop desk. [Bloomberg]

JPMorgan has three perfect quarters of trading—without a single negative day. [Bloomberg] Here are, perhaps, the key two sentences: "The perfect trading results are rare and were primarily driven by the Federal Reserve’s programs buying mortgage bonds and U.S. Treasury securities. That’s driven trading volumes higher, boosted asset values and provided backup liquidity in the markets, analysts say. " [Bloomberg | Hat Tip: Deal Breaker]

"Protests Swell as Bahrain Demonstrators Mourn" [WSJ]

Riots spread to Libya. [FT]

Speculation and myopia drive a new internet bubble. [Gigaom | Hat Tip Abnormal Returns]

Calling out Ferrari. [Jalopnik | Hat Tip: Felix Salmon] (I'm not exactly sure how this relates to Wall Street—but there's an allegory to be found somewhere. 'Tuning' numbers is a phenomenon we're certainly familiar with. Plus, it's about Ferarris)

Michael Lewis's scathing essay on 'Why Things Fell Apart' [Bloomberg]

»Read more
  Tuesday, 15 Feb 2011 | 4:51 PM ET

President Obama Focuses on US's Long-Term Financial Health—and Calls for 'Adult Conversation'

Posted By: Ash Bennington

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President Obama focuses on US's long-term financial health—and calls for "adult conversation": Should we expect something more than punch lines involving 900 numbers? [CNN]

Slate's Annie Lowrey cleverly re-imagines our federal budget as a middle class household, where the federal government earns $60,000 a year—and spends $85,000. [Slate]

(Although you have to wonder: Why not pick $100,000 for either the income or outflow number? Isn't everything in the universe improved by decimalization and the use of a 100 point basis?)

Muni bond Mayhem: Bullish Point: Steve Liesman. Bearish Counterpoint: John Carney. [CNBC]

» Read More

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