Some of the recent speculation about where rates are going seems to have gotten at least a bit overdone.» Read More
One of the better things I have seen this morning.
The global backlash against QE2 (Federal Reserve quantitative easing) is growing and the showdown between the G-20 nations, President Obama and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is on. The outcry of criticism over the Federal Reserve's policy of putting more dollars into the economy by buying government bonds has been attracting criticism at home and abroad.
I decided to get the perspective on what to expect from at the G20 meeting in Korea as well as the United States new role as currency "villain" from Jim Rickards, Senior Managing Director of Market Intelligence from Omnis.
Foreclosures Drop: The "Artificial" Cause is Likely the Foreclosure Moratorium (CNBC) Analysts believe banks' suspension of foreclosure activity is the reason behind the decrease in number of homes foreclosed upon in October. (Foreclosures dropped 4.39 percent in October since the prior month.) Was does that mean? We may be seeing foreclosure rates rise jump up again at the beginning of next year.
Is Gold Really At a Record High? (New York Times) Not if you index for inflation and look at real, instead of nominal, prices. The same holds true for other commodity prices, such as oil. The question on the table: Are the alarms being raised over inflation overstated—because we haven't adequately indexed for inflation?"
The bipartisan committee working on deficit reduction announced a plan today to reduce cost-of-living increases in Social Security : But don't worry—it looks like that proposal is going nowhere fast.
But there's more: Not only are there provisions for freezing Social Security cost-of-living increases, but a Bloomberg article on the same topic suggests the possibility of an increase in retirement age as well. (Breathe deeply : The retirement age increases wouldn't kick in until at least 2050.) There are also additional proposals being floated by the commission for the reduction of federal expenditure on Medicare.
How bad is the situation? And does the system really need a dramatic overhaul?
In an SEC filing , GM has provided details about an unauthorized email sent out by a banker to institutional investors that violated its regulatory quiet period before its public offering.
The filing may shed light on a mystery that developed last week. UBS , which had previously been named as an underwriter in the IPO, was quietly dropped from this role in the deal.
DealBreaker’s Bess Levin reported at the time that “a senior high yield analyst at UBS sent out a note last night to a bunch of clients that included his musings on the valuation."
The American Bankers Association has put out a statement intended to “clarify” the legal limitations on the duties of trustees in mortgage-backed securities deals.
"Importantly, the trustee typically has no duty under the transaction documents to make investigations on its own for the purpose of detecting defaults, fraud or other breaches," the ABA says in a statement reported by HousingWire .
The statement was probably issued in reaction to a recent story in the magazine American Banker discussing how trustees have come under scrutiny as the foreclosure crisis reveals problems with the securitization process.
Say what you will about the former president, at least he seems to have a sense of humor:
"'First of all, it’s too bad they call them the Bush tax cuts,' the former president joked in an interview this morning with Matt Lauer on NBC’s 'Today' show. 'They might have a better chance of being extended if they were the Lauer tax cuts.'"
On that point, he may be right. But the president seems to have more than just a sense of humor—for all the criticisms of his communication skills, he seems to have the gist exactly correct: "'Most new jobs are created by small businesses,' Mr. Bush said. 'Many small businesses pay tax at the individual income tax level…therefore, if you raise the top rate, you’re taxing job creators.'
Despite its myriad troubles and doubters on Wall Street, Bank of America has a friend in Dick Bove.
Royal Bank of Scotland reported a modest increase in second quarter profit after booking a £1.05 billion charge for the costs of restructuring.
What's the harm in waiting six months to raise rates? asks "Fast Money" trader Brian Kelly.