A market priced for perfection will start to wilt when investors realize things aren't particularly perfect.» Read More
Goldman Delayed in Attempt to Repay Buffet?(CNBC via Reuters) Goldman Sachs has apparently hit a snag with the Fed in its bid to repay Berkshire Hathaway's $5 billion investment. The delay may be related to the Fed's unwillingness to allow Goldman to make adjustments to its capital levels before allowing other banks the same opportunity. Goldman Sachs is paying a burdensome 10 percent annually on the debt — and would presumably wish to replace it with funding at a better rate, now that the debt markets have unfrozen and financing costs have dropped dramatically.
The latest issue of Rolling Stone is out with a devastating portrait by Matt Taibbi of the foreclosure process in Florida . If it pierces the public consciousness the way Taibbi’s articles on AIG and Goldman Sachs did, it could be a game-changer.
The set-up is pretty simple. Taibbi goes down to Florida and sits in on one of the make-shift foreclosure courts Florida has set up to deal with the enormous volume of foreclosure cases in the state. It’s really just a small conference room run by a formerly retired judge who has been brought on to speed through foreclosures.
Taibbi discovers far worse than sloppy paperwork on the part of banks—although he discovers plenty of that too. He discovers that the foreclosure process is heavily skewed to favor the banks. If a homeowner doesn’t show up to defend himself or herself, the judge issues the foreclosure order. If the bank fails to send a representative, he just pushes back the date. When a bank submits a trail of ownership of the mortgage note that makes no sense, it just comes back later with a different set of ownership documents.
The backlash over Amazon selling "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure" shows no signs of dying down, even after the company apparently pulled the controversial book from circulation.
CNBC has obtained links from child safety organizations who have searched the website on what would be considered more morally reprehensible content.
General Motors IPO Oversubscribed—By a Six Fold (CNBC via Reuters) There is once again something to feel good about in Detroit: Investors submitted orders for $60 billion of GM common stock—although General Motors only filed with regulators to sell about $10 billion in equity. The article goes on to say: " The robust demand suggests that GM's IPO will likely price around the top end of the $26 to $29 per share range and that the full overallotment option—additional shares underwriters can sell to help stabilize the stock after it begins trading—will be exercised, the sources said." Is it too late to hope that the old adage "What's good for General Motors is good for the country" still holds true?
Finally, an explanation everyone can understand.
Question: What's worse than having your house foreclosed upon?
Answer: having your house foreclosed upon twice . Unless, of course, you get it back the second time.
Homeowners in Massachusetts are now facing "back-to-back foreclosures," due to problems with property titles. When lenders are unable to get title insurance for the property on which they have foreclosed, they are now opting to try the whole process again. In Massachusetts, where the issue has affected at least hundreds, and "possibly thousands," of homeowners, it has become common enough to merit its own name: "re-foreclosure."
Two of the companies that were on just about everyone's list of banks most likely to hike their dividends are getting absolutely crushed Friday.
US Bank and Wells Fargo both saw their stocks rise, after news came out late last week that the Federal Reserve was preparing guidelines that would permit healthy banks to raise dividends in the first quarter of 2011. Today, the situation has reversed, with shares of both banks dropping more sharply than most of their rivals.
The European Union may have managed to stanch the bleeding —for the moment—on Irish bonds.
Bondholders seem to have been placated by a joint statement from five of Europe's most economically powerful nations: Germany, France, Italy, the U.K., and Spain. The statement said that bonds issued before the middle of 2013 would not be affected by changes to the EU's bailout program.
Earlier this morning, reports had surfaced of the possibility of haircutting Irish bondholders, which sent the Irish debt markets skittering.
The Troubled Asset Relief Program wasn’t really a bank bailout after all, but instead was the “most successful government financial program ever,” banking analyst Dick Bove said.
In a research note, Bove noted that the controversial TARP saved the banking industry as well as the broader economy while generating a hefty return for taxpayers.
Former President George W. Bush signed the $700 billion program into law on Oct. 3, 2008 as banks suffered a liquidity crisis brought on by the collapse of the subprime mortgage market. TARP recapitalized banks across the board—even many that didn’t need the extra money.
Bove praised the program for restoring faith in the system even though it has received a largely negative public perception.
If you were counting on the big U.S. banks to restore or increase dividends that were pared back or ended during the financial crisis, you might want to think again.
The final portions of a prepared speech by a top Federal Reserve official seemed aimed at pulling-back market expectations that the central bank would soon authorize a resumption of dividends.
The Fed has been preparing guidelines on how banks will be able to change their dividend policies in the first quarter of next year. When that news was reported last week—the Wall Street Journal’s headline was “Fed to Let Banks Increase Dividend” — the stocks of several banks rose.
Omega joined the growing chorus of investors blaming last week's stock market sell-off on trading strategies pioneered by funds like Bridgewater.
Based on historical stock valuations, the Nobel Prize winner told CNBC it's a "risky time."
U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Thursday, building on Wednesday's rally.