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Politics Barack Obama

  • employment_new.jpg

    It's all about jobs and rising interest rates in the week ahead—and the two are not unrelated. The March employment report next week is expected to show the first real signs of job growth since the recovery began.

  • Cost of healthcare

    Now that President Obama has rammed through his trillion-dollar gut renovation of U.S. health care, here are six provocative questions on what we have wrought.

  • AT&T joins Deere and Caterpillar in taking a charge (in this case, $1 billion) due to the health care reform bill. You will be hearing this from many companies. In this case, there is a charge to earnings this quarter for companies that get a 28 percent subsidy from the feds for prescription drug coverage for their Medicare retirees. That subsidy is being reduced.

  • Forget Greece or Treasury rates — the biggest frustration for traders remains the lack of volatility, which has led to woefully low volumes for the past month. Don’t let yesterday’s little blip up fool you, the action has been lousy recently. Why does this matter?

  • European banks trading higher as a deal to help Greece has crystallized: coordinate bilateral news from euro countries, with the partial help of the IMF. Regardless: traders (who don't normally talk politics) are passing around articles about elections in Germany, France and Italy...

  • Having had a son live in Italy for four years some time ago I got very comfortable with the lira. I loved spending a million or two for a cup of coffee. It was an out of mind experience to think in lira type numbers. It looks like there might be a chance to go back to the good old days.

  • Social Security Check

    The system is projected to pay out more in benefits this year than it receives in taxes, a tipping point toward insolvency that was not expected before 2016.

  • Dollar rallying, euro sinking, stocks off their highs as ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet gave an interview to a French TV network saying IMF aid for Greece was a "very, very bad" thing.

  • Elizabeth Warren

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  • The landmark legislation hasn’t killed the markets as he expected. Here's a review of how things played out.

  • Tougher day for stocks, as the poor 5-year Treasury auction appears to have put upward pressure on Treasury rates. Stock traders not sure what to make of this...

  • The S&P 500 lost about 6 points just after 11am ET, led by financials. Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank held a joint press conference at this time; while no news was broken, Dodd said he was hopeful a financial reform bill could become law before Memorial Day. A more likely cause for the drop was due to Kansas City Federal Reserve President Thomas Hoenig...

  • New home sales of 308,000 for February, below consensus estimate of 315,000, is the lowest on record. Record keeping on new home sales began in 1963.

  • IPO market shows signs of life! Look at MaxLinear, Calix Networks, and First Interstate BancSystem.

  • European stocks weakened as Fitch downgraded Portugal's credit rating to AA- from AA, with a negative outlook. Predictably, this caused another drop in the euro, which is now at the lowest level against the dollar since May of last year.

  • college_students_200.jpg

    Banks and other private lenders are about to lose a $70 billion-a-year student loan business, part of a massive overhaul of college assistance programs that has received an unexpected boost from President Barack Obama's health care success.

  • The U.S. dollar has been on a tear versus the euro in recent months (touching 10-month highs against the single currency on Wednesday), leading some to think that greenback weakness is a thing of the past. And when one looks at the current state of affairs in Europe (with the troubles in Greece and Portugal and Spain on deck for financial drama,) it's easy to understand this perspective. But there is more to the dollar than meets the eye.

  • Existing home sales, while in-line with expectations at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.02 million units, are still disappointing.

  • How do you shrink the deficit now that Medicare and Medicaid are "off the table for deficit reduction?" By taking on benefits in the second biggest entitlement: Social Security. Or at least that's what the New York Times is suggesting in a front page story which is being widely passed around on trading desks.

  • social_security_200.jpg

    Now that landmark legislation overhauling the health insurance system is about to become law, addressing Social Security’s solvency could well become the next big thing for President Obama and Congressional Democrats.