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Behind The Sell-Off: Is That A Black Helicopter?

Investors are whispering there’s ‘something else’ behind the recent sell-off, something more than meets the eye. Is that a black helicopter on the horizon?

According to the chatter, it's not just earnings disappointments or the stronger dollar that's triggering the sell off. It's concerns about credit default swaps – a kind of insurance policy against debt – and whether there will be enough money to meet obligations.

And we’re not talking about how the CDS market is reacting to the sovereign debt of Greece, Portugal or Spain, countries known to have trouble.

Nope, the Street is whispering about how the CDS market is reacting to US debt – otherwise know as US Treasuries.

On Thursday, the annual cost of insuring U.S. government debt over a five-year period rose to its highest since April 2009.

Specifically, in the credit default swap market, the cost to insure against a potential U.S. Treasury default grew to 49.4 basis points, the highest since April 8, 2009 when it was 52 basis points.

That means it would cost $49,400 a year to insure $10 million of Treasury exposure over a five-year period.

That’s a far cry from the record level set at the height of the global credit crisis in early 2009 when it was close to 100 basis points, but conspiracy theorists are buzzing nonetheless.

They suggest it signals a higher probability that holders of those swaps will have to go into liquidation mode - and sell stocks to meeting their obligations. Hence the sell-off.

What does CNBC’s Rick Santelli have to say about the action in the CDS market? He thinks many "big players" think they have protection -- when they really don't. What else does he have to say? Watch the video above and find out now!

* In case you're wondering about the black helicopter reference, it's suggests a cover-up. Government owned black helicopters are rumored to have been seen in and around UFO sightings.


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Trader disclosure: On February 4th, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Jon Najarian Owns (AAPL) Collar; Jon Najarian Owns (AXP) Collar; Jon Najarian Owns (BAC); Jon Najarian Owns (C); Jon Najarian Owns (CSCO), Is Short (CSCO) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (JPM); Jon Najarian Owns (PG), Is Short (PG) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (QCOM) Call Spreads; Jon Najarian Owns (WFC); Jon Najarian Owns (WMT), Is Short (WMT) Calls; Finerman's Firm Is Short (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (UNG), (USO); Finerman Owns (AAPL); Fineramn's Firm Owns (BAC) Leap, (BAC); Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC); Finerman's Firm Owns (WFC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (GOOG); Finerman's Firm Owns (KFT), (PLCE), (TGT), (WMT), (YUM); Grasso Owns (ABK), (AAPL), (ASTM), (BAC), (BGP), (C), (COST), (CSCO), (FAZ), (PFE), (PRST), (WMT), (V); Terranova Owns (BAC), (JPM), (OIH), (GOOG), (EMC), (AAPL), (DELL), (MSFT); Terranova Is Short (OIH) Feb. Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (WYNN)
Jon Najarian Owns (PG); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (CVS)

For Steve Grasso:
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (ABX)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (CUBA)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (GERN)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (GLG)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (HSPO)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (NWS.A)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (NXST)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (NYX)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (PDE)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (PRST)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (RDC)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (ROK)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (TLM)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (TOL)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Own (XRX)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Are Short (QQQQ)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc. And Its Partners Are Short (CL)

For Joe Terranova
Terranova Works For (VRTS)
Terranova Is Chief Market Strategist Of Virtus Investment Partners, Ltd.
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (CLB)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (DLR)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (EXR)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (IGE)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLY)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (DBV)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLP)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLB)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLI)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (SKT)

For Brian Kelly
Kelly Owns (FXE) Puts
Kelly Owns (SPY) Puts
Kanundrum Capital Is Long U.S. Dollars vs. Short Euros
Kanundrum Capital Is Long Dollar vs. Short Swiss Franc
Kanundrum Capital Is Long Dollars vs. Short Yen
Kanundrum Capital Owns (WMT)




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