On This Day In 1922….The World Changed

| October 13, 2010

Art Cashin on the floor of The New York Stock Exchange…..Something to think about! Originally, on this day (-2) in 1922, the German Central Bank and the German Treasury took an inevitable step in a process which had begun with their previous effort to “jump start” a stagnant economy.  Many months earlier they had decided […]

Would You Trust The Big Banks?

| October 13, 2010

It would appear that the bankers do their thinking with prehistoric dinosaur brains.   In depositions released Tuesday, many of the workers testified that they barely knew what a mortgage was. Some couldn’t define the word “affidavit.” Others didn’t know what a complaint was, or even what was meant by personal property.  In an effort to […]

The Real Estate Can Of Worms

| October 13, 2010

The mortgage is still owed, but there’s going to be a problem figuring out who actually holds the mortgage, and they would be the ones bringing the foreclosure. You have a trust that has been getting payments from borrowers for years that it has no right to receive. So you might see borrowers suing the […]

Global Wealth Pyramid

| October 12, 2010

3 Billion Individuals or more than two thirds of the global adult population have wealth below USD $10,000.  Figures for mid-2010 indicate that 24.2 million adults are above the threshold for dollar millionaires. While they make up less than 1% of the global adult population, they own more than a third of global household wealth.  […]

Pimco’s El-Erian Ecries ‘Privatization Of Massive Gains And Socialization Of Enormous Losses’

| October 12, 2010

Words of a wise man,  pay attention everyone!   By Bloomberg News October 12, 2010 Advanced economies risk a lost decade unless policy makers recognize the severity of the wounds left by the financial crisis, said Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Co. El-Erian, who popularized the phrase new normal to describe how […]

So….What Does It Take In Earnings To Be In The Top 1% Club?

| October 11, 2010

MINIMUM Average Gross Income REQUIRED TO BE IN TOP 1% of TAXPAYERS 1980 — $  80,580 1985 — $108,134 1990 — $167,421 1995 — $209,406 2000 — $313,469 2005 — $364,657 2007 — $410,096 2008 — $380,354 Figures from www.wsj.com

No Social Security Increase In 2011 For 58 Million Americans

| October 11, 2010

Retired folks are now getting liitle or no interest on their savings (if they have anything left) and now this happens to them!  For many older people, every little bit matters.  It really looks to this observer as if our government is out of touch with reality and favoring the rich. WASHINGTON      As if voters don’t have enough to be […]

Russia Buying Gold

| October 11, 2010

Russia Bought More Than 100 Tons of Gold This Year, RIA Novosti Reports By Brad Cook – Oct 11, 2010 Russia’s central bank has bought more than 100 tons of gold this year, all of it on the domestic market, RIA Novosti reported, citing Bank Rossii.

The Largest ETF’s (Exchange Traded Funds)

| October 10, 2010

Here are the latest ranking of ETF’s by asset size.  It was no surprise to see State Street Global Advisors’ SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) on top, with $78 billion in assets. It was the second and third spots that is the most titillating. The World Gold Trust Services’ Gold Trust ETF (GLD) came in second, now […]

John Mauldin’s Thoughts From The Frontline Weekly Newsletter

| October 9, 2010

Thoughts from the Frontline Weekly Newsletter The Ride of the Keynesian Cowboys by John Mauldin   October 8, 2010 Teachers Don’t Count? The Rise of the Temporary Worker The Ride of the Keynesian Cowboys Let Us Count the Unintended Consequences   To ease or not to ease? That is the question we will take up […]

U.S. Bank Foreclosures – Nightmare On Elm Street

| October 8, 2010

Recently J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Ally Financial have temporarily halted foreclosures in 23 states due to flawed affidavits used in legal proceedings. Now Bank of America has expanded this halt to all 50 states, while PNC Financial Services said it was stopping foreclosures in 23 states for a month. Banks insist the problems are administrative and […]

George Soros Shares Concern About “Currency War” Risks

| October 8, 2010

Billionaire investor George Soros said he shared concerns about a “currency war” and China must do more to accept its responsibilities in the global monetary system. “I share the growing concern about the misalignment of currencies,” Soros wrote in an article for the Financial Times. “Brazil’s finance minister speaks of a latent currency war, and […]

Government, State And Local Payrolls Are Being Slashed

| October 8, 2010

This is just the begining for government layoffs! Government payrolls decreased by 159,000 last month. State and local governments reduced employment by 83,000, while the federal government lost 76,000 jobs as census workers were fired. State and local governments from New Jersey to California are firing workers to balance their budgets as declining property values […]

Greenspan Says U.S. Fiscal Deficit Is `Scary’

| October 7, 2010

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the fiscal deficit in the U.S. is “scary” and the government needs to reduce entitlement programs. “We’re involved in a dangerous game,” Greenspan said today at a foreign-exchange conference in New York sponsored by Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News. “We’re increasing the debt held by the […]

Obama Rejects Tricky Notary Bill On Foreclosures

| October 7, 2010

President Barack Obama won’t sign legislation that critics said would have eased the way for banks to process home foreclosures, his spokesman said. The bill would have required courts to recognize notarizations across state lines, including electronic signatures. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the administration was concerned about the potential impact on home […]

U.S. Consumer Debt Fell In August

| October 7, 2010

No surprise here, it’s called the prudent man’s rule!  The only problem is the government isn’t leading by example. Consumer borrowing declined in August as Americans trimmed credit-card balances and remained reluctant to take on more debt as job losses climbed. Credit declined by $3.34 billion after falling a revised $4.09 billion in July.  This was more […]

Stratfor: How To Respond To Terrorism Threats And Warnings

| October 7, 2010

By Scott Stewart In this week’s Geopolitical Weekly, George Friedman wrote that recent warnings by the U.S. government of possible terrorist attacks in Europe illustrate the fact that jihadist terrorism is a threat the world will have to live with for the foreseeable future. Certainly, every effort should be made to disrupt terrorist groups and […]

Ex Fed Chairman Volcker Says Nations Face Prolonged Unemployment

| October 6, 2010

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker an adviser to President Barack Obama said he doesn’t expect consumer spending to spur growth, and the U.S. and other developed nations face the prospect of protracted joblessness. “This has not been an ordinary recession,” Volcker, 83, said today in a speech in Toronto. It’s “very difficult to find […]

Food Stamp Usage Climbs To New All Time Record Highs

| October 6, 2010

July food stamps have just set a new all time high. According to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at the Food and Nutrion Service, July foodstamp usage rose 1.4% from June, hitting a new record of 41.8 million, and 17.5% higher than the 35.6 million on assistance from a year ago. Participation has set records […]

You Got To Be Kidding…..Fed Is Now Second Largest Holder Of U.S. Treasury Bonds

| October 6, 2010

Today’s POMO is over: at $2.069 billion, the operation was right in line with  expectations, coming in at a lofty 12.16 submitted to accepted ratio, as investors apparently are not too crazy about the yield perspective of the 4 2013 CUSIPs that were repruchased. However, what is far more important is that with holdings of […]

22nd Weekly Outflow From Mutual Funds

| October 6, 2010

ICI’s latest weekly flow report confirms the 22nd weekly outflow from domestic mutual funds.  In September $20 billion was pulled out from domestic stocks. Weekly: Cumulative:

U.S. Bank Industry Entering New Tough Period

| October 6, 2010

  Chris Whalen (one of the top banking analysts): “Rising operating costs in banks will be more significant than in past recessions and could force the U.S. government to restructure some large lenders as expenses overwhelm revenue.”  “We are less than one-quarter of the way through the foreclosure process,” said  Whalen, in remarks prepared for an […]

Foreclosure Furor Rises

| October 6, 2010

By DAVID STREITFELD and GRETCHEN MORGENSON Published: October 6, 2010 The uproar over bad conduct by mortgage lenders intensified Tuesday, as lawmakers in Washington requested a federal investigation and the attorney general in Texas joined a chorus of state law enforcement figures calling for freezes on all foreclosures. Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, and […]

Middle Class Slams Brakes On Spending

| October 6, 2010

Middle Class Slams Brakes on Spending     By SARA MURRAY Middle-class Americans made their deepest spending cuts in more than two decades, slashing spending on such discretionary items as restaurant meals and alcohol during the recession. Households in the middle fifth of the population sliced their average annual spending to $41,150 in 2009, the Labor […]

IMF Cuts 2011 Global Growth

| October 6, 2010

The IMF said global growth will slow more than expected as advanced economies slash budgets amid a continuing sovereign debt crisis.

Musical Chairs….Commentary From Cumberland Advisors

| October 5, 2010

October 5, 2010   The game of musical chairs is played with more than one entrant.  The players have to focus on the whole group.  Contestants gauge their positions as they go around and around.  Only when the music stops is the outcome known.    In the US, many investors tend to focus on our […]

Coldest Winter In Many Years Coming To Europe And Russia

| October 5, 2010

Hmm….This could get interesting with the Russians in control of the natural gas pipelines to Europe.   It’s also another reason why NATO has lost much of its power in Europe.    Forecasters say this winter could be the coldest Europe has seen in at least 100 or more years. In Russia, authorities are drawing up measures to help Muscovites survive the […]

The Vulnerable Side Of China

| October 5, 2010

From Art cashin on the floor of  The New York Stock Exchange…… Not Quite What They Seem – Our UBS pal in London, Andy Lees, put out an eye-opening piece on China this morning.  Andy sees China becoming more vulnerable because of their growing energy dependence.  The piece is too big to fully reproduce but […]

Terrorism, Vigilance And The Limits Of The War On Terror

| October 5, 2010

Stratfor October 5, 2010 | 0903 GMT .  By George Friedman The U.S. government issued a warning Oct. 3 advising Americans traveling to Europe to be “vigilant.” U.S. intelligence apparently has acquired information indicating that al Qaeda is planning to carry out attacks in European cities similar to those carried out in Mumbai, India, in […]

Home On The Range…..The Mortgage Mess Gets Bigger By The Day

| October 4, 2010

The Mortgage Mess as it affectionately is called seems to be getting new names with each passing day – the latest one is, quite appropriately RoboSigning Scandal  During today’s CNBC Kudlow segment Diana Ollick  confirms various so far unfounded rumors that the government is planning to institute a 90 day foreclosure moratorium as it deals with the […]

European Terror Plot Thickens, May Target Five Major European Airports

| October 4, 2010

Possible targets in the suspected European terror plot are pre-security areas in at least five major European airports, a law enforcement official told ABC News. Authorities believe terror teams are preparing to mount a commando like attack featuring small units and small firearms modeled after the Mumbai attack two years ago. The State Department issued […]

Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Increase 11%

| October 4, 2010

 Recovery, what recovery! U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings rose 11% in the first nine months of this year, versus the same period in 2009, the American Bankruptcy Institute said Monday, according to data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center. Filings totaled 1,165,172 nationwide during the first nine months of 2010, compared to 1,046,449 total consumer filings a year […]

Cubans Worried As 500,000 Workers Are About To Be Fired

| October 3, 2010

Sounds like Cuba is headed in the same direction as China, the model seems to be a hybrid communist/capitalist mix.    Oct 3,2010   On September 13 Cuba  announced plans to slash one million state jobs,  including half a million between October and March. On Monday, Cuba starts the six-month process of firing half a million […]

U.S. Household Income Distribution

| October 1, 2010

Data from the new Census report created the following income distribution chart: So…..35% of U.S. households live on $35,000 or less.    Those making more than $100,000 fall under the top 20 percent category.  But the real income disparity shows up clearly once you go over the $200,000 range.  The top 20 percent of Americans made […]

Bank Of America Joins Ally Financial (The Old GMAC) And JP Morgan In Delaying Foreclosures

| October 1, 2010

By ALAN ZIBEL October 1, 2010 WASHINGTON -  Bank of America is delaying foreclosures in 23 states as it examines whether it rushed the foreclosure process for thousands of homeowners without reading the documents. The move adds the nation’s largest bank to a growing list of mortgage companies whose employees signed documents in foreclosure cases […]

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