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  #1841  
Old 10.12.2010, 14:53
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

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But I'm sure you would agree that comparing gold to other commodities is not particularly useful. Gold price is largely independent of it's usefulness - it is driven primarily by its being an alternative to fiat currency holdings.
you could argue that (aside from the limited industrial uses), gold's main use is a hedge against currency debasement, and this goes some way to explaining it's high price (the other main reason being low interest rates and uncertain growth environment reducing the 'carry penalty' of holding gold).
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  #1842  
Old 10.12.2010, 15:34
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

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The bottom line is wealth preservation in the face of a perceived deflationary environment. We use fiat currency to denominate wealth and it looks like there could be another massive fall (in fiat currency terms) in asset values - stocks and shares, property, commodities etc.

Personally, I think the move into bonds is highly misguided. It's a cert that the central banks will just 'print' near endless amounts of money out of thin air to fill the debt hole. This will eventually result in all out inflation but it will take time to 'prime the pump' and for that money to slosh into the various corners of the economy. Despite that, you can already see signs of strong inflation in the UK at least. Rising food prices, rising energy prices, strong consumer price inflation.

Short term bonds make sense in a time of turbulence, but anything which matures longer than a couple of years in the future is going to leave the holders badly burned when they try to dump the bond once it's clear that the debtors are simply printing money to pay them and the value of the currency in which the bond is denominated is falling off a cliff.
totally agree with you. i can only suppose those piling into govt bonds are thinking they can sell them on to a greater fool before the big crunch hits.

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Yes, inflation means a higher ratio of money vs the goods and services it is used to purchase. In the UK at least I don't detect any increase in goods and services offered (quite the opposite as manufacturers cut capacity and businesses pare back) and we've had all manner of money printing via 'quantitative easing' to compensate for reduced bank lending. There has also been an approximate 3x increase in physical notes and coin.

Trouble is, this base money which is being created can be leveraged many times by the banks to create credit so it is going to cause massive inflation problems at some point in the future once the banks decide to lend again.

As a result we're already seeing above-target (and the targets are ludicrously loose) inflation in the UK, even at a time when we should be seeing massive deflation. That's just from the immediate effects. Once they have printed enough cash that it sloshes into all corners of the economy (and a second 'quantitative easing' programme is on the cards) then inflation really takes off.

Meantime, UK salaries aren't really going up even though the cost of living is rising appreciably, making things tougher for a lot of people. Still, at least a lot of speculative landlords who bought property on base rate trackers are being bailed out and the banks are coining it in by borrowing ultra cheap from the central bank and leveraging and loaning on to borrowers at a huge margin. Who cares about savers or people buying annuities for their pension, eh?
hence the 'bed of nitroglycerine' comments. i think the trigger doesn't need to be banks lending again. as soon as there is panic about inflation, it will be self-fulfilling as the velocity of money increases and people dash to exchange depreciating sterling for hard assets.

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You'd have to be nuts to loan money to a Western govt over the long term. I suspect future bond sales will become increasingly 'forced' purchases through regulation of the banking industry (buy govt bonds to increase your tier 1 capital), the ever reliable pension industry (whose customers are in for a shock in a couple of decades) and outright money printing fuelled self-purchasing by central banks of their own government's debt.

It's a huge ponzi scheme - the only question is how much longer the Western governments can keep the plates spinning. They nearly lost it in 2007 and nothing they've done since then has made the situation any less dangerous.
totally agree with you. anyone retiring within the next 10 years is in for a shock, IMO. i stopped paying into a UK pension some 8 years ago when i considered that i would never get back a fraction of what i put into the system. instead i try to make my own separate provisions now.

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From today's Telegraph "Simon Miles, Head of Merrill Lynch Portfolio Managers, told me: “Those thinking of applying their hard-earned, taxed savings to UK government bonds or gilts would do well to ponder where we are before reaching into their pocket.""

full article here http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance...merrill-lynch/
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So, gold is down almost 60$ / 3.8% in the last 2 days, and 15 year US treasuries are also on a strong down trend for the last few months including -3.1% in the last two days.

There are a lot of people out there with a lot of cash tied up in these two securities.

Anyone care to comment on the view that this could be the beginning of a move away from cash/gold and back into the equity markets?
No. I think the gold bubble has a while to run yet. if anything, i would expect a move from bonds to gold/commodities as people realise they are about to be burned.
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  #1843  
Old 10.12.2010, 15:41
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

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No. I think the gold bubble has a while to run yet. if anything, i would expect a move from bonds to gold/commodities as people realise they are about to be burned.
Yes, I do not see current bond yields are sufficient to cover the likely future fall in exchange rates so yields will rise & values will fall. This will probably trigger more bond selling & then where will people go?
To equities which also are unlikely to provide enough dividends &/or value rises to cover the likely future fall in exchange rates?
As you say that leaves gold/commodities as the obvious choice.
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  #1844  
Old 10.12.2010, 16:09
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

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Yes, I do not see current bond yields are sufficient to cover the likely future fall in exchange rates so yields will rise & values will fall. This will probably trigger more bond selling & then where will people go?
To equities which also are unlikely to provide enough dividends &/or value rises to cover the likely future fall in exchange rates?
As you say that leaves gold/commodities as the obvious choice.
i think there will be an opportunity to buy into equities significant lows when we get the next leg down in the global financial meltdown. that's the main reason i am still mainly in cash and not fully invested - although the timing could be tight and i could be proved wrong.

i would have sold off my BP shares a couple of days ago had i not been too greedy (set a sell price of 463 and it only reached 462). was also tempted to sell gold and buy back in but decided not to waste my efforts trying to buy and sell every minor dip and peak.
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  #1845  
Old 10.12.2010, 16:23
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

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i think there will be an opportunity to buy into equities significant lows when we get the next leg down in the global financial meltdown. that's the main reason i am still mainly in cash and not fully invested - although the timing could be tight and i could be proved wrong.

i would have sold off my BP shares a couple of days ago had i not been too greedy (set a sell price of 463 and it only reached 462). was also tempted to sell gold and buy back in but decided not to waste my efforts trying to buy and sell every minor dip and peak.
Yes I sold all my equities about 1 year ago. I too have dreams of buying into equities @ significant lows when we get the next leg down in the global financial meltdown - but will I time it right?
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  #1846  
Old 12.12.2010, 15:01
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Derivatives Oligopoly

New York Times article on how the derivatives oligopoly harms business & consumers: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/bu..._r=2&igoogle=1
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A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading in Derivatives

On the third Wednesday of every month, the nine members of an elite Wall Street society gather in Midtown Manhattan.

The men share a common goal: to protect the interests of big banks in the vast market for derivatives, one of the most profitable — and controversial — fields in finance. They also share a common secret: The details of their meetings, even their identities, have been strictly confidential.

Drawn from giants like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the bankers form a powerful committee that helps oversee trading in derivatives, instruments which, like insurance, are used to hedge risk.

In theory, this group exists to safeguard the integrity of the multitrillion-dollar market. In practice, it also defends the dominance of the big banks.

The banks in this group, which is affiliated with a new derivatives clearinghouse, have fought to block other banks from entering the market, and they are also trying to thwart efforts to make full information on prices and fees freely available.

Banks’ influence over this market, and over clearinghouses like the one this select group advises, has costly implications for businesses large and small, like Dan Singer’s home heating-oil company in Westchester County, north of New York City.

[continued]
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  #1847  
Old 13.12.2010, 13:23
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Financial Oligopolies, Political Power & Reform

Interesting Atlantic article on the difficulties of fixing the financial markets: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...t-coup/7364/1/

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The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.
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But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.
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One channel of influence was, of course, the flow of individuals between Wall Street and Washington. Robert Rubin, once the co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, served in Washington as Treasury secretary under Clinton, and later became chairman of Citigroup’s executive committee. Henry Paulson, CEO of Goldman Sachs during the long boom, became Treasury secretary under George W.Bush. John Snow, Paulson’s predecessor, left to become chairman of Cerberus Capital Management, a large private-equity firm that also counts Dan Quayle among its executives. Alan Greenspan, after leaving the Federal Reserve, became a consultant to Pimco, perhaps the biggest player in international bond markets.
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Big banks, it seems, have only gained political strength since the crisis began. And this is not surprising. With the financial system so fragile, the damage that a major bank failure could cause—Lehman was small relative to Citigroup or Bank of America—is much greater than it would be during ordinary times. The banks have been exploiting this fear as they wring favorable deals out of Washington. Bank of America obtained its second bailout package (in January) after warning the government that it might not be able to go through with the acquisition of Merrill Lynch, a prospect that Treasury did not want to consider.

The challenges the United States faces are familiar territory to the people at the IMF. If you hid the name of the country and just showed them the numbers, there is no doubt what old IMF hands would say: nationalize troubled banks and break them up as necessary.
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  #1848  
Old 15.12.2010, 11:00
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Re: Financial Oligopolies, Political Power & Reform

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Interesting Atlantic article on the difficulties of fixing the financial markets: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...t-coup/7364/1/
From today's newspaper
"Toby Nangle, from Baring Asset Management, said the European Central Bank ECB may already be insolvent under strict accounting rules. "Could the international financial system cope with a bankrupt ECB? The fact that it is not easy to dismiss this out of hand is cause for great concern," he said. "

We do live in interesting times?

I find this hard to believe but then I do not know which accounting rules apply to the ECB?

I see PricewaterhouseCoopers are the ECB auditors; anybody fancy giving them a ring & asking if ECB is solvent?
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  #1849  
Old 19.12.2010, 15:19
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

The wikileaks / BoA duel is progressing: http://www.zerohedge.com/article/aft...ops+to+zero%29

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Bank of America just fired the preemptive escalation shot in its duel with Wikileaks. Late on Friday, America's biggest mortgage lender, and the firm that is now getting sued left and right for various mortgage transgressions, announced it is joining MasterCard, Paypal and Visa in ceasing transactions for Wikileaks. While this decision will certainly not improve Operation Anonymous' empathy toward the North Carolina bank, it may just precipitate overt retaliation by Assange, who is now rumored to be in possession of data that could provie harmful to BAC.
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This press release by Bank of America provoked the following two tweets out of @wikileas' twitter account:




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  #1850  
Old 19.12.2010, 15:34
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

He just wants to see the world burn I guess?
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  #1851  
Old 20.12.2010, 01:01
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

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He just wants to see the world burn I guess?
no. he's trying to tell the world that there's a fire...
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  #1852  
Old 21.12.2010, 12:13
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

What about the Wirtschaftsring ? or WIR Credit? (thanks to Marton I found the search key but I have not found anything on this site yet, maybe my technique.) Is it really used today?

I just read this amazing article; "Complementary Credit Networks and Macro-Economic Stability: Switzerland’s Wirtschaftsring1
James Stodder, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Hartford, CT, USA. June 5, 2009"
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  #1853  
Old 22.12.2010, 18:39
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

Interesting intersection of the drivers of the financial crisis and UK celeb culture. Really shows how many of the RMBS [Residential Mortgage Backed Securities] at the centre of the crisis were junk. The problem was that everyone in the chain was concentrating on their fees/bonuses, not whether anyone could service - let alone actually pay pack - their loans:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-12060100

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A former contestant on BBC's The Apprentice altered mortgage applications to boost his monthly earnings, a court has heard.

Mortgage broker Christopher Farrell, 29, inflated clients' incomes to help them secure home loans - and earn himself commission.
Quote:
Mr Gittins explained to the court that Farrell, who earned a salary of £1,600 a month, would make commission if he reached sales targets.

But, keen to earn more money to support his wife and young family, Farrell started inflating the incomes of clients to ensure their mortgage applications were successful - thereby reaching the sales target.

Farrell, who admitted four charges of fraud, would either alter P60 forms or payslips to show his clients in a more favourable light to a mortgage lender or create fake documents, magistrates were told.

In one instance, he made an application for a client with a £40,000 salary which showed he earned £120,000 a year.
edit: good visual explanation of how this fits in to the bigger picture: http://vimeo.com/3261363

Last edited by carver; 22.12.2010 at 19:09.
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  #1854  
Old 07.01.2011, 16:56
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

Seem the Swiss National Bank has stopped accepting Portuguese government securities as collateral adding Lisbon to Dublin on its ineligible list.

Ooops, they will be getting visits from the ECB's men in black
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  #1855  
Old 10.01.2011, 20:15
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

US federal reserve bank announced a $80bn profit.
Rescuing banks must be a good business?
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  #1856  
Old 30.01.2011, 21:55
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

so quiet here must be time for a joke,
A man is stuck in traffic. He asks a police officer about the hold-up and he replies: "The head of the Bank Of England is so depressed about the economy he's stopped his car and is threatening to douse himself with petrol and set himself on fire. So we're taking up a collection for him." The man asks: "How much have you got so far?" The policeman replies: "About 40 gallons, but a lot of people are still siphoning."
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Old 30.01.2011, 21:58
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

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US federal reserve bank announced a $80bn profit.
Rescuing banks must be a good business?
Calling it 'profit' is stretching it a bit, methinks.

What they mean is, we played Russian Roulette (with your money), and by golly, we didn't get our heads blown off... aren't we clever?
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  #1858  
Old 13.02.2011, 11:28
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

What Did Bank CEOs Know And When Did They Know It?

http://baselinescenario.com/2011/02/...-they-know-it/

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One view of executives at our largest banks in the run-up to the crisis of 2008 is that they were hapless fools. Not aware of how financial innovation had created toxic products and made the system fundamentally unstable, they blithely piled on more debt and inadvertently took on greater risks.

The alternative view is that these people were more knaves than fools. They understood to a large degree what they and their firms were doing, and they kept at it up to the last minute – and in some cases beyond – because of the incentives they faced.

New evidence in favor of the second interpretation has just become available, thanks to the efforts of Sanjai Bhagat and Brian Bolton. These researchers went carefully through the compensation structure of executives at the top 14 US financial institutions during 2000-2008.

The key finding is that CEOs were “30 times more likely to be involved in a sell trade compared to an open market buy trade” of their own bank’s stock and “The dollar value of sales of stock by bank CEOs of their own bank’s stock is about 100 times the dollar value of open market buys” (p.4).
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  #1859  
Old 16.02.2011, 17:24
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

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What Did Bank CEOs Know And When Did They Know It?

http://baselinescenario.com/2011/02/...-they-know-it/
You beat me to THAT but I beat you with THIS... "Why isn't Wall Street in Jail?":
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...-jail-20110216

Paul
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  #1860  
Old 16.02.2011, 19:40
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Re: Financial Crisis Bank News [was: How Safe is UBS?]

Never mind the banks; most institutions are a bit iffy, for example,
Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden yesterday withheld approval of the European Union’s 2009 accounts over concerns about a lack of transparency on how EU funds are spent.
In a joint declaration, the trio blamed insufficient progress in combating fraud, noting that the EU’s own auditors had failed to give an unqualified sign-off to the bloc’s accounts for 16 consecutive years!

2009 accounts? When will 2010 surface?
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