Monday, December 13, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wikileaks could take down a bank or two

http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2010/11/29/an-interview-with-wikileaks-julian-assange/
So do you have very high impact corporate stuff to release then?
Yes, but maybe not as high impact…I mean, it could take down a bank or two.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pimco – Run Turkey Run

http://www.pimco.com/Pages/RunTurkeyRun.aspx#

  • The Fed's announcement of a renewed commitment to Quantitative Easing has been well telegraphed and the market's reaction is likely to be subdued.
  • We are in a "liquidity trap," where interest rates or trillions in asset purchases may not stimulate borrowing or lending because consumer demand is just not there.
  • The Fed's announcement will likely signify the end of a great 30-year bull market in bonds and the necessity for bond managers and, yes, equity managers to adjust to a new environment.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

NFA calls IKON on failure to maintain MetaTrader

The Complaint alleged that IKON engaged in certain price slippage practices on the MetaTrader platform that were favorable to IKON and caused disadvantageous trading conditions for certain customers. The Complaint also charged that IKON failed to supervise the MetaTrader platform used for their forex business, and failed to supervise the firm's operations.

http://www.nfa.futures.org/news/newsRel.asp?ArticleID=3679

NFA orders $459,000 monetary sanction against New Jersey forex firm Gain Capital Group LLC

October 28, Chicago - National Futures Association (NFA) has ordered Gain Capital Group LLC (Gain), a forex dealer member located in Bedminster, New Jersey, to pay a $459,000 fine as a result of an NFA Complaint issued and a settlement offer submitted by Gain and its chief executive officer, Glenn H. Stevens.

NFA's Business Conduct Committee alleged that Gain engaged in abusive margin, liquidation and price slippage practices that benefited Gain to the detriment of its customers. The Committee also alleged that Gain failed to maintain records for certain unfilled orders, failed to adequately review the activities and promotional material of the firm's unregistered solicitors, and failed to supervise the firm's operations.

In addition to the fine amount, Gain must also provide appropriate refunds to its customers as a result of these detrimental margin, liquidation and asymmetrical slippage practices.

Gain and Stevens neither admitted nor denied the charges. The complete text of the Complaint and Decision are available on NFA's website (www.nfa.futures.org).

NFA is the premier independent provider of innovative and efficient regulatory programs that safeguard the integrity of the futures markets.

http://www.nfa.futures.org/news/newsRel.asp?ArticleID=3676

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Voters can only vote for Harry Reid

http://www.fox5vegas.com/news/25511115/detail.html
LAS VEGAS -- Some voters in Boulder City said they are concerned about fraud at the electronic ballot box.

Voter Joyce Ferrara said when they went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, her Democratic opponent, Sen. Harry Reid's name was already checked.

Ferrara said she wasn't alone in her voting experience. She said her husband and several others voting at the same time all had the same thing happen.

"Something's not right," Ferrara said. "One person that's a fluke. Two, that's strange. But several within a five minute period of time -- that's wrong."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Germany Accuses US of Indirectly Manipulating Dollar

http://www.cnbc.com/id/39808247
German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle on Saturday took issue with what he called a U.S. policy of increasing liquidity, saying it indirectly manipulated exchange rates.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NFA issues investor alert

http://www.nfa.futures.org/NFA-investor-information/investor-newsletter/index.HTML

NFA issues investor alert regarding new forex rules

On October 18, NFA issued an investor alert outlining the impact of new rules issued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on consumers investing in the off-exchange foreign currency (forex) markets. The rules require, with certain exceptions, any firm acting as a counterparty to certain retail forex transactions to register with the CFTC as a Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (RFED) or Futures Commission Merchant (FCM). In addition, the rules require, with certain exceptions, any individual acting as a forex solicitor, account manager or pool operator to register as Introducing Brokers (IBs), Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs) or Commodity Pool Operators (CPOs) or as an associated person of one of these entities and become Members of NFA.

"We want to ensure that forex investors know that the entities they have previously been conducting business with are now required to be registered with the CFTC and be NFA Members," said Larry Dyekman, director of Communications and Education at NFA. "Investors can check the registration status of any forex firm through NFA's Background Affiliation Status Information Center, or BASIC, which is available free of charge on ourwebsite."

BASIC contains current and historical registration information concerning all current and former CFTC registrants, including name, business address and registration history. BASIC also provides information concerning disciplinary actions taken by NFA, the CFTC and all U.S. futures exchanges.

"If you are researching a firm, you should also conduct a background check of all the individuals listed as principals of the firm," said Dyekman. "Sometimes the firm will have no disciplinary history, but one or more of the principals may have been disciplined while working at other firms."

Read the full text of the forex investor alert.


 


 

FINRA warns investors about High Yield Investment Programs

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued an investor alert warning investors about the risks of high yield investment programs (HYIPs). According to the alert, HYIPs are "unregistered investments created and touted by unlicensed individuals." People touting these products cite high, unsustainable rates of return with little or no risk.

FINRA's alert describes some of the more common practices scammers use to lure unsuspecting investors to invest in HYIPs. The alert also gives practical tips on how to spot HYIP scams and where to turn for help.

Read the full text of the FINRA investor alert about HYIPs.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fed prepares to flood economy with Dollars

http://www.cnbc.com/id/39290620
"The committee will continue to monitor the economic outlook and financial developments and is prepared to provide additional accommodation if needed to support the economic recovery and to return inflation, over time, to levels consistent with its mandate," the Fed said in a statement.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Doomsday warnings of US apocalypse gain ground

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.a64b6fa820c23d9ef2058a22276ce3a1.2c1&show_article=1

Doomsday warnings of US apocalypse gain ground

Economists peddling dire warnings that the world's number one economy is on the brink of collapse, amid high rates of unemployment and a spiraling public deficit, are flourishing here.

The guru of this doomsday line of thinking may be economist Nouriel Roubini,thrust into the forefront after predicting the chaos wrought by the subprime mortgage crisis and the collapse of the housing bubble.

"The US has run out of bullets," Roubini told an economic forum in Italy earlier this month. "Any shock at this point can tip you back into recession."

But other economists, who have so far stayed out of the media limelight, are also proselytizing nightmarish visions of the future.

Boston University professor Laurence Kotlikoff, who warned as far back as the 1980s of the dangers of a public deficit, lent credence to such dark predictions in an International Monetary Fund publication last week.

He unveiled a doomsday scenario -- which many dismiss as pure fantasy -- of an economic clash between superpowers the United States and China, which holds more than 843 billion dollars of US Treasury bonds.

"A minor trade dispute between the United States and China could make some people think that other people are going to sell US treasury bonds," he wrote in the IMF's Finance & Development review.

"That belief, coupled with major concern about inflation, could lead to a sell-off of government bonds that causes the public to withdraw their bank depositsand buy durable goods."

Kotlikoff warned such a move would spark a run on banks and money market funds as well as insurance companies as policy holders cash in their surrender values.

"In a short period of time, the Federal Reserve would have to print trillions of dollars to cover its explicit and implicit guarantees. All that new money could produce strong inflation, perhaps hyperinflation," he said.

"There are other less apocalyptic, perhaps more plausible, but still quite unpleasant, scenarios that could result from multiple equilibria."

According to a poll by the StrategyOne Institute published Friday, some 65 percent of Americans believe there will be a new recession.

And the view that America is on a decline seems rather well ingrained in many people's minds supported by 65 percent of people questioned in a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll published last week.

"It is true: Today's economic problems are structural, not cyclical," argued New York Times editorial writer David Brooks.

He said the United Sates is losing its world dominance much in the same way the British Empire began to crumble more than a century ago.

"We are in the middle of yet another jobless recovery. Wages have been lagging for decades. Our labor market woes are deep and intractable," Brooks said.

Nobel Economics Prize winner Paul Krugman also voiced concern about the fate of the fragile economic recovery if voters return the Republicans to political power.

"It's hard to overstate how destructive the economic ideas offered earlier this week by John Boehner, the House minority leader, would be if put into practice," he wrote in a recent editorial.

"Fewer jobs and bigger deficits -- the perfect combination."

The Wall Street Journal, usually more favorable to Boehner's call for tax cuts,ran a commentary from another Nobel Prize-winning economist -- Vernon Smith-- that failed to provide much comfort for readers.

"This fact needs to be confronted: We are almost surely in for a long slog," Smith wrote.

And it seems such pessimism has even filtered into the IMF, which warned on Friday that high levels of national debt and a still shaky financial sector threaten to derail the global economic recovery.

"The foreclosure backlog in US property markets is large and growing, in part due to the recent expiration of the home buyer's tax credit. When realized, this could further depress real estate prices."

This could lead to "disproportionate losses" for small and medium-sized banks, which could in turn "precipitate a loss of market confidence in the recovery," theIMF warned.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dunning–Kruger effect

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which an unskilled person makes poor decisions and reaches erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to realize their mistakes.[1] The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. This leads to the situation in which less competent people rate their own ability higher than more competent people. It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence: because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. "Thus, the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."[2]

The Dunning–Kruger effect was put forward by Justin Kruger and David Dunning. Similar notions have been expressed–albeit less scientifically–for some time. Dunning and Kruger themselves quote Charles Darwin ("Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge")[3] and Bertrand Russell ("One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision."[4][5]). The Dunning–Kruger effect is not, however, concerned narrowly with high-order cognitive skills (much less their application in the political realm during a particular era, which is what Russell was talking about.[6]) Nor is it specifically limited to the observation that ignorance of a topic is conducive to overconfident assertions about it, which is what Darwin was saying.[7] Indeed, Dunning et al. cite a study saying that 94% of college professors rank their work as "above average" (relative to their peers), to underscore that the highly intelligent and informed are hardly exempt.[4] Rather, the effect is about paradoxical defects in perception of skill, in oneself and others, regardless of the particular skill and its intellectual demands, whether it is chess, playing golf[8] or driving a car.[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Hedgehogs.net Social Media for Hedge Funds



FX Trade Lab Incubator Program

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More than 400 US Banks Will Fail: Roubini

http://www.cnbc.com/id/38986777
Even if the US and European economies manage to avoid a double dip, it will still feel like a recession, while more than half of the 800-plus US banks on the "critical list" are likely to go bust, according to renowned economist Nouriel Roubini of Roubini Global Economics.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Kabul Bank on the verge of collapse - Afghanistan

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/02/AR2010090202266_pf.html
Karzai's brother calls for U.S. to shore up Kabul Bank as withdrawals accelerate

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - As depositors thronged branches of Afghanistan's biggest bank, Mahmoud Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a major shareholder in the beleaguered Kabul Bank, called Thursday for intervention by the United States to head off a financial meltdown.

"America should do something," he said in a telephone interview, suggesting that the Treasury Department guarantee the funds of Kabul Bank's clients, who number about 1 million and have more than $1 billion on deposit with the bank.

Kabul Bank handles salary payments for soldiers, police and teachers. It has scores of branches across Afghanistan and holds the accounts of key Afghan government agencies. The collapse of the bank would probably spread panic throughout the country's fledgling financial sector and wipe out nine years of effort by the United States to establish a sound Afghan banking system, seen as essential to the establishment of a functioning economy.

Action by the United States, said Mahmoud Karzai, would prevent a run on Kabul Bank and protect other banks too. He said Kabul Bank is "stable and has money" but cannot withstand a stampede by panicked depositors.

"If the Treasury Department will guarantee that everyone will get their money, maybe that will work," said Karzai, who holds 7 percent of the bank's shares, making him the third-biggest shareholder. Karzai, who spends most of his time in Dubai - where he lives in a waterfront villa paid for by Kabul Bank - rushed to the Afghan capital Wednesday to join efforts to salvage the bank.

Treasury officials have said they have confidence in Afghanistan's Central Bank, which ousted Kabul Bank's top officials this week and has sought to stabilize the bank's finances.

But those moves may have spurred a panic: Depositors yanked at least $90 million from Kabul Bank on Wednesday, according to people familiar with the situation, and the hemorrhaging of funds accelerated Thursday.

"Yesterday was not too bad, but today is worse," said a Kabul Bank insider. "It is a very bad situation."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Currency trading jumps 20% in 3 years

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11148626
A three-year report into currency dealing shows rapid growth in trading, with the majority of business happening in London.

Trade has jumped by 20% in the three years since the last survey was conducted by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which is sometimes called the "central bankers' bank".

But London outpaced the average, with turnover up by 25% over the period.

Some $4 trillion (£2.6tn) changes hands around the world every day.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rumors have circulated in China that People’s Bank of China (PBC) Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan may have left the country.

Rumors have circulated in China that People's Bank of China (PBC) Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan may have left the country. The rumors appear to have started following reports on Aug. 28 which cited Ming Pao, a Hong Kong-based news agency, saying that because of an approximately $430 billion loss on U.S. Treasury bonds, the Chinese government may punish some individuals within PBC, including Zhou.

Although Ming Pao on Aug. 30 published a report on its website indicating that the prior report was fabricated by a mainland news site that had attributed the false information to Ming Pao, rumors of Zhou's defection have spread around China intensively, and Zhou's name has been blocked from Internet search engines in China.

STRATFOR has received no confirmation of the rumor, and reports by state-run Chinese media appeared to send strong indications that Zhou is in no trouble at the moment. However, the release of this rumor and its dispersion throughout the public is significant, particularly as the Communist Party of China (CPC) is preparing for a leadership transition in 2012.

Chinese state-run media and official government websites have run several high-profile reports about Zhou, which should be seen as a move to refute the rumors. The PBC website published two articles on its homepage reporting on Zhou's meeting with visiting

Japanese Financial Services Minister Shozaburo Jimi during the third China-Japan high-level economic dialogue as well as a meeting with an Italian delegation. Xinhua news agency reported that Zhou told the PBC Party Committee Enlargement Meeting on Aug. 30 it should "continue to implement justice, and strengthen legislative work in financial system." Prior to this news, Zhou appeared at the 2nd annual conference of the heads of the Chinese, Japanese and Korean central banks held on Aug. 3, and his most recent public appearance was Aug. 10 for China's Financial System Anti-corruption Construction Exhibition.

Zhou is known to have lofty political ambitions and is believed to be a close ally to former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, as well as a core figure for Jiang's "Shanghai Gang." There has been no shortage of rumors about Zhou's possible dismissal in the past five years, as he is believed to be associated with several high-level financial scandals. For example, Zhou was rumored to be under "shuanggui," a form of house arrest administered by the CPC, during the massive crackdown of Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Liangyu in 2006, which was perceived in the country as a crackdown of the Shanghai Gang and part of Hu's effort to consolidate power ahead of the 2007 power transition.

There was also a rumor that he might have been detained following the investigation and arrest of Wang Yi, the vice governor of the China Development Bank, along with several other officials in the financial circle. Currently, several financial scandals are still under investigation, and it is likely that Zhou, as PBC governor and one of the most powerful economic players in the country, could be associated with some cases. Therefore, whether or not the rumor is true at this time, the leaking of this news is very likely to be associated with a power struggle within the Communist Party's economic hierarchy.

By George Friedman

Sunday, August 29, 2010

EES releases FXDF Forex Strategy Documentation Framework

http://eesfx.com/wiki/docs:framework
A framework for writing strategy manuals & documentation is needed. Having a standard for documentation of FX strategies will help document writers, by providing an easy to use template, which will increase organization. It will help users understand documents as they will become familiar with the standard and will understand how to use the document and where they can find specific information. FIX provides a standard for trading APIs, and most liquidity providers and FX trading banks have relatively few differences between FIX versions. However, the difference between strategies and their documentation is huge. A developer's work in many cases is only as good as his documentation. If something happens to him (such as "FX Burn Out") and others are forced to re-create his work, this can be difficult without clear, structured documentation.

The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer
On May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was the seventieth annual spring gala of American Ballet Theatre, and David H. Koch was being celebrated for his generosity as a member of the board of trustees; he had recently donated $2.5 million toward the company's upcoming season, and had given many millions before that. Koch received an award while flanked by two of the gala's co-chairs, Blaine Trump, in a peach-colored gown, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, in emerald green. Kennedy's mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, had been a patron of the ballet and, coincidentally, the previous owner of a Fifth Avenue apartment that Koch had bought, in 1995, and then sold, eleven years later, for thirty-two million dollars, having found it too small.

Read more 
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer#ixzz0y2qhGwd4

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Banks back switch to renminbi for trade

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/182a2b70-b130-11df-b899-00144feabdc0.html

Banks back switch to renminbi for trade

By Robert Cookson in Hong Kong

Published: August 26 2010 17:55 | Last updated: August 26 2010 17:55

A number of the world's biggest banks have launched international roadshows promoting the use of the renminbi to corporate customers instead of the dollar for trade deals with China.

HSBC, which recently moved its chief executive from London to Hong Kong, andStandard Chartered, are offering discounted transaction fees and other financial incentives to companies that choose to settle trade in the Chinese currency.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

EES Strategies Update – 8.24.2010

EES Strategies Update

EES has completed a modification of the DRS system, and has coded a new system, Tick Monster, soon to be officially released.

All referenced strategies are now available for customers who have access to Elite Meta Sync. Please sync up to get the latest strategies.

For questions about these updates, please use the EES FX forums at:

http://eesfx.com/portal/list-forums/

DRS – TM updates Changelog

Drs R 3.5

1. Modified lot multiplier for double orders to accept 0.1. Please take note that if set too low calculated lot size will be less than minimum allowed by broker in which case the minimum lot size allowed will be used.

2. added option to use autogrid value for takeprofit, autogrid must be on for setting to take effect

3. added "check spread" function which will check if spread is within limits before sending orders

4. added options to trade again after global profit or stop

5. added use_PercentAccountStart feature for calculating starting lot

!EES-DRS_T_v2.1

1. Added pivot indicator filter - If ON EA will buy only above specified resistance line and will sell below support line

2. Added SMA indicator filter - If ON EA will only buy above SMA and only sell below. MA default type is simple moving average, 200 period but this can be changed at user input

3. Added "MovingAveragePlus" input parameter where user can define additional pips above/below MA to allow buy/sell orders. Set value to 0 to turn this feature off

Tick Monster V1.4

1. Fixed bug in pivots indicator filter

Saturday, August 21, 2010

ShoreBank of Chicago Said to Be Closed Today by FDIC

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-20/shorebank-of-chicago-said-to-be-closed-today-by-fdic.html
ShoreBank Corp., the Chicago lender operating under a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. cease-and- desist order for 13 months, will be shut and most of its assets will be bought by Urban Partnership Bank, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Urban Partnership, created to make the acquisition, will keep branches in Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit and continue to focus on low-income communities, the people said, speaking anonymously because the matter is private. Urban Partnership will have Tier 1 capital of at least 8 percent and its chief executive officer will be William Farrow, a former executive at the Chicago Board of Trade and Bank One Corp., they said.

"The good news is that the bank, under this new management, will still be there and serving the South Side community," said Dory Rand, president of the Chicago-based Woodstock Institute, a non-profit that studies community lending. "They have made the South Side a decent place to live and work and do business."

Friday, August 20, 2010

CIA forms new center to combat nukes, WMDs

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100819/D9HM8F100.html

WASHINGTON (AP) - The CIA is opening a counterproliferation center to combat the spread of dangerous weapons and technology, a move that comes as Iran is on the verge of fueling up a new nuclear power plant.

CIA Director Leon Panetta said Wednesday that the new unit would place CIA operators side by side with the agency's analysts to brainstorm plans to "confront the threat of weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, chemical and biological."

The center would formalize the collaboration between the agency's analysts and operators, a close working relationship that CIA spokesman George Little said already has yielded intelligence successes.

Little cited their work in last year's revelation of the "discovery of the Syrian covert nuclear reactor and Iran's undeclared uranium enrichment facility near Qom." That Iranian city is the ideological center of Iran's Shiite rulers.

Paul Brannan, a senior analyst at the Institute for Science and International Security, said another CIA success was the slowing down of Iran's nuclear centrifuge operations at Natanz. The agency, he said, sneaked "faulty parts into Iran's nuclear supply chain."

That operation, Brannan said, "is an example of where you'd need both analysts to tell you what type of parts would Iran need that you could inject, and the operations side to work with trading companies to try to get the parts in there."

Active ISO Burner Freeware

http://download.cnet.com/Active-ISO-Burner/3000-2646_4-10602452.html
Active ISO Burner will allow you to burn an ISO image file to CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+R DL(Dual Layer), DVD-RW and DVD+RW (including double layer, DL). Active@ ISO Burner software accepts command line parameters to automate ISO images burning process.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

MT4 on the decline? Crashing build 226 unresolved

http://eesfx.com/portal/17-ees-customer-support-requests/163-mt4-crashing-8192010.html#163 Posted support ticket on eesfx.com customer support forums

http://forum.mql4.com/34560

Last week, the number of first-time filers for unemployment insurance rose for the third time in a row, to 500,000

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/19/news/economy/initial_claims/index.htm
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A government report Thursday brought bad news for workers and the economy: The number of unemployed Americans seeking a financial lifeline has reached its highest level in nine months.

Last week, the number of first-time filers for unemployment insurance rose for the third time in a row, to 500,000, according to a Labor Department report released Thursday.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Google suggests name changes to escape misspent youth

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/7951269/Young-will-have-to-change-names-to-escape-cyber-past-warns-Googles-Eric-Schmidt.html
Eric Schmidt suggested that young people should be entitled to change their identity to escape their misspent youth, which is now recorded in excruciating detail on social networking sites such as Facebook.

"I don't believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time," Mr Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Federal Reserve is undertaking a "dangerous gamble"

http://www.cnbc.com/id/38693128

The Federal Reserve is undertaking a "dangerous gamble" by keeping rates at near zero for so long, and must start raising rates or risk damaging the nascent U.S. recovery, a top Federal Reserve official said on Friday.

 
 

"To be clear, I am not advocating a tight monetary policy," Kansas City Reserve Bank President Thomas Hoenig said in the text of a speech to the Lincoln, Nebraska, Chamber of Commerce. "I am advocating a policy that remains accommodative but slowly firms as the economy itself expands and moves toward more balance."

Hoenig has been the lone dissenter on the Fed's policy-setting panel, which on Tuesday repeated the U.S. central bank's pledge to keep interest rates extraordinarily low for an "extended period."

The Fed took the further step of saying it would begin reinvesting cash from maturing mortgage bonds to buy more government debt. The decision reflected the Fed's concern over the 

slowdown in the economic recovery it helped bring about by cutting rates to near zero in December 2008 and buying nearly $1.3 trillion in mortgage-linked debt to shore up the housing market.

However, Hoenig said Friday he believes the economy "barring specific shocks and bad policy ...should continue to grow over the next several quarters."

The Fed should raise its short-term target to 1 percent, pause to wait for the economy to adjust, and then raise it to 2 percent once it is clear the recovery is on a reasonable growth path, he said, repeating a proposal he has made before.

"I believe that zero rates during a period of modest growth are a dangerous gamble," Hoenig said Friday.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

QE2 signals economic collapse

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/11/news/economy/economic_collapse_GDP_unemployment.fortune/

FORTUNE -- The Great Depression. Wall Street in 1987. Japan in 1997. Points of economic collapse are generally crystal clear in the rear-view mirror. Professional politicians in Japan have been telling stories for 20 years as to why they can prevent economic stagnation. In the US, the storytelling started in 2007. All the while, stock market and real-estate prices have repeatedly rallied to lower-highs, then collapsed again, to lower-lows.

Despite the many differences between Japan and the US, there is one similarity that continues to matter most in the risk management model my colleagues and I use at Hedgeye, our research firm -- debt as a percentage of GDP. Now that the US can't cut interest rates any lower, the only option left on the table is what the Fed just announced it would start doing -- buying Treasury debt. And that could lead the country to the brink of collapse: According to economists Carmen Reinhart & Ken Rogoff, whose views we share, crossing the 90% debt/GDP threshold is the equivalent of crossing the proverbial Rubicon of economic growth. It's a point from which it's almost impossible to return.


 

On July 2nd, we cut both our third quarter 2010 and full year 2011 GDP estimates for the US to 1.7%. At the time, the consensus around US economic growth estimates was about 3%. Now we're starting to see both big brokerage analysts and the Federal Reserve gradually cut their GDP estimates, but not by enough. Even our estimate for 2011 is still too high.

Slowing growth, both domestically and in China, is core to our bearish views on both the strength of the US dollar and US equities. There will be a downward bias to our US growth estimates as long as debt-financed-deficit-spending continues to be the solution politicians and central bankers turn to as a fix to our financial crisis.

Markets trade on expectations. Yesterday's zig-zag in the S&P 500 was unlike most sleepy August trading days in America. That's because the 'government is good' crowd leaked word that this second round of "quantitative easing," known as QE2, was coming, and that Ben Bernanke was going to respond to our buy-and-hope begging. (The first round of quantitative easing was the Fed's unprecedented purchase of agency debt to prop up the housing market, along with credit facilities for big banks, which began in 2008 and ended earlier this year.)

To think that we have institutionalized market expectations to this degree is downright frightening. It seems impossible but true that all rallies start and end with rumors about what Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, a humble looking man of government, had to say at 2:15 PM EST yesterday afternoon, or any other day he makes a statement.

So now what?

With 40.8 million Americans on food stamps (record high) and 45% of the unemployed having been seeking employment for 27 weeks or more (record high), what's left if (or when) QE2 doesn't kick start GDP growth? Should we start begging for QE3? Should we cancel the bomb of the National Association of Realtors' existing home sales report, scheduled for public release on August 24th? Or should we bite the bullet and accept that current economic policy dictates 0% returns-on-savings, even as Washington continues to lever-up our future to the point of economic collapse?

Before the Fiat Fools -- Hedgeye's name for political actors and bankers who have placed their hopes of economic recovery in printing endless supplies of new cash -- run out campaigning for QE3, maybe they should analyze some real time market results to yesterday's announcement of QE2:

1)The US dollar is battling for resuscitation after 9 consecutive down weeks -- down 9% since June.

2) US Treasury yields are making record lows on the short end of the curve, with 2-year yields striking 0.49%.

3) The yield spread (in this case the difference in return between 10-year and 2-year Treasury bills, which shows a long-term confidence when high) continues to collapse, down another 4 basis point day-over-day to 223 basis points.

4) The S&P 500 is down below its 200-day moving average (a common signpost for the health of a market or stock) of 1115.

5) US Volatility (VIX) is spiking from its recent stability.

6) In Japan, long time quantitative easing specialists found their markets closing down overnight by 2.7%, which makes them down 11.9% for the year to date.

Lest our doom and gloom seem built entirely on technical measurements, what they boil down to is actually quite simple -- an idea about our country which dates back to 1835. Alexis De Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America, which was published that year, seemed to warn of this day when he wrote: "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

-- Keith R. McCullough is CEO of Hedgeye, a research firm based in New Haven, Conn. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Taleb betting on the collapse of government bonds

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-11/-black-swan-author-taleb-says-he-bets-on-collapse-of-government-bonds.html

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who warned that unforeseen events can roil markets in "The Black Swan," said he is "betting on the collapse of government bonds" and that investors should avoid stocks.

"I'm very pessimistic," he said at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in Johannesburg today. "By staying in cash or hedging against inflation, you won't regret it in two years."

Treasuries have rallied amid speculation the global economic recovery is faltering, driving yields on two-year notes to a record low of 0.4892 percent today. The Federal Reserve yesterday reversed plans to exit from monetary stimulus and decided to keep its bond holdings level to support an economic recovery it described as weaker than anticipated. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index retreated 16 percent between April 23 and July 2, the biggest slump during the bull market.


 

Let’s get real. The U.S. is bankrupt. Neither spending more nor taxing less will help the country pay its bills.

Let's get real. The U.S. is bankrupt. Neither spending more nor taxing less will help the country pay its bills.

What it can and must do is radically simplify its tax, health-care, retirement and financial systems, each of which is a complete mess... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-11/u-s-is-bankrupt-and-we-don-t-even-know-commentary-by-laurence-kotlikoff.html

Thousands of online banking customers have accounts emptied by 'most dangerous trojan virus ever created'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1302062/New-trojan-virus-Zeus-v3-empties-online-bank-accounts.html#ixzz0wJhjn8Yl

Thousands of online banking customers have accounts emptied by 'most dangerous trojan virus ever created'

Read more: 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1302062/New-trojan-virus-Zeus-v3-empties-online-bank-accounts.html#ixzz0wJuVG4kE

Monday, July 19, 2010

3.26% Guaranteed by US Government

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-19/treasury-futures-rise-a-fourth-day-as-slowing-growth-boosts-safety-demand.html Treasury 10-year futures contracts held gains from a three-day rally as economists said reports this week will show U.S. housing starts fell and a measure of the outlook for economic growth declined.

Two-year yields were near a record low as declines in stocks around the world boosted demand for the relative safety of government debt. The difference between yields on 10-year notes and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, a gauge of expectations for consumer prices, narrowed to 1.71 percentage points, three basis points away from a nine-month low.

"U.S. Treasuries are still attractive," said Sungjin Park, who helps oversee the equivalent of $51 billion in debt assets as head of fixed income in Seoul at Samsung Investment Trust Management, South Korea's largest private investor. "A double- dip recession is inevitable" in the U.S., he said.

The implied yield on 10-year futures contracts for September delivery was little changed 3.26 percent as of 10:47 a.m. in Singapore, based on electronic transactions at the Chicago Board of Trade. The price was 123 7/32.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Finance ‘experts’ wish for Forex Tax

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jul/18/tobin-tax-financial-transactions

Finance experts call for 'Tobin tax' on foreign exchange trades

• Levy of 0.005% on $1m foreign exchange deal would be $50

• Billions of transactions a year would raise about $33bn

http://robinhoodtax.org.uk/

CLS 3rd Party Participant list:

http://www.cls-group.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/TP%20List.pdf

Survey finds discrepancy in Unemployment figures: Real unemployment 22%, 28%

http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/careers/what-is-the-real-unemployment-rate/19556146/ Raghavan Mayur, president at TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, follows unemployment data closely. So, when his survey for May revealed that 28% of the 1,000-odd households surveyed reported that at least one member was looking for a full-time job, he was flummoxed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wall Street Reform Bill passes – Goldman fined 550M

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_financial_overhaul;_ylt=AurfNYgWXRUmAoGwT3cReVKs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNsNWpwZWpsBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwNzE1L3VzX2ZpbmFuY2lhbF9vdmVyaGF1bARjY29kZQNtb3N0cG9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzEEcG9zAzIEcHQDaG9tZV9jb2tlBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcnkEc2xrA3NlbmF0ZWNsZWFycw--
WASHINGTON – Congress on Thursday passed the stiffest restrictions on banks and Wall Street since the Great Depression, clamping down on lending practices and expanding consumer protections to prevent a repeat of the 2008 meltdown that knocked the economy to its knees.

A year in the making and 22 months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a worldwide panic in credit and other markets, the bill cleared its final hurdle with a 60-39 Senate vote. It now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature, expected as early as Wednesday.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-07-15/goldman-sachs-to-pay-550-million-to-settle-sec-suit.html July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed to pay $550 million and change its business practices to settle U.S. regulatory claims it misled investors in collateralized debt obligations linked to subprime mortgages.

EES – PFG Webinar Archive

https://pfgbest.webex.com/ec0600l/eventcenter/recording/recordAction.do?siteurl=pfgbest&theAction=archive

Topic:  Automated Forex Systems for Spot FX-20100701 2033-2 Recording date:  Thursday, July 1, 2010 4:15 pm   Central Daylight Time (GMT -05:00, Chicago) Panelist Information:  Elite E Services Duration:  42 mins

Overview:This presentation will explain how to use automated Forex systems in spot FX using the MT4 trading platform and the advantages of using a system vs. not using a system. We will cover an actual trading system, the DRS system; offered by Elite E Services FX; a registered CTA. This system, after explanation, will be available for lease or purchase to anyone interested.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Roubini to Obama: Stop kicking the can down the road

"We have to recognize that Americans are adults," Roubini said during a radio interview with Tom Keene on Bloomberg Surveillance. "Then we have to speak to them straightforward about the risks and challenges that we have, rather than kicking the can down the road."

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-07-14/roubini-says-obama-should-address-nation-as-adults-tom-keene.html

Opera Browser

http://www.opera.com/browser/download/ Download

http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/10-best-opera-widget/ 10 best widgets

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

“It’s T Time” – EES Releases DRS T for EES FX Subscribers

New features in DRS T:

  • Individual vs. Group trailing stops
  • Multiple trend entry filters (Bulls/Bears – Least Squares – Polynomial)
  • Percent account lot size calculation
  • Account protection
  • Dynamic trailing stop

http://eesfx.com/portal/31-drs-t/148-drst-v2-new-version-good-results.html

http://eesfx.com/portal/31-drs-t/142-drs-t-live-demo-test.html

Information about DRS T is available free at http://eesfx.com – use of the EA is for subscribers only.

Click here to subscribe

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Russian spy blunder – wrote down passwords

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10446390.stm The funniest aspect of the careers of the 10 alleged Russian "agents" arrested in the US is how inept they were - and how apparently unsuccessful.

They have not even been charged with espionage, only with not registering as agents, or representatives, of a foreign government and with money laundering.

…Another couple, "Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley", the "Boston Conspirators", also seem to have been doing rather too well. Their accounting of $64,000 (£42,500) given to them reads like the expenses of a British MP - "meals and gifts $1,250"; "education $3,600"; "business (cover) $4,900" etc.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-29/u-s-espionage-claims-recall-cold-war-spy-mania-russian-government-says.html The U.S. Justice Department's claims that it broke up a Russian spy ring are "regrettable" and reminiscent of the Cold War at a time when relations are improving, Russia's Foreign Ministry said.

"Such actions are completely unfounded and serve unseemly goals," the ministry said today on its website. The allegations are "in the spirit of cold war spy mania," according to the statement.

YOU SPYING ON ME? - 'Invisible ink', coded messages... - Ring's 'femme fatale'... - Moscow calls claims 'baseless and improper'... - Busted!

FBI used high-tech spycraft...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

EES releases MT4 trade replicator

EES announces the release of MT4 trade replicator, which allows the replication of trades from one MT4 account to another. It will be included in the EES FX subscription for $99/month, including other EES strategies. For more information, click here: http://eesfx.com/portal/elite-expert-trader/ees-trade-replicator.html

Click here to subscribe to EES FX Elite

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yen, Dollar Strengthen on Speculation Global Economic Recovery Sputtering

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-24/japanese-yen-advances-as-federal-reserve-data-fan-concern-growth-falters.html The yen and the dollar gained against most major counterparts as signs the global economic recovery is faltering fueled demand for the safest currencies.

The Japanese currency remained the top performer among the most-traded currencies even after data showed U.S. jobless claims declined last week. Stocks fell on concern Europe's debt crisis is worsening. Federal Reserve officials said yesterday financial conditions have become "less supportive" of growth and a report showed new home sales fell in May to a record low.

"People are still sort of weary to put on new risk positions, so you're seeing things drift into the safe havens," Brian Kim, a currency strategist at UBS AG in Stamford, Connecticut. "In the times of low risk sentiment, the yen does well, the dollar does well."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gulf beach property market collapse

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/06/23/business/main6611141.shtml

(AP)  This was the year, Alicia Hollis and her fellow real estate agents thought. After a nasty batch of hurricanes and the bursting of the housing bubble, this was the year that condo sales along the Florida Panhandle's brilliant white beaches were going to rebound.

Then came the oil - or more accurately, the mere threat of oil.

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf


Though most of the Gulf Coast remains free of tar balls, sheen and sludge from the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, owners and agents say the disaster has still stained a showcase piece of the real estate market.

It's the third sucker punch in six years for property owners, many of whom were depending on rental units to fund their retirement. State lawmakers are looking to let homeowners off the hook on some of their taxes, hoping to pass the cost along to BP.

But things won't get better as long as images of oiled sand keep buyers away.

"We can sell places in town - people need a place to live - but the beach: look how empty it is," said Hollis, who's been selling homes in the Panhandle since 1973. "It's so heartbreaking."

Hollis' agency based on Okaloosa Island, where rows of condos line the beach, typically sells six or seven units a month. It hasn't sold a single beachfront property since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off the Louisiana coast April 20. No one is even looking, she said.

More Oil Spill Coverage


Thick Pools of Oil Wash Up on North Fla. Coast

BP Removes Oil Well Cap after Gas Mishap

New Drilling Regulator Promises Investigations

Joe Barton Keeps GOP Leadership Role

Judge Who Tossed Drilling Ban an Oil Investor

Man claims to find oil in oyster at Cornelius restaurant

http://lakenorman.wbtv.com/content/man-claims-find-oil-oyster-cornelius-restaurant
CORNELIUS, NC (WBTV) - A man says he found oil inside his oysters while eating at a restaurant located north of Charlotte this weekend.

Matthew Robertson is fascinated at the thought that an oyster from the Gulf Coast that was possibly soaked in oil made it onto his dinner plate.

"I rubbed it on my napkin and I said 'Hey, Dad look, there's oil on my oysters,'" said Robertson.

Matt Simmons: Evacuate Gulf States

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/22/AR2010062205391.html?hpid=topnews "We're going to have to evacuate the gulf states," said Matt Simmons, founder of Simmons and Co., an oil investment firm and, since the April 20 blowout, the unflagging source of end-of-the-world predictions. "Can you imagine evacuating 20 million people? . . . This story is 80 times worse than I thought."

New-home sales plunge 33 pct with tax credits gone

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NEW_HOME_SALES?SITE=CAOAK&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Monday, June 7, 2010

EUR/USD vs ES & HU 10- Yr Yield Sprds vs DE Flows - Now its Hungary!!

EUR/USD vs ES & HU 10- Yr Yield Sprds vs DE Flows - Now its Hungary!!

Monday, June 07, 2010 7:57:00 AM

* 07 Jun 10: 11:57 GMT (LDN) - FX NOW! EUR/USD vs ES & HU 10- Yr Yield Sprds vs DE Flows - Now its Hungary!!

EUR/USD's dive that built momentum on Friday and breached the psychologically key 1.2000 level was fuelled by the ongoing concerns about the international debt markets. Uncertainty in the debt markets has undermined the equity markets and the knock on for the FX market is that USD and JPY outperform the rest of the market. EUR/USD's fall through the 1.2000 was dealer led, but they did not take the initiative until equities had fallen over. Now, the news from Hungary, as well as a few other names, has undermined equities and FX once again. The story just keeps going.... M.B.

* 07 Jun 10: 11:08 GMT (LDN) - FX NOW! EUR/USD vs S&P Futures Flows - Asians extend Friday's trends, eurozone takes profits

It is a new week, but the story has not really changed for markets in general. Debt problems continue to dominate the headlines, with Hungary being featured as a potential flash point. Politics is also playing its part. G20 coverage has unearthed differences of view/focus between US Treasury Sec Geitner and ECB's Trichet. Asians did what Asians do in reaction to the news and sent equities spinning along with EUR. USD and JPY came out on top overnight. Eurozone traders did not share the same misgivings and seem happy to cover shorts in advance of the N. American open. S&P futures have bounced off lows of 1052 and climbed to 1069+. That equity bounce has had the usual impact on the FX market dragging EUR up off its lows and giving AUD and CAD a big boost. Once profits are booked and positions are manageable, it will be the N. Americans that set the tone and direction for the remainder of what is likely to be an order driven session. M.B.

* 07 Jun 10: 10:04 GMT (LDN) - FX NOW! EUR/USD, EUR/JPY Flows - EUR higher prior to strong German Factory Orders release

German factory orders for April were up 2.8% m/m, not at the 5 m/m pace seen in March, but well above market estimates in the 0.4% m/m area. EUR has not reacted in any significant way to the April report. In advance of the better than anticipated data, EUR was working its way higher after setting of stops in EUR/USD at 1.1960 and working its way more methodically higher vs JPY. Technically, the next levels to watch include 1.2020 for EUR/USD and 110.00 for EUR/JPY. M.B.