Sunday, July 24, 2011

The U.S. Federal Reserve gave out $16.1 trillion in emergency loans

The U.S. Federal Reserve gave out $16.1 trillion in emergency loans to U.S. and foreign financial institutions between Dec. 1, 2007 and July 21, 2010, according to figures produced by the government's first-ever audit of the central bank.
Last year, the gross domestic product of the entire U.S. economy was $14.5 trillion.
Of the $16.1 trillion loaned out, $3.08 trillion went to financial institutions in the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium, the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) analysis shows.
Additionally, asset swap arrangements were opened with banks in the U.K., Canada, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Mexico, Singapore and Switzerland. Twelve of those arrangements are still ongoing, having been extended through August 2012.

Full GAO report:

Court rules securities fraud only valid when transaction takes place in US

A federal district judge dismissed a securities fraud charge against Goldman Sachs yesterday on grounds that the plaintiffs hadn’t show the transaction occurred in the United States.

There were no doubt sighs of relief at Goldman. Once again, Goldman has avoided having to deal with fraud charges head-on.

The case tracked closely the one brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission last year. Basically, Goldman was accused of selling a foreign investor a stake in a collateralized debt obligation while failing to disclose it had a short position on the underlying mortgage securities.
The judge threw out the case based on a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held that securities fraud laws only apply to deals that take place in the U.S. Of course, in the age of electronic communications, global financial firms and international investments it can be quite tricky to find out where a deal actually “takes place.”

President Obama absent from debt talks

First came the Biden talks. When those blew up, the Obama-Boehner talks took center stage. And when that failed, the McConnell-Reid talks looked promising. And after they faltered, the Obama-Boehner talks tried to find a new life.
Now it’s all come down to the Boehner-Reid-Pelosi-McConnell talks to solve the debt crisis. Notably absent? The president.

Read more:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Couple forecloses Bank of America branch

In a modern-day evocation of David’s slingshot triumph over Goliath, a couple of foreclosed homeowners in Naples, Fla., reportedly foreclosed on a Bank of America branch last week, their attorney actually having moving trucks pull up in front of a Naples branch to execute a foreclosure judgment against the bank.
What must have seemed to observers like a scene out of a parallel universe — you can see some video here — was actually the fair and logical conclusion to a situation which, the court had ruled, had an unfair and illogical start. In 2009, retired police officer Warren Nyerges and his wife, Maureen Collier, paid $165,000 cash for their 2,700 square foot home in the Golden Gate Estates subdivision, and never took a mortgage out on it. So imagine their surprise when, in February of 2010, Bank of America initiated foreclosure proceedings against them. The Nyerges hired an attorney, Todd Allen, to defend them against the wrongful foreclosure, and the bank eventually abandoned the matter.
But not before the Nyerges incurred $2,534 in attorney’s fees, which they requested informally from Bank of America multiple times before resorting to the courts, which ordered the bank to make the couple whole. When B of A still had not paid the judgment after five months of phone calls and letter writing by Allen and the Nyerges to the bank insisting that the court order be obeyed, Allen took the next step in the legal collection process, obtaining an order of foreclosure against the bank.

Read more:

Texas Adverse Possession - Man buys 330k house for $16

Thanks to a little-known Texas law, a man found an abandoned $300,000 home, moved his stuff in and filled out some paperwork. It cost him $16. Now, apparently he’s a homeowner.
On June 17, Kenneth Robinson moved into a $330,000 home in an upscale neighborhood in Flower Mound, Texas. Except, instead of going through a bank, wading through the mortgage process and making a down payment, Robinson went to the Denton County Courthouse and filled out a form. The house he was after was abandoned, and the mortgage company went out of business. So after months of research, Robinson took advantage of a Texas law called “adverse possession.” All he had to do was print out an online form and for a $16 fee was granted rights to the house.

Read more:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Soros’s Quantum Holding 75% Cash Leads Hedge Funds Baffled by Instability

Keith Anderson, who runs the $25.5 billion Quantum Endowment Fund for Soros Fund Management LLC, has seen enough of choppy global markets.
In mid-June, Anderson told his portfolio managers to pull back on trades as the hedge fund’s losses hit 6 percent for the year, according to two people familiar with the New York-based firm. As a result, the fund is about 75 percent in cash as it waits for better opportunities, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the firm is private.
Soros and Moore Capital Management LLC are among hedge funds that have reduced the amount of money they’re investing in stock, bond and currency markets as they look for clarity on global events ranging from the debt crisis in Europe to China’s efforts to control inflation to the debate over the U.S. debt ceiling. About 18 percent of asset allocators, including hedge funds, are overweight cash, the highest level in a year and up from 6 percent in May, a Bank of America Corp. survey showed last month.

EU approaches resolution as Aug 2 Deadline looms for US

The euro rallied against the dollar and rose from almost a record low versus the Swiss franc on bets European officials are approaching an agreement over measures designed to contain the region’s sovereign-debt crisis.
The 17-nation currency pared gains as Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Hanover that the debt crisis can’t be resolved “in one step.” Sweden’s krona and Australia’s dollar climbed amid renewed investor appetite for higher-yielding assets as Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said a resolution of debt turmoil is attainable. The Canadian dollar rose after the central bank’s policy statement.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Federal Reserve Virginia Facility revealed

Insight on Friday's EUR/USD move

More on the EUR/USD move higher, and despite all the wide ranging reasons behind why the currency pair has gone completely against its positive correlation with the equity indices, the over-riding factor is that a large Asian name was a big buyer of from the low 1.4200's. Having taken out stops through the Thursday lows, the familiar trading account emerged and bought up the pair in some pretty hefty amounts. Whatever the views on how and where the employment stats would impact, there is no disputing that the above is the key factor in this afternoon's (eventual) move. The Asian account holds a large 1.40/1.47 DNT structure, which is set to roll off inside the next 2 weeks, and is choosing to 'smooth' FX moves when we get anywhere near the outer limits of the range. For now, we see expiries at 1.4330, 1.4335 and 1.4340 keeping trade up at these levels. SM

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chained CPI to save $300 Billion over 10 years

What is “chained CPI,” and why should you care?

One proposal in the budget talks that is getting a serious look from all sides would switch the government’s way of measuring inflation and delivering a big impact on tax, spending, and entitlement programs.
How big? It could save roughly $300 billion over 10 years. That big.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Christopher Pettengill pleaded guilty $190 Million Forex Fraud closing case (Source: FBI) MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 54-year-old Plymouth man pleaded guilty to lending credibility to and ultimately persuading others to invest in a multi-milliondollar Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Trevor Cook. Christopher Pettengill pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. Pettengill, was who charged on June 13, 2011, entered his plea before United States District Court Chief Judge Michael J. Davis. ​Trevor Cook pleaded guilty today in federal court to leading a $190-million Ponzi schemebased in part out of the Van Dusen mansion in Minneapolis that obliterated the investments of at least 1,000 victims while he lived high on the hog and paid off gambling debts. 

Minneapolis money manager Trevor Cook admits to $190 million scam

EES Analysis markets update

Markets lack direction mid-NY session.  Hourly Bollinger signals a long for EUR/USD / reversal to fibo 1.4350/ 1.4380/1.44 though news from Europe may keep EUR offered throughout the week.  USD/CHF near all time lows @ .8300 -JG

Friday, July 1, 2011

The 25 Best Hedge Funds Of Q2 2011

Based on our calculations here are the 25 best hedge funds of second quarter:

FundNo. StocksQ2 Return
Corriente Advisors317.7%
Hawkshaw Capital Management414.0%
LaGrange Capital813.4%
Manatuck Hill Partners1012.6%
Lane Five Capital611.5%
Icahn Capital LP910.4%
Criterion Capital89.8%
Accipiter Capital Management89.4%
OrbiMed Advisors388.7%
Arrow Capital Management98.4%
Solus Alternative Asset Mgmt.48.1%
Akre Capital Management137.3%
White Elm Capital87.2%
Silver Capital Management LLC117.0%
Halcyon Asset Management26.9%
Amber Capital66.8%
JANA Partners96.7%
ValueAct Capital96.5%
Visium Asset Management676.5%
Scout Capital Management106.2%
Gates Capital Management106.1%
Healthcor Management LP256.0%
MHR Fund Management16.0%
Brencourt Advisors105.9%
Trian Partners65.8%

Read more:

Internal Latency Checker - DPC

If any kernel-mode device driver in your Windows system is implemented improperly and causes excessive latencies of Deferred Procedure Calls (DPCs) then probably drop-outs will occur when you use real-time audio or video streaming applications. For an explanation of this effect see Background information below.

The DPC Latency Checker tool determines the maximum DPC latency that occurs on your Windows system and thus enables you to check the real-time capabilities of your computer. DPC Latency Checker works independent of any external hardware. Using this tool may be helpful in the following situations:
  • You experience interruptions (drop-outs) in a flow of data processed in real-time, for example an audio stream, video stream or a sequence of measuring data, and you want to find out the reason for this problem.
  • You want to verify that your Windows system is configured properly so that it is capable of handling real-time data transfer before you install the corresponding streaming application.
  • You want to check if a particular computer system is suitable for streaming applications, for example before you buy this system.