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Archive for January, 2010

Sense on Cents Goes Back to School

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 31st, 2010 10:40 AM |

One of my goals at Sense on Cents is to leverage my Wall Street background and experience to help those currently in school gain a greater understanding of the markets and the economy. In addition, I have always garnered great satisfaction in providing mentoring and career advice to students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Why do I raise this topic now? Maybe it is the economy, maybe it is the growth of Sense on Cents, but I have also been receiving positive feedback from people coming to the site from colleges and universities around the country. I am quite pleased by this development and I sincerely hope that students utilize my Career Planning link. The material there has received rave reviews.

Financial Primers (right sidebar), links to Economic All-Stars (left sidebar), and the extensive library that has been created from my writing provides a trove of information for students and others who are interested in more effectively navigating the economic landscape.

For those students visiting Sense on Cents regularly, please share the site with your friends. Please also know that I am always open to presentations and/or conference calls to groups.

If you do not immediately find what you are looking for, do not hesitate to ask.

Collectively, we can all help each other succeed during these challenging times.

Class dismissed.


NQR’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle Welcomes John Ryding, Sunday Night at 8pm ET

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 30th, 2010 8:07 PM |

UPDATE: This episode of NQR’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle has concluded. You can listen to a recording of the episode in its entirety by clicking the play button on the audio player provided below. Once the audio begins, you can advance or rewind to any portion of the episode by clicking at any point along the play bar.


4th quarter 2009 GDP came in at 5.7%. November’s employment report showed a gain in jobs. Consumer confidence increased in January. Are these readings to be believed? Will the positive trend continue?

On the flip side of the coin, new home sales in January came in much less than expected. Durable goods orders also disappointed. Jobless claims remain stubbornly high.

What is really going on in the economy? Where can you go to make sense of it all and most effectively navigate the economic landscape in the process? You have come to the right place as this Sunday evening from 8-9pm No Quarter Radio’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle Welcomes John Ryding of RDQ Economics.  What can we learn about about RDQ and John Ryding? (more…)

Walt Garrison Lassoed by Auction-Rate Securities

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 30th, 2010 3:06 PM |

Growing up as  a young boy in Boston, I loved sports of all kinds. Regrettably, our local professional football team, the then Boston Patriots, were a perennial league doormat in the American Football League.

What team did I love? The Green Bay Packers. Led by Vince Lombardi, the Packers played on the frozen tundra otherwise known as Lambeau Field. The memories of the 1967 NFL Championship game, known as the Ice Bowl due to bone chilling negative temperatures, between my Packers and the hated Dallas Cowboys remain etched in my memory.

The Packers won the game 21-17 on a quarterback sneak by my hero Bart Starr with only seconds left in the game. This game was filled with so many legends, including Cowboys coach Tom Landry, quarterback Don Meredith, defensive tackle Jethro Pugh, middle linebacker Lee Roy Jordan, running back Dan Reeves and so many more. My Packers had Starr, middle linebacker Ray Nitschke, guard Jerry Kramer, receiver Boyd Dowler, running back Donny Anderson, safety Willie Wood, and so many more. I loved these guys and loved that game.

On the bench that day as a backup fullback for the Cowboys was Walt Garrison. I have no recollection of Garrison playing during that Ice Bowl, but he went on to a stellar career. When I think back to Walt Garrison, I think of one thing: he was one tough SOB. After his football days, Garrison was a popular figure on the rodeo circuit and became a spokesperson for Skoal chewing tobacco.

I will readily admit for the last thirty plus years, I have given little thought to Walt Garrison…until today. (more…)

January 2010 Market Review

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 30th, 2010 10:49 AM |

As January goes, so goes the year.

Does this adage hold water? The market direction for the year is correlated approximately 70% of the time with January’s move. I certainly would not make investment decisions based purely upon that rule of thumb. The rule did not hold in 2009 as major equity averages were down 8% last January. That said, 2009 was anything but a normal year given the massive economic and market supports implemented by Uncle Sam.

What rule of thumb would I recommend? Read and review Sense on Cents regularly to most effectively navigate the economic landscape. On that note, let’s review the market moves for January. The figures provided are month end statistics for the respective markets, then month-to-date and year-to-date returns. (more…)

Markets Fading the 4th Qtr GDP Report

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 29th, 2010 2:55 PM |

The 4th quarter GDP report came in this morning at a surprisingly strong 5.7%. However, like many other things in this Uncle Sam economy, not everything is as it appears. For that very reason, I wanted to wait to write about this report until I monitored the market’s reaction. Let’s navigate.

The question for the economy, and in turn the markets, is to what degree the supposed growth embedded in the 4th quarter GDP is sustainable. To determine that, people need to appreciate the fact that this 5.7% GDP figure was driven to a large extent (60%) by a slowing in the drawdown of inventories. Are you scratching your head wondering what that means? Let’s just reduce it to the fact that drawing down inventories is not exactly a driver of growth at all. (more…)

SEC’s New Money Market Fund Rules

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 29th, 2010 10:44 AM |

Sense on Cents once again thanks our friends at 12th Street Capital for providing tremendously useful information and analysis. What do we learn today? The new rules adopted by the SEC for money market funds.

The overview of these rules is provided by Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP.  The driving force behind the new SEC rules is an effort to promote greater disclosure and liquidity within money market portfolios. After the crisis of 2008-whenever (it’s not over yet), money market funds were and are much riskier than previously perceived. The risks lay in the fact that these funds invested in a fair amount of risky assets. Now that the government backstop of this industry has ceased, the new rules are needed for the industry to move forward.

Investors need to know that when these rules are effective (sometime  in 2010), funds can ‘break the buck’ ($1.00 NAV, net asset value) and suspend redemptions.  

Navigate accordingly knowing that the money market industry is not what it used to be.

Thanks again to 12th Street and to Orrick for this 2-page overview. Click on image to open pdf document:


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Attorney Claims Wall Street’s Cop, FINRA, Invested in Madoff

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 29th, 2010 8:31 AM |


The policies implemented in Washington are trying to buy time in hopes that our economy recovers. Japan took the ‘buying time’ approach and twenty years later they are still waiting for real recovery.

Moving forward.

The approach being taken by those within our financial regulatory structure (SEC and FINRA) is to ‘move forward.’ Well, unless the critically unanswered questions and issues embedded within these organizations are fully exposed and addressed, America can never truly move forward with confidence in the markets and those overseeing them.

President Obama wants real financial regulatory reform. Then Mister President, compel your chair of the SEC, Mary Schapiro, to open the books and records of FINRA. Mr. President, compel Ms. Schapiro to unseal documents regarding the very formation of FINRA itself.

America knows something still smells on Wall Street. What is it? (more…)

Sense on Cents Endorses POGO

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 28th, 2010 3:14 PM |

In the never ending pursuit for truth, transparency, and integrity on our economic landscape, I am constantly looking for people, institutions, and enterprises which embrace and endorse those same principles. I hope and believe that readers of Sense on Cents appreciate that fact. Please do not be bashful to tell me when I fall short.

In checking on developments relating to the story I wrote the other day, “The SEC Pimped Peter Sivere”, I crossed paths this morning with an institution that has been around for thirty years but of which I was not acquainted. I am referring to the Project on Government Oversight (POGO).

Who is POGO? (more…)

Why Is the Market Selling Off?

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 28th, 2010 12:04 PM |

What is driving the market lower?

I thought the economy was starting to improve. Didn’t the Federal Reserve indicate as much just yesterday? Do you believe them? While we could debate the depth of integrity embedded in many statements that emanate from Washington, let’s focus on what we do know and see happening. In the process, we will be better positioned to most effectively navigate our economic landscape and the markets.

So, back to the initial question: what’s driving the markets lower? I see a confluence of reasons reflected in some dramatic price action. These reasons include: (more…)

SEC IG Report: George Demos Pimped Peter Sivere

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 28th, 2010 9:02 AM |

Who is George Demos? A former enforcement lawyer in the New York office of the SEC, currently running for Congress from Long Island.

Who is Peter Sivere? A former compliance employee at JP Morgan.

Sivere crossed paths with Demos in 2004 while providing information related to an investigation of questionable mutual fund trading activity. In the midst of Sivere’s engagement with the SEC, his confidence was violated. I highlighted this reality the other day in writing, “The SEC Pimped Peter Sivere.”

Who at the SEC blew Sivere’s cover? Today we learn it was George Demos. (more…)

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