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Archive for March, 2010

March 2010 Market Review

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 31st, 2010 6:03 PM |

The 1st quarter 2010 returns are now in the books.

The Euro continued to lag given problems in the Euro-zone. That development supported our greenback:

The commodities index has given ground, but in the midst of that oil and copper have outperformed:

Although the equity markets started the year off on a rough note, the returns for the last two months have been impressive, albeit on generally light volume:

Bonds gave ground but remain within the trading range we have experienced all year:

LD

Gaming Uncle Sam’s Mortgage Modification Program

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 31st, 2010 11:08 AM |

A new release by the SIGTARP (Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program) is exceptionally enlightening in detailing how a likely significant percentage of those homeowners who entered the trial mortgage modification process gamed the system.

Once again, major high five to our friends at 12th Street Capital for sharing this report and providing insightful commentary. As 12th Street points out this morning:

With all of the hoopla surrounding the government and Bank of America announcements to push principal forgiveness to the top of the waterfall for mortgage modification triage, it would have been easy to miss the latest report from the SIGTARP (Special Inspector General of TARP). I have attached the report here and would encourage you to print it out and read it. (more…)

Erik Sirri and the Costs of a Politicized SEC

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 31st, 2010 6:27 AM |

When the exchange of financial ideas and, more importantly, capital becomes excessively politicized there are very real costs. Although those involved in the politicization process of these markets and exchanges may define the increased intervention of political influences as “in the best interests” of all involved, the supposed near term benefits come with long term costs.

Why do I broach this topic? A former SEC official decided he wanted to talk about the political overtones involved in the SEC’s decision to restrict short-selling in the equity markets in 2008. Bloomberg reports on this bombshell in writing, SEC Lets Politics Spur Short-Sale Decision, Sirri Says:

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision to restrict short selling was a political decision rather than one based on evidence, according to a former agency official who says it may set a precedent for future decisions. (more…)

U.S. Economy = “Walking Pneumonia”

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 30th, 2010 12:36 PM |

The other night in my conversation with Richard Davis on No Quarter Radio’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle, I defined my outlook for the U.S. economy in 2010 as the equivalent of  ’walking pneumonia.’  What do I mean? Let’s look at today’s economic releases, Consumer Confidence and Home Prices.

Although pundits may want to promote the rebound in these statistics as a harbinger of economic health, I personally do not think we will see these measures running away from us anytime soon. Have you ever had ‘walking pneumonia?’ I have. You don’t move all that quickly. At times, you wonder what the hell is wrong with you. Welcome to the Uncle Sam economy 2010. (more…)

Financial “Family” Collusion Will Likely Increase

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 30th, 2010 9:18 AM |

What will be the next explosion in financial chicanery if not outright fraud? Collusion, that is price fixing. Why? A number of reasons, including:

1. The financial industry has become an oligopoly, (some may say cartel) thus setting the table for increased collusion to propagate.

2. Lower volumes across exchanges, which pressure revenues and incentivize market participants to collude to generate greater profits. (more…)

Has Oppenheimer Already Violated Its Auction-Rate Settlement with NY AG Cuomo?

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 29th, 2010 1:08 PM |

Is the great lie and fraud encompassing the auction-rate securities fiasco continuing even into the settlement process? Information, or the lack thereof, indicates it is. In the process, the injustice served cold to the thousands of ARS investors, especially those who purchased these so-called ‘cash’ instruments from Oppenheimer Holdings, continues.

Wall Street, Washington, and the bulk of the financial media (exceptions being author Phil Trupp, Bloomberg’s Susan Antilla, and the Washington Examiner’s Marta Mossburg) would prefer to keep the ARS fraud and fiasco neatly under the rug. I have no interest in allowing the fraudulent ARS perpetrators and their financial regulators any degree of comfort in this mess. (more…)

How Can Rick Davis Project 2nd Qtr GDP at -1.5%? This is a MUST Read, Listen, Learn!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 29th, 2010 7:17 AM |

If the American consumer represents 70% of our economy, shouldn’t economists study consumer spending as much as possible? Well, one individual, and he is not a trained economist,–he is actually a physicist by trade– has done and is doing just that. Who is this visionary? Richard C. Davis of the Consumer Metrics Institute.

I hosted Richard on my radio show, No Quarter Radio’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle Welcomes Rick Davis, last evening. If you have any interest in the economy (and if the economy is even peripherally linked to the markets), you MUST listen to this interview. Those who follow my work know I am not one taken to hyperbole, but last evening’s show was as good as it gets in terms of cutting edge analysis on the economy focused specifically on the consumer. (more…)

March 28, 2010: Economic/Market Week in Review

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 28th, 2010 10:55 AM |

The hits just keep on coming. The news on Wall Street, Washington, and literally all around the world is an absolute onslaught. This avalanche of news (healthcare reform, Greece and the EU, China and currency manipulation, South Korean naval ship sinks with speculation of possible North Korea involvement, Israeli tensions with Palestine and Washington, Treasury debt supply pressuring interest rates, and on and on) can overwhelm us if we allow it. Global political and economic risks abound. These risks demand that we keep a balanced perspective as we navigate the economic landscape.

Welcome to our Sense on Cents Week in Review where I provide a streamlined recap of the major economic data and news, along with month-to-date market returns. (more…)

Sense on Cents Calls for Independent Investigation of FINRA

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 27th, 2010 4:51 PM |

PLEASE READ and ENDORSE THIS CALL for an INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION. PLEASE SHARE. Thanks!! LD

I have publicly stated time and again that I believe the Wall Street self-regulatory organization, FINRA, did sit and likely still sits at the nexus of the Wall Street-Washington incest that has brought our nation’s economy to its knees.

Regrettably, we have had no Congressional inquiries into the failures at FINRA. Dare I say, we have had no public pressure from the media to drive a Congressional inquiry.

I am tremendously sickened by Congress not working for America’s citizens interests by investigating FINRA. Please recall that FINRA not only failed to protect investors, but there are strong allegations that FINRA itself participated in some of the greatest frauds on Wall Street via its own internal investment portfolio. Which frauds?

We know they dumped $647 million auction-rate securities in mid-2007 and likely front ran the ARS market while doing it. I unearthed the fact that FINRA owned these ARS in January 2009 when reading FINRA’s 2007 Annual Report. Meanwhile, $150 BILLION held by thousands of investors remains in frozen ARS investments.

There is an outstanding allegation that FINRA invested its own funds in Bernie Madoff. We know they failed to properly regulate and monitor Lehman, Bear Stears, and Merrill Lynch. How much more should Congress need to know?

FINRA needs to be introduced to the American public and investigated by Congress. FINRA has not even received direct focus or attention in Senator Dodd’s proposed Financial Regulatory Reform.

We can sit idly by and allow Wall Street and Congress to dictate to us or we can do something. I choose the latter. I want this post and this site to be the lightning rod to bring attention to how Wall Street’s self-regulation, embodied in FINRA, drove our economy into the ditch.

Please add your support by leaving a comment endorsing this investigation. I intend to keep a focus on this topic until FINRA’s failures are fully exposed and people are held to account. Get your friends and colleagues to do the same. If we can create a groundswell of support, I feel confident I can get some selected media friends to pick this up. From there, I welcome leading this march to Washington.

The American public and American investors deserve nothing else.

Any questions. Please do not hesitate to ask here or write me at senseoncents@aol.com.

Who’s with me?

FINRA must be independently investigated. America needs to learn how the Wall Street cop was not only asleep, but also in bed with the financial industry as Wall Street brought America to the brink of disaster.

LD

Recommended Reading: WSJ’s The ObamaCare Writedowns

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 27th, 2010 1:56 PM |

Do you think corporations are taking charges to earnings due to the new ObamaCare because they have nothing better to do? These charges will ultimately flow through to the economy in terms of higher costs and fewer jobs for you know who.

Uncle Sam is both too stupid to understand and too much of a liar to share these realities with the American public. Remember the Obama agenda is not about wealth creation while growing the economy, it is all about one thing…..WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION!! If Obama loyalists would just come out and state that fact very plainly and clearly, I may grant them a measure of respect for being honest. (Actually, Barack did state that to Joe the Plumber back in October 2008.) (more…)






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