201708.10
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August 10; Emergency Calls, Reigning Confusion, and ‘Not My Job’

In July 2012, the LIBOR manipulation scandal broke wide and before Congress then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke used it to cleverly cover up for his crisis actions (more so inactions). He told the Senate Banking Committee that the LIBOR system was “structurally flawed” before intimating it had been that way for some time. Asked if…

201708.09
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Subprime Is Contained (and other notable statements declaring They Really Don’t Know What They Are Doing)

Ben Bernanke, then Chairman of the Federal Reserve, told Congress in March 2007 that subprime was contained. He will rightfully be remembered in infamy for that, but that wasn’t the most egregious example of being wrong. Even putting it in those terms risks understating the problem and why it stubbornly lingers. Being really wrong is…

201708.09
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You’ve Heard of Bear’s Funds, Why Not BNP’s?

When Bear Stearns nearly failed, made to merge, in March 2008 it wasn’t really a surprise. Yes, markets were shocked by the demise of the ancient firm, one of the bulge bracket cartel which suggested surprise over the severity of it more than that things were going bad. For more than a year, starting in…

201707.18
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A Decade of Fallacy

Ten years ago yesterday, Bear Stearns sent a letter to shareholders of two specific hedge funds that it sponsored. Whenever anyone brings up the name now, you immediately know where this is going. That wasn’t the case in 2007, however. Whatever the world may think of Bear in hindsight, a decade ago it was a…

201702.08
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Woe Unto The First Decade Of A New Century

On February 8, 2007, exactly one decade ago today, shares of New Century Financial, a former darling of not just Wall Street but the mainstream, plunged 37% in panicky trading. The day before, February 7, New Century reported expectations for loan production for 2007 to be 20% below 2006 levels. But the real bombshell was…

201602.01 1

It Starts: Junk Bonds ‘Contained’

To an economist, the economy can bear no recession. In times of heavy central bank activity, an economy can never be in recession. Those appear to be the only dynamic factors that drive economic interpretation in the mainstream. And they become circular in the trap of just these kinds of circumstances – the economy looks…

201601.20 3

The True And Hidden Menace of Liquidations

Today’s radical reversal in stocks notwithstanding, the continuing hits of liquidations are not achieving their settled ends. In purely financial terms, the entire process of liquidation is to renew a settled state. Local imbalances force restriction of financial resources (what used to be money but now is something recognizable as such but truly not money)…

201509.04
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Distinct Lack Of Enthusiasm For The Corporate Bubble

Gold is down again today but the yen up past 119 toward 118.5; and the real crashing under 3.8 now. In other words, as yesterday, the “dollar” market is somewhat mixed. That view, however, is somewhat deceptive as the absence of further “dollar” pressure does not equate to renewed optimism and a serious move back…

201403.14
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Friday FOMC Memories: Fair Is Fair

It is somewhat of a fair criticism that playing armchair quarterback years after events unfolded amounts to lazy or devalued analysis. Picking apart assessments with the full benefit of hindsight is seemingly unfair to the participants and targets of any reproach. It also may appear to be irrelevant to spend so much time when current…

201403.13
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Notes From the Dollar Side of Credit

There has been a lot of discussion about the Chinese credit markets, and rightfully so, as unusual events are in the midst of probing “market” sensibilities as they relate to great imbalances. Along that line, this passage in a CNBC article caught my attention: Strict government controls, and the fact that state-owned companies own the…