4/14/11…directionless

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*Portuguese, Greek Yields Rise to Records on Debt Concerns; Stocks Decline – yawn!

*G-& Nations Boosting Currency Reserves as UBS Senses Intervention Revival – ???

*Wheat-Planting Struggle in EU Means No Relief From Near-Record Food Prices

*Goldman Sachs Misled Congress After Duping Clients Over CDO’s; Levin Says – well?

*Moody’s, S&P Caved to Mortgage Pressure by Goldman, UBS, Levin Report Says – !!!

*Jobless Claims in U.S. Jumped by 27,000 to 412,000, reflecting Quarter-End Volatility

*Producer Prices in U.S. Rose 0.7% in March, Led by Energy, Truckes, Passenger Cars

*Deutsche Bank Sold Mortgage-Linked ‘Pigs’ as Market buckled, Lawmakers Say

*Money Markets Signal Rapid ECB Rate Increase, BNP Says

*Glencore Starts $11 Billion IPO as Goldman Sachs Abandons Commodities – ???

*Bank Bonds Gain With Relative Spreads Back to 2008 Levels – compression?

*Uranium Producers in Takeover Play as Assets Exceed Share Price

*Libya’s Oil Fields Go Missing as Eni Treads Line Between Qaddafi, Rebels

*WaMu Hawaii Trips for Bankers Drove Risk as Regulator Failed, Report Says

*Rajat Gupta Mystery Remains as Rajartnam’s Insider Trial Nears Denouement

*NATO Struggling to Resolve Divisions Over Libya as Qaddafi Retains Power

Tsunami Risk Prompts Tepco to Move Fukushima Backup Power to Higher Ground

*Obama Energy Plan Faces ‘Doomsayers’ as Lawmakers Regroup After Japan, BP

*Playing Chicken With National Debt is Outrageous: Commentary by Peter Coy

Yesterday, the major stock indices were mixed and little changed except two Nasdaq Indices (+0.6% and O.8% respectively), while the Russell 2000 rose just 0.2%. NYSE Volume was 900 million shares, still about 110 million below the LOW 12 month average of 1.12B shares, but the volume was steady all session without the now customary surge in the final five minutes…nobody cared. This was the 18th straight below average session. The Dow’s peak occurred one minute after the open which speaks volumes. New 52 week highs ran just 101 vs 69 new lows. Advance/Declines were about even as was Breadth on the NYSE while the Nasdaq and AMEX were about 2x positive! For a third session Citi volume was just over 200M shares, game over.

Overnight, global equities are weak for the second time in three sessions (net down!) as they continue to grasp a reason to trade – one day up, the other down on the same old news: FTSE -1.0%; CAC40 -1.2%; DAX -0.8%; Nikkei +0.1%; Hang Seng -0.5%; Korean Kospi +0.9%; Indian SENSEX +2.3%, the only two net gainers! US Futures portend a weaker session: DOW -59; SPX -8.40; NDQ -16.50 – a third straight day of almost EXACT offsets…i.e. going nowhere! Dollar still strugglying to get above 75 again, 74.95 -.02. Gold is $1456.20 +0.80. Crude still slipping after Monday’s cycle high of $113.46  and is now $105.91 -$1.20. Bonds barely stronger today after a nice rally yesterday awaiting the Beige Book for next week’s FOMC meeting. The 10 year note is 3.43% +7/32 and the long bond 4.53% +7/32 – remember they were off early Weds.!

 

…best describes the market action this week and that is what we are doing while ‘playing’ a game of chicken with facts (see headlines above, especially the three relating to GOLDAMN…and no that is not a typo…they are crooks!). As Inside Job writer, producer, and director Charles Ferguson said, “…and no one has gone to jail.” Isn’t that a sad commentary for the world’s financial center…reminiscent of Den of thieves, but this is that story on steroids.

 

Perhaps the Levin Report…has to be one hot ticket…no doubt as the players all read it so they can see their names and grin toothily. Will it spur Congress to finally act? How? How can they after accepting their ‘bribes’? That is the ultimate safety net!

 

TB still cannot understand where your outrage is…he spent forty years in this business and aside from a few scoundrels it was an honest business…that is what greed does.

 

A friend sent another Dick Morris piece on how Minnesotan’s Tim Pawlenti and Michele Bachmann are the bright stars and hopes for the GOP. Guess he didn’t hear Bachmann’s

‘teaparty’ response to Obama’s SOTU…or Tim Pawlenti telling Larry Kudlow that in order to grow we need LESS not more regulation. If this is the GOP’s best and brightest, heaven help us.

 

Guess Pawlenti, who is a likeable guy and apparently (TB can’t vouch being new to the state) did a good job as governor, must have been asleep during the entire new millennium since he didn’t notice that GROWTH in the U.S. was in the financial sector, not manufacturing, and that dragged construction with it, not the other way around. Second, income growth went to the wealthiest who benefitted from the Bush tax cuts, most of whom either already in the top 1% or new entrants came from the financial sector and if you net out CEO’s that meant bond and derivative geeks! If you think that TB, being a bond geek, is jealous of them, no…not envious even…but he loathes what they did to a once respectable profession…too bad nobody else in the business is willing to voice that…which begs the question: do they even care?

 

In Inside Job, the only insiders who would come forward were people who had been involved and saw what was happening…for the rest, mum was the word…still is.

 

It was a better place when the Wall Streeters were fathers and sons…when firms were partnerships and the owners could not get their principal out…only the income so they watched the young turks like hawks…but once the became corporations there was no one out there minding the store and that was just when the Sandy Weill/Robert Rubin duo struck aiming right at Republicans like the thieving Phil Gramm who left the Senate to become Chairman of UBS Americas…after his wife Wendy had been on the board (audit committee no less) of Enron. A fine upstanding gentleman, don’t you think?

 

Enough for today as TB wants to read the entire Levin report while it is still news…tomorrow it will be back page as, after all, who cares…do you?

 

. . .  – – –  . . .   . . . – – –  . . .

 

This is not a grand day for America but hope you have a nice day!

TB

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