Thursday, October 15, 2009

'Recruited by MI5: the name's Mussolini. Benito Mussolini'

History remembers Benito Mussolini as a founder member of the original Axis of Evil, the Italian dictator who ruled his country with fear and forged a disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany. But a previously unknown area of Il Duce's CV has come to light: his brief career as a British agent.

Archived documents have revealed that Mussolini got his start in politics in 1917 with the help of a £100 weekly wage from MI5...

Continue...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You Can Run But You Can't Hide

Support Your Global Police?

...Noble
himself said that his organization is pursuing a "visionary model," an "alliance of all nations" under a "global police doctrine." This would, in effect, create the first genuinely planetary police force in human history...

In an address before justice and law enforcement officials from more than 60 nations who had assembled in Singapore, Noble elaborated on that "visionary model": "In the framework of our partnership with the UN, INTERPOL will provide deployed police peacekeepers with access to the world's only secure global police communications system; global police databases including names of criminals, fingerprints, DNA profiles, stolen passports, and stolen vehicles; and specialized investigative support in key crime areas, including fugitives, drugs, terrorism, trafficking in human beings, and corruption."

Apart from some very serious issues of jurisdiction and sovereignty, the most troubling aspect of INTERPOL's "visionary model" is its potential to help create a UN-directed global panopticon – a "Your Papers, Please" system of world-wide scope...

Continue...


'The Message of Dollar Disdain'

Unprecedented spending, unending fiscal deficits, unconscionable accumulations of government debt: These are the trends that are shaping America's financial future. And since loose monetary policy and a weak U.S. dollar are part of the mix, apparently, it's no wonder people around the world are searching for an alternative form of money in which to calculate and preserve their own wealth.

It may be too soon to dismiss the dollar as an utterly debauched currency. It still is the most used for international transactions and constitutes over 60% of other countries' official foreign-exchange reserves. But the reputation of our nation's money is being severely compromised....

Continue...


GOFO, Libor, UST & Mortgage Rates


Duration -- GOFO -- LIBOR -- UST

1 month --.33000 --- .2450 --- .04
3 month -- .37750 --- .2841 --- .07
6 month -- .51750 --- .5931 --- .15
1 year ----.70000 --- 1.2325--- .33
(as of today)

Best Mortgage Rates
30yr FRM -- 5.00
15yr FRM -- 4.45
5/1yr ARM -- 3.88
(as of 10/02)

Other
10 Year Note -- 3.41
10 Year Muni -- 3.07
10 Year TIPs -- 1.46
10 Year Bund -- 3.23
10 Year AAA --- 3.80
10 Year A ------ 4.95

Econ Data; Fed & Treasury Info

Treasury:
Fed:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Who's Got The Gold?

Largest Gold Reserves by Country

...The
SPDR Gold ETF (GLD) has now grown to such a size that if it were a stand alone country it would now be the 6th largest holder of gold in the world. That's remarkable. Even more remarkable, 1 man - hedge fund manager John Paulson - owns nearly 10% of this gold ETF. [May 16, 2009: John Paulson Continues to Pile into SPDR Gold (GLD)] By the transitive theory this would make John Paulson, if he was a stand alone country, somewhere in the 16- 20th largest holder of gold.

Top 15 $ Value of % of
Country Reserves Reserves
United States $298.4 N/A
Germany $125.0 69.2%
International Monetary Fund $118.0 N/A
Italy $89.9 66.6%
France $89.7 70.6%
China $38.7 1.9%
Switzerland $38.2 29.1%
Japan $28.1 2.3%
Netherlands $22.5 59.6%
Russia $20.9 4.3%
European Central Bank $18.4 18.8%
Taiwan $15.5 3.9%
Portugal $14.0 90.9%
India $13.1 4.0%
Venezuela $13.1 36.1%

Continue...

GOFO, Libor, UST & Mortgage Rates


Duration -- GOFO -- LIBOR -- UST

1 month --.31750 --- .2450 --- .02
3 month -- .35250 --- .2844 --- .06
6 month -- .49500 --- .5956 --- .15
1 year ----.67250 --- 1.2394--- .33
(as of today)

Best Mortgage Rates
30yr FRM -- 5.01
15yr FRM -- 4.48
5/1yr ARM -- 3.92
(as of yesterday)

Other
10 Year Note -- 3.35
10 Year Muni -- 2.99
10 Year TIPs -- 1.47
10 Year Bund -- 3.17
10 Year AAA --- 3.75
10 Year A ------ 4.90

Econ Data; Fed & Treasury Info

Treasury:
Fed:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Holiday Shenanigans?

Iceland Must Have Missed The Memo: (you can't have price inflation w/ slack in the economy and labor market)


Iceland Shrinks 8% as Prices Increase 11% in Deepest Recession


...A year after the banking crisis brought Iceland to the brink of bankruptcy, the island nation is mired in the deepest recession among advanced economies. The stock market has lost 97 percent of its value, and more than 780 companies have buckled under the weight of foreign currency loans as the krona plunged...

...Iceland’s economy will shrink 8.5 percent this year and consumer prices will climb 11.7 percent, both the worst performances among the world’s 33 advanced economies, according to the IMF’s latest forecasts. As the rest of the world begins to recover, Iceland’s recession will stretch into next year, with the economy contracting 2 percent, more than any developed nation except Ireland.

Unemployment will rise to 8.6 percent this year, from less than 1 percent in December 2007, the IMF estimates. Iceland will still trail the eurozone average of 9.9 percent and Spain’s 18.2 percent jobless rate, the highest in the developed world.

One of the hardest-hit industries has been construction, where 202 companies filed for bankruptcy in the 11 months after the crash, 67 percent more than in the same period a year earlier, according to data compiled by Statistics Iceland...

Continue...

GOFO, Libor, UST & Mortgage Rates


Duration -- GOFO -- LIBOR -- UST

1 month --.32400 --- .2444 --- .03
3 month -- .37000 --- .2844 --- .06
6 month -- .48800 --- .6013 --- .15
1 year ----.70400 --- 1.2513--- .34
(as of today)

Best Mortgage Rates
30yr FRM -- 5.01
15yr FRM -- 4.48
5/1yr ARM -- 3.92
(as of 10/02)

Other
10 Year Note -- 3.38
10 Year Muni -- 2.99
10 Year TIPs -- 1.52
10 Year Bund -- 3.18
10 Year AAA --- 3.75
10 Year A ------ 4.90

Econ Data; Fed & Treasury Info

  • Columbus Day, markets open
Fed:

Gold COT (Oct 6)


Gold COT saw an expected jump in O/I of about 30k contracts; Net commercial short jumped while "speculators" took those contracts to the long side, with a large jump in small-trader positions, adding both longs and shorts (more of the former). Again, historically O/I is elevated but the COT structure can support a larger break if the USD and geo-political events remain gold-bullish.
Concentrated positions not making a big move...


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sweet Freedom

Scenes From a Crackdown

...a number of disturbing images, videos, and witness accounts have come out of Pittsburgh, as well as from similar high-stakes political events in recent years, that reveal the disquieting ease with which authorities are willing to crush dissent—and at the very sorts of events where the right to dissent is the entire purpose of protecting free speech. That is, events where influential policymakers meet to make high-level decisions with far-reaching consequences...

...A number of police departments from across the country came to Pittsburgh to help police the summit, and nearly all were dressed in paramilitary garb. In one widely-circulated video from the summit, several police officers dressed entirely in camouflage emerge from an unmarked car, apprehend a young backpack-toting protester, stuff him into the car, and then drive off. It evoked the sort of "disappearance" one might envision in a Latin American junta or Soviet Block country. Matt Drudge linked to the video, describing the officers in it as members of the military. They weren't, though it's certainly easy to understand how someone might make that mistake.

Another video shows a police unit with what seems to be a handcuffed protester. Officers surround the protester and prop him up, at which point another officer snaps what appears to be a trophy photo. (YouTube
has since removed the video, citing a terms of use violation.) Other Twitter feeds and uploaded photos and videos claim police fired tear gas canisters into dorm rooms, used sound cannons, and fired bean bags and rubber bullets. One man was arrested for posting the locations of riot police on Twitter...

Continue...


Fed Balance Sheet (Oct 8)


Total Balance Sheet size continues to plateau as the fed's lending programs contract and their "
monetizations" continue to add securities - at a significantly slower pace - to the BS. The program of buying UST/MBS/Agencies is also beginning to wind down. One noticeable development is a large draw-down in the treasury's general account as well as a decrease in the supplemental account causing reserves of depository institutions to balloon to just under $1 Trillion.


'Asian Central Banks Intervene as Dollar Tumbles'

SINGAPORE -- The U.S. dollar continued to tumble against most Asian currencies Thursday, prompting a wave of foreign-exchange intervention by central banks in South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Thailand seeking to limit damage to their export industries.

Traders said the dollar selloff is unlikely to fade soon, given the prospect for a long period of low U.S. interest rates to support a sluggish U.S. economy and increasing signs central banks in Asia will begin tightening monetary policies in the months ahead.

Continue...

It felt like there was some intervention earlier as the Dec $Index Contract managed (and still manages) to hold above the key 76 level ; whether intervention in "secondary" asian currencies did much, or even anything, to support the $index is debatable though.

Bad 30yr Auction


$12 Bil 30yr auction
BtC of 2.37
4.009 % yield

10yr note futures dumped from 119.20 to 119.14

UPDATE: 10yr note continues lower to 119.07, stock market may have gotten spooked about the auction as it has followed the bond market lower...only in bizarro world can you have stocks and bonds sell off and watch the dollar rally with it

The USD is Pathetic


No need to post a chart, just use your imagination...

GOFO, Libor, UST & Mortgage Rates


Duration -- GOFO -- LIBOR -- UST

1 month --.29750 -- .2444 -- .06
3 month -- .35000 -- .2844 -- .09
6 month -- .43750 -- .5975 -- .14
1 year ----.59500 -- 1.2131-- .34
(as of today)

Best Mortgage Rates
30yr FRM -- 4.92
15yr FRM -- 4.41
5/1yr ARM -- 3.85
(as of 10/02)

Other
10 Year Note -- 3.21
10 Year Muni -- 2.76
10 Year TIPs -- 1.43
10 Year Bund -- 3.12
10 Year AAA --- 3.41
10 Year A ------ 4.56

Econ Data; Fed & Treasury Info

Treasury:
Fed:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Iran War Watch


Is The U.S. Preparing to bomb Iran?


Is the U.S. stepping up preparations for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities?
The Pentagon is always making plans, but based on a little-noticed funding request recently sent to Congress, the answer to that question appears to be yes...

Continue...

This could be part of the reason gold is running, although you'd think oil would be rising faster than gold if the market smelled an attack coming.

Here's the contract for an attack on Iran by US-Israel by Dec 31 2009:



GOFO, Libor, UST & Mortgage Rates


Duration -- GOFO -- LIBOR -- UST

1 month --.30167 -- .2444 -- .03
3 month -- .37500 -- .2844 -- .07
6 month -- .46667 -- .6000 -- .14
1 year ----.63833 -- 1.2169-- .33
(as of today)

Best Mortgage Rates
30yr FRM -- 4.95
15yr FRM -- 4.44
5/1yr ARM -- 3.86
(as of 10/02)

Other
10 Year Note -- 3.21
10 Year Muni -- 2.88
10 Year TIPs -- 1.45
10 Year Bund -- 3.13
10 Year AAA --- 3.41
10 Year A ------ 4.56

Econ Data; Fed & Treasury Info

Treasury:
Fed:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tin "Trouble"

The mystery investor who is turning the tin market on its head

A single investor – thought to be a hedge fund – is sitting on thousands of tonnes of tin in warehouses across London. According to traders almost the entire stocks of tin on the London Metals Exchange (LME) was bought up by a single, mysterious investor, last week...

Continue...

Personally I have no problem with someone partially cornering a market; if they want to put on that type of risk(the riskiest position there is if a forced liquidation occurs, or otherwise) so be it. If they are distorting the "true" price there is a fundamental price inefficiency that allows small (and big) traders to trade against.

Does the semi-corner not have more power? Of course, but why shouldn't they? Someone buying $1 mil of some stock has more power to influence price than someone buying $100 of it. This is just the nature of a society where people exchange things. The thing that people forget is that to manipulate an asset price you have to commit serious capital at price X and eventually be able to liquidate at > X in the future. You can accumulate all you want, but to profit you must distribute it.

If industrial buyers don't like it, they should buy forward and stop bitching about backwardation, or better manage inventory/hedging.

Furthermore a semi-corner would drive the price up/down drastically during the accumulation process creating an incentive, in the case of tin, for more investment in production (with a significant lag) and more metal finding its way on the market.

People don't have a right to tin, they have a right to bid for it. If you don't like the asking price don't buy it. Simple.

UN calls for new reserve currency


The United Nations called on Tuesday for a new global reserve currency to end dollar supremacy which has allowed the United States the "privilege" of building a huge trade deficit...

..."Greater use of a truly global reserve currency, such as the IMF's special drawing rights (SDRs), enables the seigniorage gained to be deployed for development purposes,"...

Continue...

When an article makes so many spelling/grammatical errors it's tough to take it seriously, although it does fit within the overall theme of global monetary trends...

Dec Gold Destroys Resistance, Heads For Stratosphere

National Economic Indicators - Charts

GOFO, Libor, UST & Mortgage Rates


Duration -- GOFO -- LIBOR -- UST

1 month --.25400 -- .2444 -- .03
3 month -- .38200 -- .2841 -- .07
6 month -- .43800 -- .6000 -- .15
1 year ----.60600 -- 1.2125-- .35
(as of today)

Best Mortgage Rates
30yr FRM -- 4.91
15yr FRM -- 4.42
5/1yr ARM -- 3.84
(as of 10/02)

Other
10 Year Note -- 3.24
10 Year Muni -- 2.90
10 Year TIPs -- 1.48
10 Year Bund -- 3.15
10 Year AAA --- 3.44
10 Year A ------ 4.58

Econ Data; Fed & Treasury Info

Treasury:
Fed:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Step-By-Step The USD Moves Closer To The Abyss

The demise of the dollar

In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.

Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars.

The plans, confirmed to The Independent by both Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong, may help to explain the sudden rise in gold prices, but it also augurs an extraordinary transition from dollar markets within nine years...

Continue...


The end of the dollar spells the rise of a new order

...But the significance of this development goes much further. Since the end of the Second World War the dollar has been the bedrock of world trade. The pre-eminence of the American currency flowed naturally from the economic dominance of the US. Virtually everyone traded with America so it made sense to use their currency.

But the US is not the dominant power that it once was. The financial crisis has left it hobbled with significant government and household debts and sharply reduced prospects for growth. Developing nations such as China, Brazil and India, on the other hand, have weathered the economic storm significantly better. So while this latest proposal is born of financial calculation, it is also a reflection of a new economic world order...

Continue...

GTU Premium


As Dec gold tests all time highs (1017 last) I figured we should look at the level of retail demand and if we're overbought. We already discussed the drop in O/I and spec long positions which occurred last week but here is a look at the Central GoldTrust(GTU) vs. the Gold etf(GLD). GTU is different than GLD in that its holdings(inventory of metal) stay flat and traders can bid the trust to a premium/discount of its actual holdings. Therefore when GTU rises faster than gold its taking on more of a premium, indicating increased retail appetite which, if severe enough, can lead to an overbought condition.


As you can see GTU has actually been dropping relative to GLD as we head towards the highs, indicating a move from weak to strong hands and silencing the notion of gold being overbought. Of course none of this matters if the USD starts to rally but important nonetheless...

Cherry Picking Price Data


From
ZH:

What was truly notable in today's ISM disclosure was the collapse in the non-manufacturing Prices Paid index, which tumbled a whopping 14.3% in its current read of 48.8 from August's 63.1. Any spin of this data point that does not highlight it for the bright red deflation warning flag it is, would be naive.

This is the problem with cherry picking data - specifically data as volatile as ISM prices paid. Leaving aside the point that one is better served looking at manufacturing prices when you're dealing with cost-push inflation from a weak currency/strong commodity prices, let's look at the the historical data of non-mfg prices paid for the "reflationary" period anyway:

--Date ---% higher --- %same --- %lower --- index
Nov-08 11 49 40 37.0
Dec-08 9 50 41 36.1
Jan-09 13 55 32 42.5
Feb-09 18 57 25 48.1
Mar-09 12 59 29 39.1
Apr-09 9 70 21 40.0
May-09 17 68 15 46.9
Jun-09 26 60 14 53.7
Jul-09 13 59 28 41.3
Aug-09 23 71 6 63.1
Sep-09 9 77 14 48.8
(seasonally adjusted)

Isn't it clear why you shouldn't simply look at Aug-Sep, just as you shouldn't have looked solely at Jul-Aug so as to claim coming hyper-inflation? We must look at the trend, which is clearly up(higher lows, higher highs). Secondly, we also notice the trend of those paying lower prices is decreasing(while those seeing higher prices is flat to slightly up), indicating greater price stability as reflation takes hold.

%14 said they paid lower prices, %9 said higher, and this is a "deflationary red flag"? Look back to the heart of the "deflation" in Nov-Dec when %40 saw lower prices and the index was in the 30's. Now of course I also started my data set at the worst readings on the prices paid index to prove that this is in fact a relfationary period; if you look back further you'll see the deterioration in the index that coincides with the near collapse of the global banking system. If that couldn't cause a "deflationary spiral" should we really be worried about one month of data that does nothing but prove that some people see only what they want to?

btw: I'm a big fan of ZeroHedge and think it's one of the best financial blogs out there, I just disagree with their deflation bias...

SnP Update


SnP has taken a pause from its relentless grind higher and touched/held a zone of support formed between the Aug highs and the yearly pivot. We're also nearing our statistical measures of support and have the highest downside reading on our OGD 2 overbought/oversold indicator since the Cycle LOW back in march. These levels offer bullish individuals a chance to get on the train; those with a more bearish outlook staying neutral until a clearer technical breakdown occurs, most likely of the 980 and 930 levels. (note: this is not investment advice)

BIS Continues to Warn of Coming Crisis

Entering the Greatest Depression in History: The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Warns of Future Crisis

In light of the ever-present and unyieldingly persistent exclamations of “an end” to the recession, a “solution” to the crisis, and a “recovery” of the economy; we must remember that we are being told this by the very same people and institutions which told us, in years past, that there was “nothing to worry about,” that “the fundamentals are fine,” and that there was “no danger” of an economic crisis.

Why do we continue to believe the same people that have, in both statements and choices, been nothing but wrong? Who should we believe and turn to for more accurate information and analysis? Perhaps a useful source would be those at the epicenter of the crisis, in the heart of the shadowy world of central banking, at the global banking regulator, and the “most prestigious financial institution in the world,” which accurately predicted the crisis thus far: The Bank for International Settlements (BIS). This would be a good place to start...

Continue...

GOFO, Libor, UST & Mortgage Rates


Duration -- GOFO -- LIBOR -- UST

1 month --.28400 -- .2456 -- .02
3 month -- .36800 -- .2844 -- .09
6 month -- .45200 -- .6019 -- .13
1 year ----.64400 -- 1.2069 -- .34
(as of today)

Best Mortgage Rates
30yr FRM -- 4.91
15yr FRM -- 4.42
5/1yr ARM -- 3.84
(as of yesterday)

Other
10 Year Note -- 3.20
10 Year Muni -- 2.90
10 Year TIPs -- 1.50

Econ Data; Fed & Treasury Info

Treasury:
Fed:

Weekly Gold COT Update (Sep 29)

Gold COT data (as of Sep 29) is slightly/moderately bullish as O/I dropped by 12.5k contracts as speculative longs and shorts dropped sharply(longs more than shorts) while Comm shorts not only decreased short positions but added 4.5k long contracts. Concentrated positions increased, especially on the short side. This action along with the sharp sell-off early in the week, followed up by the strong reversal later and firming early Sun-Mon trading put us on a bullish footing. Of course most of the action will be dependent on USD; as the contra-contrarians continue to call the short USD trade crowded and then proceed to crowd the long side we could get our breakout if 76 in $ index breaks and weak-hand USD longs are forced to liquidate. Historically Gold O/I is elevated but can easily run up to over 650k contracts on a serious break of the 1030 area.


Friday, October 2, 2009

The U.S. Is The New U.K.

Political scientists report drop in US standing

WASHINGTON — The United States' standing in the world declined in the past decade to below Cold War levels, according to a leading group of political scientists.

Favorable attitudes have risen sharply under President Barack Obama with his commitment to "restore American standing," but confidence in him appears to be in conflict with unfavorable attitudes about U.S. foreign policy, the American Political Science Association said in a report released Thursday...

...American standing plunged most sharply in the Middle East and Europe, although authoritarian regimes in the Middle East are more supportive of U.S. policy than they can say publicly, the report said.

In Europe, there is a growing European identity and "a conscious political attempt to delink Europe from American policies," according to the report...

Helping raise U.S. esteem now are Obama's rhetorical skills and "what his election signifies about the openness of America," the report said. [demagoguery and delusion, that's just rich - J.O.]

"In policy terms, however, most (foreigners) believe that there has been little change in the U.S. disregard for the interests of their country, and that U.S. influence in the world is still mostly bad," the report said...

Continue...


Shocking, I know.

Greenspan States The Obvious, Reuters Writes Story

Greenspan says Fed balance sheet an inflation risk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Friday that the Fed risks igniting a burst of inflation if it does not withdraw its extensive support for the economy at the right moment.

"You cannot afford to get behind the curve on reining in this extraordinary amount of liquidity because that will create an enormous inflation down the road," Greenspan said at a forum hosted by The Atlantic magazine, the Aspen Institute and the Newseum...

...The Fed has said that with high unemployment and a record level of factory idleness, none of the pressures that would ignite inflation is on the horizon. A government report on Friday that showed a weaker-than-expected job market in September is likely to provide additional support for that view.

Greenspan said the economy is "undergoing a disinflationary process," and stressed that the Fed faces no urgent need at the moment to unwind its monetary stimulus...

Continue...


That statement in bold should scare the hell out of everyone...


THE BEST CNBC VIDEO CLIP I'VE EVER SEEN - AMAZING



from
ZeroHedge

Unemployment Rate Continues Higher


Look at SA U-6 rate (bottom right hand corner, red box). This rate looks at all those technically unemployed, plus discouraged/marginally attached, and part time workers(available/looking for full time work). Not to worry folks because the technocrats and bureaucrats have announced the recession over; I wonder what the 1 out of 5 people who are (under)unemployed think about that?


USD Still Running The Show


Huge Reversal in Gold, Bonds and Stocks after the initial reaction to horrible employment news. Gold cleared out longs and trapped shorts; now attempting to break the 1010 ress. area before making a move on the key 1030 area...



Horrible Employment Data


Here's the BLS Release.

From the Market-Ticker Forum:


...But the Household Data is VASTLY worse than reported. Here are the month-over-month changes, and they're in the realm of frightening. (all numbers in thousands)

Civilian Labor Force: 154,879 to 153,617 this month.

Employed: 140,074 down to 139,079 this month.

That's a loss of 995,000 jobs, not 263,000, and the labor force contracted by 1,262,000 people!

The participation rate was absolutely decimated, down 0.6% this last month alone. The people "not in the labor force" rose by a staggering 1,516,000 in the last month...

Continue...


New Global Monetary System Update

IMF chief renews call for currency reform

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, on Friday reiterated his criticism of China’s “undervalued” currency, but said reforms to exchange rate policies were part of wider moves to create more balanced global growth.

Speaking at the opening of the World Bank and IMF annual meetings in Istanbul, Mr Strauss-Kahn and Robert Zoellick, the bank’s president, called for the world to continue co-operating on international economic issues even as the economic and financial crisis fades...

...This build up of reserves, Mr Strauss-Kahn said, should be replaced in future by a “less costly and more efficient pooling of reserves” at the IMF. He said the decision in principle to shift 5 per cent of the votes in the IMF from richer countries to poorer ones was “key” to making the fund more credible and legitimate.

Mr Zoellick also called for a shift in world demand. “A multi-polar economy, less reliant on the US consumer, will be a more stable economy,” he said.

Continue...


GOFO, Libor, UST & Mortgage Rates


Duration / GOFO / LIBOR/ UST

1 month / .29500/ .2444 / .03
3 month / .36000/ .2841 / .10
6 month/ .41000/ .6031 / .15
1 year / .60833/ 1.2125/ .37
(as of today)

Best Mortgage Rates
30yr FRM /4.93
15yr FRM / 4.45
5/1yr ARM / 3.86
(as of yesterday)

Other
10 Year Note 3.21
10 Year Muni 2.92
10 Year TIPs 1.45

Econ Data; Fed & Treasury Info

Fed:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fed Balance Sheet Update (Oct 1)


(small discrepancies may occur as Fed Credit subcategories aren't pulled directly off consolidated balance sheet)

Dec Gold Holding a Bid @ 999-1000


After an 11pt dip early, around midday we saw gold hold the 999/1000 level despite dollar strength and continued to hold it throughout early overnight trading. The past couple of days we've seen strong dip-buying in the face of dollar strength and if this can continue into a downward reversal in
USD we should get our breakout through the 1030 area. Of course if USD continues to bounce 999-1000 will give way... Also, the COT report tomorrow will tell us a lot - bulls should be hoping for a 20-30k contract drop in OI.

Fed Data, Papers, Reports etc.

Iran War Watch

'No credible evidence' of Iranian nuclear weapons, says UN inspector

The UN's chief weapons inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, said today he had seen "no credible evidence" that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, rejecting British intelligence allegations that a weapons programme has been going on for at least four years.

Continue...

Next Week's Treasury Auctions

Monday:
$30 Bil - 3mo bills
$30 Bil - 6mo bills
$7 Bil - 10yr TIPs
Tuesday:
$39 Bil - 3yr notes
Wednesday:
$20 Bil - 10yr notes
Thursday:
$12 Bil - 30yr bonds

Total: $138 Bil

GOFO, Libor, UST & Mortgage Rates

Duration / GOFO / LIBOR/ UST
1 month / .30000/ .2456 / .04
3 month / .32600/ .2844 / .19
6 month/ .40600/ .6200 / .15
1 year / .61400/ 1.2419/ .37
(as of today)

Best Mortgage Rates
30yr FRM /4.99
15yr FRM / 4.55
5/1yr ARM / 3.92
(as of yesterday)

Other
10 Year Note 3.27
10 Year Muni 2.93
10 Year TIPs 1.50

Econ Data; Fed & Treasury Info

Treasury:
Fed:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Latest From Prof. Fekete

  • The Supply of Oxen at the IMF
    Some years ago I penned a paper with the title “The Supply of Oxen at the Fed”. I am indebted to Alan Greenspan for a great line in one of his speeches, entitled The History of Money, from where I borrowed my title. He wrote: “If fiat money falters, we may have to go back to oxen as our medium of exchange. In that event, I trust, the Federal Reserve will have an adequate inventory of oxen.” My article was designed to reassure Mr. Greenspan that the supply of oxen at the Fed was very secure indeed, in no small measure due to his stewardship.
  • Has Barrick Been Barricked by the U.S.?
    According to an announcement dated September 8, 2009, Barrick is going to throw into the dustbin its long-standing hedge policy, and pay for buying back its hedge-book by diluting the value of its common stocks through issuing more than 81 million new shares, or about 10 percent of the outstanding. The so-called hedges of Barrick have been thoroughly discredited and will soon be history. So-called, because the long-term forward sales contracts in question that the parvenu gold miner has invented and flaunted are not proper hedges and never have been. They are a fraud. They are naked short positions pretending to be balanced by gold ore reserves in the moon (or on this earth which, for hedging purposes, is practically the same thing). Part of the newsworthy story, of course, is the fact that the hedge book of Barrick has been increasingly under water for some nine years now, threatening the unfriendly giant with drowning.

High Gold Price Curtails Indian Imports


India’s Gold Imports Drop for Fifth Month, Traders’ Group Says

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Gold imports by India, the world’s biggest buyer, probably fell for the fifth month in September as rising prices deterred jewelry buyers, a traders’ group said.

Overseas purchases may total 50 metric tons, compared with 54 tons a year ago, said Harmesh Arora, vice president of the Bombay Bullion Association Ltd., citing preliminary data.

“The overall imports will still be less than last year as prices are still too high,” Arora said...

...India’s gold purchases have fallen every month since April and imports last month were 21.8 tons compared with 98 tons a year earlier, according to the association.

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"US secretly tried to make deal with Goldman Sachs in wake of financial crisis"

NEW YORK, N.Y.—The government secretly tried to orchestrate a deal involving Goldman Sachs in the week following Lehman Brothers’ collapse and considered using the Federal Reserve to help support such a transaction, Andrew Ross Sorkin reports in the new issue of Vanity Fair.

In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, Too Big To Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves, Sorkin reports that the deal, which was nearly consummated, would have merged Goldman Sachs and Wachovia. Henry M. Paulson, the Treasury secretary and former C.E.O. of Goldman, was deeply involved in the process, contacting both Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s current C.E.O., and a Wachovia board member, and strongly urged both to consider it. Wachovia’s C.E.O., Robert Steel, was a former vice-chairman at Goldman Sachs and Paulson’s former number two at the Treasury Department.

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Some parts of this story don't totally make sense, but interesting nonetheless.