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Keyword: leverage

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  • 'All about power and leverage' -- feds shut down major roadway, block access to graveyard

    10/10/2013 7:33:59 AM PDT · by sheikdetailfeather · 47 replies
    Fox News ^ | 10-7-2013 | Todd Starnes
    Folks who live in the Great Smoky Mountains have just about reached their breaking point with the federal government. “It’s almost like they are pushing to see how far they can push before the American people say enough is enough,” said Ed Mitchell, the mayor of Blount County, Tenn. “We were founded on a declaration of independence. And they are about to push the people to the line again.” Nearly a third of Blount County is inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So when the federal government shut down the park, it also shut down one of the area’s...
  • It's Simple: Adjust Your Expectations Or Die

    07/05/2013 11:54:32 AM PDT · by SatinDoll · 5 replies
    The Market-ticker ^ | July 5, 2013 | Karl Denninger
    There are a lot of hard-headed people out in the investment and banking world. Most of them are hard-headed because they have never known anything else. A few are a bit smarter -- they know that their business model is cooked if the underlying assumptions change and they're being intentionally dishonest in trying to grab the last few nickels in front of the steamroller, and to hell with you (their customer.) Then there are those who have it figured out and are attempting to find a way to adapt to what is going to happen. More than 30 years ago...
  • Reduce the Regime’s Leverage Over You: Get Off The Healthcare Grid

    02/23/2013 10:16:56 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 15 replies
    New Rhodesia Dispatch ^ | 2/20/13 | John deWitt
    A major element of surviving and thriving for an American Rhodie is identifying: in what ways and how strongly can the Regime exercise leverage over me and my Tribe? If the Regime can hurt you, that’s leverage. If you need the Regime, that’s also leverage. To that end, briefly consider the following facts: 1. In ObamaCare, the Regime created impossible-to-refuse incentives for all health care providers to acquire and deploy electronic health care record-keeping systems. 2. The Regime has built and deployed a gigantic server farm for the NSA in Utah capable of storing and searching virtually infinite quantities of...
  • Goldman Sachs And The Big Hedge Funds Are Pushing Leverage To Ridiculous Extremes

    01/20/2013 5:43:44 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 15 replies
    TEC ^ | 01/14/2013 | Michael Snyder
    Goldman Sachs And The Big Hedge Funds Are Pushing Leverage To Ridiculous Extremes By Michael, on January 14th, 2013 As stocks have risen in recent years, the big hedge funds and the "too big to fail" banks have used borrowed money to make absolutely enormous profits. But when you use debt to potentially multiply your profits, you also create the possibility that your losses will be multiplied if the markets turn against you. When the next stock market crash happens, and the gigantic pyramid of risk, debt and leverage on Wall Street comes tumbling down, will highly leveraged banks...
  • 1000x Systemic Leverage: $600 Trillion In Gross Derivatives "Backed" By $600 Billion In Collateral

    12/25/2012 7:55:15 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 26 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 12/24/2012 | Tyler Durden
    There is much debate whether when it comes to the total notional size of outstanding derivatives, it is the gross notional that matters (roughly $600 trillion), or the amount which takes out biletaral netting and other offsetting positions (much lower). We explained previously how gross is irrelevant... until it is, i.e. until there is a breach in the counterparty chain and suddenly all net becomes gross (as in the case of the Lehman bankruptcy), such as during a financial crisis, i.e., the only time when gross derivative exposure becomes material (er, by definition). But a bigger question is what...
  • 185 Economists to Congress: "Fiscal Cliff Tax Hikes Risk Economic Damage"

    12/13/2012 7:51:15 AM PST · by Kaslin · 20 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | December 13, 2012 | Bob Beauprez
    Note:  The following letter is co-signed by 185 of the nation's economists including Dr. Sanjai Bhagat, Provost Professor of Finance, University of Colorado, and Contributing Editor to A Line of Sight.  http://sanjaibhagat.com  Further information is available from the National Taxpayers Union, click here.  An Open Letter to Congress: December 11, 2012Dear Members of Congress:As the nation approaches the so-called "fiscal cliff," we, the undersigned economists, urge Congress to carefully consider the relative merits of tax increases and spending restraint. Increasing taxes would likely slow or reverse our nation's fragile economic recovery and undermine long-term growth. Restraining the growth of expenditures,...
  • "Bain Capitalism": Mitt's Frankenstein is a Politically-Created Monster

    Bain Capital must seem like a Frankenstein monster to Mitt Romney's campaign. Like Mary Shelley's creature, it's stalking its creator just as he's about to claim the thing he loves most. But Bain Capital—and Bain capitalism—isn't Mitt's creation. It was sewed together from the corpses of dead ideals and shocked into life in Washington's political laboratories. Mitt's monster was created by a broken system that has let politicians in both parties create an artificial, destructive and exploitative form of pseudo-capitalism—and then get rich from it. Romney's campaign will survive, but the monster will go on destroying lives and dreams. Conservatives...
  • George Soros Handicapping American Energy

    03/02/2011 3:18:04 AM PST · by Scanian · 13 replies
    The American Thinker ^ | March 02, 2011 | Ed Lasky
    George Soros has been a brilliant investor over the years. As befits many hedge fund operators, he uses leverage to magnify his returns. But in his case, leverage has a double meaning. Leverage can refer to the debt Soros assumes when he makes his investments. But it can also refer to the practice Soros has engaged in, both overseas and in America, to use his money and influence to bolster his political power -- power that he then uses to boost returns on his investments. He is not just a hedge fund billionaire but a crony capitalist kingpin who puts...
  • Do sovereign debt ratios matter?(volatility & leverage matter more)

    07/22/2010 5:36:48 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 3 replies
    China Financial Markets ^ | 07/20/10 | Michael Pettis
    Do sovereign debt ratios matter? Jul 20th, 2010 by Michael Pettis Posted in Balance sheets, Banks, Financial crisis, History In the past few weeks I have been getting a lot of questions about serial sovereign defaults and how to predict which countries will or won’t suspend debt payments or otherwise get into trouble. The most common question is whether or not there is a threshold of debt (measured, say, against total GDP) above which we need to start worrying. Perhaps because I started my career in 1987 trading defaulted and restructured bank loans during the LDC Crisis, I have spent...
  • Obammam's Promise of Amnesty Causes Illegal Stampede Across US Border

    07/16/2010 1:45:04 PM PDT · by STD · 6 replies · 1+ views
    Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2: Drugs, Guns and 850 Illegal Aliens By Janice Kephart, Bryan Griffith July 2010 Videos “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2: Drugs, Guns, and 850 Illegal Aliens” is the Center for Immigration Studies' second web-based film on the impact of illegal alien activity in Arizona. The Center's first video on the subject, “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border: Coyotes, Bears, and Trails,” has received over 50,000 views to date. This new 10-minute mini-documentary raises the bar, featuring footage of both illegal-alien entry as well as gun- and drug-smuggling. At minimum, the inescapable conclusion...
  • Size doesn’t matter, says white paper on systemic risk

    03/01/2010 3:41:54 AM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 6 replies · 321+ views
    Risk ^ | 02/26/10 | Mark Pengelly
    Size doesn’t matter, says white paper on systemic risk Author: Mark Pengelly Source: Risk magazine | 26 Feb 2010 The idea of imposing a levy on large financial firms is a “flawed policy”, with economic costs outweighing any potential benefits, according to a recent white paper prepared by Washington, DC-based Nera Economic Consulting.! Such a process is not only subject to gaming by firms, but is conceptually flawed The white paper, which was prepared for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, is being distributed to members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs this week. Democrats...
  • Debts threaten to engulf Kuwait's investment industry, bankers warn

    02/22/2010 1:06:00 PM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 7 replies · 315+ views
    FT ^ | 02/22/10 | Robin Wigglesworth
    Debts threaten to engulf Kuwait's investment industry, bankers warn By Robin Wigglesworth in Kuwait Published: February 22 2010 02:00 | Last updated: February 22 2010 02:00 Most of Kuwait's multibillion- dollar investment company industry could be wiped out by debt repayments on the finance houses' leveraged investments made before the recession, senior international and local bankers have warned. Spurred by cheap credit, abundant liquidity and few other opportunities in the government-dominated economy, Kuwaitis have set up scores of investment houses to bet on international and regional real estate, private equity and stocks. At its peak, the industry had assets of...
  • Too interconnected to fail = too big to fail: What is in a leverage ratio?

    01/28/2010 11:59:32 PM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 5 replies · 290+ views
    VoxEu ^ | 01/26/10 | Daniel Gros
      Too interconnected to fail = too big to fail: What is in a leverage ratio? Daniel Gros 26 January 2010 Did allowing financial institutions to become “too big” play a role in the financial crisis? This column argues that being “too interconnected” is also a factor, and that US accounting standards should recognise gross derivatives exposure on the balance sheet to make this interconnectedness, and the resulting exposure, clear. By now there is general agreement that a financial institution can not only be “too big”, but also “too interconnected” to fail. But how do we measure what it is...
  • Student loan demand at record high

    01/21/2010 8:03:04 AM PST · by Cheap_Hessian · 11 replies · 544+ views
    Reuters ^ | January 21, 2010 | Nick Zieminski
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - As lenders continue to curtail access to mortgages, credit cards and other types of loans, one area of the credit market is rapidly expanding: student loans. Unprecedented growth in student loans over the past two years is raising questions about whether a generation will be saddled with debt before it has even entered the workforce, according to data that the Equifax Inc credit bureau provided exclusively to Reuters. The number of U.S. student loan accounts has risen 29 percent to 69 million over two years, according to Equifax, while balances have jumped by $105 billion to...
  • Vietnam orders gold-trading floors shut by end-March (dangerously leveraged trades)

    01/03/2010 1:39:30 AM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 4 replies · 630+ views
    Daily Times ^ | 01/03/09
    Vietnam orders gold-trading floors shut by end-March HANOI: Vietnam, where many people see gold as a safe haven against economic uncertainty, has ordered public gold-trading floors shut by March 31 because they rest on a “fragile foundation”. The order affects about 20 gold-trading houses operated by banks and other firms, which have been running for more than two years, the state-run Vietnam News reported. Retailing of gold jewellery will still be allowed, it said. The gold-trading floors have offered heavily-leveraged trading in which investors pay a security deposit of only seven percent of the net asset value of their trades...
  • Hold the Champagne on China’s Economy (the 2nd act of Chimerica disaster)

    10/24/2009 7:36:35 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 10 replies · 676+ views
    AEI ^ | 10/22/09 | Michael Auslin
    Hold the Champagne on China’s Economy By Michael Auslin Thursday, October 22, 2009 Filed under: World Watch, Boardroom, Economic Policy Those who witnessed Japan's spectacular rise and fall in the 1980s should get a familiar feeling watching China these days. This month in Hong Kong, a single bottle of wine sold at auction for $93,000 to a Chinese buyer. No matter how good the vintage, that's not something to pop a cork over and celebrate. Those who witnessed Japan's spectacular rise and fall in the 1980s should be getting a familiar feeling watching China these days. In the eyes of...
  • Five Reasons the Market Could Crash This Fall

    08/05/2009 10:17:44 AM PDT · by arthurus · 10 replies · 2,207+ views
    Seeking Alpha ^ | August 04, 2009 | Graham Summers
    With all this blather about “green shoots” and economic “recovery” and new “bull market,” I thought I’d inject a little reality into the collective financial dialogue. The following are ALL true, all valid, and all horrifying… Enjoy.
  • Mr. Taleb Goes to Washington

    03/27/2009 6:52:20 AM PDT · by hripka · 432+ views
    Thebigmoney.com ^ | March 26, 2009 | Marion Maneker
    Nassim Taleb is an unlikely choice to play the Jimmy Stewart role in a 21st-century remake of the Depression-era classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington [1]. But the tale of a naive do-gooder who tries to remind a corrupt political class of its obligations was re-enacted this week when Taleb attended the Wall Street Journal's Future of Finance conference in Washington, D.C. A French- and Arabic-speaking former options trader with a taste for obscure Greek philosophers and the ambition to be seen as a literary figure, Taleb has grown famous for his book The Black Swan [2], which has sold...
  • Nouriel Roubini: The United States Of Ponzi (0 turning US Govt. into Giant Hedge Fund)

    03/19/2009 9:51:59 AM PDT · by mojito · 16 replies · 1,228+ views
    Forbes ^ | 3/19/2009 | Nouriel Roubini
    A reporter contacted me recently with the following question: "I am a reporter, and I am doing a story on Bernard Madoff's life after pleading guilty. As part of this, I was wondering if you could comment on what significance he will have in the history of this period. Will he represent more than a scamster who stole a lot of money from a lot of people? As Bernie Ebbers and Ken Lay came to embody corporate greed and deceit, what will Madoff symbolize?" Americans lived in a "Made-off" and Ponzi bubble economy for a decade or even longer. Madoff...
  • World's economies tumbling like dominoes

    02/23/2009 12:47:59 AM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 11 replies · 837+ views
    MSN Money ^ | 02/23/09 | Bill Fleckenstein
    World's economies tumbling like dominoes /snip By Bill Fleckenstein MSN Money Lately, I have been struck by how bleak and black the newspapers have been in their coverage of the economy. Not that I've been surprised, but one can never know when events in the economy will coalesce into the news that causes the masses to realize how difficult the environment is. In reading the papers, it was obvious to me that it's becoming clear to everyone that "the next time down" is well under way, though the average person wouldn't call it that. 1980-82 versus now I was trying...
  • Bank Leverage Stats, 12/31/08

    02/17/2009 7:52:17 AM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 16 replies · 897+ views
    ML-implode ^ | 02/17/09 | Rolfe Winkler
    Bank Leverage Stats, 12/31/08 February 17, 2009 – 12:45 am The table below is an update from this post published a couple months ago (the prior post also explains this leverage calculation in detail…and why it matters). Click on the image to enlarge. As you can see, Morgan Stanley and Goldman have cut their leverage significantly. Citi is in worse shape. BofA and Chase are treading water. GE is the scary one. I mean, is Timmy Geithner going to stress test them too? I’m pulling balance sheet data from their quarterly earnings release, which doesn’t offer any detail on shareholders’...
  • Extreme Leverage In Reverse Portends Global Systemic Crash

    01/24/2009 7:49:47 AM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 27 replies · 388+ views
    globaleconomicanalysis ^ | 01/23/09 | Mike "Mish" Shedlock
    Extreme Leverage In Reverse Portends Global Systemic Crash Inquiring minds are investigating a visual comparison of banks' market caps valuation as of January 20, 2009 vs. the second quarter of 2007. Bank Market Cap Comparison Note: I had posted a draft version of the chart that follows.Here is the corrected copy with thanks to Financial Times Alphaville. click on chart for sharper imagechart courtesy of JP Morgan and Bloomberg. Extreme Leverage In Reverse The chart is an illustration of extreme leverage in reverse. Bear in mind that fallout from Alt-A, prime home equity, credit cards, small business, and commercial real...
  • Waking from Lever-Lever Land[Spengler]

    12/29/2008 8:50:46 AM PST · by BGHater · 11 replies · 531+ views
    The Asia Times Online ^ | 25 Dec 2008 | Spengler
    The United States lived in Lever-Lever Land too long. Like Peter Pan, the country has refused to grow up. The object of the stimulus plans offered by the present and the next US administrations is to return to Lever-Lever Land, that is, to debt-financed consumption. It won't work. Leverage is for the young, who borrow to build homes and start businesses. The financial crisis forces Americans to act their age, that is, to save rather than borrow and spend. For a world economy geared to servicing the once-insatiable maw of American consumption, that is very bad news for 2009. Recovery...
  • Madoff meets Lehman (illuminating article)

    12/25/2008 1:35:13 AM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 5 replies · 490+ views
    Business Week ^ | 12/19/08 | Matthew Goldstein
    Madoff meets Lehman Posted by: Matthew Goldstein on December 19 It’s not a lot of money compared to the estimated $3 billion that a fund managed by The Tremont Group has lost in the Bernard Madoff scandal. But the same Tremont fund also claims it lost $25 million when Lehman Brothers went bust in September. In October, Tremont’s Rye Select Broad Market fund filed a lawsuit alleging that it was owed some $25 million on a derivatives contract that permitted it to borrow money from a Lehman subsidiary. The derivative contract enabled the Rye fund to leverage its investment in...
  • Leverage Is an 8 Letter Word (twice worse than 4 letter word?)

    11/22/2008 9:02:30 PM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 3 replies · 378+ views
    Ritholz ^ | 11/21/08 | John Mauldin
    Leverage Is an 8 Letter Word November 21, 2008 By John Mauldin Leverage is an eight-letter word, which the markets now regard as twice as bad as the two four-letter words debt and pain (or fill in your own four-letter words). This week I try to give some insight into what is happening in the credit markets, some of it below the radar screen of most analysts. We will look at the potential for deflation and the Fed’s response. There is a lot to cover, so let’s jump right in. If Loans Are So Cheap, Why Don’t They Sell? I...
  • Corporate leveraged loan market braced for further hardship

    11/04/2008 9:29:39 AM PST · by BGHater · 1 replies · 709+ views
    FT ^ | 03 Nov 2008 | Nicole Bullock
    The unwinding of the investment vehicles that drove the credit boom is roiling the once-staid corporate leveraged loan market, and the pain may not be over yet. For years the US loan market was a clubby world dominated by banks, insurance companies and a few mutual funds. In the early part of the decade steady returns, low defaults and high recovery in bankruptcy attracted new buyers that used leverage to boost returns. Now these vehicles are unravelling in a wave of selling that is causing and feeding on volatility in the asset class. “We expect market volatility around loans to...
  • Time for the Darwinian flush (valuation crisis: Great Read!)

    11/01/2008 5:41:57 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 7 replies · 354+ views
    FT Aphaville ^ | October 20th, 2008 (post date) | J. Kyle Bass
    Time for the Darwinian flush Highlights from the latest Hayman Advisors letter to clients (i.e. the text in full): October 14, 2008 ‘The ultimate result of shielding man from the effects of folly is to people the world with fools.’ Herbert Spencer What’s Next? It is the “what’s next” that scares us the most. There is no doubt that many books will be written chronicling the times we are living through today. When we wrote to you in July 2007, we really meant “feet first”! The common denominator of everything that has gone wrong so far has been reckless amounts...
  • The shadow banking system is unravelling

    09/22/2008 3:05:45 PM PDT · by hripka · 8 replies · 202+ views
    Financial Times ^ | Sept. 21, 2008 | Nouriel Roubini
    Last week saw the demise of the shadow banking system that has been created over the past 20 years. Because of a greater regulation of banks, most financial intermediation in the past two decades has grown within this shadow system whose members are broker-dealers, hedge funds, private equity groups, structured investment vehicles and conduits, money market funds and non-bank mortgage lenders. Like banks, most members of this system borrow very short-term and in liquid ways, are more highly leveraged than banks (the exception being money market funds) and lend and invest into more illiquid and long-term instruments. Like banks, they...
  • Default Swaps May Be Next In Credit Crisis

    09/22/2008 3:07:35 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 30 replies · 299+ views
    NY Sun ^ | 09/22/08 | JULIE SATOW
    Default Swaps May Be Next In Credit Crisis Ultimate Moral Hazard Looms in the Markets By JULIE SATOW, Staff Reporter of the Sun | September 22, 2008 The biggest Wall Street story most Americans haven't yet heard of is the $62 trillion unregulated credit default swaps market. Here is one scenario: A hedge fund buys insurance in case a company defaults on its bonds — a so-called credit default swap — when the hedge fund doesn't necessarily own the bonds. Then it immediately shorts the stock, driving down the company's share price, leading to a downgrade, and eventually triggering a...
  • Ex-SEC Official Blames Agency for Blow-Up of Broker-Dealers

    09/17/2008 11:18:05 PM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 12 replies · 233+ views
    NY Sun ^ | 09/18/09 | JULIE SATOW
    Ex-SEC Official Blames Agency for Blow-Up of Broker-Dealers 'They constructed a mechanism that simply didn't work' By JULIE SATOW, Staff Reporter of the Sun | September 18, 2008 http://www.nysun.com/business/ex-sec-official-blames-agency-for-blow-up/86130/ The Securities and Exchange Commission can blame itself for the current crisis. That is the allegation being made by a former SEC official, Lee Pickard, who says a rule change in 2004 led to the failure of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and Merrill Lynch. The SEC allowed five firms — the three that have collapsed plus Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — to more than double the leverage they were allowed...
  • Hedge funds ready to blow as positions liquidated (hedge fund death watch)

    09/07/2008 4:59:56 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 21 replies · 339+ views
    The Australian ^ | 09/06/08 | Adele Ferguson
    Hedge funds ready to blow as positions liquidated Adele Ferguson | September 06, 2008 DEBT-GORGED hedge funds are the next ticking bomb in the global credit crisis as they liquidate their positions in equities and commodities ahead of an expected spike in quarterly redemptions by investors throughout September. The first hedge fund victim was Ospraie Management, which announced earlier this week it would close its flagship hedge fund and liquidate its stock after it plunged 27 per cent in August due to losses in energy, mining and natural resources equity holdings. Other hedge funds are expected to topple as investors...
  • Carlyle unit misses some margin calls

    03/06/2008 9:00:08 PM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 22 replies · 304+ views
    FT ^ | 03/06/08 | Martin Arnold and Henny Sender in London
    Carlyle unit misses some margin calls By Martin Arnold and Harry Sender in London Published: March 6 2008 13:01 | Last updated: March 6 2008 13:01 Carlyle Capital Corp became the latest casualty of the banks’ increasingly unforgiving attitude towards even the most powerful private equity funds on Thursday when the highly leveraged mortgage-backed securities fund said it had failed to meet margin calls from some of its lenders. The fund, listed in Amsterdam by the Carlyle Group last year, has been hit by a fall in the value of its $21.7bn portfolio of AAA-rated residential mortgage-backed securities, illustrating that...
  • Insight: True impact of mark-to-market on the credit crisis

    02/29/2008 4:23:35 AM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 4 replies · 150+ views
    FT ^ | 02/28/08 | Paul J Davies
    Insight: True impact of mark-to-market on the credit crisis By Paul J Davies Published: February 28 2008 16:25 | Last updated: February 28 2008 16:25 Back in April 1993 the eyes of the world were on the beseiged Balkan town of Srebrenica, which the UN declared a safe haven for Bosnian muslims, and on Northern Ireland, where secret talks between leaders from rival factions kick-started a tentative peace process. In the same month, a less-noticed development saw US accountancy regulators approve a rule that paved the way for today’s widespread use of mark-to-market accounting standards. This rule, which forced US...
  • Hedge Funds Feel New Heat

    02/22/2008 10:48:01 PM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 14 replies · 193+ views
    WSJ ^ | 02/23/08 | GREGORY ZUCKERMAN
    Hedge Funds Feel New Heat By GREGORY ZUCKERMAN February 23, 2008; Page A1 The past decade has been the era of the hedge fund, as investors snapped them up for their track record of beating the market with often highly complex trades. But now, as the credit crunch upends financial markets, that very complexity is coming back to bite some of them. In the past year, shares of Fortress Investment Group LLC -- which became the symbol of hedge-fund success when it went public last February -- are down 50% as investors wring their hands about the value of its...
  • Here's a new one: Being too broke to sell (your house)

    10/01/2007 12:51:04 PM PDT · by 2banana · 84 replies · 263+ views
    Chicago Tribune ^ | September 30, 2007 | Mary Umberger
    Most anybody in the mortgage business will tell you that August was a month that will live in infamy: The market was in turmoil, as doubts about the stability of subprime loans spread to other sectors of the mortgage world. How bad was it? A survey of mortgage brokers suggests that one in three consumers who recently signed purchase contracts canceled in August -- up from just 4 percent three years ago, according to the research firm that conducted the survey for Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade journal. The cancellation rate undoubtedly was fed by two scenarios playing out: Many...
  • A Torrid Summer (Especially For Real Estate)

    09/29/2007 5:37:19 PM PDT · by shrinkermd · 7 replies · 91+ views
    Barron's ^ | 1 October 2007 | By ALAN ABELSON Of Up and Down Wall Street
    THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL IN housing, the source of so much of the turmoil in so many markets and already proceeding at a rather sickeningly dizzying pace, accelerated further in these memorable three months. For both existing and new homes, sales and prices continued to buckle and inventories continued to extend their unrelenting rise to the heavens. Wachovia, which knows a thing or two about real estate, mortgages and the like, relays the news that in August, sales of new homes sagged to an annual pace of 795,000 units, a breathtaking 40% below the peak set in October '05, and median...
  • CA: Two-thirds vote requirement for budget gives GOP rare leverage

    08/03/2007 5:31:44 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 5 replies · 257+ views
    AP on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 8/3/07 | Don Thompson - ap
    Environmental requirements in San Bernardino County. Transportation projects approved by voters last fall. Such mundane matters have little to do with California's annual budget, but they are among the chief reasons the spending plan for the current fiscal year is almost seven weeks overdue. The reason: California's requirement that the budget pass with a two-thirds vote in each house. It is one of only three states to have the requirement, which gives minority Republicans a rare chance to exert influence. "Quite frankly, there are a few places to which we can leverage those kind of policy issues, and this is...
  • China says it has little leverage on North (Korea)

    07/06/2006 11:19:53 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 56 replies · 1,063+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 7/6/06 | Charles Hutzler - ap
    BEIJING - When North Korea fired a volley of missiles this week, it not only defied warnings from longtime enemies the United States and Japan, it also spurned the pleas of its chief benefactor — China. For a country that is North Korea's stalwart diplomatic protector and economic lifeline, providing the North with trade, lots of aid and all of its oil, China seemingly has little pull with its neighbor and ally of 55 years. "China sends oil, grain and other assistance to North Korea. But aid isn't a weapon if it's not used as a weapon," said Zhang Liangui,...
  • Pyongyang's antics catch out Beijing (N. Korea, a cancer growing on China?)

    06/26/2006 10:35:38 PM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 20 replies · 839+ views
    Asia Times ^ | 06/27/06
    Pyongyang's antics catch out Beijing BEIJING - The international flap caused by reports that North Korea is preparing to test-fire its new Taepodong 2 intercontinental ballistic missile has placed China in an unenviable position. Beijing appears to have had no impact on restraining its restive neighbor in this instance, leading the world to wonder just how influential it in fact is, given that it is traditionally viewed as the country with the most hold over North Korea. It could be that Beijing just didn't want to try to push Pyongyang too hard, or simply that there is nothing it can...
  • E-Mails Show Abramoff's Donation Leverage

    04/11/2006 5:49:12 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 5 replies · 539+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 4/11/06 | John Solomon and Sharon Theimer - ap
    WASHINGTON - A Republican Party official and Jack Abramoff's lobbying team bluntly discussed using large political donations as a way to pressure lawmakers into securing federal money for a tribal client, according to e-mails gathered by prosecutors. The e-mails detail how Abramoff's team worked to leverage assistance from the White House, Congress and the GOP to get a reluctant federal agency and a single Republican congressional aide to stop blocking school construction money for the Saginaw Chippewa tribe. The e-mails were obtained by The Associated Press. Abramoff's team ultimately prevailed when the congressional aide was overruled, several lawmakers pressured an...
  • Moody's may downgrade New York Times ratings (Dinosaur Media Extinction Alert)

    03/17/2006 7:32:03 AM PST · by abb · 29 replies · 843+ views
    Marketwatch.com ^ | March 17, 2006 | Carolyn Pritchard
    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Moody's Investors Service on Friday placed New York Times Co.'s (NYT) A2 senior unsecured long term debt, and P-1 commercial paper ratings on review for possible downgrade. The agency said the review is prompted by Moody's growing concerns about the media company's high financial leverage, deteriorating operating margins and weak free cash flow available for debt reduction, combined with concerns over intensifying cross media competition, including the Internet, and growing event risk in the newspaper sector. A multi-notch ratings transition will be considered in light of the company's financial and operating challenges, Moody's said.
  • Rising Debt Offsets Home Equity Gains

    02/24/2006 12:42:16 PM PST · by ex-Texan · 38 replies · 1,215+ views
    Seattle Times ^ | 2/24/2006 | Nell Henderson
    Americans may feel richer because of soaring home prices, but they're not. U.S. families' wealth stagnated during the economy's recession and recovery from 2001 through 2004, as lackluster wage growth, sagging stock prices and rising debt levels offset the gains from higher home values, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday in its latest Survey of Consumer Finances.Home prices jumped nearly 27 percent during the survey period, and the share of households owning homes rose to 69.1 percent in 2004, the report said. That made Americans feel good. And it did help boost the total value of families' assets — such as...
  • An Energy Revolution By Robert Zubrin An Energy Revolution

    01/31/2006 12:25:34 AM PST · by truemiester · 163 replies · 3,131+ views
    The American Enterprise ^ | January 30, 2006 | By Robert Zubrin
    The world economy is currently running on a resource that is controlled by our enemies. This threatens to leave us prostrate. It must change—and the good news is that it can change, quickly. Using portions of the hundreds of billions of petrodollars they are annually draining from our economy, Middle Easterners have established training centers for terrorists, paid bounties to the families of suicide bombers, and funded the purchase of weapons and explosives. Oil revenues underwrite new media outlets that propagandize hatefully against the United States and the West. They pay for more than 10,000 radical madrassahs set up around...
  • N. Korea: Who Scares the Rest?(pays to be a loose cannon?)

    05/09/2005 10:00:40 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 3 replies · 523+ views
    NYT ^ | 05/08/05 | DAVID E. SANGER
    Who Scares the Rest? (See Bottom Left) By DAVID E. SANGER Published: May 8, 2005 MAYBE North Korea really is preparing to make the ground shake, to prove that its 50-year quest to acquire a nuclear arsenal has succeeded. Or maybe Kim Jong Il, son of the country's founder, is just playing with the rest of the world's heads. Truths of the Second Nuclear AgeEither way, North Korea demonstrates a truth of the second nuclear age: The political power of atomic weapons no longer rests on the size of your stockpile, which was the measure during the cold war. Instead,...
  • Democrats have leverage - Analysis: Hiss by Democrats sign of challenge for Bush

    02/03/2005 8:59:44 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 35 replies · 1,281+ views
    Mercury News ^ | 2/3/05 | Jim Puzzanghera
    WASHINGTON - The standard responses from members of Congress during the president's State of the Union address usually follow a graduated scale of support: from stone silence to polite applause to standing ovation and, finally, the occasional enthusiastic, ``hurrah!'' But as President Bush laid out his case --snip-- he managed to earn a rare response from Democrats that did not bode well for his plans. They hissed. Their reaction came when Bush asserted that Social Security is ``headed toward bankruptcy'' -- a point that most Democrats and some analysts dispute. ``When you start out by stating a premise that's factually...
  • Turkey 'must admit WWI genocide'

    12/13/2004 12:15:13 PM PST · by eluminate · 45 replies · 2,623+ views
    BBC ^ | Dec 13th, 2004 | BBC
    France has said it will ask Turkey to acknowledge the mass killing of Armenians from 1915 as genocide when it begins EU accession talks. French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Turkey had "a duty to remember". Armenians say 1.5 million of their people died or were deported from their homelands under Turkish Ottoman rule. France is among a group of nations that class the killings as genocide. Turkey denies any organised genocide, claiming they were quelling a civil uprising. Mr Barnier said France did not consider Turkish acknowledgement a condition of EU entry, but insisted his country would raise the...
  • Files show a stubborn North Korea (How N. Korea reacted to appeasements)

    07/11/2003 8:41:16 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 9 replies · 252+ views
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | 07/10/03 | Jasper Becker
    Files show a stubborn North Korea Communist bloc archives reveal that aid to North Korea gave its old allies little influence. By Jasper Becker | Special to The Christian Science Monitor BEIJING - New material emerging from secret archives opened in Moscow and Eastern bloc capitals is shedding light, mostly unfavorable, on the question of whether handing out aid to North Korea can buy any meaningful compliance. A multinational group of scholars trawling through the Czech, Hungarian, Soviet, and East German archives is now producing the first clear picture of North Korea's relationship with its key allies. "It shows how...
  • Best leverage on Syria is a democratic Iraq

    04/17/2003 10:18:58 AM PDT · by knighthawk · 8 replies · 258+ views
    NY Daily News ^ | April 17 2003 | Richard Cohen
    With the war in Iraq virtually over, "now comes the hard part" has become the cliche of the moment. Given the looting of Baghdad, who can argue? But I have something else to add: Now comes the best part. That best part will be to show the best part of America. I doff my hat to the once-scorned Clinton military (whose Army do you think this is?), which the Bush administration used with dash. But I expected nothing less. The surprise to the rest of the world - particularly the Arab world - will come when the U.S. establishes some...
  • THE TRUTH ABOUT HEDGE FUNDS Absolute disappointment

    08/27/2002 4:05:06 PM PDT · by dgallo51 · 3 replies · 290+ views
    From The Economist print edition ^ | Jul 25th 2002 | Editors
    Despite being in a bear market, hedge funds struggle to do well A YEAR ago hedge-fund managers were hailed as the new masters of the universe. One even made a cameo appearance in “Sex and the City”, a New York television series, as an over-confident suitor. (He got the girl, of course.) Hedge-fund managers once talked about a “special skill-set” that distinguished them from mere fund managers. They promised “absolute returns irrespective of market directions”. They put big chunks of their own money into their funds and, as well as annual management fees, took a reward of some 20%—and sometimes...