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Friday, June 22, 2012 – Something About Mary – by Sinclair Noe

DOW + 67 = 12,640SPX + 9 = 1335NAS + 33 = 289210 YR YLD+.05 = 1.67%OIL + 13.92 = 92.12GOLD + 7.10 = 1573.30SILV +.02 = 27.00PLAT – 4.00 = 1441.00Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve paid attention to Jamie Dimon’s testimony on Capitol Hill. You might not have noticed the testimony of Mary Schapiro before the Senate before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Schapiro is the Chairwoman of the SEC. Her testimony was a frank warning on the vulnerabilities of the money market fund system. You may remember that in September 2008, money market funds broke the buck; there was a run on funds held in money market accounts that was only staunched by a $3 trillion dollar guarantee from the Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Breaking the buck was a key part of the financial crisis. There were profound implications for a reputedly rock solid investment. The effects rippled throughout the economy as investors were shortchanged and sponsors were squeezed as they were forced to shore up valuations. Could we see another run on money market funds? We already have. It happened one year ago, a small scale run. And yes, it could happen again. And just because the run was stopped in 2008 and 2011, it is no guarantee another run could be contained in the future. There has basically been no reforms to prevent or control a future money market fund run. Here’s part of Schapiro’s testimony:“Given the role money market funds …

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – As the Euro Turns, Counting Protesters at Shareholder Meetings

DOW + 74 = 13,001 SPX + 5 = 1371NAS – 8 = 296110 YR YLD +.03 = 1.96%OIL +.20 = 103.75GOLD + 3.20 = 1642.50SILV -.03 = 30.93PLAT – 14.00 = 1550.00 Yesterday’s edition of “As the Euro Turns” included the collapse of the government in the Netherlands when it could not agree with a key allied party on budget cuts to bring the deficit below the EU-mandated 3 percent. In France, Socialist Francois Hollande led the first round of presidential elections; he has vowed to renegotiate a European treaty tightening rules on debt. All that was absorbed today. After all, the Dutch still have a Triple-A credit rating; they will probably pay their bonds. It does appear, at least for today, that the Euro has turned; as if a sudden transformation has swept the continent. Austerity is dead. Keynes has been resurrected and placed on a pedestal in Brussels, right next to a chocolate covered waffle. There was a mass awakening that countries cannot cut their way to prosperity. Angela Merkel is fighting back against the austerity backlash; she argues the “credibility” of the Eurozone is at risk without more austerity and continuing cutbacks. But austerity isn’t working and its hard to maintain credibility in the face of failed policy. Here is the problem: If a government (say Greece) has a massive deficit and now they are trying to balance their budget, the government will be making the situation worse by imposing cuts, both because government expenditure is …

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Friday, April 13, 2012

DOW – 136 = 12,849SPX – 17 = 1370NAS – 44 = 301110 YR YLD -.05 = 2.00%OIL – .81 = 102.83GOLD – 16.80 – 1659.50SILV – .88 = 31.60PLAT – 20.00 = 1581.00 The S&P 500 is now down 3.4 percent from this year’s closing high, after falling 2.7 percent over the past two weeks. Wells Fargo and JP Morgan reported first quarter results; both beat expectations. JP Morgan came in with EPS of $1.31 on $26.7b in revenues; topping estimates of EPS $1.18 and revenues of $24.6b. Wells Fargo posted EPS of $0.75 on $21.6b in revenues, beating estimates of $0.73 and $20.4b. JP Morgan made a big chunk of earnings by lowering their reserves for loan losses by $2 billion. In the last 2 years, JP Morgan has generated $12.3 billion in non-earning earnings, even as non-performing loans increased by $600 million in the last quarter. Or as CNBS said, they “blew expectations out of the water.” Blowing smoke is more like it. WFC – 3.4% JPM -3.6% BAC -5.3% GS -4.4% C -3.5%. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan said he would fight buyback demands or repurchase claims on mortgage securities that turned sour. Bank of America has already lost a few of these multi-billion dollar battles. JP Morgan is in the same business as Bank of America. Jamie Dimon briefly responded to questions about the Chief Investment Office, or CIO; that’s the proprietary trading division. According to JP Morgan the CIO division uses approximately …

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