UBS Execs Could See Jail Time (NYT)
UBS, after advising top tier clients on how to funnel money into offshore accounts so as to restructure their holdings and minimize their tax burden, have turned their clients over to the Justice Department and IRS for possible tax fraud. I can only see this as weak and thus believe they should spend time in the pokey.
Grow a pair.
AMEX Approved As Bank Holding Company (CNBC)
As you probably heard, American Express's recent woes have led them to file for Bank Holding Company status, under which they'll qualify for TARP money and can issue debt to cover defaulting credit card customers and a rising cost structure.
Fannie Posts 3Q Loss (CNNMoney)
"Troubled mortgage-finance giant Fannie Mae reported on Monday that it lost $29 billion in the most recent quarter, putting the firm closer to having to draw on the $100 billion in taxpayer dollars committed to it in September"
I was under the impression that Fannie Mae was already under the hammer and sickle of sweet mother America?
If you're going to federalize the Mae's, at least turn them into Sovereign Wealth Funds (or one fund, your choice), take a hands off approach, and let it make some money for you. Who knows, you might just be able to save Social Security with the earnings (you'll fuck this up too, I have faith).
Super Bowl Commercials In Trouble, Need Government Assistance (WSJ)
I don't know what people did before awesome Super Bowl commercials, but I can only imagine a world of drab, boring people talking about nothing but football for 4 hours. I love football, don't get me wrong. But venture into the den of some 5 guys sitting around watching the game on any given Sunday and you'll hear, well, next to nothing, except for the occasional statistic and maybe a comment about how we'd bang a cheerleader here or there; nothing of real merit. We like it that way: a void of all intelligence and open permission to drink as much as we want -- that's all in we're looking for out of life for 4 sweet, sweet hours. Oh, and maybe Hot Wings.
The Super Bowl is supposed to be better though: it has hot girls all the time (not just cheerleaders) and dancers, and fireworks, and Commercials. And while we'll forget the Girls' face/body/everything about ten minutes after she's off screen, the better commercials get quoted for the better part of the year, and that's what matters, America.
Don't let the terrorists/mortgage brokers/real estate agents win: Keep the ads.
This Had Me Terrified, But It's Okay: The Radiation Only Hides In The Keg, It Doesn't Live There. (Bloomberg)
It turns out scrap metal radioactivity is a huge problem, but we don't really give a shit. What was worrisome about this was the headline intimating that Radiation was infiltrating our Beer Supply (Bs), which isn't true, but rather a crude marketing scheme by Bloomberg that possibly scared thousands and may have led to at least one suicide.
O Cubed Eyeing Next Purchase (Reuters)
The Majestic himself is eyeing another possible acquisition, this time in Belgian-French Bank Dexia.
"De Tijd said insurers Berkshire Hathaway Assurance and Assured Guaranty were particularly interested in the "healthy" part of FSA -- guaranteeing municipal bonds -- but there were also talks about its riskier activities."
China's Trade Surplus Hits New Record (BBC)
"China's trade surplus rose to $35.2bn (£22.48bn) in October, hitting a record for a third month in a row, data shows."
Regardless, the data released would suggest that China has a waning economy, to the point of economic growth slowing to 9% over the term of the recession. If this is true, it likely means absolutely nothing for American consumers, but my have in impact on our placing Treasuries.
Markets Down Overnight (Bloomberg)
"More than $28 trillion has been erased from the value of global equity markets as credit losses and writedowns topped $920 billion" (since the start of the downturn)
"Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index slid 0.9 percent. Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index declined 2.2 percent."... "The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 3.5 percent as Australian business confidence fell to a record low."
"Profits for the 428 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported, including Boeing Co. and AT&T Inc., have shrunk 17 percent, while missing predictions by 4.7 percent."
"Growth in the U.S. economy will slow to 1.1 percent next year, down from 1.6 percent predicted for 2008"
"The International Energy Agency may cut its 2009 oil demand forecast for a third month."