JPMorgan Cuts Back On US Silver Futures (FT)
JPMorgan has quietly reduced a large position in the US silver futures market which had been at the centre of a controversy about its impact on global prices for the precious metal. The decision by JPMorgan was an attempt to deflect public criticism of the bank’s dealings in silver, a person familiar with the matter said. The person added that the bank’s position in silver would from now on be “materially smaller” than in the past. A group of small precious metals investors has alleged that large short positions – or bets on lower prices – in silver futures held by several banks, including JPMorgan, are keeping prices artificially low.
Purest Goldman (NYP)
Goldman undertook the most exhaustive review in its 140-year history a month after a withering attack from Washington regulators and lawmakers culminated with nationally televised hearings where the reputations of the firm and its highest-ranking executives were sullied -- and with the Securities and Exchange Commission charging Goldman with fraud. The committee, co-chaired by the bank's Asia boss, Michael Evans, is consolidating its results from the review and is slated to make its findings public sometime early next month, sources said. The changes suggested, according to insiders, deal primarily with: 1) How Goldman treats conflicts of interest and 2) How well the firm discloses information to its clients and shareholders.
Deutsche Bank Sees S&P Hitting 1550 Next Year (CNBC)
Chief U.S. equities strategist Binky Chadha, in a note released late Monday, also issued a forecast for S&P 500 earnings per share of $96 in 2011, compared to the annualized $91.50 in the 2010 fourth quarter. He expects domestic profit growth of 7 percent. "Equities will re-rate in 2011 as the recovery continues, jobs growth picks up and credit growth resumes," Chadha said in the note. He recommends overweighting domestic cyclical stocks and underweighting defensives. He is neutral on global cyclicals.
Speculators Are Eager to Bet on Madoff Claims (NYT)
“Virtually every sophisticated distressed investor is looking at the Madoff situation,” said Thomas T. Janover, a lawyer at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel who has represented clients who are considering buying claims. “The uncertainty of the payout from the bankruptcy process creates an opportunity and potentially big returns.”
Banker Sees Peril In Hungary Policies (WSJ)
"The Hungarian economy is still vulnerable to shifts in investor sentiment," said András Simor, who has headed the National Bank of Hungary since 2007. "Risk assessment of Hungary if anything has deteriorated during the recent months."
US Widens Stanford Probe To Brokers (FT)
The Securities and Exchange Commission has notified Danny Bogar, former president of Stanford International Bank’s brokerage operations, and several brokers in recent months that it intends to file civil fraud charges against them in connection with the probe, according to lawyers involved in the case and a regulatory filing. The SEC declined to comment.