Gold May Get Boost From Increased Collateral Use, MF Global Says (Bloomberg)
JPMorgan yesterday said it will accept bullion “to satisfy securities lending and repo obligations” as more clients seek to use gold as an inflation hedge and to post as collateral...“The announcement should be slightly positive for gold prices, as it further grows the belief that gold is a currency and has more uses than simply acting as a safe haven or portfolio diversifier,” Tom Pawlicki, an analyst at MF Global in Chicago, said today in a report.
Meredith Whitney's Muni Bond Prediction Draws Scrutiny (NYT)
“I’ve seen a copy of the report, and frankly, I’ve seen better papers from graduate students in finance,” said Richard P.Larkin, director of credit analysis at Herbert J.Sims & Company, a municipal bond broker and underwriter. “It’s ludicrous, reckless and irresponsible, and it’s being done without any regard for the consequences.”
Goldman Sachs Turns Bullish on European Banks Bond Market Shuns (Bloomberg)
The bank is telling investors to buy European bank stocks for the first time in more than 16 months. Bond buyers are taking the opposite view on concern that policy makers will fail to staunch the debt crisis.
Rep Ryan: Fed Should Raise Rates (CNBC)
"I'm worried they're not going to pre-empt inflation," Ryan said. "I'm worried they're going to see it too late and we're going to have a problem."
Obama Urges Businesses To Increase Spending For Good Of The Country (Bloomberg)
“As we work with you to make America a better place to do business, I’m hoping that all of you are thinking what you can do for America,” Obama said. “Ask yourselves what you can do to hire more American workers, what you can do to support the American economy and invest in this nation.”
Behind The Bond Crisis Brouhaha (NYP)
Charlie Gasparino has a theory: "My sources in Washington say the left sees the writing on the wall: A more conservative electorate means less money from Washington to finance the various welfare schemes and public-sector unions. What better way to keep the federal gravy train running than to use predictions of another financial collapse to dismiss the budget-cutting progress made by such governors as New Jersey's Chris Christie?"
Florida Bans Cocaine-Like Bath Salt (NPR)
"For lack of a better term, they're flipped out. It's almost like a psychotic break. They're extremely anxious and combative, they think there's stuff trying to get them, they're paranoid, they're having hallucinations. So, the encounters are not pleasant," Ryan says. "And we were finding that some of these guys couldn't be sedated with the normal drugs that we would use with other stimulants."
Banks Reach Out To Small Firms (WSJ)
"We found that small-business people have to eat, too," says Rick Hartnack, U.S. Bancorp's vice chairman for consumer banking. During the past two years, U.S. Bancorp also has added more than 100 private bankers who can sell loans and other products to doctors, lawyers and other small-business owners.
Cash Buyers Boost Battered Housing Market (WSJ)
Nationally, 28% of sales were all-cash transactions last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The rate was 14% in October 2008, when the trade group began tracking the measure.
UBS Optimistic On Attracting More Client Funds In 2011 (Bloomberg)
“We are optimistic that overall positive net new money inflows will continue in the first quarter,” Chief Executive Officer Oswald Gruebel and Chairman Kaspar Villiger said in a letter to shareholders today. “For the full year, we believe that net new money will strengthen noticeably.”