Former San Fran Fed Employee Threatened To Murder Ex-FHFA Head Ed DeMarco

When it comes to the San Francisco Fed, it is best known throughout the financial community as the group of crack economists who spend millions of taxpayer funds to investigate such probing, for kindergarteners at least, topics as: is water wet, do trees make a sound when they fall in the forest, is it still worth going to college, and are hedge funds important in a crisis. Little did we know that, at least some of them, are homicidal psychopaths with suicidal tendencies. Because this is precisely what was revealed moments ago when Bloomberg reported that the chief operating officer of the Federal Housing Finance Agency and 26-year San Fran Fed veteran, Richard Hornsby, is facing a felony charge for threatening to kill the agency’s former top official, Ed DeMarco, and then kill himself.

From Bloomberg:

Richard Hornsby last week threatened to shoot former FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco and then kill himself, according to an April 29 police report. DeMarco, who retired from the agency that regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac  on April 30, was taken to a secure location while Hornsby was arrested.

The details of the charge against Hornsby can be found here.

So how did the FHFA COO nearly end up commiting a murder-suicide? Perhaps this had something to do with it: “Before joining FHFA, Hornsby worked for 26 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.”

WSJ, which broke the story, has more:

Mr. Hornsby didn’t respond to requests for comment, including messages left on a cellphone and a visit to his apartment. A woman who answered the phone at a California number associated with his name hung up when informed the caller was from The Wall Street Journal.

 

Mr. Hornsby allegedly threatened to shoot Mr. DeMarco after making “increasing threatening comments” about him over the course of several weeks, according to court records and Metropolitan Police Department report.

 

FHFA officials notified the agency’s inspector general about the threats on April 28, after an incident in which Mr. DeMarco was “escorted to a secure location following a report of a threat,” according to the court complaint used to secure the warrant for Hornsby. An FHFA employee, who wasn’t named in the report filed in court, said Mr. Hornsby had threatened to harm Mr. DeMarco and to kill himself.

 

The incident occurred two days before Mr. DeMarco’s previously announced retirement from the agency. The unnamed FHFA employee told the inspector general that the threats against Mr. DeMarco stemmed from disputes over Mr. Hornsby’s job performance ratings, according to court documents. A spokeswoman for the inspector general declined to comment.

So where is this SF Fed veteran now? Why free to roam among the US population, where he belongs.

At a hearing in D.C. Superior Court last Wednesday, Judge Karen Howze issued the restraining order directing Mr. Hornsby to stay away from his workplace and from Mr. DeMarco, according to court documents. Mr. Hornsby, 58, was released without being required to post bond. Another hearing in the case is set for May 14.

At least he is away from the printer at the Marriner Eccles building, where another band of current Fed sociopaths are inflicting far greater damage on the country and its citizens.

And speaking of Fed, here is just what Hornsby activities was engaging in quietly at the Fed before his murderous rage finally bubbled up to the surface:

Hornsby served at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco for 26 years, holding a variety of senior level management and banking supervision positions. Most recently, Hornsby was group VP and division head for the Reserve Bank’s Financial Planning and Control and Corporate Administration Divisions. In this position, he oversaw many of the Bank’s support functions in nine states. Prior to that, he served as group VP in charge of the Bank’s Portland Branch having responsibility for director relations, branch administration and business continuity. Hornsby also directed the Bank’s business development and customer support functions bankwide. He also served as a key member of the senior management team of the Federal Reserve’s National Support Function Office which provides electronic access to the Reserve’s financial services clients nationwide. In addition to his senior management positions, he was a Supervising Examiner in the Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation for 10 years, having regulatory responsibility for bank holding companies, banks and non-bank subsidiaries.

Which perhaps explains why five years after the “recovery” US banks are in such great shape they need some $2.7 trillion in Fed excess reserves to mask their insolvency.

Tangentially, some advice: don’t haggle with that former Fed employee Ben Bernanke over his $250,000/hour speaking fee. He may be packing.




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Automation-Market Boom

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Robot is a Czech word, meaning ‘forced labor’. It’s a bit like slavery, but when it’s a machine nobody gives a damn. As if the ruling minority didn’t have enough with the mass majority drudging to the factories day-in and day-out to add value to their portfolios, now is the time when technology has reached a point where robots are a viable thing of the present, or at least the future.

• The automation market is worth an estimated $100 billion and that is predicted to quadruple within the next seven years. 
• By, 2020, it will be worth a staggering $400 billion
• That means that it will be roughly the equivalent of the e-commerce sector. 
• Who wouldn’t want a chunk of that? 
• The growth rate in the world market for automated products in the manufacturing sector is set to rise from its present level of approximately 6.5% per year to more than 20% after 2015
• It will then see a second stage in the development of the automation market, whereby, within the next seven years it will spread to the services sector as technology improves and prices fall.

Funding is also increasing from international organizations and for example the European Commission is literally pouring money into what it believes to be our future. The European Investment Fund for example announced in April 2014 that it was investing in “Robolution Capital”, which is the first fund that is intended to invest in turn in European companies that are involved in the robot sector. It managed to raise some 80 million euros to invest in the sector of activity getting money from institutions, as well as the private and industrial sector.

Robots today have seen a fall in their prices roughly equivalent to a quarter of their value half a decade ago.

Construction


Just at the end of April, a Chinese construction company managed to build ten houses in 24 hours by using a giant 3D-printer. That’s a house every 2.4 hours, mainly from recycled material and costing under $5, 000. Now, we shall probably see the market flooded with cheap, low-quality housing, but at least it won’t cost as much as it does now. Perhaps, if the bubble continues, then those super-fast houses will be printed quicker than the money that rolls off the printing presses of Quantitative Easing.

• The printer that was used measures 6.6 m (22 ft) tall, 10 m (33 ft) wide and 32 m (105 ft) long.
• Little labor is needed to assemble the panel blocks that are printed. 
• Whether skyscrapers can be built is another matter.

But, how long will they last.

Health


Robots are not just there for building though.

They are extensively used today in the medical field. That may mean that one of the few winners ofObamacare may actually be robot manufacturers. It’s not just about building robot vacuum cleaners that do the cleaning why you are at the gym, but it’s Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant (RP-VITA), or a tablet that controlled remotely in order to allow doctors that are not in the presence of the patient to give a consultation. Or there is the robot that enters a hospital room and zaps the germs and the bacteria with an ultra-violet light (Xenex), just so long as there are no people in the room at the time.

Robots: Good?


The only trouble is: you can’t help thinking that the invention and development of automated technology and robots is perhaps thought to be a way of alleviate the daily tasks that we do. Robots, however, will not replace man. They might put a few out of work, those at the very lowest echelons of society. But, the masses that are sandwiched in the middle of the ruling 1%-ers and those on the bottom rungs of life will still have to continue working. It wouldn’t do to put the mass out of work too much. Keep the majority of the mass of society just ticking over with a minimum subsistence and they will be too afraid to revolt for fear of losing what little they have.

Take everything away from them and they will start the revolution rather than hold a dinner party. The masses will just be working alongside the robots, to the benefit of the wealth, the ultra-high-net-worth people at the top and to the detriment of the poor. It’s the poor that will be out on the streets. But, that’s ok, how many people actually see a homeless person on the streets. I mean, they are there, but they are transparent, aren’t they?

Originally posted: Automation-Market Boom

Day Trading Data Sheets Futures and Forex




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Among The Perks For Amazon’s Part-Time Workers: Being Homeless

Judging by the narrative promoted after last Friday's idiotically connived jobs report, any job is a good job… however, as The Guardian reports, that does not include a job working for Amazon.com. Quarter after quarter, we highlight the growth in Amazon employees (and death-cross-like plunge in annual sales growth). While Amazon makes no secret of the fact that it relies on seasonal work force, what went unsaid and unnoticed during President Obama's visit last year, was that the Amazon 'employees' would not have jobs or prospects after the holidays. Many of the people in those Amazon warehouses were among the long-term unemployed – shuffling from one temporary job to another to another; and due to this unstable employment, a growing number of them have found themselves living in shelters… 'employed' but homeless (or "the working poor" in America).

 

Amazon's death cross… total employees and worldwide revenue growth – (which makes perfect economic sense as the marginal employees costs approaches zero…)

 

As The Guardian reports, working away in warehouses, beyond the pages of Amazon's website, the seasonal workers and the effects that temporary contracts have on their lives are kept out of public's eye and often avoid scrutiny.

Andrew Cummins, 43, was one of these elves last year, working north of Chattanooga at an Amazon warehouse in Jeffersonville, Indiana. For three months, he stowed away clothes, working 40 hours a week at $10 an hour. He enjoyed the job and saw it as his ticket out of the Haven House, a shelter where he lives with his wife, Kristen, and stepson.

 

"They had this big hype that they were going to hire on and stuff and that didn't happen. They just worked you until the time was up and then they let everyone go," he says. According to him, about 50 other seasonal workers like him who were hired through Integrity Staffing Solutions – a staffing agency working with Amazon in Jeffersonville – were let go at the same time. "They just said they would email everybody that they let go but we never heard anything back. And then you can't apply for [another Amazon job] for another year after you worked for them."

Which brings us to the new normal in America – The Working Poor

The underlying situation at the Chattanooga facility belied the president's speech. He spoke about the recession, noting that "it cost millions of Americans their jobs and their homes and their savings." He spoke of the long-term unemployed and their struggles in finding a job. He spoke of the great job that Amazon and Jeff Bezos were doing taking care of their employees.

 

Since Amazon opened its warehouse in Jeffersonville, one homeless shelter, Haven House, has been a home to between two and six of its employees at all times, says Barbara Anderson, the shelter's director.

 

"The impact is profound. One man was sleeping in a car when he landed his 'permanent job' with Amazon," she says. His good luck didn't last long. "He lost everything all over again. The jobs are good but the temporary status sets people up for failure."

 

More than half of the shelter's tenants are working poor, according to Anderson. Often times they are either in between jobs or working jobs that pay just enough to make ends meet, but not enough to help them break out of the cycle of homelessness.

 

With lack of subsidized housing affordable at their level of income, they are stuck. They have no one to co-sign an apartment for them and no way to save up for a security deposit, much less the first and last months' rent that many landlords now require before one moves in.

 

“When you live in a shelter, the first thing you want to do is get out,” says Anderson. People often view their first paycheck as ticket out, but as soon as they lose that job, they are back at the shelter. “They get that first paycheck and they are gone. Then four to six weeks later, I see them again. They leave too early.”

And The Working Poor are banking on warmer weather…

For Tim, the job at Amazon is just a short-term solution. "I can't live on $10 an hour," he says, adding. "If I am at Amazon longer than a month, I'd be very disappointed frankly."

 

It's his hope that warmer weather will bring better news. "Temporary or contract jobs are going to pick up, because employers are still a little skittish about bringing on permanent employees and so to keep the costs down, they are going to increase their contracting levels. That's what I am counting on," says Tim.

Sadly… the "working poor" is all too common…

There are about 3.5 million Americans who have been out of a job for longer than six months, according to the most recent unemployment report.

 

Only one in 10 of them is likely to find stable employment down the road, according to Brookings Institute. While some give up looking altogether, those who keep looking are often only able to find part-time, sporadic employments.

It seems, just as we made all too clear previously, that work is indeed being punished in America

This is graphically, and very painfully confirmed, in the below chart from Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a state best known for its broke capital Harrisburg). As quantitied, and explained by Alexander, "the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045."

We realize that this is a painful topic in a country in which the issue of welfare benefits, and cutting (or not) the spending side of the fiscal cliff, have become the two most sensitive social topics. Alas, none of that changes the matrix of incentives for most Americans who find themselves in a comparable situation: either being on the left side of minimum US wage, and relying on benefits, or move to the right side at far greater personal investment of work, and energy, and… have the same disposable income at the end of the day.




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Selling the Car Crash and Buying the Cancer

Selling the Car Crash and Buying the Cancer

By

Cognitive Dissonance

TwoIceFloes.com

 

 

For just a few minutes I ask that you suspend disbelief and consider what I am about to say from the perspective of your point of view. Forget what others may say or do. Ignore how you think the herd might react to the scenario I’m about to outline and look deep within yourself into that honest place we all possess and rarely visit.

Suppose you were told by an extremely trusted source, I think the word is impeccable, that sometime in the next week you will suffer a terrible accident, a car crash to be specific. While you will most likely not die in or from this accident, you will probably wish you had because the pain and suffering you are facing will test you like you have never been tested before. You have no details of the event, only that it is very soon, inevitable and will be life changing.

Or………you can choose what is behind the second curtain in this fictitious world of clear foresight and alternative scenarios, and instead of immediate pain and disfigurement you get to kick the can down the road and select the cancer, the big ‘C’, and hope for the best.

The good news is the occultist seer, your provocateur of prophecy, projects that the cancer will probably not kill you as well, though the mortality rate is much higher than the car crash. And it isn’t even an especially fast acting variety, so your life can proceed pretty much uninterrupted for a year or two, maybe even more, until the surgery (cut) chemo (poison) and radiation (burn) become unavoidable and must begin.

Besides, who knows what miracles medical science can come up with between now and then? There are success stories everywhere of cancer survivors beating the odds and living a long, healthy and satisfying life. Regardless, when contemplating the choice between an emergency responder using the jaws-of-life to extract you from your mangled motor vehicle or a handsome skilled surgeon extracting your diseased colon/lung/prostate while you are knocked out cold, is there really any choice in the matter?

So when, not if, you decide to buy the cancer and sell the car crash, will your perspective change at least a little with respect to those lying corrupt disingenuous politicians, central bankers, corporate executives, too big to fail bank CEO’s and millions of other ‘bad’ guys we blame for making matters worse when the ‘obvious’ choice to make was the car crash and not the cancer?

 

Car Crash

 

I suppose the more important question to be asked would be why we were even at the point where this choice between two extremely poor paths was presented. Then again, conditioned slaves can complain, bicker and debate all they want about their living conditions, but never about their actual slavery.

Intellectually we understand the ‘correct’ decision to make back in 2008-2009 was to bite the bullet and select the car crash. Sure it would be tough, real tough, and there is no doubt that much suffering would follow. Millions upon millions of people stood to lose their jobs, homes and personal retirement savings and public pensions. The collapsing dominoes and the resulting whoosh would have been shocking and unimaginable even to those of us who believe we had a fairly good idea how it would all go down.

Banks and business large and small would have gone under, hundreds of municipalities most definitely would have declared bankruptcy and countless lives altered in such a way that the memory would linger from generation to generation for as long, or longer, than the reverberation from the Depression of the 1930’s.

The shock waves of the car crash would have gone global and billions would have had their standard of living slashed in half or more. In fact the greatest damage would not be felt by the first world nations, but by the second and third world. The proof is the effects seen in the less developed nations as the first world exports massive cancerous inflation in the form of currency printing. When the first world catches a cold, the second and third world comes down with life threatening pneumonia.

Unlike the scenario I outlined above where you and I are personally facing the prospect of either immediate or delayed pain, the difference when contemplating a national/global car crash or cancer choice is our perceived lack of immediate proximity to the resulting pain and suffering. Real or imagined, based in fact or fiction, we all tend to emotionally and intellectually diminish our proximity to external danger by any number of techniques such as denial, rationalization, apathy and emotional distancing.

 

That's gonna leave a mark

 

Part of the reason we believe the car crash choice to be proper was/is our clearer understanding of the inevitable implosion that results from the cancer choice. Only this time the death and injuries will be orders of magnitude greater than what might have been experienced in 2008. We perceive little to no personal benefit from kicking the can and believe great harm will result from doing so.

In reality the only thing we know for certain is that life would be very different from today if we had faced the music back in 08-09. Better or worse is the real question, though I suspect better……if for no other reason than the wound eventually heals or it festers and you die.

In addition, we recognize the large (and growing even larger) disparity of illness and symptoms that results from the cancer choice between those who have and those who have not. It is believed that if the car crash were chosen, while the have not’s will suffer under any scenario; the haves might actually be taken down several notches while also being pulled from the wreck, a dubious assumption at best……at least for the top one or two percent.

Worse, our sense of outrage is inflamed when we realize that not only are the elite not suffering the same cancer symptoms as we are, but are actually benefiting from, even prospering from, the cancer choice. If nothing else they appear to be bleeding the middle class dry while kicking the can down the road as far and for as long as they can.

Wealth has its own rewards and distinct advantages, and the belief that the wealthy would push the floundering swimmer underwater in order to support (let along enrich) themselves is outrageous, at least from the perspective of the now underwater swimmer.

The list of reasons why ‘we’ feel the cancer to be the wrong choice, oftentimes a belief developed with the benefit of hindsight, is endless and ultimately self personalized to fit our own worldview and denial/rationalization spectrum. Regardless of the specifics of your own view on this subject, the real value to be unleashed from this introspection is the better understanding of our ‘self’ that results when we look deep into that honest place we all possess and rarely visit.

 

05-05-2014

Cognitive Dissonance

 

Big Bada Boom




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Pro Wrestling: Vladimir Putin vs. Edward Snowden

Professional wrestling, with its monstrous egos,
blowhard rhetoric, and bad solutions (use the chair!), is kind of
like politics except that it’s got better acting. And, you can
actually use wrestling as a sort of barometer for the average
person’s views, instead of the government’s, on hot-button issues.
This past Sunday World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) showed us how
Americans perceive Russian President Vladimir Putin and
whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

At a pay-per-view event in New Jersey, C.J. “Lana The Ravishing
Russian” Perry riled up fans for a fight featuring Miroslav
Alexander
Rusev
” Barnyashev, by dedicating his performance to Putin.
Perry
announced
in her best fake accent:

I am proud to be Russian. I am proud to come from a country with
the most dominant and powerful president in the world, Vladimir
Putin. He makes fools out of every one of you. You are merely pawns
in his game of global dominance.

The jumbotron displayed Putin’s mug. The crowd started booing
and chanting U-S-A so loudly, you could feel the Cold War
rekindling. The negative response to Putin was expected, since the
WWE knows its marketing. It is, after all, a billion dollar
business with 15 million weekly
viewers
. Unlike other sports that occasionally stumble into
American’s ongoing debates on
race
or
drugs
or
sexuality
, pro wrestling’s scripted game explicitly
relies on popular culture
outside the sport and the ability to
reflect them in a way the audience wants.

Still, the fact that the WWE is reviving nationalistic gimmicks
not seen since Hulk Hogan spat on the
Soviet flag, Rocky clocked Drago, and the Wolverines
valiantly battled the Red Army, shows
just how bad
the perception of America’s foreign relations have
gotten lately. And it’s not because there’s a threat to American
lives any more real than pro wrestling itself. Rather, it boils
down to the fact that the Obama and Putin administrations have
dropped the ball on two decades worth of relationship repairing the
U.S. and Russia did after the Cold War ended.

But, that’s not even where The Ravishing Russian’s speech ended.
Her final blow was supposed to be that Putin “welcomes with open
arms the patriot Edward Snowden” in his quest for power.

The Washington Free Beacon, whose editors have
collectively stated their dislike for Snowden
and Russia
, saw the match and reported “audible
ire from the audience” for Snowden. You can judge for yourself, but
that’s not what I heard. The response from the crowd sounded
conspicuously muted to me. The fans were worked up into a lather by
the Putin bit but the Snowden insult, which was supposed to be the
final straw, just fell flat.

It fell flat in the same way big
government advocates and apologists like
President Obama
, Sen.
John McCain
(R-Ariz.), and Rep.
Mike Rogers
(R-Mich.) do every time they try to unambiguously
paint Snowden as a traitor who deserves time in prison for drawing
attention to the massive surveillance state that continues to
violate virtually every American’s privacy.

Wrestling and politics both rely on framing issues as dualities:
red
versus blue
, face
versus heel,
with us or against us. But neither of these groups can elicit
outrage about Snowden, because his personal legacy is too mixed. In
a recent YouGov poll that asked if Snowden did “the
right thing
” by exposing government surveillance, an almost
equal number of people said yes as said no, and slightly more said
they weren’t sure.

And, far less ambiguous are the feelings for government snoops
that Snowden awakened in the public. Exposing the National Security
Administration (NSA)
immediately and dramatically
shifted Americans’ concerns from
terrorism to civil liberty violations as one poll shows. Another
survey demonstrates that a record number of Americans see
big government as the greatest threat
to the future of America.
Reason-Rupe poll
data
indicates that only 18 percent of Americans trust the NSA
with their personal information and that many people think the
agency is violating their privacy.

The WWE is savvy. It pays attention to how fans feel and
responds quickly and accordingly. The Russophobia will continue as
long as the international political showboating does, but I bet
they’ll stop lumping Snowden in the bad guy camp after this goof.
Public servants who value their own popularity should take
note.

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Here They Go Again: Wall Street Is Offering Debt-On-Debt-On-Debt!

Submitted by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog,

Here’s how the daisy chain of debt works— short form. LBO’s issue debt—loads of it. Leveraged buyouts are now being priced at typical top-of-the-bubble ratios of 10X cash flow (“adjusted EBITDA”). The portion of these LBO debt towers that consists of bank term loans and revolver facilities is sold to freshly minted financial conduits called CLOs (for Collateralized Loan Obligations) which are not real companies and which do not have any money!

No problem. What happens is that credit hedge funds and Wall Street trading desk hit a computer key, open a new spreadsheet window, wrap it in legal boilerplate, provide this newly minted CLO with a credit line and then start bidding for available LBO paper in the junk loan market. When they have accumulated enough offers, they slice and dice the resulting portfolio of LBO loans, and issue multiple tiers of debt– with these new slices being rated from AAA to junk against the loans listed on the spreadsheet.

So we now have a spreadsheet, a part-time “portfolio manager” and hundreds of millions of the latest CLO toxic waste. For 95 weeks running, there was no want of buyers for this CLO issued paper. In its infinite wisdom, the Fed drove interest rates on CDs and high quality paper to nearly zero—–so the scramble for “yield” was on. Soon Grandpa was being forced to buy a high yield mutual fund in order to pay the light bills.

But now LBO risks are soaring due to recklessly escalating deal prices and also because the LBO kings are stepping-up their patented late cycle cash strip-mining operations in the form of “leveraged recaps” funded with new “cov lite” debt. So even yield starved retail investors have begun to turn tail and run. During the last two weeks there were actually outflows from high yield mutual funds.

That leaves a big gap in the market, however. The CLO jockeys are still banging out new spreadsheets, but buyers for the sliced and diced CLO paper are suddenly getting scarcer. Still, no problem!

Here’s why. Wall Street is back in the business of lending money at the Fed’s gifted rate of zero plus a modest 80 basis point spread—so that the fast money can buy CLO paper on 9 to 1 leverage. There is your triple shuffle.

It didn’t work out last time, but that doesn’t matter because the game is obvious. After enough buying on Wall Street’s triple leverage, junk loan prices might temporarily rebound. Then the brokers will put out the call to retail: The junk loan asset class is rebounding—its time to come back.  For the final shearing, that is!

Today’s Wall Street Journal article explains exactly how its being done. Needlessly to say, every one of the big banks back in the business got bailed out last time by TARP and the Fed. They seem to learn something—even if our policy makers never do

By Katy Burne, Wall Street Journal

 

Banks again are doling out money to hedge funds and other investors to finance purchases of complex debt securities, returning to a practice that helped fuel the debt boom ahead of the financial crisis.

RBC Capital Markets, Société Générale ., BNP Paribas  and Wells Fargo are among the banks offering to let investors borrow money, also known as providing leverage, to buy collateralized loan obligations, say investors and bankers. CLOs are bonds typically backed by pools of low-rated corporate loans.

 

Borrowing programs for such esoteric securities have been only selectively available in the years since the crisis. While banks have lent to a handful of investors, the practice picked up late last year when funding costs began to fall….

 

Finding new buyers would help them offload the debt, while keeping prices relatively high. Some banks also are trying to ensure there will be demand for more CLOs they help create.

 

Banks “are resorting to creating economic incentives to get primarily hedge funds to step into this void,” said Oliver Wriedt, senior managing director at CIFC Asset Management LLC, which manages CLOs….

 

Hedge funds “have finally come to grips with leverage and begun to embrace it” for CLOs, said Jean de Lavalette, head of securitized products sales at Société Générale.

 

But with leverage comes risk. Even a small drop in the market could force investors to pledge more cash and other collateral to offset the securities’ decline. Losses are magnified when borrowed money is used….

 

…..GoldenTree Asset Management recently purchased CLOs using leverage. Joe Naggar, a partner at GoldenTree in New York, said using leverage makes sense because prices on highly rated CLOs have fallen, increasing their yield relative to other debt securities. Borrowing money to buy could bolster returns if prices rebound…..

 

Banks have offered to lend some investors as much as $9 for every dollar that the buyers invest in CLOs, say traders and strategists. Others are being offered $8 for every $2.

 

An investor in a triple-A-rated CLO earning 1.50 percentage point over the London interbank offered rate—using 10% of his or her own money and paying 0.80 percentage point over Libor for the financing—could earn about 8% in a year. That compares with annual interest rates near 2% on a standard triple-A CLO.

 

Citigroup researchers in a mid-April note to clients predicted that the new source of financing could help drive up prices of triple-A-rated CLOs.

 

That could be a boon to a market that has stumbled under the threat of new rules on what banks can hold on their books. CLO prices tumbled, and the creation of new CLOs slowed earlier this year as the market digested the rules that will ban banks from investing in certain CLOs.

 

Since then, CLO prices have begun to recover, and CLO issuance has picked up after a slow start to the year. More than $35 billion of CLOs were created so far in 2014, the most for that period since 2007, when $36.4 billion were created, according to S&P Capital IQ Leveraged Commentary & Data….

 

Read the Complete Article Here.




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Nuclear Fuel Fragment from Fukushima Found In EUROPE

Fukushima did not just suffer meltdowns, or even melt-throughs

It suffered melt-OUTS … where the nuclear core of at least one reactor was spread all over Japan.

In addition, the Environmental Research Department, SRI Center for Physical Sciences and Technology in Vilnius, Lithuania reported in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity:

Analyses of (131)I, (137)Cs and (134)Cs in airborne aerosols were carried out in daily samples in Vilnius, Lithuania after the Fukushima accident during the period of March-April, 2011.

 

***

 

The activity ratio of (238)Pu/(239,240)Pu in the aerosol sample was 1.2, indicating a presence of the spent fuel of different origin than that of the Chernobyl accident.

(“Pu” is short for plutonium.)   Fukushima is 4,988 miles from Vilnius, Lithuania. So the plutonium traveled quite a distance.

Today, EneNews reports that a fuel fragment from Fukushima has been found in Norway:

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, Atmospheric removal times of the aerosol-bound radionuclides 137Cs and 131I during the months after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident – a constraint for air quality and climate models, May 2012: Hot particles (particles that carry very high radioactivity, e.g., fragments of the nuclear fuel) were present in the FD-NPP plume.

 

 

Elsevier (academic publisher) — Fukushima Accident: Radioactivity Impact on the Environment, Pavel P. Povinec, Katsumi Hirose, Michio Aoyama, 2013: Paatero et al. (2012) estimated that a significant part of the Fukushima-derived radioactivity is in hot particles from autoradiogram of a filter sample from 1 to 4 April 2011 at Mt. Zeppelin, Ny-Alesund, Svalbard.

 

Poster for Alaska Marine Science Symposium (Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands) — Fukushima fallout: Aerial deposition on the sea ice scenario and wildlife health implications to ice-associated seals, Jan. 20, 2014: Exposure to fallout while on ice in 2011 […] Models suggest pinnipeds may have been exposed while on ice to the following: […] Hot particles, nuclear fuel fragments, were detected in air samples taken in Svalbard, Norway (Paatero et al. 2012).

 

See also: Gundersen: This video “confirms our worst fears” — Scientist: Reactor core materials found almost 500 km from Fukushima plant — 40,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bq/kg — Can travel very, very significant distances — Hot particles found in 25% of samples from Tokyo and Fukushima (VIDEO)

Fukushima is 10632 kilometers – or 6,606 miles -from Svalbard, Norway.

Moreover, the distance is actually much further … because it took a circuitous route from Fukushima to Norway.

As ENENews reports:

(Paatero et al. 2012) Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Airborne fission products in the High Arctic after the Fukushima nuclear accident: It is evident that the plume arriving in Svalbard did not come from Europe but directly from North America […] [Hot particles are] either fragments of the nuclear fuel or particles formed by the interactions between condensed radionuclides, nuclear fuel, and structural materials of the reactor […] Based on the total beta, 137Cs and 134Cs activity content […] on the filter it can be estimated that a significant part of the activity related to Fukushima was in hot particles. So far the authors are not aware of any other reports concerning hot particles from the Fukushima accident. […] the radionuclides emitted into the atmosphere were quickly dispersed around practically the whole northern hemisphere within a couple of weeks.

In other words, the hot particles from Fukushima traveled to North American, and then to Europe.

This is only logical.

We noted 2 days after the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami:

The jet stream passes right over Japan. The jet stream was noticed in the 1920′s by a Japanese meteorologist near Mount Fuji, and the Japanese launched balloon bombs into the jetstream to attack America during WWII.

(Indeed, U.S. nuclear authorities were very concerned about the West Coast getting hit by Fukushima radiation … but they covered it up.)

So the Fukushima hot particles traveled from from Japan to the West Coast of North America … and then were carried by wind currents from there.

It’s approximately 5,000 miles from Fukushima to the closest part of North America. It’s another 4,298 miles from San Francisco to Svalbard, Norway.

So the hot particle traveled roughly 9,298 miles from Fukushima to Norway.

That’s a long way, as shown by this rough mock-up using Google maps:




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Forget “Too Big To Fail”…We Now Have “Too Big To Audit”

One of the primary themes discussed on this site over the past several years is the growing realization that there is a two-tier injustice system operating in these United States. This fact is more disruptive to the smooth and healthy functioning of a society than anything else. It is more disruptive than financial theft, it is more disruptive that feudalistic levels of wealth inequality, and it is more disruptive than Big Brother illegal spying. Nothing will tear the fabric of a culture apart more decisively than the appearance and recognition of a “justice” system which carves out immunity for the rich and powerful, yet comes down like a ton of bricks  on even the slightest of crimes committed by the peasant class.

I have highlighted some examples over the past month or so. See below:

The “War on Street Artists” – Puppeteer Unlawfully Arrested and Harassed in NYC Subway

Charleston Man Receives $525 Federal Fine for Failing to Pay for a $0.89 Refill

The Homeless in NYC Are Now Living in Tiny Spaces in the Frame of the Manhattan Bridge

Additionally, The Guardian published an excellent piece just yesterday on the verdict of Cecily McMillan, an Occupy Wall Street protester who faces an incredible seven years in jail for elbowing a cop who has a history of violent tendencies.

Moving along, we now discover that at the same time the tax collecting agency known as the IRS (with its 89,500 employees) was pestering tea party groups, it failed to audit a single large partnership. Yep, that’s right, the financial oligarchs are not just “Too Big To Jail,” they are also “Too Big To Audit.”

From CNS News:

CNSNews.com – In 2011, while the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was busy scrutinizing the tax-exempt status of 100 percent of Tea Party groups and other conservative non-profits, the tax agency did not audit a single high-value electing large partnership (ELP) with more than $100 million in assets.

That’s according to a preliminary report released to Congress by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) April 17th. (See GAO.pdf) 

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The Death Cross Of American Business

So much for the recovery… As WaPo reports, the American economy is less entrepreneurial now than at any point in the last three decades. A rather damning new Brookings Institution report shows that US businesses are being destroyed faster than they’re being created. As the authors of the report ominously explain: If the decline persists, “it implies a continuation of slow growth for the indefinite future,” as new business creation has been cut in half since 1978.

 

This is the death cross of American Business!!

 

And the bottom line from Hathaway and Litan:

Overall, the message here is clear. Business dynamism and entrepreneurship are experiencing a troubling secular decline in the United States. Existing research and a cursory review of broad data aggregates show that the decline in dynamism hasn’t been isolated to particular industrial sectors and firm sizes.

 

Here we demonstrated that the decline in entrepreneurship and business dynamism has been nearly universal geographically the last three decades—reaching all fifty states and all but a few metropolitan areas.

Doing so requires a more complete knowledge about what drives dynamism, and especially entrepreneurship, than currently exists. But it is clear that these trends fit into a larger narrative of business consolidation occurring in the U.S. economy—whatever the reason, older and larger businesses are doing better relative to younger and smaller ones. Firms and individuals appear to be more risk averse too—businesses are hanging on to cash, fewer people are launching firms, and workers are less likely to switch jobs or move.




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