MasterFeeds: August 2011

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August 29, 2011

Chief executive of Sino-Forest resigns

Chief executive of Sino-Forest resigns

Sino-Forest, the Chinese timber company facing allegations of accounting irregularities, said on Sunday that Allen Chan, the company’s chairman and chief executive, had voluntarily resigned.

The announcement after trading in shares of the Toronto-listed company were halted by the Ontario Securities Commission, which alleged that Mr Chan and other senior company executives “appear” to have misrepresented revenues.

Mr Chan, who co-founded Sino-Forest in 1992, will be replaced by William Ardell, who will take the position of chairman, and by executive director Judson Martin, who will become chief executive. Mr Ardell is also the head of the independent committee that is reviewing allegations against Sino-Forest.

Sino-Forest also announced that three employees had been relieved of their responsibilities and were placed on “administrative leave,” referring to “certain information” that had been uncovered during the review by the company’s independent committee.

see the whole story here: Chief executive of Sino-Forest resigns -

-- The MasterFeeds

August 9, 2011

1,470 Millionaires Didn't Pay Income Taxes in 2009 - IRS

This really is beginning to look more and more like Greece...

1,470 Millionaires Didn't Pay Income Taxes in 2009

The IRS data showed there were 235,413 taxpayers making $1 million or more in 2009, of whom 1,470 paid no federal income taxes. Among the possible reasons, according to ABC News, could be write-offs for charitable deductions, investments in tax-exempt state and municipal bonds, or foreign tax credits.

In contrast, the average income for taxpayers fell that year in the wake of the financial crisis by $3,516 to $54,283, a drop of approximately 6.1 percent, according to the Huffington Post

See the whole story here:
1,470 Millionaires Didn't Pay Income Taxes in 2009

Sent from my iPad

QE3 and Rogoff @FTAlphaville, 8/9/11 9:08 AM

Aug. 9 (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve policy makers are likely to embark on a third round of large-scale asset purchases, moving "more decisively" to secure the U.S. recovery, said Harvard University economist Kenneth Rogoff.

"They certainly should do something right away," said
Rogoff, a former International Monetary Fund chief economist who attended graduate school with Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke. It's "hard to know" if Bernanke would immediately be able to gain
the support of Federal Open Market Committee members, Rogoff said in an interview today on Bloomberg Television.

See the whole post here:

FT Alphaville (@FTAlphaville)
8/9/11 9:08 AM
The QE3 rallies start here

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August 8, 2011

Global Banks Poised to Slash 101,000 Jobs in Fastest Reductions Since 2008

It hasn't been one week since the market meltdown, and the slashing is already taking place....

Global Banks Poised to Slash 101,000 Jobs in Fastest Reductions Since 2008 - Bloomberg

The biggest global banks are cutting jobs at the fastest rate since 2008 as a weak U.S. economy squeezes revenue, regulators push firms to hold more capital and companies restructure businesses to improve profitability.

The 50 largest banks, including HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA)Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC), disclosed plans for almost 60,000 reductions since Jan. 1, according to company statements and data compiled by Bloomberg Industries. At that pace, they'll cut more than 101,000 jobs this year -- the most since 192,000 positions were targeted in 2008 amid loan losses, a global credit crunch and unprecedented government bailouts.

HSBC's aim to shed 30,000 workers, unveiled by the London- based firm on Aug. 1, was the single biggest job-cutting announcement since Bank of America said in December 2008 that it would eliminate as many as 35,000 positions, the data show.

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A.I.G. to Sue Bank of America @NYTimesDealBook, 8/8/11 1:42 PM

A.I.G. to Sue Bank of America

The American International Group is planning to sue Bank of America over hundreds of mortgage-backed securities, adding to the surge of investors seeking compensation for the troubled mortgages that led to the financial crisis.


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The suit seeks to recover more than $10 billion in losses on $28 billion of investments, in possibly the largest mortgage-security-related action filed by a single investor.

NYTimes DealBook (@NYTimesDealBook)
8/8/11 1:42 PM
A.I.G. to Sue Bank of America

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US downgrade: a mere sideshow

Lex comments on the US debt downgrade and the real problems: Italy and Spain, who need EUR 840 billion for the next year...

Financial Times, 5:16pm Sunday 7th August 2011
US downgrade: a mere sideshow
Ignore the immediate market reaction to the first downgrade of US credit – there is bound to be a knee-jerk response

Read the full article at:

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Regulators send subpoenas to high-frequency traders

Regulators send subpoenas to high-frequency traders: report

(Reuters) - The U.S. securities regulator has sent subpoenas to high-frequency trading firms in relation to last year's "flash crash" probe, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is also examining whether these firms further exacerbated the panic on May 6, 2010, when U.S. stock markets suffered a record fall within minutes, the Journal said.

The sudden drop in stock prices on that day is referred to as "flash crash."

Some of the subpoenas have been sent since the start of the summer, the people told the Journal. The paper did not name the firms involved.

It is not known whether the subpoenas will result in any enforcement actions, the paper said. A subpoena does not necessarily reflect a suspicion of wrongdoing.

The practice of high-frequency trading involves deployment of rapid-fire machines that place thousands of very short-term bets, making markets and profiting on tiny price imbalances.

The SEC could not immediately be reached by Reuters for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)

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August 6, 2011

S&P cuts US debt rating to double A plus

It was a long time coming, well it's finally here:
S&P cuts US debt rating to double A plus
By Robin Harding in Washington and Aline van Duyn and Telis Demos in New York
Contentious and historic move highlights the weakened fiscal stature of the world's most powerful country
Read the full article at:
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August 5, 2011

Bank of America's Mortgage Problem Seems Far Worse Than Expected

Bank of America's Mortgage Problem Seems Far Worse Than Expected | August 05, 2011 | 04:33 PM EDT
Bank of America badly underestimated how much it would have to pay Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for troubled home loans.
In a filing Thursday, Bank of America [BAC 8.17  -0.66 (-7.47%) ] said the cost of buying back mortgages from Fannie and Freddie is already as high as high as $7.8 billion.
Earlier this year it had estimated that it would only have $3 billion of additional claims.
The bank has been buying back mortgages that didn't live up to the contractual representations and warranties it made when selling the mortgages. Many of them were originated by Countrywide Financial, the lending business Bank of America bought in 2008.
"Notably, in recent periods we have been experiencing elevated levels of new claims, including claims on default vintages and loans in which borrowers have made a significant number of payments (e.g., at least 25 payments), in each case, in numbers that were not expected based on historical experience," the bank said in an SEC filing.
"Additionally, the criteria by which the [government-sponsored enterprises] are ultimately willing to resolve claims have become more rigid over time," the bank said.
The filing was first reported by Bloomberg.
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Volume of deal messages tests Europe exchanges

Volume of deal messages tests Europe exchanges -

Extreme market volatility on Friday exposed the vulnerability of electronic trading systems across Europe as record numbers of messages carrying dealing instructions and market data knocked out systems in Italy and the Nordic region and froze the provision of quotes retail brokers in the UK.

One senior trader said: “The amount of [trade] executions generated is absolutely huge. We are breaking all sorts of records today, like numbers of messages generated.”


Messaging is the lifeblood of the world’s trading systems. A message – whether market data or a trade – is sent across trading platforms and fibre optic cables.


We’re beginning to see the European market infrastructure, especially around some exchanges, start to creak. We are having a tough time with price discovery, that is a concern especially as the market is moving around so rapidly.”


For a second day the Milan bourse in Italy had problems with market data for its blue-chip FTSE MIB 30 index and forced BATS Europe, a pan-European trading platform that competes with the Milan bourse, to take Italian market data out of its feeds.

Nasdaq OMX also experienced problems at its derivatives market: “We have issues with pricing updates on the Nordic derivatives markets and are working hard now to troubleshoot the issue,” a spokesman said.

Retail stock brokers in the UK struggled to obtain electronic quotes from market makers as Proquote, the LSE-owned system, suffered problems in early morning trading between 8am and 9am.

“We were asking for a quote and getting nothing back,” said John Douthwaite, chief executive of SimplyStockbroking, estimating that the broker had been unable to obtain electronic quotes for 40 minutes. The firm had reverted to trying to obtain quotes from market makers by telephone, he said, with inevitable delays for clients.


US-based Options Price Reporting Authority, the world’s largest single largest data feed, has estimated messages per second had hit an all-time peak of 1.5m in September last year from virtually nothing in 2003, and projects the figures to mushroom further in coming years.

Read the whole story on the FT: Volume of deal messages tests Europe exchanges -

-- The MasterFeeds

August 4, 2011

Italian Treasury "Discovered" Larger Cash Pile Than Expected; Likely To Withdraw From More If Not All 2011 Bond Auctions | ZeroHedge

Italian Treasury "Discovered" Larger Cash Pile Than Expected; Likely To Withdraw From More If Not All 2011 Bond Auctions | ZeroHedge

you gotta love it when you find some cash in your pocket....

"And the news just gets uber-surreal. According to a Reuters report, the Italian Treasury has a 'larger cash pile than generally perceived according to sources.' As a reminder this is precisely the excuse that Italy used when it scrambled to cancel medium and long-term auctions for late August as was previously noted. Which can only mean one thing: in order to prevent more ongoing routs, Italy will likely now withdraw from all bond auctions for the 'foreseeable future' in order to not give the market a chance to do some real price discovery. Sure enough, the subsequent Reuters headline says that the 'Italian Treasury's cash pile is enough to last most of 2011.' Translation: while Greece, Portugal and Ireland are unable to access capital markets, Italy, as we predicted, has just self-imposed a capital markets exile likely until the end of the year."
Italian Treasury "Discovered" Larger Cash Pile Than Expected; Likely To Withdraw From More If Not All 2011 Bond Auctions | ZeroHedge:


The MasterFeeds