Briefings

Archive August 2018

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Week InReview: August 31, 2018

Mnuchin 'content' with yield curve, breaks with Trump on Powell

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he's "not at all concerned" about the convergence of short- and long-term market interest rates at a time when some investors are worried the flattening yield curve signals a U.S. recession is coming. Having a flat curve is something the Treasury is "perfectly content with," given the government's issuance of long-term debt, he said. Mnuchin also said he doesn't view the curve as a predictor of economic growth. (Bloomberg Markets | Aug 28)

Week InAdvance: August 27, 2018

Tuesday, Aug 28: FINANCIAL INDUSTRY REGULATORY AUTHORITY - The self-regulatory organization will hold an annual meeting of firms to elect individuals to the FINRA Board of Governors.

Week InReview: August 24, 2018

More than two years since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, negotiations with Brussels have hit a wall and voters are scratching their heads trying to understand what's happening. Here's a game that allows you to play the role of prime minister. Could you do better than Theresa May? Outcomes vary from a general election to a second referendum, and if you make the right choices, a deal!

Week InAdvance: August 20, 2018

Wednesday, Aug 22

FEDERAL RESERVE:

FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) releases minutes from its July meeting, at which officials left rates unchanged and signalled it was on course for a further increase in short-term interest rates as soon as September. Investors will study the minutes for tweaks to its assessment of the economy and inflation or trade talk. And more!

Week InReview: August 17, 2018

U.S. pursues one of the biggest mortgage-fraud probes since the financial crisis

At issue is whether income from commercial properties was falsified to support larger loans - which often became part of mortgage securities. (The Wall Street Journal | Aug 15) and more!

Week InAdvance: August 13, 2018

on the hill: House in recess; back in Sept.; Senate on recess until Aug. 15.

Week InReview: August 10, 2018

Trump administration cuts staff at financial markets watchdog

40 employees at the Office of Financial Research (OFR) - tasked with identifying looming financial risks - were formally told they will lose their jobs as part of a broader reorganization of the agency that was created in the wake of the 2007-2009 global financial crisis. And more!

Week InAdvance: August 6, 2018

House on August recess. Senate on recess until Aug. 15.

Week InReview: August 3, 2018

Darts and monkeys.

"I wrote yesterday:

'I am always curious, when people talk about making random stock picks by throwing darts, or hiring a monkey, or hiring a monkey to throw darts, if they are talking metaphorically, or if they are actually throwing darts at the stock tables. Where do you even get printed stock tables these days?'

"That seems to have annoyed some people who work at publications that print stock charts. Sorry! Anyway yes the Wall Street Journal really did throw darts at stock tables to make its random stock picks, and those picks did outperform the best picks of the best hedge-fund managers at this year's Sohn Conference. There is video. (Of the dart-throwing, not the outperformance.) I don't know if the Journal ever actually used a monkey, but some Russian jokers did back in 2010. (The monkey did great.)

"On the other hand, while this controversy was raging, Facebook Inc.'s stock was plummeting; it closed down 19 percent yesterday. Jeffrey Gundlach's Sohn idea was shorting Facebook. The monkeys never saw it coming."

- Matt Levine, Bloomberg View

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