Weil on Finance, P.M.: Quantitative Tea Partying
Hello again, View fans. And now on to your daily afternoon annotated links.
How bondholders have benefitted from the Tea Party's antics
All we needed to get the bond bubble growing again was a government shutdown and a debt-ceiling standoff so the Federal Reserve would wait until next year to cut back on quantitative easing. (See how easy that was?) Now the animal spirits are back along with demand for higher-risk assets, write Callie Bost and Lisa Abramowicz of Bloomberg News: "Returns for the year on bonds of companies worldwide turned positive this month for the first time since May. Emerging markets are posting their first back-to-back monthly gains of 2013. Yields on 10-year Treasuries, which are a benchmark for everything from corporate debt to mortgages, fell last week to the lowest levels since Aug. 9, keeping alive the three decade bull market in bonds."
I'm a big fan of this idea from Jon Favreau in an article today for the Daily Beast blasting the Tea Party: "In 2014, candidates of both parties should challenge their rivals to sign a No Shutdown Pledge and a No Default Pledge." I proposed a pledge along the same lines in a blog post last week. Here's hoping the idea catches on soon with politicians and voters.
Is Janet Yellen a hawk ?
That's what Steve Hanke, a Johns Hopkins University economics professor, suggests in this essay on the Cato Institute's website. The nominee to be the next Federal Reserve chairman "is hardly the dove she is made out to be," he writes. "Indeed, when it comes to money supply, Dr. Yellen seems, well, downright hawkish." He explains that "given Yellen's support for continuing the Fed's interest rate and easing policies, it would appear that, when it comes to state money, Yellen is indeed a dove." Yet "if Yellen were truly a dove, she would have been advocating laxity in bank capital requirements and supervision, not stringency. Alas, despite the massive regulatory burden that has been heaped upon the banking system by the Basel III and Dodd-Frank regulatory regimes, and the repeated capital hikes that have been imposed on banks by domestic and international regulators, Yellen is not satisfied. Indeed, she calls this effort `unfinished business.' These are clearly not the words of a dove, properly understood."
Another chapter in the Lehman wars comes to a close
Francine McKenna, who writes a blog about the auditing profession, riffs here about Ernst & Young LLP's $99 million settlement with investors over its audits for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.: "The $99 million EY will pay is more than Lehman's officers and directors, who settled for $90 million. That's a big deal considering the executives typically say, `The auditors said it was OK,' and the auditors say, `Management duped us.' But it isn't that much considering that EY agreed to pay C$117 million ($117.6 million) last December to settle claims in a Canadian class action suit against Sino-Forest Corp., a Chinese reverse-merger fraud."
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster gained just 11 yards on four carries Sunday before pulling a hamstring and leaving the game in a 17-16 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Only three days before, a new company called Fantex filed papers for an initial public offering to sell shares backed by Foster's football-related earnings, including endorsements. I can hear the Wall Street analysts already: "Great quarter, guys."
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