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  • 8:00 PM » August CPI Declines Slightly
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 8:00 PM by
    The BLS has released the . Let's take a look. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.4 percent in August, before seasonal adjustment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The August level of 219.086 (1982-84=100) was 5.4 percent higher than in August 2007. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI-U decreased 0.1 percent in August, following a 0.8 percent increase in July. The index for energy fell 3.1 percent in August after three consecutive sharp increases. The gasoline index declined by 4.2 percent in August but is 35.6 percent higher than in August 2007. The index for household energy, which was up 3.8 percent in July, declined 1.6 percent in August. The food index advanced 0.6 percent in August after rising 0.9 percent in July. The index for food at home rose 0.8 percent in August after a 1.2 percent increase in July and is up 7.5 percent over the past year. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent in August after increasing 0.3 percent in July. Table A. Percent changes in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) click on chart for sharper image In the grand scheme of things a one month decline of -0.1% is nothing to write home about. Also note that the CPI is still +5.4% vs. a year ago. However, get used to seeing the word "decline" because more of it is coming. If oil prices keep falling (likely), or even if they stabilize around this area we are going to see some negative year over year CPI readings in the upcoming months. Mike "Mish" Shedlock Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Visit to learn more about wealth management for investors seeking strong performance with low volatility.
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  • 8:00 PM » Closing Commentary September 16 2008
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 8:00 PM by
    Prices of Treasury coupon securities are registering broad based losses in a day dominated by the fortunes, misfortunes and future prospects of AIG. There were many stories and comments about that company but a late in the day story that the Fed was reconsidering their position on aiding AIG sparked a bond market sell off and an equity market rally.The yield on the 2 year note has climbed 19 basis points and yields 1.90 percent. The yield on the 5 year note has climbed 13 basis points to 2.66 percent, The yield on the benchmark 10 year note has jumped 9 basis points to 3.48 percent and the Long Bond is the relative value winner of the day as its yield climbed only 6 basis points to 4.08 percent. (The yield on the Long Bond at one point today established a record modern era low yield of 3.90 percent.) The 2 year/ 10 year spread tightened by 10 basis points to 159 basis points. The 2 year /5 year /30 year butterfly trade cheapened by 12 basis points to 65 basis points. The sticky funds rate presented a problem today and at last inquiry was trading near the target rate. Overnight Libor for tomorrow is trading at 2.93 percent. One trader with whom I spoke thought that it would drift higher onto the setting tomorrow as the failure of the FOMC to slash rates will engender disappointment. Swap spreads are wider by 3 ½ basis points in the 2 year sector, 3 ½ basis point in the 5 year sector and 1 1/4 basis points wider in the 10 year sector. Mortgages as represented by the FNMA 5 percent coupon lagged Treasuries by 14 /32. Originators were better sellers but hedge funds and money managers were better buyers. The IG 10 has recovered along with stocks and is trading 189/192 after trading about 25 wider than that this morning. AIG CDS has improved about 7 points on the story of possible Fed action to aid them. The CDS are currently 35/38 but one salesman noted that there was much quoting but little risk taking. He expected that to be the case until there is clarity on the issues...
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  • 8:00 PM » 50% Retracement of 2002-2007 Rally
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 8:00 PM by
    It has long been my perspective that following the great crash of 2000, we would be stuck in a secular bear market, with cyclical rallies and sell offs. The lows set in October 2002/March 2003, up until the October 2007 highs, was an example of a cyclical rally. The selloff from October 2007 has been a cyclical bear within the larger context of a secular bear. As of today, we have retraced exactly half of the gains from the 2002/03 lows up to the 2007 highs. Given how horrific the news flow is, the general psychology is very negative. Not nearly enough to create a lasting low, but certainly enough to generate an interesting bounce. That 50% retrace is where one would expect to see some sort of *rally. I don't expect it to last very long, and its really a long term selling opportunity, but those with aggressive short positions should consider hedging those positions. I can understand not wanting to cover, given the dislocation of a potential AIG failure would cause. But at this point, the spring has been wound pretty tight. * Be aware that I tend to be early, and that active traders should always scale in. > Dow Industrial Average, Weekly (2002-08) click for larger chart > S&P500, Weekly (2002-08) click for larger chart Charts courtesy of , Bloomberg >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 6:12 PM » Morgan Stanley profit falls 3 percent
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 6:12 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley said on Tuesday its third-quarter earnings fell nearly 3 percent, trouncing expectations, even as the year-old credit crunch slowed deal activity to a crawl and created one the toughest trading environments in decades.
  • 6:11 PM » U.S. banks put heat on SEC to curb illegal shorting
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 6:11 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. banking group increased the pressure on securities regulators to clamp down on the illegal short-selling as declines in shares of major financial companies accelerated this week.
  • 6:11 PM » Fed Considering Lending to AIG
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 6:11 PM by
    I guess someone at the Fed figured that letting the financial system blow up on its watch was not such a hot idea. But as far as the Fed's purview is concerned, lending to AIG is just about as far afield as lending to General Motors. What is surprising (at least based on this report) is that the Fed appears to be going solo, AIG is a global firm with considerable operations in Asia. Having other central banks or private firms participate in the package would improve appearances, as well as spread risks more equitably (of course, rounding up enough of the usual suspects to go along is another matter....) From The Federal Reserve is considering extending a ``loan package'' to American International Group Inc., the insurer facing a cash shortage, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The stance by federal regulators is a reversal from a position they held as late as last night, and people with knowledge of the talks are ``cautiously optimistic,'' said the person, who declined to be identified because negotiations are confidential. The person gave no timetable for reaching an agreement or estimate on how much money New York-based AIG would need.... ``To the extent that a bridge loan or some type of liquidity provision allows AIG time to sell some assets on its balance sheet and time to maintain it's investment-grade rating at A or higher, I think it's a good move,'' Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of Newport Beach, California-based Pacific Investment Management Co. said ... ``The Fed doesn't have to necessarily put its own capital at risk,'' Gross said. ``We'll see what the plan says, but I think it's definitely a necessary step.'' Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were working with AIG to determine how much the insurer needs, said two people familiar with the talks yesterday. Goldman has helped the Fed appreciate the effects that an AIG collapse would have on financial...
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  • 6:11 PM » AIG: The Cramer Conspiracy Theory
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 6:11 PM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: You knew that someone was going to come out and say it. But did you know it was going to be ? Shorts were able to take AIG down from the $20s to $4 in a week's time. To be sure, there were plenty of problems with AIG -- including, presumably, the insurance they may have offered on the solvency of Lehman and on their debt that they would be expected to pay off. What matters, though, is how easily hedge funds were able to take this company down through endless selling.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 4:29 PM » Five Things You Need to Know: The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 4:29 PM by
    Kevin Depew's Five Things You Need to Know to stay ahead of the pack on Wall Street: Heinous September for Knife Catchers... Monopoly Man Wields a 15-Inch Blade... Fed Stands Pat... We Are Now Men of Letters... The Holy Grail of Macroecononics September is always a heinous and dangerous time to be involved in financial markets. On a cool September day it's not uncommon to slide onto a bar stool in a pub on Nassau St. or William St. in Manhattan's Financial District and find the guy next to you sobbing quietly and pawing at a pint glass with bloody stumps ...
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  • 4:28 PM » Why Wall Street Will Never Be the Same
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 4:28 PM by
    Two years ago I wrote a column called The State of the Art. It discussed the evolution of Wall Street and the likely path it would follow. I pulled it up last night and its a bit frightening how prescient it was. Twas early but well that's how we roll in these parts.A new world order is upon us. A seismic shift. An inside out process that is redefining the brokerage intermediary. There are two ways we can react to this--run from it or embrace it. It's happening either way and the onus is on us to adapt.The greatest opportunities are bred from the ...
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  • 4:28 PM » Obama accuses McCain of ignoring Wall St excesses
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 4:28 PM by Washington Post
    GOLDEN, Colo. (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama sought on Tuesday to link John McCain to the turmoil sweeping Wall Street, saying he turned a blind eye to market recklessness that left U.S. economy in grave danger.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 4:28 PM » Greenberg's CV Starr may try to take over AIG
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 4:28 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A company led by Hank Greenberg, a former chief executive of American International Group, may try to take over the insurer in a proxy fight or tender offer, according to a regulatory filing.
  • 1:38 PM » WaMu Shares Rise as Chase Buyout Disputed
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 1:38 PM by
    Shares of Washington Mutual jumped Tuesday morning as speculation grew regarding a possible Chase bid. The Daily Mail, more renowned for its coverage of stars without makeup than financials, ran a story claiming JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and new WaMu chief Alan Fishman were in direct talks. Of course, it’s unclear if this is something [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 12:36 PM » First Am Touts Broker Price Opinion Milestone
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 12:36 PM by
    First American Residential Value View, a well-known provider of broker-price opinions, said Monday that the company has completed more than 3 million BPOs since its inception in 1995. The company manages a nationwide network of more than 14,000 licensed real estate and valuation professionals to create independent third-party opinions of value, known as broker price [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 12:19 PM » Thornburg Mortgage Back on the Ropes
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 12:19 PM by
    After narrowly surviving a potential bankruptcy at the end of March, ultra-prime mortgage specialist Thornburg Mortgage Inc. (TMA: 0.2242 -35.94%) said Tuesday morning in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was back at the edge of bankrupcty again as investors that had initially agreed to hold off have “made a series [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 11:32 AM » Wells Fargo Takes Another Hit
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 11:32 AM by
    Second liens. Fannie, Freddie preferred equity holdings. And, now, Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC: 34.80 +12.26%) said after market close on Tuesday that it held roughly $250 million in exposure to now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH: 0.2235 +6.43%). The banking giant said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 11:17 AM » Goldman Weakens in Q3
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 11:17 AM by
    Seen as one of the strongest investment banks — independent or otherwise — to emerge through the ongoing credit crisis, third quarter results at Goldman Sachs (GS: 129.00 -4.80%) show that even those that managed to steer clear of questionable mortgages and even more questionable securities tied to them are running into stiff market headwinds. [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 10:29 AM » Home Prices to Remain Under Pressure: Report
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 10:29 AM by
    At least one analyst has come to the same conclusion as HW’s key sources over the past few months: the non-agency securitization market is likely doomed. The failure of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH: 0.2235 +6.43%) on Monday morning led analyst Meredith Whitney at Oppenheimer & Co. to suggest late Monday that home prices will [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 10:29 AM » Lehman Brothers Toast for Sale on Ebay
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 10:29 AM by
    An enterprising auctioneer has put a piece of toast containing the initials of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns up for sale on Ebay. The seller explains in the item description that he had placed a single slice of bread in his toaster, only to find the initials “LB” on one side and “BS” on the other [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:58 AM » Brokeback Lehman
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 9:58 AM by
    We can’t stop laughing here in the HW newsroom, and with a fist pound to DealBreaker for the title of this post, off we go….watch the two guys in the upper right hand corner behind the journalist reporting on Lehman’s collapse. Live TV at its most vulnerable. ICYMI - CNN - 2 Guys making-out in front [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:40 AM » Inflation Eases on Oil Price Drops
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 9:40 AM by WSJ
    Consumer prices fell 0.1% last month for the first time in nearly two years, reflecting a rapid drop in oil prices and lower prices for autos and housing.
  • 9:39 AM » Goldman's Net Drops 70%
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 9:39 AM by WSJ
    Goldman Sachs's earnings fell 70% amid declining client activity and asset valuations as return on equity fell. Shares of the Wall Street broker fell more than 7%.
  • 9:38 AM » Fed, world central banks boost liquidity for second day
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 9:38 AM by Market Watch
    Central banks around the world on Tuesday took steps for the second straight day to keep money markets from seizing up due to fears of further turmoil in the financial sector following the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
  • 9:38 AM » McCain: 'Let AIG Fail'; Wants Fed Probe of Wall Street 
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 9:38 AM by CNBC
  • 9:38 AM » Consumer Prices Ease on Cheaper Energy
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 9:38 AM by CNBC
  • 8:33 AM » The Crime In Buying AIG Time
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 8:33 AM by
    American International Group (AIG) is on the verge of bankruptcy. It needs to raise $75 billion dollars quickly. That is a tough task in any market and a Herculean task in this one. Fitch compounded AIG's woes on Monday with a . Fitch Ratings said late Monday that it downgraded American International Group because the insurer's ability to raise capital for its holding company has become "extremely limited." Fitch cut the issuer default rating and outstanding debt ratings of AIG to A from AA-. AIG is flirting with bankruptcy and all Fitch was willing to do was downgrade it to "A". Fitch did not downgrade Lehman (LEH) from "A" until Lehman went bankrupt. (See for more details). The downgrade of AIG to "A" is further proof of just how useless Fitch's ratings are. AIG's Race Against Time For Cash The New York Times is reporting Major credit ratings agencies downgraded the American International Group late Monday, worsening its financial health, as Federal Reserve officials and two leading investment banks were in urgent talks to put together a $75 billion line of credit to stave off a crisis at the company. The day started off with news that A.I.G. had requested a $40 billion bridge loan from the Fed, a request that was rebuffed, and ended with the word that its need had soared to $75 billion. The firm suffered several credit-rating downgrades Monday evening, including cuts by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. The complex discussions, continuing into the night as a deal was sought before United States markets open on Tuesday, involved New York state regulators, federal regulators, private equity firms and Wall Street banks that rely on A.I.G.’s ability to honor its derivatives contracts, as they do with Lehman Brothers. The talks about backing up A.I.G. began last week, when the company approached regulators, saying it was concerned that if a deal could not be put together to save Lehman, A.I.G.’s...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 8:32 AM » Analysts see additional write-down at Merrill Lynch
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 8:32 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - At least two analysts said Merrill Lynch & Co Inc, the world's largest retail brokerage, could face additional write-downs in the coming quarters if market conditions do not improve.
  • 8:32 AM » British inflation hits 16-year high of 4.7 percent
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 8:32 AM by Reuters
    LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's inflation rate rose to its highest level in 16 years in August and more than double the central bank's target, requiring the Bank of England to explain publicly why prices are rising so fast.
  • 8:32 AM » Fannie/Freddie Nationalization: Where Will It End? - Seeking Alpha
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 8:32 AM by Seeking Alpha
    Seeking Alpha, NY - 7 minutes ago Last week, the US government took the unprecedented step of effectively nationalizing mortgage giants Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE). ...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 5:55 AM » Shareholders Sue Merrill Over Proposed BofA Deal
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 5:55 AM by CNBC
  • 5:54 AM » Oil Dives $3, Hammered Again by Bank Woes
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 5:54 AM by CNBC
  • 5:53 AM » Wachovia CEO Offers Plan for Markets
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 5:53 AM by CNBC
  • 5:52 AM » Goldman Sachs Earnings: Still Smartest in the Room?
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 5:52 AM by CNBC
  • 5:51 AM » Oil Prices Likely to Keep Falling Despite Big Drop
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 5:51 AM by CNBC
  • 5:50 AM » Sell-off spreads to insurers
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 5:50 AM by
    Insurance stocks joined banks at the forefront of a second session of heavy selling on European equity markets, as concern about the financial health of AIG deepened after it was downgraded. Shares fell heavily in Asia following Wall Street's worst day since the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001 as the continuing fall-out from the collapse of Lehman Brothers sent ructions through the world's financial markets
  • 5:49 AM » More from Nouriel Roubini
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 5:49 AM by
    Now, this really is "piling on" by Nouriel Roubini, an economist who, given how closely reality is matching up with his dire forecasts, is quickly rising to "rock star" status. It's almost as if he's trying to incite the crowd with his "slow motion run on the bank" concern, the video below having probably already been played by hundreds of thousands of people after of Yahoo! for most of the afternoon. While most of the population probably doesn't understand that, in our fractional reserve system, all banks are fundamentally insolvent, most people with more than the FDIC insurance limit of $100,000 on deposit know enough to spread the money around. For those people who have so much more than the $100,000 limit that "spreading it around" is impractical, it's kind of hard to feel sorry for you. My grandmother (1905-1987) used to always caution her children and grandchildren to "spread their money around". Having lived her prime years during the Great Depression, that was a lesson that was proabaly impossible to unlearn.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 5:48 AM » Holiday Sales Could Be Weakest in 17 Years: Deloitte
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 5:48 AM by CNBC
  • 5:47 AM » Irwin Kellner: Government should help stabilize housing market
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 5:47 AM by Market Watch
    Show me the bottom of housing prices and I’ll show you the end of the financial crisis.
  • 5:46 AM » Old-School Banks Emerge on Top
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 5:46 AM by WSJ
    The balance of power in the banking industry is shifting to the old-fashioned business of chasing customer deposits and building branch networks.
  • 5:45 AM » ECB, BOE Pump Cash Into Markets
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 5:45 AM by WSJ
    Central banks around the world pumped cash into money markets amid the turmoil on Wall Street. Expectations are rising that rates will be cut.
  • 5:44 AM » GE Shares Fall to 5½-Year Low
    Published Tue, Sep 16 2008 5:44 AM by WSJ
    Investors seeking other potential victims of the financial crisis alighted on GE, sending the conglomerate's stock to a 5½-year low.
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