Market Mover Thursday: Bernanke under subpoena on the Hill, Jobless claims up, Final GDP for 1Q -5.5%…

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., says the Federal Reserve failed to disclose details about its involvement in Bank of America’s controversial acquisition of Merrill Lynch, and today Fed Chairman Bernanke will testify before the House Oversight Committee about the deal. Rep. Issa discusses the allegations with CNBC.

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*FD- MiM are shareholders of BofA (and Merrill now also BofA, lol)

On this week’s jobless claims and GDP revisions (CNBC):

The number of people filing new jobless claims jumped unexpectedly last week, and the total unemployment benefit rolls rose to more than 6.7 million. In related news, the economy tumbled at a 5.5 percent pace in the first quarter, but appears to be doing better now.

The department said initial claims for jobless benefits rose last week by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 627,000. Economists expected a drop to 600,000, according to Thomson Reuters. The number of people continuing to receive unemployment insurance rose by 29,000 to 6.74 million, slightly above analysts’ estimates of 6.7 million. The four-week average of claims, which smooths out fluctuations, was largely unchanged, at 616,750.

Extended Benefits Unemployment Numbers up also:

Millions of Americans also are receiving jobless benefits through a federal extension enacted by Congress last year. For the week ending June 6, more than 2.4 million people received benefits under the extension, which adds 20 to 33 weeks on top of the 26 weeks typically provided by states. About 288,000 people also are receiving benefits under state emergency programs, bringing the total jobless benefit rolls to nearly 8.8 million that week. The extended benefits data lags initial claims by two weeks.

GDP:

…Gross domestic product, which measures total output within U.S. borders, dropped at a 5.5 percent annual rate in the first quarter after shrinking 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and 0.5 percent in the third quarter. The GDP reading was the final one for the first quarter. The Commerce Department initially said it contracted 6.1 percent, then revised that to 5.7 percent and finally to a 5.5 percent fall. GDP is expected to decline again in the current quarter ending June 30 though less severely than in the first quarter.

The Consumer:

…Consumer spending, which fuels two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased at a downwardly revised 1.4 percent rate instead of the 1.5 percent previously estimated….

more about “Issa on Bernanke Allegations – CNBC.com“, posted with vodpod
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June 25, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Politics, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. Comments off.

Making Their Move against the Fed: Bernanke under fire on BofA/Merrill: Email trail…

Okay Ben is under attack, and like it or not, with him the independence of the Federal Reserve. These emails were  leaked to CNBC by Congressional Investigators.

Our previous posts on Thain/Lewis here and here and here

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Insight on the emails leading up to the Bank of America-Merrill deal, with CNBC’s Scott Cohn; Joe diGenova, diGenova & Toensing; and CNBC’s Rick Santelli, Charlie Gasparino & Larry Kudlow.

Team TOTUS would like nothing better than to get Larry Summers in there in 2010, and Congress is lending a helping hand, issuing subpoenas and scheduling hearings, taking testimony from Ken Lewis. AG Cuomo was all over this commensurate with his role as NY AG in training to be Governor…this is going nowhere good…

Happier Days

Happier Days

(more…)

June 10, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Wall St. Comments off.

BREAKING UPDATE: Court Orders Thain to Testify!! Video Update: AG Cuomo: Bank of America ‘interfering in bonus probe’…Thain v Lewis, it’s on!!!…

BREAKING UPDATE: CNBC LIVE 5:07PM EST: JUDGE ORDERS THAIN TO TESTIFY FULLY AND ANSWER CUOMO….

GOOD! My mom lost over a quarter of a million dollars in value on the shares my Dad, God Bless his Soul, worked all his life at Merrill to leave her..We want to know what happened…

Meatloaf could have told Thain that no, Lewis wouldn’t love him forever….heh…there is No Paradise by the Auditors Light baby…..

glowin like the metal on the edge of a knife…whoa…hold on…all right..sing it Meatloaf!!

Anyone else remember seeing this video on the big screen as the opener before Rocky Horror in the Village at Midnight??

HELL YEAH!

….We were barely 17 and we were barely dressed..ohhh sha sha ahoo ….

Thain v Lewis

Thain v Lewis

CNBC Chyron says AG Cuomo is indicating Bank of America is interfering in his investigation…John Thain REFUSES to answer some questions on the Merrill bonuses….Thain statement says BofA lawyers are refusing to LET Thain answer

Gasparino says Cuomo filed a motion in NYS Supreme Court to stop BofA from interfering….and compel Thain to answer all the questions….WHO WAS IN THE ROOM WHEN DECISIONS MADE….

see our previous post on Lewis VS Thain here and here

(more…)

February 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . CITI, citigroup, Economy, Finance, Music, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, TARP, Uncategorized, Wall St. 8 comments.

Breaking: Lewis throws Thain overboard…Thain ‘resigns by mutual agreement’ from Merrill/BoA…

…But can Ken Lewis survive the kerfuffle?? Full Disclosure, I am a Merrill, now BofA shareholder. So Thain helped Merrill survive in one sense and did his full fiduciary duty to Merrill *perhaps* by keeping it alive through the BofA merger…but did Ken Lewis do his FD by BofA shareholders? And what about due diligence on the deal in mid December when the losses started mounting?

Bank Of America Personnel

In this Sept. 15, 2008 file photo, Merrill Lynch Chairman and CEO John Thain, left, smiles as Bank of America Chairman and CEO Ken Lewis, speaks at a news conference in New York. Thain will remain with Bank of America after it completes its acquisition of his investment bank, and serve in a role similar to the job he's held at Merrill. He will oversee global corporate and investment banking and most of BofA's global wealth and investment management operations. (AP Craig Ruttle)

And no one will cover this, but I want to know, did BofA’s refusal to voluntarily modify mortgages under FDIC outline by Sheila Bair, ultimately cause it’s own continued losses and pain in the Merrill MBS losses? Cause if so, isn’t that ironic? ( if no less painful to me as a shareholder or homeowner, very Alanis Morrisette) !!! I betcha the answer to that is a great big YES. Harakiri by stupidity and refusal to help the little guy eh? IT’S THE HOUSING STOOPID!!!!

On another note, this Thain/Lewis melodrama is an ongoing conflict we will see repeated b/w commercial banking and Wall St corporate cultures….yep…notice how CITI never got past that in its ginormous amalgamation of diverse corporate cultures…(For those keeping track the BofA/Merrill group combined has 25 Billion in TARP funds at last count)

CNBC reports:

Thain’s resignation comes less than a week after Bank of America was forced to seek $20 billion in government bailout money to absorb Merrill, which it agreed to buy last September amid the credit crisis.

The extra government money was needed because of an unexpected $15.31 billion loss by Merrill in the fourth quarter. The government also agreed to share in losses on about $118 billion in Merrill debt.

The relationship between Lewis and Thain has been strained because of Merrill’s unexpectedly large loss.

Merrill, meanwhile, decided to move up its year-end bonuses, doling out cash just days before it was officially acquired by Bank of America, it was reported earlier Thursday.

Expect LOTS more on those bonuses Merrill paid out….

WOTS is that Ken went to Treasury mid-December to say the merger was in jeopardy when the Merrill losses kept mounting as the market continued downward….Lewis has indicated Treasury told him ‘do the deal we have your back’!

So, Ken apparently feels this is sufficient to cover HIS fiduciary duty to the BofA shareholders since he never told them/us about the pending Merrill losses prior to the BofA shareholder vote on the merger…

Someone… Ken clearly, has the long knives out for Thain, Charlie Gasparino is on CNBC Live releasing the details of the million dollar makeover Thain gave his exec suite at Merrill…I was burned by Thain as a New York Stock Exchange shareholder also, that tanked on his watch too…but how much is what was happening on the street at the time?

Will we BofA shareholders in the common stock live to see another year as a free company of capitalism? How much farther can our common share equity be diluted by capital injections by the government? Inquiring minds, and my mom’s pension fund, want to know!!!

More as it continues to develop….

January 22, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . CITI, citigroup, Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Music, Politics, Popular Culture, TARP, Wall St. 9 comments.

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