It is the 19th of February 2020


S&P Confirms That NJ Plan To Pay 50% Of Required Pension Contributions Is Bad; Maintains Negative Outlook

Standard and Poor's credit rating analysts for the state of New Jersey, David Hitchcock and John Sugden, apparently think that funding only half of your state's annual actuarially determined contributions is a bad thing...who knew?  So, just to make sure we achieve crystal clarity here, S&P believes that adding to NJ's $66 billion pension underfunded liability, which would be much higher but for a ridiculous assumption the state makes in setting its return on assets at an artificially high rate of 7.65%, each and every year by contributing less to the fund than what is paid out in benefits, is a bad thing?

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These SEC Insider Emails Reveal Why No Bankers Have Gone To Jail

Back In April 2010, the world was stunned when in what would be the first major case dealing with the fallout from the endemic fraud prevalent during the last housing and credit bubble, the SEC charged Goldman Sachs and Paulson with securities fraud over the infamous Abacus CDO, which was subsequently featured in Michael Lewis' Big Short book and movie. There was also hope that for the first time, bankers - ostensibly from the company that does "God's work" - would go to prison. None of that happened, and instead just a few months later Goldman walked away with a $550 million slap on the wrist, while a young Goldman banker, French citizen Fabrice Tourre, who was in his late 20's when Goldman was quietly colluding with Paulson to package a "time bomb" CDO it knew would explode in just a few months, was the only Goldman banker prosecuted. In 2013, Fabrice Tourre, a low-ranking trader,  was found liable for violating securities laws and ordered to pay more than $850,000. He also avoided prison time and is now a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago.

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"Nobody Is Making Money" - Hedge Fund "VIP Basket" Obliterated, Plunges To Record Low

Exactly one month ago, when we learned that Goldman was looking to package its Hedge Fund VIP basket of stocks into an ETF we said, half jokingly, that we have discovered a "guaranteed way to make money: Short Goldman's "Hedge Fund VIP" ETF", adding that "with 5 of their Top 6 trades for 2016 already stopped out, and their recent heavy losses from swing-trading Gold,  one might question the demand for an ETF that tracks Goldman Sachs' hedge fund research tips, but, as Bloomberg reports,  David Kostin's "Hedge Fund Trend Monitor" report - tracking the 50 companies that matter most to hedge funds - is about to be launched."

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