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JPMorgan’s Senior Officers’ Addiction to Gambling on Derivatives – William Black

JPMorgan’s flacks and apologists have, unintentionally, exposed the fact that their cover story – hedging gone bad – is false.  JPMorgan runs the world’s largest gambling operation in financial derivatives.  The New York Times reported the … Continue reading

JPMorgan’s Senior Officers’ Addiction to Gambling on Derivatives

Warren Buffett Stocks: Where the Oracle of Omaha Puts his Money

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) has been on a buying spree, adding a plethora of positions to its storied portfolio of “Warren Buffett stocks.”

Last Wednesday the conglomerate released its stock holdings. Mutual funds and retail investors closely watch the picks to dissect the selections for hints about the company’s tactics. Other simply want to mimic Buffett’s moves.

This quarter Berkshire disclosed new stakes in General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Viacom (Nasdaq: VIAB), larger positions in Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), and a small increased position in International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM).

Declining stakes were noted in Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG).

The Berkshire portfolio ballooned to $89.1 billion on March 31 from $77 billion at the end of 2011. The firm is the largest shareholder in Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), Wells Fargo and American Express (NYSE: AXP).

The additions come as Buffett and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger have tasked former hedge fund managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler with more investing duties. The two were brought into Berkshire to help oversee investments, as Buffett, Berkshire’s CEO and chairman, transitions the company for his ultimate departure.

The 81-year-old sage acknowledged that he makes Berkshire’s larger bets, while his team of stock pickers is responsible for smaller wagers.

In his widely read shareholder letter in February, Buffett penned, “When our quarterly filings report relatively small holdings, these are not likely to be buys I made but rather holdings denoting purchases by Todd or Ted. They have the brains, judgments and character” to do the job.

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Today Germany is the Big Loser, Not Greece

Today Germany is the Big Loser, Not Greece

By Marshall Auerback Given the German electorate’s long standing aversion to “fiscal profligacy” and soft currency economics (said to lead inexorably to Weimar style hyperinflation), one wonders why on earth Germany actually acceded to a “big and broad” European Monetary … Continue reading

Today Germany is the Big Loser, Not Greece

Dancing Shoes – James Howard Kunstler

So many shoes are dropping out there that reality is starting to look and sound like the tap-line in a Busby Berkeley production number. The meme-scape, too, is humming with viral transmissions of dire doings. Is JP Morgan unwinding like a 1911 knitted woolen Yale varsity sweater? Did it booby-trap the credit default swap universe in the process, and is that getting ready to blow? The whole world is hanging by its fingernails, refusing to be dragged into the future.