Afternoon Links 4-28

April 28, 2010

Asset bubble watch: Junk bonds back at par (Detrixhe, Bloomberg) “High-yield bonds rose to 99.67 cents on the dollar, up from a low of 54.78 cents in December 2008, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data. The debt last reached par on June 11, 2007, just before credit markets began to seize up as losses on subprime mortgages spread.” How quickly we forget...

You won’t find the Fed worried about asset bubbles. To wit…

Fed repeats rates to stay low for an extended period (FOMC statement) Note Hoenig’s dissent at the bottom. It’s a shame he doesn’t have Bernanke’s job…

S&P downgrades Spain (Chang, Marketwatch) Believe it or not, S&P still had Spain ranked AAA. This downgrade was a long time in coming…

Chart: Berkshire Hathaway’s derivatives exposure (Culp, Reuters)

Chart: Bank holdings of Greek debt, by country (Culp, Reuters) The figures from the Bank for International Settlements include private claims, so this isn’t just Greek sovereign debt….still generally useful as a guide to country exposure to Greece.

Goldman armed salespeople to dump bonds (Gallu/Westbrook, Bloomberg) This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but Carl Levin’s committee is doing us all a service by putting Goldman’s sales practices in the broad light of day.

Gold hits 2010 high (Harvey, Reuters) More interesting, gold reached a record high priced in euro, sterling and Swiss Francs. Price in yen it’s at a level not seen since 1983.

Flash game: Play as Megaman and other famous Nintendo characters in Super Mario World (playedonline.com)

Calling Wall Street a casino is an insult to Vegas (Harper, BW) With respect to the derivatives business, this is particularly true. Casinos are required to hold cash in their vaults to pay out winnings. Not so derivatives, where counterparties often don’t post collateral.

Don’t count your chickens….(watch the first minute)

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