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Things That Scare Me: Failed Bond Auctions

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This can be a frightening place and time.

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The following is a list of things that scare me:

  • That Justin Rohrlich, the driving voice of Hoofy and Boo, accepted my challenge at last night's MV Staff Feast and ate five large cupcakes in five minutes for $500. And he's still not in…

  • UBS (UBS), the second-biggest underwriter of auction-rate securities, will no longer buy deals that fail to attract enough bidders, joining a growing number of dealers stepping back from that $300 billion market.

  • The largest underwriter of those instruments is Citigroup (C).

  • According to a report by Bank America (BAC), 80% of all auctions of bonds sold by cities, hospitals and student loan agencies were unsuccessful yesterday.

  • That, Minyans notwithstanding, Mom and Pop retail won't know about this until it's too late. Just like the subprime.

  • Carnies. Circus folk. Nomads, really. They've got small hands and smell like cabbage.

  • Yesterday was the first three day winning streak in the S&P since December. The last time we saw this sorta tri-fecta, it was right before a waterfall decline. (Thank you Prof. Cooper!)

  • Baidu $300 (BIDU), particularly the first test after a spike.

  • That MBIA (MBI) CFO Charles Chaplin just said that the world's biggest bond insurer is equipped to survive the housing slump and dismissed suggestions that the industry needs a rescue or stronger federal oversight.

  • The two-sided risk that is a function of the fate of these bond insurers.

  • That Moody's said it would complete its review of the bond insurers in mid- to late-February and it's now mid-February.

  • Bees.

  • The likelihood that societal acrimony will manifest as we draw closer to the election.

  • As geopolitical tensions spread from the Middle East to Russia to Venezuela.

  • What risk appetites will look like when the other side of zero percent financing comes home to roost.

  • What my appetite looks like after tossing a few back with my Minyan family.

  • The serendipity that Big Ben will chime on the anniversary of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

  • Angelo Mozilla's tan.

  • We can rally another 600 points in the DJIA and still be entrenched in the negative pattern of lower highs.

  • My Raiders.

  • Over the last three sessions, the S&P 500 is up 3% and the broker dealer index is flat.

  • The notion that a man could run into his wife at a brothel!


R.P.

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