Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012 - Monday's Weekly Links

In addition to the article that everyone is talking about (Greg Smith's post in the New York Times about leaving Goldman Sachs) Here are the most interesting links from the past week:

"20 Books Every Trader Should Know About" - By Brian Lund

Key Excerpt:  "Books are good for a general overview of the markets and trading concepts, trader biographies and anecdotal stories, and trading psychology, but by the very nature of their format, they are too limited and not dynamic enough to be relevant for very long. Use them for a foundation, for ideas, but mostly for enjoyment.  I think you will find that your trading will drastically improve that day you decided to stop looking for the latest trading book, and “write your own book” on trading." (Click Title for the list of books)

"The 'QE is Off' Trade" - by Jerry Khachoyan

Key Excerpt: "Over the past 2 days, we saw what I call the “QE is Off” trade. What does that mean? Basically, asset classes that were going up because of the $FED’s “Expanding balance sheet” get sold off. In turn, asset classes that were going down because of the $FED’s expanding balance sheet are going up.Gold is getting sold off. This has acted as an “inflation hedge” (even though there is no historical evidence for this) as the $FED’s balance sheet has ballooned over the past 3-4 years.Another asset that got hit because of the “QE is off” trade are treasuries.The dollar also joined in on the “QE is off” trade. However, the dollar was pushed up as QE has been viewed negatively for the dollar over the past few years."

 "SEC charges Sharespost, Felix Over Pre-IPO Trading" - By By Sarah N. Lynch and Aruna Viswanatha

Key Excerpt: "The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday charged SharesPost, which matches buyers and sellers of private shares, and Chief Executive Greg Brogger with failing to register as a broker-dealer before offering securities. SharesPost and its CEO agreed to settle without admitting or denying the allegations. The company will pay $80,000 in penalties while Brogger will pay $20,000. The SEC also brought charges against two private funds and their managers for allegedly misleading investors about hidden fees in Facebook stock offerings."

 "Paypal is Said to Undercut Square With Card-Swiping Device" - By

Key Excerpt: "PayPal Inc., trying to coax cab drivers and small merchants to use its payment system, will offer a mobile credit-card-swiping device that’s slightly cheaper than Square Inc.’s product, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The company plans to unveil a card reader tomorrow that charges merchants 2.7 percent on transactions, less than Square’s 2.75 percent, the people said. The device is a blue triangle and plugs into the headphone jack of a smartphone, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information hasn’t been made public. PayPal has more competitors than just Square, which accepts cards from MasterCard Inc., Visa Inc., Discover Financial Services and American Express Co. Both Intuit Inc. and VeriFone Systems Inc. offer devices that let consumers pay with credit cards over their mobile phones. It’s unclear what cards the PayPal product will support, Luria said."

"What America Sells To The World" - By Lam Vo

Key Excerpt: "Here's a closer look at our goods exports in 2011. The two biggest categories — industrial supplies and capital goods — account for about $500 billion a piece."

"Three Disturbing Trends in Commercial Banking" - By Christopher Papagianis

Key Excerpt: 1. No new banks were chartered in 2011
"The Financial Times reported recently that not one new, or de novo, bank was created in 2011. (The FDIC actually lists three new bank charters for 2011 — the lowest number in more than 75 years — but they all involved bank takeovers of other failed banks.) What are some of the possible implications? First, investors are clearly still gun-shy about banking. The dearth of new small banks is also a negative sign for small businesses generally, as they are particularly dependent on small banks for loans. Since most employment growth in the U.S. comes from small businesses that use external finance to grow into large businesses, a decline in these businesses’ access to loans could limit future employment growth as well."

"Why I am leaving Goldman Sachs" - By Greg Smith

 Key Excerpt: "TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it. To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for."

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