The Banking and Strategy Initiative

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US Economy: Markets near a record close as FOMC predictably upgrades economy

President Barack Obama, left, flanked by Treas...

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Markets get near to a successful record close above levels last seen in 2007 as Bernanke reiterates his last few dictums on the Economy while noting with concerns the lack of real progress on the Jobs front. Thus the Fed distanced itself from requirements of further QE while the resturn of trading volumes and profits hits the financials positively, JP Morgan back at $42 levels and Goldman Sachs back as the stronger trade. Interestingly the Fed is quite happy with the inflation impact of Oil in the medium and long term.

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that the economy has been expanding moderately. Labor market conditions have improved further, the unemployment rate has declined notably in recent months but remains elevated. Household spending and business fixed investment have continued to advance. The housing sector remains depressed. Inflation has been subdued in recent months, although prices of crude oil and gasoline have increased lately. Longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.

Alabama and Miss. results are likely to sweep the GOP to Romney and one expects the few anti Obama strategies left with Romney to make to advertisements as he will be likened by his own partymen to Obama till an agreement is reached between the candidates.

Aside #1; Forbes introduced its own real time update service for the Top 50 Wealthiest individuals in the World in response to Bloomberg’s new Top 20 list updated at End of Day ( Close of Business) daily

Aside #2; JP Morgan’s new buyback program is out following on the banks’ promise to improbve return of cash to shareholders and ahead of cash dole out of $5 and $ 3 bln by Wells Fargo and Citi. JP Morgan is a #3 in REtail in the West Coast and the cash investment by Citi and Wells could have driven it further lower as MUFG catches up but with 100 new branches it is likely back in the game with $15 bln in buybacks and a large jump in Dividend

Aside #3; Worrided by the knock ups in Linked In and the rest who never jumped after an IPO Zynga is going to bvridge the six month lock in period with a secondary offering for those planning to exit their IPO purchases in that time frame.


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