Asset protection

Capital One Fined Again For Money-Laundering Failure

Capital One, the bank lately dominating the celebrity-featured advertising space in this industry, and claiming to have “reimagined” banking, has now been fined by the authorities for ‘willful’ anti-money-laundering failures–for the second time in six months.

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) fined America’s fifth-largest credit card issuer $390 million for engaging in willful and negligent violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money laundering law.

FinCEN said in a statement that Capital One admitted that it failed to file “thousands of suspicious activity reports” and “thousands of Currency Transaction Reports” with respect to a business unit known as the Check Cashing Group

“The violations occurred from at least 2008 through 2014 and caused millions of dollars in suspicious transactions to go unreported in a timely and accurate manner,” FinCEN added.

Capital One acquired the check-cashing group when it bought New York-based North Fork Bank in 2006 for $14.6 billion and shut it down 8 years later. CLICK for complete article  

Why There Is Literally No “Cash On The Sidelines.”

In the later stages of a bull market advance, the financial media and Wall Street analysts start seeking out rationalizations to support their bullish views. One common refrain is “there are trillions of dollars in cash sitting on the sidelines just waiting to come into the market.” 

For example, Barron’s recently penned the following:

“There is record amounts of cash sitting in checking accounts of American households—and for optimistic investors, it’s just one more reason the stock market should keep pushing higher. 

Yahoo! Finance also jumped on the claim:

“It should also come as no surprise that there’s never been so much cash sitting on the sidelines — nearly $5 trillion, as a matter of fact. This is significantly above the record $3.8 trillion in cash set back in January 2009 during the financial crisis!”

McKinsey & Co also published the following graphic.

cash on the sidelines, Why There Is Literally No “Cash On The Sidelines.”

See. There are just tons of “cash on the sidelines” waiting to flow into the market.

Except there isn’t. CLICK for complete article

Headline of the Year?

China Inc will recycle used white guys

American company men may find a savior in China Inc. As corporations try to make their ranks more ethnically representative, many experienced – if white and older – males will find themselves without a job. Chinese companies, deterred from acquiring U.S. firms with valuable intellectual property, can recruit their discarded human capital instead.

Some of the largest U.S. companies are moving quickly to rebalance their headcount. At Apple, for example, women made up 38% of workers under 30 in 2018 versus just 31% four years earlier. The share of under-represented minorities in that group rose 10 percentage points to 35%. Meantime the employment-to-population ratio of white men fell from 76% in 1972 to 67% in 2018.

The coming year should be a banner on diversity… CLICK for complete article

A Major Support For Asset Prices Has Reversed

In 2019, we wrote about how corporate share repurchases, or “stock buybacks,” had accounted for nearly all buying in the market. A year later, that significant support for asset prices has reversed.

While markets have certainly been on a tear this year, due to massive amounts of Federal Stimulus, it has been an advance solely on valuation expansion. While the decline in 2020 earnings was no surprise given the pandemic, earnings were already declining in 2019. The chart shows this in the return attribution of the S&P 500.

Overpaying For Earnings

Such is not a new phenomenon. Since 2009, sales per share, what happens at the top of the income statement, has cumulatively grown by just 43% through Q3-2020. It is hard to justify bidding up stocks by 400% based on meager revenue growth. So, Wall Street created metrics like “Operating Earnings” to provide justification. The problem with “Operating Earnings” is they are heavily “fudged” to create a more optimistic picture…CLICK for complete article

Millennials Prefer Bitcoin Over Gold As A Safe Haven Asset

The investing universe has labeled millennials many things: lazy, entitled, narcissistic among other unflattering terms. They have also been accused of being highly risk-averse, preferring flashy investments like crypto over slow-n-steady ones like stocks and bonds.

While some of those platitudes are plain wrong (many millennial stock picks have been handily trouncing the markets), others appear spot on.

And now a survey has established that an overwhelming majority of millennial investors actually prefer bitcoin over gold as the superior safe haven.

A recent global survey by deVere,  one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations, has revealed that millennials really do prefer bitcoin to gold as a safe-haven asset.

The revelation comes just a week after the world’s largest cryptocurrency touched an all-time high of $19,864.

Digital gold

In the deVere survey, more than two-thirds (67%) of the 700+ millennial respondents said that they think Bitcoin simply is a better safe haven compared to gold.

According to de Vere: “From Ancient Egypt onwards gold has always had immense value and has long been revered as the ultimate safe-haven. It’s always been a go-to asset in times of political, social and economic uncertainty as it is expected to retain its value or even grow in value when other assets fall, therefore enabling investors to reduce their exposure to losses. But, as this survey reveals, Bitcoin could be dethroned within a generation as millennials and younger investors, who are so-called ‘digital natives’, believe it competes better against gold as a safe-haven asset.” CLICK for complete article

‘The Zoom Boom’: Asia Leads the World in Covid-19 Economic Recovery

Our friends over at Integrated Wealth Management sent over another article they thought you’d enjoy. ~Ed.
Our market outlook can be hampered by focusing on conditions “in our own backyard” which isn’t indicative of the big picture. Asia is leading the recovery right now. China is projected to grow nearly 2% this year , Vietnam 1.6%, Taiwan will be flat and South Korea to contract modestly compared to a 4.4% global contraction. So what we see as easing demand around us is being picked up elsewhere. ~Sandor Kiss, IWM

Click for article.