Unilever is available to US investors as ADRs under the UN and UL tickers, respectively the Amsterdam and London stock exchanges listings. As I understand the two have equal voting and dividends/share rights, yet the two always trade about 20 to 40 cents apart. [more]
The authors of this piece make an interesting case that big institutional traders are making very big bets by naked short selling ETFs. On settlement day, if they do not have the wherewithal to make good, we're up s**t creek once again! Too big to fail and all that.
Why aren't at least some states (IL, CA, NY) declaring bankruptcy? I've read that they cannot - but I see nothing in the Constitution barring them from doing so. My reading of history is that the Colonies and the Confederate States at various times repudiated their debts - effectively the same as declaring bankruptcy. Granted, if a state were to declare bankruptcy it would cause chaos and disrupt life, but it will allow the necessary re-structuring of contracts and pensions to take place, without which there is no recovery feasible (at least in the case of states like IL and CA). The legislators in these states have shirked hard choices for decades - allowing the debt to fester and grow. It may be time to consider declaring bankruptcy. [more]
The Federal Reserve is reportedly arranging for 500 billion dollars worth of repo swaps with various European countries, Japan, and Canada, or at least giving them access to a swap window. The way I see it we're giving them relatively stronger dollars (at $1.30/euro) today in return for possibly weaker dollars (at $1.40/euro) sometime in the future. Seems like a bad deal for the American taxpayer. I do not really understand these transactions so I'm hoping someone here can shed light on whether my suspicions are justified. [more]