"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fed Bearish On 2011 & Insider Trading Probes Continue

Let's take a break from the latest round of North Korean Crazy [1] and, instead, look at the US and the sort of domestic crazy we can get up to.
First off, it turns out that the Federal Reserve is in the process of downgrading the future. They had an unscheduled video conference meeting on 10/15 and a regular meeting back 11/2-11/3.

You can read the minutes at http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomcminutes20101103.htm, but here's the highlights. They've revised their 2011 predictions for GDP downwards from between 3.5% and 4.2% to between 3.0% and 3.6%. They're also expecting unemployment to remain near 9.0% through most of 2011 and still be over 8.0% by the end of 2012. So not much good news there.

If you're following the excitement over the insider trading probes, there are some new developments. Janus Capital Group and Wellington Management Co have been asked for information related to the insider trading investigations that made the news on Sunday and Monday. Wellington has been asked for documents from "federal officials". Janus has filed a form 8-K (you can read it at http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1065865/000110465910059711/a10-21753_18k.htm) to cover their Regulation FD Disclosures. The filing states: "Janus Capital Group Inc. ("Janus") has received an inquiry regarding the recently disclosed insider trading investigation on Wall Street calling for general information and intends to cooperate fully with that inquiry. Janus does not intend to provide any further updates concerning this matter unless and until required by applicable law."

The Wall Street Journal reports that MFS Investment Management of Boston has also been contacted, but they have declined comment.

"Fed pondered radical steps amid weaker outlook" (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AI2AQ20101123)

"Fund firms asked for documents by authorities" (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AL4DT20101123)

[1] With their number one hit single "Shellin' UR Hood"

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