Grant's Interest Rate Observer says of the subprime-mortgage "credit contagion" in its most recent issue, "Then, too, the world loves an extra basis point, and it will climb the ricketiest stepladder to grasp for it."
"Stocks vs. bonds: Is it no contest?" writes LA Times columnist Tom Petruno. He cites PIMCO bond guru Bill Gross's 43% "cash" holdings and 4.9% yields on money funds as bearish for bonds.
In "man-bites-dog" news, Merrill Lynch has begun offering competitive rates (5.5% 6-mo, 5.25% 3-mo) on CDs until March 9. No word yet on whether they'll raise their embarrassingly low 1.39% sweep account rate.
S&P is selling its mutual fund data business to Morningstar to concentrate on ratings. The former Micropal unit has a significant European presence but a small footprint in the U.S. Click here for Morningstar's release.
Treasury workstation provider Sungard has agreed to acquire the "high-end" treasury workstation products of European-based XRT, according to a press release. XRT's treasury products will be merged into Sungard's market-leading AvantGard workstation.
"A.G. Edwards bank deposit program up and running" says St. Louis Business Journal. The program offers $1 million of FDIC insurance from 20 banks.
Russ Wiles of The Arizona Republic writes "Put your tax refund to work as savings" and recommends "building up a rainy day fund" with tax refunds.
"Don't give your broker a free loan" says MSN Money in an article on low-yielding brokerage sweep accounts. Another version of the same article just appeared on TheStreet.com.
Bloomberg reports that China Merchant Bank's "Global Select Money Market Fund" has shown negative returns due to yuan appreciation since its inception Nov. 1. Bank of China has abandoned its US Dollar Return Enhanced Fund. (True "money market funds" like U.S. ones can't take currency risk.)
U.K.-based website The Market Oracle writes "Brokerage account cash balances - Use Savings accounts and ETF funds to maximise returns", advising money market funds and ETFs to avoid low-yielding bank sweep options.
Countrywide Bank issued a press release urging more savings and yield shopping.
KuwaitTimes.net reports the launch of the first Islamic money fund in Kuwait. The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) will offer a Kuwaiti dinar-denominated, Sharia-compliant fund, Watani KD Money Market Fund (WMMF).
"Online banks heat up competition with savings rates of 5% or more" writes Sandra Block in USA Today.
Morngingstar Canada's Rudy Lukko writes "Short-changed savers embrace long-term funds" though he goes on to show that (retail) money funds are doing quite well up North.
John Bogle's editorial "Value Strategies" in the WSJ decries the "performance-chasing" speculation that ETFs have brought and extols the traditional index mutual fund.
Today's WSJ "Quick Fix" sidebar is "Doing More With Cash" tells you to call your broker for higher money market sweep rates.
For those that missed it, E*Trade's "bank robbery" SuperBowl advertisement, which features a 5.05% APY Savings account, is available on their site.
The European Association of Corporate Treasurer's (EACT) is a trade group representing large corporates on the Continent.
Hear Bear Stearns' "Bond Market and Economy Update" with Economist John Ryding and Rich Volpe.