Throw the Crooks in Jail! (brk, aig, blk, gs, lz)

And speaking of Warren Buffett, one of his top
executives, David Sokol, has resigned on accusations of insider trading.
Apparently, Sokol bought $10 million worth of Lubrizol (NYSE:LZ) before he
suggested a Berkshire-Hathaway buyout of the company to Buffett.

Lubrizol stock jumped nearly 30% on the news
that
Berkshire would acquire the company. Sokol made nearly $3 million on the
deal. And he is insisting that he did nothing wrong.

Bank of America: Denied (bac)

I can’t say I’m surprised that Bank of America
(NYSE:BAC) was not allowed to raise its dividend payment. And while BofA
didn’t specify the reasons its plan was rejected, I think we know pretty
much why.

For one, Bank of America is still struggling with
mortgage issues. And it’s setting aside cash to cover potential
“put-backs” of mortgage backed securities it sold. Plus, Bank of America
is barely profitable. Its main source of earnings right now is coming
from loan loss reserves that are returned to its balance sheet and
counted as earnings.

Jim Rogers:

World famous commodity investor and hedge fund manager Jim Rogers recently
discussed what could be the end of the dollar in an interview with Yahoo
Finance.

The dollar index has been falling precipitously for the past decade, and
the trend seems to be accelerating. Rogers said he thought the end of the
dollar was at least a few years off, but he said,

S&P 500 to 1,280?

Days like yesterday are never fun. The selling hit
everything; oil stocks, tech, stocks, commodities, retail, gold, silver,
you name it, it was down. Well, except for Treasuries and the U.S.
dollar.

Treasuries are a safe-haven, but in a different
way than precious metals. Precious metals protect wealth over the
long-term. Treasuries can generate a return even for a trade.

Oil is Hot, Silver is Hotter

Oil is getting all the headlines, as it jumps over $100 a barrel for the
first time in 3 years as Libya’s production is essentially shut down. But
it’s silver that’s really setting records.

Silver prices are projected to more than double this year.Silver
hit a 31-year high just below $35 an ounce on Tuesday.

Silver is benefiting from the same inflation concern that’s pushing gold
prices higher. But unlike gold, silver also has industrial uses.

That means silver prices may be more stable than gold.

Cisco, Apple and the Nasdaq

For an economy that has been highly dependent on
government and corporate spending, Chambers’ outlook wasn’t very
encouraging. But on a day when Cisco was pounded for around 15%, and Google
(Nasdaq:GOOG), Microsoft (Nasdaq:
MSFT) and Apple
(Nasdaq:
MSFT)
all finished in the red, the Nasdaq as a whole actually posted a
gain.

Now, Apple alone accounts for 20% of the Nasdaq
100 (the 100 largest stocks on the Nasdaq). Throw in Google (4.2%),
Microsoft (3.6%) and Cisco 1.6%, and you’re looking at 30% of the Nasdaq
100. Nearly one-third of the Nasdaq 100 was lower on Thursday, easily the
most influential tech companies, and the Nasdaq managed a gain for the
day.

Wall St. Bonuses Record $135 Billion for 2010

Even after Wall Street’s greed nearly collapsed the banking system and
forced hundred of billions in taxpayer-funded bailouts, bankers are still
finding ways to line their own pockets.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that bonuses at
publicly traded banks hit $135 billion in 2010. That’s a record high for
compensation on Wall Street. It works out to about $141,000 per
employee.

This $135 billion represents a 5.7 percent increase in combined
compensation for the same group of companies in 2009.