Citi settlement imposes awfully pricey babysitter

July 14, 2014

An ex-prosecutor will watch the bank as part of its $7 bln deal with Uncle Sam. That may ensure compliance. But as Apple and others can attest, monitors are too often meddlers fond of excessive oversight and multimillion-dollar fees. Shareholders get stuck with the tab.

Regulation wrongs repo

November 23, 2009

The amendment is not very long: only 24 lines in the House's mammoth draft legislation aimed at saving the financial system from itself. Still, it threatens to make an outsized impact on a critical source of market financing.

More than one side to BlackRock

November 10, 2009

Larry Fink has an interesting take on what constitutes a conflict of interest on Wall Street.

When it rains, it doesn’t pour in CMBS

November 9, 2009

Sometimes droughts end with little fanfare, especially when bumper crops have sprung up without the rain. Today, Developers Diversified Realty brought its much anticipated $400 million commercial real estate bond deal to the market, the first rain drop to fall in this parched market since last year.

A bold gamble at Harrah’s

October 28, 2009

Big debts and plunging revenues usually make a toxic cocktail, but it can still go down smoothly with financial engineering.

ABS recovery still a way off

October 27, 2009

Is mortgage securitisation making a comeback? Nationwide Building Society has just sold 3.5 billion pounds of mortgage-backed bonds, just the second deal this year after a similar transaction by Lloyds last month.

PPIP, irrelevant before its time

October 5, 2009

Maybe the problem is with the acronyms. The government's once-sweeping PPIP plan to suck out venomous assets from a crippled financial system now looks more like a public relations campaign to prove to the world that the U.S. Treasury will finally make good on an initiative that has failed more than once.

The real deal with Ken Lewis

October 1, 2009

The myth of Ken Lewis as an exemplary dealmaker persists in some corners of Wall Street, even as he's being driven out of Bank of America because of his handling of his last and most controversial deal -- the acquisition of Merrill Lynch. It's time to put this myth to rest.

Break up the risk-rating cartel

October 1, 2009

The meltdown of America's financial system hasn't exactly been a testimonial to the efficacy of public-private partnerships. Indeed, those kinds of linkages were at the heart of the problem.

Don’t give life insurers an easy out

September 25, 2009

As G20 nations discuss ways to force banks to fatten their capital reserves, the U.S. life insurance industry is lobbying for the opposite. It wants capital requirements against soured mortgage bonds eased, and is using the current outcry against the rating agencies to argue its point. This sends the wrong message.