Commentaries

from Rolfe Winkler:

Politics and bank regulation don’t mix

December 8, 2009

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp tried to seize and sell Cleveland thrift AmTrust last January but local politicians intervened. In the end, the bank still went bust 11 months later - a delay that may have increased losses to the U.S. regulator’s funds. As Congress debates banking reform, AmTrust provides a useful warning that the regulatory apparatus needs to be kept free from politics.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Evening Links 12-7

December 7, 2009

Update from this morning: Neel Kashkari joins PIMCO (Ishmael, Alphaville)

TARP cost estimate falls $200 billion (Somerville, Reuters) Even after this latest reduction, the administration still estimates TARP will cost $141 billion. We may be getting more back than we though, but we're not making money. Remember, the Fed still has north of $1.0 trillion or mortgage-backed securities on its balance sheet, the value of which is not clear.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Economic calcification, Japanese edition

December 7, 2009

Japan's labor market is desperately troubled. For years, the number of temporary workers has been on the rise as Japanese employers find it harder to afford full-timers. Like the rest of the Japanese economy, the labor market needs the flexibility to deflate. But the government won't allow that to happen. The latest example is a proposal to ban manufacturers from hiring temporary workers (Otsuma/Hagiwara, Bloomberg):

from Rolfe Winkler:

MBA: CMBS deterioration continues

December 7, 2009

From the Mortgage Bankers Association:

Delinquency rates continued to increase in the third quarter for most commercial/multifamily mortgage investor groups, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Commercial/Multifamily Delinquency Report.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Video: The unemployment game show

December 7, 2009

A clever way to explain the difference between U-3 and U-6. From Mint.com.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Evening Links 12-6

December 6, 2009

(Reader note: One bug we're still trying to work out is that links in the top line of a post aren't "hot" in the front-page view of the blog. If you click "continue reading" the link is available)

from Rolfe Winkler:

Geithner: “none…would have survived”

December 6, 2009

Secretary Geithner acknowledges what most doomsdayers were saying last fall, that without the government's extraordinary rescue measures, the entire financial system was on the verge of collapse. (Miller/Harper, Bloomberg)

from Rolfe Winkler:

Bank failure Friday

December 4, 2009

More Georgia! Update: And AmTrust!  That's a $2.0 billion hit to the DIF...

#125

    Failed bank: Buckhead Community Bank, Atlanta GA Acquiring bank: State Bank and Trust, Macon GA Vitals: at 11/6, assets of $878m, deposits of $838m DIF damage: $241.1m

#126

Rights and wrongs at Lloyds Banking

November 25, 2009

If you’ve ever wondered how the big-shot investment bankers “earn” their bonuses, the document launching Britain’s biggest rights issue will give you a clue. Lloyds Banking Group is issuing 36,505,088,579 new shares, to add to the 27,161,682,366 currently in issue.

from Rolfe Winkler:

FDIC’s problem bank list grows to 552, DIF now negative

November 24, 2009

I'm not good at taking vacations....

FDIC published its quarterly banking profile today. Here are the latest banking industry statistics at a glance. A few interesting takeaways I'd like to highlight. First, the problem bank list grew again. And it still understates total problem assets...both Citi and Bank of American should also be on this list.