Commentaries

Barofsky audit a Fed, not Geithner, problem

November 17, 2009

Sure, Timothy Geithner led the negotiations with AIG counterparties when he headed the New York Fed last year, but TARP special inspector Neil Barofsky’s audit is damning where it really hurts the Fed. It raises the question of whether the central bank is a tough enough regulator at a time when Senator Christopher Dodd is calling for the Fed to be stripped of such power over big banks.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Whitney: “I haven’t been this bearish in a year”

November 16, 2009

Bartiromo asks some good questions, including "are banks adequately capitalized today?"

The drought is (kind of) over!

November 16, 2009

After months of buildup, Developers Diversified Realty Corp finally sells the first commercial real estate bond in more than a year. At $400 million, it’s hardly a dramatic debut, but it’s a significant first for one of the few markets still jammed since the financial crisis.

from Rolfe Winkler:

NYT editorial: “whistling past the deficit”

November 16, 2009

This is the Times editorial page on the NY State deficit. Note how fiscally conservative they are when discussing this issue.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Morning links 11-16

November 16, 2009

Taxpayers on hook as some bailed out firms prove frail (Tse, WaPo) TARP investments in CIT and United Commercial bank were recently wiped out (= $2.6 billion). AIG and GM have received tens of billions they'll never be able to pay back. Taxpayers may have purchased a bit of breathing room with TARP, but busted balance sheets will eventually have to be recapitalized anyway, as shareholders are wiped out while certain creditors eat their share of losses.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Weekend links 11-14

November 14, 2009

Lawyer crashes after life in fast lane (Koppel/Esterl, WSJ) Big Florida ponzi.

Buffett admits: Burlington not cheap (Frye, Bloomberg) Buffett was so eager to deploy his cash that he was willing to overpay for Burlington. What I think may be going on in his head: in a world likely to experience many more bubbles and busts, lots of paper wealth will be wiped out. Not a bad idea to turn cash into tangible assets.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Bank failure Friday

November 14, 2009

IBERIABANK is busy tonight, acquiring $3.1 billion of failed bank assets. The bank also bought nearly $600m of assets from the estate of CapitalSouth Bank of Alabama back in August.

Moving on

November 13, 2009

All good things must come to an end as they say. Yeah, yeah, it’s a cliche but it’s my last blog post as a columnist and I feel entitled to resort to cliches–especially where it is appropriate. And in this case, it certainly is.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Defining the “extended period”

November 13, 2009

Another tidbit from Rosenberg, who offers guidance on what the Fed means when it says it will keep rates low for an "extended period"...

from Rolfe Winkler:

Lunchtime Links 11-12

November 12, 2009

Wall Street faces "live ammo" as Congress aims to unravel banks (Vekshin/Schmidt, Bloomberg) Yves complains that this isn't enough, that size isn't the only problem. She's right, but I think these are good discussions to have. We'll have to wait to see what's in theKanjorski amendment, but I like where his head's at. To Smith's point, we desperately need to SIMPLIFY banks, not just shrink them. Ironically, today is the 10 year anniversary of theGramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed the last vestiges of Glass-Steagall. Besides GLB, we also need to dump the CFMA....