Commentaries

from Rolfe Winkler:

Lunchtime Links 2-2

February 2, 2010

Homeownership rate falls to 2000 level (CR) At 67.2% it's still way overstated. Home "ownership" is a misnomer in cases when the owner has withdrawn mortgage equity or when the price of the home has fallen below the principal value of the mortgage. A better measure of homeownership, I think, is just to look at total owner's equity as a % of household real estate. The most recent Fed Flow of Funds report (page 104, line 50) puts the figure at just 37.6%...

from Rolfe Winkler:

Geithner’s faulty apologia

January 28, 2010

Tim Geithner's appearance in front of Congress today was another embarrassment, perhaps more for the people's representatives than the Treasury Secretary. Still, Geithner offered a clumsy defense for paying out 100¢ on the dollar to AIG's counterparties, which included more than Goldman Sachs.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Grist for Goldman conspiracy theorists

November 24, 2009

From Yves over at NakedCapitalism:

A former managing director at monolines Ambac and FGIC wonders why AIG was bailed out but the monolines weren't. (He admits to bias, so take this with a grain of salt.)

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.

Dow 10,000 is a gas

September 29, 2009

Jack Healy’s story in The New York Times about the Dow getting closer and closer to the magical 10,000 mark is OK, but it contains few surprises. But I really was blown away by the chart that shows the perfomance of Dow component stocks since March 29, 1999–when the index crossed 10,000 for the first time.

AIG has debts that no honest man can pay

September 24, 2009

Here’s more evidence that it would be better for the federal government to order the break-up of AIG sooner rather than later.

Profiting from the bailout

September 23, 2009

What is it with this belief that somehow the federal government’s role should be to profit from the bank bailout?

Time to junk AIG

September 22, 2009

The federal government’s $180 billion effort to prop up American International Group has worked, averting an even bigger financial catastrophe. Now it’s time for the Obama administration to oversee the dismantling of the failed insurance giant with all due speed.

What did rating agencies know about AIG?

September 21, 2009

It’s time to start asking the big credit rating agencies just when they realized that American International Group might pose a systemic risk to the global financial system.

Obama’s AIG timidity

September 15, 2009

I’ve been pretty amazed at how silent the Obama administration has been about Robert Benmosche’s antics since becoming the well-compensated CEO of American International Group–the defacto government owned insurer.