Commentaries

Defoliating JC Flowers

September 2, 2009

William Cohan has a great takedown of J. Christopher Flowers and his struggling private equity firm in Fortune.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Bailout “profit” is taxpayers’ loss

September 1, 2009

Charging a bank for an implicit government guarantee to absorb losses? According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Reserve and Treasury are demanding that Bank of America pay $500 million to exit a bailout deal that was never actually signed.

Recycle the TARP

September 1, 2009

The U.S. insurance fund for bank deposits is running out of money. At the same time, some of the big institutions that received federal bailouts last fall have repaid more than $70 billion to the Treasury Department, and more checks to the government may be in the mail soon.

Time to get tough with AIG

August 28, 2009

It’s time for someone in the Obama administration to read the riot act to Robert Benmosche, American International Group’s new $7 million chief executive.

AIG lunacy

August 27, 2009

American International Group is a $50 stock. Yeah. Sure. But that’s what the market says it is today so it must be.

Germany should call GM’s bluff

August 25, 2009

Recently bankrupted companies seeking billions in taxpayer handouts do not generally have the strongest hand at the negotiating table. Yet General Motors seems determined to drive a hard bargain over the bailout of Opel, its European car arm.

Bair, a regulator for the people

August 13, 2009

 In Sheila we trust.

Maybe that should be the new mantra for U.S. taxpayers — especially ones who don’t feel the nation’s bankers have shown sufficient gratitude for being bailed out and saved from their own incompetence and greed.

Freddie in the black, Treasury off the hook

August 7, 2009

Freddie Mac reports that it managed an actual net income gain in second quarter of $768 billion – a big turnaround from the $9.9 billion loss in the prior quarter. That means Treasury is off the hook, at least in this quarter, in terms of giving Freddie more money through its $200 bln equity line.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Buffett’s Betrayal

August 4, 2009

When I was 14, Warren Buffett wrote me a letter.

It was a response to one I'd sent him, pitching an investment idea.  For a kid interested in learning stocks, Buffett was a great role model.  His investing style -- diligent security analysis, finding competent management, patience -- was immediately appealing.

The final straw with Citi

July 23, 2009

 ”We have and will continue to exit several forms of proprietary risk-taking. Where we continue to take principal risk, we will only do so when we have proven teams and a clear source of advantage.” – Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit on January 16, 2009. 
   
Don’t be fooled by Vikram Pandit’s playing the part of a prudent banker.