Commentaries

The EC bank smackdown

October 8, 2009

Dexia and ING’s recent decisions to call some of their subordinated debt has puzzled market observers, as they seem to fly in the face of the European Commission and its crusade on burden-sharing for banks that have received state aid.

Fed knows transparency when it sees it

October 7, 2009

From the start of the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve has fought to keep secret the many measures it has taken to prop-up the banking system.

The EC bank debt riddle

October 6, 2009

The European Commission seems to enjoy messing with bankers’ and investors’ heads in its crusade against subordinated bank debt.

European Commission defanged by hybrid debt

September 2, 2009

Fans of the weird and wonderful world of hybrid debt will have enjoyed the European Commission’s U-turn with Belgian bank KBC.

The big Fed news

August 25, 2009

A federal judge’s ruling that the mighty Federal Reserve must release information about some $2 trillion in “emergency” loans made during the financial crisis is a big blow to the central bank’s self-styled image as an impenetrable shrine.

Trust still matters

August 11, 2009

Trust is one of those touchy-feely words that gets thrown around a lot, but whose true value isn’t felt until it’s lost.

Managing incentives, UK banks edition

July 13, 2009

Confused about the British government’s approach to its bank investments? You’re in good company. Consider the following statements from Royal Bank of Scotland and its main shareholder(emphasis is ours):

It’s a start, but AIG still needs lots of handholding

June 25, 2009

As part of the government plans to overhaul AIG’s massive bailout package (announced in March), the company said Thursday it would give the government stakes in two of its most cherished assets – American Life Insurance Company, Alico, and American International Assuarance, AIA, – in return for paying down a good portion of its loan with the central bank.

Lehman creditors, you didn’t lose any money

June 18, 2009

You read that right. Peter Wallison, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a right-leaning think tank, doesn’t think Lehman’s collapse caused any “substantial losses.”