Commentaries

from Rolfe Winkler:

Move your money

December 30, 2009

Arianna Huffington and Rob Johnson are organizing a big bank boycott. They want depositors to take their money out of Too-Big-To-Fail banks and put them in smaller, high quality banks.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Big banks get reprieve from FDIC

December 15, 2009

Due to new accounting rules -- FAS 166 and 167 -- banks have to bring certain off balance sheet assets back onto their balance sheets starting next year. More assets, same capital = lower capital ratios. (More in this column about the individual impact on the large banks).

Let the Fed regulate

November 20, 2009

By John M. Berry

John M. Berry, who has covered the economy for four decades for the Washington Post and other publications, is a guest columnist.

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:

It’s good to be in finance

October 14, 2009

From WSJ: Wall Street on track to award record pay

Major U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their employees about $140 billion this year -- a record high that shows compensation is rebounding despite regulatory scrutiny of Wall Street's pay culture.

The commitments committee

October 6, 2009

The bursting of the dot-com bubble pales in comparision to the financial crisis. In retrospect, it seems a comic-book lesson about the all-too-obvious consequences of irrational exuberance: What were they thinking?

China might keep the weakest bank all to itself

September 30, 2009

Faced with a backlash against foreign investors, Beijing may
be tempted to offer shares in the last of its big four banks to
a domestic audience.

The other GSE problem

September 23, 2009

It’s hard to keep all the U.S. housing agencies straight. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still basket cases relying on government support, while the Federal Housing Administration and its partner, Ginnie Mae, are setting off alarm bells with their more aggressive efforts to support overstretched homeowners.

Treasury line of credit should be Bair’s last option

September 18, 2009

With the FDIC’s staring at an incredibly shrinking deposit insurance fund, it’s no wonder that Sheila Bair is out about talking about the regulators looking at options to replenish it. That includes tapping the $500 billion line of credit the agency has with the U.S. Treasury put in place for a rainy days.

Push comes to shove in EU-Dutch bank spat

By Paul Taylor
September 18, 2009

EU-INTEL/Push is coming to shove in a stand-off between the European Commission and the Dutch government over the future of state-rescued banks. The outcome has implications for the whole of Europe.