Commentaries

Sarkozy walks the walk on bonuses

August 25, 2009

Nicolas Sarkozy’s plans to reform bank bonuses are out, and for once there appears to be some substance to the French President’s flamboyant style:

Bank of England gets creative

August 21, 2009

The Bank of England’s changes to the eligible collateral for repo operations announced yesterday contained a curious quirk: the Bank will now accept covered bonds backed by loans to small and medium sized enterprises.

Don’t underestimate the European Commission

August 20, 2009

Will RBS and Lloyds have to follow Northern Rock and defer coupons on their hybrid debt? There’s a nagging fear that any bank that has needed large amounts of state-aid may have to make subordinated bondholders take some of the pain.

FDIC bank debt program to end with a whimper

August 20, 2009

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp’s debt guarantee program in many ways saved the banking system from collapse during last year’s worst of times. Banks were effectively shut out of the credit markets after Lehman Brothers scared bond investors silly. More than $270 billion of guaranteed debt has been sold since the FDIC adopted the program in October.

Reality arrives at The Rock

August 18, 2009

The surprising thing about Northern Rock’s decision to defer coupons on 1.6 billion pounds of its subordinated debt is the timing — arguably, it’s a miracle investors were getting paid anything at all.

Banks face commercial real estate stress tests

August 18, 2009

One of the big uncertainties left at this stage of the credit crisis is the amount of losses banks will have to take from foreclosing on defaulted commercial real estate loans. The question is both how bad those losses will be and when they materialize, and how much money banks can make in the interim to absorb them.

Treasurys not looking so boring anymore

August 18, 2009

Government securities are not the most exciting investment choices in the best of times, but it looks like U.S. Treasurys are coming into their own, which is good news for the federal government and its financing costs.

Cash M&A still lifeless

August 14, 2009

Bond sales are at a record, equity markets are at year-highs, private equity firms are sitting on huge cash piles — Blackstone alone has $29 billion — and banks are lending to each other again.

Geithner of Oz

August 13, 2009

Earlier today I wrote that Sheila Bair is one of the few financial regulators who gets it. And by getting it, I mean not sucking up to the banks and the big money interests on Wall Street. You know, the guys (and most of them are guys), who got us into this financial mess. Tim Geithner, on the other hand, is a regulator who just doesn’t get it.

Fun commercial real estate figures and charts

August 13, 2009

I just came across this research from the Cleveland Fed that has some scary numbers and charts on commercial real estate. They underscore why the Fed and the FDIC are so worried, particularly about construction and development loans, which are seeing the most stress.