Commentaries

Bernanke’s Hester Street home

October 9, 2009

The Federal Reserve may not want to crow about the half-empty giant shopping mall it now owns in Oklahoma City by virture of its hastily-arranged rescue of Bear Stearns. But at least one other commercial real estate deal that the Fed picked up from Bear appears to be in better shape.

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.

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.

UBS’ days of wine and CDOs

September 14, 2009

Expensive wines and toxic assets are rarely mentioned in the same breath.

But that was the talk at UBS during the summer of 2007, when the Swiss banking giant sold some $35 million in soon-to-be rotten collateralized debt obligations to Pursuit Partners, a Connecticut hedge fund, which is now suing the bank.

Cioffi: My investors? What investors?

July 30, 2009

Ralph Cioffi, the indicted former Bear Stearns hedge fund manager, is trying again to get an insider trading charge dismissed in advance of his upcoming criminal trial. 

Ralph Cioffi faces the music

July 15, 2009

We’re just three months away from the criminal trial of former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin¬†and federal prosecutors have just produced a witness list.

Leaving a house of cards with a good hand

July 15, 2009

Wall Street’s gatekeepers often make their displeasure known when reporters and columnists refer to investment decisions as “bets” or taking on risk as a “gamble,” and God forbid should you liken the entire business to a “casino.”