Commentaries

Barclays risky assets move a little too cozy

September 17, 2009

Barclays has come up with an interesting way to solve an optical problem. Concerned that the bank’s shareholders are nervous about possible future writedowns of wobbly assets with a value of $12.3 billion, it has sold them to its own employees.

Securitization survives the fall

September 11, 2009

A year after the government’s seizure of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG , not to mention the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers that sent the global financial system into a tailspin, very little has changed to prevent debt from being sliced and diced, again and again.

Citi’s dirty pool of assets

August 12, 2009

Hard as it may be to believe, shares of beleaguered Citigroup are on fire.

The stock of the de facto U.S. government-owned bank is up some 300 percent after it cratered at around $1 back in early March.

A CIT CDO problem

July 14, 2009

CIT isn’t supposed to be a systemic threat, but a potential failure of a big lender, even if its customers are small and medium-sized businesses, is bound to shake up some corners of credit markets. That’s a rule, isn’t it?

PPIP is a pipsqueak

July 8, 2009

The Treasury Department is finally out with its final version of a plan for ridding the banks of toxic assets and you have wonder why the Obama administration even bothered.

Investor protection, Singapore style

July 7, 2009

Who needs a whole new government agency to protect  consumers from irresponsible banks? Authorities in Singapore have taken a refreshingly straightforward approach in tackling banks deemed to have been less than scrupulous when selling structured notes dragged down by the failure of Lehman Brothers: they banned them.

Hybrids securities come home to roost

July 7, 2009

It’s not just consumer and real estate loans that have wreaked havoc on the banking system, but another favorite financial product championed by big banks during the boom years: hybrid securities.

Just say no to CDOs

June 17, 2009

Enough of tinkering around the edges, it’s time for tough reform. The Obama Administration’s plan to overhaul the regulation of the financial system doesn’t go far enough when it comes to the securitization market — a source of credit that both it and Wall Street see as vital to the future of consumer and commercial lending.