Commentaries

from Rolfe Winkler:

Bank Death Watch: Five failures + new addition

July 31, 2009

There were five bank failures tonight.  Two of meaningful size, but none in Georgia!

Goldman, what about the FDIC-backed debt

July 22, 2009

Goldman Sachs is trumpeting the fact it just paid the federal government $1.1 billion to buyback the warrants it gave the Treasury Dept. as part of last fall’s baillout package. But Goldman still is benefiting from the government’s largess by sitting on some $22 billion in FDIC-guaranteed debt it sold this past winter.

Tax Goldman debate heats up

July 17, 2009

The idea of taxing Goldman Sachs and other banks that engage in prop trading is heating up.

Goldman needs to retire its FDIC-backed debt

July 17, 2009

If Goldman Sachs wants to go back to the future and keep setting aside record sums of money for compensation and year-end bonuses, it should first retire all of its oustanding FDIC-backed debt.

Tax Goldman

July 15, 2009

Goldman Sachs is entitled to make as much money as it wants from proprietary trading–that is trading stocks, bonds, currencies and bonds for its own account. But as long as Goldman benefits from bonds it sold with a government guarantee, it should pay an extra tax on those prop trading gains.

CIT is a warning sign

July 13, 2009

agnes1If it’s not a risk to the financial system, let it fail.

That’s the message from the government’s reluctance to swoop in and bail out one of the nation’s biggest commercial lenders, CIT Group Inc, as it struggles to stay afloat. But even though CIT doesn’t have the firepower to take down the global financial system, its failure would certainly be felt by some of the struggling small businesses that rely on its financing.

Pandit buys time with Citi reshuffle

July 9, 2009

– Peter Thal Larsen is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

Sheila Bair gets it right

July 2, 2009

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair last month told a US Senator her agency would “get it right,” in coming up with a set of rules to govern private equity investments in failed banks. And it appears that’s what Bair has done.

PE bank rules–now that’s news

July 1, 2009

Glad to hear the FDIC is getting close to issuing tough rules for allowing private equity firms to buy the assets of lenders taken over by the regulator. The Wall Street Journal reports on the development today.

Bair on PE bank deals: “We will get this right.”

June 18, 2009

The idea of the strip-and-flip crowd a/k/a private equity firms buying distressed banks out of government receivership raises a lot of dicey issues. But with federal regulators approving three such transactions this year and more bank failures on the way, get used to the idea of PE banking.