Commentaries

from Rolfe Winkler:

Lunchtime Links 2-2

February 2, 2010

Homeownership rate falls to 2000 level (CR) At 67.2% it's still way overstated. Home "ownership" is a misnomer in cases when the owner has withdrawn mortgage equity or when the price of the home has fallen below the principal value of the mortgage. A better measure of homeownership, I think, is just to look at total owner's equity as a % of household real estate. The most recent Fed Flow of Funds report (page 104, line 50) puts the figure at just 37.6%...

from Rolfe Winkler:

Lunchtime Links 2-1

February 1, 2010

President's budget (gpoaccess.gov)

Barney Frank: The poor should rent, not own (Indiviglio, Atlantic)

Citigroup said to plan sale of private equity unit (Keoun/Keehner, Bloomberg) Citi cites raising cash to pay down debt as the reason to sell this unit. Of course this would also get Pandit some brownie points with Paul Volcker, who wants commercial banks out of private equity, hedge funds and proprietary trading...

from Rolfe Winkler:

Geithner’s faulty apologia

January 28, 2010

Tim Geithner's appearance in front of Congress today was another embarrassment, perhaps more for the people's representatives than the Treasury Secretary. Still, Geithner offered a clumsy defense for paying out 100¢ on the dollar to AIG's counterparties, which included more than Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs says sorry

November 17, 2009

Wall Street’s response to public criticism has mainly been exercises in “never apologize, never explain.”

from Rolfe Winkler:

Meredith Whitney asks the tough questions

October 15, 2009

----Not to beat a dead-horse here, but I thought I'd blog one last interesting thing on Goldman. This from today's conference call. (Transcript via Thomson Street Events, no link)----

Commercial real estate death watch – Capmark

October 13, 2009

What do you get when you put a U.S. automaker, a leveraged buyout and commercial real estate together – a soon-to-be bankrupt company. Caroline Humer of Reuters reports that that Capmark – formerly the commercial real estate business of GM financing arm GMAC – is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, with the final blow coming possibly by the end of next week?

Coming soon on ITV…

October 12, 2009

Who needs a chief executive officer? Well, Lazard perhaps, when it’s Bruce Wasserstein (which is why his serious illness is also serious for the shareholders) but not ITV, it seems. On Monday, when its leadership saga had a better plotline than Corrie, the shares went up.

HFT and big dollars

October 2, 2009

There’s more evidence today about the big profitability of computer-driven high-frequency trading.

Derivatives moolah

September 29, 2009

The nation’s top commercial banks are poised to generate record revenue from trading derivatives this year. And that’s as good a reason as any why no one should expect the nation’s bank to go along peacefully with a plan to regulate the trading of these sophisticated instruments.

Is Goldman’s Chinese convertible really a taxi?

September 21, 2009

BRITAIN/The number of London’s trademark black taxis booked and waiting outside the European headquarters of Goldman Sachs — meters running — was once used by some as a barometer of the health of London’s investment banking business.