Commentaries

Lehman the tax scofflaw

September 16, 2009

Wow, Lehman Brothers really didn’t like paying taxes.

Back in June, New York City’s tax department filed a $626 million claim for back taxes against the bankrupt investment bank. And now comes New York State with an even bigger $1.2 billion tax claim.

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.

Obama urging Wall Street to do the right thing

September 14, 2009

In his speech, Obama emphasizes that big banks should take it upon themselves to give back to the community after the tax payer has done so much to put them on them on the road to recovery. While I agree with the point in theory, I’m not sure Wall Street is built to think about the moral imperative of creating a better society when it’s primary goal is to make money.

Has the moment passed for bank reform?

September 14, 2009

LEHMAN/A year on from the collapse of Lehman Brothers and there is plenty being written and broadcast about the lessons, the winners and losers and where we go from here.

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.

‘Living wills’ easier said than done

September 10, 2009

In the wake of the widespread chaos that accompanied the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers last September, regulators have sought to find a better way to unwind global financial giants. One approach is that the banks themselves should prepare for their own orderly demise — a kind of “living will”.

Banking? Keep it simple stupid

September 10, 2009

In 1873, Walter Bagehot wrote that “the business of banking ought to be simple; if it is hard it is wrong.” He would have struggled to recognize today’s banking system.

A year on, it’s still a housing story

September 9, 2009

Around the time Lehman Brothers’ collapse nearly pushed the global banking system off a cliff, Rose Barrett’s own personal financial crisis began.

Defoliating JC Flowers

September 2, 2009

William Cohan has a great takedown of J. Christopher Flowers and his struggling private equity firm in Fortune.

Recycle the TARP

September 1, 2009

The U.S. insurance fund for bank deposits is running out of money. At the same time, some of the big institutions that received federal bailouts last fall have repaid more than $70 billion to the Treasury Department, and more checks to the government may be in the mail soon.