Commentaries

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.

What did rating agencies know about AIG?

September 21, 2009

It’s time to start asking the big credit rating agencies just when they realized that American International Group might pose a systemic risk to the global financial system.

Why banks should welcome “living wills”

September 15, 2009

A year after Lehman Brothers collapsed, policymakers are still getting to grips with the key question raised by the Wall Street firm’s fall: how to ensure that the failure of a large bank does not jeopardise the entire financial system.

Lehman tales

September 13, 2009

Over the past two days, we’ve been treated to two long stories in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal focusing on employees of Lehman Brothers, one year after the firm’s chaotic bankruptcy filing. Yawn.

from Rolfe Winkler:

A year after Lehman, the good news

September 11, 2009

Regular readers know how pessimistic I am about the economy. The "recovery" is little more than a government-financed credit bubble and it's back to risky business as usual for much of the banking sector.

Squeeze is on for investment banks

September 10, 2009

Peter Thal Larsen.jpgInvestment banks are facing a big squeeze. For an industry that was generating record revenues just months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, this may seem unlikely. But the revival looks set to be short-lived. Increased regulation and greater competition means the super-charged returns the industry generated for most of the past decade are likely to prove elusive.

Trash is king as Lehman shares surge

August 28, 2009

It’s either a sign of sheer boredom on Wall Street, or an early celebration of the one-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ demise, but shares of the fallen invesment bank were red hot today.

Bob Diamond in the red

August 3, 2009

Just how profitable is Barclays Capital?

At first glance, the answer would be: very.  According to Barclays’ results, Bob Diamond’s investment banking empire made a £1bn profit in the first six months of the year, double last year’s figure. That’s despite continuing hefty write-downs on toxic assets.

Lehman D-Day

July 20, 2009

It’s taken awhile, but a deadline for filing claims in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy has finally been set and it’s Sept. 22.

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.