Commentaries

from Rolfe Winkler:

Afternoon links 9-1

September 1, 2009

One quarter century penance just starting (Evans Pritchard) I agree with his view of the pain to come, though not with his prescription of quantitative easing. I don't see that as a solution, merely a delaying tactic. Until the banks are recapitalized, nothing will have been solved. QE is just another way to prop them up.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Lunchtime Links 8-31

August 31, 2009

Raft of failed banks put U.S. on hook for billions (WSJ) This article notes that loss-share agreements FDIC has signed with healthy banks that acquire failing banks put it on the hook for $80 billion. I think that's the total figure FDIC could conceivably lose if the loss rate on the assets in question was 100%. That's fairly unlikely. In any case, bank failure press releases include estimates for losses FDIC expects from each deal, so they're reserving for them. Of course many bank failures have ended up costing significantly more than FDIC's initial estimate...

from Rolfe Winkler:

Sunday links 8-30

August 30, 2009

(Sorry for the scarcity of posts the last couple days. I was moving and didn't have internet access.)

from Rolfe Winkler:

Evening Links

August 27, 2009

Fed says disclosing loans will hurt banks (Bloomberg) That's sorta the point...

Emergencies inspire crowd cooperation, not panic (BPS Research Digest) I suspect society might also handle financial emergencies better than policy-makers expect.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Daily linkage

August 26, 2009

(Reader note: it occurs to me that referring to my links as "lunchtime" links probably discriminates against readers on the West Coast and in Europe who aren't operating on EST. I'm trying to think of another name. Would love to hear ideas from readers. Send me an e-mail or leave a comment)

from Rolfe Winkler:

Lunchtime Links 8-25

August 25, 2009

The boy who heard too much (Rolling Stone) "He was a 14-year-old blind kid, angry and alone. Then he discovered that he possessed a strange and fearsome superpower — one that put him in the cross hairs of the FBI."

from Rolfe Winkler:

Lunchtime Links 8-24

August 24, 2009

The man who sells America's IOUs (NYT)  An interesting profile of Van Zeck, the commissioner of the public debt.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Afternoon Links 8-21

August 21, 2009

Japan turns to taxis for help in selling government bonds (Bloomberg) A peak into our own future?

from Rolfe Winkler:

Lunchtime Links 8-20

August 20, 2009

Ouch.  Colonial left a mark (CalculatedRisk)  CR pulls a very helpful chart from BB&T's investor presentation regarding the Colonial deal. It shows that BB&T marked down Colonial's loans 37%.  It also shows the marks taken on similar transactions over the past year.  While Colonial's loans appear particularly toxic, this gives you a sense for losses that may be embedded in the loan books of other banks.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Afternoon Links 8-19

August 19, 2009

Why we need to regulate the banks sooner, not later (FT)  This op-ed is notable because of its author, Ken Rogoff, and because of a great lead.  Overall, he rambles a lot, commenting on the problems festering inside the financial system without really offering a prescription to fix them.  But there are some good lines.  For instance: "The fact is that banks, especially large systemically important ones, are currently able to obtain cash at a near zero interest rate and engage in risky arbitrage activities, knowing that the invisible wallet of the taxpayer stands behind them. In essence, while authorities are saying that they intend to raise capital requirements on banks later, in the short run they are looking the other way while banks gamble under the umbrella of taxpayer guarantees."