Commentaries

The Congressional hearing we need

June 25, 2009

Once again the folks on Capitol Hill are spending time on a sideshow and ignoring the main event. What I’m talking about is today’s second round of Congressional hearings into the awful merger of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. 

Fink reaches for Wall Street’s crown

June 16, 2009

Matthew GoldsteinYou have to marvel at the seemingly Midas touch of Larry Fink.

The BlackRock Inc. chief executive avoided taking over the helm of Merrill Lynch — something John Thain probably wishes he had done. Fink’s firm emerged from the financial crisis as the Federal Reserve’s favorite private money manager, with BlackRock getting the lion’s share of the government’s work for managing troubled assets. And the $13 billion deal Fink just reached with Barclays Global Investors has turned BlackRock into the outright titan of the asset management world with $2.7 trillion in other peoples’ money under management.

The BofA sideshow

June 11, 2009

Pay no attention to the folks in front of the TV cameras. That’s the way you should view today’s Congressional hearing into whether federal regulators pressured Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis to follow through on the bank’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch.