Commentaries

Trust still matters

August 11, 2009

Trust is one of those touchy-feely words that gets thrown around a lot, but whose true value isn’t felt until it’s lost.

Goldman needs to lose Gekko image

August 4, 2009

So, Goldman Sachs has a “Gordon Gekko feel to it” according to an executive at Brand Asset Consulting. In a survey of leading U.S. brands, the market research firm has reached the conclusion that the investment bank’s stature has been diminished in the eyes of the public by recent events.

from Rolfe Winkler:

Talking warrants on TV

July 24, 2009

Recorded a segment for Reuters Insider today, the TV product in Beta here at 3 Times Square.

Goldman, what about the FDIC-backed debt

July 22, 2009

Goldman Sachs is trumpeting the fact it just paid the federal government $1.1 billion to buyback the warrants it gave the Treasury Dept. as part of last fall’s baillout package. But Goldman still is benefiting from the government’s largess by sitting on some $22 billion in FDIC-guaranteed debt it sold this past winter.

Apocalypse Then

July 16, 2009

How bad was the financial crisis in the bleak depths of September?

At today’s House Oversight subcommittee hearing on the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch merger, Representative Paul Kanjorski, the Pennsylvania Democrat, tried to coax Hank Paulson, the former Treasury secretary, to describe the potential doom and gloom policy makers were contemplating as the TARP proposal was being drafted.

Beware the Tarp repayments

June 25, 2009

Shares of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are trading like the financial crisis never happened. In fact, Goldman’ stock is trading at  price that’s right around where it was the Friday before Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy last September.

Seacoast’s deepwater stock sale

June 23, 2009

Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida is in a pickle.

The tiny bank with under $3 billion in assets is one of a handful of lenders that are so cash-strapped they’ve not only stopped paying dividends to shareholders, but to Treasury as well. The Wall Street Journal reported today that Seacost and two other small banks are no longer paying dividends on the preferred stock they gave to the federal government as part of Troubled Asset Relief Program capital infusion.

The cost of paying back TARP

June 17, 2009

In a fitting twist of irony, Goldman Sachs joined other major banks in paying back the TARP on the very same day the Obama administration was releasing its financial regulatory reform package.

Wishing away toxic assets

June 10, 2009

It wasn’t too long ago that there were worries on Wall Street, and presumably in Washington, about the rising tide of so-called Level 3 assets on bank balance sheets. That’s all those hard-to-trade and impossible-to-value securities that many like to call “toxic assets,” but that U.S. Treasury officials euphemistically refer to as “legacy assets”.

Regulators are opaque, too

June 9, 2009

Matthew GoldsteinSo much for more transparency in the financial system.

It’s hard for regulators to demand greater transparency from Wall Street banks when they can’t even live up to their own standard of greater disclosure. A case in point is the Treasury Department’s press release touting its decision to permit “10 of the largest U.S. financial institutions” to begin repaying $68 billion in federal bailout money. The only trouble is Treasury doesn’t name any of the banks that can begin repaying money to the Troubled Asset Relief Program.