Commentaries

Geithner of Oz

August 13, 2009

Earlier today I wrote that Sheila Bair is one of the few financial regulators who gets it. And by getting it, I mean not sucking up to the banks and the big money interests on Wall Street. You know, the guys (and most of them are guys), who got us into this financial mess. Tim Geithner, on the other hand, is a regulator who just doesn’t get it.

Citi’s dirty pool of assets

August 12, 2009

Hard as it may be to believe, shares of beleaguered Citigroup are on fire.

The stock of the de facto U.S. government-owned bank is up some 300 percent after it cratered at around $1 back in early March.

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.

Toxic bonuses, Credit Suisse’s one hit wonder

August 7, 2009

Credit SuisseAt the height of the financial crisis, Credit Suisse came up with a clever idea to offload dodgy assets without having to sell them at knock-down prices. It stuffed $5 billion of them into a bonus pool for its bankers.

Sir Win FTW at Lloyd’s Banking Group

July 28, 2009

It’s good to hear that Win Bischoff has a list of priorities in his new role as chairman of Lloyds Banking Group <LLOY.L>. Reviewing the position of chief executive Eric Daniels is apparently not at the top of it.

The Citi dump

July 17, 2009

City landfills aren’t pretty places. Much the same can be said for Citi Holdings, the newly formed dumping ground for Citigroup’s most ailing and malodorous assets.

A Tale of Two Citi’s

July 10, 2009

Here’s a summer quiz: Identify the following two US banks:

1. This institution has been profitable throughout the credit crisis. Last year, it reported net income of $6bn on revenues of $60bn, despite taking big hits in its consumer operations in North and South America in the fourth quarter. At the end of the first quarter the bank had total assets of $958 billion, supported by a healthy deposit base of $660 billion.

The shuffle Citi needs

July 9, 2009

Citi CEO Vikram Pandit keeps moving around the deck chairs, but the one chair he still won’t move is his own.

The PPIP let down

July 8, 2009

Details on the government’s PPIP program – the one designed to suck out the venomous assets still coursing through bank balance sheets – is out and the amount of money dedicated to the task looks underwhelming.

When the tough gets going, securitize!

July 6, 2009

The FT has a report that banks are looking to slice and dice risky assets on their balance sheet so they can unload some of the capital-gobbling securities to investors. The banks argue that this type of securitization is different than those CDOs that helped suck the financial system into a sinkhole since it doesn’t rely on leverage and it’s more transparent.