Catching up

May 18, 2009

So, what did I miss when I was off foraging for ramps (very successfully, I might add) in southern Vermont?

There was the big Geithner announcement about regulating OTC derivatives, of course, which is surely good news — much more constructive than simply trusting the market to get things right by setting up a central clearing house or three. The more information that regulators have about the size of net positions in the OTC market, the more alert to major systemic risks — like AIG — they will be.

David Reilly put out a column lazily conflating GM’s former employees with hedge-fund speculators, on the grounds that both of them can be considered to be “retirees”. Unhelpful.

Nicholas Carlson had some details of the proposed agreement between Google and the NYT, which looks very similar to the model of APIs and embeddable content that I’ve been quite enthusiastic about.

Vipal Monga has the details of the somewhat surprising bidding war which broke out between various financiers over whom would have the privilege of providing debtor-in-possession financing during the bankruptcy of General Growth Properties. When lenders are fighting with each other to provide credit to a shopping-mall operator, that’s surely good news.

More good news is coming from the bank funding market, where $24.6 billion of debt has been issued without government guarantees, compared to just $1.1 billion with guarantees.

And while I was walking in to the Reuters offices this morning, I passed an armed Wackenhut guard patrolling the street outside the new Bank of America tower. Which shocked me a little — I’m not used to seeing armed private security guards in New York, certainly not outside banks.

Anything else I should know?

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