Felix Salmon

Counterparties

How JP Morgan lent its clients’ money to the doomed Sigma SIV, losing them millions — NYT

The historical echoes of the mortgage bond scandal

What did Wall Street used to be like, before the Securities Act of 1933? Michael Perino’s new book on Ferdiand Pecora, which I reviewed here, reminds us. For instance, there was National City Bank’s Peru deal.

The Daily Caller vs the banks

Joseph Tauke has a monster 5,600-word excoriation of the mortgage industry. It’s a great read, and it includes a lot of information you probably won’t know unless you’re a regular reader of Naked Capitalism and 4closureFraud. But the most important thing about the story is nowhere to be found in the story itself; rather, it’s the fact that it was published by the Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson’s right-wing website.

Why financial stocks haven’t fallen much

Bank stocks didn’t do so well this week, what with foreclosuregate coming to a boil. But they didn’t do all that badly, either, as a group: the XLF financial sector ETF ended the week down a pretty modest 2.45% from where it started.

Regulators have known about the mortgage bond scandal for three years

Clayton isn’t the only company doing due diligence on mortgages: another company doing the same thing is Allonhill. Whose CEO, Sue Allon, has a blog post up today explaining that there’s nothing to get excited about here:

How much money is flowing to mortgage bonds?

If bankers are good at anything, surely it’s counting money. If there’s a cashflow, anywhere, bankers will surely be able to quantify it and report it. Or, not:

Mortgage datapoints of the day

Just how bad is the mortgage mess right now?

Mike Konczal finds an Andy Kroll piece from January which shows just how unregulated mortgage servicing has been: the OCC, for instance, has never taken action against mortgage servicers. And it’s far from clear that it’s inclined to now:

Counterparties

John Cassidy on the blogonomics of Gawker — TNY

Microfinance institutions are now kidnapping minor children?! — India Microfinance

Signature debit refuses to die

I took the subway downtown from work today, since it was raining rather heavily, and saw an ad for something called Chase Commuter Cash. The idea is that you enroll your Chase debit card in the scheme, use that debit card to pay for your Metrocards and then get $10 back from the bank for every $150 you spend.