I’ve always felt that the Daily Show should do more financial stuff, and there’s no doubt that Wednesday’s piece on Blackstone was funny. But it was also extremely credulous about a single Bloomberg article from October.
Last week, Arik Hesseldahl — a tech writer who’s the first to admit he’s no expert on finance — discovered the wonderful world of credit default swaps in general, and single-name CDS on Hewlett-Packard, in particular. The cost of single-name protection on HP has been going up, and that can only mean one thing: it’s “mainly a barometer of the state of anxiety over its finances and its balance sheet”, he wrote.
There are a few different ways to look at the seemingly-unstoppable rise of the amount of “excess deposits” that JP Morgan ended up handing to its Chief Investment Office, rather than lending out to individuals and businesses needing loans. Maybe big corporations are flocking to deposit their billions at Chase because they know it’s too big to fail. Maybe Chase just can’t find anybody who both wants to borrow money and is likely to pay it back. Maybe — and more likely — Jamie Dimon funneled increasing sums to the CIO just because the CIO could generate a higher internal rate of return than his plain-vanilla lenders could.