Rolfe Winkler

Sun-Times files bankruptcy

By Reuters Staff
March 31, 2009

Chicago’s #2 paper is aiming to keep its print and online operations going, but it has one problematic creditor (Sun-Times):

Lunchtime Links 3-30

By Reuters Staff
March 30, 2009

(Send links, videos, pics to optionarmageddon at gmail with subject “link”)

Obama Says GM/Chrysler have last chance to survive (Bloomberg)  The administration will continue funding GM for 60 days and Chrysler for 30 days to give them one last chance to cut costs.  Debts have to be restructured; unfunded pension/benefit promises have to be abrogated; dealer networks have to be drastically reduced.  If these various constituencies can’t come to an agreement, the administration will force them into a bankruptcy restructuring.  Obama made clear in his speech that if bankruptcy happens, the government will provide debtor-in-possession financing in order to prevent a disorderly liquidation of auto assets.

Letter to FASB: Don’t Change Mark-to-Market!

By Reuters Staff
March 29, 2009

John Gavin of Disclosure Insight has written a letter to FASB opposing its proposal to refine mark-to-market rules.  Like John, I hope FASB sees the light.

Lunchtime Links 3-29

By Reuters Staff
March 29, 2009

(Send links, videos, pics to optionarmageddon at gmail with subject “link” … Thanks to Kay B.—$20—for her donation!)

Lunchtime Links 3-28

By Reuters Staff
March 28, 2009

(Send links, videos, pics to optionarmageddon at gmail with subject “link” … Thanks to Toby—$15—and Edgar P.—$5—for their donations!)

Gaming the Geithner Plan, a video tutorial

By Reuters Staff
March 28, 2009

The tutorial below is from Salman Khan.  It walks through one reason—outlined in OA’s pop quiz earlier this week—that the Geithner plan is such a disaster: because of the huge incentive it gives banks to buy their own assets in order to transfer the risk of further writedowns from themselves to taxpayers.

Big Banks Pull off The Ultimate Bait & Switch

By Reuters Staff
March 27, 2009

We’re not quite as healthy as we thought we were.  Oops.  (WSJ)

J.P. Morgan Chase Chief Executive James Dimon said…that March was a little tougher than the first two months of the year….Bank of America…CEO Kenneth Lewis also said that March had been a tougher month for his bank. [Convenient that they dumped this on Friday afternoon, and at the close of a very good week.]

Lunchtime Links 3-27

By Reuters Staff
March 27, 2009

(Send links, videos, pics to optionarmageddon at gmail with subject “link” … Thanks to Bobby S.—$8—for his donation!)

Financial Conduits: A $700 billion time bomb?

By Reuters Staff
March 27, 2009

[Reader Note: Allow me to introduce a guest writer: Keith Allman.  Formerly in the quantitative analytics group at MBIA and the principal financial group at Citi, Keith now runs the training and consulting firm Enstruct.  He literally wrote the book on modeling structured finance cash flows.  Recently he wrote his second book and is now planning a third.  With all the talk of increased financial regulation, Keith wrote a post about one corner of the structured finance world he hopes won't be overlooked.  He can be contacted at keith.allman at enstructcorp.com]

Weekly Update: U.S. Debt/Fed Assets

By Reuters Staff
March 26, 2009

I will be updating this info each week in order to track fiscal and monetary policy from a bird’s eye view.  (For those interested, a tutorial regarding this data from last week’s post.)

Lunchtime Links 3-26

By Reuters Staff
March 26, 2009

(Send links, videos, pics to optionarmageddon at gmail with subject “link”)

Today’s Must Read: Pension Glut Lies at Heart of Crisis Wracking Hungary (WSJ)  Charles Forelle has been leading the paper’s coverage of Iceland; this is a fantastic story about how pensions have bankrupted Hungary.  Nothing destroys economies quite like entitlement…

WSJ: Poor Treasury Auction Rattles Investors

By Reuters Staff
March 25, 2009

On the heels of Britain’s failed debt auction today, our Treasury had its own trouble selling bonds.  WSJ:

Lunchtime Links 3-25

By Reuters Staff
March 25, 2009

(Send links, videos, pics to optionarmageddon at gmail with subject “link” … Thanks to Mark K.—$9—for his donation!)

MBA fires 20, plans furlough

By Reuters Staff
March 25, 2009

The Mortgage Bankers Association continues its downward spiral.  Last summer OA wrote about the association’s albatross: brand new HQs constructed, at the top of the market, by former President and CEO Jonathan Kempner.  Not helping matters was MBA’s trouble finding tenants to fill the 60% of the building they don’t occupy.  An MBA spokeswoman wouldn’t comment on how much of the space has been filled.

Frontline: $10 Trillion and Counting

By Reuters Staff
March 25, 2009

A good special from Frontline on runaway deficits.

There are lots of other goodies at Frontline’s website.