Lunchtime Links 11-22
The talented Mr. Pang (Maremont, WSJ) Maremont uncovered the long and sordid history of Mr. Pang. The Journal also broke the Norman Hsu story. Both were high-flying con-artists before the Journal got on their case. Great stories.
The 70% discount on Goldman’s $500m gift (Ransom, SmartMoney) Really great work from Diana Ransom. Goldman will get a tax writeoff for much of its “gift.” Other parts of it are actually loans the company expects will be repaid with interest. BTW, people know that Warren Buffett isn’t actually contributing any money, right? He’s just lending his time. Hmmm. What’s he going to do? Get on the phone with a Denny’s franchisee to talk about the stock market?
Congresswoman passes leverage amendment (Grim, HuffPo) It’s hard to keep track of the House Financial Services Committee these days. The amendment would apparently limit leverage to 12x. I’m trying to get my hands on a copy to determine how it defines leverage. And in any case, all of this may be a dead issue. The Congressional Black Caucus canceled a vote on the package Thursday arguing that not enough is being done about unemployment. Ugh. There are lots of problems with the financial reform package, but now it’s looking like we may not get anything signed into law before 2011.
Tim Geithner, mad as hell and not going to take it anymore (Tech Ticker) This quote from Geithner, in response to criticism from a Republican congressman, is just another reason he has to go: “What I can’t take responsibility for is the legacy of the crises you’ve bequeathed this country.” But Geithner bears as much responsibility for the banking crisis as anyone. Recall that he was chief of the NY Fed before he joined the administration. In that role he was supposed to regulate banks. Clearly he wasn’t a very tough regulator if, when the CEO spot at Citigroup opened up two years ago, Geithner was Sandy Weill’s first choice.
The Louisiana Purchase redux (Milbank, WaPo)
Unburied bodies tell the tale of Detroit (Reid, Times Online)
Baby elephant sneezes…