Rolfe Winkler

Neel Kashkari, off the grid

December 7, 2009

This is a fun story: The $700 billion man (Laura Blumenfeld, WaPo)

It all began as it ended, abruptly. [Neel] Kashkari was a 35-year-old business school graduate from a suburb of Akron, Ohio, who had gone to Washington in 2006 to learn how government worked. Then came the recession, and through a freakish set of circumstances, mixing pluck, cataclysm and luck, he was appointed by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson as the federal bailout chief.

Evening Links 12-6

December 6, 2009

(Reader note: One bug we’re still trying to work out is that links in the top line of a post aren’t “hot” in the front-page view of the blog. If you click “continue reading” the link is available)

Geithner: “none…would have survived”

December 6, 2009

Secretary Geithner acknowledges what most doomsdayers were saying last fall, that without the government’s extraordinary rescue measures, the entire financial system was on the verge of collapse. (Miller/Harper, Bloomberg)

Bank failure Friday

December 4, 2009

More Georgia! Update: And AmTrust!  That’s a $2.0 billion hit to the DIF…

Gold gets hammered on jobs data

December 4, 2009

Is Bernanke still trapped if the unemployment rate has suddenly started to fall?

The gold market, the bond market and Fed funds futures are all reassessing what Bernanke will do. Maybe he will be able to raise rates sooner than expected.

Welcome to the new Reuters!

December 4, 2009

Hi readers.

As you can see, we’ve launched a cool new site. I’m a big fan of the new layout.

Bunning grills Bernanke

December 4, 2009

This was a good clip from yesterday’s confirmation hearing…

North Korea devalues currency

December 3, 2009

From Richard Lloyd Parry, writing for the Times of London: North Koreans in misery as cash is culled

Luchtime Links 12-3

December 3, 2009

A cloud still hangs over Bhopal (Mehta, NYT)

Japanese companies cut capital spending at record rate (Ujikane, Bloomberg)

Black caucus seeks to ease radio’s woes (Lipton, NYT) This is certainly interesting. Remember the CBC skipped the vote on the financial reform package. They want the administration to pressure Goldman and GE to renegotiate loans to a prominent black radio station in NYC.

Evening Links 12-2

December 2, 2009

CBC sits out vote… (Brush, The Hill) The Congressional Black Caucus didn’t show up for a vote this morning on Barney Frank’s financial reform package. It passed the Financial Services Committee, but the administration may have to buy the CBC’s support to get the legislation through the full House.

Lunchtime Links

December 2, 2009

Fears grow about overheated U.S. debt market (Sender, FT) Dividend recaps (see yesterday’s post) aren’t the only controversial debt deals coming back to marketm, so are PIK toggles and Covenant Lite loans. Like option ARM and liar loan mortgages these would qualigy as Ponzi units of finance under Minksy’s framework.

Wherein Gary Cohn rewrites history

December 2, 2009

Bethany McLean pens a good article on Goldman for Vanity Fair. She gets the internal view from CEO Lloyd Blankfein and COO Gary Cohn on why Goldman’s really better than the competition and why they didn’t really need the government’s help. She’s properly critical of this. One reader passes on this telling paragraph:

Reuters buys Breakingviews

December 2, 2009

A quick note for readers. Today Reuters closed the acquisition of commentary service Breakingviews. Their team has joined the Reuters commentary team here at 3 Times Square and will be leading the commentary service going forward.

Back to (buyout) biz as usual

December 1, 2009

Reason #147 that nothing has changed: leveraged buyout private equity shops Carlyle and Hellman & Friedman are tapping the loan market to pay themselves dividends. From Pierre Paulden and Kristen Haunss at Bloomberg

Lunchtime Links 12-1

December 1, 2009

Must read: Somalis investing in piracy (Ahmed, Reuters) “In Somalia’s main pirate lair of Haradheere, the sea gangs have set up a cooperative to fund their hijackings offshore, a sort of stock exchange meets criminal syndicate.”