Rolfe Winkler

Bank failure Friday

January 30, 2010


    Failed bank: First National Bank of Georgia, Carrollton GA Acquiring bank: Community & Southern Bank, Carrollton GA Vitals: at 9/30/09, assets of $832.6m, deposits of $757.9m Estimated DIF damage: $260.4m


Spanish canary in the European coal mine

January 29, 2010

The quote of the day comes from Marc Chandler, currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, who has graciously offered to let me reprint a note he sent today.

Lunchtime Links 1-29

January 29, 2010

Kohn, Bair warn banks about interest rate risk at FDIC symposium (Wutkowski, Reuters) The Fed says rates will stay low for an “extended period.” But that doesn’t mean “forever” so the Fed, along with other bank regulators, have warned bankers to prepare their balance sheets for higher rates. The populist line that banks need to “lend more” to get the economy going is just foolish. Regulators know the score: banks that lend too much at these low rates, or are using too much cheap short-term funding, will be caught out when rates head back up. Text of Kohn’s speech here. PDF of Sheila Bair’s here. (Bair’s speech is shorter and less wonkish)

Program note: Felix to interview Roubini

January 29, 2010

Reuters’ super-blogger Felix Salmon will be interviewing Nouriel Dr. Doom Roubini in Davos at 12:20 EST.

Splitting hairs on the Bernanke vote

January 28, 2010

In the Bernanke confirmation vote this afternoon, seven senators wanted to be seen opposing Bernanke but didn’t actually want to stop his confirmation. In other words, they wanted a campaign talking point, not an actual fight.

Gekko’s back

January 28, 2010

The trailer for Oliver Stone’s sequel to Wall Street.

Great cast too…in order of sheer coolness: obviously Douglas, toss up between Frank Langella and Eli Wallach, Josh Brolin, and Shia LaBeouf.

Lunchtime Links 1-28

January 28, 2010

Bernanke didn’t have staff support on AIG bailout (Ed Harrison) Ed has a copy of a letter from Rep. Darrell Issa, in which he claims Fed staffers weren’t keen on bailing out AIG. He wants another subpoena.

Geithner’s faulty apologia

January 28, 2010

Tim Geithner’s appearance in front of Congress today was another embarrassment, perhaps more for the people’s representatives than the Treasury Secretary. Still, Geithner offered a clumsy defense for paying out 100¢ on the dollar to AIG’s counterparties, which included more than Goldman Sachs.

Morning Links 1-27

January 27, 2010

Note: Apologies for no links yesterday. Busy day writing columns!

SEC to vote on new money fund rules (Johnson, WSJ) Unfortunately, the SEC won’t do away with $1 NAVs, price fluctuations will be published on a 60 day lag. So investors will continue to treat money funds as cash equivalents, even though they aren’t, and the systemic risk they pose won’t really go away.

Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem

January 26, 2010

Two economic giants in a freestyle face-off. An instant classic… (ht Rej)

Why not Baby Banks?

January 25, 2010

The President is right to target firm size if he wants to insure no financial firm can cause a system failure. Yet despite clear evidence that banks are already too big, Obama’s proposal won’t cut them down. It would only limit future growth by acquisition.

Existing home sales plunge

January 25, 2010

When it looked like the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit was going to expire, folks rushed to buy. The result was merely to pull forward demand, similar to the dynamic that played out with Cash4Clunkers.

Morning Links 1-25

January 25, 2010

Tishman gives up Stuyvesant Town (Wei/Spector, WSJ) Way underwater was this deal: the price tag was $5.4 billion, but the property is thought to be worth only $1.8 billion now. Tishman put up only $112 million of equity. Lenders and investors get wiped out. Good. By the way, if underwater investors can walk away, there’s little reason underwater homeowners should feel a moral obligation to keep paying their own overpriced mortgages….

Bank failure Friday

January 23, 2010

Two billion-plus failures tonight….

By the way….Adam from BearishNews reminds us that the FDIC opened a temporary midwest satellite office to help with asset sales and bank closings.