Rolfe Winkler

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.”

WSJ: Japan passes moratorium on loan repayments

November 30, 2009

Interesting item from Alison Tudor:

Japan passed into law Monday a conditional moratorium on loan repayments by small businesses and home owners, a move that opponents say may lead to an increase in bad loans on the books of the country’s banks.

Fed to test exit strategy

November 30, 2009

From the Fed: Statement regarding reverse repurchase agreements

…in the coming weeks, as an extension of this work, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York plans to conduct a series of small-scale, real-value transactions with primary dealers. Like the earlier rounds of testing, this work is a matter of prudent advance planning by the Federal Reserve. It does not represent any change in the stance of monetary policy, and no inference should be drawn about the timing of any change in the stance of monetary policy in the future.

Lunchtime Links 11-30

November 30, 2009

Four years of calling the global financial crisis (Steve Keen) The latest from Steve. Lots of helpful charts. We’ve a long way to go till we successfully de-lever the economy.

Lunchtime Links 11-29

November 29, 2009

UAE moves to counter Dubai fallout but markets wary (Dokoupil/Kiwan, Reuters) “Case by case” help from Abu Dhabi probably isn’t what Dubai creditors were hoping for…

Poole on fixing TBTF

November 29, 2009

William Poole, the last President of the St. Louis Fed and now with the Cato Institute, has a good piece on fixing the TBTF problem in a recent issue of the Financial Analysts Journal. Based on a speech given last April, it’s still highly relevant.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2009

From The Reformed Broker


The family is spending Thanksgiving with my sister at Luke Air Force Base in Surprise, AZ. Guest housing on the base comes with a helpful instruction manual, including this:

If banks can delay, pray

November 24, 2009

The “too-big-to-fail” amendment offered by Representative Paul Kanjorski has good intentions, but fatal flaws.

FDIC’s problem bank list grows to 552, DIF now negative

November 24, 2009

I’m not good at taking vacations….

FDIC published its quarterly banking profile today. Here are the latest banking industry statistics at a glance. A few interesting takeaways I’d like to highlight. First, the problem bank list grew again. And it still understates total problem assets…both Citi and Bank of American should also be on this list.

Grist for Goldman conspiracy theorists

November 24, 2009

From Yves over at NakedCapitalism:

A former managing director at monolines Ambac and FGIC wonders why AIG was bailed out but the monolines weren’t. (He admits to bias, so take this with a grain of salt.)

Lunchtime Links 11-23

November 23, 2009

Reader note: I’m taking the week off for Thanksgiving, so blogging will be light. Back next Monday.

SNL on the U.S./China economic relationship

November 23, 2009

“Why are you trying to do sex to me like I was Mrs. Obama!?!”

Small quibble: SNL doesn’t note that the Chinese are, uh, “doing sex” to themselves by manipulating the yuan.