Rolfe Winkler

Treasury is right to go long

October 27, 2009

Timothy Geithner wants to lock in low rates for the government while he can, extending the maturity of Treasury debt to 72 months from 49, a 26-year low.

Morning Links 10-26

October 26, 2009

Detroit house auction flops (Reuters) “Despite a minimum bid of $500, less than a fifth of the Detroit land was sold after four days.” The article notes that “total vacant land in Detroit now occupies an area almost the size of Boston.”

#100….and counting (+ charts)

October 23, 2009

Another failure in Georgia. And two in Naples.


    Failed bank: Partners Bank, Naples FL Acquiring bank: Stonegate Bank, Ft. Lauderdale FL Vitals: as of 9/30, assets of $66 million, deposits of $65m DIF damage: $28.6m


Is Fed’s choice tough enough?

October 23, 2009

An insider’s insider. That’s how Patrick Parkinson, the Federal Reserve’s newly appointed head of bank supervision and regulation, has been described.

Lunchtime Links 10-23

October 23, 2009

Macklowe’s Worldwide Plaza Successor wrestles towering dilemma (Bloomberg) “The partnership [that bought Macklowe’s busted property] paid $370 a square foot for Worldwide Plaza, while competitors paid $1,000 a foot or more for similar buildings at the height of the five- year U.S. property boom.” That means they can drop rents to $30-$50 per sq foot from $80-$100 that was common not long ago. That’s bad for CMBS holders and banks who own the debt on busted properties, but fantastic for folks in the real economy who suddenly have much more money to spend on things besides rent. But instead of allowing price adjustments like this to happen, policymakers scream “deflation” and institute all manner of spending schemes to prop up asset prices.

Afternoon links 10-22

October 22, 2009

CFPA clears house panel (Bloomberg) A step in the right direction.

More aid for Pakistan (Newsweek) But is the money doing any good?

Why mortgages aren’t modified (Ed Harrison)

How the current economy has affected dentists, vasectomies, guns and shark attacks (CoinbyCoin) A good video, though be careful re: his chart of “leverage,” which looks to me like excess reserves in the banking system. A better measure of the economy’s leverage is debt to gdp.

Wells farrago

October 21, 2009

All seems well at Wells Fargo: a 60 percent jump in third-quarter earnings and an increase in its capital cushion.

Afternoon Links 10-21

October 21, 2009

MUST READ SPEECH–Mervyn King says to break up big banks (Bank of England) The head of the UK’s central bank says we should break up big banks. This is big news since King may actually be granted the power to do so next year when a conservative government stands to win power. Unfortunately, on this side of the pond, policy makers say that while TBTF is a problem, breaking up the big banks just isn’t practical. But it’s suddenly MORE practical if England is on board. Big bank will have a harder time arbing regulators if they work together!

Tilson’s and Tongue’s slideshow

October 21, 2009

This is a slideshow that the folks at T2 Partners regularly update. This is the most recent version released this week. The pdf is too big to upload here, but you can get it from Scribd.

BlogArt: Bankers and Pirates

October 21, 2009

Bank CEOs and/or managing directors would be a more precise target for this cartoon. But the point is taken…

Evening Links 10-20

October 20, 2009

IRS examining 100,000+ suspicious claims for homebuyer credit (WSJ) It’s a credit, which means folks without tax liability can get cash back from the IRS. Also, “taxpayers don’t have to file their claims as part of a real-estate transaction, and can instead” file/amend their 1040 to claim the credit, making it easier to commit fraued.

The inflationary threat to stocks

October 20, 2009

Would inflation be good for stocks?

With the monetary and fiscal spigots open wide, some investors say equities are a good place to be. But David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital has warned that inflation could compress price-to-earnings multiples. A look back to history suggests his fears are warranted.

Be wary of the gold trade…

October 20, 2009

Looking out a few years, I’m as bearish as anyone, I admit. But I’m a little worried that suckers could get caught in this gold rally. A hedge-funder I spoke with at the Value Investing Congress said half of the sessions were devoted to doomsday scenarios, precious metals, etc. Today there was a keynote from Eric Sprott of Sprott Asset Mgmt. Fully 70% of his assets under management are in precious metals, silver and gold.

Jamie Dimon, 9/13/08

October 20, 2009

An excerpt from the introduction of Andrew Ross Sorkin’s new book Too Big to Fail:

Brooksley Born on Frontline Tuesday

October 20, 2009

From PBS:

“We didn’t truly know the dangers of the market, because it was a dark market,” says Brooksley Born, the head of an obscure federal regulatory agency — the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) — who not only warned of the potential for economic meltdown in the late 1990s, but also tried to convince the country’s key economic powerbrokers to take actions that could have helped avert the crisis. “They were totally opposed to it,” Born says. “That puzzled me. What was it that was in this market that had to be hidden?”