Rolfe Winkler

Einhorn on gold, sovereign risk, and more

October 19, 2009

Two years ago, when he spoke at the Value Investing Congress, David Einhorn said Lehman was in deep trouble. Turned out it was a good call. Today he gave another keynote at the conference in which he argued the policies of the administration have put us on a very dangerous path, one which has encouraged him to buy physical gold as insurance against sovereign default(s).

Lunchtime Links 10-19

October 19, 2009

Stopping by the Value Investor Congress today….still getting over the Bears’ ATROCIOUS loss last night….

Lunchtime Links 10-17

October 17, 2009

Quote of the day. Terry Teachout, the WSJ’s theater critic, commenting on John Stamos’ performance in the Broadway revival of Bye Bye Birdie: “Mr. Stamos couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket with the lid welded on.”

Bank failure Friday, Bair on TBTF at Buttonwood

October 17, 2009

At Buttonwood, Sheila Bair noted that the DIF’s balance, its net worth, is now negative. They have $20 billion+ of cash on hand, but much is accounted for by the fund’s contingent loss reserve, which is to say the money is spoken for based on failures already in the pipeline.

Roach and Soros at Buttonwood

October 16, 2009

Hopped over to the Economist’s Buttonwood conference this evening, where George Soros and Stephen Roach were on a panel. I will be tweeting as much of tomorrow’s conference as I can, including Sheila Bair’s talk in the morning and Larry Summers’ talk at lunch.

Balloon Boy was a hoax!

October 16, 2009

HT to Felix and Business Insider for this one, which I’m sure EVERYONE will be linking to tomorrow. Sounds like the boy was instructed to hide. I think Mommy and Daddy wanted a PR stunt for a book deal or a reality show.

Meredith Whitney asks the tough questions

October 15, 2009

—-Not to beat a dead-horse here, but I thought I’d blog one last interesting thing on Goldman. This from today’s conference call. (Transcript via Thomson Street Events, no link)—-

Letting Goldman roll the dice

October 15, 2009

On this morning’s conference call, David Viniar, Goldman Sachs’ chief financial officer, emphasized the bank’s valuable social role. His bank made markets and provided credit when other financial players were suffering.

Afternoon Links 10-15

October 15, 2009

6-year-old Colorado boy is floating away in balloon (thedenverchannel) He’s still up there as of this writing, 7500-8500 feet up, in a homemade hot-air balloon filled with helium. Authorities say he could stay aloft for 12 hours.  Update: Balloon lands, no boy.

ERRATUM: Goldman’s comp

October 15, 2009

(Update: An earlier version of this chart labeled the Y-axis “dollars in billions,” which is of course inaccurate. Apologies to folks at Goldman for implying that this year’s bonuses would make them quadrillionaires.)

Deflation data point of the day

October 14, 2009

From AP: Colorado minimum wage to drop as living costs fall

Colorado will become the first state to reduce its minimum wage because of a falling cost of living.

Lunchtime Links 10-14

October 14, 2009

JP Morgan blows out results (Bloomberg) It’s good to be TBTF!

WSJ artist ripped off! (Hedcuts) You know those neat little illustrations that WSJ runs in the paper? Turns out an artist is ripping them off. “…MY DRAWING was given as a gift to Vaclav Havel who then re-gifted it for president Obama?! And it’s now hanging in the White House?! You can bet your knickers I will do my damndest to let the President know he was scammed by the Spaniards and the Czechs! ;-)))”

It’s good to be in finance

October 14, 2009

From WSJ: Wall Street on track to award record pay

Major U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their employees about $140 billion this year — a record high that shows compensation is rebounding despite regulatory scrutiny of Wall Street’s pay culture.

Afternoon Links 10-13

October 13, 2009

The Pension Crisis (WaPo) “After losing about $1 trillion in the markets, state and local governments are facing a devil’s choice: Either slash retirement benefits or pursue high-return investments that come with high risk.” If history is any guide, they’ll reach for yield and the consequences will not be good.