Unstructured Finance

That’s Mr. Geithner to you, Jamie…

USA/CEO-SURVEY“Dear Timmy, we are happy to be able to pay back the $25 billion you lent us. We hope you enjoyed the experience as much as we did.”

That’s JPMorgan ChUSA-CHINA/GEITHNERase CEO Jamie Dimon’s biting sense of humor on display yesterday as he read a  mock letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner before the Annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York. Dimon’s sarcastic tone shocked some participants and cheered others, according to sources who attended the meeting.

“I congratulate him not only for his candor but for his wit,” said Mark Grant, managing director of structured finance at Southwest Securities in Dallas. “The fact that Jamie Dimon had the self composure, the sense of humor and the fortitude to make such a statement in public not only made me smile but it reminded me of days seemingly long past when men stood up on their own two feet and played the Great Game with style.”

The Wall Street Examiner, a blog of financial analysis and commentary, characterized Dimon’s remarks in a different light, calling it “the new and taunting face of state capitalism in America. ”

Dimon, a combative executive who took up boxing lessons before he joined JPMorgan, has in the past referred to TARP funds as a  “scarlet letter” and also called the $25 billion that the Treasury forced JPMorgan to take as a “TARP baby.”

The security formerly known as a CDO


“O, be some other name! That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” –Romeo and Juliet

Debt analysts told an audience at New York University last week that the maligned securities known as collateralized debt obligations can still help diversify investment portfolios and disperse risk when used correctly. But first the markets will have to come to terms with the negative aura surrounding CDOs, which have been blamed for their role in the housing and credit crisis.

“CDOs will be back at some point. They might have a different name…,” Stanford University professor Darrell Duffie said, trailing off to a roomful of laughter at a credit conference sponsored by Moody’s and NYU.