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  • Wed, Oct 1 2008
  • 10:20 AM » EU Proposes Kicking Banks When They Are Down?
    Published Wed, Oct 01 2008 10:20 AM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Bloomberg did not report this story in enough detail to be certain, but as it reads, the EU will be imposing rule on member banks that will require them to hold more capital now. That's a good thing, right? Banks need more capital, after all. Not exactly, When banks are imperiled, the first priority is to try to get them back to the level of capital considered necessary before they went into crisis, but offer some latitude if it looks like they are good citizens (or have decided to clean up their act if they misbehaved) and have a realistic chance of pulling through. As a matter of form, regulators use various methods to cut them some slack. The term of art is regulatory forebearance. Some of the approaches are debatable. For instance, the move in the US to let banks fudge the value of infrequently traded assets looks to be a bad idea. Counterparties already don't trust each other, so why let financial firm get more creative with their accounting? This initiative could well be counterproductive. Now a newly-popular theory is that capital requirements should be pro-cyclical. Just as banks get a break in bad times, they should be asked to sock away even more capital in really robust times. That would help prevent asset bubbles too. While it sounds hard to implement, there are some ideas that have been worked out in some detail that sound viable. However, asking banks in a credit crunch to increase their capital (not to fill shortfalls, but by imposing higher standards) is draconian and likely to worsen the credit crunch. Yet that is what the EU appears to be preparing to do by imposing higher capital requirements on asset backed securities. Mind you, we are not objecting to the concept, but how it is implemented, Putting it in place shortly runs counter to normal regulatory practice, which is why we suspect Bloomberg may have omitted some key details. For instance, the EU may apply the new, tougher standards to newly acquired ABS, and have a phased-in implementation...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 10:19 AM » Credit Card Debt: Next Big Hit to Banks?
    Published Wed, Oct 01 2008 10:19 AM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Given how overextended consumers are, and how banks have been cutting back on the cheapest piggybank, home equity loans, by slashing those credit lines, and the reports of rising delinquencies from even conservative lenders like American Express, one would think we'd also be hearing more about serious increased in credit card losses. But under the new bankruptcy code, if you do no qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (crudely, if you are above the average income in your state), it is easier to walk from your mortgage than your credit card debt. So credit card issuers may be showing lower losses than they otherwise might because other lenders are taking the hit, That may be about to change. From : Credit-card debt is on the brink of imploding and will be the next storm to hit the fragile finance industry, an investment research firm predicted this week. According to Innovest StrategicValue Advisors, banks will charge off $18.6 billion in delinquent credit-card accounts in the first quarter of 2009 and $96 billion in all of 2009, more than double the research firm's forecast for all of this year. Innovest projects that amount would be high enough to damage some of the biggest card issuers. Credit-card charge-offs are "defying gravity" when compared with the problems in the mortgage market, according to Gregory Larkin, senior banking analyst for Innovest. But that will change as they catch up with mortgage charge-offs, which have spiked eightfold since the third quarter of 2007. "If history is any indicator, there should be an equivalent surge of credit-card charge-offs very soon," he said, though he concedes that an eightfold increase would be very aggressive. Comparatively, charge-offs reached $4.2 billion in the first quarter of this year and $3.2 billion in the same period a year before, according to the Federal Reserve, which only reports non-securitized debt. Innovest's projections include all credit-card debt, which the firm believes is...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 10:19 AM » Wealthy Investors Hoarding Bullion
    Published Wed, Oct 01 2008 10:19 AM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Demand for gold continues to increase as the rich start to accumulate the metal itself. Nevertheless, the problem with gold as a store of value is twofold. First, for Americans, the US required citizens to turn in gold (presumably coins and bars) in 1934, and they were given paper money at a not-great exchange rate. And after the ban on shorting of financial stocks, don't underestimate the willingness of the powers that be to make derivatives based on gold unattractive. And in a real meltdown, stores of value are limited. If society is reduced to barter, food, medicine, ammo, and cigarettes get a lot more in exchange than gold. From the : Investors in gold are demanding “unprecedented” amounts of bullion bars and coins and moving them into their own vaults as fears about the health of the global financial system deepen. Industry executives and bankers at the London Bullion Market Association annual meeting said the extent of the move into physical gold was unseen and driven by the very rich. “There is an enormous pick-up in investment demand. I have never seen a market like this in my 33-year career,” said Jeremy Charles, chairman of the LBMA. “The gold refineries cannot produce enough bars.” The move comes as fears grow among investors over the losses at investment vehicles previously considered almost risk-free, such as money funds. Philip Clewes-Garner, associate director of precious metals at HSBC, added that investors were not flying into gold simply because they saw it as a haven amid Wall Street’s woes. “It is a flight into gold because it is a physical asset,” he said. “Vault staff are also doing overtime,” another banker at the LBMA meeting said, adding that investors in some countries were paying premiums of up to $25 an ounce above the London spot price to secure scarce gold bars. Spot gold prices in London on Tuesday traded at about $900 an ounce, more than 25 per cent above the level before Lehman Brothers’ collapse. Although some traders said the rush...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 10:03 AM » Rep. Brad Sherman On Bailing Out Foreign Investors
    Published Wed, Oct 01 2008 10:03 AM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Inquiring minds are considering Bailout Bill: Pros & Cons. Following is a partial transcript Rep. Brad Sherman, D California : Larry I am glad you have a few seconds to talk to someone who voted against this bill. I am not changing my mind. I want to thank my colleagues who stood up to the purveyors of panic and voted against a very bad bill and voted with 400 eminent economists including three Nobel laureates who wrote to us and said don't panic, don't act hastily, hold hearings, work carefully. The fact is Larry if you read this bill, even you would have voted against it. It provides hundreds of billions of dollars of bailouts to foreign investors. It provides no real control of Paulson's power. There is a critique board but not really a board that can step in and change what he does. It's a $700 billion program run by a part-time temporary employee and there is no limit on million dollar a month salaries. Larry Kudlow: Let me just ask you one question. I think you are referring to foreign banks headquartered in the United States. I do not see how foreign investors get bailed out. Rep. Brad Sherman: Larry you have to read the bill. It's very clear. The Bank of Shanghai can transfer all of its toxic assets to the Bank of Shanghai of Los Angeles which can then sell them the next day to the Treasury. I had a provision to say if it wasn't owned by an American entity even a subsidiary, but at least an entity in the US, the Treasury can't buy it. It was rejected. The bill is very clear. Assets now held in China and London can be sold to US entities on Monday and then sold to the Treasury on Tuesday. Paulson has made it clear he will recommend a veto of any bill that contained a clear provision that said if Americans did not own the asset on September 20th that it can't be sold to the Treasury. Hundreds of billions of dollars are going to bail out foreign investors. They know it, they demanded it and the bill has been carefully written...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 9:32 AM » Trichet, Brown Pressure Bush To Pass Bailout Plan
    Published Wed, Oct 01 2008 9:32 AM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Bloomberg is reporting European Central Bank President Jean- Claude Trichet said U.S. lawmakers must pass a $700 billion rescue package for banks to shore up confidence in the global financial system. "It has to go, for the sake of the U.S. and for the sake of global finance," Trichet said in an interview in Frankfurt with Bloomberg Television late yesterday. "I am confident, but of course it is the decision of the U.S. Congress." Trichet said a pan-European approach to the banking crisis was unlikely, saying "we are not a fully-fledged federation with a federal budget." "Each country has to mobilize its own efforts," said Trichet. "But of course there is a European spirit and that is the spirit of the single market." Trichet declined to answer questions about ECB monetary policy before tomorrow's interest-rate decision. All 58 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expect the central bank to keep its benchmark rate at 4.25 percent. European leaders are trying to better coordinate their response to the financial crisis. Luxembourg Finance Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said yesterday he expects to meet with Trichet and French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Oct. 4 to discuss "a more systematic approach." Trichet's ECB has so far chosen not to follow the Federal Reserve in slashing interest rates since credit markets seized up 13 months ago, injecting cash into their markets instead, while keeping monetary policy focused on inflation. At a minimum, I expect a change in Trichet's stance on rate cuts. A big surprise cut is certainly not out of the question. Given that rules on virtually everything are changing every day, it is hard to say where the dollar is going but I still sense up, no matter how absurd that may seem. The Eurozone and the UK both have severe problems as well. Brown says rejection of US bailout 'very disappointing' AFP is reporting Prime Minister Gordon Brown has described the rejection...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 9:32 AM » Princeton: Crisis on Wall Street Panel Discussion
    Published Wed, Oct 01 2008 9:32 AM by The Big Picture
    I saw this over the weekend, and thought it was pretty good. Princeton economists review recent events on Wall Street and assess the implications for the economy and public policy. Panelists: - Hyun Shin, Professor of Economics and associate chair of the Department of Economics; - Markus Brunnermeier, Professor of Economics; - Harrison Hong, Professor in Finance; - Paul Krugman, professor of economics and international affairs; - Alan Blinder, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs and co‐director of the Center for Economic Policy Studies.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • Tue, Sep 30 2008
  • 9:52 PM » Wall Street rallies on bailout revival hopes
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 9:52 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street roared back on Tuesday, a day after its worst sell-off in 21 years as investors bet Washington would revive a plan to stabilize the U.S. financial sector following its surprising defeat on Monday on Capitol Hill.
  • 5:02 PM » How the U.S. Saved Europe's Banking System
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 5:02 PM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: Good description in a recent CEPS report of how the U.S., via its AIG bailout, temporarily saved the over-leveraged European banking system. But the AIG case shows the importance of another link across financial markets, namely massive regulatory arbitrage. The K-10 annex of AIG’s last annual report reveals that AIG had written coverage for over US$ 300 billion of credit insurance for European banks. The comment by AIG itself on these positions is: “…. for the purpose of providing them with regulatory capital relief rather than risk mitigation in exchange for a minimum guaranteed fee”. AIG thus helped to organise regulatory arbitrage on a gigantic scale. A formal default of AIG would have had a devastating impact on banks in Europe. This explains why AIG’s problems had sent shock waves through the share prices of European banks. For the time being the US Treasury has saved, inter alia, the European banking system, but given that AIG is to be liquidated European banks now have to scramble to find other ways of obtaining the ‘regulatory capital relief’ they appear to need urgently.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 5:01 PM » Regions Financial: Guilt by Association?
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 5:01 PM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: Hard to take any CEO for face value considering Wachovia (WB) CEO was on Mad Money two weeks ago saying "it's all good" - and then yesterday was brokered in an emergency deal at $2 a share... ... Birmingham-based Regions Financial Corp.'s stock plummeted 41 percent on Monday, but CEO Dowd Ritter expressed confidence in the strength of his company's Main Street business amid turmoil on Wall Street. "You hear all this Wall Street, Main Street talk. We really are a Main Street bank," Ritter said, adding that the bank services consumers and small businesses across its 16-state footprint. "We're not tied up with massive multibillion-dollar agreements there on Wall Street." Ritter noted that while other banks are writing off billions every quarter, Regions has so far made about a half-billion in profit this year. "There's a pretty simple reason," he said. "We always have taken a very conservative approach to our business. At times, we may not be doing what is in vogue, but that plain vanilla banking plays very well in times like this." Ritter said Regions is well-capitalized by regulatory standards, as evidenced by its recent takeover of the failed Georgia-based Integrity Bank last month, at the request of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (yes that's why I bought the stock - only to lose 40% in 1 day, but back up 25% today - what a casino) "We are a safe harbor, if you will, for deposits," he said. He also noted that Regions is not burdened with exotic securities and risky mortgages that have prompted the demise of other institutions. Regions has few subprime mortgages in its entire portfolio, he said. "All that said, it doesn't matter whether we're lucky or smart, we've avoided the real troubled areas that are plaguing many in this industry," he said. Industry watchers acknowledged the growing concern about Regions' health, adding that the Wachovia news...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 5:00 PM » Delinquencies of Subprime RMBS Climb, But Jumbos Drop
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 5:00 PM by Seeking Alpha
    Delinquencies among recent vintages of subprime mortgage securities continued to rise in August, but in the prime jumbo sector, delinquencies leveled off, latest data from Standard & Poor’s shows. Delinquencies among U.S. subprime residential mortgage-backed securities ((RMBS)) transactions originally rated in 2006 and 2007 continued to increase as of the August 2008 distribution date, while delinquencies for the 2005 vintage started to decline. Total delinquencies were 38.05%, 42.89%, and 32.79% of the current aggregate pool balances for the 2005, 2006, and 2007 vintages, respectively. Compared with the July 2008 distribution date, these figures marked increases of approximately 3% for the 2006 vintage and 5% for 2007 and a 0.1% decline for the 2005 vintage.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 5:00 PM » Lehman staffers clog banks' hiring pipelines
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 5:00 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street banks are seeing a glut of resumes from Lehman Brothers, as staff there are contacting colleagues at other firms directly to find new jobs after their investment bank went bankrupt.
  • 5:00 PM » Banking's crisis of confidence deepens
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 5:00 PM by www.ft.com
    Wall Street rebounded even as the global banking system was gripped by a worsening crisis of confidence as the leaders of the US Congress struggled to salvage the administration's $700bn bail-out plan
  • 2:48 PM » As much as $3.5 billion in NY State tax revenue could evaporate
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 2:48 PM by wallstfolly.typepad.com
    Tough times in NY: How much pain will Wall Street losses mean to New York? As much as $3.5 billion in tax revenue and 40,000 financial industry jobs according to state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Historically, around 20% of the state's...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: wallstfolly.typepad.com
  • 2:48 PM » Housing bust may not bottom till 2010: Moody's
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 2:48 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. housing market bust may not bottom until 2010, later than previously thought, and more home builders may fail before the housing market recovers, Moody's Investors Service said in a new report.
  • 12:50 PM » New Bank Data: Latest Lending
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 12:50 PM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: were released Monday from the Federal Reserve on bank loan volume through September 17 (for weekly data and August for monthly data), showing that "Total Loans and Leases at All Commercial Banks" reached an all-time high of $7.026 trillion (reported weekly) in mid-September, going over $7 trillion for the first time in history (see graph below). Consumer loans (reported monthly) hit an all-time high of $845 billion in August:
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 12:49 PM » Foreclosure Prevention Efforts Worsen
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 12:49 PM by www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
    Efforts to keep at-risk borrowers in their homes have actually worsened over the past year, according to a report released by the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group. As of the end of May 2008, 305,000 subprime loans were in the process of foreclosure, and over 131,000 foreclosures were completed on subprime and Alt-A loans during the [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
  • 12:49 PM » Genworth says it may spin off mortgage insurance business
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 12:49 PM by Market Watch
    Genworth Financial says it may spin off its mortgage insurance business as the insurer tries to reduce its exposure to the housing crisis.
  • 12:49 PM » The $55 trillion question
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 12:49 PM by CNN
    As Congress wrestles with another bailout bill to try to contain the financial contagion, there's a potential killer bug out there whose next movement can't be predicted: the Credit Default Swap.
  • 12:35 PM » Historical Perspective on Bank Consolidation
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 12:35 PM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: The graphic below depicts the history of various I-Banks over the years: Graphic courtesy of the WSJ So the obvious takeaway from all of this is that the lines between I-Banks and Commercial banks were established in the aftermath of the great Depression, as the thinking was that the combination of the two contributed to the crisis. Now here we are not even ten years after the repeal of Glass-Steagall and we're facing the biggest financial crisis since the great depression. Which begs the obvious question: Are the two related, or is the crisis more of a function of the way the banks behaved as opposed to how they were structured?
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 12:34 PM » Uncle Sam Realty and Loans Inc.
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 12:34 PM by loanworkout.org
    Sadly, recent events in Washington suggest that this optimism of some kind of meaningful rescue plan for Main Street may have been misplaced and that politicians, never the most economically intelligent of mankind, may be working towards constructing the Great Depression - Part II. The reality now is that we are heading into a major recession and the [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: loanworkout.org
  • 12:34 PM » Banks in miser mode send borrowing rates soaring
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 12:34 PM by Washington Post
    NEW YORK -- Bank-to-bank lending rates jumped Tuesday and Treasury bill demand remained high, a day after Congress' rejection of the bank bailout plan cast an even deeper freeze over the barely operational credit markets.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 12:34 PM » Call it a longstanding debt, not a bailout
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 12:34 PM by CNN
    Over the weekend, Congress formally approved a continuing resolution that included $25 billion in low-interest loans for the auto industry to speed its transition to more fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • 10:54 AM » New Commemorative Dollar to be printed for bail out funds
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 10:54 AM by feeds.feedburner.com
    The U.S. Treasury is considering a new, special dollar to be printed to help finance the housing bail out. Initial prints have been leaked to select media outlets. We were lucky to get our hands on the new design (h/t ):
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 10:53 AM » Front Page Crash Coverage
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 10:53 AM by The Big Picture
    Interesting front page coverage of yesterday's market action: >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 10:52 AM » Candidates propose raising deposit insurance limit
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 10:52 AM by Washington Post
    WASHINGTON -- Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama proposed that the government to insure consumers' bank deposits up to $250,000 by raising the $100,000 federal limit as each sought to navigate the unpredictable politics of the financial crisis. Both sides also rolled out fresh advertisements tying the other to the Wall Street crisis.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 10:52 AM » Bush says it's critical to pass financial rescue soon
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 10:52 AM by Market Watch
    Saying this is a 'very critical moment for the economy,' President Bush makes a fresh push for Congress to act quickly on legislation to save the financial system, one day after the House rejected a $700 billion rescue plan.
  • 10:52 AM » White House, lawmakers plan new bailout deal
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 10:52 AM by Washington Post
    WASHINGTON -- Top congressional and White House officials, stunned when the House rejected a massive rescue plan for the nation's economy, scrambled to structure a new bailout proposal that would attract reluctant lawmakers and still soothe the unnerved financial markets.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 9:31 AM » Merrill: Low Treasury Yields to Go Even Lower
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 9:31 AM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Conventional wisdom has been that Treasuries have been the yet another bubble as cash exited equities and other risky investments, first feeding a commodities spike, then seeking a better home in Treasuries. But Merrill's David Rosenberg, who was in a decided minority in seeing deflation as the likely outcome for the US (he has for some time forecast Fed funds at 1% by year end 2008), thinks that Treasuries will go even higher (which means lower yields) as debt deflation takes hold. We have excerpted his discussion of the interest rate and housing price outlook from his September 29 report. He starts by showing that financial firms, consumers, and non-financial businesses are all shedding assets, which is deflationary. From Rosenberg: Barely halfway through the real estate deflation The data we got yesterday were quite telling. New home sales sank to 460,000 units in August, a fresh 17-year low, and the inventory-to-sales ratio gapped up to 10.9 months’ supply (MS) from 10.3 MS in July. There is no chance that home prices stabilize until this ratio moves convincingly below 8 months. In fact, our models suggest that there is another 15-20% downside in average home prices and they are already down 20% from the peak. So, we are barely past the halfway mark in this real estate deflation. Inventory backlog is proving intractable As a sign of how difficult it has become for the builders to move product, the median length of time it is taking to make a sale from the time the unit is completed shot up to a record high of over 9 months from 5.7 months last year and the 4 months that typifies a normal market. Sales are down to 460,000 units and yet single-family starts, while down 35% from a year ago, are still running far ahead of demand at 630,000 units. This is why the unsold inventory backlog is proving so intractable this cycle – and this will exert ongoing downward pressure on residential real estate prices in most parts of the country. We can’t grow our way out of this...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 9:30 AM » Signs of Contagion: Interest Rates Rise in Asia
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 9:30 AM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Bloomberg gives a recap of the some of the credit market reaction in Asia, which is that borrowing has become, not surprisingly, more costly. Rates moved up even in Japan, whose banks are virtually unaffected by the financial crisis (out of a total $1 trillion plus in subprime debt, only an estimated $8 billion went to Japan). From : Asian borrowing costs rose, with Japanese and Singapore money market rates reaching the highest in at least eight months, even as central banks pumped in cash to ease lending after U.S. lawmakers rejected a banking rescue. Japan's overnight call loan rate rose to 0.6 percent, the highest in more than six weeks, and the three-month interbank offered dollar rate in Singapore jumped 11 basis points, or 0.11 percentage point, to an eight-month high of 3.90 percent as banks hoarded cash. Australian funding costs surged by the most since July. ``Counterparty fear in the banking sector is at a new extreme,'' said Greg Gibbs, director of currency strategy at ABN Amro Holdings Bank NV in Sydney. ``Credit conditions are as tight as a drum. Unless this settles down, central banks would need to cut rates globally to bring funding costs down.''... The three-month interbank offered rate in Hong Kong rose by the most in nearly a week to 3.664 percent. The difference between the rate Australian banks charge each other for three- month loans and the overnight indexed swap rate jumped 14 basis points to 98 points, close to a six-month high. The gap has averaged 45 basis points this year. ``This crisis is not driven by corporate defaults but by a systematic failure of the banks themselves,'' said Anita Yadav, head of credit and hybrid research at UBS AG in Sydney. ``It's no longer about just paying higher borrowing costs, but also about being able to get the money from the market at all.''
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 9:29 AM » Citigroup will absorb Wachovia’s loans
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 9:29 AM by loanworkout.org
    Wachovia announced this summer it would stop offering pick and pay loans, but that wasn’t soon enough for thousands of homeowners like Marie, who are already in those loans. Citigroup did not return our calls on Monday seeking comment about what it will do with the existing loans and Wachovia said it was too early to [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: loanworkout.org
  • 9:28 AM » Stop Yelling About FDIC Limits - In Fact, Just Stop Yelling
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 9:28 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: The newest discovery of TV “screaming heads” is that FDIC insurance limits are causing a quiet run on certain weak banks by large depositors. The screamers tell us that suddenly corporate depositors have discovered that keeping large deposits at weak banks is risky. They shout that BofA (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), US Bancorp (USB) and JP Morgan (JPM) are going to vacuum up all of the corporate deposits and all other banks are uncompetitive. And they warn that without raising the FDIC insurance limits, the banking industry will be ruined and national calamity will result. Given the events of the recent months I understand why everyone is upset, but cooler heads and analytical thought needs to prevail, especially among those who have a national platform on which to speak.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 9:27 AM » Bacevich: The Limits of Power
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 9:27 AM by The Big Picture
    Is an imperial presidency destroying what America stands for? Bill Moyers sits down with history and international relations expert and former US Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich who identifies three major problems facing our democracy: the crises of economy, government and militarism, and calls for a redefinition of the American way of life. > Part I click for video > Part II click for video September 26, 2008 BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the JOURNAL. Here in New York a new season is opening on and off Broadway. But nothing, not even a comic opera, can compete with the spectacle, drama and farce of what's happening in Washington and on Wall Street. If it is possible for a political system, like individuals, to become deranged, so unhinged from reality there is no longer any regard for the consequences, we saw the process this week. It's nothing but bizarre, and for a supposedly mature democracy, deeply troubling. For technical reasons we had to tape this broadcast before John McCain finally made up his mind about whether to show up for the debate tonight. So we decided not to try and second guess events. Instead, we are going to hear some truth-telling from a man who says our country's in deep trouble and needs a renewed commitment to critical thinking, honest words, and hard choices. In this slim volume on THE LIMITS OF POWER, Andrew J. Bacevich goes to the root causes of our discontent and to our broken and foundering politics. That many people agree with this unsentimental diagnosis was apparent when we first aired this interview a few weeks ago, your emails poured in to pbs.org. In a matter of hours his book had become a best-seller. Now, with chaos in Washington and the markets, it seems a good time to give this soldier, scholar, and patriot another hearing. He has found an audience across the political spectrum, whether writing for THE NATION or THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE magazines, lecturing to college classes or testifying before Congress. ANDREW...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 9:27 AM » A message from Wall Street to Washington DC - by Barry Ritholtz
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 9:27 AM by feeds.feedburner.com
    We on Wall Street feel somewhat compelled to take at least some responsibility. We used excessive leverage, failed to maintain adequate capital, engaged in reckless speculation, created new complex derivatives. We focused on short-term profits at the expense of sustainability. We not only undermined our own firms, we destabilized the financial sector and roiled the global economy, to boot. And we got huge bonuses. But here’s a news flash for you, D.C.: We could not have done it without you. We may be drunks, but you were our enablers: Your legislative, executive, and administrative decisions made possible all that we did. Our recklessness would not have reached its soaring heights but for your governmental incompetence.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 9:27 AM » Ron Paul on the bailout failure
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 9:27 AM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 12:02 AM » Treasury and Fed Have Options Despite House Vote
    Published Tue, Sep 30 2008 12:02 AM by www.nytimes.com
    Without the bailout plan they invented and lobbied for, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department are forced to dig deep to rescue the global financial system.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.nytimes.com
  • Mon, Sep 29 2008
  • 9:45 PM » Breakingviews.com: An Alternative to Armageddon
    Published Mon, Sep 29 2008 9:45 PM by www.nytimes.com
    The past week’s rescues of Washington Mutual and Wachovia suggests that some combination of free-market capitalism and government assistance can provide solutions to the crisis.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.nytimes.com
  • 9:44 PM » Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Receive Subpoenas
    Published Mon, Sep 29 2008 9:44 PM by www.nytimes.com
    The United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York subpoenaed the mortgage finance giants for documents related to accounting, disclosure and corporate governance.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.nytimes.com
  • 9:43 PM » Industry Remade in Wave of Mergers
    Published Mon, Sep 29 2008 9:43 PM by WSJ
    The U.S. banking system is going through a decade's worth of consolidation in a matter of weeks, with the government often acting as matchmaker.
  • 9:42 PM » Dow sets record point drop as House rejects bailout
    Published Mon, Sep 29 2008 9:42 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Dow industrials plunged on Monday in their biggest decline ever after U.S. lawmakers unexpectedly rejected a $700 billion financial bailout, spooking investors who fear for the future of global markets and the U.S. economy.
  • 9:41 PM » The Bailout’s Collapse: A Bank Lobbyist’s View
    Published Mon, Sep 29 2008 9:41 PM by dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com
    From Leslie Wayne, a DealBook colleague: Edward L. Yingling, chief executive of the American Bankers Association, has been in the thick of the action on the $700 billion bailout bill. So what went wrong? “It got into partisan politics real fast,” said Mr. Yingling, a skilled Washington hand who has lobbied on financial services matters in [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com
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