Category Archives: Summer rerun

“Summer” Rerun: Why Big Capital Markets Players Are Unmanageable

This post first appeared on July 8, 2009

John Kay comes perilously close to nailing a key issue in his current Financial Times comment, “Our banks are beyond the control of mere mortal” in that he very clearly articulates the problem very well but then draws the wrong conclusion:

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Summer Rerun: Quelle Surprise! Bank Stress Tests Producing Expected Results!

Yves here. It’s interesting to note that the point of the stress test exercise was to build confidence in the banks so they could raise equity at not massively dilutive prices and rebuild their balance sheets. But the Administration appeared to believe its own PR and relented on pushing the banks to raise capital levels (if you doubt me, look at how much walked out the door in record 2009 and 2010 bonuses).

This post first appeared on April 9, 2009

Should this even qualify as news? From the New York Times:

For the last eight weeks, nearly 200 federal examiners have labored inside some of the nation’s biggest banks to determine how those institutions would hold up if the recession deepened.

What they are discovering may come as a relief to both the financial industry and the public: the banking industry, broadly speaking, seems to be in better shape than many people think, officials involved in the examinations say.

That is the good news. The bad news is that many of the largest American lenders, despite all those bailouts, probably need to be bailed out again, either by private investors or, more likely, the federal government. After receiving many millions, and in some cases, many billions of taxpayer dollars, banks still need more capital, these officials say.

The whole point of this charade exercise was to show the big banks weren’t terminal but still needed dough, and I am sure it will prove to be lots of dough before we are done.

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Summer Rerun: Geithner Plan Smackdown Wrap

This post first appeared on February 10, 2009

I cannot recall a major US policy initiative being met with as much immediate revulsion as the so-called Geithner plan. Even the horrific TARP, which showed utter contempt for Congress and the American public was in some ways less troubling. Paulson demanded $700 billion, nearly $200 billion bigger than the Department of Defense, via a three page draft bill, nothing more that a doodle on a napkin, save that it did bother to put the Treasury secretary above the law. But high-handedness was the hallmark of the Bush Administration; it was only the scale and audacity of the TARP that was the stunner.

And the TARP initially did have some supporters (perhaps most important, among the media, who trumpeted the “Something must be done” case). Fans are much harder to find for the latest iteration of the seemingly neverending “let’s throw more money at the banks” saga.

As we, and increasingly others, have said, the Obama economic team is every bit as captive to Wall Street’s interests as the Bushies were. The differences increasingly look stylistic, not substantive.

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Summer Rerun: Why we shouldn’t use monetary policy to stimulate aggregate demand

Hi all. Here’s another summer re-run I wanted to post at NC, but this time from Marshall Auerback. As you know, there has been a heated debate amongst economists as to what policy makers should do if anything about the loss of jobs and the attendant fall in demand and output in the wake of […]

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Summer Rerun: Geithner and Summers as Obama’s Cheney and Rumsfeld

Readers new to this site may be unfamiliar with Yves’ summer rerun series, in which she reprises vintage NC posts that have stood the test of time. I would like to add a post of mine from Credit Writedowns to the lot. The recent New York Times piece from Joe Nocera on Sheila Bair is […]

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“Summer” Rerun: Why You Should Hate the Treasury Bailout Proposal

This post first ran September 21, 2008 A mere two weeks ago, the Fannie/Freddie rescue was called “the mother of all bailouts” by some commentators. If the plans of the Administration come to fruition, it will shortly be surpassed by the $700 billion mortgage rescue plan proposed by Hank Paulson late last week. The increase […]

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“Summer” Rerun: Brace for the Tsunami: Fitch, S&P Downgrade AIG (Updated Again)

This post first appeared on September 15, 2008 I have no idea what the morrow will bring, but if it is only as bad as Monday’s trading, we should all consider ourselves lucky. Ftich dowgraded AIG to A with a negative watch (hat tip reader Steve) S&P downgraded AIG to A-2 with a negative outlook […]

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‘Summer’ Rerun: Buiter Provokes Wrath at Jackson Hole, Says Fed Too Close to Wall Street

This post first appeared on August 24, 2008

Go Willem Buiter! The London School of Economics prof and former Bank of England and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development official has been saying for some time that the Fed suffers from “cognitive regulatory capture” and has been far too responsive to the needs of Wall Street. It’s been puzzling to watch his detailed, well argued criticisms go unnoticed, particularly when they have been offered at forums where one would think they’d be impossible to ignore (for instance, a conference co-hosted by the New York Fed where Buiter presented a pretty harsh paper on what he called the North Atlantic Financial Crisis).

Well, he finally seems to have gotten through, perhaps because he is forward enough to criticize Fed officials to their face at an event they are hosting. Or maybe it’s because the pattern of conduct he decries is so patently obvious that the key actors can no longer fool themselves.

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“Summer” Rerun: Welcome Willem Buiter and Mohamed El-Erian to the Banana Republic Club!

The time has come to announce the formation of the Banana Republic Club. Membership is open, with the sole requirement being that nominees correctly discern behaviors in advanced economies that resemble those of corrupt developing countries, which for sake of convenience are referred to as banana republics. Members are eligible to receive a Carmen Miranda hat, although they are not required to wear it.

Brad DeLong has his Ancient and Hermetic Order of the Shrill. Why should he have all the fun?

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“Summer” Rerun: CNBC Publicizes This Blog

This post first appeared on June 8, 2008

I suppose I should be pleased, since readers wrote to inform me that Charles Gasparino of CNBC made mention of us on Friday (this clip, starting at 1:30) for our coverage of Lehman. However, I would have been happier if the statements made were correct. It’s remarkable that a seasoned journalist would assert that a critic of a company was short its stock, which implies an intent to manipulate its price, with no factual basis for that view, and no effort made to verify that statement. And indeed it is untrue, for I have never been short Lehman or indeed, any stock.

It’s even more remarkable that that same journalist called me a couple of hours later to threaten litigation over the accuracy of my reporting.

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