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Fannie and Freddie’s Estimated Tab

October 22, 2010
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Fannie and Freddie’s Estimated Tab

So the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Thursday that the cost to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, The People’s two mortgage guarantors, could top $363 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported early in the day. That’s about the cost of a year’s worth of The Most Powerful Military in the History of...
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Goldman’s Switcharoo on AIG

June 30, 2010
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Goldman’s Switcharoo on AIG

As AIG’s former wonderboy, Joe Cassano, tells congress that he regrets nothing and by the way, is still right, Gretchen Morgenson and Louise Story of the New York Times are telling us something we didn’t already know about the $180 billion AIG bailout.  No, not that it really was meant to benefit a few...
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Loophole Nation

June 24, 2010
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Loophole Nation

Without a loophole to grab hold of, every entrepreneur is threatened.
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Look Who’s Innocent Now

June 17, 2010
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Joseph Cassano, the AIG Financial Products chief whose small division brought down the giant insurance company and prompted a $180 billion government bailout, will not be charged either criminally or civilly, the Wall Street Journal reports. That brings the count of people held responsible for the greatest financial debacle since at least the 1930s...
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Scam, Apologize, Rinse, Repeat

February 15, 2010
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Front of the Wall Street Journal‘s website on Sunday was this lament/apologia from Jason Zweig, who writes the Journal‘s Saturday money and investing column, the Intelligent Investor, with a long-view, seen-it-all tone. So this is the first sign I’ve seen in the Journal or anywhere that a crisis in confidence in our economic system...
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The Fed Told AIG Not to Disclose Payments to Goldman et.al.

January 7, 2010
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Here’s the government trying to hide the bad deal it made on taxpayers’ behalf. The e-mails leave no doubt: Tim Geithner gave the banks, including a foreign bank, at least $13 billion extra U.S. taxpayer dollars over and above the amount AIG execs were negotiating. Bloomberg got it first. NYT‘s Dealbook gives you the...
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AIG Is Getting Its Money Back?!

October 29, 2009
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AIG Is Getting Its Money Back?!

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story today explaining that AIG has gotten back several billion dollars in collateral it posted last year against losses in the credit-default swap market. But, most of the “bad” contracts, which now look not-so-bad, were “closed out” by the government bailout, meaning that AIG lost that money...
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Greenspan Changes His Mind

October 15, 2009
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Alan Greenspan has changed his mind, proving finally that he has one. As Bloomberg reports, Greenspan told the influential crowd at the Council on Foreign Relations yesterday that the too-big-to-fail doctrine must end: “If they’re too big to fail, they’re too big,” Greenspan said today. “In 1911 we broke up Standard Oil—so what happened?...
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Where’s Your Money?

August 25, 2009
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Good news today as Bloomberg News won its federal lawsuit to find out which giant corporations the Federal Reserve lavished big money on, and how much. It’s pretty outrageous that it took a nine-month legal battle to get this basic information, but that’s life in a democracy, right? Of course, in addition to its...
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AIG Makes Profit, Fannie & Freddie Lose Billions

August 7, 2009
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AIG reported a $1.8 billion quarterly profit as Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the company’s former long-time über boss, paid $15 million to the SEC to settle (unrelated) fraud charges. Quoth the WSJ: Shares were up 18% at $26.49 around midday Friday after the New York insurer and financial services company reported a surprising $1.82 billion...
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Anti-social Security

July 21, 2009
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The Wall Street Journal (pay site) has an interesting line today on an old and growing problem—the widening gap between the folks at the top of the income pyramid and the rest of us. Turns out the pay gap is part of what threatens Social Security. To recap for those who have not been...
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The Sting

June 11, 2009
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The Wall Street Journal has a neat little story (subscription required) that illustrates the state of play in the investment banking business. There is an element of David vs. Goliath, but the more significant message seems to be that things have not changed in the world of credit default swaps. The Journal’s lede, “A...
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