Tuesday, October 7, 2008 0 comments ++[ CLICK TO COMMENT ]++

Round-up of Some Key Events

Some random events...

  • FDIC is looking worse by the minute (Market Movers): Felix Salmon writes an interesting blog for Portfolio.com and what he says here should really raise questions about what the FDIC is doing. It looks like Sheila Bair from FDIC actually suggested Wells Fargo to Wachovia while the Citigroup deal was nearly completed. Terrible mistake and I hope the FDIC realizes their huge mistake and doesn't do something similar ever again. If they keep doing this, few will step up to bail out other banks, and everyone will ignore deadlines. (thanks to Naked Capitalism for original citation)
  • FedRes starts buying commercial paper (NYT): This will finally help non-financial firms directly. So far the liquidity facilities have mostly benefitted financial institutions or those involved in real estate (technically there are indirect benefits to all) but supporting commercial paper should directly help everyone equally, including those that have nothing to do with real estate.
  • Russia plans to bail out Iceland (The Globe & Mail): Iceland banks are thought to be almost on the verge of collapse, and their government nationalized them. I haven't looked into the details but it seems like a heavy-handed move to seize assets from shareholders by passing a new government law. I hate to say it but situations like this are one minor reason investors are staying away from financials. I hope it never happens but it wouldn't surprise me if governments in America or elsewhere seize their banks (Fannie and Freddie were taken over under dubious circumstances already.) Anyway, the important point here is the fact that Russia seems to be making a move on Iceland, while USA ignores Iceland. It'll be interesting to see if USA outbids Russia and provides a better loan to Iceland (USA may also pressure EU to provide the capital.) We are probably witnessing the start of the decline of America on the world stage. I'm mostly talking about politics but there may also be a slowing of economic strength. America will still remain the wealthiest and most free but it will play less of a role--sort of like how Britain is still one of the top countries but it doesn't involve itself in world affairs like it did in the 1800's or early 1900's.
  • Bizarre case of a Toronto risk compliance officer who moonlights as a bank robber (The Toronto Star): Sounds like a joke but a risk compliance officer has been responsible for robbing several banks over the years. The robber does not wear any disguises hence is easily identified on security camera. He was also likely earning $120,000-$160,000 at his job so he wasn't poor in terms of earnings (Thanks to PrefBlog for original mention)

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