Latest Posts

SunTrust Bank receives insured deposits of Omni National Bank

This just in from the FDIC. Another Friday night special: Omni National Bank, Atlanta, Georgia, was closed today by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which then appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into an agreement with SunTrust Bank, Atlanta, Georgia, to act as paying agent for the […]

Community banks getting no love in this crisis

Recently, I posted a Wall Street Journal article that suggested smaller banks and new banking enterprise can supply the lion’s share of additional credit needed for the U.S. banking system. While President Obama is off meeting the heads of the big banks, we should keep in mind that there are other institutions out there that can bring the U.S. credit […]

Dollar Bull?

I am certainly no dollar bull. Longer-term, I believe the dollar is a weak currency. But, in the here and now, it does seem to be holding up quite well. Whether this continues to be the case remains to be seen. Nevertheless, in the near-term, there are a number of events which might give us a better picture of here […]

Links: 2009-03-27

Commerzbank reveals toxic assets – BBC News Obviously, there are more writedowns to come. What does this say about what’s on Deutsche’s books? or UBS? MGM Mirage’s City Center Hires Bankruptcy Counsel – Deal Book Fear and Greed – Mark Thoma this is a hilarious post and a must-read Europe fetches the monetary helicopters, at long last – Telegraph Ambrose […]


The political realities of solving a financial crisis have often meant circumventing legislative approval to meet the exigencies of a particular situation.  This was certainly the case in 1995 during the so-called Tequila Crisis in Mexico.  And I believe it is the case again today in 2009.  Before I go into how this applies to what is presently happening in the Obama Administration, I thought an example from 1995 would be illustrative.

Video: Geithner calls for single agency to oversee systemic risks

Story from Investor’s Business Daily: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called for “new rules of the game” on Thursday, including a systemic-risk regulator, stronger capital cushions for banks, and more disclosure from hedge funds. The broad-brush vision also would have derivatives such as credit default swaps trade via a central clearinghouse. Higher standards for money-market mutual funds — a weakness exposed […]

U.S. jobless claims of 652,000 show continued weakness

U.S. jobless claims of 652,000 show continued weakness

Jobless claims for the week ending March 21st are in. There were 652,000 initial claims last week, bringing the unemployment roles to a record 5.56 million. Both figures are seasonally-adjusted and reflect minor changes in seasonal adjustment (SA) factors going back a few years. What do the figures tell us? Well, the year-on-year comparisons with and without seasonal factors are […]

Are Citi and BofA gaming the Geithner Plan already?

Here we are just days out from the announcement by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner that the Obama Administration will be buying up so-called toxic assets as originally planned by Henry Paulson during the Bush Administration. The initial reaction has been one of euphoria as most asset markets responded positively to the news.

Now that the dust has settled somewhat, another reaction is taking place behind the scenes and it looks an awful lot like banks — specifically Citigroup and Bank of America — are gaming the system. Note my highlighting.

Auto Loan ABS market best of the bunch

This comes via Angus Robertson of Research Recap: The performance of auto loan securities has been mixed, but Standard & Poor’s Credit Research points out that overall ratings on the ABS have been remarkably stable in spite of the recession. In a new report on the sector, S & P says that delinquencies and write-downs among certain auto loan ABS, […]

What are the consequences of the huge U.S. deficit?

This post is a contribution from Rob Parteneau of MacroStrategy Edge about fiscal expansion, printing money, avoiding debt deflation, and U.S. treasuries. He has some great insights on deflationary spirals, the paradox of thrift and the desire of foreign investors to dump dollars. He also argues that the “Blame Asia Meme” is misguided as the ultimate source of credit growth in the United States is domestic. The crux of his statements is that the only way to avoid a deflationary spiral when household savings is increasing is through fiscal expansion, which is one reason I support fiscal stimulus. But, there are consequences.