Category Archives: Portfolio

Why the Detroit Bailout Should Include Bankruptcy

With Deutsche Bank saying that GM is worthless, and some kind of government bailout of Detroit now a certainty, the battle lines are being drawn: is bankruptcy an option? Justin Hyde says it isn’t, and he might well be right, … Continue reading

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Which Markets are the Hardest to Move?

Jim Surowiecki this week looks at what he calls "ancillary markets" — things like futures, the VIX, or credit-default swaps — and the effect they have on the stock market: Even if these ancillary markets aren’t being gamed, the attention … Continue reading

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Cognitive Disconnect of the Day

This is the front page of nytimes.com earlier this afternoon. It’s a tough time to be a journalist: clearly moves like this are clearly newsworthy, but equally clearly it’s very hard to say anything intelligent about them. Hopes for a … Continue reading

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Homeownership: The Ideal Which Refuses to Die

Of all the Big Ideas which have been thoroughly discredited over the course of this crisis, arguably the biggest is the concept that homeownership is always and everywhere a Good Thing. As we’ve seen over the past couple of years, … Continue reading

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The $2 Trillion in Uninsured Bank Deposits

Many thanks to Don Fishback, who alerted me to the fact that (with a lot of work) one can actually find reasonably up-to-date statistics on total uninsured deposits at the FDIC’s website. He did just that back in July, using … Continue reading

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AIG: The Cramer Conspiracy Theory

You knew that someone was going to come out and say it. But did you know it was going to be Cramer? Shorts were able to take AIG down from the $20s to $4 in a week’s time. To be … Continue reading

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Pandit Spams his Customers

Logging on to my Citibank account this morning, I found this, which recapitulates an email I received a few days ago: The link takes you here, to a letter which simply begs for parsing. But before we get to the … Continue reading

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Bill Ackman’s Brutal Target Losses

Equity Private, guest-blogging over at Dealbreaker, has the H2 2007 reports from Pershing Square IV, the Bill Ackman hedge fund devoted to going long Target. Which hasn’t worked out so well. He lost $52,872,231 on Target stock, which is bad … Continue reading

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The Public Side of Gerson Lehrman

Apologies for the late start this morning, I’ve had a combination of digital and meatspace problems (I thought I was taking an aspirin in the middle of the night; it turned out to be an ambien. Oops.) But one thing … Continue reading

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Causality in NY Post Headlines

"FALL ST." is the headline splashed across the front page of the New York Post this morning. "Plunge sparks recession fear". OK, maybe Tuesday was a bit of a slow news day. But check out the causality there: it’s the … Continue reading

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