Monthly Archives: February 2009

Sunday Stanford

The Stanford story is picking up a lot of steam, to the point at which it’s becoming hard to keep up. A lot more information is coming to light about Stanford’s investments, many of which seem to be in highly-illiquid … Continue reading

Posted in fraud | 1 Comment

Extra Credit, Friday Edition

Under One Stress Test, Big Banks Look Anemic: If the government’s stress test is anything like Creditsights’s stress test, then Wells Fargo will need another $119 billion; BofA, $99 billion; JPMorgan, $124 billion; Citi, $101 billion; Goldman Sachs, $47 billion; … Continue reading

Posted in remainders | 1 Comment

Stanford: Your Daily Dose of WTF

It took Alex Dalmady 30 minutes to work out that there was something obviously wrong at Stanford International Bank. The SEC, on the other hand, works a bit more slowly: BusinessWeek previously reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission, the … Continue reading

Posted in fraud | 1 Comment

Magazine Cover of the Year

There really can’t be any doubt about this one: World Finance splashes Sir Allen Stanford all over the cover of its Jan/Feb 2009 issue. And the prose couldn’t be any more glowing, or more ironic: World Finance’s 2008 Man of … Continue reading

Posted in Media | 1 Comment

Did Chanos Break the Law?

The best way of getting lots of angry comments on a blog entry is to be rude about Apple. But the second-best way is nice about short sellers. So it’s hardly surprising that after I made sympathetic noises about Jim … Continue reading

Posted in fraud, regulation | 3 Comments

Are Uninsured Bank Depositors in Danger?

One of Dan Colarusso’s favorite bloggers, Hugo Lindgren, picks up on the latest weekly newsletter from Christopher Wood: It is even more amazing that Obama does not understand the political appeal of the nationalization option. Maybe the so-called liberal Democrats … Continue reading

Posted in banking | 51 Comments

Colarusso on Blogonomics

Dan Colarusso, who used to run, has now moved over to join Henry Blodget’s blogshop. It’s quite a change of pace, as he explained to me in an IM conversation this afternoon: Felix Salmon: So! You’ve been on the … Continue reading

Posted in blogonomics | 1 Comment

SEC vs Chanos: Another Silly Sideshow

Has the SEC learned nothing? Its investigations of David Einhorn, rather than the companies he was shorting, were idiotic. Its ban on short-selling financial stocks was idiotic. (The XLF financials ETF was at $22 when the ban was implemented; it’s … Continue reading

Posted in regulation | 1 Comment

Stanford: The MSM’s Caution

While it’s somewhat heartening to see the MSM pick up the Stanford story, one can’t help but be struck by the ultracautious way in which they’re doing so. The WSJ, for instance, finally gets on the case today, under the … Continue reading

Posted in fraud, Media | 1 Comment

Extra Credit, Thursday Edition

Confessions of a Reluctant Whistleblower, Or how the Blogosphere took on Stanford: Alex Dalmady blogs! Lots of interesting inside-media tidbits, too, if you like that kind of thing. Half of all CDOs of ABS failed: Looks like the markets were … Continue reading

Posted in remainders | 1 Comment

The Moody’s USA Downgrade

Can the yield on US Treasuries be considered the "risk free rate of return" if there are other securities which are lower-risk than US Treasuries? Moody’s now admits two things: firstly that triple-A doesn’t mean risk-free (thanks, guys, I think … Continue reading

Posted in credit ratings | 1 Comment

The Tragedy of Political Reality

I taped a Bloggingheads diavlog with Jesse Eisinger this afternoon, which should go up on Monday. We ended up in a pessimistic place: a Japanese outcome to this economic and financial crisis seems much more likely than a Swedish outcome, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

Stanford’s Self-Incriminating Memo

Memo to Allen Stanford: Be careful what you write in memos, because they leak. Bloomberg’s Alison Fitzgerald has her hands on his latest missive to employees: R. Allen Stanford, the billionaire chairman of Houston-based investment firm Stanford Group Co., said … Continue reading

Posted in fraud | 1 Comment

Malaria: Easterly vs Gates

Bill Easterly is on the warpath, accusing Bill and Melinda Gates of using "phony numbers" when they claim small victories in the war on malaria: False victories can mislead and distract critical malaria efforts. Alas, Mr. and Mrs. Gates are … Continue reading

Posted in development | 1 Comment

Low-Probability Disaster of the Day, Exosphere Edition

From Andy Pazstor: Pentagon brass, satellite industry executives and NASA leaders for years have publicly expressed concern about the dangers of orbital debris. But the odds of a direct hit between satellites were considered so small as to be basically … Continue reading

Posted in statistics | 1 Comment

Stanford Update

The Stanford Group story is finally, slowly, making its way into the mainstream media, with BusinessWeek and Bloomberg both reporting that the group is undergoing a new SEC investigation. BusinessWeek’s Matthew Goldstein also has the news that Charlesworth A.S. Hewlett, … Continue reading

Posted in banking, fraud | 1 Comment

Extra Credit, Wednesday Edition

Dalmady to Stanford International Bank: Show Me The Money! Alex Dalmady comes right out and says that the $8 billion doesn’t exist. Right now, I’m inclined to agree with him: I asked the Stanford spokesman this afternoon if he was … Continue reading

Posted in remainders | 2 Comments

Suze Update

I’ve been blogging for a good seven years now, and I’ve never — not even close — received anything like the amount of positive feedback that I got today for my blog entry on Suze Orman. I clearly touched a … Continue reading

Posted in personal finance | 1 Comment

Kanjorski and the Money Market Funds: The Facts

With the Kanjorski Meme still spreading (see Ben Smith, Andrew Leonard, Moldbug, and more), I think I’m finally able to squash it with some hard figures: there never was a $500 billion outflow from any asset class in the space … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 1 Comment

In Praise of Suze Orman

The kind of people who read — or, for that matter, The Big Money — are not Suze Orman’s target audience. You, dear reader, are likely an urban sophisticate; you’re probably male; there’s a very good chance you work … Continue reading

Posted in personal finance | 5 Comments

Brandeis, UMIFA, and UPMIFA

The WSJ has a good article today on the UMIFA vs UPMIFA endowment debate, although it sensibly avoids even mentioning the acronyms. In case you’re not a non-profit legislation nerd, it basically comes down to when you can spend your … Continue reading

Posted in art | 1 Comment

McGraw Hill vs Ritholtz

In the annals of unconvincing excuses, McGraw Hill’s stated reason for dropping Barry Ritholtz’s book comes pretty high up the list: McGraw Hill spokesman Steven Weiss this afternoon said the publisher dropped the book because of a conflict with Ritholtz … Continue reading

Posted in publishing | 1 Comment

Extra Credit, Tuesday Edition

Starting Public-Sector Jobs With Parting Gifts in Hand: Tim Geithner is getting about $500k from the New York Fed; Mary Schapiro is getting $7.2 million from Finra. Disfarmer — The Puppet Version: Richard Lacayo says that bunraku-puppet photographer-bioplays with live … Continue reading

Posted in remainders | 2 Comments

Barack Obama for Treasury Secretary!

After Tim Geithner’s uninspired and uninspiring performance today, Barack Obama stepped up to show him how questions about nationalization should be answered: TERRY MORAN: There are a lot of economists who look at these banks and they say all that … Continue reading

Posted in bailouts, banking | 1 Comment

Can We Trust Statistics?

The Numbers Game, which was something of a surprise bestseller in England, has finally made it stateside. It’s probably the clearest book I’ve yet seen on all the different ways in which numbers can lie or mislead, and as such … Continue reading

Posted in statistics | 1 Comment