Do We Really Need More Bad Banks?

The Obama administration is reportedly considering the establishment of a so-called “Bad Bank” under the management of the FDIC. Other plans are also on the table, and it appears no final decisions have been made. If it happens, the Bad Bank (more polite commentators are calling it the…

Banks: The Final Countdown

Something strange is happening – or about to happen. Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) all moved up their quarterly reports to this week. None have offered any coherent explanation for doing so. What are they trying to get ahead of? Meanwhile, today BAC received a $138…

Connecting the Dots: Is Citi Going Down?

Citigroup, whose ticker symbol is a memorable and simple C, is the classic “Too Big To Fail” financial institution. If you are unfortunate enough to be a shareholder, though, you probably do not feel like you’ve been rescued. Two years ago, your shares were valued north of $50. …

Five ETF Industry Predictions for 2009

Whenever the subject of predictions or forecasts comes up, I’m always reminded of one of my favorite quotes: “We have two types of forecasters: Those who don’t know – and those who don’t know they don’t know.” – John Kenneth Galbraith With that disclosure out of…

A Different Bonus Season

When Little Billy goes to Wall Street, he knows he’s not working for a charity. No, Billy carries his big name B-school sheepskin for special perks. His first month on the job, Billy buys a Mercedes so he can look cool when he’s out on the town. Not content with a roomy flat in Brooklyn, Billy picks…

Your Government Works Hard?

When normal people talk about working hard, it means something. For instance, if a landscaper works hard, he’s hauling dirt and mulch, portioning it into various flowerbeds, directing a crew to move plants, and gets dirty. In the summer he’s toiling in the blazing sun. In the winter, he’s…

Sorry Johnny

I am confused. Let’s say I can’t pay my bills next month. Could I hit up friends and family for a loan? Could I borrow elsewhere, at reasonable terms? What would the lenders say? For example: “Hey Dad, I know times are tough and your net worth just took a 25% hit this past…

A Look Back And A Look Ahead

As we enter the 2nd week of December, we’re taking a moment to assess how the month began and where it’s headed. As you might expect, the roller-coaster continues. Even as convulsions reverberate on the Street, the lows are still holding. Bad News Bear Last Monday, the National Bureau of…

Washington: A Venture Capitalist to Detroit?

The auto industry is hurting. Today it became even more evident. Two of the Big Three automakers spoke in unison about their financial woes. The sad part is that we weren’t even surprised. Detroit Automaker Woes According to Bloomberg, General Motors (GM) posted a $4.2 billion loss last quarter….

Election Day, Finally

Speaking as someone with a more than casual interest in politics, even I find myself exhausted at the end of this campaign season. Maybe it’s because the fight started earlier than ever this time; the ink was barely dry on 2006 ballots before presidential candidates began announcing. And now…