It was predicted in this space just two weeks ago: “Obama to coddle bankers.” Now we’ve got official confirmation of this from one of the prime coddle-ees: Citigroup. An analysis of the Treasury’s plan produced by two Citi analysts, Ryan O’Connell and Jerry Dorost, begins with this headline: New Treasury Stress Test Guidelines Do Not Appear Onerous and continues in this vein. The plan is “bank-friendly and investor-friendly.” The goal is to increase bank capital “while minimizing the amount and duration of any government’s direct ownership of common stock.” The stress tests aren’t very stresssful,… Read More
Tomorrow will bring the unveiling of the Obama administration’s overhaul of the Henry “Hank” Paulson bank bailout, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). [Apply for funds here.] From the leaks emerging, it looks like a significant portion of the scheme will amount to this: the government will lend money to hedge funds and the like at subsidized rates to buy toxic assets from banks – and the gov will guarantee the investors against losses. Evidently, the administration thinks the toxic assets are being underpriced by the markets. If they’re right, the buyers will make… Read More
More bad news – but some cultural comfort?
Even more signs of economic weakening; inspiring appointments by Mr Changiness, eh?