Posted by Larry Doyle on November 26th, 2010 8:16 AM |
The Man in the Arena, written by Teddy Roosevelt in 1910, is certainly one of my favorite passages from history.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
I thought of this passage in light of a communication I received from a regular reader of Sense on Cents. This reader wrote to me in response to my recent commentaries and appearance on CNBC discussing the ongoing insider trading investigation. This individual had a long and distinguished career on Wall Street. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 4th, 2010 11:40 AM |
Are the wagons circling around Mary Schapiro and her former FINRA colleagues?
Regular readers of Sense on Cents are familiar with the issues and concerns I have raised repeatedly with Wall Street’s self-regulator, FINRA. I continue to believe the issues embedded within this self-regulatory organization lie near the heart of what I deem the Wall Street-Washington nexus.
Perhaps America will learn more about these issues soon. Why? Next week, FINRA’s Board of Directors will address alleged wrongdoings by Ms. Schapiro et al. What are the issues? (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on October 13th, 2009 8:19 AM |
Are the powers that be at Bank of America wilting under political pressure to release the details of its merger with Merrill Lynch? In fact they are and in the process, the executives at Bank of America are agreeing to waive attorney-client privilege. What are the critical points which New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the SEC, those in Congress, and especially Bank of America shareholders want to learn?
1. What did Bank of America know about the ongoing deteriorating financial position at Merrill Lynch?
2. What did Bank of America executives share with their board members about the billions in bonuses to be paid at Merrill?
3. Did Ken Lewis overplay his hand? Please reference my commentary from a few weeks ago, “Documents Indicate Ken Lewis Utilized the MAC To Shake Down Bernanke and Paulson.”
The Wall Street Journal summarizes these topics this morning in writing, BofA to Hand Over Documents Related To Its Merrill Deal:
Mr. Cuomo’s investigators, as well as Judge Rakoff, have said a fuller accounting of the events surrounding the deal is a prerequisite to any resolution of the probes. BofA is hoping releasing the privileged documents will satisfy those demands, according to people familiar with the matter.
BofA’s move will likely reveal exactly what advice was provided by outside firms, according to people familiar with the matter. Those firms include Wachtell, Lipton Rosen & Katz, which represented BofA during the Merrill transaction and is a long and trusted adviser to the bank, as well as Merrill’s counsel, Shearman & Sterling LLP.
It may also show conversations with ex-general counsels Timothy Mayopoulos and Brian Moynihan. Bank of America recently hired law firm Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP to join Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in representing the bank in the various federal and state investigations surrounding the Merrill acquisition.
“This is going to get to the down-and-dirty question of what counsel did say and did not say, what counsel meant and did not mean,” said James Cox, a law professor at Duke University.
Down and dirty? I love it. Get the extra large popcorn. This should be good.
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 21st, 2009 5:49 AM |
There has been extensive speculation that Goldman Sachs unjustifiably benefited from the weakness at AIG over the last 6 months. While conspiracy theorists can and will have a field day with this story, at its core I think Goldman did what any well run firm should always do — protect its shareholders.
While the stock values of Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America flirted with total disaster, Goldman Sachs traded down but bottomed out at approximately $50 a share. That price does not strike me as indicative of a firm on the brink of bankruptcy. As Goldman now reveals, it had significant exposure to AIG but it also significantly hedged this exposure to AIG via other transactions. Thus, Goldman would have been negatively impacted by an AIG bankruptcy but not fatally impacted. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 10th, 2009 11:19 AM |
I very much appreciate reading material written by people whom I perceive as having no agenda. I have tried to bring people like this (including Ray Dalio, Paul Keating, Bob Rodriguez, Steve Rehm, Kevin Doyle, Vaclav Klaus, and many others) to Sense on Cents because I firmly believe we all become more educated and informed in the process. Please let me know if and when you perceive me, any of the pieces to which I link, or radio guests on NQR’s Sense on Cents as not dealing totally in the truth. Constructive criticism is always appreciated and will make for a better site.
Along with the aformentioned, I have also previously remarked on my high regard for John Mauldin, one of our Economic All-Stars. John himself possesses an insightful global perspective and has a circle of friends and confidantes that are simply off the charts.
In John’s weekly Outside the Box, he shares with us the perceptions of Michael E. Lewitt. Mr. Lewitt writes at length on topics we have covered here previously, but his level of detail and thoughtful analysis are well worth the read.
Topics covered include: (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 9th, 2009 3:35 PM |
A great American and loyal reader (thanks FL) shared a report recently produced by not-for-profits Essential Information and The Consumer Education Foundation. This report, Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America, has gotten little to no attention in the general media. What a shame. I find of particular interest the fact that a number of the currently discussed regulatory changes are directly addressing the points highlighted in this report. I personally view these proposed regulatory changes as substantiating this report and adding credibility to its effort. For the naysayers in the audience, I would ask you to review the report and reconsider your assessment.
I was struck a month ago by the incriminating statements put forth by Senator Chuck Hagel and CIA head Leon Panetta, which I highlighted on February 16th in Legalized Bribery. Those statements bluntly indict our massive system of lobbying, political fundraising, and the quality of those running for elected office! In light of that article, I am more and more convinced that our elected officials have turned their offices into massive for profit machines at the expense of our public well being.
I commend the authors of this report, Roger Weissman and James Donahue, for taking the time and making the extensive effort to expose the truth. The full report, 231 pages in length, spares no detail. In studying it, I found the information and analysis riveting. Let me try to summarize it for you. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 4th, 2009 6:31 AM |
Stocks in Asia rose on the heels of a report that China’s Wen May Announce New Stimulus Measures to Revive Growth
With China allocating this capital to a new stimulus, will that lead to lessened appetite for U.S. Treasury debt? In overnight trading, Treasuries Drop on Potential $60 Billion Note Sale Next Week.
In other market making news, the shine has come off gold somewhat. I had cautioned that I do not play in gold because of the large number of speculative traders. Gold dropped 3% overnight and is back to $910/oz.
The U.S. dollar continues to move higher versus the Japanese yen and is back close to par, 100 yen for $1 dollar.
I remain in the camp that the bond market will continue to be pressured by the global demand for capital.
One story that also bears watching is the “plundering” of Merrill Lynch. In breaking news the WSJ reports how Merrill Lynch paid a large number of individuals outrageous sums at the end of 2008. Merrill’s $10 Million Men highlights the details. If I am John Thain, I’m not sleeping well!!