Bond Insurers

  • Bond Insurers

    Is Bond Insurance Magical?

    A few months ago, we beat up a couple of Portfolio writers on the subject of municipal bond insurance until it got so easy we started to feel bad for them. Their contention was that bond insurance was a scam perpetrated by a conspiracy of investment bankers, ratings agencies and insurance companies. We argued that […]

    / May 6, 2008 at 4:23 PM
  • Ambac, Bond Insurers

    Ambac Offering: Is That It?

    Ambac Financial Group, the so-called monoline bond insurer which has operating under the shadow of a credit-rating downgrade that would likely wipe-out its business, announced plans to sell $1.5 billion of common stock and equity units to bolster its capital. The market promptly threw up all over the trading floor. It’s a safe bet that […]

    / Mar 5, 2008 at 3:11 PM
  • Bond Insurers

    On Munis, Ratings And Contrarianism

    We get called contrarian often enough that we’re nearly resigned to the label. From our perspective, of course, we’re not contrarians at all. We’re so deficient when it comes to having a decent respect for the opinions of mankind that we aren’t even aware of the prevalence or rarity of the positions we take. If […]

    / Feb 27, 2008 at 1:48 PM
  • Bond Insurers

    Is Muni Bond Insurance A Racket?
    The Portfolio Gang Responds!

    Although it looks like MBIA is now out of the woods, rival bond insurer Ambac’s fate is still murky. Reports indicate that the ratings agencies are now considering the rescue plan worked out by banks and state insurance regulators. The plan may be revealed as early as this week, and will probably involve splitting Ambac […]

    / Feb 26, 2008 at 5:31 PM
  • Bond Insurers

    How To Think About Municipal Bond Ratings
    And Why The Critics Of Muni Bond Insurance Are Wrong

    The bond insurers have all rocketed today on the expectation that a bailout from the banks will be announced any time now. But this has hardly tempered the words of their critics. Everyone from Bill Ackman to Warren Buffett has criticized bond insurers for guaranteeing complex derivatives whose underlying risk they seem not to have […]

    / Feb 25, 2008 at 4:46 PM
  • Bond Insurers

    Bond Insurer Split: Worst Possible Outcome For Wall Street

    When he first approached Wall Street to explore plans to rescue bond insurers, New York state’s top insurance regulator Eric Dinallo warned top bankers that they had helped create the mess and that they were facing serious losses if something weren’t done. After weeks of negotiations with an assortment of senior Wall Street bankers failed […]

    / Feb 19, 2008 at 3:05 PM
  • Bond Insurers, politics, short selling

    Valentines Day Short Seller Massacre Plot Uncovered

    How bad must things be up in Armonk? It’s usually a sure sign of deep trouble when a company blames short-sellers or runs crying to lawmakers for protection. MBIA has announced plans to do both. It’s asking lawmakers to investigate or curtail “the unscrupulous and dangerous market manipulation activities of short sellers,” according to a […]

    / Feb 13, 2008 at 4:45 PM
  • Bond Insurers, Warren Buffett

    Warren Buffett To The Resuce!

    He’s Warren Buffett, and he’s here to help. This morning Buffett revealed on CNBC’s Squawk Box that he’s extended an offer to tottering bond insurers to provide re-insurance of on up to $800 billion in municipal bonds. The offer does not, of course, cover the more complicated derivative instruments that have been the source of […]

    / Feb 12, 2008 at 8:43 AM
  • Banks, Bond Insurers, Deustche Bank, JPMorganChase

    Why The Europeans Are Scared Of Monoline Downgrades

    Yesterday we heard two discordant voices on the possibility of the monolines getting downgraded. Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, said that he does not think downgrades of the insurers would be “a big deal.” Deutsche Bank chief Josef Ackerman, however, described the potential downgrades as “a tsunami-like event comparable to subprime.” So […]

    / Feb 8, 2008 at 1:29 PM
  • Bond Insurers

    Bond Insurer Gets Downgraded

    Well that rally didn’t last very long did it? The word that FGIC Corp’s bond insurance arm was downgraded by Fitch today certainly didn’t help things. Not that this was totally unexpected. We predicted a downgrade today in a post early this morning. Charlie Gasparino was talking about this on Wednesday. Fitch cut FGIC’s “AAA” […]

    / Jan 30, 2008 at 4:23 PM
  • Bond Insurers

    Downgrade Of Insurers Now More Likely

    Wrangling over a plan to bail out troubled bond insurers is inviting a downgrade by ratings agencies, according to source familiar with the discussions within one of the agencies. New York state insurance regulators have asked the agencies to postpone a downgrade while they work out a plan with Wall Street banks but a flurry […]

    / Jan 30, 2008 at 9:42 AM

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