• News

    Why Was Goldman’s Structured Products Desk Trading Equities?

    That question came up in the hearing earlier this week in reference to an email sent by Josh Birnbaum, a former MD in Goldman’s structured products group. The email, sent in July 2007, sought authorization form senior management for the structured products desk to buy put options on a slew of competitors including Merrill Lynch, […]

    / Apr 30, 2010 at 12:51 PM
  • News

    S&P Successfully Finds Somebody Worse Off Than They Are

    Ambac may have just suffered the ultimate humiliation- being told by a rating agency that their business model is completely broken and they have no real prospects going forward. The bond insurer’s shame spiral began last week when it couldn’t raise enough capital to launch a new muni unit and has now graduated to a […]

    / Jun 24, 2009 at 3:14 PM
  • News

    Ambac Spared The Embarrassment Of Wrapping Munis

    With tax receipts down and unemployment up. the brave souls at Ambac tried to pick now as an opportunistic time to launch Everspan Financial Guarantee Corp,, a bond insurer focused on wrapping municipal and public purpose debt. While Ambac thought feel good fiscal stories like the ones playing out in California would entice investors to […]

    / Jun 19, 2009 at 2:28 PM
  • News

    Update: Charlie Gasparino’s (Stomach Has) Got Something To Say

    Sooo. Moments after we announced our latest market moving experiment, inspired by the stomach rumblings of Charlie Gasparino, C to the G called us to “set the record straight.” Gasparino, who seemed a bit perturbed at Barron’s writer Jonathan Laing’s suggestion that he’d been fed the “Ambac or MBIA will be downgraded” story by Bill […]

    / May 12, 2008 at 3:15 PM
  • News

    Breaking News From Charlie Gasparino By Way Of The Nitrates Acting Up In His Stomach

    Barron’s has an article today about how even though no one knows anything about credit-default swaps, few people can resist speculating, the analysts in Charlie Gasparino’s lower abdomen included. Around 3 pm on January 30th the CNBC on-air editor said he “felt in his gut” that Ambac or MBIA or both would be downgraded. Nothing […]

    / May 12, 2008 at 2:28 PM
  • News

    Another Alphabet Soup Ready To Run Off The Rails

    If it’s a day that ends in the letter y, it’s probably time to learn about problems in another dark corner of the credit markets. On the lesson plan for today are financial creatures known as variable interest rate entities. These were known as special purpose vehicles, or SPVs, until Enron tarnished that designation for […]

    / Feb 27, 2008 at 10:02 AM
  • 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
  • News

    Dinallo’s Strong Arm Tactics

    Eric Dinallo, the former Spitzer aide who is now New York State’s insurance regulator, insists that the bond insurers are not on the verge of insolvency. But his plan to split the municipal bond business from the rest of their business only makes economic sense if it were necessary to save the companies and preserve […]

    / Feb 20, 2008 at 8:46 AM
  • 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

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