• billackmanpershingsquare-1

    "Our Successes Vastly Overwhelm Our Failures"

    Bill Ackman: Mistakes (Though Not Many) Were Made

    There comes a time in every hedge fund manager’s life when he must admit that he made a mistake. Sometimes that mistake was borrowing money from an investor fund to pay personal taxes. Sometimes that mistake was knocking off that hooker. Sometimes that mistake was thinking investors would be happy to hear that their one […]

    / Aug 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM
  • seinfeldtheboyfriend


    SAC Capital Lawyer Martin Klotz Is Earning His Keep Like Nobody’s Business

    A tendency in financial journalism, and journalism in general, really, is to write about the big names. The Lloyd Blankfeins. The Ben Bernankes. The Dick Fulds. The Steve Cohens. For readers, that means never learning about the true heroes. The men and women toiling behind the scenes. The ones doing the real and, quite often, […]

    / Jul 23, 2013 at 6:16 PM
  • Does everyone use like "10b" to mean "10 business days" and "30d" to mean "30 calendar days"? WELL I DO.


    Crackdown On Insider Trading Seems To Have Led To More Insider Trading

    Why does there seem to be more insider trading than there used to be? My assumption was always to the effect of “because now we look for it and have computers and stuff,” but James Surowiecki has a column today saying in part “no, actually, there’s more insider trading”: The S.E.C.’s enforcement actions have been […]

    / Jun 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM
  • not to scale


    Bank Of England, Everyone Else, Thinks Banks Are Lying About Capital

    Aaahhh I love the Bank of England’s latest Financial Stability Report. I mean: I haven’t read it, per se. But it follows the wonderful official-sector-report layout of blandly apocalyptic text running down the right side and lovely charts running down the left, so you can close one eye and it’s a delight. The charts are […]

    / Nov 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM
  • The "Monitor" is the only one with graphs; the rest are just Q&A and recommendations and things.


    Shadow Banking System Is Back Down To About Half The Size Of Regular Banking System

    The Financial Stability Board is … is a thing, first of all, did you know that? It’s not the Financial Stability Oversight Council, though it is as far as I can tell a global version of that with similar composition (senior regulators! in a room!) and obsessions (shadow banking! money market funds!). It’s also not […]

    / Nov 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM
  • News

    Bloomberg TV: So You’re Thinking About Banging A College Kid

    If you want to make things easy on yourself, go after an economics major, says Bloomberg TV, which cautions people to avoid philosophy, education, and earth science concentrators, who make up “the least promiscuous majors.” Just don’t get too excited about your odds, though, warns anchor Scarlet Fu, noting that “we are far from the […]

    / Sep 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM
  • Banks, News

    TARP Charts!

    The Federal Reserve has this new paper out about TARP that does a bit of highly suggestive eyebrow raising about some banks that shall remain nameless. They start from the awkward fact that TARP wanted everything in one bag but didn’t want the bag to be heavy, or as they put it:

    The conflicted nature of the TARP objectives reflects the tension between different approaches to the financial crisis. While recapitalization was directed at returning banks to a position of financial stability, these banks were also expected to provide macro-stabilization by converting their new cash into risky loans. TARP was a use of public tax-payer funds and some public opinion argued that the funds should be used to make loans, so that the benefit of the funds would be passed through directly to consumers and businesses.

    So you might reasonably ask: were TARP funds locked in the vault to return the recipient banks to financial health, or blown on loans to risky ventures, or other? Well, here is Figure 1 (aggregate commercial and industrial loans from commercial banks in the U.S.):

    So … not loaned then. But that’s not important! The authors are actually looking not primarily at aggregate amounts of loans but at riskiness of loans and here’s what they get:

    / Mar 7, 2012 at 6:06 PM
  • Basel. Where the BIS is. I'm getting more and more into soothing photos of architecture. Enjoy!


    BIS Paper Reminds Us That All’s Well In The Derivatives Market

    The gnomes at the Bank for International Settlements have produced a particularly gnomish paper called “Collateral requirements for mandatory central clearing of over-the-counter derivatives.” Wait! It might be important! Hear them out. (There’ll be charts …) Their goal is to measure how much more cash collateral the big dealer banks will need to encumber to […]

    / Mar 6, 2012 at 3:44 PM
  • News

    Feel Free To Project Your Own Hopes And Dreams Onto This Chart

    I guess there’s some competition but this to me is clearly the chart of the day: Ha, no, not really. But actually it is pretty neat: The Federal Reserve on Friday released blank templates showing the format of the two charts it will use on January 25 to report Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) participants’ […]

    / Jan 20, 2012 at 6:24 PM
  • Banks, News

    Your Comp May Be Down This Year, But At Least You’ll Have The Satisfaction Of Annoying A Random Shareholder Activist

    Hey, so, if you work at a bank, you may have heard about this, not sure, but your comp will be down. Just a bit. Unless you’re a junior mistmaker Chez Dimon. But otherwise, yeah. Down. Another thing you may be less aware of is that some people are actually not so unhappy about that. […]

    / Jan 12, 2012 at 4:50 PM
  • News

    Maybe Banks Should Be Rewarded For Making More Bad Loans?

    Ooh look a chart: That’s from this quite punchy paper by Patrick Slovik of the economics department at the OECD. It shows you that, in 1992, big banks had risk-weighted assets, which determine how much capital they’re required to have, of over 65% of their total assets, which measures how much lending and investing and […]

    / Dec 14, 2011 at 3:26 PM
  • News

    New Report Features CDS And Shadow Banking, Is Not In The Sunday Times

    Here is a wonderful sentence: A key insight from the enhanced BIS credit derivatives data is that non-rated multi-name credit risk sourced from multiple sectors has been transferred from derivatives dealers to IFGCs, SPVs and OFCs. Yeah! Wh … what? It’s from the quarterly review of the Bank for International Settlements, which is a delightful […]

    / Dec 12, 2011 at 3:12 PM
  • News

    Today In Data Mining? Maybe?

    Finance professor Jialan Wang won the Internet today with a beautiful note on Benford’s law in US accounting data (for completeness of her victory see here, here, here, here, and here). Here’s the argument. Benford’s Law is a statistical regularity that applies to many collections of numbers of differing orders of magnitude. As Wang writes: […]

    / Oct 12, 2011 at 6:27 PM
  • News

    CDS Levels May Not Be The All-Purpose Indicator That WSJ Thought They Were, Reports WSJ

    The New York Fed and the Wall Street Journal have both been studying how liquid the CDS market today and have released their conclusions today. Short answer: not that liquid. From the WSJ: In recent years, credit-default swaps—contracts that give the buyer the right to collect a payment from the seller if a borrower defaults […]

    / Sep 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM
  • News

    If There Are Riots In New York, You Can Blame Ethanol And Index Funds

    Mayor Bloomberg is on record claiming that riots are caused by unemployment among college graduates. But I suspect that Occupy Wall Street is overweight degrees and underweight 9-to-5 employment, and it’s not taking down the regime so much as it is taking down a lot of pizza. So one might question Bloomie’s conclusions and seek […]

    / Sep 22, 2011 at 6:12 PM
  • insider-trading, News

    Galleon Sentences Now Getting Serious

    Betracksuited Galleon trader Zvi Goffer got some bad news today: Zvi Goffer, the ex-Galleon Group LLC trader, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a scheme to trade on inside information provided by lawyers. … “I view this as a tragic day,” said U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan, who handed down […]

    / Sep 21, 2011 at 4:59 PM
  • News

    How Much Time In Jail Will A Little Bit Of Insider Trading Cost You?

    Raj Rajaratnam doesn’t want to spend the next 20 years in prison, which would be understandable for anyone, really, but especially for him given his unmentionable but Extremely Serious assortment of illnesses. But this perfectly sensible desire to not go away for two decades runs up against a problem, which is that the US Sentencing […]

    / Sep 12, 2011 at 3:34 PM
  • News

    Goldman Would Be Happy To Take Some Correlation Off Your Hands

    Goldman Sachs Portfolio Strategy Research has a fascinating research piece out today on equity correlation markets. It does good work as a piece of research because (1) if you like equity derivatives, it’s got all sorts of fun charts and technical stuff and (2) if you don’t, it’s got a hard sell: trade equity corr […]

    / Sep 8, 2011 at 3:39 PM
  • News

    Carlyle Group Spends Too Much Time Being A Private Equity Firm For Some People’s Liking

    Eeevil conspiracy theory source The Carlyle Group filed for its IPO today, which makes sense because the best time to file for an IPO is during a global financial meltdown (better than filing in normal times and launching your roadshow into a meltdown, or not). The not so great news: they’re too private equity-y for […]

    / Sep 6, 2011 at 7:18 PM
  • News

    Fed Researchers Say Europe Borrowed From China To Buy Crappy American Mortgages

    It’s by now a familiar story of the financial crisis: German and Icelandic bankers keep finding themselves the owners of mortgages on grandmothers’ houses in Kansas, and it’s hard to decide which side is more befuddled by it. The Federal Reserve yesterday went one step further up the value chain, publishing an interesting discussion paper […]

    / Aug 18, 2011 at 1:30 PM
  • News

    If You Read Only One 192-Page Report on the Financial System Today, Make It This One

    The Financial Stability Oversight Council, the Treasury-Fed-SEC-FDIC-etc.-etc. joint venture designated by Dodd-Frank to prevent another financial crisis, released its first annual report last night and can we just say that we love it? The purpose of the report is to convery recommendations about where the regulators see systemic risk. Some are expected (bank capital and […]

    / Jul 27, 2011 at 10:50 AM
  • News

    Today in Statistics: People Have Stuff (Had, Anyway)

    The Atlantic points out a chart in Bernanke’s report to Congress showing the mean ratio of Americans’ net worth to annual income. After bouncing around 5x for much of the early ’90s, it went well above 6x during the tech boom, dipped briefly, and then soared to 6.3x-ish in 2007 before plummeting to around 5x […]

    / Jul 15, 2011 at 1:02 PM
  • News

    Today in Visual Display of Quantitative Information (Nerdy)

    Zero Hedge points out this awesome chart in an otherwise kind of back-test-eriffic Stanford paper on credit-equity correlation trading: The chart graphs 2003-2010 investment grade credit spreads (left axis) versus the S&P (bottom axis), with the size of the circles corresponding to the level of the VIX volatility index and the colors distinguishing the year […]

    / Jul 13, 2011 at 12:06 PM
  • News

    Jerome Kerviel: Charting His Trades

    Our eyes were already glazed over when we finally turned our attention to the the report released by Société Générale on the Jerome Kerviel scandal. The ocular varnish hardened to opaque as we skimmed through blather about how almost everything had gone right, everyone had done things well, and it was just a few bad […]

    / Feb 21, 2008 at 3:39 PM

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