Picture this. You’re world-renown bank analyst Dick Bové, famous for, among other things, issuing a report in summer 2008 about which banks were “next” to fail, not rolling over and taking it when Citigroup tried to screw you good, and standing by Ken Lewis when literally no one else (including his board) would. When you walk into rooms, people notice. More often than not, they ask you to pose for pictures, kiss their babies, sign their tits. Some have fainted in your presence. You’re the fifth Beatle, Justin Bieber, and George Clooney, all wrapped into one devastating little package.  It should go without saying that an appearance by you at your local branch bank, to cash six-figure checks, as you often do, would be call for a red carpet and the crème de la crème of customer service, right? Apparently wrong. Read more »

Like most people who do these sorts of things, Linda Speaks Tribby had a good excuse, which is that she needed the money to buy a helicopter and a motor home, two purchases that seem slightly at odds but the heart wants what it wants. Read more »

Scott Welch's Den of Iniquity

With the money he embezzled from Wachovia ($11.2 million give or take a few clams), Scott Welch bought himself many a sports car. This was a plan, to throw people off the trail. He didn’t buy a new set of wheels “constantly,” as neighbors recall, in an attempt to hide the fact that he was stealing money from the bank, but to distract from what he was really putting the funds toward. A love that dare not speak its name. A love of plants, and impeccably maintained yards. Read more »

  • 19 May 2010 at 5:23 PM

UBS Trader Pleads Guilty in Massive Bid Rigging Scandal

Mark Zaino, a former UBS trader who worked on the firm’s derivatives and municipal securities desk, pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges today in the wide-ranging investigation into sham auctions and bid rigging in financial products sold to municipalities.

Zaino is the first banker to plead guilty to charges and he has agreed to cooperate with investigators. Another banker at Bank of America, who participated in the massive bid-rigging scheme, is also providing information to the Feds about the scam. Read more »

  • 18 May 2010 at 11:58 AM

Behind the Massive Conspiracy to Rig the Muni Bond Market

If you thought the SEC’s charges against Goldman Sachs poured fuel on an already-raging populace fire, Wall Street’s involvement in a massive bid rigging scandal in the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market will fan the flames even more.

Earlier this month, we heard about an SEC investigation of conflicts of interest at big banks that bought credit default swaps on muni bonds they sold to state and local governments. But Bloomberg is out with a big investigative piece today about a massive bid-rigging scandal in the muni market that, if true, bilked 160 state agencies, local governments and non-profits out of hundreds of millions of dollars. Read more »

  • 22 Oct 2008 at 8:57 AM

High School Math

I’m still trying to get my head around this: What does it mean when the stock you hold that is sitting at $6.00 per share posts a $11.00 per share loss? That’s is the Wachovia shareholder experience.

Chief Executive Robert K. Steel said, “Although this has been a challenging quarter, Wachovia’s underlying businesses remain solid and our franchise exceptionally attractive.”

As we pointed out yesterday, we might be outraged, but nothing surprises us anymore. Seriously. Nothing. Really. We saw a cab drive by the other day dragging a burning Christmas tree behind it. Nothing. No bells. No whistles.
Ironically, their net loss of $23.7 billion looks suspiciously close to the $25.5 billion purchase price for Golden West Financial. Funny how that works.
Wachovia Swings to a $23.7 Billion Loss [Wall Street Journal]

  • 29 Sep 2008 at 11:45 AM

Checking It Twice

Bear Stearns
Lehman Brothers
Washington Mutual

National City
National City Drops 52% as Market Wonders Who’s Next [CNBC]

  • 26 Sep 2008 at 4:19 PM


Wachovia Begins Early Deal Talks With Citi [Dealbook]