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Barclays Is Greatest, Most Honest Bank In The World, Announces Barclays

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Barclays was not lying last week when it categorically shot down scurrilous reports that it was about to take a $10 billion writedown, a denial the bank backed up this morning when it announced a writedown of only $2.7 billion on investments related to the subprime mortgage market. Of course, when they said there was “absolutely no substance to those rumors,” they meant to say “those rumors are only 27 percent correct,” but whatever: details. How do you like Barclays now? Probably not as much as Barclays likes itself. “Today’s extensive disclosure demonstrates the strength and resilience of our performance during the year and in particular during the turbulent month of October,” chief executive John Varley said in a statement.
Incidentally: You should watch this

Earlier: Barclays: $10 Billion Writedown Rumor Has As Much Merit As The One About James Cayne Smoking Dope
Barclays Writes Down $2.7 Billion on Mortgage Losses [Bloomberg]
A stitch in time [Breaking Views]
Barclays Ends Speculation Over Subprime Exposure [WSJ]


John Paulson Is The Most Resourceful Hedge Fund Manager In The World

In a pinch, Steve Cohen has made himself a few zip-up fleece jackets with only a travel sewing kit and some Silly Putty at his disposal. Alone in the woods and miles from home, Ray Dalio has been known to fashion slingshots out of the remains of wildebeests. Having blown through all his 100-count packs already and not wanting to catch anything, George Soros has constructed condoms out of strips of bacon; old tea bags; and British pounds. According to Dealbook, however, today they must all bow down to the master. John Paulson, the billionaire hedge fund manager, will be forever known on Wall Street as the man who made nearly billions shorting subprime mortgages. But on Monday night at the United States Open men’s singles final, DealBook witnessed Mr. Paulson do something that, while not nearly as remunerative, was almost as impressive: He turned his necktie into an ascot...As the match wore on into the night, the temperatures dropped into the 50s and spectators grappled with how to stay warm. But Mr. Paulson, unable to avail himself of the U.S.T.A.-issued blanket and possibly reluctant to spend money on a Polo fleece, chose a different approach. Early in the fifth set, Mr. Paulson removed his tie and unbuttoned the top button of his shirt. He then wrapped the tie around his neck and transformed it into an ascot, providing additional warmth for the duration of the match. Wall Street Sits Courtside For A Marathon Match [Dealbook]

RBS, Barclays In For A World Of Pain: JP Morgan

Any money the banks are making now should apparently be earmarked for future payouts to regulators, of which there will be many.