Madoff Investigation Shifts to Offshore Role (NYT)
If, at the beginning of the year, someone had predicted that at the year's end we would be knee deep in shit from a madman creating a $50B Ponzi scheme I would have simply replied "I'll buy the drinks for that show"; it's clear now that by the time this settles I would have been broke and suffering from liver/kidney failure.
At the Times we've got Madoff being investigated for his possible offshore activity - adding the "illegal" seems unnecessary as anything he was doing was actually in the commission of the biggest Ponzi ever pulled. They're looking into tax avoidance and fraud - rumor has it UBS was consulted on the former back in the day but turned the gig down as they only deal with "large scale" operations.
Fed To Purchase $500B In Mortgages, Continued... (Reuters)
The Fed has announced that it plans on following through with the MBS purchase plan. If you weren't paying attention at some point:
"The Fed selected investment managers BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GS.N), PIMCO, and Wellington Management Co to implement the program."
Who didn't see Goldman popping up on the list? Really? I'm a massive fan of nepotism on a personal level, but in the wake of the SEC/Madoff mindfuck it seems that the prudent government move would have been to separate itself from the purchase of assets that could very well (further) influence what players are left on the Banking Field in the near future.
Credit Suisse To Sell Part Of Global Investors Business Line (Bloomberg)
The marginally less tax-evade-y Swiss bank in townhas announced it's going to sell off part of it's Global Investors line, which "includes fixed-income, equity and money market funds" to Aberdeen Asset Management for $361MM in stock.
GMAC Uses Fed Money To Create Liquidity (WSJ)
They're going to be offering loans of the 0% variety on five vehicles, and loans ranging from .9% to 5.9% en masse it appears. I don't know that any of this will help either the company or the American public/infrastructure at large, but it was a nice thought.
Paulson, Run Amuck (Reuters)
While (the real) Paulson (to us) is looking to buy distressed debt with his $36B baby Paulson & Co, he's also slinging mud at the rest of the industry for gating redemptions and clawing for survival. Because opening up the Funds for full redemption won't be anything like a bank run, or cause the sudden sell-off of Billions of dollars of equities. No, Paulson, people are completely rational right now.
UBS Sells Off Bank Of China Stake (Reuters)
"Straitened (sic) Swiss bank UBS AG said on Wednesday it had sold its stake in Bank of China at a discount to institutional investors and would book a gain of a "few hundred million dollars" in the fourth quarter."
Here's the story in a nutshell: UBS needs money so they're selling off whatever they can. Banks (even ones in China) pose an unnecessary risk, so they're the first to go.
AIG Looking For Fed To Relax (FT)
AIG wants the Fed to back off its rule that purchasing companies have to present 90% cash. The ability to take shares for the pieces it sells off would allow for more bidders, in theory.