NoSleeves Talks Reps

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Newsday interviewed a bunch of reporters over the weekend about how hard it is to cover a recession, and their various coping mechanisms for getting through the difficult period. Obviously there's only one we (you) care about. Apparently he was short on time, otherwise you know he would've gotten down to the nitty gritty re: BoFlex routines, Myoplex shakes, Champion sweatshirts without sleeves, and getting bombed at Elaine's after a hard day at the office. As an aside, is "colleagues" a loose term that includes the Dealbreaker community? If not, I give you permission, nay, strong encouragement, to get angry.

Charles Gasparino is a former amateur boxer-turned-reporter for publications including Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and Newsday. But those days in the ring probably are serving him best now as he works the longest, hardest and most downbeat story of his career for CNBC as its on-air editor.
"I work out every day for an hour and 15 minutes," he says, and by "work out," "Gaspo" - as he's known to colleagues - does wind sprints by the East River near his home in Stuyvesant Town and a fast set of 36 pull-ups and sit-ups. "You just crank 'em out," he says. The nighttime decompression routine, however, is different: "I do occasionally include an alcoholic beverage," he says.
"There's a reason I make a good martini now."


Let's Talk About: Basel III

The Fed last night unleashed eight zillion pages of Basel III implementation on the universe and I'm tempted to be like "open thread, tell us about your hopes and fears for capital regulation." So do that! Or don't because it is super boring, that is also a valid approach. Still I guess we should discuss. Starting slow though. Banks have to have capital, meaning that they have to fund some of their assets with things that are long-lived and loss-absorbing, like common equity, rather than with things that have to be paid back soon and at face value. The reason for this is that the rest of banks' assets are funded with things that we really do want to be paid back soon and at face value, like deposits, and if the value of those assets declines you don't want those deposits to be wiped out. The rules say that you need capital equal to a percentage of your assets. The game is deciding (1) what that percentage is, (2) what is capital (proceeds from selling common stock, and actual earnings, yes, but, like, deferred tax assets?), and (3) how you count assets (you might want more capital to shield you from losses in, say, social media stocks than you would to shield you from losses in Treasury bonds, so regulators use "risk-weighted assets," so that $1 of corporate bonds counts as $1 of assets, $1 of Treasuries counts as $0 of assets, and $1 of Facebook stock counts as $3 of assets*). Anyway, here are the required capital levels: