Meet The Real Villain Of The Financial Crisis (NYT)
Bethany McLean: "The transaction at the heart of the S.E.C.’s complaint is a microcosm of the entire credit crisis. That is, there are no good guys here. It’s dishonest and ultimately dangerous to pretend that Goldman is the only bad actor. And the worst actor of all is the one leading the charge against Goldman: our government...Come to think about it, shouldn’t Congress have its turn on the hot seat as well? Seeing Goldman executives get their comeuppance may make us all feel better in the short term. But today’s spectacle shouldn’t provide our government with a convenient way to deflect the blame it so richly deserves."
A Crowd With Pity For Goldman (NYT)
“I don’t want to use the word childish ... but it’s childish.” That’s how Kenneth Griffin described the SEC’s decision to pursue a civil fraud case against Goldman. “I think that the disclosure around one transaction being the justification to vilify Goldman Sachs or to pass regulatory reform is just incredible,” Mr. Griffin said. “I think the Goldman Sachs case has clearly energized the Democrats with respect to passing the regulatory reform.”
Tourre: A Hero in Villain's Garb? (WSJ)
Dennis Berman: "Mr. Tourre, as they say on Wall Street, gets the joke. His job constructing highly structured mortgage products is a farce. And he feels uneasy about it. "[T]he real purpose of my job is to make capital markets more efficient and ultimately provide the US consumer with more efficient ways to leverage and finance himself, so there is a humble, noble and ethical reason for my job :)" he writes to his girlfriend Marine Serres in January 2007. At Goldman's top levels, there is little farce. Instead, there is what the firm proudly touts as "conflict management"—the thorough, technical handling of competing interests inside and outside the firm."
Deutsche Bank profit up 49% on investment-bank strength (MarketWatch)
The Germans reported profit of 1.76 billion euros ($2.34 billion), compared with 1.19 billion euros a year earlier and ahead of the 1.39 billion euro consensus estimate of analysts. "This is a low level by peer group standards and, given regulatory developments, suggests limited dividend progression for 2010," said Nomura analyst Jon Peace in a note to clients.
Deutsche Bank faces U.S. mortgage securities suit (Reuters)
No worries, though, the Krauts aren't sweating the potential U.S. class-action lawsuit over mortgage-related securities.
Roubini: Greece Just Tip of Debt Crisis Iceberg (CNBC)
"The recent problems faced by Greece are only the tip of a sovereign-debt iceberg in many advanced economies,” Roubini told readers of RGE Monitor. “Bond-market vigilantes already have taken aim at Greece, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Iceland, pushing government bond yields higher.” “Eventually they may take aim at other countries – even Japan and the United States -- where fiscal policy is on an unsustainable path," he wrote.
Finance Bill Hits Impasse In Senate (WSJ)
On a 57-41 vote, Democrats fell short of the 60 votes they needed to begin debate, even losing one of their own.
Nomura Defections Damage Bid to Catch Up With Rivals (Bloomberg)
“The airplane just left the ground last year,” Chief Operating Officer Takumi Shibata said at the event at Tokyo’s Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa. “It needs to gain more altitude.”