Friday, March 14, 2008

Commentary on Bear Stearns 6:00 EDT (BSC)

First off a tidbit from the Detroit News:
International bridge champions converge on Detroit for big tournament
Celebrity bridge players
James Cayne: The Wall Street Journal reported last fall that the former CEO of Bear Stearns was spending too much time at bridge tournaments during critical times for his company, although Detroit News bridge columnist Bobby Wolff, a friend, says it isn't true. Cayne will be in Detroit. [he's still chairman-ed.]
HT: anonymous Dealbreaker commenter- Posted by guest, Mar 14, 2008 4:03PM

From CNBC:
Bear Stearns Being Shopped to Chase, Other Banks
"Transactions happen when times are good and valuations are high and they happen when times are very difficult and you have some forced sellers," said Sean Egan, managing director of independent credit-rating firm Egan-Jones Ratings, said after the Countrywide acquisition.
From the BBC's Robert Peston:
America's Northern Rock
The rescue of Bear Stearns demonstrates that the worst of the global credit crunch is not yet behind us.
As an incident, it is America's Northern Rock.
...Why? Because on a daily basis there's been more and more disturbing news about the deterioration in the US housing market and the difficulties faced by borrowers in repaying their debts.
From DealBreaker:
Blocking Dealbreaker as a Leading Indicator
Several months ago Bear Stearns blocked employees in its headquarters from reading DealBreaker. They offered us lots of technical excuses for this, including a few that almost made sense, but all of them were lies. Bear Stearns blocked us because we had ticked off the upper levels of its management. They’d probably still deny this if we bothered to ask, but how many times do you need to let someone lie to you before you simply quit asking questions.At the time we warned that there was something wrong with management that was concerned enough about how a sarcastic, gossipy website that they’d lash out against it. We regularly mock the higher ups at places like Goldman Sachs but they know they’ve got better things to worry about.

From Market Movers:
Did the Fed's Bear Bailout Prevent a Stock-Market Panic?

Willem Buiter explains today why he thinks the Bear bailout was unwarranted. I apologise for quoting at some length, but believe me, it's a lot shorter than the 2,150-word blog entry:...

...It turns out, you see, that every mom-and-pop stock-market investor is actually, and rather unwittingly, taking investment-bank default risk, then. Which is why it's nice to have a Fed on the lookout for them. So far, retail stock-market investors haven't panicked; let's try and keep it that way, shall we?

2150 words? I don't know that many.- Climateer