Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Will Bank of America's Buffett Deal Backfire?" (BAC)

The stock is down 1.1% at $8.08.
Propublica's Mr. Eisinger didn't need his Pulitzer to spot the fact that BAC's actions did not integrate well with their statements.
I used that odd circumlocution to make a point, that it is the comparison of the talk and the walk which defines the word integrity.

From John Carney's Net Net:

...From Eisinger:
Mr. Buffett's investment reveals something both infuriating and scary.
Bank of America has not been talking straight about its need for capital.
"You cannot have the largest bank in the country saying, 'We don't need the money,' and then paying this kind of price to Warren Buffett for capital they say they don't need," said Daniel Alpert, who runs the investment firm Westwood Capital. "Industrywide, it's a potential boomerang because we think, 'Why should we believe any of these guys when they say they don't need the money?' "
"We've been through a massive crisis in 2007 and '08 where executives of major financial institutions tried to hide their insolvency," he added. "They said, 'No, no, a thousand times no, we're fine.' And then they were gone."
Sure, Mr. Buffett reportedly approached Brian T. Moynihan, Bank of America's chief executive, who initially rebuffed the investment offer—suggesting that Bank of America didn't really need capital. Even so, Mr. Moynihan's reticence didn't last long. And if the bank truly didn't need capital, why make such an expensive deal that could dilute other shareholders?
Eisinger thinks this could have systemic implications. If people begin to think that Bank of America's financial condition was worse than it was letting on, they'll likely begin to question the health of other banks, as well. Remember that bank solvency is largely a matter of confidence: If the market loses confidence in a bank's financial condition, the bank will quickly find itself unable to continue doing business....MORE