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Archives: July 2009

Servicers Get Deserved Hit for Bungling Loan Modifications

Posted by: Mara Der Hovanesian on July 29, Categories: Housing

The Home Affordable Modification Program that is designed to get homeowners out of their troubled mortgages is moving at a snail’s pace--and the servicers' strategies are riddled with conflicts....

Ernst & Young says Private Equity's Rough Ride Isn't Over Yet

Posted by: Peter Carbonara on July 28, Categories: private equity

Ernst & Young’s recently released mid-year report, “2009 U.S. Private Equity Watch: An Industry in Flux” is a detailed and readable summary of what went on in private equity during...

Option ARM Loan Modification Outlook Dismal

Posted by: Mara Der Hovanesian on July 27, Categories: Housing

Those nasty pick-a-pay mortgages, the ones that allowed borrowers to pay less than interest thereby adding to principal balances every month, continue to be among the most worrisome mortgages still...

What do Private Equity Firms do all Day?

Posted by: Peter Carbonara on July 24, Categories: private equity

What are people at private equity firms doing all day now that so few deals getting done? Suduko? Facebook? According to a white paper by auditors Grant Thornton and the...

CalPERS takes the really long view

Posted by: Peter Carbonara on July 22, Categories:

Putting the best possible face on terrible financial news is something investor relations departments have had to get good at over the last year. Submitted for your approval, California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS)'s announcement yesterday of preliminary investment performance for the year ended June 30.

Banks Hurt More By Liar Loans Than Secondary Market Investors

Posted by: Mara Der Hovanesian on July 21, Categories: banking

Here's a surprising bit of research coming out of study by some Columbia University professors: Banks lowered their standards on underwriting because they assumed they'd push the risk and iffy...

Is Bono, the BlackBerry pitchman, hurting Bono, the Palm investor?

Posted by: Adrienne Carter on July 21, Categories: private equity

Bono, the U2 lead singer, seems to be the latest pitchman for BlackBerry. His band’s latest album release, No Line on the Horizon, features prominently on the mobile device maker’s...

Big Arbitration Firm Pulls Out of Credit Card Business

Posted by: Dan Beucke on July 19, Categories: credit cards

By Robert Berner After coming under increasing fire for bias towards major credit-card companies, the nation’s largest arbitration firm involved in adjudicating delinquent credit-card debt has agreed to pull out...

CEOs Suffering Low Confidence, Says Deal-Hungry Goldman

Posted by: David Henry on July 17, Categories:

If only Viagra would help. “Low CEO confidence” continues to hold back the mergers and acquisitions business at Goldman Sachs, according to CFO David Viniar. Viniar, speaking on Goldman’s conference...

Expect More Top Management Changes at Citi

Posted by: Mara Der Hovanesian on July 16, Categories: Citigroup

The last thing anyone in Washington wants to do is to introduce more chaos and uncertainty at the world’s most troubled bank. For that reason, I suspect that the persistent...

American Express beats forecasts, reporting lower delinquencies and charge-offs

Posted by: Jessica Silver-Greenberg on July 15, Categories:

Credit card industry executives likely breathed a sigh of relief today as American Express, Wall Street’s favorite pet, reported that write-offs on credit cards actually beat expectations for the later...

Offshoring: A thing of the past?

Posted by: Mara Der Hovanesian on July 15, Categories: jobs

Steve Crosby, a senior managing director of the securities and investment practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, says Corporate America’s massive wave of off-shoring could come to a grinding halt. Rather so-called “near-shoring”...

The Same Old Tricks at Goldman Sachs

Posted by: Adrienne Carter on July 14, Categories: banking

It’s another banner quarter for Goldman Sachs, the storied investment bank and one of the few left standing. On July 14, the company reported earnings of $3.4 billion, up 65%...

Boutique Banks Steal Share From Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and the Like

Posted by: Jessica Silver-Greenberg on July 13, Categories: banking

There’s a surprising shake-out in the world of mergers and acquisitions. In the new M&A environment where small niche deals have supplanted the mega-deals of years past, relationships matter. That...

Yet Another Management Shuffle at Citigroup

Posted by: Mara Der Hovanesian on July 09, Categories: Citigroup

Citi had more news today on another round of musical chairs in the executive suite. John Gerspach, the bank's former chief accounting officer, will be the new chief financial officer--the...

Note to FDIC: Lottery Tickets Can Spur Retirement Savings

Posted by: Mara Der Hovanesian on July 07, Categories:

They say that buying a lottery ticket is like buying a dream for 24 hours: The chances for winning the jackpot are minuscule, but it’s not a bad short-term fantasy...

The Secrets of Goldman Sachs

Posted by: David Henry on July 06, Categories: scandals

Prediction: The case of the stolen Goldman Sachs trading software will leave more tarnish on Goldman reputation than take profits from its income statement. It will also provide lots of...

Prepaid Cards, dangerous plastic?

Posted by: Jessica Silver-Greenberg on July 02, Categories:

Congress took bold steps to reign in unfair credit card practices, passing the Credit Card Act of 2009. Thousands of consumers who saw their interest rates jacked up, their credit...

Private Equity 2009 Half Time Stats

Posted by: Peter Carbonara on July 01, Categories:

The first half of 2009 is gone and as far as private equity is concerned, good riddance. New reports from two private equity data companies confirm the bad news most people in the business have known for a while: the volume of deals is lower than its been in years and with endowments and pension funds short on liquidity, the fund-raising environement is brutal. At the risk of grasping at green shoots, it's not all bad news, however.


BusinessWeek's Adrienne Carter, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, and David Henry deconstruct the mysteries of high finance, Wall Street, and hedge funds for pros and ordinary investors. E-mail them directly if you've got tips about big deals, a hedge fund, or even securities industry gossip.

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