Great news for renters facing eviction due to foreclosure: any mortgage owner seeking assistance under Congress’ mammoth bailout bill is required to let paying renters stay in their homes.
Tsk tsk, Wells Fargo. You should’ve known that stealing Citibank’s unspoiled bride at the alter was going to draw a bitter legal challenge. Late last night, Citibank’s team of repo-lawyers claimed a partial victory, announcing that a New York judge has agreed to block Wachovia’s sale. Citibank is also demanding $60 billion from Wells Fargo for interfering with the deal.
Attention Wachovia customers: Wells Fargo just rode on on that stagecoach thing of theirs and stole your bank from Citibank, says the NYT. Rather than pick apart the pieces of Wachovia, Wells Fargo is going to buy the whole darn thing.
Instead of sucking off the blood of taxpayers, Swiss banking giant UBS is weathering a financial crisis wrought by investing in bad mortgages by aggressively selling off its U.S. commercial and residential mortgage-related assets. Reports Forbes:
Dow industrials fell 700 on fears bailout package vote would fail, but later recovered to a loss of about 400.
Right now the “Nays” are winning, but the voting is still open, and arms are apparently still being twisted and anything could happen. No bailout. The House defeats the bill on the $700 billion rescue plan 228-205.[WSJ]
Congressional negotiators agreed in principle last night to a $700 billion bailout package. The bill is currently being transformed into draft legislation that can be voted on
CNN says that a deal has been reached — sort of. A bipartisan counterproposal to Bush’s $700 billion bailout plan has been drafted. The plan calls for caps on executive pay, and provides oversight on the Treasury’s actions.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that WaMu is courting several private equity firms about a potential takeover after their debt was downgraded even further into junk status by Standard & Poor’s. Once merely “junk,” WaMu is apparently, “so junky we are not even kidding around about it anymore.”
One of the major sticking points of the inevitable Wall Street bailout was executive pay — but the New York Times says that Treasury Secretary and former CEO of Goldman Sachs, Henry M. Paulson Jr., has agreed to compensation caps for the executives of firms that benefit from the bailout.
A while back the New York Times was concerned about the cost of the Iraq War and published some estimates of what else we could have bought with that money. We didn’t find that very interesting at the time, but now, while trying to wrap our minds around just how effing huge the $700 billion proposed bailout of Wall Street really is, we decided to revisit that article. Here’s what you can buy for less than $700 billion, according to the New York Times.
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. was not warmly received at today’s bailout hearing when he stared down an angry and disenchanted Senate Banking Committee. Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, who appeared with Mr. Paulson, warned that unless Congress gave Mr. Paulson $700 billion that “inaction could lead to a recession.” Oooh, they said the “R” word….
A bailout of some kind is coming, but no one seems to know what it will look like and who it will help. The Wall Street Journal says that Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd of Connecticut has some ideas that might not go over too well with the Treasury Department.
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will no longer be investment banks, says the New York Times. Instead, they will “transform themselves into bank holding companies subject to far greater regulation.”
It’s the end of the world as we know it, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on yourself. Here are 10 skills to have in our brave new world…
Morgan Stanley might sell a 49% share of itself to a Chinese government controlled fund, says Bloomberg. [Bloomberg]
The SEC has temporarily banned short selling of 799 financial stocks, and the Treasury Department has said that it would guarantee (temporarily?) money market funds up to the amount of $50 billion. The New York Times called this move “startling” because money market funds have long been considered one of the safest investments — about as safe as a savings account.
It’s one thing to understand what just happened to the financial markets, and yet another to actually be able to explain what just happened. Thankfully, Steven Levitt from Freakonomics walked down the hall and found two economists from the University of Chicago (Doug Diamond and Anil Kashyap,) who gave him the best explanation I’ve been able to find about what the hell just happened.