Thursday, February 12, 2009

Apres Madoff, Plus de Cockroaches; et autre stuff

This is a busy news day and yours truly also has a busy day, so here goes; all news from

Billionaire Stanford’s Firm Said to Face U.S. Probe of CD Sales

Multi-billions under management with steady returns over many years from an offshore entity, Standford Investment Bank (SIB):

SIB has $8.5 billion in assets and 30,000 clients, according to the site.

“That type of return ignores the business cycle,” said L. Burke Files, principal of Financial Examinations & Evaluations, Inc., a Tempe, Arizona-based financial investigation firm. “His returns fall outside the bell curve of probability.”

Uh-oh, oh-oh, oh no. Another Madoff?

Plus this news:

Morgan Stanley Real Estate Said to Put Kalsi on Leave

Morgan Stanley put Sonny Kalsi, its global head of real estate investing, on administrative leave effective immediately, giving direct oversight of his division to two executives who had run it previously, according to a person with knowledge of the decisions.

Morgan Stanley reported $21.5 billion in property-related losses and asset writedowns linked to mortgages as of Dec. 31 and shed more than 9,000 jobs to survive the credit crisis.

Morgan Stanley said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday that it “had recently uncovered actions related to an employee based in China in an overseas real estate subsidiary that appear to have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Morgan Stanley terminated the employee, reported the activities to appropriate authorities and is continuing to investigate the matter.”

The filing didn’t name the employee. It wasn’t Kalsi, according to the person familiar, who also declined to say who it was. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is a U.S. law that prohibits corporate bribery.

Bank of America, JPMorgan May Flee Bailout After Public Lashing

Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley may decide after enduring yesterday’s Congressional hearing that the old Troubled Asset Relief Program is more trouble than it’s worth.

"Old" TARP? Suddenly these companies are healthy and can get the money on better terms?
Give me a break. This appears to be posturing and venting.

MidSouth Loses Would-Be Borrowers as TARP Fails With Louisianans

Basically, the story is that Americans are beginning to embrace saving. This is the proof that the people are often wiser than the Government.

Just Imagine Blankfein Questioning Barney Frank: Caroline Baum

Trenchant. Read it and laugh.

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