credit default swap

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Buffett Dumps Municipal Bonds, Spooks Investors

Berkshire cancels credit default swaps on municipal bonds

(Newser) - Warren Buffett isn't betting on the health of cities, states, and towns anymore. Berkshire Hathaway has backed out of a number of credit-default swaps insuring $8.25 billion in municipal bonds, sending shivers of doubt through investors who've been hungrily buying such bonds, the Wall Street Journal reports.... More »

JPMorgan Execs Knew of 'Whale' Risks

Concerns about London unit raised years before $2B loss

(Newser) - Top JPMorgan execs weren't as blindsided as you might have thought about the risky trades that cost the bank a couple of billion dollars , the Wall Street Journal finds. Insiders in the unit responsible for the losses say that worries about risk-taking by London traders—including the one known... More »

Other Banks Get Rich Quick in JPMorgan Debacle

They were the winning side in the London Whale's losing bets

(Newser) - The rest of Wall Street isn't exactly broken up about JPMorgan's multibillion dollar trading loss —because it's profiting handsomely off it. Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, for instance, have together made somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion off of JPMorgan, the Wall Street Journal... More »

JPMorgan Loss Passes $3B

Bank bleeds a billion after rivals cash in on its bad bets

(Newser) - JPMorgan's $2 billion trading loss has become a $3 billion-and-counting loss with dizzying speed, insiders tell the New York Times . CEO Jamie Dimon predicted that the loss could double within a few quarters, but the extra billion in trading losses has come in just four trading days as hedge... More »

Most Greek Bondholders Agree to Take Huge Loss

Debt swap deal a success

(Newser) - A whopping 85.8% of Greece's private bondholders have agreed to swap their bonds for new ones that are worth half as much, the country announced today. "The response exceeded all expectations, and every historic precedent," Greece's finance minister boasted. Greece can now use a "... More »

Wall St. Bets Big on BP Default

Credit-default swaps predict 39% chance of failure

(Newser) - Wall Street oddsmakers think BP has a 39% chance of defaulting on its credit in the next five years, based on the skyrocketing price of the company’s credit default swaps. A month ago, investors had priced in just a 7% risk of default. “There’s still so much... More »

Bankers Now Think Citi Less Risky Than Goldman

Criticism sends Goldman debt costs higher

(Newser) - One is the most profitable, successful bank on Wall Street, the other came within a hairsbreadth of nationalization. Who would you rather lend money to? Apparently, right now investors are going with the latter. As of Monday, Goldman Sachs' debt was yielding 2.73%, to just 2.29% for Citigroup,... More »

Other Wall St. Banks as Guilty as Goldman

Many engaged in same activities SEC is now calling fraudulent

(Newser) - The SEC's fraud suit against Goldman Sachs might be just the tip of the iceberg, because other investment banks engaged in exactly the same sleight of hand, Pro Publica reports. Goldman is accused of failing to disclose that a hedge fund was both helping to create, and betting against, the... More »

Banks That Hid Debt Now Pushing Greece Toward Ruin

Credit-default swaps make default a self-fulfilling prophecy

(Newser) - The same banks that fed the Greek financial crisis are wagering on the country's collapse— and in doing so, critics say, they're making default more likely. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and others who helped mask the true extent of Greece's financial problems are now placing bets against the country on... More »

NY Fed Told AIG to Hide Payouts

Details of 'backdoor bailout' hushed up

(Newser) - The Federal Reserve Bank of New York pressured AIG not to release details of massive payments it made to banks after it was bailed out, email exchanges released yesterday reveal. The insurer paid banks, including Goldman Sachs, in full for securities linked to subprime mortages, a move critics say amounted... More »

CIT Bust Would Cost US $2.3B, Earn Goldman $1B

Taxpayers shares could go up in smoke while Goldman gains

(Newser) - Troubled commercial lender CIT, circling the drain for more than a year, would cost taxpayers $2.3 billion in shares purchased by the Treasury Department if it files for Chapter 11 soon—but Goldman Sachs, which gave the lender emergency funding, stands to collect a $1 billion windfall if it... More »

Get Ready for Bigger, Badder Bernies

Ponzi schemer will soon look small-time

(Newser) - If you think you’re mad at Bernie Madoff, just wait. Harry Markopolos, who blew the whistle on Madoff, says there are more baddies out there who will make good ol’ Bernie “look like small time.” While speaking at a Southampton church, the fraud investigator predicted scandals related... More »

Feds Probe Shady Market for Derivatives

Banks may have unfair edge in information on credit-default swaps

(Newser) - The Justice Department is probing the market for credit-default swaps, the largely unregulated derivatives that contributed to the financial crisis, Bloomberg reports. Justice is investigating whether big banks have unfair access to price information through their ownership of a private company that provides data to investors. The Obama administration wants... More »

One Man to Blame at AIG

(Newser) - AIG’s contribution to the world financial crisis may be bafflingly complex, but a single villain is emerging, writes Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair. Joseph Cassano was a "cartoon despot" who ran AIG's Financial Products division, now infamous for its credit-default swaps. Cassano, unfortunately, "didn’t fully understand... More »

Banks Privately Chafe Against Derivatives Reform

Embrace change in public but quietly fight it

(Newser) - The Obama administration is pushing to reform the market for financial derivatives by requiring new reporting to make trades more transparent. In public, Wall Street is saying it's in favor of the changes, but as the Wall Street Journal reports, the banks are pushing hard against reforms behind the scenes.... More »

Obama Wants to Tame Wild Derivatives Market

(Newser) - President Obama wants to put the so-called dark markets under control, the New York Times reports, seeking congressional approval to regulate the byzantine world of derivatives trading—which played a large role in the current financial mess. In a letter to lawmakers, Treasury chief Timothy Geithner calls for an oversight... More »

Exxon, Chevron Scramble to Protect $40B Cash Booty

(Newser) - In times like these, everyone’s got problems. Exxon and Chevron? Finding safe places to stash $40 billion they stockpiled while oil prices were stratospheric last summer. “The biggest challenge we’ve had is making sure all the cash is there every morning,” Exxon’s CEO tells Bloomberg,... More »

AIG's Bailout Cash Flowing to Hedge Funds

$52B has paid off those who bet against the housing market

(Newser) - The government cash flowing steadily into AIG is going in no small part to pay off hedge funds that bet against the housing market, the Wall Street Journal reports. The hedge funds placed credit default swap bets with other banks—Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are specifically named in documents... More »

AIG CEO: Bonuses 'Distasteful,' Necessary

Liddy says paying employees will help taxpayer in long run

(Newser) - AIG's $165 million bonus payout has produced "a palpable wave of anger," admits Edward Liddy, the insurance giant's government-appointed CEO. But in an op-ed for the Washington Post, Liddy says that paying employees now will prevent "undue risk" and help AIG wind down the most dangerous positions... More »

MBA Programs Face Their Role in Financial Crisis

(Newser) - Executives have taken a lot of blame for the financial crisis, whether for focusing on short-term gains in stock price or placing too much faith in ultra-complex financial instruments, writes Bradford Plumer for the New Republic. But what about the business schools that taught them to manage that way in... More »

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