Every holiday season, consumers are subjected to a barrage of advertisements promising that everything from tricycles to luxury SUVs are—now, and for a limited time only—being offered at a discount that will never again be available. Private equity firms ought to look at the Federal Reserve’s second round of quantitative easing the same way. However, [...]
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We really wanted to like Basel III. Frankly, anything with a Roman numeral commands our immediate attention and respect: Super Bowl I, World War II, Rocky III.
Ok, maybe not Rocky III.
The name alone implies a certain tradition combined with a sense of progressive improvement. First there was Basel I (1988). Then came Basel II (2004). Now we have Basel III. Add the gravitas of a Swiss city and, well, we’re buyers.
But it’s a rough world we live in. All things once sacred are under scrutiny. Even as governments worked frantically over the past three years on a succession of plans to plug systemic cash leaks and bolster weak balance sheets, the unprecedented velocity of change in the financial sector made the best and brightest regulators look clueless.
Acropalyptic: The Fed has lent $9.2 billion to foreign governments. On the one hand: that wouldn’t even bail out Citigroup’s fingers. On the other hand, it’s still money we don’t really have. Unfortunately, we are also short on jokes about Greece, which is the more pressing issue for coverage of this crucial matter.
Spanked: Asset-backed securities will now be rated by either S&P or Moody’s, as chosen by an independent board created by Congress. So obviously our next Congressional hearings about inflated CDO ratings will be about how Congress failed to get it right. Just kidding; that would never happen.
American companies: Loathsome tax cheats that even the Tea Party would condemn, stealing $60 billion from America every year, according to Bloomberg’s Jesse Drucker. Related: Have you called your auditor today?
Brian Moynihan: He almost didn’t even get the job as CEO of Bank of America, but he has made up for it by elbowing JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon out of the way to become Obama’s favorite banker.
NIMBYism: Venture capital firms want nothing to do with private equity firms as far as tax rules are concerned in the new financial-reform bills. Related: You really do need to call your auditor.
Flash Crash: We just had a hearing yesterday; yet another panel is coming. This crash is the best thing to happen for bureaucracy since the Kremlin.
The Fed: Its superpowers remain intact; it will continue to oversee small banks.
SAP: It’s buying Sybase for $5.25 billion. Like so much in life, the deal is really about Oracle.