Posts filed under “Bailout Nation”

Bailout Nation: Where Are the Bloggers?

Felix Salmon asks an oddly interesting question:

“As befits a book from such an assiduous source-citer as Ritholtz, Bailout Nation comes with 17 pages of endnotes, most of them with URLs. But here’s the funny thing: the number of blogs cited is tiny. Paging through the notes, I see Barry citing himself a couple of times, there’s one reference to TPM Muckraker, and that’s about it.

A blog entry by John Carney does make it into the book, but is cited at its Yahoo Finance address, complete with annoyingly auto-playing video. Occasionally bloggers appear — me, Arianna Huffington, Paul Krugman — but never for our blog entries, only for more formal things we’ve written (in my case, my NYT op-ed). And we’re all more or less part of the mainstream media anyway. “Pure” bloggers are I think entirely absent from the book. Meanwhile, columnists in more mainstream outlets get cited quite frequently.”

I find that intriguing that Felix noticed this. It was not at all a conscious decision.

But this post may we think about it, and the answer is surprisingly simple: I wanted to keep all of my references to either the original source material (Federal Reserve, Treasury, etc.) or first hand observations.


Well, a lot of the book is laying out the facts in as objective fashion as possible. From there, I engaged in my own analysis and interpretation and commentary, none of which was objective at all. That is the point — to have a perspective, one that is backed up by the data and facts.

Hence, I used Wall Street research, and internal bank memos. I cited investigative journalists who had discovered new information (American Banker, Bloomberg, WSJ, NYT, NY Sun, Oregonian and Portfolio and others). I referenced authors who had done a lot of original research and had written entire books on their relevant subjects.

We are entitled to our own opinion, but not our own facts, I was vey insistent on making sure the facts stood clearly apart from the opinion and analysis.

But when it came to commentary, opinion and criticism, I wanted to ensure the prose was original and in my voice; quoting other bloggers would have defeated that goal.

Note that the bloggers I referenced had produced original material, rather than comments on other people’s original material. These included Calculated Risk, WallStats, Stereo Hell and The Chart Store. Their original art/charts did a great job communicating a particular point I was trying to make . . .


Barry Ritholtz’s book: Where are the bloggers?
Felix Salmon
Reuters Blogs, May 19th, 2009

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, Weblogs

The Strange Death of American Capitalism

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I woke up to find the first review of Bailout Nation was written, by Eddy Elfenbein of Crossing Wall Street. It is very long and thoughtful and I am thrilled with it. Excerpt: In Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, Books

Roger Lowenstein on Charlie Rose

Fascinating discussion with one of my favorite business writers: Roger Lowenstein on Charlie Rose, circa 1995 discussing Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist. I quote Lowenstein’s When Genius Failed extensively in Bailout Nation. I’d love to get a copy to him, but I cannot find his email address anywhere (except Portfolio, which is now…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, Financial Press

Greetings from . . .

Now shipping: Bailout Nation I got about a dozen emails just like this one below last night from various friends around the country! > Greetings from We thought you’d like to know that we shipped your items, and that this completes your order. You can track the status of this order, and all your…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts

Bailout Nation: Coming Soon!

I just got the very first copy of Bailout Nation print copies from Wiley. It looks fucking fantastic. The first printing hit the warehouse today; They go out Monday to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders and bookstores everywhere. I am totally psyched! I have a bunch of promotions I am working with Wiley on —…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, Books

How Will Chrysler Bankruptcy Affect Insolvent Banks?

The Chrysler bankruptcy is a fascinating development in the great financial crisis of 2008-09. It may be a enormously significant milestone in the evolution of the banking crisis and the response from the Obama administration. Or, it may be that autos and banks are perceived so differently in D.C. that not much can be read…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, Credit, Politics

The 1980 Chrysler Bailout

A friend reminded me about this section of the book. This is an excerpt from early draft of Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy. Given the bankruptcy filing today, it is totally suitable.  (The final version is thematically similar, but different in actual content).


The current no strings attached bailout demands of the Big 3 stands in stark contrast to the 1980 Chrysler deal. Regardless, the subsequent decades post-bailout reveals the deal wasn’t particularly good for either the industry or the firm’s employees.

In the 1950s, Barron’s described the Detroit automakers as the big two and a half – with Chrysler, the perennial sales laggard, as the half. When the embargo hit, Chrysler suffered the most of the Big Three.

By the mid-seventies, the company was hemorrhaging cash. Chrysler lost $52 million in 1974, and a record $259.5 million in 1975. As smaller, less expensive and more fuel-efficient from Japan and Europe gained increasing market share in 1970s, Chrysler found itself in an ever-deepening hole. It looked like they might have to declare bankruptcy.

As soon as the energy crisis ended, it was back to business as usual. 1976 a hugely profitable year: the company’s net income was $422.6 million. 1977 was profitable, but less so: $163.2 million net income. By late 1978, they were running in the red again, losing $204.6 million. The fall of the Shah of Iran and a new US Oil embargo sent prices higher once again. By 1979, Chrysler was looking at its first billion dollar annual loss.

Management decided to was time to visit their Uncle Sam.

Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts

Ratings Agencies Abject Failure

“Ratings agencies just abjectly failed in serving the interests of investors.” -SEC Commissioner Kathleen Casey > Nice takedown on the highly conflicted, over rated ratings agencies in Bloomberg yesterday: “Investors, traders and regulators have been questioning whether credit rating companies serve a good purpose ever since Enron Corp. imploded in 2001. Until four days before…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Legal, Markets, Regulation

Ugly Process: Rationalizing Insolvent Banks Existence

Of the many issues that arise via the banking bailouts we have seen, perhaps the most pernicious is how corrosive the process becomes. It corrupts even the most well intended parties. The latest example is the stress tests, which run the risk of being window dressing. As noted last week, the Stress Tests themselves weren’t…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, Credit

After the Storm…Where Are We Now?

> My fishing buddy David Kotok is hosting a conference in Philly this week where I wll be presenting: The Financial System, Banks & Economy: After the Storm…Where Are We Now? The 27th Annual Monetary and Trade Conference: Thursday, April 30, 2009 The Global Interdependence Center and Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business Present: >…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, Credit, Derivatives