Posts filed under “Financial Press”

Newsweek on Bailout Nation

Newsweek covers the McGraw Hill issue; I should have an announcement on the book later this week.
Here’s what the print edition of Newsweek has to say

To most publishers, it would’ve been a touch of golden luck: a manuscript about the worst economic crisis in decades, written by a financial insider and finished months before rivals had even a rough draft ready. Instead, Wall Street investor Barry Ritholtz’s “Bailout Nation: How Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy” appears to have become a parable for the same corporate shenanigans that it catalogs. In early 2008, McGraw-Hill paid a five-figure advance to Ritholtz, a frequent CNBC guest and author of “The Big Picture,” a popular finance blog. When Congress passed its $700 billion bailout bill, McGraw-Hill’s contract with Ritholtz looked prescient. The imprint started taking pre-orders and set a March release date. Then, in early February, it dropped the book.

Ritholtz claims that he and McGraw-Hill butted heads over scathing passages about bond-rating agencies, which accepted large fees from investment banks while giving sterling ratings to subprime mortgages, helping the banks sell them at premium prices. In his original draft, Ritholtz dubbed this “payola” and called the rating agencies “pimps.” His wrath extended to Standard & Poor’s, a rating agency owned by the same company as McGraw-Hill. According to the author, when his editors took issue with his tone, he agreed to water it down but insisted on criticizing the agencies. Soon after, the book was dropped.

That’s when the blogosphere exploded with claims of undue influence on the part of S&P. But Mary Skafidas, a McGraw-Hill spokesperson, says the company dropped the book because it couldn’t corroborate “a number of assertions covering a wide range of public figures and public entities.” That explanation “raises some red flags,” says Ron Hogan, senior editor at Galleycat, a blog that covers the publishing industry, because most publishers “don’t have super-rigorous fact-checking departments.” Ritholtz says that he turned over nearly 90 pages of additional sources, and that the notion that his facts couldn’t be verified is “ridiculous.”

The idea of corporate entanglements causing the book’s demise is rich with irony—after all, S&P is already accused of being too cozy with the banks whose bonds it rates. But Ritholtz isn’t too upset: he says rivals are offering better advances than the one he’s returning to McGraw-Hill.  (emphasis added)

Its essentially accurate, though I can take issue with some small nuances.


Another Banking Casualty
Barrett Sheridan
NEWSWEEK, Mar 2, 2009

Category: Bailouts, Financial Press

My Bad . . .

Sorry about today — it was (according to an emailer) all my fault. (Never mind that the futures were down 140 earlier this morning, and its an expiry) it was my bad. Actually, this headline references this morning’s Bloomberg radio interview, and it was in the context of Nationalization — common shareholders get wiped out,…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Psychology

Deficit Spending for Dummies

The following is via economist Warren Mosler of Illinois Income Investors Offshore Advisors. Mosler is a a believer in MOSLER’S LAW, which states: There is no financial crisis so deep that a sufficiently large increase in public spending cannot deal with it. ~~~~ The media is screaming that deficit spending simply takes money from borrowers…Read More

Category: Bailouts, BP Cafe, Financial Press, Markets

Experts, Crashes, Media, Skepticism

There is a surprisingly interesting article at Money Magazine on why so many so-called experts utterly missed the market crash, credit crisis, and housing collapse. Its an interview with Philip Tetlock who is (with no small amount of irony), an expert on experts. He is a professor of organizational behavior at the University of California-Berkeley’s…Read More

Category: Economy, Financial Press, Markets, Psychology, Really, really bad calls

The Future of Newspapers

A conversation about the future of newspapers with Charlie Rose, Walter Isaacson of “Time,” Robert Thomson of “Wall Street Journal” and Mort Zuckerman of “The New York Daily News”

Charlie Rose, February 11, 2009 running time 27:01

Category: Financial Press, Technology, Video, Web/Tech

Conspiracy of Optimism

Interesting discussion by NYT media columnist David Carr on a recent CNBC Power Lunch segment with Nouriel Roubini and Nassim Taleb: Predicting Crisis: Dr. Doom & the Black Swan. As Roubini and Taleb were discussing a major restructuring of the economy, some of the questions were reflective of what we have previously described as the…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Markets, Television

25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis

There is a strange and strangely interesting list of people to blame for the Financial crisis from Time magazine. It is quirky and odd and in more than a few places, misguided and ignorant. Despite its deep flaws, it is still kinda interesting. I normally don’t link to this sort of click bait — you…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Corporate Management, Credit, Financial Press

Major Headlines: June 2008—January 2009

Via Bespoke Group: Label Date WSJ Lead Headline 1 6/3 Obama Clinches Nomination. 2 6/7 Markets Slammed by Oil, Crude Leaps Nearly $11. 3 6/10 Big Loss At Lehman Intensifies Crisis Jitters. 4 6/11 Inflation’s Bite Worsens Around World. 5 6/21 Ford Reels as Truck Sales Plunge. 6 6/28 Dow Hits Bear-Market Territory. 7 7/12…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Markets

Investing via Media Market Timing

Yesterday, I discussed why the Barrons vs Cramer debate was irrelevant, and why people should never invest based on what they watch on TV. A number of commentors observed that despite the many exhortations to think of television as merely entertainment, many a fool are still watching Mad Money for investing insights. When I wrote…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Financial Press, Markets

Barron’s vs. Cramer, Part II

We add another chapter in the ongoing debate between Barron’s, the weekly paper that is sister to the WSJ, and James Cramer, the former hedge fund manager now turned pundit/CNBC star/game show host. The back and forth between CNBC and Barron’s amounts to an absurd debate over what Cramer’s stock picking record on the show…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Hedge Funds, Really, really bad calls, Television