Writedowns vs Underwriting Scorecards

Smackdown! WDCI vs LEAG . . .

Well, not quite. Today’s interesting MSM pick of the day is a Bloomberg column on none of the latest Wall Street pastime’s: Toting up write downs:

WDCI, the Bloomberg function introduced less than five months ago to track the writedowns, has overtaken LEAG, which ranks bond and stock underwriters, in viewers per day.

"WDCI is the new league table, or even better, the negative league table,” said Hyde, a banking analyst at London-based European Credit Management Ltd., which oversees $27 billion for clients. "If people look at LEAG these days, it’s to see who the biggest underwriter of mortgage securities was in the past. You’re incriminated if you were.”

The writedowns and credit-market losses at more than 110 of the world’s biggest banks and securities firms reached $514 billion last week as the credit crunch continued to wreak havoc.

Since two Bear Stearns Cos. funds invested in mortgage securities imploded in July 2007, seven bank chiefs have lost their jobs, and regulators have seized 12 U.S. banks. New York- based Bear Stearns, then the nation’s fifth-largest securities firm, was forced to sell itself when faced with bankruptcy.

The tally on WDCI already surpassed the top of the range that the International Monetary Fund estimated in April banks would lose during the credit crunch. The IMF is scheduled to publish an update of its Global Financial Stability Report later this month.

As the losses build, WDCI readership has climbed. In July, an average of 4,000 users looked at the table daily, up 34 percent from the previous month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. On some days, more than 10,000 Bloomberg users monitored WDCI. By contrast, LEAG was viewed by an average of 1,800 people daily in July, 17 percent fewer than a year earlier."

Interesting stuff . . .

Counting Writedowns Replaces Deals Won as Wall Street’s Ritual
Yalman Onaran 
Bloomberg September 2 2008

Category: Credit, Finance, Psychology, Quantitative

Fannie + Freddie = Frannie ?

Category: Bailouts, Credit, M&A, Real Estate

The Federal Reserve & Moral Hazard

Harvey Rosenblum, 38 Year veteran of the Fed, and now head of Research of the Dallas Fed.

click for video


The Money Quote is:  The Job of Federal Reserve of the is to create Moral Hazard

fascinating stuff . . .

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Economy, Federal Reserve, Video

Hurricane Tracker

Category: Science

GDP Deflator Inflator !

Category: Data Analysis, Inflation

Banned OSHA Films

Here’s a nice Labor Day themed story.

In 1980, the last year of Jimmy Carter’s administration, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) commissioned a series of three 30-minute films about worker safety.  These were real pro productions, with Studs Terkel as narrator on two of the productions.  In 1981, Reagan appointed 36-year old Florida construction executive Thorne G. Auchter, who proceeded to systematically dismantle the agency.  Evidently, the 3 films disturbed Thorne greatly, because OSHA issued a recall, threatening to withold OSHA funds from any organization that did not return their copies of the films, which were promptly destroyed.

But, a few union officials defied the ban and "stole" copies so they weren’t able to be returned.  Over the years, they would occasionally show them to their troops, using the fact they banned as a way to get them to watch the films, which have important messages about worker rights and workplace safety.  But, aside from these bootleg showings, the video disappeared.

PublicResource.Org got a note recently from Mark Catlan, a health and safety expert for one of the unions for the last 28 years (he actually started working for the union the year the film came out, and remembers his education director stealing a copy out of his office so it wouldn’t get returned).  A year ago, Mark decided the world needed to see these films, so he found 16-mm cannisters and made them available to us to transfer to DVCAM and then disk.

Making their public debut after 30 years are "Worker to Worker," "Can’t Take No More," and "The Story of OSHA."

Link to YouTube

The Story of OSHA

Can’t Take No More

Worker to Worker



Link to the Internet Archive:

( http://tiny.cc/hdLvC )

Via Dave Farber’s Interesting People list

Category: Employment, Video

Labor Day Weekend Linkfest

Category: Financial Press

UNOFFICIAL Troubled Bank List

Category: Credit, Finance, Psychology

Variation on the GDP/Inflation Chart

Category: Commodities, Data Analysis, Economy, Inflation

Bloggers versus MSM

Interesting discussion from the Denver Convention:

Category: Financial Press, Video, Weblogs