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Monday, January 28, 2008

Billions in Chump Change

Items of interest:

Given the logic of Wall Street, rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel, who lost $7 billion, should be the hottest of hot investment managers.

hot investment managersNY Times:
What’s $34 Billion on Wall Street? -- UNDER the stewardship of Dow Kim and Thomas G. Maheras, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup built positions in subprime-related securities that led to $34 billion in write-downs last year. The debacle cost chief executives their jobs and brought two of the world’s premier financial institutions to their knees.

In any other industry, Mr. Kim and Mr. Maheras would be pariahs. But in the looking-glass world of Wall Street, they — and others like them — are hot properties. The two executives are well on their way to reviving their careers, even as global markets shudder at the prospect that Merrill and Citigroup may report further subprime losses in the coming months.

Mr. Maheras, who left his job as co-president of Citigroup’s investment bank this fall after being demoted, has had serious discussions with several investment banks, including Bear Stearns, about taking on a top management position, people who have been briefed on the situation said. And he has also been approached by investment firms willing to back him to the tune of $1 billion or more if he decides to start his own hedge fund, these people said. [...]

Jeff Matthews:
New Fed Policy: 'No Rogue Trader Left Behind'
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CBS 60 Minutes discovers subprime meltdownCBS 60 Minutes / Yahoo:
The Subprime Meltdown [video] -- By now, everyone has heard of "the subprime mortgage meltdown." It began in the U.S. but its effects are worldwide. Banks lent hundreds of billions of dollars to homebuyers who can't pay them back. Wall Street took the risky debt, dressed it up as fancy securities, and sold it around the world as safe investments. Steve Kroft focuses on one hard hit city: Stockton, California.
related:
Infectious Greed: 60 Minutes Discovers Subprime
Calculated Risk: 60 Minutes: House of Cards
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