Items of interest:
JP Morgan Writes Down $1.3 Billion -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Wednesday morning before market open that net income dropped 34 percent from year-ago levels to $3.0 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $4.5 billion in Q4 2006. Bloomberg reported that earnings missed analyst expectations.
Driving the drop in earnings was a $1.3 billion write down on the Wall Street bank’s subprime positions, including CDOs.
“We remain extremely cautious as we enter 2008,” CEO Jamie Dimon said in a press statement. “If the economy weakens substantially from here – for which, as a company, we need to be prepared – it will negatively affect business volumes and drive credit costs higher.” [...]
Housing Market Tracker - Global/U.S. Subprime Outlook --
Quote of the day: "They [the Fed] need to speak frankly to the market and acknowledge how bad the problems are, and acknowledge their own failures in letting this happen. This is what is needed to restore confidence... There never would have been a sub-prime mortgage crisis if the Fed had been alert. This is something Alan Greenspan must answer for." Anna Schwartz, 92, the renowned economist who co-write a book with Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman on the role of the Fed in enabling the great depression. [...]
Trader Made Billions on Subprime -- John Paulson Bet Big on Drop in Housing Values; Greenspan Gets a New Gig, Soros Does Lunch
On Wall Street, the losers in the collapse of the housing market are legion. The biggest winner looks to be John Paulson, a little-known hedge fund manager who smelled trouble two years ago.
Funds he runs were up $15 billion in 2007 on a spectacularly successful bet against the housing market. Mr. Paulson has reaped an estimated $3 billion to $4 billion for himself -- believed to be the largest one-year payday in Wall Street history.
Now, in another twist in financial history, Mr. Paulson is retaining as an adviser a man some blame for helping feed the housing-market bubble by keeping interest rates so low: former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. [...]