Tag Archives: investment banking

CARL ICAHN: Wall Street – you can’t teach an old dog new tricks

28 May

Carl Icahn is concerned that little has changed over at Wall St. His bearish stance has already led him to return capital to outside investors in his hedge fund.

Commenting on Wall St. behaviour Icahn stated in a CNBC interview:

“I do think though that there could be another major problem. Now, will it happen next week, next year, I don’t know? Certainly nobody knows, but I don’t think that the system is working properly. I really find it amazing that we’re almost back to where it was, where there’s so much leverage going on in the investment banks today. There’s just way too much leverage and way too much risk-taking, with other people’s money. 

I know a lot of my friends on Wall Street will hate my saying this, but the Glass-Steagall thing or something like it wasn’t a bad thing.  In other words, a bank should be a bank. Investment bankers should be an investment banker. Investment bankers serve a purpose, raising capital and whatever, but I think today, and I know a lot of people won’t like hearing this, what’s going on today, I think we’re going back in the same trap, and I will tell you that very few people understood how toxic and how risky those derivatives were. CDS were extremely risky the way they were used, and you look at Wall Street and you say, hey, they did it, but then you can’t really blame the Wall Street guys. You can’t blame a tiger.  If you take a fierce man-eating tiger and put him in with a lot of sheep, you can’t blame the tiger for eating the sheep. That is his nature. And that’s the nature of Wall Street guys and I’m not saying their bad but that’s their nature. And the government should regulate finance.” 

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Semantics in markets

9 Apr

Bond market vigilantes – recent events in Europe centred around sovereign debt concerns has forced  investors to seek additional protection and security by demanding higher levels of interest in the face of worldwide money printing.  Higher inflation is also compounding the issue as real rates of return are being diminished. This is quite distinct from the behaviour of a vigilante.   Investing in sovereign debt is dicey and speculative, these nations are essentially bankrupt; their borrowing capacity should be set by the market.

Debt ceiling –  this is supposed to be fixed indicating a state of permanence. Caps should be enforced and followed; the debt ceiling is not an open top roof or a temporary ceiling.

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