The blog will be on vacation for the rest of this week. I'm headed to Utah for the annual convention of the National Association of Industrial Banks and the Utah Association of Financial Services. They've asked me to speak on Social Media and Banks, of all topics. I assume that's because they'll need a break from all the doom and gloom coming out of Washington, D.C., specifically the assault on the industrial bank charter embodied in the "reform" proposal being pushed by the artist formerly known as "The Change We've Been Waiting For " and rapidly becoming, in some quarters, at least, "The Change We've Come To Dread."
As I leave the Texas heat behind me for the cooler nirvana of the Rocky Mountains, I'll also leave behind an excerpt from an e-mail I received today from a high-level executive with a Real Estate Investment Trust, who's been following the stumbling and bumbling of the federal government's "handling" of the banking crisis with a mixture of increasing irritation and fascination. With respect to recent press reports that the FDIC is now planning to adopt a form of "good bank-bad bank" plan to attract private investors to "troubled assets" of "troubled banks," my correspondent is as cynical as they come.
Sounds good until the Feds announce the actual plan. Bair already has tipped her hand with her prior regulatory proposals that she doesn't want private capital in the process. My guess is that the government either will want to retain an equity position in the "bad bank" buyer and/or provide financing. Any government equity or debt interest in the bad bank will subject the private capital to government re-trading if it concludes the profit being made is too high - as determined by such greats as Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Charles Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and the compensation czar, Kenneth Feinberg.
There are actually people out there who make me seem positively Panglossian.
Y'all (or Ya'll, if you prefer) have a great week.