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August 2009

“Where’s the Beef?”

As the woman in that infamous Wendy’s commercial asked, “Where’s the Beef?”, we should also be asking the same  when it comes to company earnings, “the Beef” being top-line growth.  There was virtually none of it in the second quarter of 2009.  Instead we saw companies meet analyst estimates by cost cutting, inventory stuffing, and accounting manipulations. And Wall Street, still reeling from its performance over the last two years, …Read More

How Accounting Exacerbates the Financial Crisis

In a commentary posted on Bloomberg on August 12th (reiterated in Seeking Alpha on August 16th), Jonathan Weil bemoans the apparent discrepancy between the carrying or book values of some bank loans and their “fair-value”.  Bank of America and Wells Fargo are cited as having large discrepancies ($64.4 billion for BAC with total Tier 1 capital of $111 billion, and $34.3 billion for Wells with total Tier 1 capital of …Read More

Where is the Outrage II?

We recently blogged about how we taxpayers saved the large Wall Street firms only to have it thrown back in our faces with unconscionable bonuses and the continued reckless behavior of politically connected “too big to fail” institutions. It is clear to us and to many who analyze economic behavior that the consumer driven U.S. economy is going to sputter until new jobs are created.  It is widely acknowledged that …Read More

Where is the Outrage?

Last Friday, the front page of the Wall Street Journal blared: “Nine Lenders That Got Aid Have $33 Billion Bonus Tab.” Citigroup received $45 billion in US taxpayer money and paid $5.3 billion in bonuses. That’s on top of very generous salaries. One trader there has a contract for almost $100 million a year. Good work for a company that lost $23 billion last year. Similarly, Bank of America received …Read More