The Hartford to Bankruptcy? Part M

"Pac Man" Senator Chris Dodd
"Pac Man" Senator Chris Dodd

In hindsight it is clear Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid knew exactly what he was talking about last October when we welcomed him to slabbed, especially when we later found out bankruptcy for the Hartford was closer than Senator Dodd or they admitted. Turns out the Hartford liked very much hopping in bed with moneychangers and now finds itself about broke despite TARP. We’ve had national financial media all over our old slabbed threads on that topic and more yesterday so today it is no surprise to us the Wall Street Journal is reporting long lost brother Darrell is needing big help and unfortunately for them Susan Voss isn’t around to help them cook their books and count deferred tax assets toward the statutory TNW (tangible net worth). Predictably in$urance inc.’$ very own $enator Chri$ Dodd is doing his part beating the drum to suspend fair value accounting so we can all pretend the toxic mortgages and worthless financial guarantees the Hartford paid good money for are actually worth something (heckuva a job Chrissy):

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are not discussing the suspension of a controversial fair value accounting rule blamed for billions of dollars in bank losses, a source familiar with matter said on Thursday.

Speculation that the U.S. government would suspend the accounting rule surfaced earlier on Thursday, sending U.S. stocks higher. But the source said no such discussions had taken place between the Treasury Department and SEC.

Key policymakers have suggested that the rule could be amended. Sen Christopher Dodd, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said it might be possible to modify fair value accounting rules for banks facing steep write-downs of troubled assets without abandoning the underlying accounting standard.

A Hint for Senator Dodd
A Hint for Senator Dodd

Now down south we have a phrase for what Senator Dodd is doing. It’s called called pretending shit is shinola and let’s be honest this is really about the money and lots of it. Senator Dodd has been a faithful waterboy to the same bunch of Wall Street crooks that brought us the 2008 financial implosion so it’s no surprise he is still out trying to raid the treasury for his big business friends. From the sound of the story, his drum beating does not seem very effective which brings us to this breaking news story from the Wall Street Journal: Continue reading “The Hartford to Bankruptcy? Part M”

Just a Timestamp…

Yep just a timestamp. Go long the broad index, short the issue/sector. (JMHO)

Finally, it was surreal to listen to such a grim panel after the swank reception welcoming the attendees, courtesy of McGraw Hill. A variety of groups were given invitations (mine came via the New York Financial Writers Association) to attend at no charge and hear the panelists offer their views, with the function arranged by Columbia University’s Knight-Bagehot Alumni Committee (a scholarship program for business journalists).

We were on the 50th floor of the McGraw Hill, offering a breathtaking view of midtown Manhattan. There was a multitude of delicious finger foods, washed down by top-shelf booze from an open bar–with single malt, 12-year-old scotch the drink of choice for many, including yours truly.

The room buzzed, and for a moment it didn’t feel like we were all traveling on a sinking ship. But once the program began, I felt a bit like I’d been drinking champagne after the Titanic hit the iceberg. Might as well enjoy whatever good times remain while they last, right?

Play it again Sam, truer words have never been spoken. Bankruptcy is not only for the best, it represents the long term cure. Also a big Slabbed welcome to the folks at McGraw Hill. I heard the construction version of the McGraw Hill 2009 economic sing-a-long in NOLA. Bleak picture no?


Continue reading “Just a Timestamp…”