Posts Tagged: Fannie Mae

Aug 13

Hank Paulson’s take on the financial crisis

JP Morgan’s Dimon on trial; business opportunities in Libya

Reading former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s gripping account of the 2008 financial crisis while playing at cowboys in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains was perhaps not as much of an incongruity as it seemed.

As we rode by a vertiginous cliff, I ruminated about On the Brink, the former Goldman Sachs CEO’s aptly titled memoir of the race to stop the collapse of the financial system.

What emerges from the book is how close we came to a total breakdown, how well the team of Paulson, New York Federal Reserve President Tim Geithner and US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke worked together, how irresponsible Congress was and what an outmoded mishmash of regulatory bodies governs the US financial system.


Aug 10

On fishing and the City

Banking tales from Colorado

As I cast my line into the deep pool, amid the blazing sunshine in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the gillie reassured this amateur fisherwoman that the trout were “stupid” at this time of year due to the spawning season. Rather like rutting deer in the fall, he added. Or like board members who allow themselves to be distracted by new mistresses in the midst of company crises.

Choosing the right person for the job is crucial.

With key FSA powers now being incorporated into the Bank of England, questions are being raised about the stance of the ever more powerful Mervyn King, an academic economist. The Governor of the Bank of England does not believe it is a good thing to have multibillion dollar banks headquartered in the UK due to the bail-out cost in troubled times.

May 09

Green shoots come down to earth

On a sunny Sunday in the Sussex countryside, with eight-year-old boys playing cricket on a lawn and adults desultorily chatting on a terrace, it is impossible to believe in rain and snow and cold, let alone conflict and recession.

Human beings have a tendency towards optimism and group think. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the moment, where green shoots are being focused on with much more absorption than the signs of a continuing slump. In just such unconscious happiness we all gloried in the boom.

Doom and gloom don’t fit that well with spring. I interviewed FSA boss Hector Sants in early April (for full interview  It may not have been very warm but he was imbued with optimism that he was going to keep his job.