Monday, December 1, 2008

The New Odd Couple... Cease and Desist... The Three B's...

The New Odd Couple
If you believe that politics create strange bedfellows, then one would need not look further than the political fervor that is being created by Dennis Kucinich and Steve LaTourette. While both politicians are polar opposites, the National City Crisis has brought them to a common ground. In typical Dennis Kucinich fashion, he has raised ethical and procedural questions about the PNC purchase of NCC. In a letter to a vice president of the Federal reserve, Kucinich outlined his reasons for either nixing the NCC purchase, or extending the comment period by 30 days:
1) to protect jobs, convenience, and needs of the Greater Cleveland community;
2) to protect the interests of the shareholders; and
3) to assure that public funds are not being used to distort the banking market to pick winners and losers. (1)
Dennis you have a heart of gold. By the real issue at hand and the only one that seems to gain any traction in D.C. is point number three. This is where Steve LaTourette has tagged in. LaTourette's membership on the Financial Services committee provided he and Kucinich with a 90 minute meeting regarding the TARP with Neel Kashkari. (2) While immediate details were not available due the sensitive nature of business, I can only imagine the discussion when all of National City's cards were laid upon the table... With LaTourette's brains and Kucinich's win one for the Gipper attitude maybe just maybe there will be a part two to this story!

AmTrust Cease and Desist...
Cleveland's fourth largest bank AmTrust, has received a Cease and Desist order from the Federal Reserve. The order put officials on notice at AmTrust that they need to build reserves and deposits in order to continue loan operations. There is considerable speculation that AmTrust's Florida exposure could be the culprit of this recent unraveling. Note that AmTrust immediately placed pink slips in employee mailboxes. Maybe with a bit of help from Treasury, maybe PNC will buy them next...

The Three B's

In school this refers to dress code violations: Bellies, Breasts, and Butts... In the world of economic panic it stands for Bullion, Bullets, and Bibles. Strange as it may seem, but one blogger noted the increased interest in gun sales and safes. Evidently, the Bunker Mentality is gripping some people more than others. While I am rather quick to discount this blogger, he did note an interesting fact. "Breadlines did not appear immediately after the 1929 Crash." The first soup kitchens appeared in 1933... The blogger's point was that Wall Street indicators take a while to play out on Main Street. While some of these points are valid, I believe our government is better positioned to meet needs and demands if there ever was a "true" panic.
Did you Hear, it's official?


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