Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wondering how Wall Street titans like Citigroup and Merill Lynch are dealing with the losses from defaults on all the bad mortgages they bought? Well, in part, they're selling themselves to foreign governments (through "sovereign wealth funds") --- in part because, as one article explains, they think they may be able to skirt reporting requirements that way:

Under one theory, sovereign-wealth funds should be regarded as government entities, not companies or investors --- and therefore the Bank Holding Company Act and other laws wouldn't apply in the same fashion.
Because right around now, they really don't want more regulatory attention adding to their troubles. The article quotes a lobbyist who has dealt with the regulatory aspects of these deals:
The goal is to get a [page] B6 story in the Wall Street Journal and have no one mention it.
Well, if that's the goal, it's not working out. That quote appeared itself, with the article I'm quoting, in the Wall Street Journal --- on page A1, above the fold.

Other articles on the investments, without paywalls, can be found elsewhere...


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