As the government begins to unleash a highly criticized bailout plan for Wall Street’s toxic mortgage backed assets, it is worth taking a step back to understand how the problem actually arose.
Investing In Real Estate
It all started with real estate investing which involves the purchase, ownership and sale of real estate for profit. Real estate is an asset form with limited liquidity relative to other investments, it is also capital intensive (although capital may be gained through mortgage leverage) and is highly cash flow dependent. The primary cause of investment failure for real estate is that the investor goes into negative cash flow for a period of time that is not sustainable, often forcing them to resell the property at a loss or go into insolvency.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s largest bank, will inject 900 billion yen ($8.4 billion) into Morgan Stanley to help it transition to a bank holding company. Goldman Sach’s strategy is slightly different albeit with the same ultimate objective i.e. to become a commercial bank. According to Bloomberg, Goldman already has in excess of $20 billion in customer deposits in two subsidiaries and is creating a new one, GS Bank USA, that will have more than $150 billion of assets, making it one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S. More
In view of the current Wall Street crisis, America’s credibility as a bastion of free markets has come under the radar. The Fed’s recent bailout of AIG, Fannie and Freddie are perceived by many as a free market detour.
The government’s latest bailout news involves a plan to make the biggest intervention in the financial markets since the 1930s. Central to this plan would be a mechanism to bad assets off the balance sheets of financial companies or instead perhaps to create a federal insurance for investors in the money market funds. Additionally, the Securities and Exchange Commission is getting ready to propose a temporary ban on short selling financial stocks. More
In view of the current financial crisis, it is hard to grasp the fact that overnight investment banks once regarded the kings of Wall Street, are teetering on the edge of stability. The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers has threatened the survival of Morgan Stanley in spite of the fact that it has just declared great earnings. All eyes are on Morgan and Goldman Sachs, the two big I-banks left standing. Will they go next? What will this mean for corporate social responsibility in the investment banking sector? More