Dependent Origination

Too Big to Fail

Posted on: November 7, 2010

前天晚上看完的。还可以吧,但是故事的重复性太强了。觉得这些华尔街的人好像就这么三板斧可用。自家的股票疯狂下跌,自家的assets有好多都没有价钱,(因为太烂了连市场都没有了,所以不知道值多少钱),跟别家trade的呢,交保(是这个中文词儿吧?)了一些assets。股价下跌,对方就要你更多的assets当担保(collateral),没有你的名声信誉就完蛋了,股价就更加下跌,然后资不抵债,只能破产了事儿。所以呢,从股价开始下跌开始,你就得满世界的找人invest, 给你现金。方法无外乎两个,I sell you a stake in my company (based on current stock price), 或者let’s do a deal (意思是两家合并,或者健康的买不健康的)。

所以整本书,一半的篇幅就在写雷曼同学的这个过程,还有一半,同样的故事,讲merill lynch, morgan stanley, wachovia, citigroup等同学是怎么经历这个过程的。和雷曼不同的是,他们都找到了下家,所以避免了破产的下场。

当然,其中政府的事情也不少。但是怎么看怎么觉得雷曼亏啊。财长Paulson同学说了我们政府就是不出钱。所以barclays capital谈到最后一个门槛儿上了,英国财长发话了we are not comfortable  for barclays to do the deal alone. the american government needs to provide some guarantee. Paulson就是不干。于是barclays上午退出,雷曼run out of options, 当天夜里file for chapter 11。

但是神奇的是,三天还没有过完,Paulson就在AIG的deal谈判过程中发话了,说可以考虑政府的资助。理由是AIG和华尔街上每个财团都有业务往来,倒掉牵扯的伤亡太大。可是雷曼倒掉伤亡也很大,导致股票市场狂跌,造成对merill lynch和morgan stanley的压力啊。总之,雷曼很倒霉,哪怕多上10个billion的现金多撑两天呢,说不定就赶上政府救济,今天还在华尔街混呢。

政府的另外一个功能呢,就是match maker。左边打个电话说谁谁谁你们和谁谁谁2来个deal吧。我已经跟谁谁谁2打过招呼了。毕竟是regulator发话,不想听也得听,电话先打打吧,一百人的due diligence team先派驻过去,查查账再说了。当然也有那早就郎有情妹有意的,麻利儿利儿的就成了。

总之我很同意作者最后的总结,事件的发展过程,和当事人的性格习惯工作风格关系太大了。所以才有这样一本书,full of juicy details,仿佛一个financial soup opera,你方唱罢我登场, 从a few weeks before lehman filed for bankrupcy开始,到tarp money is signed and accepted by the ceo’s of the biggest nine investment and regular banks。 如果你想看一些关于危机的成因,和前因后果的比较理性的内容,对不起,you pick up the wrong book.

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