Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Subprime Mortgage Crisis, Recession, and Citibank

This morning's Wall Street Journal is full of opinion and commentary on our favorite topics.

Alan Greenspan dissects "The Roots of the Mortgage Crisis." He thinks that if it had not been subprime mortgages, then something else would have precipitated a crisis after risk premia had fallen so low.

Also on the Opinion Page, Alan Reynolds analyzes the dollar in his commentary, "Interest Rates and Dollar Fundamentals" and Martin Feldstein advises on "How to Avert Recession."

Meanwhile, Citicorp, parent of Citibank, has decided that Vikram Pandit and Sir Win Bischoff should stay on as CEO and Chairman, respectively. They were both acting in those jobs. You can read about it in Robin Sidel and David Enrich's article. The big question remains: "Can a universal retail/wholesale bank be created like a hothouse plant through mega mergers and acquisitions?" I have my doubts. That certainly not the way the House of Morgan was created. On October 16th, Ms Sidel and Jeffrey McCracken reported increased skepticism that Citi's universal banking strategy was working.

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