Daily Archives: March 12, 2008

John Gapper

One thing I regretted when we moved from London to New York two and a half years ago was that my then seven-year-old daughter was just starting to learn about Tudor kings and queens. We had visited the Tower of London to look at the spot where Anne Boleyn was executed.

The move across the Atlantic meant that she instead got to learn about American Indian tribes. Without any disrespect to Native Americans, this struck me as being a poor substitute in terms of wealth and intrigue. Read more

John Gapper

I was talking recently to the head of alternative assets at a financial institution and he told me about its recent experience of bidding for a $1bn portfolio of US mortgages that a bank wanted to shed by its financial year-end.

The portfolio comprised about 500 5,000 mortgages that were spread across the US and ranged from sub-prime to AAA quality – it was a real mixed bag. The bank was offering to sell the portfolio at a significant discount to face value to get it off its balance sheet – more than 20 per cent. Read more