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I am glad that Hank Paulson, who wants to raise a $700bn US government fund to buy distressed mortgage securities in an effort to restore confidence to financial markets, is an old Wall Street hand.
In a world where Sarah Palin, the US Republican vice-presidential nominee, claims expertise about Russia because it can been seen from her home state of Alaska, it is reassuring to have a US Treasury secretary with actual experience.
It is definitely more comforting to have Mr Paulson in the hot-seat than John Snow or Paul O’Neill, his predecessors.
That said, Mr Paulson’s background as the former chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs, does raise questions. Read more
I have written a column for the Weekend FT on the events of the week, looking at how banks and insurance companies got addicted to complexity and what needs to be done to reform regulation.
The true identity of Humpty Dumpty, the English nursery rhyme character, is unknown. Read more
My regular column in the FT is on, guess what, the credit crisis: Read more
I have written a column for tomorrow’s FT (yes, I know it is unusual for me to be so prolific, but these are unusual times) on the Wall Street crisis: Read more
I have written a column for the FT on Monday on the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Here are the first few paragraphs:
In Greed and Glory on Wall Street, Ken Auletta’s book about the last time Lehman Brothers collapsed, in 1984, Richard Fuld appears as the fierce, proud, introverted head of bond trading. Even at the end, after internal feuding had brought the firm to a halt, he resisted the idea that it had to be sold. Read more
As an antidote to the property-related crisis sweeping over Lehman Brothers, I went over to the Javitz conference centre in Manhattan yesterday to learn about one property development that is not short of money.
It is Saadiyat Island, the mind-boggling $27bn project to develop an island next to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. At about $1bn per square kilometre, the emirate is not stinting on Saadiyat.
I suppose the falling oil price may crimp the style of Abu Dhabi and its next-door emirate Dubai a little. But it is not stopping the creation of Saadiyat, which will not only have nine resort hotels along a 9 kilometre beach but a cluster of world-class museums. Read more
My column in the FT this week is on Hank Paulson, the bail-out of Fannie and Freddie, and the dangers of endless intervention. It starts like this:
I do not know what plans Hank Paulson, the US Treasury secretary, has for the weekend. Bird-watching, perhaps. Whatever they are, may I suggest that he sticks to them? Read more
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