Hot Links: Ratings Agencies, Europeans and the Power of "No"


Hot Links for Weekend Reading…

OMG you guys, I love it when you hear that famous people are friends, I like to come up with my own combinations and pretend they hang out…like Kevin James and Phillip Seymour Hoffman…ok, sorry…so Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and Oprah and Ted Turner and Mike Bloomberg and all these other billionaires got together in NYC this month for some kind of summit, mosty related to ensuring that charitable efforts didn’t stop because of the recession.  The New York Post has the scoop.

ZeroHedge’s Tyler Durden documents the behind the scenes effort to remove the Old Boys Club of Ratings Agencies from the Public-Private Investment Program.

What’s going on between the New York Times and potential activist shareholder Harbinger?  Check out for the story.

Dealbreaker reprints the fascinating commentary of a Wall Street capital provider who learned the joys of turning down deals and saying no to some of the silliest banking projects overseas.

Back when Tolstoy broke down the inherent sociological differences between Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, Russians and Italians in War and Peace, I bet he never pictured that one day, The Epicurean Dealmaker would run with that thread and apply it to the various types who work on Wall Street.  Brilliant, but then again, it’s on TED’s site, so why would I be surprised?

From the Croeses Chronicles on, we get a hard boiled take on how Goldman Sachs survived 2008 from the details of their very own annual statement to shareholders.  Goldman’s secret?  Sell first, ask questions later.  They liquidated huge chunks of mortgage and real estate stuff, not concerning themselves with missing any recovery.  The firm chopped it’s debt-to-capital ratio in half, marked everything to market and moved the untouchable stuff to Tier 3 status, much quicker than Merrill, Citi, Lehman etc.  That’s why Goldman’s Goldman.

Let’s do one more…The gang at LOLFed says goodbye to departing AIG CEO Ed Liddy…what a sh$tshow this guy walked into, I hope he got .75 cents of his annual $1 salary for the 9 months he put in.  Peace, Liddy.