Weil on Finance: What’s a Covered Fund?
Happy Friday, View fans. Here are your morning links.
U.S. banking regulators issued a Q&A document addressing the sorts of collateralized debt obligations that made big news this week at Zions Bancorp. Bank lobbyists had asked for an exemption under the new Volcker Rule regulations so that lenders wouldn’t have to sell them or show losses. It doesn’t look like they got one, or at least not a clear-cut one. Instead the regulators basically said the banks should just figure it out. No word yet from Zions on whether it still will need to take a nine-figure hit to earnings this quarter. Floyd Norris has a good column on Zions today that tells the history of how it got those CDOs.
How big is the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet now?
It just topped $4 trillion of assets. Never seen a $4 trillion balance sheet before? Check it out for yourself in the Fed’s latest statistical release “Factors Affecting Reserve Balances” and marvel at the edifice that quantitative easing built. Anyone care to try for $5 trillion someday? The Fed is tapering, not stopping.
A rental empire in the making
Here’s a story about a guy who has picked locks, squirmed under garage doors and crawled through windows to get into foreclosed homes. But he’s not a burglar. He works for Blackstone Group, which is now the country’s largest single-family landlord. Nice piece by Bloomberg News reporters Heather Perlberg and John Gittelsohn.
How to shut a bank under the European Union’s latest proposal for a resolution scheme
Great flow chartby Alex Barker of the Financial Times. It looks like a Rube Goldberg contraption.
Back by popular demand, more pictures of Scout the pit bull balancing stuff on his head
The one of him with the holiday lights on his head is to die for. So is the picture of him balancing a stack of three toilet-paper rolls. Good times. Happy holidays.
(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)