Yesterday there was a rather large announcement that HSBC Holdings, Europe's largest bank was going to raise $18 billion, and simultaneously shut down it U.S. consumer finance unit which lends under the Household Finance and Beneficial brands.
Today the CEO told journalists that the company may use the $18 billion to make strategic acquisitions in Asia, its home turf. Is the market here that difficult? It seems to me that if you have the balance sheet to stay in business without onerous regulatory shackles, now would be a pretty good time to be doing business here.
Bernie Madoff and his wife are angling to keep their $7 million Manhattan apartment and $62 million in other assets, claiming that they belong to the wife and are/were not part of the fraud. Watch this space closely.
A friend speculated to me yesterday that the fact that there have been half a dozen or so more Ponzi schemes uncovered since the Madoff confession could be an indication that he is cooperating with the authorities.