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Showing posts from February, 2008

Chinese Bank Research

Chinese banks are growing so rapidly that they have attracted the attention of various organizations and institutions worldwide. Aside from their growth rate, Chinese banks are famous for their comparatively high asset values and for the backstory of a rising nation that is beginning to exert significant influence on the global economy.

Recently, some social investing network and member groups such as BankTrak and Friends of the Earth have initiated campaigns focusing on the social aspects of these banks.

We believe that very little research addressing the relationship between the financial performance and social responsibility or corporate citizenship of these banks has been conducted to date.

We recently completed five summary reports covering the financial and social performance of the top five banks in China. We note that:

* Bank of China has launched an equity fund which specializes in socially responsible investment.

* Bank of Communication has made loans to small enterprises an…

SEC launches new investment analysis tool

According to the SEC,

"The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the launch of the “Financial Explorer” on the SEC Web site to help investors quickly and easily analyze the financial results of public companies. Financial Explorer is open source, meaning that its source code is free to the public, and technology and financial experts can update and enhance the software."

"In addition to Financial Explorer, the SEC currently offers investors two other online viewers – the Executive Compensation viewer and the Interactive Financial Report viewer, also available at www.sec.gov/xbrl. The Executive Compensation viewer enables investors to instantly compare what 500 of the largest U.S. companies are paying their top executives. The Interactive Financial Report viewer also helps investors gather, analyze, and compare key financial disclosures filed voluntarily by public companies using XBRL."

Treasury Secretary to Subprime Mortgage Victims: "I did not create this problem."

We attended today's Senate Banking Committee hearing on the State of the U.S. Economy and were surprised to hear the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States say, in response to a question from Senator Robert P. Casey (D-PA),

"I did not create this problem..."

Not only is this poor customer service (imagine a General telling you "I did not start this war," or your doctor telling you "I did not create the health issue you are having..." or a Chef telling you "I did not grow this corn...") but some will tell you that the statement itself may, in fact, be false. Several market analysts feel that Mr. Paulson may have, at some level, helped create the problem. They point out that the firm he once ran, Goldman Sachs, made millions by facilitating the creation and distribution of subprime-backed investments. We would point out that Goldman has not been implicated in the most egregious subprime mortgage market practices.

Still, the statement is e…

The First Bank Failure of 2008

From US News and World Report:

Bad commercial real estate loans sink a small financial institution in Kansas City
By Luke Mullins
Posted January 28, 2008

A tiny bank in Kansas City, Mo., has become the first bank in the country to fail this year—but it's unlikely to be the last.

Federal regulators on Friday shuttered Douglass National Bank, an African-American-owned bank with $59 million in assets that was named in honor of the 19th-century abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The bank, which has roots stretching back to the 1940s, had struggled of late, losing $1.3 million in 2007 and $4.3 million in 2006.

Although its recent losses were tied to bad commercial real estate loans, not residential mortgages, the bank's problems are nonetheless linked to the global mortgage crisis that has ripped through the financial services industry, says William Michael Cunningham of Creative Investment Research. "It's this secondary and tertiary impact of the crisis in the subprime market tha…