Monday, January 26, 2009

Inaugural Post

Well, I finally caved and started a blog. As my field of contacts spreads farther and farther across the globe, I feel it necessary to make sure none of them lacks my unique and valuable insights. As the description for this blog states, I want my friends and acquaintances to feel free to post in the comments section their own thoughts on the material presented. The world today is a dark and scary place, and I feel it my obligation (as well as a fantastic form of catharsis) to try and make sense of it all for the general public. Well, not necessarily the general public. A good way to tell if you're the ideal reader for this blog is if you understand the meaning of its name. If "The Money Speech" doesn't ring any bells, than in addition to reading this blog religiously, you should probably start catching up on your mid-20th century literature. That said, and without further bloviating, the first post:

This article made the front page of the Wall Street Journal today:

Apparently, bank lending fell in the 4th quarter last year among the 20 largest banks. Noticeably deviating from the pack was one of my favorite firms, BB&T. (Get used to that company if you don't know me well. I mention it a lot. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I own some of their stock.) While the top 20 banks averaged a 1.4% decrease in lending, BB&T managed to increase their lending 2.1%. Then the Journal produces this snippet:

At BB&T, a Winston-Salem, N.C., bank that got $3.13 billion from TARP, fourth-quarter lending volume rose about 2%, or $2 billion. While BB&T is making new loans, Chief Executive Kelly King said the bank invested much of its taxpayer capital as a way to earn a decent return while shunning risk.

"We parked it there, and will redeploy it as quickly as we can, not in a panic," Mr. King said last week on a conference call with analysts. "We're not going to make a bunch of bad loans."

Huh, imagine that. This King guy just took over as CEO this month from god-among-men John Allison, but so far I think I'm going to like him. "Not going to make a bunch of bad loans." Too bad Wamu and Wachovia didn't have crack business acumen like that at their disposal back in 2006.

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