Matt Koppenheffer

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  • The Insurance You Don't Think About

    By Matt Koppenheffer - December 3, 2012 | Tickers: Y, BRK-B, BRK-A, MKL, WRB

    We are all very familiar with a wide variety of insurance that we run into every day: health insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance, etc. But there are a lot of insurers out there that take on some very specialized risks. Case in point: the insurance that Lloyd's and its syndicate members provided to the New York Road Runners Club for the New York City Marathon.

    The Wall Street more »

  • Knight Buyout: Lawsuit Material?

    By Matt Koppenheffer - December 3, 2012 | Tickers: KCG

    Is the potential buyout of Knight Capital (NYSE: KCG) worthy of a lawsuit?

    I hadn't thought so, especially because no deal has taken place and the board is still considering a lot of possibilities, including snubbing both deals and keeping the company independent. But apparently one Wall Street law firm does:

    Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP ... is investigating the Board of Directors of Knight Capital Group ... for potential breaches of more »

  • Not So Fast, Wells Fargo

    By Matt Koppenheffer - December 1, 2012 | Tickers: WFC

    "Easy come, easy go" could describe the legal luck of Wells Fargo ) over the past few days. As Fool Eric Volkman highlighted earlier this week, Wells managed to dodge a bullet when the SEC dropped a case it was pursuing around mortgage backed securities. Eric noted:

    a few hundred million in fines for crisis-era misconduct from the SEC ... wouldn't have deepened Wells' hole very much. What it likely more »

  • Banker of the Year

    By Matt Koppenheffer - December 1, 2012 | Tickers: HBAN

    American Banker has a great piece out on why it chose Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ: HBAN) CEO Stephen Steinour as its "banker of the year" for 2012. From a high level:

    For guiding Huntington through the depths of the financial crisis, returning it to profitability far sooner than anyone expected and positioning it as a retail banking force in its primary markets, American Banker has named Steinour its Banker of the more »

  • Bank of America's Moynihan Remembers Nothing (Except Maybe Breakfast?)

    By Matt Koppenheffer - November 30, 2012 | Tickers: BAC, MBI

    As always Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi serves up some pretty entertaining reading after taking the time to wade through hundreds of pages of deposition from Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan.

    The broad theme of the piece (and the deposition) is that Moynihan apparently recalls nothing about anything having to do with one of the largest banks in the world, despite the fact that he runs the more »

  • Winning with AIG and Bank of America

    By Matt Koppenheffer - November 30, 2012 | Tickers: AIG, BAC

    BusinessWeek is singing the praises of Bruce Berkowitz, head of the Fairholme Fund (FAIRX). Which is kind of funny because it wasn't all that long ago that Berkowitz was basically being hung out as an example of a washed-up has-been.

    Why the rah-rahs now? Here's what BW said:

    The fund had advanced 30 percent this year through last week. Holdings in [American International Group (NYSE: AIG)] contributed more »

  • Citi: A Test for Big-Bank Simplicity

    By Matt Koppenheffer - November 30, 2012 | Tickers: BOH, C

    Citigroup (NYSE: C) ain't no Bank of Hawaii (NYSE: BOH).

    Tropical location aside, there's a gulf between the two banks when it comes to the complexity -- or, at least, the percieved complexity of the operations. But one thing they do share in common is that when a turnaround was needed, Michael O'Neill showed up. 

    But will it be as simple and straightforward for O'Neill at Citi more »

  • Pinching the Banks a Little More

    By Matt Koppenheffer - November 30, 2012 | Tickers: BCS, DB, GS, NES.DL

    The Wall Street Journal's article highlighting the fact that currency trading is getting squeezed for banks is a good reminder of what's a near-constant threat for many bank businesses: transparency. 

    And the explosive growth of electronic trading has brought transparency to a roughly $4 trillion-a-day market, making buyers and sellers less reliant on big banks to pair them up.

    We've of course seen this in a big more »

  • A Knight Deal Draws Closer

    By Matt Koppenheffer - November 30, 2012 | Tickers: JEF, KCG, AMTD, BX

    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Virtu Financial may have an early edge in the race to buy the battered Knight Capital (NYSE: KCG).

    Interestingly, the WSJ's article implies that the deal -- with either Virtu or Getco -- would likely be for the whole company. That contrasts earlier reports (also from WSJ) that the deal would be for just Knight's market-making business. That is probably a better deal more »

  • The Fiscal Cliff and the Financial Industry

    By Matt Koppenheffer - November 30, 2012

    It's hard not to have a knee-jerk reaction that something called the "fiscal cliff" is worth avoiding at all costs. In practice I tend to avoid falling off cliffs that are real or metaphorical (unless said cliff is no more than six feet in height, has a pillowed landing at the bottom, and I get a some sort of reward (hot fudge sundae?) for agreeing to go over the more »

  • Some Good (Legal) News at B of A?

    By Matt Koppenheffer - November 28, 2012 | Tickers: BAC

    Fellow Fool and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) watcher Amanda Alix thinks there may be some good news on the legal front for the embattled B of A. She writes:

    Bank of America in particular, has been stacking up the legal complaints, but this week I was able to dig up two pieces of especially brilliant news regarding the downtrodden big bank's lawsuit backlog. Could the tide be turning more »

  • The Musical Chairs at the SEC

    By Matt Koppenheffer - November 28, 2012

    I'm not going to say it's not big news that SEC head Mary Schapiro is stepping down. But I view the news through the prism of "how will this impact stocks" or, more specifically, how it will impact stocks in the financial sector, and at this point that's pretty unclear.

    Schapiro has been lauded for taking the helm after the Madoff debacle and bringing some semblance of more »

  • Cheap, Delicious Banks

    By Matt Koppenheffer - November 27, 2012 | Tickers: BAC, C

    Fool Kevin Chen has an article up on looking at a trio of banking metrics in an effort to divine whether banking stocks are a buy today. A big fan of analogies, this jumped out at me:

    At a [price-to-book] ratio of 1.03, investors are paying for just $1.03 for every dollar of [Huntington Bancshares (Nasdsaq: HBAN)] book value. That's like paying a baker $1 more »