Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bank insider buys are just salesman's con jobs

Vikram Pandit of Citigroup bought 750,000 shares of Citigroup at a little over $9 on November 13. This purchase was a show of faith in the company. Today Citi closed at $2.50, showing Vikram Pandit doesn't have a clue at what Citigroup is worth.

What's Citigroup worth? How about Citibuck!

Now Ken Lewis, of Bank of America, bought some stock in Bank of America after he went hat in hand to the Fed's for more money, and when his job was on the hot seat for his purchase of Merrill Lynch. He picked up 200,000 shares at $6, and another 200,000 shares at $4.8. These purchases were a show of faith in the company. The stock closed today, under 4.

Jamie Dimon also made a big show of faith in his company with his purchase of 500,000 shares of JPM at 23 last month.

Now these are the insiders of the bank that were buying stock with shareholder money at levels from 2 to 20X higher in price, and spending billions and billions of dollars to it. These same insiders drove these stocks into the toilet with their management. These same insiders took hundreds of millions of dollars from shareholders for rewarding themselves for the job they did the past few years, and now they want to continue to foster this con on the public by trumpeting their purchases of stock.

If these insiders want shareholders to see a show of faith, then why don't they quit conning the public, and instead just show us their books? Show us their SIV's, their derivatives, their credit default swaps with failing parties, and their level III assets. Open up your books, and let us see what's inside.

I guess they don't have enough faith for that!

Instead we get syrupy feel-good commercials from BAC, grandstanding by Jamie Dimon, and self righteous smugness from Vikram Pandit.

And all that shareholders get are lower stock prices, that are rapidly being zombified.

The clearest books of any financial company is Warren Buffett. The stocks that he owns have lost over $30 billion, and any equity valuation of the companies he has bought has easily been cut in half the last year, and he's upside down about $10 billion on the puts he has sold.

If that is what has happened to the Oracle of Omaha, what in the name of God has happened on the books of these cheating bankers that they won't let us see?

And if the egos of these sainted bankers is so fragile that they can't take a little grilling from Congress, without telling Wall Street their secret boardroom fantasies about paying TARP debt back, so they can regain the swagger in their step, then, exactly how bad are their books?

They are as bad as the stock prices now indicate, except the market still hasn't gotten to JPM and the Dimon "halo" effect.

It just takes the market longer to recognize that sometimes sinners aren't saints!

Even if they have a show of faith!

No comments: