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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

  • August 1, 2008 11:30 AM UTC by Liz Claman

    Exclusive Bear Bombshell: Tell-All Book By ‘Anonymous’ Places Blame for Killing of ‘the Bear’

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    Hey gang,

    You KNEW it was coming: the tell-all book about the disastrous fall of Bear Stearns.  Well, IT’S HERE.  This morning I reported on Fox Business (see clip below) that we are the first to have gotten a copy of the unpublished manuscript.   It’s got some blockbuster revelations and beliefts in it because it was written by a Bear Stearns high-level INSIDER who watched the whole Into-Thin-Air-Mt.-Everest-type-disaster unfold right before his eyes. How? BECAUSE HE WAS A SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR on the Derivatives desk, right there at Ground Zero of the Bear implosion.  He’s not a journalist or Vanity Fair reporter—HE WAS THERE.

    The book is called "Bear Trap: The Fall of Bear Stearns and the Panic of 2008" (BrickTower Press 2008) and as I said, is written by "Anonymous" along with co-author Andrew Spencer.  How did I get my hands on only one of 4 unpublished manuscripts in existence?  Sorry, can’t tell you, but let’s just say that one of my best sources on the Street had it.   The minute I opened it I knew it would be quite the ride.  It’s 350 pages of the minute-by-minute account of those tense days in March when suddenly all confidence that was left in the nation’s 5th largest brokerage ran for the exits.  "Anonymous" makes the case that leaked emails out of Goldman Sachs gave enough people enough information to start heavily shorting the stock to make major money off Bear’s demise.  Keep in mind that, at the time, Bear was said to still have $17 Billion dollars in cash on the books but the authors say as soon as someone at Goldman pressed "send to all recipients" on one particular email that indicated it would no longer serve as a go-between for investors and Bear, Bear didn’t stand a chance.  In defense of Goldman, Bear was leveraged extensively to a brutally dangerous point so that only exacerbated the entire situation. It was trapped and bleeding. Not even chewing its own leg off could get it out of that trap. The authors also believe that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson may have held a grudge against Bear dating back to the bailout of hedge fund Long Term Capital Management back in 1998.  Back then, Paulson was the CFO of Goldman Sachs which helped with the LTCM bailout.  When asked to join the "Let’s-save-LTCM-for-bad-bets-it-made" party, Bear flat out refused to participate. Did Paulson have a long memory? Did he try a little less valiantly to save Bear because Bear wouldn’t save LTCM?  Fox Business spoke to the Treasury Department’s press spokesperson Brooklyn McLaughlin this morning who issued this statement:  "Department of Treasury hadn’t seen the book and declines to comment"

     Many Wall Streeters tell me a Paulson grudge is highly unlikely, that in a way, Paulson DID save Bear by facilitating with the Fed the sale of Bear to JPMorgan.  But the insider and a lot of other traders on the street to whom I’ve spoken feel differently.  Maybe we’ll never know, but "Anonymous" also goes into great detail about the mistakes Bear itself made, so this isn’t a total "Let’s blame Paulson and Goldman" book, but the most riveting parts are about the minute-by-minute demise of the stock that week in March, Bear’s attempt to stem the blood flow, how the forced wedding to JPMorgan went down Sunday March 16th, and how Monday March 17th became "Dawn of the Dead."  Bear, in the blink of an eye, had been sold "lock, stock and barrel for 2$ a share…less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks."

    So once I had it, I had to call BrickTower Press.  Needless to say they were stunned to hear that a reporter had gotten a hold of it.  But for a boutique publisher who’s best-selling book up until this point was "Gardening in Deer Country," they were pretty cool about it.  Because the galleys are being mailed to book critics and literary reviews TODAY, they knew the clock was ticking. They have allowed Fox Business to use quotes in a limited number.  We thank them.

    We’ll be following the story all day long, I’ll be revealing quotes throughout the day with response from market watchers and former Bear Stearns employees, along with expert short-sellers and former SEC prosecutors.  BrickTower says it’ll reveal the identity of "Anonymous" on or around September 22nd, the date of release, but of course feel free to start guessing his identity now.   The book is now available for pre-order on Amazon.  I predict that however many copies they’ve ordered, they’ll have to order more.  Bear’s collapse will be written about for years, but the Insider perspective is valuable and riveting… and no doubt will cause many to stop and really wonder whether Bear should have been allowed to die in that trap.  

    Turner: Obama’s actions in Libya violate War Act

    Dayton Daily News (Dayton, OH) June 20, 2011 | Jack Torry; Jessica Wehrman Washington Bureau Rep. Mike Turner said last week that he is unsatisfied with President Barack Obama’s report to Congress on Libya.

    Obama last week asserted that he does not need congressional authorization for the military operation in Libya. Critics, including Turner, have said that U.S. involvement in Libya violates the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which requires presidents to obtain Congress’ authorization when inserting U.S. forces into hostilities.

    "The President’s report to Congress is an attempt to evade Congressional approval of military action in Libya," Turner, R- Centerville, said. "His response also fails to answer the questions I and many other members have been asking for months. We still do not know who the rebel forces are, what the plans are if Muammar Gaddafi’s regime falls, and the time frame of our commitment to this conflict." Two weeks ago, the House passed a resolution giving Obama until Sunday to respond to congressional queries about U.S. involvement in Libya. "If the president does not formally seek Congress’ approval to continue military action, we must act to disapprove of the U.S. operations in Libya immediately," Turner said. web site ohio christian university

    Turner earlier this month authored a resolution formally disapproving of U.S. military involvement in Libya. The resolution has 77 cosponsors.

    Brown says no to trade agreements Sen. Sherrod Brown officially broke with President Obama last week on the issue of trade, saying the president "is wrong" by supporting free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia.

    In a news conference with reporters on Capitol Hill, Brown, D- Ohio, accused the Obama administration of engaging in a "continuation … slightly changed," of the trade policies of former President George W. Bush. "The president is wrong on this," Brown said. site ohio christian university

    In a debate in Cleveland during his 2008 campaign, Obama vowed to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico unless they agreed to substantial revisions. Once in office, Obama dropped the idea.

    Obama is now urging Congress to approve free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia that were largely negotiated by the Bush administration. But Obama also wants Congress to extend financial help to workers who lose their jobs because of trade.

    Brown, a consistent opponent of NAFTA and permanent normal trade relations with China, wants Congress to approve the financial help for workers before taking on the trade pacts themselves. He said he would vote against the South Korean pact.

    House has ‘guest pastor’ for a day The president of Circleville-based Ohio Christian University gave the opening prayer last week at the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Mark A. Smith served as the House "guest pastor" for the day. He was invited to give the opening prayer by U.S. Rep. Steve Austria, R- Beavercreek.

    Smith has been the president of Ohio Christian University for five years. During that time, the university has grown from 380 to 1,350-plus students. Before coming to Ohio Christian University, he was vice president for adult and graduate studies at Indiana Wesleyan University for five years.

    Jack Torry; Jessica Wehrman Washington Bureau

about this blog

  • Liz Claman joined FOX Business Network (FBN) as an anchor in October 2007. Her debut included an exclusive interview with Berkshire Hathaway CEO and legendary investor Warren Buffett.

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