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alstry (< 20)

WWF comes to Wall Street?



July 14, 2009 – Comments (5)

Based on the introduction of new evidence, Alstry must retract his blog yesterday indicating Merideth Whitney seemed consistent with her analysis given on CNBC a few months apart.  The problem is that she gave TWO interviews yesterday morning which came came off with very different perspectives leaving one with the question.....

Did the bankers buy off the banking babe? 

Yesterday I blogged that Merideth Whitney's commentary on CNBC in the morning did not seem too different than what she said on the same network a few months ago.

But that was BEFORE I learned that she did a different interview a few minutes earlier with Becky Quick.  The earlier interview was in a more scripted environment and the interview a few minutes later was more informal with two extra anchors thrown into the conversation simply bantering back and forth.

After reviewing the two interviews, taken just minutes apart, one begins to question whether this can be the same person making such seemingly contradictory statements.

A few months ago, this Merideth Whitney gave the following interview on CNBC:

In the above interview, she states the bank rally was overdone and stocks "grossly overvalued" justifying in part on the government intervening and enabling the banks to deliver earnings better than they could organically earn otherwise.

Then early in the morning, just a few months later and with seemingly little fundamental changes in banking, she appears to do a 180 turn, and recommends GS while putting other banks in a positive light, including J.P. Morgan, without offering much reasoning for her reversal?

One might argue that Ms. Whitney's GS call may possibly be logically consistent. However, her dramatic reversal on J.P. Morgan seems untrustworthy on its face in light of her earlier comments, and maybe something even more questionable if you factor the timing during options expiration week.

If the above is not mind boggling enough, just listen to her statements made just a few minutes later when she is seated in a more informal setting with a couple more CNBC anchors joining in.......Merideth seems to go back to her old perspective when the conversation is unrehearsed and apparently unscripted.

If it wasn't for the fact that she is wearing the same designer dress and her hair style identical, you would think that this couldn't be the same person making the above assertions just minutes apart on T.V.  Then, factoring the earlier statements, made on the same network, just a few months ago, and with little intervening fundamental changes to banking, you begin to question veracity when Ms. Whitney was in the earlier controlled scripted environment versus her seemingly straightforward delivery in the more informal unscripted environment.

At this point, something just doesn't seem right.  As one who has cross examined a number of witnesses, the impeachment value of the inconsistent statements above would make any trial lawyer salivate.

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 14, 2009 at 10:57 AM, AllStarPortfolio (22.44) wrote:

I think i heard her say around 3:90 "the whole economy needs to restructure".


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#2) On July 14, 2009 at 11:00 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:


Did you notice in the second interview that the guys seem to be "reminding" her that she was supposed to be bullish....and then joking comparing her to Roubini......

simply amazing.

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#3) On July 14, 2009 at 11:14 AM, ralphmachio (< 20) wrote:

I just said they were acting like cracked out chickens, all nervous.  I'm glad someone took the obvious next step, and called her on being nervous because she isn't used to being paid to bold-face-lie right to near-future money losers.  

I wonder if they explained to her,"hey, there's no future in this gig anyway.  Might as well just sell your soul now for a tidy sum, invest it in FAZ, and maybe you can try to purchase some tropical real estate somewhere where nobody will recognize you." 

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#4) On July 14, 2009 at 11:54 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

Maybe the Merideth Mambo as played because COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE IS CRASHING and will have a dramatic impact on banking in the second half:

April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Office vacancies in U.S. downtowns increased to 12.5 percent in the first quarter, the highest in three years, as companies cut jobs and new buildings came onto the market, Cushman & Wakefield said.

The national office vacancy rate climbed from 11.2 percent in the fourth quarter and 9.9 percent a year earlier, the New York-based property broker said today in a statement. The amount of newly leased space fell 39 percent from a year earlier to 10.6 million square feet (985,000 square meters), Cushman said.

U.S. employers fired more than 650,000 workers during each of the past four months, pushing the unemployment rate to 8.5 percent in March, the highest since 1983, according to the Labor Department. The first-quarter vacancy rate was the highest since the first three months of 2006, when it was 12.6 percent.

“This will be a very difficult year for commercial real estate and for office markets in particular,” said Maria Sicola, executive managing director and head of Americas Research for Cushman & Wakefield, in a telephone interview.

Downtown office vacancies nationwide could come close to 15 percent by the end of this year, approaching the 10-year high of 15.5 percent in 2003, Sicola said. Of the 31 U.S. cities tracked by Cushman, about half already have vacancies of 15 percent or more, company spokesman Dwayne Doherty said.

Manhattan Market

The Midtown South and Downtown sections of Manhattan, the New York City borough that’s biggest office market in the U.S., had the lowest vacancy rates in the first quarter, at 8.1 percent each, according to Cushman. New York overall was third- lowest at 9.6 percent.

Manhattan office-vacancy rates could climb to 12 percent by the end of 2008 as Wall Street companies reduce payrolls, Sicola said. Seattle, the former headquarters of failed thrift Washington Mutual Inc., could see office vacancies approach a record 17 percent, from 12.6 percent in the first quarter, because of job losses and new construction, she said.

“This is evidence of the fact that real estate lags the general economy overall and how these markets were positioned going into this downturn,” Sicola said.

All but one of the 31 central business districts tracked by Cushman had higher vacancy rates last quarter, the firm said. The exception was Dallas, where vacancies fell to 27.2 percent from 27.6 percent at the end of 2008 due partly to two big leases. Dallas still had the highest downtown office vacancy rate in the U.S.

Lower Rents

Downtown office landlords cut their asking rents by an average of 2.2 percent in the first quarter, to $39.50 per square foot from $40.37 at the end of 2008, Cushman said. Asking rents were higher than the $37.69 average of a year earlier and rents rose in 14 of 31 cities tracked by the firm. The largest increase was $1.20 per foot in Baltimore, while the biggest decline was $6.63 a foot in San Francisco.

Landlords have been cushioned from the high vacancy rates by long-term lease agreements, Sicola said. So while the amount of space for sublease rose 24.5 percent from the previous quarter, the space available directly from landlords grew by less.

“Sublease has a very dramatic effect on what happens in the overall market,” Sicola said. “We are just entering into what will be a very strong market for the tenant. We can see rents come down 10 or 15 percent or even 20 percent before this is over.”

Lower rents get capitalized into building valuations.....if rents come down 20%, trillions of CRE loans could default.

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#5) On July 14, 2009 at 12:35 PM, abitare (30.10) wrote:

Girl has got to eat!

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