The NYT on C1 reports on an HP-like scandal at Deutsche Telekom that erupted over the weekend after a report in Der Spiegel that it had “tracked thousands of phone calls to identify the source of leaks to the news media about its internal affairs.”
The phone company hired a data-mining firm to try to track down who was leaking reports of layoffs to reporters.
Minding Fannie and Freddie
The Journal’s Heard on the Street looks at what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s new regulator will be up against. The two government-sponsored mortgage backers are a linchpin of the entire economy, and the WSJ’s piece does not inspire confidence:
It all gets down to Fannie and Freddie’s balance sheets, specifically the amount of capital they have relative to the amount of assets they hold. Problem is, these balance sheets look something like the Augean Stables, and it would take a financial and political Hercules to clean them out. A look at three of the knottiest areas shows why.
The paper says the two companies need to increase their reserves for loan losses, account for nearly $20 billion in unrealized losses, and write down deferred tax assets that it is unlikely to ever get access to.
Lots of nasty accounting problems, so what’s Freddie’s response? Flackspeak Quote of the Day:
“We feel very comfortable about how we’re operating our business under the current regulatory environment.” A Fannie Mae spokesman declined to comment.
Translation: we’re going to be screwed when the new sheriff comes to town.