Archive for December, 2011

Expedia completes TripAdvisor spinoff

Travel website Expedia Inc.‘s spin-off of TripAdvisor Inc. as a separately traded, independent company was complete Wednesday, with TripAdvisor shares set to start trading for the first time.

Expedia shareholders received one share of TripAdvisor and one share of Expedia for every two shares of Expedia they held at the close of trading Tuesday.
Expedia lost more than half their value and were trading at $27.37 before the opening bell, with investors believing TripAdvisor accounted for about half the market value of Expedia.

Expedia first said in April it planned to spin off TripAdvisor, which lets travelers post advice and reviews and offers planning features such as flight searches and links to hotel and flight bookings.

TripAdvisor shares were set to start trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol “TRIP.” They’ll be part of the S&P 500 index, replacing telecommunications equipment maker Tellabs Inc., which is moving to the S&P 5&P 400 MidCap index because its market capitalization has fallen below $1.5 billion.

Read the full article here.

Bernanke: There Was No ‘Secret’ Bank Bailout, And It Was Only $1.5 Trillion

Much has been made of late over the trillions of dollars financial firms borrowed from the Federal Reserve during the 2008 financial crisis, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke fired back Tuesday.

In a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Committees focused on the financial services industry, Bernanke lashed out at the “numerous errors and misrepresentations,” in recent media stories that suggest the Fed directed $7 trillion or more in secret loans to the financial industry.

On the contrary, Bernanke says, when it comes to the Fed’s alphabet soup of programs like the TAF (Term Auction Facility) and TALF (Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility), the central bank “took great care to ensure that Congress was well-informed of the magnitude and the manner of its lending.

While the Fed did not release the names of the firms borrowing from its facilities in real-time – and they weren’t just financial firms as companies fromCaterpillar to McDonald’s also tapped such programs – it publicly announced the programs, and released lending information on a weekly basis in its balance sheet disclosure and monthly through reports to Congress posted on its website, Bernanke says in his letter.

While Bernanke’s criticism of the recent press stories on the matter take center stage, the Fed chief also wags a finger at lawmakers. “Congress was well informed of the volume of borrowing by large banks,” he writes. “For instance, the monthly reports showed the daily average borrowing during the momnth in the aggregate for the five largest discount window borrowers, the next five and the rest.”

Following Freedom of Information Act requests from media entities and subsequent Congressional action under the Dodd-Frank act, the Fed disclosed the names of counterparties and borrowers from its emergency lending facilities in December 2010 and March 2011.

That information showed the Morgan Stanley was the biggest borrower from the central bank in terms of peak borrowing, followed by Citigroup and Bank of America. Due to the revolving nature of the lending though, double-counting of the borrowings could lead to “a gross overestimate of the actual amount of lending,” Bernanke says.

Read the full article here.

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