A new Teri Buhl article

While Greenwich Time editor Dave McCucumber stil refuses to provide her with copies of her own stories (they’re ours,” he insists, “and we can do what we like with them” – like erase them – that’s a nice way to help a fired reported find new work, Dave), Teri graciously sent along this article that would have appeared over on the Elm Street rag, were she still there.

J.C. Flowers Exec says FDIC will allow single private investment firms to buy failed banks this year

by Teri Buhl

The FDIC is meeting with private equity titans today to talk about the
rules around private investment firms buying failed banks. Reuters was first
to report the pow-wow and quoted industry sources who said they don’t expect
the FDIC to make big changes to the rules <http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62G50O20100317>
. Some of the tension between the FDIC, the OCC, and the private equity firms
centers around the percent of ownership individual P.E. firms can own in
banks and the higher levels of capital they are currently required to have
if they want to buy a bank. The FDIC would not admit the date of the
private meeting with industry financiers but told Reuters they will ‘issue additional clarifications’ about
the rules.

Two weeks ago Dow Jones held a distressed debt restructuring and turnaround
summit in New York where industry leaders talked about deal flow, economic
conditions, and regulatory or legal issues involved in buying bankrupt
companies. Industry speakers second the view that there will definitely be
more opportunity for private  investment firms to buy failed banks because
of the number of banks expected to continue to fail this year.

John Oros, managing director at J.C. Flowers & Co. who runs a fund that
invests in financial firms, told this reporter in an interview at the
conference that he believes in 2010 single private equity firms will be
allowed to buy failed banks. Oros is the first industry vet we’ve heard say

Oros reminded us that his firm tried to bid twice for the assets of IndyMac
when the FDIC placed the failed bank out for bid in 2008 but were turned
down. Since his firm wasn’t allowed to buy the bank on their own, it ended up working with a group of other P.E. firms
teEquityFirm.html> including Dune Capital, Paulson & Co, George Soros, and
Michael Dell’s investment firm to successfully win the bid to buy IndyMac.
It was the first time we’d seen the regulators allow a group of private investors to
buy a failed bank and many industry veterans thought they got a sweet-heart
of a loss sharing deal. At last weeks industry conference there was
consensus that margins on buying failed banks have shrunk since last year,
but the opportunity is still a viable economic investment for distressed

For now it’s a waiting game as the FDIC works to find the best possible
solution for how to unload the droves of toxic assets it’s taken on from
loss sharing in failed bank deals and prepares for future failures.
In an interview last week, Connecticut Banking Commissioner Howard Pitken told this reporter that they are carefully watching the commercial loan portfolios of banks in Fairfield County. He told this reporter there is concern about default levels in some local banks but they are trying to get ahead of the problems before failures occur. He would not name which banks he is currently worried could fail because of their troubled commercial loan book. Patriot Bank and Darien Rowayton Bank have both needed private investor funding as they neared collapse, but if they were seized and placed under FDIC conservatorship it is unlikely a single private equity firm would have been able to take control of the failed banks.


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11 responses to “A new Teri Buhl article

  1. The Broker Fixer

    If your ClusterMap is right and your hit meter at WordPress is accurate, Ms. Buhl could enjoy many times more readership at FWIW than she EVER did at GT. I guess the teensy problem is she’d like to get paid for her work. Oh well, maybe for the time being, readership at FWIW would get her noticed from another paper/magazine to get that next job. Thanks for posting her work.

    • christopherfountain

      Yeah, that is the problem. I get “paid” by readers becoming real estate clients, and that works pretty well, but I suspect Teri likes to eat.

  2. REALLY?


    What I love about this article is the lunacy that the NY Times reporter never asks the following question:

    If you lived in your house for 15 years, and saw the value slowly rise in value very year, how did you end up with a 400,000 mortgage?


    and of course, it is the mean bank’s fault, not yours.

  3. kidding really!!

    I think I had the under on her lasting 6 months… Greenwich Time was not the place for her. And have to say – driving into SAC parking lot with a video camera to take video of employees cars was just dumb. Her reporting wasn’t that good and certainly not good enough for a newspaper in Greenwich to keep her.

    There are just so many better reporters breaking stories and not just rehashing tired boring and dumb stories. Good luck Teri

  4. Walt

    Dude –
    Will you just ask her to the prom and get it over with, for Pete’s Sake. She really does tickle your twinkie apparently, so ask her out and get it over with.
    As far as the Greenwich Time not giving this Teri McBeal chick copies of her own stories, I don’t know what their motivation is. I never met your dream babe, so I can’t comment. Maybe she is just like you, and she just really pissed them all off? Hmmm…
    But I do fantasize about buying FWIW and erasing all of the content. Not because I don’t like you. But the writing needs work. To put it politely. Your reader should pay me if I do. Does Hiram have any money, Dude?
    Your Pal,

  5. Hu Nhu?

    Pray tell, who are these many “better reporters breaking stories.”

  6. Teri Buhl

    Last night I got a copy of my online clips (over 70) in a PDF book, with a warning from the online team that Hearst still owns the content and it can’t be republished. So why would Hearst CT Newspaper want to take away all that breaking news or insightful commentary from its readers? While I agree they own the order/structure of the sentences I wrote — do they own the ideas or news scoops? I still have no answer on why they took it down and neither does the reader.

  7. lawyer wannabe


    I believe you own the editing/modification rights to your stories.

    An hour or two of work on your part to update the “Best of Buhl” would put your work back where it belongs.

    CF knows how to reach me if you want some technical help to put this new body of work on a secure Romanian server.

  8. John

    There is some good reporting in here. I am surprised Oros of J.C. Flowers went on the record to talk about changes with the FDIC and PE firms. Maybe he is fed up with their lack of free market understanding of how to move all the crap assets off their books and wants to force the issue. I don’t see why a PE firm, that can prove it will add seasoned bank management into a failed bank and work to turn it around, shouldn’t be allowed to buy the bank. They have money sitting on the side lines. Just make sure they can’t borrow at low discount rates to use for other PE investmentments.
    Great Work Teri as usually – very timely and interesting report.

  9. Transylvania Webmaster

    Ve would welcome the opportunity to host this Ms. Teri.

    Would that new site be:

    All Buhl All The Time? or
    Take No Buhl? or
    Mostly Bull About Buhl? or
    All Buhl No Bull? or
    More Buhl than Bull? or
    Buhla Buhla (for the Yale fans)? or
    Great Buhl – But Bull Not So Much?