Saturday, January 24, 2009

Short of nothing

One of the first things Government regulators did upon waking up to the monetary disaster befalling around them last year was ban short-selling. Amid the cry from the boardrooms that it was evil short-selling that was ailing the market, bans were put in place around the globe.

As an example, Guambat points to Babcock & Brown, a Macquarie Model emulator. Last year Guambat commented on B&B's whinge at the short-sellers in the post, Short people got no reason.

And how is that working out? Have markets rebounded now that short-sellers are sidelined? Not exactly.

Shareholder wipeout in Babcock rescue

"The board believes that in the current market environment, and based on continuing discussions with the banking syndicate, there will be no value for equity holders under the revised business plan balance sheet restructure," the Sydney-based company said in a statement.

Babcock shares worthless as banks bleed
The already fragile confidence in the domestic banking system was dealt another blow when Babcock, Australia's second home-grown investment bank which made its name as one of the market's most aggressive deal makers, revealed there would be nothing left for shareholders after its lenders took their cut under a plan with its bankers. Babcock also said there would be negligible or no value for the holders of subordinated notes, meaning any funds raised from the sale of company assets would go to its banks.

The investment bank , which just 18 months ago held a stake in a company worth $10 billion, became the biggest stock market victim of the financial crisis.


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