The financials sector is never short on news, but if you're short on time, let me do the leg work for you. I've dug through the Fool's financial sector coverage over the past week to highlight five stories you don't want to overlook.
Read on for this week's big news.
1. Did Buffett Overpay for Heinz?
It's true. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B), along with investment firm 3G Capital, has purchased H.J. Heinz (UNKNOWN:HNZ.DL). As many analysts have noted, it's a business firmly situated in Buffett's preferred wheelhouse -- a stable, mature company, an iconic brand, and a familiar product. But Alex Dumortier wonders if the Oracle overpaid for the pleasure? (Seriously, did he?)
2. The Single Biggest Threat to Bank of America Today
In five well-researched installments, John Maxfield breaks down Bank of America's (NYSE:BAC) legal troubles resulting from the bank's infamous 2008 acquisition of Countrywide Financial and all of its toxic subprime loans -- lawsuit after lawsuit (after lawsuit) have put B of A in danger of "death by a thousand cuts," Maxfield suggests.
If you're as confused as the rest of us about what is really going on, click through to the first of the series, where Maxfield leads us through the legal labyrinth and shares the conclusion he's come to after doing the research.
3. Chimera Lives to Fight (Yet Another) Day
Remember Chimera Investment's (NYSE:CIM) problems with submitting its financial statements to the SEC? The company had until January 15 to submit the missing documents, but when that day came, the SEC extended the deadline to February 15. Well, that day has come and gone, too, and Chimera has lucked out again -- the SEC has again granted it an extension, this time until March 15.
There may be a glimmer of hope among the mREIT's fuzzy accounting, John Maxfield suggests, in the form of some high-profile investments by BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo, and billionaire Leon Cooperman.
4. Why Citigroup is Making Me Nervous
John Grgurich takes a look at what Citigroup (NYSE:C) says it's going to do with the cash it set aside to deal with troubled mortgages. Will the bank spend the money it needs to spend to cover its debts and return to healthy profitability, or is it holding off for a settlement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac akin to the one Bank of America made with Fannie?
Grgurich has a message for Citi Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach: "Straighten out Citigroup's books once and for all, Mr. Gerspach, and the investment dollars will follow."
5. 3 Reasons You Should Be Buying Bank Stocks Right Now
Thanks to the bad press that has been swirling around banks and the financials sector ever since the depth of the financial crisis, there hasn't been an incredible amount of optimism about investing in the sector lately. Jessica Alling suggests the sector is "truly under-appreciated," though, citing good news in the housing market, "record earnings," and improved balance sheets as a result of changes in regulations.
Abbie Redmon has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, H.J. Heinz Company, and Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo.
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