Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chrysler Financial suddenly looking good

Another Canadian bank has swooped in and purchased an American financial institution for a garage sale price.
Today it Was Toronto Dominion buying Farmington Hills-based Chrysler Financial for $6.3 billion. Last week it was Bank of Montreal buying Milwaukee-based bank Marshall & Ilsley Corp. for $4.1 billion.
How quickly perceptions change. Last year, it appeared that between the domestic auto industry bankruptcies and the new deal with the former GMAC, now Ally Bank, Chrysler Financial was all but dead.
This year, with bankruptcies behind them, suddenly Chrysler Financial is worth almost what Cerberus paid for the original Chrysler.
The other side of that coin, of course, is that Canadian banks acted a lot more sensibly during the time when American banks were incorrectly betting the farm on derivatives.
Some 300 American banks have since been closed. No Canadian banks have shut their doors.
One more lesson for bankers. This is not Vegas -- Stick to banking and you may be able to buy the competition.
One more lesson for Americans, stick to business or your conservative neighbors will reap the profits.


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