The Latest

Write-Offs: 11.21.14

$$$ Citigroup Said to Be Ousted From ECB FX Group for Rigging [Bloomberg]

$$$ Dow Chemical, Loeb Settle Board Dispute [WSJ]

$$$ The legal “loophole” that allowed one of the world’s largest hedge funds to make anonymous bets against listed companies must be closed, according to one of the senior European lawmakers who framed the current rules. [FT]

$$$ Alibaba’s Finance Arm, Ant Financial, Is a Mystery to Most Investors [BreakingViews]

$$$ A few months ago, Gabe Thompson, the chef at L’Apicio, an Italian restaurant in the East Village, started reading the “Game of Thrones” novels by George R. R. Martin. Already a fan of the bloody, beardy HBO drama based on the books, Mr. Thompson was struck by how obsessed the original works were with culinary matters. “They were all about food,” he said the other day. The insight had prompted an epiphany: Why not host a “Games of Thrones” feast, matching dishes taken from, or inspired by, the books with beers produced by Ommegang, the Belgian-style brewery near Cooperstown, N.Y., that recently released a limited-edition line of “Game of Thrones” beer? When the dinner was announced this month, the 35 seats sold out almost immediately. And on Tuesday night, a ravenous crowd of “Games of Thrones” fans — including five old friends from law school — descended on L’Apicio’s private dining room for a hearty, medieval-style repast. [NYT] Read more »

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The executive suiteWhen he woke up on the morning of Oct. 5 — a beautiful fall day when many New Yorkers started raking leaves — Mark Guindi never imagined he would rake in something else: a cool $12,000. “It was the craziest thing,” says the handsome 24-year-old Brooklynite, who scored big in a fantasy football tourney called FanDuel NFL Sunday Million. “I wake up one day, put up a $25 entry fee, and I make 12,000 bucks.” Guindi is now making a name for himself in the upper leagues of daily fantasy football, drafting a team of real-world athletes to pit against other players. In three weeks, he’ll be trading his winter jacket for suntan lotion as he hits Vegas for the ultracompetitive Fantasy Football Championship sponsored by daily fantasy sports league site FanDuel. There, he’ll be vying for a $2 million jackpot, against the country’s top 100 players…Guindi is just one rising star in a constellation of fantasy players in the US and Canada — about 41 million, up 5 million in the last year alone. While only a small percentage is composed of money-hungry DFS players, their numbers are also on the rise. FanDuel expects to pay out more than $500 million in prizes this year and more than $1 billion in 2015. Its active users will likely hit 1 million this year — more than quadruple the previous year. [NYP via Matt]

  • 21 Nov 2014 at 4:30 PM

Deal Judge: We’re Going To Need A New Master of Coin

Elie's idea of an Icelandic prison.

Elie’s idea of an Icelandic prison.

Ed. note: This is a new weekly column by Elie Mystal, Managing Editor of Above the Law Redline, wrapping up the week that was in law and finance. Elie is not a practicing attorney, and anything he says that you listen to can and will be used against you.

Issue #1: How can you get a permit to do a damned illegal thing?

Bitcoins are a “real” commodity, so says the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Commissioner Mark Wetjen “I do believe we have the authority because if you think of any reasonable reading of our statute, bitcoin classifies as a commodity, “I do believe we have the authority because if you think of any reasonable reading of our statute, bitcoin classifies as a commodity.”

Well maybe if Wetjen wishes really, really hard, Tinkerbell will spring to life and sprinkle enough regulatory pixie dust to give the CFTC the authority it believes it should have. Read more »

Happy Early Hannukah.To be fair, great idea though it may be, it is available only to a very limited set of investors, in this case a set of one. But if you can’t beat the Brotherhood of the Sach—and you cannot—you can at least join them in shorting the euro, buying 10-year T-bills at between 2% and 3%, and siding with nickel over copper. Also: Read more »

  • 21 Nov 2014 at 3:12 PM

Mathew Martoma Is In Miami

martomaUnfortunately, this is a business, not pleasure trip: yesterday marked Day 1 of 3,285 of his sentence for orchestrating the largest insider trading scheme ever. Read more »

credit suisseWhich was nice of her, in the event the bank is running low on funds and needs to move some assets around/pay a visit to the neighborhood pawn shop/etc. Every day the payment is late, though, interest rates start kicking in and Brady Dougan is paid a visit by a guy named Bunky. Read more »

Would not be caught dead in that warehouse of mediocrity on the UES.The Carlyle Group co-founder is a man of refinement and taste who is more or less single-handedly preserving America’s cultural heritage, such as it is. But assuming Warren Buffett’s glittering eyes were pointed in his direction when he compared Berkshire Hathaway to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and others as “porn shop owners” who will slap a pair of bigger tits on a painting before selling it to the first guy in a raincoat to come along, Rubenstein isn’t having it, and said as much yesterday. If Berkshire Hathaway’s a big fancy museum on Fifth Avenue, then private equity firms—any, apparently—are an even bigger, fancier museum! A former royal palace! In Paris! Read more »

Britain put in a good faith effort to challenge what it sees as unfair/unrealistic bonus rules from the EU but it’s since been told to sit down and STFU, so: you’re on your own. Read more »