$$$ Two bullet-proof doors and one small sign are the only clues that this is the control center of a financier who’s helped turn some of Vladimir Putin’s closest allies into multibillionaires. For a man who honed his trade in the hushed back rooms of Vienna and Zurich during the Cold War and who is now, as friends say, the most secretive banker in a country run by a former spy, this is how it should be. [Bloomberg]
Eight years ago, there was much handwringing over the plan. Such as, won’t this violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and lead to an extremely embarrassing criminal investigation one day? And, how we will make sure that the brain-dead progeny of the people we need don’t lose us too much money? Read more »
For more than a year, Herbalife’s biggest booster got his kicks kicking Bill Ackman while he was down, gleefully touting how he had been proven right about the world’s favorite diet shakes time and time again, while the Pershing Square founder had been proven the opposite, also over and over again. But at the beginning of the year, it occurred to Tim Ramey that repeatedly sticking his finger in Bill Ackman’s eye is really no way to live, and that he should try to do something constructive with his life, like corporate consulting.
But as he’s watched Ackman’s hopes get up and then dashed once again, Tim realized it is foolish to deny one’s passions. And so while he’s keeping his office over at Post Holdings, he’s ready to publicly sing the praises of his favorite multi-level marketing company once again, giddily predicting just how much more money Ackman is going to lose. Read more »
Bridgewater Associates sued Howard Wang and Wenquan “Robert” Wu in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday, saying they tried to publicize their newly-formed hedge fund, Convoy Investments, by lying about their former roles at Bridgewater. Bridgewater claims that Wang and Wu tried to pass themselves off as “former key figures responsible for core aspects of Bridgewater’s business,” but “they were nothing of the sort.” Bridgewater is asking a federal judge to order Wang and Wu stop misrepresenting their role at Bridgewater and pay the hedge fund firm damages…Bridgewater says that Wang joined Bridgewater in 2008 as an entry-level junior analyst in the client services department that is responsible for managing the hedge fund’s relationships with clients. Wang left in 2012 and Bridgewater says he told the hedge fund “that he intended to pursue ballroom dancing ‘full time as a competitor.’” Wu joined Bridgewater’s internal finance department in 2007 as a software developer, coding software that calculated Bridgewater’s fees. Wu was later transferred to the core tech department at the hedge fund and dealt with discrete coding projects until he left the hedge fund firm in 2010, telling Bridgewater that he was unemployed and traveling, the hedge fund claims. [Forbes]
Earlier this week, we learned that two HSBC employees had sued the bank, claiming that they had been demoted and had their bonuses cut by more than 60 percent after reporting a superior’s conduct– which allegedly included strongly encouraging an underling to have sex with various male employees, attempting to pull her top down in public, and so on and so forth. Then on Tuesday, the firm scored a rare trifecta when a third employee filed suit against it, claiming that he’d been fired for complaining about a colleague touching him in places no one wants to be touched by their colleagues, and also requesting favors of the sexual variety. Read more »
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn says the struggling Trump Taj Mahal casino “will almost certainly close.” The would-be purchaser of the casino told the Associated Press on Thursday night that the casino’s finances are dire. Four of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos have closed this year, and the Taj Mahal would be the fifth. Mr. Icahn, sounding very much like a man growing tired of the whole topic, said that even though he won’t back out of a deal he made with owner Trump Entertainment Resorts to acquire the Taj Mahal and pump $100 million into it, he wishes he never answered the phone when the company first called him about it. “One overriding fact is perfectly clear: The Taj is quickly running out of money and will almost certainly close,” Mr. Icahn said. [WSJ]