May 2006

  • Opening Bell

    Opening Bell: 5.23.06

    Euronext Backs Merger Proposal By NYSE Group (WSJ) The courtship of Euronext won’t be as smooth as the NYSE would like. The Deutsche Börse anow has a bid in (as we predicted yesterday), which they claim will be superior for Euronext shareholders. One disadvantage that faces the Deutsche Börse is that they can’t offer the […]

    / May 23, 2006 at 8:36 AM
  • Banks, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley

    Yoel Zaoui=Sole Head of Goldman’s European I-Banking Division

    From today’s announcements in Reuter’s “Move” column. Goldman Sachs said on Monday that Yoel Zaoui is to become sole head of investment banking in Europe, in a reshuffle of the U.S. investment bank’s top European management. Zaoui, who has played a key role in building up the firm’s European M&A business, was previously co-head of […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 4:35 PM
  • MBAs

    DealBreaker (Hearts) Dilettantes

    Business Week interviews Gemma Townley, novelist and soon-to-be MBA. Like her characters, Townley has undergone many transformations over the years. She started out editing Financial Management, a magazine for finance directors, and having her work appear in the Sunday Telegraph. Then she headed communications, first for the Charter Institute of Management Accountants and then in […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 4:21 PM
  • Planespotting

    Planespotting: The IAC Bombadier To LA; Clinton Friend To Arkansas?

    According to Planespotter [but not otherwise confirmed], the IAC Bombadier (tail number N393BZ) is on the move. This time from Germany’s Bremen Neueland airport to Van Nuys in Los Angeles. Also unconfirmed: a Lear registered to Denise Rich, whose husband Marc famously recieved a lame-duck pardon from President Bill Clinton, today flew from New York’s […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 3:33 PM
  • Economics


    Traders Magazine Gregory Bresiger explains how the policies of President George Bush recall the Nixon era. President George W. Bush’s statist policies should not been viewed as a departure from the Republican traditions. Bush’s economic policies are a continuation of Nixonomics. We should also understand that Bush, like Nixon, cannot resist the political temptation of […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 3:16 PM
  • News

    Backdating Background

    Paul Kedrosky provides a trio of links to the work of Eric Lie, the University of Iowa scholar whose work is at the heart of the Wall Street Journal’s ongoing backdating investigation. Backdating of Executive Stock Options (ESOs) On the Timing of CEO Stock Option Awards [Management Science] [pdf] Does backdating explain the stock price […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 3:08 PM
  • banking culture

    Little Montenegro!

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was perhaps the first great piece of 20th Century finance fiction. WIth its narrator spending his free time learning about the bond market, it was its era’s Wall Street, Liars Poker and American Psycho. News today that Montenegrins voted to disolve their union with Serbians reminded us that the […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 12:45 PM
  • Goldman Sachs

    Ozocar Sighting

    Our obsession with Goldman Sach’s tree-huggerish use of OZOcar hybrids to move its bankers through our fair city was reignited by Sunday’s New York Times Magazine interview with architect Richard Rogers, the British architect recently chosen to redesign Tower 3 at the World Trade Center site. Looking ahead, how do you feel about having to […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 12:06 PM
  • Uncategorized

    Harvey Weinstein Invests in Friendster-for-Bankers

    The Times reports this morning that Harvey Weinstein** is putting money into, which is ostensibly the Swiss boarding school equivalent of Facebook/MySpace. It’s friendster for people who self-identify as being dually-based in two large cities with modern Western economies, an abundance of 8-figure real estate and a luxury resort or two. Normally, it would […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 11:13 AM
  • Companies

    Updating Backdating

    Today’s Wall Street Journal points an accusatory finger at new batch of companies who awarded top executives stock option grants dated just ahead of a sharp rise in the company’s share price. Dealbreaker is happy to bring you the highlights. First off, the following companies are the subject of today’s story: KLA-Tencor Corp., a leading […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 10:56 AM
  • SEC

    Shareholder Activism: It’s All About the Little Guy. Even if You’re Carl Icahn.

    Now that anybody willing to browbeat a CEO is a “shareholder activist” (and that, mind you, is a good thing), Barron’s uses the emergence of shareholder activism (if it was ever submerged) to browbeat the SEC for increased regulation of hedgefunds, which they argue will result in fewer shareholder activists (which would, mind you, be […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 10:05 AM
  • Time Warner

    Ted Turner Goes Quietly. For Once.

    DealBook, in pointing to a Boston Globe story about Ted Turner’s departure from the Time Warner board, notes that Turner left “quietly”. (The Globe calls it “uncharacteristically understated.”) The TW shareholders were, during the course of Turner’s leaving, subjected to a video tribute to Turner that we didn’t get to see, but that probably included […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 9:44 AM
  • Google, Yahoo

    Yahoo! Finance: ?; Google Finance: ?

    In the continuing Yahoo! Finance vs. Google Finance vein, a reader offers the following screenshot from Yahoo! analyst day presentations: (Click for large version.) Our conclusion: There seems to be more blue. Recommendation: Neutral. Also: Yahoo! will have “widgets” as well.** ** Obvious pandering to bloggers. Not that we mind being pandered to… Related: Yahoo! […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 9:33 AM
  • Opening Bell

    Opening Bell: 5.22.06

    Probably False Rumor Alert! Ballmer To Be Fired? (Ars Technica) It can take a couple of days for a story to percolate up from the bowels of the trade press and get some exposure, but last week an article in, uh, Client Server News (yes) reported that certain key experts were predicting a move to […]

    / May 22, 2006 at 8:32 AM
  • News

    Due Diligence=Lap Dances

    How come due diligence trips were never like this when we were in finance? Rick’s Cabaret International Inc., which in 1995 became the first “gentleman’s club” to go public, this week wooed investment bankers and analysts with free admission and reduced drinks at its second quarterly “Due Diligence Ball.” Inviting guests to check out the […]

    / May 19, 2006 at 4:04 PM
  • banking culture

    Worse Than Getting Stuck With The Fat Friend?

    Here are the lyrics to the Coors Light “Wingman” song shown above. This chick’s rockin’ your bro on the dance floor But she’s towing an anchor A junior investment banker Who’s talking about herself and not much more, oh So buy her a beer, it’s the reason you’re here Mighty wingman You’re taking one for […]

    / May 19, 2006 at 3:13 PM
  • banking culture

    Fruits in Suits

    Every third Thursday, the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Business Association hosts a cocktail hour called “Fruits in Suits.” Single in the City paid a visit recently, and ran into his dream date. Marc was an investment banker (ding), lived in a trendy apartment building nearby (ding), had a cute face and body (ding) and was […]

    / May 19, 2006 at 3:02 PM
  • blind items

    Friday Blind Item: CNN Porn and ADD Banker

    There is so much blind-item goodness here that we couldn’t resist bringing it to your attention. We have no idea who any of these people are, or if they even exist outside of this blogger’s imagination, but a CNN Producer involved in porn, an small easily distracted Investment Banker vacationing in Europe, angry anti-American Europeans…this […]

    / May 19, 2006 at 2:47 PM
  • Banks, Blackstone Group, HSBC, Morgan Stanley

    HSBC Dumped By M&A Stud For Blackstone

    Yesterday it was announced that M&A big John “Studs” Studzinski is leaving the HSBC Group for the Blackstone Group. Studs made his reputation as the top dog for Morgan Stanley’s M&A business in Europe during the 1990s. Originally from Boston–he graduated from St Paul’s and Bowdoin College– Studs moved to London a few years after […]

    / May 19, 2006 at 1:45 PM
  • banking culture

    Associate Compensation

    BankersBall has pilfered uncovered a survey of compensation for private equity associates. We have no idea whether this information is accurate, misleading or just plain made-up. But here are the goods. * 1st year associate: (based on 48 data points) Average — $86k / $87k / $172 Median — $80k / $80k / $160k * […]

    / May 19, 2006 at 1:10 PM
  • Carl Icahn, Richard Parsons, Time Warner

    Average Time Warner Shareholder > Carl Icahn?

    When Carl Icahn was pursing Time Warner, we kept hearing that Icahn didn’t really understand the business–or businesses, as it were. (And we couldn’t help but think that Icahn’s assertion that TWX was big and bloated and might function more efficiently in smaller pieces wasn’t exactly a rocket-science observation.) But Dick Parsons directly suggests as […]

    / May 19, 2006 at 11:00 AM
  • Mergers & Acquisitions

    SWF Seeks Merger Specialist

    As we’ve mentioned before, we occasionally plug “banker” in the search box on Craigslist just to see if anything interesting comes up. Generally, results fall in one of two categories: “randy banker seeks young hot thing for no-strings relationship, willing to pay” or “young hot thing seeks randy banker to finance exorbitant lifestyle, willing to […]

    / May 19, 2006 at 10:45 AM
  • Write-Offs

    Write-Offs: 05.19.06

    $$$ Even the little guys get screwed by SOX [Marketplace (audio)] $$$ Gratuitous goldbuggery: “Why the global financial system is about to collapse”. $$$ A link for all the individual investors who are inevitably going to rush into hedge funds now that (A) everything increasingly resembles a hedge fund, (B) hedge funds are “hot” and […]

    / May 19, 2006 at 10:16 AM
  • Planespotting

    Planespotting Strikes Back

    Yet another [totally unconfirmed**] report yesterday from The Planespotter: Who says Americans don’t know what’s going on outside our borders? IAC’s Bombardier Global Express twinjet took the overnight flight from Teterboro to Cote d Azur today and Morgan Stanley Management Services took their G-V to Geneva yesterday. Sequoia Capital is really taking the lead in […]

    / May 19, 2006 at 9:38 AM
  • Hedge Funds

    I’m a Hedge Fund; You’re a Hedge Fund; We’re All Hedge Funds…

    Yesterday brought you the startling news that some mutual funds are starting to look like hedge funds (er, sort of). Today, the Times of London says some banks are starting to look like hedge funds, thanks to an increase in prop trading.** : “Some investment banks are beginning to look more like hedge funds than […]

    / May 19, 2006 at 9:24 AM
  • Opening Bell

    Opening Bell: 5.19.06

    Milberg Weiss Case May Resemble Arthur Andersen’s, Lawyers Say (Bloomberg) It was a shame to see Arthur Andersen go. There were thousands of lost jobs, billions in destroyed economic value, and countless hours wasted in the process. Their problems were isolated, and eventually the conviction was overturned, which only added salt to the wound. But […]

    / May 19, 2006 at 8:33 AM
  • News

    Burger King IPO: Super-Sizing the Punning Headlines

    What would the world do if headline writers weren’t engaged in a perpetual battle to one-up each other with punning headlines? The Burger King IPO has spawned a rash of them. We rate them below. Investors Business Daily–“Burger King heats up on Wall Street’s menu” Oh. Please fellas. It’s like you aren’t even trying. CNN […]

    / May 18, 2006 at 4:17 PM
  • News

    Cloak and Dagger Venture Capital

    DealBook has the details on the ongoing debate about In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. The gist of it is that NY Post columnist Byron York says In-Q-Tel is a mess and the In-Q-Tel folks say that it just aint so. Mr. Byron’s declaration that In-Q-Tel “continues to funnel agency money into penny stock and […]

    / May 18, 2006 at 3:29 PM

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