Archive for July 2008
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Dennis Berman digs up a fascinating excerpt on short-selling from the 1932 hearings on the stock market crash. it’s a shame we don’t seem to have anyone in Congress now even capable of formulating the question asked by New York Congressman Frank Oliver: “They blamed the ‘shorts,’ whereas, as a matter of fact, if the prices were inflated, they should have blamed the ‘longs’ for having inflated them?”
Following in the footsteps of superstar NFL wide-outs Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens (and former Kansas Senator Bob Dole), Carl Icahn referred to himself in the third-person today on his blog post, “Concerning the Annual Yahoo! Meeting.”
“Additionally, if any committee is formed to negotiate a meaningful transaction, Carl Icahn will be a member of that committee,” he wrote.
Now, Carl just needs a slick nickname to be right up there with Johnson and Owens. Suggestions?
Anyway, in his latest post, Carl makes it clear that he will not be attending the meeting since the proxy fight is over. He said, “it will not do shareholders or Yahoo! any good to have the annual meeting turn into a media event for no purpose.”
Carl reiterated that his minority position on the board is significant because he will be involved in any major transaction that Yahoo explores. The compromise that was reached between the two parties appears to be very beneficial for Icahn, especially since support for his board slate had significantly waned in recent weeks. We will have coverage of the meeting tomorrow.
–Senior third-person correspondent Travis
Were you recently laid off? Don’t despair. There is probably a hedge fund out there who wants to hire you. Oddly enough, the strongest demand is for people with experience in structure credit products, especially mortgage backed securities, according to David Ellis at CNNMoney.
Realizing that there could be plenty of opportunities to get good assets on the cheap, distressed opportunity investors want people who can assess the value of these toxic products, notes Pat Wieser, partner and co-head of the global banking and markets practice of the executive recruitment firm Rhodes Associates.
Help wanted on Wall Street [CNNMoney]
Former Credit Suisse broker Julian Tzolov, under investigation for being a sheep and pushing auction rate securities, is thought to have fled to his native Bulgaria. (Suicide has been ruled out, faking one’s own death apparently only be de rigeur among the hedge fund set.) Tzolov resigned from the firm on September 7, 2007, so he’s presumably been planning the trip for a while. That, or he’s not in Bulgaria at all, and has simply been waiting for his god damn ShroomBurger.
The Journal noted that Credit Suisse itself is not a target of the probe, Tzolov apparently evidently being a go-getter who probably would’ve been more suited to certain other Swiss banks.
Broker Goes Missing As Securities Charges Near [WSJ]
Here’s a copy of the formal complaint from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth charging Merrill Lynch with fraud in pushing auction rate securities as sweet deals even though the dealers knew that wasn’t exactly the case. We haven’t slogged through the eighty pages yet, but here’s something you might like, from p. 7:
As one executive confided to a personal acquaintance in an email on November 19, 2007: “Market is collapsing. No more $2k dinners at CRU!! The Financials are being invicerated! (sic). More firings over at Citi…Inventory flooding the street. Going to be a great ’08 trading environment.”
Merrill Complaint [Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth]