July 2008

  • News

    Write-Offs: 07.31.08

    $$$ Carlyle to Shutter Blue Wave Hedge Fund $$$ Plumbing the K.K.R. Un-I.P.O. [DealBook] $$$ What Would Warren Say? [Jeff Matthews] $$$ When Are We In a Recession? [LoSC]

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 5:00 PM
  • News

    How To Tip Off DealBreaker: A User’s Guide

    One of the great secrets of our success here at DealBreaker is our readers. We have the brightest, wittiest and best informed commenters on the web who help keep our recent comments page always fresh. And our tipsters–often people we have never met who reach out to us through email and phone calls–have helped us […]

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 4:22 PM
  • News

    Blame The Longs

    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 […]

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 4:00 PM
  • Proxy Fight

    Carl Icahn is like Ocho Cinco and T.O.

    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 […]

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 2:48 PM
  • News

    Where The Jobs Are: Structured Credit

    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 […]

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 2:43 PM
  • News

    Credit Suisse Broker On The Lam?

    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 […]

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 2:24 PM
  • News

    Cramer: Yes, The Market Has Bottomed

    And don’t forget: buy Bear Stearns. [CNBC]

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 1:47 PM
  • News

    F THAT. Now More Than Ever Is The Time To Ramp Up The Expenses, My Friend

    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 […]

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 12:05 PM
  • News

    Bonus Watch ’08: Goldman Sachs

    Top first years, S&T: 60k, “plus a 20k increase in base.” Update: another self-described “top” first year in S&T claims it’s more like 75K. I don’t know what to believe. If only someone signing checks from the inside could comment definitively below.

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 11:28 AM
  • News

    Things At JPM Too Awkward For Schwartz To Stick Around

    Charlie Gasparino reports that former Bear CEO Alan “We’ve Got Liquidity Coming Out Of Every Orifice” Schwartz will leave Bearpont Morgan Stearns at the end of the summer. Schwartz has apparently been “working on some deals” at Bearpont, but decided–as did senior executives at the firm– that the fit wasn’t quite right. According to Gasparino, […]

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 10:13 AM
  • News

    Goldman Sachs Silences Employees

    I can barely even type this because I’m so upset that my hands are shaking and I’m experiencing chest pains and a tingly feeling in my left arm. GOLDMAN SACHS HAS BLOCKED ITS EMPLOYEES FROM COMMENTING ON DEALBREAKER, AS REGISTERED USERS OR GUESTS. Mind you, not from *reading* DealBreaker, but from commenting on it. This […]

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 9:38 AM
  • News

    Say It. Just Say It.

    Bartiromo: CAN LEHMAN SURVIVE THIS? Whitney: I — I THINK — I DON’T KNOW. I DON’T KNOW. Future Of Financials [CNBC]

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 9:25 AM
  • Opening Bell

    Opening Bell: 7.31.08

    China’s Shift on Food Was Key to Trade Impasse (NYT) Tilt! It was the emerging developed nations to blame for the collapse of the Doha trade rounds, it seems. And here we thought it was all about the US protecting Iowa corn farmers. Turns out it was the Indians and Chinese hoping to protect key […]

    / Jul 31, 2008 at 6:07 AM
  • News

    DealBreaker Afterhours: Muni Bond Fairness Law Moves Forward

    We interrupt happy hour to report told that the House Financial Services Committee has finalized a bill introduced earlier this month by Barney Frank that would place increased regulatory scrutiny on bond insurers and rating agencies, according to sources in our nation’s capital. The so-called “Municipal Bond Fairness Act” as the legislation is named, would […]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 5:54 PM
  • News

    Write-Offs: 07.30.08

    $$$ 65% of You Failed Level I of the CFA [LoSC] $$$ KKR Valuation [Breaking Views] $$$ UBS pays Massachusetts $1 mln to end probe [Reuters]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 5:16 PM
  • News

    Ill Omens From Aussie Bank Write-Downs

    Can we talk about Australian banks for a moment? Earlier this week, ANZ Bank of Australia warned that its profits could fall by 25% and said it was writing down $1.2 billion (Aussie money) of bad loans. This contributed to a massive sell-off in Australian financial stocks, which were already hurting from last week’s news […]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 4:30 PM
  • News

    Never Change!

    Honestly, we never cared much either way about massage enthusiast/Bear Stearns investor Jeff Epstein but we’re starting to love The Ladies Man who, according to Page Six, has been spending his incarcerated days “at the [prison] library e-mailing various models he befriended in New York, sending them boxes of chocolates and promising them career help.” […]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 3:30 PM
  • News

    Bonus Watch ’08: Goldman Sachs

    Top second years: 95k. Related: Goldman Changes Bonus Schedule To Treat Plankton Like People

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 3:15 PM
  • News


    The China Securities Regulatory Commission has ordered domestic fund managers to not publicly badmouth any Chinese stocks, in an effort to maintain stability “for the sake of a harmonious and successful Olympic Games.”** This is a great idea and one that SEC chairman Christopher Cox would be wise to emulate, though, not being able to […]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 2:50 PM
  • News

    Lack of Irish Luck for Bennigan’s

    The parent company of Bennigan’s, the Irish-themed casual dining place, filed for bankruptcy yesterday, resulting in the closing of 200 Bennigan’s sites along with the 50 remaining restaurants of sister spin-off, Steak and Ale. However, the 138 franchisee-owned restaurants are expected to remain open, though their future is uncertain without the support of the parent […]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 2:15 PM
  • News

    Connecticut Sues Rating Agencies

    Connecticut’s Attorney General is suing the three major rating agencies for giving lower ratings to bonds issued by municipalities. Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings are accused of costing taxpayers “millions of dollars” by AG Richard Blumenthal. The idea behind Blumenthal’s complaint is that the market has been mispricing munis for decades based on […]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 1:17 PM
  • News

    A Modest Proposal

    Merrill Lynch needs a new logo to more accurately reflect the trajectory it’s been taking of late, and its goals for the future. Though an image of CEO John Thain wearing a custom designed executioner’s mask with space cut out for a ball gag would be the logical successor to the bull, this is a […]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 1:06 PM
  • Merrill Lynch

    Second Thoughts On Merrill’s CDO Sale

    The euphoria in financial stocks yesterday seems to have been largely built on the idea of that “cathartic vomit.” The idea was that by writing down assets once again and selling off CDOs to Lone Star for 22 percent of their original value, Merrill Lynch had finally purged itself of the junk on its books. […]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 12:56 PM
  • News

    Merrill Lynch’s Security Crackdown

    Merrill Lynch has banned the use of external hard-drives and other devices that could be used to take documents off its internal networks, a person familiar with the matter said. The company has been stung by suspicions of leaks after its stock moved wildly in the days leading up to its announcement of new write-downs […]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 11:42 AM
  • News

    Outrageously Regrettable CEO Comments

    “We have more capital than we need, so we can say to the market that we don’t need more injections. We can confirm that we have tackled the problem.” That was John Thain, back in March. Only a few months later, of course, Merrill Lynch had to go back to the market to sell more […]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 11:29 AM
  • News

    Investment Banking Discount Window Will Remain Open Until 2009, At Least

    As expected, the Federal Reserve is extending the broker-dealer discount window. The special borrowing facility which was launched following the collapse of Bear Stearns was scheduled to terminate in September. Now the Fed says it will stay open until January 30, 2009. The discount window has been cited by folks like Pimco’s Bill Gross as […]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 10:38 AM
  • News

    Covered Bonds & Taxpayer Bailouts

    We figure the weirdest part of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s enthusiasm for covered bonds is the untimeliness of the products. In an atmosphere where banks are failing because of bad bets on mortgage assets, having a product that ensures bonds against bank failure with mortgage assets doesn’t seem all that exciting. But, as we’ve said […]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 10:03 AM
  • News

    Merrill Lynch’s ‘Our Bad’s To Date

    Next up: a cumulative total of what John Thain has spent on size 12 high heels and tickets to Epcot since taking office (we all have our coping mechanisms, people). [Econompic Data via Big Picture]

    / Jul 30, 2008 at 9:33 AM

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