$$$ Move to the other City [TBP]
$$$ Timothy Sykes wrote his book on how he made his millions. Have you read it and what did you think of it?
Who the fuck is Timothy Sykes? [WSF]
$$$ Who needs a job? [craigslist]
$$$ GD [WS]
Archive for August 2008
$$$ Move to the other City [TBP]
New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera is unambiguous about his pick.
Although Lehman has been the number one rated equity research shop (again, according to Institutional Investor), that just shows how flawed such ratings are. Everybody on Wall Street knows that Sanford Bernstein does by far the best equity research on the Street. It tends to hire former industry players like Brad Hintz, who was once Lehman Brothers’ chief financial officer, to cover the industries they were once part of. Mr. Hintz; Craig Moffett, the lead telecommunications and cable analyst; Mr. Sacconaghi, who is the technology axe; and a raft of others give Bernstein’s research a depth — an intelligence, really — that no other firm can match.
So who do you think is the best research shop? We’ll take nominations in comments and put up a poll once we have enough suitable candidates.
So it turns out that John McCain picked
Tina Fey Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.
“Sarah Palin” is probably the most searched for name on the internet right now. In the minutes after news of her selection spread, popular websites like the Drudge Report went down. The reason for this is relatively simple: most of us don’t know anything about this woman who John McCain wants to be his running mate.
The one thing we do know is that she’s been a strong proponent of drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve and wants to see more off-shore drilling. In fact, she’s said that McCain, who opposed drilling in ANWR, is “wrong on that issue.” It certainly seems that Republicans are lining themselves up as the party of greater oil supplies.
After the jump, we present a CNBC segment with Palin advocating drilling in ANWR.
DealBreaker Policy Forum
No American parent has ever looked at their son or daughter and said, “You know, I hope you one day end up being Vice President”. And yet, for all the lack of glamour the vice presidency has in the public mind, speculation over who will be chosen by a presidential candidate to be a running mate is the Olympic decathlon of talking heads, political pundits, and guys posting on blogs from their basements at 2am.
But how does this process even happen? Why do people like Katherine Sebelius or Tim Pawlenty get their names mentioned as potential running mates but people like Steve Rothman or Dave Heineman get passed over like yesterday’s lunchmeat? And does any of it give us an idea of how the candidate on the top of the ticket will govern?
To get some answers, we sent asked Dan Gerstein, someone who has a lot of familiarity with a vice presidential campaign. Gerstein worked with Senator Joe Lieberman for a decade and was Lieberman’s national spokesman for the 2000 VP campaign. He was also the brains behind Lieberman’s successful re-election in the heated 2006 Senate race in Connecticut. Gerstein was written several op-ed pieces for the Wall Street Journal (including this one on Wednesday) and appears on MSNBC, Fox News, and NY1. Gerstein now supports Barack Obama for President though Lieberman was considered to be one of the top contenders as John McCain’s running mate.
PartyGaming poker slowdown prompts downgrades (Reuters)
This year’s slowdown in Las Vegas casinos was easy to see coming: Casinos aren’t really gambling houses anymore, they’re resorts, and resorts are vulnerable to economic cycles. But maybe people are, wait for it, in a less gambling mood. PartyGaming, the European online casino, says poker is soft. As in, people are playing it less. As in they’re board of it (maybe). Or maybe they’re just tired of losing. Or maybe televised poker is in decline, and fewer people imagine themselves to be the second coming of Doyle Brunson. Anyway, something to watch.
GM says automakers deserve $50 billion in federal loans: report (Reuters)
Ostensibly the money will be used for alt-energy research. Or at least fuel efficiency. That Detroit would want these Federal loans is totally predictable. In fact we’ve seen a lot of folks chattering about just this in the last few days. Judging by the political rhetoric we’ve heard from both candidates, this certainly sounds like something the next President could accept.
Microsoft to Acquire Greenfield Online Including Its European Subsidiary Ciao, a Leading European Price Comparison and Shopping Site
Interesting deal: MIcrosoft is buying Greenfield Online and then selling of Greenfield’s core business: online surveys. Instead they’re mainly buying it for Greenfield’s European comparison search business. Not clear who they’re selling the surveys business to.
Worker Assets Shrink at Fannie and Freddie (NYT)
Kind of obvious: Workers at Fannie and Freddie have seen their savings take a major hit. That’s how’ it’s been at plenty of other major financial firms since the industry went into its downdraft. But the article starts off this way: “Fannie Mae’s workers had $116 million in the employee stock ownership plan at the end of 2006. Today, it’s more like $17.5 million. Ouch.” That’s a big drop, but, um… $116 million in 2006? That a very tiny sliver of the company owned by the employees. Granted it’s not a bank like Bear Stearns or Lehman, but maybe it’d be better if employees had a little more skin in the game. Then again, more evidence that these ostensibly private corporations are more akin to gummint bureaus than anything else. And of course, high levels of employee ownership hasn’t really done wonders anywhere else lately.
Growing Cynicism Around Going Green (PC World)
More evidence dribbles in that Green is not in. This time it’s about “green” energy-efficient IT. There have also been reports of Priuses (Prii, har!) becoming available. And somewhere else we read that green branding was losing its effectiveness. Just some stuff to watch out for.
Reuters has now chimed in on the Lehman Brothers layoff rumors, saying 1,200 folks will lose their jobs. This puts them right between the New York Times estimate of 1,500 and the Bloomberg story putting the number at 1,000.
(Also, this is weird: the Reuters story is timestamped 8:53 PM but it’s up now.)
Have you picked up your copy of “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Banker?” It’s the book by Amit Chatwani, who is better known as the proprietor of the Leveraged Sellout blog. A couple of weeks back we ran an excerpt of the book, which is written in the voice of an egomaniacal banker that will be familiar to LSO readers.
As DealBook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin pointed out, it’s like a blast from the last deal boom. There are no layoffs, no bank failures, just ballers, bottles and babes. “If you can get over the juvenile humor and some cringe-worthy moments, you can transport yourself back to pre-2007. It might make you smile at the beach this week,” Sorkin wrote.
And now Chatwani has produced a video to accompany the book. It’s an epic hip-hop battle between a consultant and an investment banker. After the jump, watch the suits and the khakis throw down.
A San-Fransisco based hedge fund manager inspired by Goldman senior exec-cum-landscape architect Mark Spilker’s arbitrary and unilateral decision last year to cut down neighbor Jim Chanos’s shrubs is going downtown. Derek Webb, who runs quant shop Web Capital Management, was found guilty of vandalism for taking it upon himself to trim the trees at a state park adjacent to his vacation home, after officials caught him, I shit you not, hacking away at branches with a chainsaw. Like Spilker, Webb claims he was merely trying to make the path more user friendly. Unlike Spilker, who mostly got off for the crime, Webb has been sentenced to five days in prison. Though we’re sure Chanos has long moved on from the incident, we personally wouldn’t mind seeing the Webb ruling setting a retroactive precedent and Spilker spending a couple days in the big house, as it would teach him a lesson about entitlement, and undoubtedly be hilarious, for all involved (especially the first year dispatched for conjugal visits).
Hedgie Gets Jail Time For Trimming Trees [FINalternatives]
Relax. Steve Jobs is not dead even though you might have read his obituary yesterday on Bloomberg. The financial news service was updating its obituary on Jobs and accidentally published it on its wires.
“It was momentarily posted on the external wire, in error, and immediately deleted (within thirty seconds),” a spokeswoman for Bloomberg told DealBreaker.
It’s not likely many were fooled into thinking the head of Apple was dead. It was full of blank spaces marked “TK” and “XXXX.” The obituary contains notes on who to contact for comments on the death of Jobs. Named are Steve Wozniak, Larry Ellison, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Eric Schmidt, among others. So now Jobs knows who he should suck up to if he wants them to say nice things about him when he’s dead.
The subheads tell you most of what you need to know. The first is appealingly morbid: “Time Is Limited.” The rest read: “Change the World” “Mac” “Reality Distortion Field” “Sugared Water” “`Toy Story’ Success” “Back to Apple” “We’re Back” “Backdated Options” “Common Bug” “Great Work.” Gotta love that sequence of back, back, backdaing, bug, RIP. (Gawker posted the whole thing here.)
Just in case this happens again, we suggest you check here for updates on the vitality of Jobs before trading.
The story also contains a canned explanation of the likely drop in Apple’s stock. After the jump, read why the stock drop “is no surprise to investors and analysts.”