Archive for December 2008

  • 31 Dec 2008 at 1:10 PM

Closing Bell: 12.31.08

Picture 482.png***Madoff’s Stolen Statue Recovered (FINalternatives)
This is some bull shit. The bronze statue of two lifeguards which was fittingly stolen from Bernie’s Palm Beach back yard last week is back.
***Horseman’s firm loses billions in scam (Times Union)
Snicker yourselves to death: “A hedge fund investor who poured millions into Saratoga’s equine economy has abruptly stopped all new construction on his huge horse farm and wants to sell his thoroughbreds after losing some $7.5 billion in the Bernard Madoff scandal.
Jeffrey Tucker, the founding partner of Fairfield Greenwich Group, bought Stonebridge Farm in Schuylerville in 2004, and has since built New York’s first track with a synthetic racing surface and indoor arena on the 188-acre farm. Tucker, 62, owns and cares for about 50 thoroughbreds on the site, considered one of horse racing’s premier training facilities, and recently purchased a 230-acre satellite farm in Gansevoort.”
***Concert Industry Bucks the Recessionary Trend (WSJ)
All this means to me is that a certain someone will be able to get his private Jonas Brothers concerts on the cheap. And that’s something I have no problem with.

The concert industry has so far bucked the recession, according to year-end data from trade magazine Pollstar, but promoters are bracing for a bumpy 2009.
Box-office receipts from North American concerts through December were $4.2 billion, up 7.8% from 2007. But the total number of tickets sold for the 100 top-grossing shows fell 3%, to 35.6 million, the second consecutive year of declines. The growth in revenue was the result of rising ticket prices. The average ticket to one of the 100 top-grossing shows cost $66.90, up $4.83, or 8%, from 2007 and more than double the average price in 1998.
That could spell trouble in 2009.

***The screen name belonging to one Bernie Madoff recently came back online a few days ago. The buddy icon appears to be the Grand Tetons. We’ll be auctioning off this and other noteworthy persons’ SN’s in the New Year, so take some time to devise the perfect IM now.
***Obama And That Other Ponzi Scheme (TSG)
Meaning Norman Hsu, charged last year with operating a $60 million Madoff scheme. Also, Matt Dillon drove too fast in Vermont for the police’s liking, but got a mugshot that I legtimately say could and should be his new headshot out of the deal.
***Help Wanted: The Next Neel Kashkari (Deal Journal)
Who needs a job?
***No bonuses for Vikram and Win this year. [SEC]
***Cerberus: “Who would have believed that in a short period of time we would see the collapse of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns, Lehman, AIG, WAMU and Ambac? Who would have believed that even Citigroup would require significant injections of capital by the government to stabilize its business as we watched its stock trade from a 52-week high of $31 to $7.02 as of December 19, 2008? No financial institution has escaped this downturn. Banks, insurance companies, mortgage companies, investment banks, and other financial companies have all had severe problems. It has been the most difficult for non-deposit financial institutions. Any financial business that needs significant credit lines, other than deposit institutions, is either collapsing or, in the best case, experiencing severe stress.” [PDF]
We hope you all have at least marginally Happy New Years! Yes, even you. Back full-time on Monday, with the possibility of a surprise appearance on Friday with photos of NYE at the Guccione pad, starring the Hill Hearing Harem, depending on how the night goes.

  • 31 Dec 2008 at 8:41 AM

Opening Bell: 12.31.08

Picture 476.pngMadoff Investigation Shifts to Offshore Role (NYT)
If, at the beginning of the year, someone had predicted that at the year’s end we would be knee deep in shit from a madman creating a $50B Ponzi scheme I would have simply replied “I’ll buy the drinks for that show”; it’s clear now that by the time this settles I would have been broke and suffering from liver/kidney failure.
At the Times we’ve got Madoff being investigated for his possible offshore activity – adding the “illegal” seems unnecessary as anything he was doing was actually in the commission of the biggest Ponzi ever pulled. They’re looking into tax avoidance and fraud – rumor has it UBS was consulted on the former back in the day but turned the gig down as they only deal with “large scale” operations.
Fed To Purchase $500B In Mortgages, Continued… (Reuters)
The Fed has announced that it plans on following through with the MBS purchase plan. If you weren’t paying attention at some point:
“The Fed selected investment managers BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GS.N), PIMCO, and Wellington Management Co to implement the program.”
Who didn’t see Goldman popping up on the list? Really? I’m a massive fan of nepotism on a personal level, but in the wake of the SEC/Madoff mindfuck it seems that the prudent government move would have been to separate itself from the purchase of assets that could very well (further) influence what players are left on the Banking Field in the near future.
Credit Suisse To Sell Part Of Global Investors Business Line (Bloomberg)
The marginally less tax-evade-y Swiss bank in townhas announced it’s going to sell off part of it’s Global Investors line, which “includes fixed-income, equity and money market funds” to Aberdeen Asset Management for $361MM in stock.
GMAC Uses Fed Money To Create Liquidity (WSJ)
They’re going to be offering loans of the 0% variety on five vehicles, and loans ranging from .9% to 5.9% en masse it appears. I don’t know that any of this will help either the company or the American public/infrastructure at large, but it was a nice thought.
Paulson, Run Amuck (Reuters)
While (the real) Paulson (to us) is looking to buy distressed debt with his $36B baby Paulson & Co, he’s also slinging mud at the rest of the industry for gating redemptions and clawing for survival. Because opening up the Funds for full redemption won’t be anything like a bank run, or cause the sudden sell-off of Billions of dollars of equities. No, Paulson, people are completely rational right now.
UBS Sells Off Bank Of China Stake (Reuters)
“Straitened (sic) Swiss bank UBS AG said on Wednesday it had sold its stake in Bank of China at a discount to institutional investors and would book a gain of a “few hundred million dollars” in the fourth quarter.”
Here’s the story in a nutshell: UBS needs money so they’re selling off whatever they can. Banks (even ones in China) pose an unnecessary risk, so they’re the first to go.

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  • 30 Dec 2008 at 4:27 PM

Top Reasons I Invested My Entire Fortune With Madoff

Picture 475.png1. But… he was self-administered! His costs for trading must have been so low!
2. Goldman did due diligence in 2001 [“no we didn’t”, “yes you did”] and they gave him a pass.
3. “C’mon… even if he does anything they will look the other way. He has friends on the inside!”
4. “I gave half to the preacher on television, and I gave half to the investment manager on television.”
5. “With all those parties, I figured he must be legit. You know… the Schwarzman rule.”
6. “I didn’t invest with Madoff. I invested with FGG. Their diligence process is serious business.”
7. “Screw FGG. Tremont is much more diligent.”
8. “You are both idiots. Pioneer Alternative has got my back.”
9. “He had the best Sharpe ratio in the whole world!”
10. “I said no comment. Oy vey.”
11. You tell us. (In comments).

  • 30 Dec 2008 at 4:25 PM

Closing/Holiday/Whatever Bell: 12.30.08

Picture 474.png
$$$ Noel family Noël cards [Daily Intel]
$$$“The Noel sisters– with not a divorce or scandale among them– seem to have heeded the wisdom of their grandmother Trudy Haegler, who once wrote up her own 10 commandments for the family’s future brides, including: “Make your husband believe he is your Lord and Master, no matter what the feminists say”; “Tend to your home and kitchen with the greatest zeal and ardor, constantly renewing your imagination”; “Enjoy sex to the utmost. It is the key to happiness and a cure for almost all ailments, physical and spiritual.”
Golden in Greenwich.” A 2002 article on the Noel girls’ from Vanity Fair. [Business Sheet]
$$$ Bethany McLean on Fannie Mae’s Last Stand [VF]

  • 30 Dec 2008 at 12:45 PM

Holiday Housekeeping

Picture 473.pngSince one of your fellow commenters has brought to light the plight of the less gifted contingent of the Dealbreaker community, we figured we’d remind them once again, in case it was missed previously, and previous to that:

Programming Note: We’re on an abbreviated vacation-esque schedule ’til the first Monday of ’09 (opening/closing wraps and very limited updates whenever the urge to reach out and touch you moves us). We still want to hear from you, though, so if Glenview closes up shop, or Bernie Madoff slips in the shower and you’ve got pics, do not hesitate to let us know.

Now, until we get back which, as indicated above, could be at any time, talk amongst yourselves. Here, conversation starter: New Year’s and your plans. For those of you in need of inspiration, after the jump, a preview of how our favorite Stamfordian is planning on kicking off the night:

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  • 30 Dec 2008 at 11:55 AM

This Can All Be Turned Around In The Next Two Days

Picture 345.pngOne of our New Year’s Resolutions is to stop making fun of Steve Cohen. Though previous gentle ribbings have obviously been public demonstrations of love as expressed by a deeply cynical individual scared to tell the big guy how she really feels, apparently they haven’t penetrated certain fleece wearers up at 72 Cummings Point Road. Since it pains us to know we’re not getting through, and because the keys to the Zamboni machine are all we want in life, a new angle of attack is necessary. A kiss and make-up sheet cake and handwritten note seem like good jumping off points, but we’ll iron out the details later (speak up if you can facilitate this goal). Now that you know where we’re coming from, it should be understood that the presentation of the following data is meant to be not a criticism but a congratulations for a (relatively) kick-ass job well done.

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  • 30 Dec 2008 at 10:47 AM

Madoff (Liquidator) Scores $28 Million


U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland on Tuesday approved the transfer of $28.1 million to cover expenses tied to the liquidation of Bernard Madoff’s investment firm.
Irving Picard, the trustee presiding over the liquidation of Madoff’s investment firm, said he needed the $28.1 million to cover employee salaries and other costs, according to court documents. Bank of New York Mellon Corp. previously agreed to transfer the funds, but the bankruptcy judge first had to approve the transfer.
BNY Mellon already transferred about $883,000 to cover costs tied to the liquidation.
Picard will oversee the liquidation as the Securities Investor Protection Corp. attempts to help investors recoup their money. SIPC was created by Congress in 1970 to protect investors when a brokerage firm fails and cash and securities are missing from accounts. Funds can be used to satisfy the remaining claims of each customer up to a maximum of $500,000. The figure includes a maximum of up to $100,000 on claims for cash.

Madoff liquidation trustee receives $28M for costs [AP via Forbes]
Meanwhile, Kevin Bacon, who we know by virtue of the KB Law had to have been affected by Madoff, is getting screwed.

  • 30 Dec 2008 at 10:40 AM

Madoff Boys Guilty

Of frosting our cookies. It’s become something of a bi or a tri weekly occurence for us to receive emails with some iteration of the subject line ‘Madoff Bro Pictures’ and for us to know we’re about to be staring at one or more images of Mark and/or Andy Madoff and a fish. Maybe it’s the himbo-esque looks on their faces, maybe it’s just their faces, maybe it’s me but this has become grating. Now, because these two have apparently done nothing but fishing (and posing) their entire adult lives, we’ve become something of a minor repository of Madoff family photos that fall under the categories of ‘sons’ and ‘aquatic hunting.’ You know what’s coming next.

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