Archive for February 2009

  • 27 Feb 2009 at 5:20 PM

Write-Offs: 02.27.09

$$$ Talking Shop With a Vulture Investor [Daily Intel]
$$$ Criminal Complaint HAS Been Issued For Sir Allen [Clusterstock]
$$$ “A former Chicago nightclub owner whose investment firm, Tsunami Capital, was sued by the federal government amid fraud allegations, has been indicted for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme, authorities said today.” [CBN]
$$$ “Oppenheimer: Dropping Coverage
Summary: We are dropping coverage of the U.S. banks and brokers sector, owing to a
reorganization of analyst coverage.
* The decision is unrelated to any awareness on our part of any material change in the fundamental condition of the firms. Rather, it stems from a reorganization of our financial services coverage.
PERFORM
American Express(AXP $12.57)
Bank of America(BAC $5.32)
Capital One Financial Corporation(COF $12.98)
Charles Schwab(SCHW $12.92)
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.(GS $92.15)
JP Morgan Chase & Company(JPM $23.05)
Morgan Stanley(MS $21.33)
UNDERPERFORM
Citigroup Inc.(C $2.46)
UBS AG(UBS $9.64)
Wells Fargo & Company(WFC $14.40)”

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  • 27 Feb 2009 at 3:40 PM

90 Out Of 8000 Isn’t Bad

Thank the heavens the FBI and a receiver are on the case. If the SEC were in charge we would have found assets of -$1.8 billion by this time. Yes, we could be angry. We could be very angry indeed. Fortunately, cooler heads have prevailed, and instead we have begun the slow process of financial fraud recovery. Specifically:
1. We admitted we were powerless over Ponzi schemes and fraud–that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than money could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of unemployment checks as we understood them.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our assets.
5. Admitted to the bank, to ourselves, and to another investor the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have the bankruptcy judge remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him (the judge) to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all creditors we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such creditors wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it to our auditors.
11. Sought through our attorney to improve our conscious contact with Him as we understood Him, pleading only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a financial awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
So, this news seems… well… beneath us. We’d write more, but we have a meeting to go to.

The court-appointed receiver overseeing the financial empire of Texas billionaire Allen Stanford, who is charged with fraudulently selling $8 billion in certificates of deposit, has located $90 million in assets so far, an FBI agent said on Friday.

Stanford receiver finds $90 million in assets: FBI [Reuters]

  • 27 Feb 2009 at 3:29 PM

Call The Dow

Yes, on a day like today (we’ve seen over 2% down on the S&P 500, about break even, and back to 1.25% down) we figured it would be the prefect time to play “guess today’s Dow close.”
It’s 7138 right now. What say you, Dealbreaker?
Same rules as always. Closest without going under.
Go.

Picture 792.pngQuestion: What is a Side Pocket?

To: Our Investors and Other Interested Parties
Re: Mid-Quarter Update – Establishing Special Investment Portfolio
As our investors know, we have made every effort to steer clear of the common problems in our industry in these unusual times. We responsibly managed liquidity during the 2008 market downturn and timely honored investor redemptions exceeding 35% of capital in January 2009, rather than exercising our “gates” or suspending redemptions, because we have always understood the value of investor relationships. We have also made a special effort to keep our investors informed of how we are navigating the current environment.
We also note that 2009 has started well for each of our funds. We have seen the rebound of certain long positions that were greatly oversold last year plus continued success with short positions. We are cautiously optimistic that 2009 will be a year that rewards those still willing and able to take calculated risks. A down market will surprise no one and we believe the panicky swings of 2008 should be less severe and less likely.
As unjustified as it strikes us, however, our efforts to navigate these trying times without disadvantaging our investors has left us in the position of being a source of liquidity while many other funds exercise gates or suspend redemptions. For now we therefore continue to see considerable redemptions. For JANA Master Fund, investors plan to withdraw a further 20% of capital, approximately, at the end of the first quarter. For JANA Piranha Fund, such indicated redemptions exceed 30%. Nevertheless, we still consider the gating or suspending of redemptions to be unwarranted given the good overall liquidity profile of our portfolios, which we will work to maintain.
However
, to ensure fair treatment of all investors, we have determined that it is necessary to segregate some less-liquid investments in our overall portfolio. Even within the context of a very liquid overall portfolio, if we were to permit these investments to grow as a percentage of capital due to redemptions, this could restrict our ability to invest for optimal results and leave our continuing investors overly concentrated in such less liquid investments.

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  • 27 Feb 2009 at 2:34 PM

The Essence Of Class Warfare

Does anyone else find it interesting that, while the Mets managed to seal their stadium naming deal with Citibank, the Yankees are shit out of luck?

The Yankees and troubled Bank of America have ended talks for a major sponsorship deal for the new Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees were reportedly close to a lucrative signature sponsorship deal with the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank in September that would have approached the $20 million per year Citigroup has agreed to pay the Mets for naming rights to Citi Field.
[…]
Stadium sponsorship and other sports marketing deals by banks that have taken bailout money – such as Citigroup’s current 20-year, $400-million naming rights deal for Citi Field – have come under fire from some in Congress who see them as examples of corporate excess at taxpayers’ expense. Other lawmakers see these deals as legitimate business and marketing expenses.

Funny how that worked out, eh?
I’m going to resist the temptation to call Ken Lewis Barney Frank’s bitch, but you know that’s what’s on my mind. I mean really. What’s next? Taking away the tax deferral and capital gains advantages of carried interests in general partnerships?
Yankees, Bank of America end stadium sponsorship talks [Newsday.com]

  • 27 Feb 2009 at 2:06 PM

Question

Picture 791.png
Do you think CNBC overlord Immelt personally put in a special request for the 10-boxer to accompany the GE news?

Picture 790.pngThrough no fault of its own but solely due to “unprecedented market volatility and disruption to the financial system,” Highland Capital’s had a bit of trubs lately, which have unfortunately snowballed into the firm closing three funds since October (most recently the CDO Opportunity fund, last week). Don’t count them out yet though, cause it appears the Texans have discovered the antidote to massive failure.

Highlanders,
Drug Crafters will be at our office on Friday, March 6th from 10:00am – 1:00pm in the Par West Conference Room located on the 7th floor offering B-12 Injections. You don’t have to sign up for a certain time, this will be come as you go. Please read below and attached information on the Vitamin B-12 Shots.
Thank you!

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  • 27 Feb 2009 at 1:13 PM

Madoff Exec: “The situation is obviously fluid”

Picture 788.png

February 24, 2009
Dear clients and valued partners,
I wanted to give you a brief update on the status regarding the sale of our market making operations. We have continued to make significant progress working with Lazard Frères &Co. LLC and are happy to report that a sale appears in reach. I can not release any of the details until the trustee files an application with the bankruptcy court seeking approval of a proposed sale, but I am encouraged that we should have new ownership in place shortly. All of the employees critical to our market making operations are still on the payroll, are supporting the sale process, and are excited about the prospect of getting back to business.

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