Like Greg (and the universe) did yesterday, after DK’s proclamation that “the recession is over.” Unless you’re in the market for the business end of one of Kneale’s trademark screechy ass hissy fits, in which case, proceed.
Archive for June 2009
$$$ Morgan Stanley and MUFG in joint push [FT]
$$$ Allen Stanford shockingly seen as flight risk [BBC]
$$$ Stern “Wack Packer” Nabbed In Madoff Taping [TSG via Cityfile]
$$$ “In the rest of that interview with the AP, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford mentioned that he had ‘dalliances’ with six other women, but ‘didn’t cross the sex line,’ which in politics means handjobs and the occasional non-swallowing oral.” But did he write them love letters? [AWL]
$$$ Companies only interested in hiring people who are currently employed [WSJ]
$$$ Helicopter Ben after one day of annotations. [TYMP]
This– the Securities and Exchange Commission’s plan to show us it means business by robbing our nation’s banks of the right to appoint actors and sports stars to their boards–is a bunch of bull shit. And I’ll have you know The Juice has more business acumen in his pinkie than every Bank of America director combined. Also, do not discount the value of having some with the sort of initiative, drive and loose interpretation of the law that’ll allow him to say “I’m gonna break in there and get my shit,” which you don’t often find in the boardroom.
U.S. companies’ celebrity directors include Armstrong, 37, who quit last year after being paid $71,644 by Morgans; National Football League running back O.J. Simpson, 61, a member of four boards and the audit committee at Infinity Broadcasting Corp. before prosecutors charged him in the 1994 murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend; and National Basketball Association hall-of-fame guard Oscar Robertson, 70, a Countrywide director for eight years until the lender, at risk of collapse, was bought by Bank of America in 2008.
“What the SEC wants to do is prompt companies to make sure they’re appointing directors who can do the job and not just look pretty on a roster,” said Stephen Davis, a senior fellow at the Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance at the Yale School of Management.
Melissa Francis recently put it out there that she’d love to land a hot, dumb, young male co-host. Basically, a “pool boy,” she said. Many of you expressed interest in the gig, so we asked Mel to give us a little more info re: what the job would entail. Here’s what she told us:
* First off, this will be a threesome deal. You’ll have two bosses, one being Francis, the other being Contessa Brewer, MF’s co-host when she moonlights on MSNBC, who wanted in on this business.
* Good working knowledge of Real Housewives and credit markets helpful, though not necessary. You’re there to be a piece of meat, k?
* Ability to mix “creative cocktails” is a must, and to that end, Contessa says that Mojitos are preferable but the mint must be hand picked
* Shirts optional
The wheels of forthcoming regulation have started to turn as the Obama administration sent its proposal for a consumer protection agency focused on financial products to Congress today. Among other things. the new agency will have the power to restrict or prohibit “unfair and deceptive practices”. If the current generation of regulatory all-stars couldn’t stop the slightly deceptive practice of running a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme for over 20 years, you can guess the likelihood the new crew will pick up on some of the hidden gems buried in footnotes and legal disclosures. Should they fail that task however, their other major task at hand is enforcing the Community Reinvestment Act- which strongly encourages banks to make loans to low-income communities. You can probably start the egg timer now to count down to the moment that stroke of genius blows up in the administration’s face.
Congress Gets Plan for Consumer Protection Agency [NYT]
A reader informs us he had the pleasure of running into one half of the spawn of Ponzi Nation just now. Apparently Mark Madoff cut our tipster’s girlfriend in line at local sandwich shop Something Natural, was rude to the staff, placed his order without putting down his Blackberry and claimed he was “in hurry.” Mini Madoff whipped out “a big wad of cash” to pay for his food before running out the door and into a big SUV with blacked windows. He did drop a dollar and change into the tip jar, which is nice, though it didn’t quite make up for the stinking up the place with the air of a “jerk who still thinks he’s a big deal after everything that’s happened.” Of course, we don’t know for certain as to why Mark, whose identity was confirmed by the credit card sticking out of his wallet, was acting like an a-hole. It could’ve been the fact that he continues to fancy himself a little rich boy, but it also could’ve had something to do with nerves associated with the possibility he’ll be joining daddy in the big house. Also possible is that the was late to meet up with the fish, and you know how he hates to keep them waiting.
This is just a bit of housekeeping but in response to Fixed Income’s query as to why Phil Falcone’s wife was dressed, in FI’s words, in a “slutty school girl outfit with heels and socks” at the opening of the High Line* a couple weeks back, the Harbinger founder’s wife had this to say, via the Times:
If she wears Fogal ankle socks with her Hermès high heels — as she did to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s news conference at the opening of the High Line earlier this month — it’s because she is busy with her 4-year-old twin girls, she said, and lacks time for a pedicure.
Happy? Hopefully you’ll now get off the woman’s ass. (Sadly Lisa “Dime Piece” Falcone proffered no explanation for the outfit at left, though, really, is one necessary?)
*The couple generously donated $10 million to the project.
Photo credit: NYM
As China searches for an alternative to the dollar, it has another more immediate threat to its own currency. The growth of the online gaming industry has reached the point where virtual currencies are regularly being converted into cash and, in some cases, used to purchase goods directly. Not amused that people place more value in World of Warcraft credits than the renminbi, the government is fending off the impending currency crisis by issuing regulations restricting the use of virtual currencies to virtual purchases. China may have just found that global reserve currency “delinked from sovereign nations” it was looking for.
China Limits Use of ‘Virtual’ Currency [NYT]
Some of the stories yesterday we heard from Madoff’s victims were downright heartbreaking. They made us feel sad and want to shake our fists at that stupid brute! They also helped us feel pretty okay about asking you people to come up with the various ways in which inmates might welcome Bernie to the neighborhood, other than ass-raping but from the same genre. Those gut-wrenching stories included the one about the guy whose parents don’t know how they’ll be able to pay for their mentally disabled son, who requires constant care, the widow who gave Ponzi Nation more money after Madoff assured her following the death of her husband that her money was safe with him, and the elderly couple who has been reduced to washing their clothes in the sink and scavenging through dumpsters. Others, not so much. Like Helen Davis Chaitman, a retired lawyer who specialized in bank fraud and whose background + complaints for money seem to make her a worthy candidate of a “eat me” column (and/or Danza slap) from Joe Nocera. More here.
People, even if we weren’t in the throes of a slow as hell news day, even if I hadn’t checked out for the holiday weekend yesterday, even if I didn’t derive immeasurable personal pleasure from fucking with you, I’d still recommend this product. It’s the Executive Rodeo Chair, it’s the Hawaii Chair on roids, and I want you to run right out and snag one for your office today, or dispatch whoever’s in charge of interior decorating to do so. I mean really. Just get a load of this thing.
Is it not magnificent? Is it not just the thing you’ve been looking for in your quest to get back on top? Most of your trading floors probably have the space to accommodate the equipment already and if not surely there a few employees whose desks you’ve been looking for an excuse to get rid of. Depending on your preference you could use it either as punishment (non-performers are forced to drink an ounce of Old English for every dollar lost and then get strapped in) or as reward, a la congratulatory Zamboni Rides.
What he actually wrote was that they should “get over it,” though obviously the columnist went through a few drafts of the message that included “lick my balls” until his editor deemed the last “fit to print.” Anyway, yes, JoeNo has heard there are a bunch of people running around the city demanding the SEC give them the money they lost to Bernie Madoff in order to pay for things like food, shelter, a mentally disabled brother, and children with Leukemia. And what he has to say to them is the same thing Joe told Ackman after his TGT tragedy– get over it, Nancy Boys.
…as I’ve argued before, the S.E.C.’s negligence notwithstanding, shouldn’t the Madoff victims have to bear at least some responsibility for their own gullibility? Mr. Madoff’s supposed results — those steady, positive returns quarter after blessed quarter — is a classic example of the old saw, “when something looks too good to be true, it probably is.” What’s more, most of the people investing with Mr. Madoff thought they had gotten in on something really special; there was a certain smugness that came with thinking they had a special, secret deal not available to everyone else. Of course, it turned they were right — they did have a special deal. It just wasn’t what they expected.