Archive for August 2009

  • 31 Aug 2009 at 5:57 PM

Write-Offs: 08.31.09

$$$ Allen Stanford To Undergo Heart Tests [Reuters]
$$$ Chris Flowers: Checkmate For A Wall Street Wizard? [Fortune]
$$$ Activist funds find going tough [FT]
$$$ Bailout profits? Don’t make me laugh. [TBP]

  • 31 Aug 2009 at 5:42 PM

It’s The FSA’s Way Or The Highway

FSA.jpgWhen not tending to its duty as financial regulator, the FSA is busy playing the HR game. Figuring that who better than a regulator would know the hallmarks of senior executive success, the FSA has been busy administering competency tests to prospective C-suite candidates. Since they started deciding whether applicants had the “necessary skills, experience and integrity” to fulfill their potential duties back in October of last year, 15 of the 174 individuals under consideration for positions close to the top of the totem pole withdrew their names before a decision had been made and 12 of the 15 pulled out after the initial encounter with the FSA.

The FSA said: “In a number of cases, applications for senior roles have been withdrawn following interviews that raised questions concerning the candidate’s competence.”

Given some of the FSA’s recent initiatives, one hopes this will be a 360-degree review process.
Applicants pull out as FSA gets tough on top bank jobs [Times Onlne]

  • 31 Aug 2009 at 4:33 PM

What The IRS Can Do For You

IRS_logo.jpgWhile private wealth clients were busy paying fat fees to their favorite Swiss bankers to figure out ways to dodge the tax man, clients at Topeka-based Renaissance were getting tax fraud plans straight from the crew at the IRS. A former IRS district director, Jesse Ayala Cota, will be spending the next two years behind bars for helping clients cheat his former employer.

Owners of home-based businesses who paid to become members of Renaissance received services including tax preparation, tax advice and so-called “audit protection.” The “Tax Advantage System” offered by Renaissance was based on claims that business owners could legally reduce the taxes they paid by converting their personal expenses into business deductions. Cota and other defendants assured Renaissance clients that the tax reduction methods were legal, even though the tax returns filed using Renaissance’s methods were based on providing fraudulent information to the IRS.

See- the gap between Wall Street and Main Street isn’t really that big after all.

So I missed this earlier during our discussion of hard-up coke dealers cold-calling clients, but apparently the fact that one guy’s friends and colleagues aren’t buying drugs anymore because either they’re unemployed and can’t afford to do so or because those with jobs are being slightly more cautious and not blowing rails in the bathroom at work means everyone’s a grown-up now, and has come to the conclusion that illegal substances = bad (blowing guys down at the Port Authority for a bump bad).

Damien, 27, who quit doing coke almost two years ago, has been contacted by three different cocaine dealers, all wanting his business, since June. “None of my friends mess with that anymore,” Damien says, “It’s like they grew up overnight when the banks died.”

Read more »

berniemadoffparty.jpgOr at least they were back when she and Bernie were having an affair, a hundred years ago. Now, probably not so much but the point is this: her newly released (and deeply discounted) book is nothing if not the pushing of agendas. One, to shout it from the rooftops that Bernie’s penis was so small that it could fit into an electrical socket (she knows for sure because on one fateful night, they tried) and two to make herself sound like a hot piece of cheating whore ass (and maybe score herself another fake billionaire to “pal around” with). We’ve already been told, many times, how hot she was in the heat of the moment. Now let’s discuss the bod.

We were sitting across the table from each other when I walked over, straddled him, and opened two of the buttons on my blouse. He looked down and moaned.
“Have you had surgery?” he asked.
“No.” I smiled. “I have my mother to thank for these. But you can check for scars if you want.”

And since we’re unfortunately here, let’s find out what happened next.

Read more »

  • 31 Aug 2009 at 3:04 PM

Barry Tannenbaum Has An Alibi

Barry Tannenbaum.jpgIt looks like “the world’s leading risk consulting company” was about as helpful as global financial regulators in identifying elite Ponziers. In addition to giving Sir Allen’s empire a clean bill of health, investigators at Kroll viewed Barry Tannenbaum and his surefire HIV antiretroviral investment scheme in a “very positive light” in their 2007 report. With promised quarterly returns of 15% making it through the fraud filters, the two thumbs up from Kroll helped more investors get in on BT’s golden touch. While the crew at Kroll may be licking their wounds for showing the risks of risk consultants to the world, there is one person who’d like to buy Team Kroll a round or two.

“The accusation of me running a Ponzi Scheme is unfounded and drivel. I was not running a Ponzi scheme at all…Thank goodness there is, at last, someone who believes that I am not all evil,” Tannenbaum said

Once the inevitable happens and Kroll gets sued for missing the boat on this one, Barry may have to reconsider his perceived evil quotient.
US investigators gave all-clear to alleged Ponzi pair [Guardian]

  • 31 Aug 2009 at 1:43 PM

Tool Of The Week: Psyching Out Your Competition

You’ve heard of psychologically breaking someone, yes? It’s a tool all the best money mangers use, but up until now, haven’t discussed publicly. A demo of what we’re talking about, featuring new SAC Chief Strategist Mike Tyson, is after the jump. It may get a little dark for those of you with weak stomachs, but if you’re willing to sacrifice some queasiness in order to win, let’s get it on.

Read more »