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The president did not run for office “to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street” (will he say that to the fatties’ faces today at lunch? Stay tuned). This is why, Obama says, the government put in some constraints, vis-a-vis compensation, on the banks that received bailout money, and the only institutions will be paying out “fat bonuses” will be the ones that have repaid the funds. Obama senses, just in a couple cases, that a tiny part of the motivation for places like, let’s say Citi, to pay back TARP may have had something to do with pay. But that’s just a hunch. He’ll ask Vikram to confirm the suspicion in the next few hours.
Archive for December 2009
It’s been made perfectly clear by everyone with something to lose from Europe’s ever-changing-but-still-draconian hedge fund regulation proposals that they’ll be a disaster. Hedge funds will leave in droves, London will be left a ghost town with tumbleweed rolling down Knightsbridge Road, subsistence farming in Hyde Park and (most terrifyingly) slightly less rich people occupying Mayfair townhouses.
So, yes, we get it: The regulations are going to hurt. But one lawyer is not content to leave the fearmongering at a reasonable level.
The regulations, watered down or not, will wash the European Union clean of hedge funds, according to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Michael Raffan.
Citi Reaches Deal To Pay Back TARP (WSJ)
Vikram Pandit to colleagues: “The TARP program was designed to provide assistance until banks were in a position to repay it prudently. We are pleased to be able to repay the U.S. government’s trust preferred securities and to terminate the loss-sharing agreement. We owe the American taxpayers a debt of gratitude and recognize our obligation to support the economic recovery through lending and assistance to homeowners and other borrowers in need…That we are here is a testament to your hard work and accomplishments in getting our house in order.”
Larry Summers: The Recession Is Over (AP)
And apparently “everyone agrees” with him.
Morgan Stanley Hires Greg Flemming (MarketWatch)
Fleming will join MS in February as president of Morgan Stanley investment management, including merchant banking.
Accenture Boots Tiger Off Its Team (WSJ)
“After careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising,” Accenture said in a statement on Sunday.
Abu Dhabi Gives Dubai $10 Billion to Help Pay Debt (NYT)
In a statement on Monday, the Dubai government said: “The government of Abu Dhabi has agreed to fund $10 billion to the Dubai Financial Support Fund that will be used to satisfy a series of upcoming obligations on Dubai World. As a first action for the new fund, the Government of Dubai has authorized $4.1 billion to be used to pay the sukuk obligations that are due today.” The statement added that the remaining funds would also provide “for interest expenses and company working capital through April 30, 2010 — conditioned on the company being successful in negotiating a standstill as previously announced.”
Survey: Hedge Fund Compensation On The Rise (FINalternatiaves)
“What investors don’t expect is large bonuses to be paid out when funds do not perform. We saw some of that this year, likely due to multi-year bonus guarantees.”
Ask Ashley: Dupre Gets Life Advice Column With Post (NYP)
The noted hooker fucker’s special lady friend wants to help solve your problems.
She thinks the government is “chicken,” and mollycoddles “these big shots.” She’s in favor of a 75% tax on bonuses.
Congratulations to Bank of America. Despite having been turned down by Bank of NY CEO Robert Kelly, several times, not getting the hint, and receiving a letter from Bob spelling it out that he wanted to nothing to do with you, R. Kelly has apparently reconsidered taking Ken Lewis’s job, now that TARP has been paid back. So that’s got to feel nice. It wasn’t you, it was Tim Geithner.
BofA Is Back In CEO Talks With Kelly [WSJ]
Matthew Goldstein reports that’s gonna leave a mark:
A former hedge fund manager who is a key cooperating witness in the Galleon insider-trading probe was “consensually recording phone calls” with potential suspects until a week before authorities arrested Galleon head Raj Rajaratnam, according to a recently unsealed court filing.
The document suggests federal authorities had wanted to keep working with Richard Choo-Beng Lee in some “covert” fashion for quite some time — possibly even weeks or months after the October 16 arrest of Rajaratnam and five other people.
So! Last night I ended up at the holiday party of hedge fund located in Stamford, CT. I’d been invited earlier in the week by a friend (not him), and despite my new tightness with the founder, or perhaps because of it, I was slightly worried about attending. First off, spouses and significant others were not invited (and journalist-ish types, or outsiders of any kind, presumably were not asked to come, either). Second, the number of people present who would be able to a) recognize me, b) possibly take issue with my presence and c) shoot me or do me some sort of bodily harm now numbered at least one. However, given my inclination for living life on the edge and for deliberately putting myself in situations where there exists a chance I might be dismembered and placed in a basement somewhere, I said yes (I also really wanted to see Gary Busey, because it’s been way too long. And I wanted to see the kingdom up close). Obviously though, I had to take some precautions. They included: telling a handful of people to keep their phones on for the night, as there was a possiblity I was going to need bail money, coming up with a phrase that I could text them that meant I was in trouble (“whiteboard markers!!!!!!”), wearing the SAC fleece I have in my possession, so as to blend, and convincing my friend E to come, and serve as both the person who could lead the cops to the scene of the crime and my getaway driver.
From the mailbag:
Bomb threat occurred today on the 18th floor of Madoff’s old firm at Lipstick Building. Anniversary present? No real police presence and the identity of phone caller is known.
Even more outrageous, it specifically prohibited Congress from rejecting tax giveaways to Wall Street, as it did last year, by removing all congressional oversight of future bailouts. In fact, the resolution authority proposed by Frank was such a slurpingly obvious blow job of Wall Street that it provoked a revolt among his own committee members, with junior Democrats waging a spirited fight that restored congressional oversight to future bailouts, requires equity for taxpayer money and caps assistance to troubled firms at $150 billion.
Obama’s Big Sell-Out [Rolling Stone]
Have you ever wondered what Ira Sorkin, Bernie Madoff’s lawyer, was doing when he got the call that his client’s business wasn’t entirely legit, per se? Wonder no longer:
“I’m sitting in [my granddaughter's pre-schoo] class and these children, two-and-a-half-year-olds, are standing around, pretending that they’re on a farm,” Sorkin said. “And the teacher is asking, ‘what sounds do you hear on a farm?’ Like a cow, moo-moo, and a duck, quack-quack. “And I’m hearing all these animal sounds, and all the kids laughing and applauding, and my cell phone rings. And it’s Bernie Madoff. And he tells me that he’s been arrested by the FBI. He’s handcuffed to a chair. He needs my help. And in the background, I’m hearing, ‘moo-moo, quack-quack, oink-oink,’ and I ran out of the class.”
Also, if he had to defend the Ponz Master all over again, would he? You betcha, Sorkin told Scott Cohn. And while we’re on the subject, the attorney is tickled by how long his clients scam was able to go on for.
The Comp Cop has emerged from his chambers to announce that the 25th to the 100th top earners at Citi, GMAC, AIG and GM will get no more than $500,000 in cash. He’s made 12 exceptions for “competitive reasons,” i.e. the veiled threats of certain AIG employees. Also, he thinks Bank of America’s TARP repayment is “excellent,” and took credit for Goldman’s all stock bonuses.”