Archive for December 2009

  • 17 Dec 2009 at 10:15 AM

Bonus Watch: Lehman Brothers?

lehmanemployeeslondon.jpgThe best bank to work for this bonus season? Surprise! It’s Lehman Brothers.
Sure, you say, that’s not really a bank anymore. It’s a rotting corpse, a warning to the living and a giant headache to more than a few hedge funds still pining for their money.
That all may well be true. But it’s a carcass that’s paying $50 million in bonuses, and there’s nothing any pay czar can do about it, because it’s got a court order.

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  • 17 Dec 2009 at 9:32 AM

The End Of The Ken Lewis Era

Thumbnail image for ken-lewis-big.jpgGood night, sweet prince.They did it! With two whole weeks to spare, Bank of America’s fractious, barely-functional board of directors managed to hire a CEO. Congratulations, Brian Moynihan, on being handed the Worst Job on Wall Street in the great “don’t pick me” sweepstakes.
But now is not the time to discuss the unanimous selection–through gritted teeth, we must imagine–of one of the only guys who wanted the job and of one of the guys the board desperately didn’t want to hire. That could not have been made more clear. While Moynihan and other insiders–condolences, Greg Curl, and best of luck finding another dysfunctional bank to work at–threw themselves at the board, hoping for a little action, the board held out for something sexier. Well, 4 A.M. came before she did, I guess.

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  • 17 Dec 2009 at 8:25 AM

Opening Bell: 12.17.09

Bank of America Names Moynihan CEO (WSJ)
In an interview Wednesday night, Mr. Moynihan said he doesn’t intend to exit any of the company’s current businesses. He also doesn’t foresee any “big changes” in the strategy of the nation’s largest bank by assets. “We just have to execute,” he said.
Moynihan Pick Breaks BofA’s “Charlotte-based Mafia” (Deal Journal)
“This is a guy who is a tentative leader,” adds Plath. “I watched him testify in front of Congress (last month). He didn’t know who the bank’s largest investor was. That scares me. He has to look over at Gifford (a BofA board) member looking for approval to answer the questions. He has to be in the same league now as Jamie Dimon. I don’t know if he’s there yet. I don’t know if he’s even in the same league as Vikram Pandit.”
Tudor Jones Turns Away Investors as Hedge-Fund Industry Outflows Persist (Bloomberg)
BVI Global Fund Ltd., Jones’s biggest, stopped taking new investments after bringing in $1.3 billion from March to July.
Citi to Suspend Foreclosures for 30 Days (AP)
Citi will suspend foreclosures and evictions for 30 days in a temporary break for about 4,000 borrowers during the holiday season. ”We want our borrowers to have a much less stressful time, to spend their time with their families during the holidays as opposed to worrying about their homes,” Sanjiv Das, head of the company’s mortgage division, said in an interview.
Most Finance Job – Seekers Open to Pay Cuts (Reuters)
Breaking: people who are unemployed are willing to accept less money.
Judge Accepts Galleon Witness’s Guilty Plea (WSJ)
At a hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan accepted the guilty plea of Roomy Khan to charges of conspiracy, securities fraud and obstruction of justice.

  • 16 Dec 2009 at 6:38 PM

Write-Offs: 12.16.09

$$$ Allen Stanford found in contempt over legal fees [Reuters]
$$$ One Last Bailout For Citi? [Deal Journal]
$$$ Lehman Bankruptcy Judge Approves $50 Million Bonuses [Bloomberg]
$$$ Moore Vet Founds Ex-Soviet Hedge Fund [FINalternatives]

  • 16 Dec 2009 at 5:31 PM

SEC Will No Longer Schedule Incompetent Inspections

Now if only they had the talent to actually catch the bad guys.

U.S. regulators, seeking to impose stiffer rules on money managers a year after Bernard Madoff’s arrest, will require that investment advisers who have control over clients’ cash and securities get surprise inspections.

SEC Requires Surprise Exams in Response to Madoff Ponzi Scheme [Bloomberg]

drudge-siren.gifPatricia Cohen, the former wife of Steven Cohen, has filed a RICO suit against Steve, his brother Donald, and SAC Capital (et al*) in Southern District court of New York. Patricia is alleging that Steve conspired with others to conceal “significant” marital assets of which she was due after their ten year marriage. She claims to have become suspicious of Steve after hearing about the Biovail case (on a 60 Minutes special), at which time she began her own investigation. She is seeking $300 million.

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  • 16 Dec 2009 at 3:08 PM

Who Needs An Appeal When You’ve Got Amnesty?

geithnermad.jpgNot covered by the amnestyThey’ve got another week, but as yet, UBS’ tax cheats private-banking clients aren’t putting up much of a fight to keep their information out of the hands of U.S. authorities.
Just two Americans–out of the 500 notified last month that they were to be outed–have filed an appeal, so far. Switzerland warned them that the jig was up on Nov. 24 and gave them a month to appeal. Another 4,000 people are to have their account data handed over to the Justice Dept. under an August deal between Switzerland and the U.S. government; nothing has yet been divulged.

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  • 16 Dec 2009 at 2:07 PM

Lazard, TPG Ensnared In Latest Insider-Trading Case

Developing: The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed civil charges against four people allegedly involved in a “serial insider-trading scheme.” One is a former employee of Lazard Freres, another of Texas Pacific Group.
The ex-Lazard employee, Adnan Zaman, has already settled the charges without admitting or denying any wrongdoing.
SEC Charges Former Employees of Global Firms in Serial Insider Trading Scheme [press release]