[Photo credit: Reuters]
Archive for April 2010
It’s a pretty well-known fact that Lloyd Blankfein, unlike some of his other colleagues on the Wall Street, was not born a little rich boy. Because before he knew Street life, LB knew street life, lower-case ‘s,’ having grown up in the projects in Brooklyn. Apparently Al Sharpton was not aware of Lloyd’s bio, which is why when he saw the Goldman CEO at Obama’s speech yesterday, he smirked to himself at thought, “Look at him, out of touch fat cat. He doesn’t know what it’s like for people who don’t take home a unit a year, let alone what it’s like to be dirt poor.” Wrong, Reverend! I’d tell him to check thyself, but it looks like Lloyd’s got it covered. Politics Daily reports: Read more »
A couple months ago, we discussed an SEC worker who got in a bit of trouble with his employer for checking out a little porn while on the job. The unnamed supervisor made at least 1,800 logged attempts to check out some sites that included www.ladyboyx.com, www.ladyboyjuice.com, www.trannytit.com, and www.anal-sins.com, which, he admitted, “were kind of distraction per se.” Since then, when mentioning the Commission, we’ve casually suggested (by stating outright) that the majority of the staff spends its time looking at porn instead of, for instance, nailing Allen Stanford or Bernie Madoff. But we were just kidding! We had no reason to believe anyone but the tranny fetishist did this. A little hyperbole, etc. You know how it goes. As it turns out, though, the guy is actually in some good company. Like he told the lawyer sent in to investigate the matter, the hundreds attempts to get on www.ladyboyjuice.com alone in one day was an outlet to deal with the stress of the job. And according to a new probe by the SEC inspector general, over 30 of his colleagues, who ramped up their porn viewing time since the crisis started, have the same excuse. The world was ending! How could they be expected to deal with the global financial meltdown without Anal Sins 9-5? Also let’s give props where props are due. Some of these people (like the attorney who “admitted to downloading so much pornography to his government computer that he exhausted the available space on the computer hard drive and downloaded pornography to CDs or DVDs that he accumulated in boxes in his office”) are great problem solvers. They’d probably do a good job of catching frauds if they weren’t looking at tranny tits all day.
Bill Ackman has finally persuaded his fellow hedgie Eddie Lampert to buy him out of Sears Canada for nearly double what he last offered. Bill has been calling Eddie a cheap SOB for over four years.
In 2006, Ackman successfully blocked Lampert’s attempt to buy his stake in Sears Canada on the cheap. At the time, Lampert, who controls the larger Sears Holdings, offered the measly sum of $18 a share (Canadian Dollars.)
Now, Lampert’s shelling out $30 a share (still in loonies,) or $560 million, for Ackman’s 17.3 percent stake.
Galleon Probe Turns To Goldman Buffett Deal (WSJ)
Rajat Gupta, the Goldman director who will not be seeking reelection told Raj Rajaratnam about Warren Buffett’s $5 billion investment before a public announcement was made. Was that wrong? Should he not have done that?
Greece Seeks Aid (Reuters)
Prime Minister George Papandreou requested the 45 billion euro ($60.5 billion) package after a months-long selloff by investors pushed borrowing costs to record levels and undermined Athens’ efforts to cut its 300 billion euro debt pile. “This is the moment. The time that was not granted to us by the markets will be given to us by the support of the euro zone,” Papandreou said in a statement broadcast live from island of Kastellorizo. “It is a national and imperative need to officially ask our partners in the EU for the activation of the support mechanism we jointly created.”
Goldman Gambles as Lawyers Say Bank Should Cut Its Losses, Settle With SEC (Bloomberg)
“There’s a very low probability that Goldman could get the case dismissed,” said Thomas Hazen of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, whose books include a two-volume treatise on broker-dealer law. “Every pretrial motion the SEC wins, Goldman gets one step closer to losing.”
Goldman Roles In Spotlight (FT)
Goldman Sachs was both an underwriter and an investor in Lloyds Banking Group’s vast refinancing deal late last year, the FT has learnt, highlighting the potential conflicts of interest at the heart of the investment bank’s business model. According to four people involved in the capital raising, Goldman – a dealer manager on the debt portion of the £23.5bn transaction – demanded last-minute changes to the structure of a deal it was underwriting. This had the effect of benefiting its position as a bond investor.
Husband-and-wife bankers save kids from UES house fire (NYP)
Sally Bednar, a chief operating officer at Morgan Stanley and David Bednar, a JP Morgan exec: good to have around in a crisis. Read more »
$$$ Goldman’s Dirty Customers [TDB]
$$$ Dear Mr. President: Think Like A Trader [WSJ]
$$$ Orszag Weighing Obama’s Appeal to Stay On as Budget Director [Bloomberg]
$$$ Years ago, the investment world and its professionals believed in long-term relationships. That meant nurturing the economy and the companies and people in it. Two decades of cheap money, though, helped turn the Street over to the traders. That led to a very different way of doing business. “With a trader, the goal of every minute of every day is to make money,” says Philipp Meyer, who worked for UBS as a trader in the late 1990s and early 2000s before going on to write about his time there. “So if running the economy off the cliff makes you money, you will do it, and you will do it every day of every week.” [TIME]
$$$ Madoff’s old office nears foreclosure [NYP]
“He tried to get the rent down,” his landlord, Julian Jones, said. He renegotiated because there was a housing crisis. He said: ‘I think you should bring the rent down in line with the 20 per cent drop in house prices.’ She worked there at Goldman Sachs, but I think she left because she was going to start a new career, go back to college or something. That’s one of the reasons they wanted to get the rent dropped.”
Also, about the whole “fabulous” thing? Jones begs to differ. Read more »