$$$ Fitch: Here’s Why We Stripped Spain of AAA Rating [WSJ]
$$$ Steve Wynn Takes on Washington, Vegas & EBITDA [CNBC]
$$$ Canada Home Foreclosure Wave Not Likely [Financial Post]
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They don’t typically do so but this has been an extraordinary month and one which begs a whole bunch of questions, including but not limited to, what happened, where are we now, were we drinking too much of our own Kool-Aid and, most importantly, what does rectal prolapse really feel like?
I’ve received this no fewer than 15 times so here’s your photographic evidence and the summing up of the event: “He was at the bar and I finally had enough of him, so I iced him and left.” (There was also allegedly an icing at RBS yesterday, which I appreciate a whole lot, though no pics at this time.)
On Doomed Oil Rig, “Nobody Was In Charge” (WSJ)
The chain of command broke down at times during the crisis, according to many crew members. They report that there was disarray on the bridge and pandemonium in the lifeboat area, where some people jumped overboard and others called for boats to be launched only partially filled. The vessel’s written safety procedures appear to have made it difficult to respond swiftly to a disaster that escalated at the speed of the events on April 20. For example, the guidelines require that a rig worker attempting to contain a gas emergency had to call two senior rig officials before deciding what to do. One of them was in the shower during the critical minutes, according to several crew members.
Goldman Seeks To Avoid Fraud Charge In SEC Deal (WSJ)
Lawyers for Goldman have met with SEC representatives at least once since the suit was filed. It isn’t clear how the SEC responded to indications from Goldman that the company hopes to reach a settlement tied to a lesser charge than fraud.
NYC adviser to celebrities is charged with fraud (AP)
Kenneth Starr, 66, was ordered held without bail on charges of wire fraud, investment adviser fraud and money laundering after a prosecutor said Starr hid behind coats in a closet at his home when agents came to arrest him, forcing them to yank him out by the collar. Klein said Starr did not know who was banging on his door when agents arrived. “Knocking consisted of people smashing or very loudly banging. He’s petrified. He hid in the closet and put some clothes over his head,” Klein said, though he added that Starr cooperated fully after his arrest.
Uma’s Blond Fury At Starr (NYP)
Uma Thurman hired Starr to pay her bills and do her taxes. But after she discovered she had lost $1 million to the slick financial adviser, she stormed into his office on April 26 and demanded her money back. Not just walked, stormed.
French minister says bailout alters EU treaty (FT)
“It is an enormous change,” Mr Lellouche said. “It explains some of the reticence. It is expressly forbidden in the treaties by the famous no bail-out clause. De facto, we have changed the treaty,” he added.
Credit Suisse, UBS, Barclays May Provide Refuge From Europe’s Debt Storm (Bloomberg)
The three banks, based outside the euro region, are likely to face less risk from the sovereign debt and sputtering economies of southern Europe than commercial banking rivals, while benefiting from currency and debt market swings. And, following the last financial crisis, they’ve been forced to build up capital and cash buffers and scale back risk, said Kian Abouhossein at JPMorgan.
Quant Model Predictions For World Cup Winner (FT Alphaville)
Thus far: “UBS: Brazil; JPMorgan: England; Danske Bank: Brazil; Evolution: Brazil; Goldman Sachs isn’t guessing a winner. They’ve hedged themselves by picking the four semi-finalists: England, Argentina, Brazil and Spain.”
$$$ JP Morgan Official on Lehman Suit: ‘Total Waste of Time‘ [FBN]
$$$ John Carney reports: Two Top BofA Executives Get Along Just Fine [CNBC]
$$$ US Probes Goldman’s Timberwolf Deal, Alleged Victim Says ‘Whole Thing Was Fraudulent Concoction’ [HP]
$$$ Obama: BP Will Pay For ‘Every Dime Owed‘ In Oil Spill [Guardian]
$$$ Private Equity: Winners in financial reform [Fortune]
Prosecutors said Starr recently used $7.5 million from clients to buy a lavish Upper East Side condo complete with 5-bedrooms, 6.5 baths, an indoor 32-foot lap pool, a rec room with a wet bar, and “spa like baths and walk in closets.” Read more »
In the land of mini-Madoff’s, Kenneth Starr isn’t the biggest one out there. But, he did have a list of A-list clients that rivals only Bernie himself. Plus, his wife was a stripper at Scores, which is a lot more than you can say for Ruth Madoff. Read more »
From the mailbag: “2 analysts at Citi were iced. No pics but let’s give them a hand for stepping up to the plate.”
Last week, RBS’s Stamford trading floor lost power for about ten minutes. Many wondered what was going on, and with no official word from the bank, imaginations ran wild. Had someone kicked over some crucial cords? Was RBS going out of business? As is our wont, we printed a rumor from the inside about what had happened, a rumor which, in fact, turned out to be true. Someone had clogged a toilet on 7th floor and it leaked into a communications closet on 6th floor (trading). Before I get into what senior management’s reaction was to that story, let’s take a few moments to backtrack and offer a little color on how we got to this place. Read more »
So there’s this guy. A mild-mannered professor who retired a decade ago and decided he would serve as an independent director of this new booming financial product called a CDO. He collected a few thousand bucks a year for basically signing some documents. Sounded like a decent gig and a good way to make some extra pocket change. Read more »