Archive for June 2010

“[Cassano] even went so far as to claim that he might have been able to help minimize the government’s bailout of AIG. Part of the money spent to save the company was funneled to more than a dozen banks that had taken out insurance contracts against AIG defaulting on its debt. “I think I would have negotiated a much better deal for taxpayers,” said Cassano, who left the company in March 2008 after the insurer reported more than $11 billion in losses within his division for the fourth quarter of 2007.” [CNN Money]

  • 30 Jun 2010 at 4:09 PM

Pulling The Peg

The following post is by Dealbreaker reader and commenter Infinite Guest.

To a nation of savers, to a growing economy, and to the general well-being of central planners, inflation poses a bigger threat than unemployment. Ahead of China’s 12th Five Year Plan, due out soon, Chinese foreign direct investment is booming; the pace of bilateral currency swap agreements quickens; China has reduced the duration of her foreign holdings; a regional currency fund using yen, yuan and won in place of dollars has been established; and there is finally a nascent foreign market for Chinese debt. Simultaneously, productivity gains are slowing, resulting in wage stagnation and growing income disparity; energy consumption is rising, pushing Chinese toward becoming a net importer; and real estate is overvalued. All of which suggests, unfortunately for the West, that the Chinese are serious about floating their currency. But first, they have to manage its revaluation. Read more »

Which would potentially make The Oracle of O and Dr. Doom Eskimo Brothers. Which somehow makes sense.

  • 30 Jun 2010 at 1:59 PM

Who Are Your Favorite Hedge Fund IR Dimes?

So, my friend Jessica Pressler and I did a list of the hottest pieces of male tail on Wall Street. This may be of interest to a few of you (the ladies, the boys seeking boys, those who want to hate-click about not being on it) but I am aware that, for the most part, many of you are looking for something a little different. Read more »

And also that he thinks he’s too good to read his prepared testimony? And finally, am I the only one getting a serious, “love child of Jon Lovitz and Jimmy Cayne” vibe? (Previously I though it was just “spawn of JoLo…but there’s definitely seeds of JC in there.)

Earlier: Joe Cassano, Most Selfless Individual In All The Land, Begged His Bosses At AIG To Let Him Not Take A Bonus

Yesterday, we mentioned that Anna Chapman, one of the ten Russian spies arrested by the Justice Department on Tuesday, had noted spending time working at Barclays as a “slave.” Almost immediately, the bank informed us that they have never even heard of this lady, and that there was no way in hell she’s ever worked for them. Such is apparently not so much the case! Today we’ve been told: Read more »

Just trying to do the right thing.

But they said no, Joe, no. You, our adorable little Jon Lovitz lookalike, deserve this. We won’t have it any other way. You have done so much for this company! Letting you walk away without $315 million would be practically criminal. Would you like that in unmarked, non-consecutive twenties? Singles? Briefcase or g-string?

Joe Cassano’s Testimony
In November 2007, it became apparent that AIG-FP’s accounting losses would be substantial and would require a change to our compensation structure to ensure that employees stayed with the company to help it address the issues surrounding the AIG-FP portfolio, but also would not be immune to AIG-FP’s losses if they were actually realized. I had several discussions with my superiors at AIG about this change, emphasizing the need to recognize the accounting losses while also noting the importance of keeping our employees together during this critical time. For that reason, I suggested that AIG-FP adopt a special-incentive plan (”SIP”), which would place any compensation in excess of a set amount in a special deferred-compensation account. The funds in that account would remain subject to AIG-FP’s business performance and the risk of realization of the accounting losses.

Read more »

  • 30 Jun 2010 at 8:59 AM

Opening Bell: 06.30.10

Goldman’s Cohn Is Next On Hot Seat (WSJ)
Goldman’s No. 2 executive, a longtime confidant of Mr. Blankfein, is testifying Wednesday before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Mr. Cohn is well-known for being direct, even by Wall Street standards. During the credit crisis, he spotted ex-Goldman executives John Thain and Peter Kraus having dinner at San Pietro restaurant in New York. Mr. Thain now is chief executive of CIT Group Inc., while Mr. Kraus leads AllianceBernstein Holding LP. “They are a pair of Goldman retreads,” Mr. Cohn remarked to his dinner companion, according to people familiar with the conversation.

Foxes Of Finance (Daily Intel)
If you’re looking for some (male) tail.

European Union To Limit Bonuses Paid To Bankers (Reuters)
The new program, which goes further than American rules agreed on last week, would be the first cap on how bankers are paid. It would also be a victory for European Union lawmakers who have otherwise become bogged down in efforts to regulate banking. “The bankers have shown that despite the crisis, they are not able to show self-restraint. This law will do it for them,” said Arlene McCarthy, a lawmaker for the Labour Party of Britain, who helped negotiate the new rules. “This will transform the bonus culture,” she said after concluding nine hours of talks to reach a compromise. “It is the first cap on how bankers are paid worldwide.”

Derivatives Laws Could Cost Companies $1 Trillion (Reuters)
“The margining requirements for corporate end-users as currently drafted in the bill runs the risk of imposing a significant cost on U.S. companies and could impede their ability to manage their business and financial risks,” Conrad Voldstad, Chief Executive Officer at the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, said in a release.

Volcker Said to Be Disappointed With Final Version of His Rule (Bloomberg)
As first envisioned, the Volcker rule would have banned banks from running private-equity and hedge funds, an attempt to curb risk-taking that fueled the financial crisis. Last-minute congressional negotiations aimed at winning Republican support led to a compromise that allows banks to invest up to 3 percent of their capital in such funds. Volcker, the 82-year-old former Federal Reserve chairman, didn’t expect the proposal to be diluted so much, said a person with knowledge of his views. He’s content with language that bans banks from trading with their own capital, the person said.

UBS Investors Push For Civil Charges (WSJ)
Two shareholder activists joined up Wednesday to rally investors in pushing for UBS AG to pursue the Swiss bank’s former bosses for their role in more than $50 billion of write-downs on illiquid securities. “In a first phase, we would like to bring interested shareholders together and urge UBS’s current board one last time to pursue the former managers,” Switzerland’s Actares and Brussels-based Deminor said in a statement. Read more »