As previously mentioned, I did a little interview with CNBC’s Trish Regan. We discussed, among other things, her time at DE Shaw and whether or not Charlie Gasparino and Dennis Kneale are necrophiliacs. Read more »
Archive for June 2010
From the mailbag:
Zee Germans at Deutsche are delaying IB analyst comp a month, with payouts coming Aug. 13.
Time was, if you were, say, a hedge fund client of Goldman Sachs, you knew not to expect much in the way of bedside manner. No coddling, no hand holding, no Shmoopy Talk. You could try getting them on the phone, but that was generally futile, as all client calls were automatically rerouted to the Rejection Line. Oh, you felt like you weren’t getting enough attention? You wondered if maybe there was a chance they were sometimes screwing you? Too bad. The way GS saw it, you were lucky if they didn’t nut in your eye. Your only recourse was to roll over and take it, or GTFO. Since the whole “SEC fraud charge,” however, things have changed. Read more »
Well, people, Eliot Spitzer got himself a TV show. Great news, right? WRONG! It would’ve been great, had developers taken our suggestions re: format, but things didn’t exactly pan out that way. So, now, no LoveLine-esque programming from 1-2 on CNBC, no American Gladiators-type thing, where he battles it out with people interested in taking a crack (Blodget, maybe Langone though probably not as he’d whip out a .45 and a shovel), no passing of the Seacrest torch to Ness. No reviving on the Newlywed game! Instead, we’re getting Spitzer on a CNN “debate” show. Despite this upset, things can potentially be salvaged, should input be solicited vis-a-vis what topics the noted HF should be arguing every night. Naturally, it should be issues that allow the Steam Roller to draw on his vast experience. Ideas, welcome.
Third Point, RAB and RIFF doing pretty okay for themselves. Read more »
Joseph Collins had a novel reaction to “Blood on the Street: The Sensational Inside Story of How Wall Street Analysts Duped a Generation of Investors.” The 2005 book by Charles Gasparino, now of Fox Business News, inspired Collins to create a potentially revolutionary Internet communications tool. “I was reading Charlie’s book and I thought it was very unfair that Eliot Spitzer could just walk into companies and demand their email,” Collins recalled. Spitzer was New York’s Attorney General when the Internet busted, and he exposed a steady stream of embarrassing emails from Wall Street cheats. Some of the most memorable were from Merrill Lynch’s former star Internet analyst Henry Blodget calling a company he was publicly hyping “a pos.” That stood for “piece of” something I can’t even spell in this column. What the world really needed, Collins decided after reading Gasparino’s book, were emails that couldn’t be copied, forwarded or saved. That way, people could speak candidly without worrying about overreaching snoops like Spitzer.Collins, 32, a Northwestern University graduate, was struggling to build a chain of gas stations amid rising real estate and gasoline prices. He saw a brighter future in designing disappearing emails. The result is VaporStream electronic conversation software, which is available on a free-trial basis at www.vaporstream.com. “It’s just a new form of instant messaging or email,” Collins said. “We like to think of it as the natural evolution of online communications.”
You can break her foot, sneaky Vespa bike, but you will never break her spirit, or sense of fashion. Read more »
Volcker Rule Under Attack as Lawmakers Seek Loophole (Bloomberg)
Senate negotiators will probably offer changes today that would soften the Volcker rule by allowing banks to sponsor hedge funds and invest their own money, within limits, alongside that of clients. The compromise, designed to win the support of at least three Republican senators, comes as lawmakers struggle to reach agreement on financial reform this week. To appease Democrats in favor of stronger regulation, negotiators also plan to make it harder for regulators to undermine the rule, according to lobbyists and congressional aides involved in the discussions.
BP Executive Prepares to Take Over Spill Response (NYT)
Robert Dudley, who takes charge of BP’s spill response on Wednesday, has plenty of experience dealing with a hostile government, unhappy partners and angry citizens. The former head of BP’s joint venture in Russia, TNK-BP, he was expelled from that country in 2008 after a nasty feud with the authorities and BP’s business partners. Whether Mr. Dudley, a soft-spoken man with a wisp of a Southern accent, can repair BP’s ruptured relationships on the Gulf Coast and in Washington remains to be seen.
U.S. Seeks Assets of Ex-Madoff Workers (WSJ)
The lawsuits, which offer further detail about the autumn 2008 spiral of Mr. Madoff’s firm, seek to seize about $5 million in assets from the two employees, Annette Bongiorno and JoAnn “Jodi” Crupi. Among the assets prosecutors are seeking from the women are a 2005 Bentley Continental and 2007 Mercedes Benz from Ms. Bongiorno, and a $2 million New Jersey home that Ms. Crupi allegedly helped purchase with funds from what was Mr. Madoff’s firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
`Mamma Mia’ Goes Dark, Bankers Stay Home as G-20 Hits Toronto (Bloomberg)
The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team is leaving town, the Royal Alexandra Theatre is closing for the first time in more than a century and thousands of bankers and money managers such as David Cockfield are working from home. “People coming to cover the G-20 are going to find Toronto just empty, with wind blowing through the downtown canyons, asking ‘Where are all the people?’” said Cockfield, a portfolio manager at MacNicol and Associates Asset Management Inc., which oversees about C$300 million ($293 million).
Former SocGen Chairman Has Sharp Words for Trader (NYT)
His voice often quavering with emotion, Mr. Bouton, 60, spoke of his “formidable anger” upon learning of Mr. Kerviel’s “monstrous” bets, which exposed the bank to €50 billion worth of risk, more than the bank’s market value. “It is not the business of a bank to risk its very existence,” Mr. Bouton said, turning to face Mr. Kerviel, seated behind him, who averted his gaze. “I cannot believe for one second any of Jérôme Kerviel’s supervisors were aware. I’m sorry, my dear fellow.” In the days following the bank’s disclosure of the Kerviel scandal — which remains the largest trading fraud in history — Mr. Bouton had set the tone for Société Générale’s initial version of events, calling Mr. Kerviel “a crook, a fraudster and a terrorist” who acted alone. Read more »
Hedge Fund Manager’s Son Is The Guy Connecticut Residents Will Want To Talk To When Convention Of Worst People On Earth Invade Next WeekendBy Bess Levin
As he is the son of an extremely principled man, it’s no surprise to hear that Matt Dalio spends a good portion of his time helping others. The main avenue through which Dalio shows he cares is the China Care Foundation, which Matthew found and which provides “medical care and nurturing to Chinese orphans.” This coming Saturday, CCF will hold it’s annual fundraiser– a concert at the Belle Haven Club (accessible by boat). This is, of course, wonderful– humanity people at all that jazz. And while the children of China will certainly benefit, there is a not insignificant number of people who will be indirectly hurt by this event, and who are, at this very time, quaking in their boots. You see, this year, Dalio and Co decided to go with Dave Matthews as the headliner for the concert. And the neighbors are already terrified.
“We’re expecting a big crowd, an invasion of Dave Matthews followers,” said Lt. Richard Cochran, a Greenwich police spokesman. “So we’re going to have in excess of 40 or 50 officers down there on land. That doesn’t include officers who will be on the boat monitoring boat traffic to keep trespassers from invading the beaches and the surrounding residences down there.”
Unfortunately, Cochran underestimated the sheer will of Dave Matthews Band fans. As a representative of the groupies noted:
“People want to hear their DMB, they’re going to hear their DMB. They’re going to figure out a way. He’s got a cult-like following,” said Jake Vigliotti, a Norwalk native now living in Orlando, Fla., who runs the Dave Matthews fan site AntsMarching.org with two friends.