Archive for June 2010

Say what you will about Greece, and I’m sure many of you bitches already have, but next time you wanna make some crack about them being forced to turn tricks on the steps of the Parthenon, I’d just like you to consider one thing– that Prime Minister George Papandreou has got the skills to whoop your ass. Alternatively, if you show him and his country some respect, he’ll show you the best night of your life. Read more »

  • 25 Jun 2010 at 3:12 PM

How Your Financial Regulation Bill Sausage Gets Made


Late last night, Barney Frank had to apparently assure Bob Corker nothing would be “slipped in” while he wasn’t paying attention.

The G-20 has come to Toronto! And with it, the threat of potentially angry protesters! Guess what though? The Canadians aren’t scared. Not at all, actually. They’re not gonna be pushed around and in fact, if you must know, they’ve got a plan, for how they’re gonna deal with these bullies. Several in fact. The first is to go home, lock the doors, get under the covers and not come out until it’s safe. The second is to tell anyone listening to piss off– they’re not going anywhere. This is their house (office) and they will defend it. And you wanna know something else? They’re not afraid anymore.

While most of Toronto’s companies in the financial district are sending employees home to avoid run-ins with G-20 demonstrators, workers at the StatPro North America, a provider of asset management software based there, will hunker down. The company’s office is on the border of the “red zone” — the two-block radius around the Metro Toronto Convention Center, where G-20 summit is being held. The city strongly recommended those in the area to leave. Andrew Peddar, chief operating officer of StatPro North America, said that the firm wanted to ensure that its clients, which include asset managers and hedge funds, could be assured of uninterrupted service during the week. The campout was the employees’ suggestion. That way, they’ll avoid potential disasters on the client front and also sidestep protestors. “We have sleeping bags, lot of food and lots of liquid,” said Peddar. The axes? “In case we need to break out.”

Read more »

To be sure, Robert Karofsky did not have sexual intercourse with the cleaning lady on his desk at 60 Wall Street (…that we know of), but you’re getting warmer. In this case, the firm’s co-head of equities, known for his “magnetic personality,” allegedly used his pole to attract a senior trader, subordinate and close friend’s wife, which apparently no one told him when he first started at DB is something that’s not done. Maybe in other offices– Morgan Stanely, where he previously worked– but not DB. Read more »

The castle-dweller, who Citi got rid of last year after the public got its panties in a bunch over his $100 million bonus and Vikram found himself between a rock and a hard place (that place being the US government’s steel-toed boot, just grazing his rectum), informed clients that the fund did everything right, just not right enough.

“Unfortunately, we did not dodge the onslaught,” Mr. Hall, 59 years old, wrote in a June 1 letter to his investors. “We did reduce risk but not fast enough. We did hedge but not well enough. And we did re-enter some markets that we had exited, prematurely, as it turned out.” His commodities fund posted a decline of more than 10% last month, its weakest month in the last two years, to put it down nearly 10% this year through May, which is behind similar hedge funds. Mr. Hall was bullish as shares of commodity producers and other energy investments declined.

He added that he’s just messing, “of course,” but seriously, think about it. Dare to dream. We can do this. And then together, we will dance. Read more »

Opening Bell: 06.25.10

Lawmakers Reach Accord On Finance Rules (WSJ)
Lawmakers agreed to a provision known as the “Volcker” rule, which prohibits banks from making risky bets with their own funds. To win support from Sen. Scott Brown (R., Mass.), Democrats agreed to allow financial companies to make limited investments in areas such as hedge funds and private-equity funds. The move could require some big banks to spin off divisions, known as proprietary-trading desks, which make bets with the firms’ money. The bill also includes a provision, authored by Sen. Blanche Lincoln, which would limit the ability of federally insured banks to trade derivatives. This provision almost derailed the bill following vehement objections from New York Democrats. Ms. Lincoln worked out a deal in the early hours of Friday morning that would allow banks to trade interest-rate swaps, certain credit derivatives and others.

Frank Sticks Banks With $20 Billion Tab (Politico)
Barney Frank at 2:52 a.m. moved on to sticking the banks with the $20 billion or so bill to cover the costs of the reform legislation’s implementation. The fee would apply to banks with over $50 billion in assets and hedge funds with over $10 billion and would be assessed proportionally based on a bank’s size.

Congress Includes Ban On Box Office Trading (HR via Heidi Moore)
An amendment banning the trading of derivatives based on boxoffice results was approved just before 1 a.m. EST on Friday morning. Barney Frank said during a short discussion that while there had been controversy about movie futures, the House conferees were not going to exercise their option to alter the amendment banning movie futures trading.

John Paulson Bullish on US, Denies Subprime Culpability (CNBC)
“We had absolutely zero impact on the mortgage or credit crisis,” he told an audience at the London School of Economics on Wednesday. “Instead, that guilt lies with the mortgage brokers themselves. They only cared about generating fees, they falsified appraisals… this was the sad underbelly of mortgage finance in the US…(w)ithout us, the mortgage market would have existed exactly as it did,” Paulson said.

Goldman Sachs Reclaims Top Spot In Global M&A (Reuters)
Haters gonna hate: “Goldman would still like you to believe the firm is run by Gus Levy or John Whitehead, who was famous for saying, ‘Put the client first and the firm second.’ But now it seems like everybody is a (trading) counterparty,” Keevil said.

Liability Questions Loom For BP And Ex-Partners (NYT)
“Other parties besides BP may be responsible for costs and liabilities arising from the oil spill, and we expect those parties to live up to their obligations,” said Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, in response to a June 18 statement from one of its partners in the well. That partner, Anadarko Petroleum, has a 25 percent stake in the project, and its joint operating agreement with BP gives it a 25 percent share of the liability, a potentially ruinous amount. On June 18, Anadarko issued a blunt statement intended to distance itself from BP. “The mounting evidence clearly demonstrates that this tragedy was preventable and the direct result of BP’s reckless decisions and actions,” said the company’s chief executive, Jim Hackett. “Frankly, we are shocked,” he said. “BP’s behavior and actions likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct.”

Is BP Burning Sea Turtles? (Fox)
A boat captain working to rescue sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico says he has seen BP ships burning sea turtles and other wildlife alive. Captain Mike Ellis said in an interview that the boats are conducting controlled burns to get rid of the oil. “They drag a boom between two shrimp boats and whatever gets caught between the two boats, they circle it up and catch it on fire. Once the turtles are in there, they can’t get out,” Ellis said. Ellis said he had to cut short his three-week trip rescuing the turtles because BP quit allowing him access to rescue turtles before the burns. “They’re pretty much keeping us from doing what we need to do out there,” Ellis said. Read more »