$$$ Porsche’s $275,000 911 Speedster May Sell Out by Late October [Bloomberg]
$$$ `Potentially Habitable‘ Planet Discovered Orbiting Nearby Star [Bloomberg]
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No, just messing. He thinks it sucks, big time. Read more »
An enterprising young lady and recent graduate of Duke slept with 50-100* guys in her time down South and put her tops in a 42-slide PowerPoint presentation entitled “Fuck List,” exhaustively ranking the men in the following categories: physical attractiveness, size, talent, creativity, aggressiveness, entertainment, athletic ability and more. As most of the subjects are former lacrosse players, a bunch of them apparently landed on Wall Street after sleeping with the Angel of Darkness. [Deadspin]
*Just ballparking it.
Since its founding in 1869, one of the principles Goldman Sachs has steadfastly promoted is employee anonymity. You’re there to work, for the clients, not attract attention. The Time of the Pitchforks has only served to underscore the importance of the rule. Outside the walls of the firm, employees are not to talk or even think about Goldman Sachs. Someone asks where you work, you tell them “Arby’s” or “I’m not at liberty to say” and walk away. One slip up– just one!– and you could be out. Here’s an example of how one is expected to interact with the outside world.
Standing in the lobby of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, a first-year analyst at Goldman Sachs recently debated whether to show his employee ID to get free admission — a perk given to the museum’s corporate partners. The problem? The trader knew that flashing his Goldman credentials at the ticket window would mean risking sneers (or worse) from the tourists and museum employees standing nearby. Instead, he pocketed his ID and paid $20. “It feels like I’m working for the C.I.A.,” the analyst said. He said that during his training, they were told “nobody should be able to identify us as Goldman employees once we left the office.”
He ultimately made the right decision but the art lover gets points off for hesitating, and momentarily considering flashing the ID of that which shall not be named. Had he done so, a sniper would’ve shot him on the spot. Earlier this summer, an entire group an analysts was nearly wiped out due to the similar carelessness.
This summer, a group of new Goldman employees tried to leave the firm’s 200 West Street headquarters wearing training nametags emblazoned with the firm’s logo, but were stopped by a security guard at the door. “Take those off before you go outside,” the guard ordered, according to a person with knowledge of the incident.
If it seems like a lot of pressure to constantly be keeping one’s situation on the down low, it is. And Goldman employees aren’t the only one suffering, their friends are going through it too.
Some young Goldman employees have found their tight privacy restrictions to be a source of mystique. “It’s actually sort of obnoxious,” said one private equity analyst with friends who work at Goldman. “They all go around calling it ‘the Firm,’ and we’re supposed to know which firm they’re talking about.”
Being known as the insufferable asshole in your social circle, however, is just the price one must pay when they work at the Firm. All about trade-offs, you know? And if you don’t like it, hey, you can always go work for Morgan Stanley, where they don’t care if you get drunk, scale the building in only your boxers and shout the company name from rooftop. Read more »
On a whiteboard. Read more »
Almost a year ago, at the height of the campaign to Hate on Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein issued an edict. Lay low. Do not draw attention to the firm. Do not purchase flashy items. Do not dump a bag of hundos on the floor, strip naked and roll around in them at your local watering hole. Don’t even eat together outside the walls of headquarters if you know what’s good for you. Lloyd wasn’t telling people to not be themselves, just not to be themselves in public, where they could be readily identified as employees of Goldman Sachs. Naturally, the rule applied not only to first-year peons but the upper echelons of Goldman Sachs management as well. Which is why when he threw “a series of” topless parties in the Hamptons last summer, partner, managing director and hero to all Rick Kimball did so in the privacy of his Southampton rental. The same logic presumably applied during the planning of an upcoming “naked-themed Halloween party,” supposedly taking place at his pad on Jane Street. Read more »
Third prize is you’re fired.
AIG, US Agree On Terms Of Exit Plan (WSJ)
As part of the plan, the U.S. Treasury Department would convert $49.1 billion of preferred shares it holds in AIG into common shares and increase the government’s ownership stake in the company to 92.1% from 79.8% currently. The conversion, which could take place by early 2011 if AIG can meet certain conditions by then, would position the government to sell off its stake in AIG over time through a series of share sales in the open market. Before the conversion of Treasury’s shares can occur, AIG will have to repay a $20 billion secured credit facility from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in full. AIG said it plans to use proceeds from major asset sales and the upcoming initial public offering of its pan-Asian life insurance unit to pay down its taxpayer debt and terminate the credit facility well before it is scheduled to expire in 2013.
Touree Says SEC Can’t Sue Him Overseas For CDO Deal (Bloomberg)
The defense for His Fabulousness rests.
Democrats Finding Many Big Donors Cutting Support (NYT)
Democratic donors like George Soros and his fellow billionaire Peter B. Lewis, who each gave more than $20 million to Democratic-oriented groups in the 2004 election, appear to be holding back so far. “Mr. Soros believes that he can be most effective by funding groups that promote progressive policy outcomes in areas such as health care, the environment and foreign policy,” said an adviser, Michael Vachon. “So he has opted to fund those activities.” The attention of Mr. Lewis, chairman of Progressive Insurance, also appears to be elsewhere this year. Jennifer Frutchy, who advises Mr. Lewis on his philanthropy, said he was focused at the moment on building progressive infrastructure and marijuana reform. “That’s just where his head is right now,” Ms. Frutchy said.
France Blocks EU Hedge Fund Rules (Reuters)
France’s refusal to back a scheme to give foreign funds a licence to do business across all of the EU’s 27 states will scupper any chances of a deal between ministers on a new regime for the industry.
UBS May Resume Dividends in 2013-14, Depending on Swiss Rules (BW)
“The dividend commencement date is a little uncertain,” Cryan told investors at a conference in London today. “Sometime in the period of Basel III introduction we’ll be able to resume our returns to shareholders in the form of a dividend or even share buyback. I’d be expecting by 2013-14 to be in a position where we’re comfortably on track” to meet requirements “unless something extraordinary comes out on Monday.”
Spain loses AAA status, stands firm on austerity (Reuters)
Moody’s become the third and last rating agency to cut Spain out of the highest AAA category which has helped it finance its debt relatively cheaply. The one-notch cut had been expected and the agency said it hoped not to have to cut again soon, bolstering Spanish debt markets. But the agency also said a poor growth outlook meant Madrid would have to take further steps to meet its deficit targets in years to come.
Teesside Man Dies After Drowning In Pint Of Vodka (BBC)
In a statement read out by deputy Teesside coroner Tony Eastwood, he said: “Richard drank a pint of vodka in four seconds or so. “I did try to take the glass off him, but he turned his back on me, pushed me away, and drank it all.” Read more »
$$$ The SEC is depressed about falling from the 11th to 24th best place to work, wants some women up in this piece. [SEC]
$$$ Treasury to Sell $2.2 Billion Citigroup Bailout Trups [Bloomberg]
As you have most likely heard, yesterday afternoon, DE Shaw cut ten percent of its workforce. The news probably suggests that anyone who’s been trying to make a jump who’d been considering shooting the hedge fund a resume ought to shelve that idea for now. Looking down the road, however, the firm will at some point start hiring again. And when it does, should you get a call back, there’s a question you may not get in interviews with inferior firms that you’ll want to be prepared to answer.
An acquaintance looking for a new gig had dinner with a friend whose buddy worked at DES. It was an informal meeting, though knowing he was rep’ing the firm, the Shaw guy came armed with what is presumably the hedge fund’s typical spiel. The conversation went like this (this was just after they’d sat down): Read more »