Archive for September 2010

  • 28 Sep 2010 at 4:21 PM

Layoffs Watch ’10: JPMorgan

Cuts going down circa now. Read more »

Who wants a nice ski lodge? Anybody interested in a place on the beach? Today’s your lucky day. Read more »

As many of you are aware, some intimately, the right to get smashed on the ride home is one fiercely cherished and defended at all costs by Team CT Commute. It was something Metro North officials tried at various points over the last couple years to take away to no success. “They’ll have to pry this Tall Boy from my kung-fu like grip,” more than a few people slurred, getting confrontational. It also wasn’t enough to simply be able to purchase booze on board, but highly necessary to have the space to “stand around and talk,” mix it up with fellow financial services hacks and make new “business contacts,” rather than sit at banquette-style tables with some asshole you already know from work, a war currently being fought as designs for new cars and their bar cars are finalized.

Strangely, though, we’ve never discussed what exactly one is pounding in the 39 to 55 minutes you have before getting off. Luckily, the Times has investigated the situation. Read more »

For instance, when asked by attorney Theodore Wells why there was no section on his CV detailing his involvement in insider trading (“Your resume says nothing about how you had deceived people for years, correct?” Wells asked), Nicos Stephanou, an associate director of mergers and acquisitions responded that he just preferred “not to have criminal activities linked to my name,” which, sure, makes sense (although there are some shops that would give you an immediate call back if they saw that, and possibly an offer over the phone). It’s not that he was embarrassed about sharing the material, non-public information he had at his disposal. Far from it, in fact.

Stephanou, 36, has pleaded guilty and is testifying in exchange for leniency. He said last week that he routinely told friends from New York and his native Cyprus about companies that were to be acquired. Some trades were executed through offshore accounts he set up, and Stephanou and his friends split the profits, he said. “He was a close personal friend of mine and I was happy to help him,” Stephanou said of Joseph Contorinis, the former general partner of the Jefferies Paragon Fund accused of earning more than $7 million and avoiding losses of millions more by trading on tips from Stephanou.

That’s just what friends do, okay? They scratch each others’ back, they help each other trade on hot tips, they provide alibis when one or the other is accused of knocking off a hobo, and they treat each other to exquisite, unforgettable sushi lunches. Read more »

Hint: You don’t get the designation “noted” hooker fucker for a one time job. Read more »

  • 28 Sep 2010 at 11:45 AM

Paul Krugman Is Lonely

Sure, he has his cats, but they can only provide so much.

For more than a year, the bearded man consuming a shrimp salad at an Upper West Side cafe has been a prophet of doom, warning that the economy could slide into a “third depression” unless our leaders come to their senses and follow his advice. “I felt like a really lonely voice,” says Paul Krugman, an unknotted blue tie draped around his neck. “It’s been really frustrating.” But he keeps hammering away, demanding action in one New York Times column after another, hoping “to establish a counter-narrative against what everyone else is saying.”…In person, Krugman is several shades warmer, grousing about jet lag and delays in renovating the $1.7 million co-op he recently bought on Riverside Drive. “He’s very sweet,” says fellow Times columnist Gail Collins. “I’ve never heard him yell or get teed off at somebody.”

Paul Krugman, Incensed And Insistent About Our Economic Ills [WaPo]

  • 28 Sep 2010 at 8:57 AM

Opening Bell: 09.28.10

JPMorgan Targets WaMu Funds (WSJ)
In a series of previously undisclosed letters sent to the FDIC, the nation’s second-largest bank by assets warned it could seek billions in legal protection from the FDIC receivership that liquidated the Seattle-based thrift two years ago, people familiar with the situation said. To the FDIC, the J.P. Morgan letters amount to more than $6 billion in claims, which would dwarf the $1.88 billion J.P. Morgan paid the receiver in September 2008, according to people familiar with the situation.

Ken Fisher Dubs New Normal `Idiotic,’ Sees `Great’ Decade Ahead (Bloomberg)
The next decade will be as good for investors as the 1990s, said Ken Fisher, the billionaire chief executive officer of Fisher Investments Inc., dismissing notions that developed economies face below-average growth. Fisher said the concept of a “new normal” is “idiotic,” pitting him against money managers including Mohamed El-Erian, the CEO of PIMCO. “We are chimpanzees with no memory,” Fisher said at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney. “The next 10 years are going to be just as good as the 1990s. The problems in this current environment we think are so different, and so new and so unique. It’s the same stupid old normal we’ve always had. We’ve got a great future.”

Bank Regulators Delay “Too Big To Fail” Reform (Reuters)
They just need a little more time.

Man Group Sees Pre-Tax Profit Down 55% (MarketWatch)
The UK hedge fund manager estimated that its fiscal first-half pretax profit fell 55% to $135 million due to lower management fees and higher one-off costs. The firm said funds under management at the end of September stood at $39.5 billion, compared to $38.5 billion at the end of June, as gains on investments and a boost from foreign exchange rates more than offset $600 million of net withdrawals during the period. “The last six months have seen further mixed macro signals across global economies and continued uncertainty in markets,” said CEO Peter Clarke.

Moelis Said to Plan Acquisition of Gracie Credit to Add First Hedge Fund (Bloomberg)
The $2 billion Gracie, headed by founder Daniel Nir, will operate independently of Moelis. The deal price wasn’t known.

Brazil In “International Currency War,” Says Prime Minister (FT)
“We’re in the midst of an international currency war, a general weakening of currency. This threatens us because it takes away our competitiveness,” Mr Mantega said.

Genius Gets Its Own Reward (WSJ)
A honey-bee breeder, a jellyfish scholar, a stone carver and an Emmy-winning screenwriter were among 23 people awarded $500,000 “genius” grants Tuesday by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. While most aren’t well known outside their fields, this year’s crop includes David Simon, the Baltimore author and screenwriter responsible for such popular shows as the Emmy-winning HBO television series “The Corner,” as well as HBO dramas “The Wire” and “Treme.” Read more »

  • 27 Sep 2010 at 6:44 PM

Write-Offs: 09.27.10

$$$ Galleon Defendant Danielle Chiesi Seeks Suppression Of Statements [FINalternatives]

$$$ Avenue Capital Said to Be in Talks With Goldman Sachs Traders [Bloomberg] Read more »