$$$ Goldman Considers Moving Up Bonus Plan [CNBC]
$$$ A Marshall Plan For Fixing America’s Housing Woes [Reuters]
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Many of Wall Streets finest traders and investment bankers spend their weekends at the open mic nights of the tri-state area’s finest comedy clubs. Given. But there’s never been a centralized event for the comedic stylings of the industry’s most hilarious financial services hacks. Until now. Thompson-Reuters is hosting a “comedy competition for Wall Street” on November 16 and we feel strongly you should take part. Dick Fuld will be there doing a couple sets he’s been testing out at the Laugh Factory the past few weeks and if you’re nervous, DON’T BE. We’ll all come for moral support. Read more »
Earlier today we mentioned that FrontPoint Partners’ Steve Eisman has just about had it with Genworth Financial and told them as much on a conference call this morning in which he threatened to wage a proxy battle on their asses and throw management “out of here.” A clip has now been posted and the audio version is even better than reading in print (flashbacks to being yelled at by your father may ensue, particularly on the “DO NOT DO THAT” line). [Shareholder, Stevo enters around 38:14 and the juice is at 40:00]
First, though, a story.
One of the common refrains you hear from the critics of Wall Street is that financial services employees don’t build anything or make anything. To them, it means you don’t do anything for society. We know that’s not true but because one can’t reach out and touch your product, they like to say you earn a living by moving money around without ever creating anything real. The same can be said for my line of work. What do I do? I put words out there but it’s not like you can hold them in your hands or see someone walking down the street carrying them. And on some days, you start to wonder if the haters are right. You start to reevaluate. You question things. You wonder if you should quit and become a bricklayer or a shepherd.
Then a moment comes along, like one did today. Wherein you read a story about an employee of a noted analyst dressing up as the alter ego you conceived for her a couple years back on a lark and then proceeded to fill out, giving her all kinds of storylines and accoutrements like a spreader and truss bar and testicle clamps, which you suggested she used on the heads of various banks and it all becomes clear– you can see it before your very eyes– your undeniable impact on the world. Read more »
For at least one time in his life and possibly still, Combs subscribed to the business up front/party in the back mentality. Read more »
Jazzy-Jeff style. Do not test him on this one.
Operator: Steven Eisman, FrontPoint.
Steven Eisman: Yes, hi. I think it is pretty clear this was a very poor quarter, but there are larger issues here that I think you need to address. Frankly, the only accomplishment that this management team can truly point to is the survival of this Company, which I don’t mean to minimize, but otherwise, this management team has overseen a massive destruction of shareholder value. In fact, at the current price to book, Genworth is selling at a steep discount to both MGIC and PMI, the pure play MIs and this is probably because this Company does not meet its cost of capital in any of its businesses. In other words, the market currently is ascribing negative value to your non-MI businesses. It’s a pretty astonishing statement and I don’t get any sense of urgency from this management team as to how this is all going to be addressed. I think going down the current road seems to me a complete waste of time.
“He’s like the Carl Icahn of the real estate world — you pay him to go away,” Joshua Stein, principal of New York-based commercial real estate firm Joshua Stein PLLC, said of Ackman. “He can create value by merely not being there, by merely going off into the sunset.” [Bloomberg]
Volcker On His Rule– Keep It Broad (WSJ)
Mr. Volcker, in private conversations with administration officials, said that, in implementing the so-called Volcker Rule, regulators should adopt something akin to antimoney-laundering laws, where the federal government bans a particular behavior and then places the onus on banks to screen for red flags and comply with the rules. His suggestion: Bar banks from trading with their own funds if they benefit from any type of government guarantee, such as deposit insurance, these people said. Banks would have to police their own activities to make sure they are in compliance, with Federal Reserve examiners ensuring that is the case.
Economist: Double-Dip Risk Gone, Soft Landing Ahead (CNBC)
chuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, said the economy likely would move into a “soft landing” phase but would not see the dreaded double-dip scenario. “Being very definitive on this, we’re not going to go into a new recession anytime soon,” he said. “That has a lot of implications when you can rule out a certain nightmare scenario.”
Tony James: Deals Are Pricey (NYP)
“We’re routinely priced out of the market,” said James, adding, “We haven’t been close” on winning some deals.
Paul Krugman: Divided We Fail (NYT)
Barring a huge upset, Republicans will take control of at least one house of Congress next week. How worried should we be by that prospect? Not very, say some pundits. After all, the last time Republicans controlled Congress while a Democrat lived in the White House was the period from the beginning of 1995 to the end of 2000. And people remember that era as a good time, a time of rapid job creation and responsible budgets. Can we hope for a similar experience now? No, we can’t. This is going to be terrible. In fact, future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness…So if the elections go as expected next week, here’s my advice: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Nomura’s Profit Plunges 96% on Losses in Asia, Europe (Bloomberg)
Net income plummeted to 1.1 billion yen ($14 million) for the three months ended Sept. 30, from 27.7 billion yen a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. Revenue for the period fell 10 percent to 320.4 billion yen.
4 Year-Old Can Be Sued, Judge Rules In Bike Case (NYT)
Citing cases dating back as far as 1928, a judge has ruled that a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a Manhattan sidewalk two years ago can be sued for negligence…he suit that Justice Wooten allowed to proceed claims that in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, who were both 4, were racing their bicycles, under the supervision of their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, on the sidewalk of a building on East 52nd Street. At some point in the race, they struck an 87-year-old woman named Claire Menagh, who was walking in front of the building and, according to the complaint, was “seriously and severely injured,” suffering a hip fracture that required surgery. She died three weeks later. Read more »
$$$ Blackstone: Buyout Business Overheated [WSJ]
Last night Daily Intel Jessica and I met Lloyd Blankfein’s face. This is how it went down. Please read Act I here.
Scene: The Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Awards. The Pierre Hotel. Night.
Characters: Andrew Ross Sorkin, Lloyd Blankfein, Intel Jessica, Dealbreaker Bess, PR People, Assorted Nerds from the worlds of Media and Finance.
[People cutting into Jess and Bess's Time With Lloyd leave, finally]
Dealbreaker Bess: [Doesn't know what to say so just leads with the truth]: You’re my muse.
Lloyd: [Lloyd Smile on]: Oh yeah?
Dealbreaker Bess: [Knows she should pump the brakes on this but can't, it's left the station]: Yes– I love writing about you- you inspire me.
Lloyd: [Lloyd Grin on full blast]: I bet I could probably do me better than you do me if I tried [Laughs, touches DB BL's arm] No, I’m kidding. Who are your other muses?
Dealbreaker Bess: Well I really only have a few, distant to you. Steve Cohen, the hedge fund manager and [racks her brain] this guy…Lenny Dykstra.** Read more »