Archive for December 2010

For the last few years or so, Citi has been shown relatively little respect by market participants. That may have had to do with the fact that the bank was not a very desirable asset, having decided during the Sandy Weill era that big is beautiful. Unfortunately the C went a little too far with the idea, making it it’s business to consume everything in arm’s reach. It quite literally became “too big to fail,” and the only attention it got was negative. Receiving the sort of admiration and compliments afforded to a place like Goldman or JPMorgan was out of the question; the nicest thing you could say about C was it would take home plenty of ribbons at a pie eating contest– “best digestion,” etc. And Vickles ain’t gonna lie the jabs stung. But now? Post-makeover that’s included shedding assets, slimming down and getting back to the “core” business? Vikram is feeling hot. Regulation hottie hot. And not just when he and C look in the mirror, but in the eyes of the Street.

Pandit touted moves the bank has made to streamline its operations—winding down Citi Holdings, selling assets and improving efficiency in its global operations. The holding company was separated from Citi’s general operations to get rid of the toxic assets that remained on the company balance sheet.

“…the markets are increasingly recognizing who we are…” Pandit told CNBC. The company has made progression in its global business and trading arms and will “have the market appreciate even more what Citi is,” he added.

Read more »

Earlier this morning, CNBC’s Kate Kelly noted that one of the Feds’ cooperating witnesses is a New York-based hedge fund manager whose name has not yet been revealed. Obviously this means we have no choice but to wildly speculate about the identity of “CW-5″. Read more »

Matthew Goldstein reports: Read more »

  • 16 Dec 2010 at 10:55 AM

Four Arrested On Insider Trading Charges

According to CNBC’s Kate Kelly, those cuffed were Walter Shimoon (of Flextronics), Mark Anthony Longoria (of AMD), Manosha Karunatilaka (of Taiwan Semiconductor North America) and James Fleishman (of Primary Global Research). Read more »

  • 16 Dec 2010 at 10:45 AM

Tim Geithner’s Got Great News

We are getting a bargain on this TARP business. Read more »

  • 16 Dec 2010 at 9:15 AM

Opening Bell: 12.16.10

Jobless Claims In US Unexpectedly Fell To 420,000 Last Week (Bloomberg)
Applications for jobless insurance payments decreased by 3,000 to 420,000, the lowest in three weeks, Labor Department figures showed today…Fewer firings signal employers may be gearing up to add to their payrolls and help reduce a jobless rate hovering near a 26-year high. While the economy is gaining momentum heading into 2011, Federal Reserve policy makers said this week it isn’t strong enough to reduce unemployment.

Goldman’s Sze raises money for hedge fund (FT)
Morgan Sze, the global head of Goldman Sachs’ biggest proprietary trading desk and one of the bank’s most highly paid employees, has begun raising money for what is expected to be the largest hedge fund launch since the financial crisis began. Mr Sze’s new hedge fund – eagerly anticipated by many in the industry – is to be called Azentus Capital and will based in Hong Kong. Marketers for the flagship fund expect it to start trading with between $1bn and $1.5bn, people familiar with the launch told the Financial Times.

NYT reporter says U.S. also faces ‘lost decade’ (JT)
There is likely to be another financial crisis like the Lehman shock in the future, Andrew Ross Sorkin said. “I don’t want to write a sequel, but I think there will be one. “The saddest reality of doing all these interviews was that I don’t think there was remorse,” Sorkin said. “A lot of them now call themselves survivors, like cancer survivors or something. But it’s such a misplaced idea.”

Obama ‘Optimistic’ CEO Talk Will Foster Cooperation (Bloomberg)
“Things were said on both sides that shouldn’t have been and did not further the opportunity to work together,” Cote said as he arrived at Blair House this morning. “This is our chance to do that. I give the president a lot of credit for being the man big enough to say, ‘Let’s restart, let’s work on how do we create a more vibrant economy.’”

Julian Assange Freed On Bail (Guardian)
Justice Duncan Ouseley agreed with a decision by the City of Westminister earlier in the week to release Assange on strict conditions: £200,000 cash deposit, with a further £40,000 guaranteed in two sureties of £20,000 and strict conditions on his movement.

Facebook 2010 Sales Likely To Reach $2 Billion (Bloomberg)
Sales will more than double from 2009, said the people, who declined to be identified because the privately held company doesn’t disclose revenue. Facebook had $700 million to $800 million in sales last year, and the 2010 figure was previously expected to be closer to $1.5 billion, according to two other people familiar with the matter earlier this year.

UAE hotel boasts ‘most expensive Christmas tree ever’ (BBC)
While the tree alone is worth a mere $10,000, the jewellery adds more than $11m to the value, said the hotel’s general manager Hans Olbertz. Read more »

  • 15 Dec 2010 at 5:50 PM

Write-Offs: 12.15.10

$$$ Obama Has ‘Gotten the Message‘: NBC-WSJ Poll [CNBC]

$$$ Nomura: Firms Will Have Limited Flexibility On 2010 Compensation [FINS]

$$$ Vultures Give US Good Mark [WSJ] Read more »