Hint: he calls Libya home and recently vowed to “fight to the death” anyone questioning his leadership skills. Read more »
Archive for February 2011
Blind Item: Which Well-Known Dictator’s Regime Passed Up An Opportunity To Invest With Bernie Madoff?By Bess Levin
Did someone say field trip? Van leaves tomorrow at noon. Bring your own hard hats. Read more »
As you may have read in the papers, the government is currently hard at work trying to prove that employees of certain hedge funds on Wall Street are guilty of insider trading. A bunch of firms have been raided, some arrests have been made, friendships have been destroyed, and a few shops have been forced to shut their doors. The Feds’ little song and dance, experts have noted, appears to be part of a larger attempt to nail one man in particular. Some of you know him as ‘Steve,’ others as ‘my liege’ and others still as ‘Dad.’ To us, he’s simply ‘The Big Guy.’ Read more »
Besides both being Chicago residents who give out gifts at year-end in elaborate presentations that involve screaming and crying? Read more »
Diane Passage is the wife of accused Ponzi schemer Kenneth Starr, who last fall announced that while she’s not technically (or at all) single, she’s out there and ready to mingle with men who are not currently in jail awaiting sentencing for white collar crimes (she also noted that while husband number one is a millionaire, she’s looking for a billionaire when it comes to the new guy). In addition, she’s looking to keep herself busy by becoming a reality TV star, on a show that follows women who work as pole dancers. Read more »
Deutsche Bank Receives Six-Month Ban on Derivatives Trading in South Korea (Bloomberg)
Deutsche Bank AG was banned from proprietary stock and derivatives trading for six months in South Korea after regulators blamed the firm for triggering a stocks rout that wiped out $26 billion in market value. The Financial Services Commission will ask prosecutors to investigate five Deutsche Bank employees, Choi Kyu Yun, standing commissioner of the regulator, told reporters in Seoul today. Deutsche Bank is “disappointed” by the recommendations, and will cooperate with Korean authorities, it said in an e-mailed statement. The ban starts in April.
Blankfein Fought Raising Base Salaries Before His Tripled (Bloomberg)
“Salary is another form of guarantee, so we would like low salaries and high contingent comp,” Blankfein said in the interview. “We think the world is going in a poor direction. We think having high fixed salaries for people, or guarantees for people and lower contingent comp actually is worse behavior.”
Libya Evacuation Largest in Turkish History, Davutoglu Says (BusinessWeek)
Turkey evacuated 5,099 people in the last 72 hours, using only the airport in Tripoli, the capital, because the rest of Libya’s airports are closed, Davutoglu said in a televised press conference in Ankara today. Libya rejected Turkish requests for extra evacuation flights, he said. Turkey activated a “Plan B” to run ferries between Turkey and Libya to evacuate some of the 25,000 Turks working in the country, he said.
SEC Probes Private-Share Trade (WSJ)
The SEC is investigating potential conflicts of interest in the fast-growing market for buying and selling shares of private companies such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. The move is part of a broadening probe by the U.S. agency, still at an early stage, of the thriving bazaar that has sprung up largely beyond the reach of regulators and traditional securities firms. Trades handled by SecondMarket Inc., SharesPost Inc. and other market makers specializing in privately held shares are conveying eye-popping valuations on some companies while disclosing little about their financial results.
Nasdaq Weighs Own NYSE Bid (WSJ)
The New York company, under Chief Executive Robert Greifeld, is assessing whether it can compete against Deutsche Börse to buy the NYSE, people familiar with the matter said. If it decides it can’t mount a strong rival bid, Nasdaq is looking to buy another exchange or sell itself to avoid marginalization in the wake of the tie-up between the NYSE and its German suitors, these people said.
Boutiques Set to Capitalize on Del Monte `Slap’ at Wall Street (Bloomberg)
Barclays, which represented the fruit-juice and pet-food company on its $5.3 billion sale to a KKR & Co.-led group, deceived its client by failing to disclose until late in the process plans to provide financing for the purchaser, Chancery Court Judge J. Travis Laster said in a Feb. 14 opinion. Del Monte would probably have hired another bank if it knew Barclays, the U.K.’s third-largest bank, planned to “double- dip” for fees by working for the buyers, he wrote.
Harry Reid Calls For Ban On Nevada Brothels (WSJ)
“If we want to attract businesses to Nevada that puts people back to work, the time has come for us to outlaw prostitution,” Mr. Reid told the Nevada state legislature in Carson City. Read more »
$$$ World Economy Can Survive Oil Price Surge for Now, IMF Says [Bloomberg]
$$$ “Today’s pre-adult male is like an actor in a drama in which he only knows what he shouldn’t say. He has to compete in a fierce job market, but he can’t act too bossy or self-confident. He should be sensitive but not paternalistic, smart but not cocky. To deepen his predicament, because he is single, his advisers and confidants are generally undomesticated guys just like him…Relatively affluent, free of family responsibilities, and entertained by an array of media devoted to his every pleasure, the single young man can live in pig heaven—and often does. Women put up with him for a while, but then in fear and disgust either give up on any idea of a husband and kids or just go to a sperm bank and get the DNA without the troublesome man. But these rational choices on the part of women only serve to legitimize men’s attachment to the sand box. Why should they grow up? No one needs them anyway. There’s nothing they have to do.” [WSJ]
$$$ Science: Fake Smiling at the Office Actually Makes You Miserable [DI]
Those of you who’ve seen The Social Network know there is a scene in which Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (AKA The Winklevi) go to Larry Summers, the then president of Harvard, to complain that Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook. In the movie, Summers is portrayed as a bit of a dick, essentially telling the Winks to fuck off and go waste someone else’s time. Was the portrayal accurate, Summers was asked this morning? Hell yeah it was. And you want to know another thing? Big Lar doesn’t regret for one second telling those little shits to get out of his office. Read more »
In 2003, Stephen Trantel lost his trading job, though he left the house “for work” every morning to keep up appearances with his wife. He couldn’t find a new gig and didn’t know what he was going to do. Then one day while sitting in his car, after being unemployed for over two months, it came to him.
“I was just sitting in my truck looking out the window. And I’m like: ‘I need money right now. What can I do where nobody’s gonna get hurt?’ I just came to this epiphany that there’s no other way. If I wanna hold on to everything, then I’ve got to steal money.”
He started “researching” how one goes about robbing a bank without getting caught and found out a few things, like that 80% of the people who rob banks are caught in their getaway car so he “took that out of the equation. Stephen decided to “focus on one bank at time,” and “observing that most blue-collar men and cops cash their cheques on a Wednesday, avoided mid-week heists.” He planned his escape route in advance and on the big day, would wear a disguise that consisted of a baseball cap, sunglasses and a fake ‘stache. He’d enter the bank, identify “the weakest” teller and despite not actually having a gun, would slip him or her a note that read, “Hey, I have a gun. No funny games. No alarm.” This worked out pretty well for a while and Stephen successfully robbed 9 banks. Until he made two big mistakes. Read more »
Hint: his profession prior to money managing made him uniquely qualified to offer commentary on the flick of choice, Major League. Read more »