Archive for February 2011

Hint: he calls Libya home and recently vowed to “fight to the death” anyone questioning his leadership skills. Read more »

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 »

As you may have heard, Ken Griffin and his wife are funding a preschool in Chicago called the Griffin Early Childhood Center, as part of “one of the largest field experiments ever conducted in economics.” The Griffin Experiment is being run by a University of Chicago professor named John List, whose goal is to determine “whether investing in teachers or, alternatively, in parents, leads to more gains in kids’ educational performance.” In our capacity as an unofficial Citadel adviser, part of our job is to run due diligence on the hedge fund’s investments, including background checks on the individuals to whom KG is forking over money. In the case of List, we found an interesting claim that seems to raise a red flag. Read more »

  • 23 Feb 2011 at 11:13 AM

What Do Ken Griffin And Oprah Have In Common?

Besides both being Chicago residents who give out gifts at year-end in elaborate presentations that involve screaming and crying? Read more »

  • 23 Feb 2011 at 10:18 AM

Missing Ken Lewis In Your Life?

Does it feel like it’s been so long you can hardly remember what his sweet drawl and slight stammer sound like? You get a little reminder here, with his Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission testimony. 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 »

  • 23 Feb 2011 at 8:25 AM

Opening Bell: 02.23.11

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.

Wall Street Often Slow To Disclose Brokers’ Sins (Dealbook)
Like those of this guy.

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 »