Archive for March 2011

Some words numbers from Pool Manager NakedShort and his spreadsheet: Read more »

As the Chairman of Citigroup, a position he’s held since February 2009, Dick Parsons sticks out a bit by comparison. Whereas Citi has at times been the world’s largest bloated, lumbering, diversified cathouse where, for a good while, nothing could go right, a highly flammable entity prone to one chaotic moment of shit hitting the fan after the next, that few wanted to get within 100 feet of Parsons is calm. Cool. “Flat-out smooth,” as BusinessWeek describes him (which is why he was hired to be the one to go make nice with Washington, according to Vikram Pandit). The magazine recently accompanied Dick to a jazz club where they got to know him a little better, on a personal level. Here’s what we’ve learned about DP:

* He thinks the city smoking ban sucks: “Michael E. Novogratz, a director of Fortress Investment Group, a New York hedge fund, gives Parsons a hug and presents him with a Montecristo cigar. Parsons looks pleased. “Oh man,” he says, “I wish we could light these up in here.”

* If you’ve lost ass-ton of money, he’s the guy you turn to for a pick-me-up: Novogratz and Parsons exchange condolences about the market, which is zig-zagging with the turmoil in the Middle East. “I lost more money this week than I did in any week in 2008,” Novogratz laments. Parsons tells him not to be so hard on himself. “Nobody knows what’s going on,” he says.

* Charm like this doesn’t need an undergraduate degree: He went to the University of Hawaii, where he partied more than he studied. After four years, he still needed six credits to get his diploma, but he discovered that if he aced his pre-law exams he could get into law school in New York state without a college degree. He did well on the test and was accepted to Albany Law School, where he graduated at the top of his class. Read more »

  • 25 Mar 2011 at 10:07 AM

Jamie Dimon Not The Only CEO Making The Trip To Japan

James Gorman is there too! While his reception was a bit less lively than Dimon’s, which included employees waiting on a 2 hour line to get an autograph and a picture with the JPMorgan CEO who they were said to have treated like a “pop idol,” Gorman ought to still get credit for being there. While some of his staff apparently feel differently, it appears as though they could have been easily swayed by some free pizza. Read more »

Earlier this week, actress and icon Liz Taylor died of congestive heart failure. She had been sick for since 2006 and few on the outside probably could have predicted when she would go. Which is why some of you cynical assholes will surely feel the need to note the auspicious timing of Steve Cohen agreeing to put his painting of the actress, Liz#5 by Andy Warhol, on the auction block just two weeks before her passing, and suggest the decision resulted from him being tipped off re: when it was going to happen. That’s because you’re all heartless individuals who just don’t get it. Read more »

  • 25 Mar 2011 at 9:00 AM

Opening Bell: 03.25.11

Rajaratnam’s Wiretapped Call With Brother Bolsters Insider Case (Bloomberg)
And in testimony earlier this week, Goel said that Rajaratnam told him in 2003 that Rajaratnam had given BMW cars to two women in Intel’s sales department who leaked information to him. Lynam asked Goel if he thought Rajaratnam was joking. “I don’t think that was a joke, sir,” he responded. Wasn’t Rajaratnam kidding when he told Goel in a wiretapped conversation that he would kiss Goel on the cheek the next time he saw him? Lynam later asked. “I hope he was,” said Goel, to laughter in the courtroom. “If not, I had him figured out all wrong.”

Economy Grows 3.1%, Aided By Surge in Corporate Profits (Reuters)
Gross domestic product growth was revised up to an annualized rate of 3.1 percent, the Commerce Department said in its final estimate, close to its initial estimate of 3.2 percent published two months ago and up from its tally of 2.8 percent made in February.

Barclays Said to Be Investigated by Regulators in Libor Probe (Bloomberg)
U.S. and U.K. regulators are examining if communications between Barclays’s traders and its treasury broke regulations that stop information being shared across the bank.

S&P Warns Big Banks About ‘Excessive’ Dividends (NYT)
The credit rating agency said in a report that it “remains wary of banks aggressively increasing capital returns to shareholders at this juncture of the economic recovery.” S.&.P. indicated it might downgrade credit ratings at banks that made “excessive” payouts to investors.

Goldman Slides to 10th Spot in US M&A Rankings (Reuters)
Goldman advised on $71 billion worth of U.S. deals in the first quarter, far less than JPMorgan’s chart-topping $170 billion, and even lower than much smaller banks such as Rothschild, Evercore Partners and Lazard.

China-Focused Hedge Fund Assets Rise Despite Laggard Performance (DJ)
China funds added $3.5 billion in assets in 2010 to a total $18.68 billion, even as their 6.11% gains were short of the global industry average of 10.55%.

Warren Says Consumer Bureau Foes Should Look at Bank ‘Behemoths’ (Bloomberg)
“If we’re going to go out there and spill ink on accountability, we should also ask about how to hold powerful financial institutions accountable,” Warren said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg News. “The idea that we should be worried that some agency that will speak up for consumers might get a little too loud is looking in the wrong direction.” Read more »

  • 24 Mar 2011 at 6:00 PM

Write-Offs: 03.24.11

$$$ Larry Fink: US Equities Are Cheap, ‘Under-Invested‘ [CNBC]

$$$ JPMorgan: How We Landed The AT&T Deal [Fortune]

$$$ “Our experience worldwide is that first-generation wealth is actually more generous than dynastic wealth,” Bill Gates said today at a press conference in New Delhi. “Both here in India and U.S. and other countries, the biggest givers are those who are receivers of first-generation wealth.” [Bloomberg]

$$$ Hedge Funds Under The Gun To Meet New SEC Deadline [Reuters]

$$$ Warren Buffett: Euro’s Collapse Is Not ‘Unthinkable’ [CNBC] Read more »

  • 24 Mar 2011 at 5:43 PM

Morgan Stanley MD Releases Gospel Album

“It’s original gospel and it’s hot,” says singer/songwriter/i-banker Carla Harris. Read more »

Is there some sort of rules that says if you cut earnings you must tell people why? If so MDubs is changing them a little bit. She’ll slash and let you know her thinking when she gets around to it, maybe. Why? Because she’s the Dollar Dom and she can do WHATEVER SHE WANTS! Read more »