Archive for June 2011

  • 30 Jun 2011 at 6:34 PM

Write-Offs: 06.30.11

$$$ Greek vote lifts European shares to near 4 wk high (Reuters)

$$$ German Banks Agree to Roll Over Greek Debt (NYT)

$$$ SEC lax in monitoring firms’ compliance, inspector general report says (WaPo)

$$$ Paulson says he welcomes Bank of America settlement (Reuters)

$$$ Japan’s MUFG converts Morgan Stanley shares (Reuters)

$$$ Lehman Gets Goldman, Paulson Consent on Liquidation Plan (Businessweek)

$$$ Another Guilty Plea Expected In Insider Trading Case (DealBook)

$$$ Grunt control device lets Wimbledon fans turn down the volume of shrieking Sharapova and Co. (Daily Mail) Read more »

Bloomberg reports TG may soon be riding off into the (Larchmont) sunset. Read more »

As you may have heard, various banks will be laying off a handful of employees in the coming weeks and months. Barclays, UBS, and Credit Suisse have already gotten started, and Goldman let go of some staff yesterday with plans to cut more in the future. While the news is surely distressing to those it directly affects, there are probably some people, who remained gainfully employed, that believe it’s no big deal. What does Rochdale analyst Dick Bové think? Spoiler alert: he’s not gonna mince words.

From: Richard Bove
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2011
Subject: Dick Bove’s Notes: Job Loss

The jobs being lost in New York’s financial industry will never come back.

Richard X. Bove

Sorry if you thought he was going to sugarcoat, which, if you know anything about Dick, you know he would never, under any circumstances, do. People come to him for no nonsense no frills exchanges of information and that’s what they get. Read more »

Jim Grant: My grown children have sort of a naughty phrase they say: beer goggles. Meaning the charitable perception that comes over one after a pop or two with respect to a member of the opposite sex.
Bloomberg’s Tom Keene: Really!
Jim Grant: Investors collectively, unknowingly have been wearing interest rate goggles. Read more »

Earlier this month, Muddy Waters founder Carson Block published a report describing Sino-Forest as “a Ponzi scheme…investing for the 23rd century.” The note did not have a positive effect on the company’s stock price and major shareholder John Paulson ended up pulling his entire investment. Appearing on Bloomberg TV earlier today for a little post-mortem, Block wanted to get a couple things straight.

1. The S&P downgrade of Sino-Forest bonds? Bull shit.

“I’d think that it’s a bit of a cop out on the part of S&P. We published this almost a month ago. The company has had a microphone and a platform to respond. When it has opened its mouth, the company, the stocks and bonds have gone lower. Rather than having anything confidence inspiring to say, they have continued to spook investors. S&P may want to hang this on us, but I have a feeling that is really a cover for, at least in part, their own assessment that there are significant risks that are company specific not related to market perception and Muddy Waters.”

2. The mistaken impression some people have that he’s a ninja assassin? Also bull shit.

“I am getting uncomfortable, actually, with this idea that we are ninja assassins that are going to take this stock price down a huge percentage within minutes or days. What I would like to do to protect investors is that I would like to point out the issues and start a dialogue and get people thinking about these red flags before we come out with a report that sends the stock down 70%, 80%.”

Read more »

  • 30 Jun 2011 at 12:37 PM

Who Wants To Be President Of Morgan Stanley?

As was reported earlier this week by Charlie Gasparino, John Mack plans to step down as Chairman of Morgan Stanley at the end of the year, at which time CEO James Gorman will inherit the gig. Will he share the wealth by appointing an underling president when he’s done with the title? For anyone hoping they’d get the call (such as rumored candidates like Colm Kelleher, Paul Taubman and Gregory Fleming), don’t hold your breath ’cause it ain’t happening. James Gorman don’t need no stinking wingman and even if he did, no one’s demonstrated that they’re ready for that kind of responsibility yet. Read more »

Not letting Phil Falcone’s LightSquared proceed using its authorized spectrum “would doom an innovative American start-up company,” LightSquared said in its FCC filing. “The commercial GPS device industry wants the commission to shut down an unprecedented effort to establish a nationwide wireless broadband network.” LightSquared’s plan to limit its initial operation to its airwaves furthest from GPS uses would pose no risk to more than 99 percent of GPS users, and the company is offering to underwrite “a workable solution for the small number” of GPS devices “that may be at risk,” the company said in its filing…“This issue will be resolved by good data, smart engineers and good-faith problem-solving dialog,” Sanjiv Ahuja, the company’s chief executive officer, said in a news release. [Bloomberg]

Related: Harbinger Capital Will Pay Redemptions…In Illiquid LightSquared Equity

Remember Irzen Octa? He’s the Citigroup customer who was allegedly killed by three debt collectors after they got angry when he contested his bill. Octa’s widow is now suing the bank for $348 million and while the trio admit they may have laid a few hands on him, claim they weren’t responsible for his death. Read more »