Archive for June 2011

And has no time for pedestrian moves like throwing out the receipt or ripping it up after taking out some cash? Read more »

Time was, the Hamptons could count on Wall Street guys taking home enormous packages at year-end to buy up its inventory of multi-million dollar homes. They’d come to a mutual understanding, if you will. Not only would they lay out $45 million in cash for a 12-bedroom spread, but they’d be happy to pay the same for some 2-bedroom hole 2 miles from the beach because why not? Now, due to the bloody financial crisis, people are actually stopping, thinking, and in some disturbing cases, negotiating on the price. Read more »

Tax breaks for the wealthy, corporate jet owners, hedge fund managers and oil and gas companies should be scrapped to help reduce the deficit, President Barack Obama said Wednesday. Republicans are insisting that tax increases stay off the table in ongoing talks to get a deal to raise the debt ceiling. But at a news conference Obama said revenue has to be in the mix. [MarketWatch]

From time to time around these, parts, we like to check in to see what’s been a-poppin’ with Lehman Brothers alums. Former Chief Executive Officer Dick Fuld, amazingly, has started a new firm called Matrix Advisors. Former COO Joe Gregory eats lunch every day in his local diner and tells people he used to fly a chopper to work. Former CFO Erin Callan takes spinning classes in the Hamptons and is said to be co-habitating with a firefighter she’s known since high school. Former head of investment banking Hugh Skip McGee works at Barclays under the same title and in his free time writes tear-stained letters to his son’s school, demanding the administration allow the boys dress in drag for a pep rally and fire the history teacher who injects “leftist invective” in the curriculum and might also be a lesbian. Today we got an update on another ex-head of investment banking (and also former co-COO), Bradley Jack, who’s been having a tough time get his supply of Oxycotin and Ritalin. Read more »

  • 29 Jun 2011 at 10:15 AM

Layoffs Watch ’11: Goldman Sachs

Cuts have apparently begun at the House of Lloyd. Read more »

  • 29 Jun 2011 at 9:20 AM

Greece Austerity Package Passes 155-138

On with the 5 year-plan. Read more »

  • 29 Jun 2011 at 8:27 AM

Opening Bell: 06.29.11

Greek lawmakers seen backing austerity despite violence (Reuters)
Greece’s parliament looked increasingly likely to approve unpopular austerity measures on Wednesday, despite renewed violence, to secure international funds to prevent the euro zone’s first sovereign default. But with the country on the brink of bankruptcy, it remains uncertain whether a weakened Socialist government can push through laws to implement structural reforms and privatisations in a second series of votes on Thursday, and then stick to a tight EU/IMF-imposed schedule for implementation.

Markets Rise on Optimism About Greek Vote (NYT)
Asset prices were mostly higher in Europe on Wednesday as investors bet that the Greek Parliament would support an austerity plan demanded by international lenders as a condition for providing more funds and preventing a default.

Greece faces ‘suicide’ vote on austerity (FT)
Greece will be committing “suicide” if its parliament fails to back sweeping austerity measures aimed at averting a catastrophic default, according to the head of the country’s central bank.

In a Greek Default, Higher Risk for Money Market Funds (NYT)
For years, the funds in the United States have taken investors’ money and lent it out where they can get the best returns. European banks have been a target lately — so much so that about 50 percent of the funds’ $1.6 trillion in prime money market assets is in the debt of European banks. Now that Europe is struggling to contain its debt crisis, these safe investments could be a tad less safe, especially if Greece’s Parliament votes down a set of deeply unpopular austerity measures Wednesday morning.

BofA Agrees to Pay $8.5 Billion in Settlement (Bloomberg)
Bank of America agreed to pay $8.5 billion to settle claims over soured mortgages after a group of bondholders including BlackRock demanded refunds…Investors, which also include Pacific Investment Management Co. and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, demanded in October that Bank of America repurchase home loans that had been packaged into bonds by Countrywide Financial Corp., which it acquired in 2008.

Wall Street Wielding the Ax (WSJ, Dealbreaker, Dealbreaker)
Credit Suisse Group AG started laying off investment-banking employees Tuesday, and the cost-cutting push could claim 400 to 600 jobs, according to people familiar with the situation. This month, Barclays PLC has eliminated 100 jobs in its investment bank, including some stock-trading employees. The latest cuts are on top of 600 layoffs in January, a person familiar with the situation said.

Morgan Stanley Said to Suffer Trading Loss (Bloomberg)
The bank’s interest-rates trading group lost at least tens of millions of dollars on the trade, which the firm has been unwinding, two of the people said, declining to be identified because the transaction isn’t public.

Larry Fink Wants To Be 100% In Stocks (CNBC)
“I am not afraid of treasurys but if my accountants would allow me I would be 100 percent in equities,” Fink said. “Equities are historically cheap, but people are still going out of equities and paying 2 and 20 (for hedge fund exposure) and hoping for better returns than on equities. Anything earning 3 percent or lower is the dumbest thing you can do,” he added. “If we went on holiday four years ago and came back better human beings with a tan, markets would still be back where they were four years ago.” Read more »

  • 28 Jun 2011 at 6:15 PM

Write-Offs: 06.28.11

$$$ BofA Nears $8.5 Billion Settlement on Mortgage-Securities Claims (WSJ)

$$$ Eric Cantor Is Short Treasurys (Sort Of) (MarketBeat)

$$$ Markets Rise as Home Prices Turn Upward (NYT)

$$$ French Bank Plan for Greek Rollover Is Conditional on No Default Rating (Bloomberg)

$$$ Tri-State Terror! Moody’s Lowers Connecticut Outlook (MarketBeat)

$$$ Up to one in six EU banks set to fail stress test-sources (Reuters)

$$$ Whitney goes Harold Camping on munis (MarketWatch) Read more »