March 2012

  • Write-Offs

    Write-Offs: 03.30.12

    $$$ Corporate pension funds break away from equities [Reuters] $$$ Dealpolitik: What’s H Partners Up […]

    / Mar 30, 2012 at 6:36 PM
  • Banks, News

    Europe Will Try To Make Its Banks’ Creditors Play Nicer With Each Other

    Today the EU issued a discussion paper about how it plans to forcibly write down […]

    / Mar 30, 2012 at 6:28 PM
  • News

    Layoffs Watch ’12: Bank Of America

    On the one hand, Brian Moynihan et al plan to cut staff next month, which hurts. On the other, they’ve been firing off warning signals that employees may want to explore their options elsewhere, so that’s nice.

    “Ahead of expected cuts at the House of Moynihan in the Apr-May timeframe, a lot of juniors are being pulled into conference rooms and told it might be in their interest to “reach out and have a chat” with other groups. Reshuffling and reallocation are well underway. No rhyme or reason as far as we can tell regarding why some analysts and associates are being nudged and others aren’t (some top bucketed guys got nudged, and some bottom feeders got nudged as well).”

    / Mar 30, 2012 at 5:58 PM
  • jonathansoros

    Hedge Funds

    Dad Grants 41 Year-Old Son Permission To Manage His Own Finances

    Jonathan Soros, who stepped down in September from day-to-day management of Soros Fund Management LLC, […]

    / Mar 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM
  • cgasparinomuppets3

  • Banks, News

    Investors Want To Put All Their Run-Off-With-My-Money Risk In One Place

    One way I like to imagine the world is that there’s sort of a constant […]

    / Mar 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM
  • david-tepper_281025s-260x177


    When Lucky Brass Balls Fail

    “Of the top 25 earners of 2010, 15 did not make this year’s list [of […]

    / Mar 30, 2012 at 2:37 PM
  • onemanwolfpack


    Investment Bank Group Head: Do You Want To Be A Wolf That Starves In The Winter Or Wolf That Eats His Competitors’ Fee Pies For Lunch?

    Your call.

    From: [redacted]
    Sent: March 28, 2012 9:12 AM
    Subject: Spring Ahead

    For those with direct/indirect coverage responsibilities, pls take out your lists today to remind yourselves who we have money out to and that your name is on the ComCom coverage team that got that money approved. Anecdotal observation I conclude is that where we pay attention in some reasonable, non-trivial ways (meeting, meal, call, insightful email), we get paid back in flow DCM capital markets participation

    It’s just how this game works, the money doesn’t flat out speak for us, we need to speak for it, and we don’t have to stomp/yell, just be around, consistently the more frequency, the more client comfort, the more they feel reminded of their commercial obligations to us, the easier it is for them to remember to take care of us — lubricate to prevent rust, just like a motor engine or morning exercise

    We’ve been printing something almost every week this spring, keep the momentum while it’s here, and make it grow so it lasts into trough times

    If you think this message is meant for someone else, it’s probably for you too, it is for us all, so don’t look sideways for some sort of peer-level comfort, look to your career, which is your clients

    Junior bankers pushing cogent observations up are as important as senior bankers pushing that stimulus out to clients — make your time matter most, you own it the world is still an uncertain place, which means our individual and collective ability to create opportunity and make a personal impact is here and now

    Various of us have teamed up very well on multiple and diverse endeavors within this 2012 Budget year to close out Tier 1, and then re-populate it, so it matters for our Fiscal 2012

    In doing so, we have become a Burden to our competitors and a Benefit to our clients, as it should be

    Those recently Burdened by our direct sharp edge into their fee pie and who would otherwise prefer that we be unmotivated, disorganized, lazy-minded, subservient and acquiescent include:

    [list of every large bank]

    With no due respect to their no longer deserved incumbency, I like being where we are, doing what we’re doing, and how we’re doing it, working and Winning, without the Charlie Sheen meltdowns along the way

    Welcome to Top 10 there’s more food on those complacent plates, they’re distracted by entitlement, not watching the table, it’s time for the hungry to eat

    We Hunt and We Gather, sometimes alone, sometimes together both strategies work, and have since mankind became sentient

    Wherever your personal preferences and natural tendencies may lead you, rise above that and evolve to a more meaningful Hunter/Gatherer contributor to this increasingly productive tribe — the bigger payout kills require larger organized squads — wolves hunt in packs for a reason, and every pack needs it’s field leader to be best organized — it’s the time-tested proven best use of a wolf pack’s collective energy — if they waste it, they starve in winter — we’re graduating to wolf pack status, it’s got our competitors looking, watching, wondering — for those who’ve never operated within a wolf pack, come aboard and enjoy the living/learning-by-doing experience!

    / Mar 30, 2012 at 11:56 AM
  • ray_dalio

    Opening Bell

    Opening Bell: 03.30.12

    Three Major Banks Prepare for Possible Credit Downgrades (NYT)
    Moody’s Investors Service has said it will decide in mid-May whether to lower its ratings for 17 global financial companies. Morgan Stanley, which was hit hard in the financial crisis, appears to be the most vulnerable. Moody’s is threatening to cut the bank’s ratings by three notches, to a level that would be well below the rating of a rival like JPMorgan Chase.

    Eurozone Lifts Firewall (WSJ)
    Euro-zone finance ministers on Friday agreed on a temporary boost of the bloc’s bailout lending limit to €700 billion ($931 billion), opting for a less ambitious plan that some fear won’t be enough to prevent a re-awakening of euro zone financial turmoil.

    Dalio Earns $3.9bn to Top Hedge Fund Pay List (FT)
    Ray Dalio, head of Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, personally made $3.9 billion in a year that his $70 billion Pure Alpha fund produced $13.8 billion of investment profits for its investors, according to industry rankings. He tops a list published Friday by Absolute Return magazine of the richest 25 hedge fund managers. The select group took home $14.4 billion in pay and paper profits on their own investments last year, down from $22 billion in 2010 in a sign of the industry’s struggle to deliver returns for its clients in 2011.

    Goldman Bets on Property Rebound With New Fund: Mortgages (Bloomberg)
    The U.S. Housing Recovery Fund is expected to finish its first round of capital raising and open April 1, according to a marketing document obtained by Bloomberg News. It will focus on senior-ranked securities without government backing, many of which now carry junk credit grades.

    BATS Weighs Cooling Its Listing Push (WSJ)
    BATS Global Markets Inc. is considering suspending its efforts to recruit corporate listings after a software glitch last Friday derailed the exchange operator’s IPO, people familiar with the matter said. Concerns about BATS’s bungled initial public offering could disrupt its efforts to draw other companies to list their stocks on its electronic exchange, forestalling ambitions by the electronic-markets operator to become a full-service exchange company. Such a move could entail notifying the Securities and Exchange Commission, which last year approved BATS’s plan to list shares and exchange-traded products.

    Canada Eliminates Penny Costing Penny-and-a-Half to Make (Bloomberg)
    Canada will withdraw the penny from circulation this year, saving taxpayers about C$11 million ($11 million) annually and forcing retailers to round prices to the nearest nickel, the government announced in its budget today.

    Grand Central nabs tell-all by ex-Goldman exec Smith (NYP)
    Greg Smith, the former Goldman Sachs executive who became an instant sensation when he ripped the Wall Street investment bank with a resignation letter published as an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, has scored a $1.5 million advance to write a memoir of his experiences.

    Oil Rally Fails to Lift Commodity Hedge Funds’ Returns (FT)
    Many multibillion managers have been wary of potential political shocks in the Middle East and a repeat of last year’s May oil sell-off. They have shunned risk over the past three months or lost out by betting that oil markets would become more choppy. Many of the sector’s leading names have underperformed broader hedge fund peers, which have enjoyed one of their best quarters on the back of rising global equity markets.

    Billions Lost In Tax Refund Scam (WSJ)
    The perpetrators of the scheme, authorities say, swipe the Social Security numbers of Puerto Rican citizens, who don’t have to pay federal income tax—and are less likely to be on the IRS radar—and use their information to file fake returns. In some cases, they enlist U.S. mail carriers to intercept the refund checks that are disbursed. The plot, which includes participants from around the U.S. and Latin America, has been around for at least five years. Prosecutors have obtained multiple convictions but none involving those believed to be among the top players in the operation, according to several people briefed on investigations into the fraud.

    BlackBerry Maker In Turmoil (WSJ)
    The overhaul comes just two months after Thorsten Heins took the reins at RIM and confidently proclaimed there was no need for “seismic” change. But with the company’s sales tumbling 25% in the latest quarter, new BlackBerrys piling up unsold and a crucial lineup of new devices still not expected to arrive until later this year, Mr. Heins is taking more drastic actions. RIM will back out of its high-profile attempt to win business among consumers to focus on its core corporate customers.

    Queen Creek couple accused in dog-sex plan plead not guilty (AZC)
    A Queen Creek couple have pleaded not guilty to charges of planning to have sex with a dog. The case prompted Sheriff Joe Arpaio to ask the website Craigslist to better monitor its personal ads. Shane Walker, 33, and his wife Sarah Walker, 39, posted a Craigslist ad on Feb. 7 titled, “Wife looking for K9,” according to Maricopa County Superior Court records.

    / Mar 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM
  • Write-Offs

    Write-Offs: 03.29.12

    $$$ Bain Gave Staff Way to Swell IRAs by Investing in Deals [WSJ] $$$ Rousseff […]

    / Mar 29, 2012 at 6:55 PM
  • Banks, News

    Today In Swiss Banks With Creepy But Defensible Structured Products

    I don’t really understand it but the TVIX thing is creepy fun. If you haven’t followed it, Credit Suisse issued this exchange-traded note called TVIX that was a 2x levered bet on the VIX. They suspended new issuance about a month ago due to position limits, and people were just so damn excited to own the thing that its price crept up to 189% of its fair value, where “fair value” is a reasonably easily measurable thing based on the formula in the TVIX prospectus. Then last week Credit Suisse announced that they would be creating more units, and the price plummeted to and then through fair value, which is what you’d expect to happen. Except that it started plummeting a few hours before that announcement, which is Suspicious.

    So of course people are sad and so there’s a Bloomberg Brief with sort of sad-funny quotes like:

    “When it started to fall, I bought more because I couldn’t believe how low it was going. I didn’t realize I was playing with a hand grenade.”
    – Michael Gamble [heh! – ed.], 67, who doubled down on his TVIX investment before the price collapsed.

    Investors “all think: ‘Oh, I’ll just buy these things, I’ll be hedged against volatility and everything will be wonderful.’ And now they’ve seen the market goes down and their volatility protection goes down too, and they’re going ‘Hmm, what happened here?’ These people are going to have to pay a really expensive lesson.”
    – Larry McMillan, who manages $30 million as president of McMillan Analysis Corp.

    So, yes, Larry, they are going to pay a really expensive lesson. But what is it? Stephen Lubben has a little thing in DealBook today where he frets:

    / Mar 29, 2012 at 6:27 PM
  • News

    Dealbreaker Career Center

    Are you an investment banker looking to move to California? Boutique bank Janes Capital Partners […]

    / Mar 29, 2012 at 6:08 PM
  • News

    Breaking: Person Tries To Hide Assets From Estranged Spouse In Divorce Court

    Highland Capital CEO James Dondero knows what we’re talking about.

    Highland Capital Management LP Chief Executive Officer James Dondero testified in a divorce proceeding that he’s insolvent under Texas family law, if not according to normal accounting rules. Dondero, 49, told Texas state court Judge David Lopez in Dallas yesterday that the 2008 financial crisis took his debt- investing firm “to a state of insolvency and we’ve been juggling liquidity since that.” Highland Capital assets under management fell to $23 billion by Jan. 1 from $39 billion at the end of 2007. “The last three, four years have been negative to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,” Dondero said. The money manager said his annual income is “a million, two.”


    Highland Capital Management LP Chief Executive Officer James Dondero testified in a divorce proceeding that he’s insolvent under Texas family law, if not according to normal accounting rules. Dondero, 49, told Texas state court Judge David Lopez in Dallas yesterday that the 2008 financial crisis took his debt- investing firm “to a state of insolvency and we’ve been juggling liquidity since that.” Highland Capital assets under management fell to $23 billion by Jan. 1 from $39 billion at the end of 2007. “The last three, four years have been negative to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,” Dondero said. The money manager said his annual income is “a million, two.”

    Highland Capital Chief Tells Divorce Judge He’s Insolvent [Bloomberg]

    / Mar 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM
  • News

    Duke “MMS” Student Charges University With Improving Reputation Of Program For The Benefit Of His Peers, Whom He’s Demonstrably Better Than (As Evidenced By His Big 3 Consulting Offer)

    If you don’t know what the Fuqua School of Business Master of Management Studies program […]

    / Mar 29, 2012 at 3:52 PM
  • ubszurich2-260x195


    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS

    The Swiss are not yet done with their firings.

    “FYI, layoffs going down right now in IBD at UBS as well.”

    / Mar 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM
  • bloombergbunit


    What Do You Think Of This, Dealbreaker: Burgers, B-Units, Dead Sheep

    Do you have a question for us? About anything? Send it here with the subject line “What do you think of this, Dealbreaker?”

    Q: Given that Shake Shack is practically Goldman Sachs adjacent, it would stand to reason Shake Shack is the best burger in NYC, as I would find it hard to believe Goldman would stand for anything less. Yet I’m skeptical. Where does it land on your NYC burger rankings and if it’s not at the top, who is? No pressure but I’m planning a “last burgers” tour because I just got my cholesterol results back and if I don’t cut meat out soon I’m probably looking at an early death by heart attack so I need to make this count.

    A: You’re right to be skeptical about the supposed greatness of Shake Shack. It’s a fine burger. It’s okay. But okay isn’t good enough, is it? Burgers are very important to me (and I sense they are to you too) so the answer is no, it is not. The high risk to your health necessitates a high reward, not something middling that elicits only a tepid golf clap. SS’s burger is not the burger for me because it possesses only one of the four baseline qualities I want in a burger, those being: 1) the ability to order it (and have it actually come out) medium rare 2) a thick patty 3) bacon and 4) cheese. I actually feel a great deal of stress identifying, definitively, the number one, for fear of steering you in the wrong direction. I wish I were as organized and methodical about burgers as Greg Lippman is about sushi but c’est la vie. So let’s talk about my tops, plural, any of which would make a fine last meal.

    Lure Fish Bar has a surprisingly great burger– highly recommend. I love “The Cadillac” at PJ Clarke’s but you have to get it with smothered onions. 5Napkin- yes. Spotted Pig- yes. Bill’s Burger Bar- yes. Burger Joint- they don’t do bacon so only in a pinch (people really get off on going there because of the “secret” hideaway aspect but: 1) We’re talking about taste, not ambiance and 2) Going behind a velvet curtain in a hotel lobby into another room that seems out of place with its surroundings does not a secret hideaway make. Give me secret passwords, doors with those tiny little windows you slide from the inside, and a real sense of danger and then we can talk about whether or not the experience enhances the food, which it very well might because stuff probably tastes better when your adrenaline is flowing and you’re thinking “I’m lucky to be alive” while eating it).

    My favorite burger ever was the one at The Stoned Crow but the stupid place closed and I’m still upset. The cook came from Corner Bistro and it represented everything that was good about the CB experience minus everything that sucks (meat that’s too dry, bacon that’s overcooked, the 5 hour wait with someone’s elbow shoved in your rib cage). Peter Luger has a very, very good burger though I’ve only had it once because I find the idea of getting a burger there kind of an odd choice. You’re here for a reason and that’s not it. (I actually got into a pretty heated debate about this topic with a friend once who argued that you could/people do order it as a side, like “We’ll have the steak-for-two, the shrimp cocktail, the french-fried potatoes, and a burger.” He claimed to me he’d seen this happen with his own two eyes and then proceeded to make the case for why it’s probably not that uncommon. First of all, I don’t believe for a second that he really saw this happen and neither should you. But let’s play a long for a moment and pretend he did. I love meat in practically every form, particularly red (and pork but not lamb) and a few seconds ago I typed the words “burgers are very important to me” and meant it but if you’re ordering one on the side of your steak you have a problem.) I haven’t been to JG Melon in forever and while I remember the burger being quite good, the real draw for me would be the cottage fries (my second favorite type after waffle), plus the manager who I’m guessing has been there since the place opened and the last time I was there led some kid out of the dining room by the collar while telling him “I am gonna shut you down” for reasons unknown. A new burger I tried recently was the one from a place called Jacob’s Biscuits and Pickles and it was heaven. A friend tells me that Donovan’s makes a “fantastic” burger and while I hesitate to recommend a place that I haven’t tried myself, I trust his judgment so I think we’ll be okay here.

    As for your medical results I’m not a doctor but let me just say this. In December I had a checkup for the first time in a few years, during which they took a bunch of blood as part of the routine physical. I didn’t think much of it and then a day or two before I was supposed to get the results I started panicking when I realized I was going to find out what my cholesterol and other cholesterol-related levels were and that maybe they’d be bad because of how much I love meat and bacon and wonderful things like that, which are supposedly “going to kill you.” What would I do? Would I have to start a new, meaningless/just-going-through-the-motions/what’s-the-point-of-it-all life without them? I legitimately became pre-emptively depressed at the thought. Then I got my results: not only are my cholesterol levels great but my triglycerides score is “even more impressive” (average is 134, mine is 47, suck it, everyone). What can we learn from this? I took it to mean that the aforementioned delicacies aren’t actually bad for you at all and I suggest you do the same.

    Q: Here’s a question for that portion of your readership that uses Bloomberg regularly and logs in with a B-Unit token. How many times do you need to swipe your finger on average before the damn thing works? How many time would be reasonable? Maybe I’m a vampire or a replicant or whatever mythical creature is known for not having fingerprints, but it takes me on average 8-10 swipes. The few days in my life I’ve verified on the first swipe I make sure to buy a lottery ticket, or do a trade with GS. How many swipes do you think it is reasonable for Bloomberg to expect me to tolerate? And, follow-up question: what the hell does “Swipe Longer” mean? It sounds kind of porn-y, even coming from a little plastic doodad.

    -Guy who remembers when Bloomberg was a physical machine and you could get on a plane without showing any ID.

    A: I don’t use Bloomberg but I sit across from someone who does who I assume would (has?) pose(d) the exact same question to Bloomberg Help Desk if he could get himself down to a 7 on the searing anger scale long enough to breathe and type it out. Instead he yells “Oh for fuck’s sake, Bloomberg!” on average 8-10 times a day, gets really irritated when someone calls his phone to discuss the problem (“No, just email me,” click) and one time had an amazingly awkward interaction with a technician who came to our office to fix our keyboard where he was like, “I don’t know what you’re doing here/you can’t fix this/you’re wasting my time” and the guy basically agreed but kept standing there while my colleague refused to look at him.

    “Swipe Longer” does sound porn-y. I assume it means you’re supposed to swipe slower, which also sounds porn-y but I suspect you already knew that. Relatedly, while doing some research (Googling) to answer your question(s) I came across this, re: the B-UnitTM: “…our credit card-sized biometric security device gives you remote access to your Bloomberg Professional service – with the same level of rock-solid security you get on the terminal.” These people are sick.

    Matt says: ” I probably only average about 4-5 swipes but each failed swipe leaves me sure that I’ll never get it right again and be doomed to staring at a blinking screen while hopelessly molesting a plastic card. I also find ‘swipe longer’ confusing though I think I’ve figured out that it doesn’t mean ‘swipe more slowly’ but rather ‘let us see a little more of your finger’. But it’s still better than using the keyboard.”

    Q: How do you think Steve is coping with losing out on the Dodgers? Do you think he’ll try for another team?

    A: There’s going to be hell to pay. Even if he had another team in mind, and they were available, why would he go through the process for a third time? He should start a new pro league and destroy MLB/Bud Selig.

    Q: Do you keep in touch with Gianna from Beamers? Related, what was the geneses of the idea for that trip?

    A: The last time I chatted (texted) with Gianna was when she wanted me to attend the Beamers Christmas party in December, which I told you all to go to in my stead. Every few months she will reach out and ask me when I’m going to stop by again and I feel a bit badly because I never do and haven’t been since the one time, though not that badly because I assume she just wants me to bring paying customers and it would be fair to say at least some of the people on any given night are there because of all the free advertising we give the place (or not; it’s all relative).

    I said this at the time but the field trip came about because several months prior, a Connecticut resident was pulled over and charged with a DUI (and having an unlicensed gun on him). He was a UBS managing director and he had been coming from Beamers. We knew this because he offered this information up to the police and it made it into the Police Blotter section of one of my favorite publications, the Stamford Advocate. When I wrote my piece about it, I said this was a sign that the cultural relevance of Beamers to Wall Street North could no longer be ignored and that it deserved a profile. Then people kept asking when I was going to go and when they could expect to read the reportage and I realized I actually had to do it. For months I would come in to work and say to myself, just go to Beamers today, just fucking do it. Every day I dragged my heels I felt horribly guilty, like I was really letting everyone down so I finally said no more excuses, gave myself a deadline and went. Being able to cross things off your To Do list feels SO FREEING.

    Q: Is commenter PMCO a dude?

    A: Nope, she’s a lady and, in fact, a high-powered business woman who manages and directs at one of the world’s pre-eminent financial services firm, so show some respect.


    A: I don’t know and it’s killing me. Supposedly they started filming just this past Monday so that probably means we’re out another six months? At least? I didn’t watch it when it aired and then I did seasons 1-4 in like six weeks and decided that is the only way to watch TV. None of this waiting a week, I need to be able to go through 3 or 4 at a time. Now I’m in the same boat as the rest of you and it sucks. Worse than that, when is Homeland coming back? I think I did the whole season in a day when I was trying to fill the TV thriller series void and it may actually exceed my love of BB. In the meantime I’ve been subsisting on a steady diet of second and third-rate shows of the same genre like Prison Break (not after Season 2 because come on) and The Killing. It’s not pretty.

    Q: How should I handle ex-colleagues who are hitting me up for a job but I think are incompetent? Related: How do I ask a guy for a job when I blatantly didn’t help him out in his own job hunt?

    A: Oh god, I struggled with answering this, as did most of the people I polled because how are you supposed to be really honest in this situation? You can’t be and it’s awkward and you’d rather not deal with it at all and I assume you’ve been avoiding the matter entirely for at least a few weeks now and the guy probably just assumes you’ve decided not to help him and has burned you in effigy. Anyway, what seems to be the consensus is that hopefully you have a friendly relationship with the person doing the hiring for the job, in which case you should just casually be like, “Here’s this guy’s resume, which I’m only passing on to you because I promised I would, do what you want with it,” and hope said person picks up what you’re throwing down and/or figure’s out your ex-colleague’s incompetence on his own which he presumably will. Then tell the guy you tried- which you did– and you’re good.

    Another person I consulted said that “if you think they are incompetent, chances are they think really highly of themselves, so just ask what they are making and whatever they say, your response should be that you just ‘can’t afford’ someone of their caliber.”

    As for your own personal situation, that was unfortunate. You should have at least faked going through the motions so as not to come come off like a total asshole (Friend ‘o DB/Dispenser of Tough Love: “…if you were dumb enough to blatantly not help out, then you will be passed over. This is how things work in the real world.”) But maybe you’re a lovable scamp of an asshole who people like being around? In that case you could probably still salvage things if you really turn on the charm, otherwise I suggest working the contacts you haven’t flipped off.

    Q: I have a gigantic prick of a co-worker. He’s uptight, self-important, blames others for mistakes he’s made and has somehow made it pretty far professionally despite being a halfwit. No one in our group can stand him and at least once a day he gets on the phone to yell at his kids, who are probably taking steps to become emancipated minors. I don’t have a question, I just wanted to let that out.

    A: Good, I’m glad you did and I hope it made you feel at least a tiny bit better. It’s times like these that I wish I had a business in which people could contact me with the name of a person who’s a real thorn in their side and then me and my crack team of mercenaries/soldiers of fortune would show up at their place of work and accost them and make a scene, which would help them and be fun for us. We’d charge on a sliding scale, based on a variety of factors, such as what the offense was, how hard/dangerous it would be for us to infiltrate the place of work (do we have to rappel down the side of a building?), and so on and so forth. I feel like it could really work.

    Q: In May I will be starting a new job, located in Connecticut. I currently live in NYC. Is this going to suck? Do I need to move? I started making a pros/cons list for CT and all I could come up with for the pro side was “office is there” and “not much crime?”. Should I stay or should I go? I’m 29, single, no kids. Another thing to take into consideration is that I’m not a morning person.

    A: You should move. At first I was thinking that it wasn’t really a big deal that you’re not a morning person (I’m not either, at all) and that Grand Central is a nice place, and you could nap on the way up and become a regular in the bar car on the way back and that moving didn’t seem necessary. Then I remembered that me not being a morning person as it relates to getting to work/etc has no relevance to the real world/your situation. I have an office to go to, and most days I do, and I need to start producing things for my job at some point or I get yelled at (by readers) but it’s all very loose and it doesn’t make much difference if I’m physically at my desk at 8 (ROTFLMAO) or 9 (still funny) or 10 or 11. Basically, I wouldn’t last a day at a normal job, which is what you’re presumably taking. (Actually, I probably would last and really enjoy it for a day or maybe even two strictly because of, like, the novelty of it all. When I was a little kid, in addition to the standard imagination/scenario game of “house” I used to play “office.” Some days I would be the boss, some days I would be the secretary, both roles pretty much entailed me sitting at a coffee table I was pretending was a desk and writing on stacks of papers. So, for me, I feel like going to/working at your place of business would be fun at first and that’s probably also why Matt will often (accurately) be like, “You wouldn’t understand this because you’ve never had a real job.”) You’re going to have to be up and out the door at a certain time every day and now having to catch a train will be an added level of anxiety, not to mention an infringement on precious sleep time. That said, while my vote is still to move, I don’t think you should put crime or lack thereof in the pro column because have you read the Stamford Advocate or Greenwich Time lately? Every day it’s headlines about burglaries and armed robbery and murders. Yesterday there was a story about a man who assaulted a woman with a dumbbell. Right now there’s an article titled “Dead sheep, lit candles found” (authorities “suspect” the sheep was killed, though sure, maybe he lit a bunch of candles and committed suicide). In NYC, you’re always surrounded by people- in the suburbs, no one can hear you scream. Good luck with the move!

    [Sidenote: Some other people say you should “make Connecticut your primary residence,” by renting a place that you stay in during the week and staying in a place in NYC on the weekends, so you can avoid paying New York income tax and have the best of both worlds. Give Julian Robertson a call to discuss this further.]

    / Mar 29, 2012 at 1:54 PM
  • hostess_ding_dongs_600w

    business school

    The Art of the Ding

    Regardless of what you’re trying for, how little you think you care, rejection always hurts. […]

    / Mar 29, 2012 at 1:42 PM
  • mark-zuckerberg 9feb12


    Mark Zuckerberg only shares some information publicly. If you know Mark, send him a friend request or message him.

    I’m fascinated by the motivations of the people who are freaking out because Mark Zuckerberg […]

    / Mar 29, 2012 at 11:44 AM
  • Screen shot 2012-03-29 at 9.59.22 AM

    Opening Bell

    Opening Bell: 03.29.12

    Facebook Targeting May IPO (WSJ)
    The Menlo Park, Calif., social network halted trading of its shares on the secondary market this week, as it sets about nailing down its shareholder count, according to a person familiar with the matter…It’s unclear which week in May Facebook is aiming to go public, cautioned the person, and the timing may still change. The timing depends in large part on the SEC and isn’t in Facebook’s control, this person added.

    Jobless Claims Near Four-Year Low (WSJ)
    Initial jobless claims fell by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 359,000 in the week ended March 24, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast that claims would increase by 2,000.

    Morgan Stanley’s Jennings Asks Court to Dismiss Stabbing Case (BusinessWeek)
    The motion to dismiss the case was filed yesterday in state court in Stamford, Connecticut, said Jennings’s lawyer, Eugene Riccio. “The motion speaks for itself,” Riccio said in a phone interview. “There are serious deficiencies in the application for the arrest warrant.” Jennings, 45, is accused of attacking the driver, Mohamed Ammar, on Dec. 22 with a 2 1/2-inch blade and using racial slurs after a 40-mile ride from New York to the banker’s home in Darien, Connecticut.

    SEC Said to Review Credit Suisse VIX Note (Bloomberg)
    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigators are reviewing a Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) exchange-traded note that became unhinged from its benchmark and whipsawed investors, a person familiar with the matter said. The VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN (TVIX), which seeks to provide twice the daily return of the VIX volatility index, climbed almost 90 percent above its asset value after the Zurich-based bank stopped issuing shares in February. The value of the note, which had risen to almost $700 million from about $163 million at the end of 2011, plunged last week when Credit Suisse said it would begin creating shares again.

    Stock Market Flaws Not So Rare, Data Shows (NYT)
    The communication breakdown that blocked trading on parts of the BATS exchange for more than an hour has been seen in at least 110 instances across the nation’s 13 stock exchanges over the last year, a review of data from Nasdaq shows. That number has gone up every year since 2007. In one instance in January, BATS said it was unable to trade with the New York Stock Exchange for nearly 30 minutes. Meanwhile, exchanges have halted trading in company shares after sudden spikes or falls, as happened Friday with Apple, at least 265 times over the last year — more than one for every day of trading, according to data analyzed by the Tabb Group, a market research firm. These circuit breakers kick in after stocks experience 10 percent swings in a short period of time and can be caused by a technical error or waves of electronic trading on news developments.

    Espirito Santo Among Five Portugal Lenders Downgraded by Moody’s (BW)
    Espirito Santo, Portugal’s largest publicly traded bank by market value, had its debt rating lowered one level to Ba3, Moody’s said yesterday in a statement. It took the same action for Caixa Geral de Depositos SA and Banco BPI SA. (BPI) Banco Internacional do Funchal was downgraded to B1 from Ba3.

    Mark Zuckerberg meets Japan’s prime minister (AP)
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Japan’s massive tsunami inspired him to seek more ways for his social network to help people hit by natural disasters. Zuckerberg, who is visiting Japan, told Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda that he believes Facebook can be used to help people in disasters keep in touch and provide them with crucial information. He did not go into details during the brief meeting Thursday. Noda expressed his appreciation and said he felt odd meeting the young entrepreneur after seeing the hit movie “The Social Network,” which was based on Zuckerberg’s life and the legal problems he had with others during Facebook’s early days. Laughing, Zuckerberg said the Hollywood portrayal of him wasn’t completely on target. “Very different,” he said.

    What To Do After You Hit The Megamillions Jackpot (AP)
    “Q: Whom should I tell first? A: Contacting a lawyer and a financial planner would be a lot wiser than updating your Facebook status. Make sure it’s someone you can trust and, it’s hoped, dealt with before. If you don’t have anyone in mind, ask a close family member or friend. Oklahoma City attorney Richard Craig, whose firm has represented a handful of lottery winners, says it’s essential to assemble a team of financial managers, tax experts, accountants and bankers.”

    Eddie Lampert quietly shopping Lands End (NYP)
    Lampert, who inherited Lands’ End when he took control of Sears in 2005 by merging it with Kmart, has approached a handful of private-equity firms as he looks to raise as much as $2 billion in cash, sources said.

    SocGen To Rejig Investment Bank (WSJ)
    Société Générale aims to better integrate the investment bank’s different teams as it shifts its business model toward originating loans that it will then move off its balance sheet by selling to investors, a person said. French banks have traditionally kept the loans they issue on their books, but in light of new capital demands from regulators, they are moving toward selling them to investors to prevent them from swelling their balance sheets.

    Charlie Sheen saying ‘sorry’ to America for troubled time (NYP)
    Despite his fresh start, Sheen admitted that he still has “a little bit” of bitterness towards “Two and a Half Men,” but he says he “just [has] to work through that.” “I wish they’d taken better care of the child left behind,” he said.

    / Mar 29, 2012 at 9:58 AM
  • Write-Offs

    Write-Offs: 03.28.12

    $$$ ‘I Don’t Know’ Dominates MF Hearing [WSJ] $$$ Facebook halts secondary market trading, plans […]

    / Mar 28, 2012 at 7:42 PM
  • News

    Congressman Breaks Down MF Global Situation In A Way Colleagues Can Understand

    “4:55PM Rep. Neugebauer invokes Bill Nye the Science Guy with a water bottle experiment meant […]

    / Mar 28, 2012 at 7:38 PM
  • Founder and Managing Partner of T2 Partners LLC Whitney Tilson speaks at the Reuters Investment Summit in New York

    Hedge Funds

    Which Hedge Fund Manager’s TV Commercial Are You Most Looking Forward To?

    I take back whatever mildly negative things I may have said about the JOBS Act, since apparently in addition to making it easier for small startups to rip off investors, it will also make it easier for small hedge funds to rip off investors:

    President Barack Obama’s securities-law rollback known as the Jobs Act, expected to be signed into law next month, also contains a provision that would lift the ban on the marketing of private funds, potentially giving hedge funds, private-equity funds and others greater freedom in marketing their offerings to the public, industry attorneys said.

    Currently, private funds are allowed only to market to a small group of investors: those with whom they have pre-existing, “substantive” relationships. Under the bill, hedge funds could start sponsoring sporting events and begin advertising their funds in print, the lawyers said.

    The shift is “significant” and could provide a boost to small hedge funds trying to raise capital but that lack brand-name recognition or wide contacts, says Steve Nadel, a hedge-fund lawyer with Seward & Kissel LLP in New York; larger, more established firms sometimes have investors waiting to invest.

    The Journal goes on to talk about the free speech aspect of this, and I did that too, so yay, now you can tell strangers how awesome your hedge fund is, AND OF COURSE YOU WILL DO JUST THAT, and you probably are already and are surprised to learn that it’s illegal*? Also, and more importantly, soon you will be able to give people money to induce them to tell strangers on the internet how awesome your hedge fund is, so, y’know, consider giving us some of that money, because we like money.

    / Mar 28, 2012 at 6:42 PM
  • brianmoynihan


    Bonus Watch ’12: Third Year Bank Of America CEO’s

    After a year of layoffs, topless hecklers, people who won’t stop yelling at him, jokes that sting, and continuing to “reap the benefits of what Countrywide sowed,” things are looking up for Brian Moynihan.

    Bank of America Corp., the second- biggest U.S. lender, more than quadrupled Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan’s 2011 compensation to $8.09 million. Salary was unchanged at $950,000 while his stock awards surged to $6.1 million from zero the previous year, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender said today in a regulatory filing. The figures conform to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission guidelines.


    / Mar 28, 2012 at 5:05 PM
  • News

    Bridgewater Accuser/Dartmouth Fraternity Brother-Cum-Reformer Surprised Find Himself Not Covered By Whistleblowing Protection Laws

    This is kind of exciting: a bank won a CDO case! Or: something nice happened […]

    / Mar 28, 2012 at 12:35 PM
  • UBS


    Layoffs Watch ’12: UBS

    Cuts are said to be going down circa now.

    “FYI: UBS is letting people go on the sales and trading desk today. At least three senior guys have been let go so far this morning, with more on the way.”

    / Mar 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM
  • ifhehastohehasto


    President Of Multi-Billion Dollar Investment Firm Will Fire The Next Degenerate Caught Leaving a Dirty Dish In the Sink Before He Will Hire a Janitor

    From: [redacted]
    Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 4:57 PM
    To: Office-CT
    Subject: The end of my rope.

    Ten days ago I entered the kitchen at 6 pm at the end of the day to find a sink full of dirty dishes. I cleaned them and put them in the dishwasher. Today I just went in the kitchen and again there is a sink full of dirty dishes.

    Let me make this clear. THERE IS A SIGN OVER THE SINK FOR A REASON… one in this office is paid to be your personal janitor. If I catch anyone leaving their dirty dishes in the sink, you will be fired.

    President and Chief Operating Officer

    Obviously this an amazing story we’re going to be following closely. At this time we do have a few questions that need answering and they are: 1) What was the first thought that crossed this guy’s mind upon entering the kitchen and seeing the mess yesterday? Was it “These filthy fucking animals”? 2) What level of slop are we talking about here? Was it every available fork and stacks and stacks of plates with disgusting crusted-on grease or was it, like, a water glass and he’d just reached that point where one more dirty dish pushes you over the edge? 3) His boss is a billionaire who might very well think he’s paying someone to act as a personal janitor– if he’s one of the culprits will the same vigilante justice and dressing down be served? 4) Has he installed surveillance cameras to monitor the area? On the one hand, this email would suggest that yes, he most certainly has. On the other, though, he sort of sounds like he’s so pissed about this shit that he’s going to shelve all of his other responsibilities in order to devote himself full time to staking out the kitchen and nailing these lowlifes.

    / Mar 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM
  • magic-johnson

    Opening Bell

    Opening Bell: 03.28.12

    Top MF Global Witness Talks Deal With Justice (WSJ)
    The star witness in a congressional hearing about MF Global Holdings Ltd.’s collapse has told Justice Department representatives through her lawyers details about transactions that ended up dipping into customer funds, people familiar with the matter said. But Edith O’Brien, the assistant treasurer at MF Global, isn’t expected to reveal those details when she appears at Wednesday’s hearing of the House Financial Services Committee’s oversight and investigations subcommittee. Ms. O’Brien plans to invoke her constitutional right against self-incrimination and to decline to answer questions, people familiar with the matter said.

    J.P. Morgan Was ‘Assured’ on MF Global Transfers (WSJ)
    MF Global Holdings Ltd. Chairman and Chief Executive Jon S. Corzine was in direct contact with J.P. Morgan Chase officials about a large transfer of customer funds to the bank shortly before the securities firm collapsed, according to prepared testimony from a J.P. Morgan lawyer for a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday. The testimony by Diane Genova, deputy general counsel for J.P. Morgan, provides additional details about a transfer of $175 million in MF Global customer funds to a J.P. Morgan account on Oct. 28. That move is the subject of scrutiny as investigators hunt for clues about how MF Global firm lost about $1.6 billion in customer funds.

    Magic Johnson Group to Buy L.A. Dodgers for $2 Billion (Bloomberg)
    The group was chosen yesterday by Dodgers owner Frank McCourt over billionaire Steve Cohen, who runs hedge fund manager SAC Capital Advisors LP, and Stan Kroenke, who owns the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams and Arsenal of English soccer’s Premier League. [WHO DOES STEVE COHEN HAVE TO SCREW AROUND HERE TO BUY A BASEBALL TEAM???]

    BATS Chairman Will Give Up Post (WSJ)
    BATS Global Markets Inc.’s directors voted to remove Joe Ratterman as chairman Tuesday, while expressing unanimous support for him to stay on as the company’s chief executive. The vote came after Friday’s collapse of the exchange operator’s initial public offering, which raised questions about BATS’s technology and put Mr. Ratterman on the defensive…BATS has launched a search for a new chairman, according to a spokesman.

    Face time with Facebook CEO stirs concerns on Wall Street (Reuters)
    Two people who attended Facebook’s March 19 meeting remarked on the young CEO’s absence and privately said they expected at least a cursory appearance. One analyst asked how involved Zuckerberg would be in future. In response, the company said expectations should be set pretty low, according to one of the two who was at the meeting. “Investors are crazy to want to get in bed with a company where the guy who controls it doesn’t even pretend to care about the rest of the shareholders,” said Greg Taxin of activist investment firm Spotlight Advisors, who will not buy shares. “That seems like a recipe for disaster.”

    Texas journalist Sarah Tressler outed for leading a double life (NYDN)
    By day, she’s a reporter who strips through the veneer of Houston’s high society. By night, she’s a reporter who strips off her clothes. And Sarah Tressler, a 2008 graduate of NYU’s School of Journalism, is not ashamed. In fact, until recently, the 29-year-old brunette blogged about her after-hours gig and posted pictures of herself in scanty outfits on a Facebook page entitled “Diary of an Angry Stripper.” Since the outcry, that — and her titillating Twitter account — have been moved to a protected site. Before Tressler went underground, one of her juicier postings was about an alleged and “somewhat disappointing” sexual encounter with “Entourage” star Jeremy Piven.

    Europeans Sees Crisis Near End (Bloomberg)
    The euro area’s woes are “almost over” after a slow initial response by policy makers, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said in Tokyo today. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that the crisis is ebbing and her country’s borrowing costs will probably rise as its status as a haven wanes.

    Jefferies CEO Handler’s Pay Drops 7.9% for 2011 After Stock Rout (Bloomberg)
    Handler, 50, was awarded $14 million for the fiscal year ended Nov. 30, compared with $15.2 million for the 11 months through November 2010, New York-based Jefferies said today in a filing. The package included $1 million in salary and $13 million in restricted-stock units that were granted in 2010. Handler elected to not receive a bonus for 2011.

    Goldman Bows To Pressure (WSJ)
    Goldman Sachs agreed to change its board structure in order to persuade a union pension fund to drop a shareholder proposal that could have cost Chief Executive Lloyd C. Blankfein his job as chairman. The deal between the New York securities firm and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees means Goldman will appoint a “lead” director, but shareholders won’t get a chance to vote at the firm’s annual meeting in May on the proposal to replace Mr. Blankfein with an independent chairman.

    Ben Bernanke: The World Needs More Nerds (OS)
    In an exclusive interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said it’s important not to be complacent about the improving economy…[he also said] he takes no offense that Time magazine, in naming him Person of the Year for 2009, described him as “the most powerful nerd on the planet.” “I am very proud of my nerd-dom,” he told Sawyer. “In fact, the world needs more nerds. Nerds, you know, create more jobs and advance science, and I hope make good economic policy, but that remains to be seen.”

    / Mar 28, 2012 at 9:30 AM