Lorenzana, a buxom beauty who was axed from her job at Citigroup in 2010, said […]
This weekend the New York Times published an amazing, front-page-of-Sunday-business article about … well, there […]
Book excerpt: Adam Baldwin’s “Heroes and Villains of Finance” is a fascinating dive into the history of money as an institution, highlighting the fifty most significant figures that, rightly or wrongly, are responsible for the financial landscape we live in today.
Remember the fight that broke out at the New York Athletic Club last month, which a witness described as a “nondiscriminatory ragematch” involving “young people, old people, girls, members, and nonmembers,” which started as a tiff over a woman and “escalated into a brawl involving three fighting wolfpacks,” wherein “tables were overturned or moved to the room’s periphery to crate a lion’s pit for the battle,” a “fat pudgy kid came out of nowhere, laid out a larger man with a blow to the head and was tackled by a crowd,” approximately two noses were broken, and the police made three arrests? Oddly, it looks unlikely that the guy who did “the most damage” (to people’s faces) will be walking away with a slap on the wrist.
Manhattan prosecutors aren’t cutting any slack for the handsome broker charged with doing the most damage at an unbridled bar brawl at the otherwise stodgy New York Athletic Club. The DA’s office is not making any plea offers for Colin Drowica, 30, of Glen Head, LI, prosecutors said yesterday, as the glum-looking alleged brawler stood before a criminal court judge in a gray business suit. Drowica, a director at Knight Capital, is charged with harassment and misdemeanor assault — which carries up to one year jail — for allegedly punching another man in the club’s Tap Room with enough force to fracture his eye socket. Drowica then joined with fellow North Shore resident clubgoers Peter Doran and Matthew O’Grady in allegedly beating the heck out of a second man during the April 13 free-for-all.
JPMorgan’s Losses Are Rival’s Boons (WSJ)
A group of about a dozen banks, including Goldman Sachs Group and Bank of America have scored profits that collectively could total $500 million to $1 billion on trades that sometimes pit them directly against J.P. Morgan’s Chief Investment Office, according to traders and people close to the matter.
Facebook 11% Drop Means Morgan Stanley Gets Blame (Bloomberg)
Some investors say they felt misled by the underwriters. According to one London-based fund manager who asked not to be named, bankers indicated demand was so strong that he placed a bigger order than he thought he would get, leaving him with 40 percent more Facebook shares than anticipated. He sold most of that stock on the first day of trading.
Morgan Stanley Cut Facebook Estimates Just Before IPO (Reuters)
In the run-up to Facebook’s $16 billion IPO, Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter on the deal, unexpectedly delivered some negative news to major clients: The bank’s consumer Internet analyst, Scott Devitt, was reducing his revenue forecasts for the company. The sudden caution very close to the huge initial public offering, and while an investor roadshow was underway, was a big shock to some, said two investors who were advised of the revised forecast. They say it may have contributed to the weak performance of Facebook shares, which sank on Monday – their second day of trading – to end 10 percent below the IPO price. The $38 per share IPO price valued Facebook at $104 billion.
Deutsche Bank: ‘Geuro’ an Alternative to Greek Euro Exit (CNBC)
Greece’s best chance of survival may be to stay in the euro but opt for its own parallel currency or “Geuro,” according to Deutsche Bank’s head of research, Thomas Mayer. In a research piece, Mayer said the Geuro would help Greece balance its primary budget without financial support from the ‘Troika’ of international lenders (the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank). This would allow the incoming Greek government to reject the strict austerity program on which aid is contingent.
IMF Chief, OECD Call For More Euro Debt Sharing (WSJ)
International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde Tuesday called on euro-zone governments to accept more common liability for each other’s debts, saying that the region urgently needs to take further steps to contain the crisis. “We consider that more needs to be done, particularly by way of fiscal liability-sharing, and there are multiple ways to do that,” Ms. Lagarde told a press conference in London to mark the completion of a regular review of U.K. finances.
Greece Needs To Accept Bailout Terms, Says South Korea (CNBC)
South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak says Greece needs to accept the terms of a $130 billion international bailout agreed in March and there will be no disbursement of money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), unless the country does so.
Floating bales of marijuana a mystery (OCG)
The floating bundles, weighing a total of 8,068 pounds, were first seen by a boater near the harbor around 12:01 p.m. Sunday, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Seth Johnson said. The bales were reportedly floating at least 15 miles off shore. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department sent three Harbor Patrol ships to aid in recovering the marijuana. A Coast Guard cutter was also sent to assist. Michael Jimenez, a Border Patrol spokesman, called Sunday’s incident unusual. In most scenarios when marijuana bales are found dumped in the water it is because a vessel is trying to flee from authorities. “At other events, they’ve dumped the bales to get rid of weight if they’re being chased,” he said. “Generally in these cases we’re aware they’re being dumped. What’s more unusual is that the bales were floating with no boat in sight.”
Fitch Downgrades Japan (WSJ)
Fitch Ratings downgraded Japan’s sovereign rating to A-plus and said it was maintaining a negative outlook due to the “leisurely” pace of the county’s efforts to remedy its dire fiscal situation. The firm’s long-term foreign-currency rating had been AA and its local currency issuer default rating had been AA-minus.
JPMorgan Veered From Hedging Practices At Competing Banks (Bloomberg)
JPMorgan’s biggest U.S. competitors say their corporate investment offices avoid the use of derivatives that led to the bank’s $2 billion loss and buy fewer bonds exposed to credit risk.
Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. say the offices don’t trade credit-default swaps on indexes linked to the health of companies. JPMorgan is said to have amassed positions in such indexes that were so large they drove price moves in the $10 trillion market. The loss has prompted shareholders to join regulators in scrutinizing how banks use their investment offices to hedge risks and manage deposits they aren’t using for loans. JPMorgan’s competitors confine corporate-level trading mostly to interest-rate and currency swaps — the most common derivatives — and put a greater percentage of funds into U.S. government- backed securities such as Treasury bonds.
Blackstone Moves Into Motel 6 (WSJ)
Blackstone Group LP is acquiring discount lodging chain Motel 6 in a deal valued at $1.9 billion, as the private-equity firm continues to invest aggressively through its $10 billion real estate war-chest.
Jon Corzine Got $8.4 Million In Year Before MF Global Collapse (NYP)
Corzine received a bonus of $1.25 million in addition to his salary of about $1.8 million last year. He also was awarded $5.35 million in now-worthless stock options. Other MF Global insiders, including Chief Operating Officer Bradley Abelow, also saw big pay days. Abelow, who is still working at the firm, was paid $2.7 million in cash, including a $1.25 million bonus, plus restricted stock valued at $1.5 million.
Woman Claims She Was Fired For Being “Too Hot” (Reuters)
A New Jersey woman said on Monday that she was dismissed from a temporary job at a New York lingerie warehouse because her male employers felt she was too busty and dressed too provocatively for the workplace. Wearing a form-fitting sequined black dress and black leather, sequin-studded boots, Lauren Odes, 29, said her Orthodox Jewish employers at Native Intimates told her that outfit and others like it were “too hot” for the warehouse. “We should not be judged by the size of our breasts or the shape of our body,” Odes said. Odes’s attorney, celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, said she filed a gender and religious discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in New York.
$$$ J.P. Morgan Suspends Share Buyback [WSJ]
$$$ Gupta ‘Threw Away His Duties,’ Prosecutor Says In Opening [Bloomberg]
$$$ U.S. lets China bypass Wall Street for Treasury orders [Reuters]
$$$ MF Global’s Corzine Got More Than $8 Million in Year Before Collapse [WSJ]
$$$ S&P is looking for an associate to rate media and entertainment companies in Chicago – interested? [DBCC]
$$$ “On average, for every additional 1% a company returned to shareholders between 2009 and 2011, the CEO was paid 0.6% more last year, the analysis found. For every 1% decline in shareholder return, the CEO was paid 0.6% less. … In 2010, there was no correlation; for every 1% decrease in shareholder return, the average CEO was paid 0.02% more.” [WSJ]$$$ Enron Ex-CEO Seeks Retrial On ‘New Evidence,’ Lawyer Says [Bloomberg]
$$$ With New Firepower, S.E.C. Tracks Bigger Game [DealBook]
$$$ Taxi Panel May Raise Fares Up to 20% [NYT]
The Montana State Society’s Testicle Festival in Virginia Square was a rousing success this year. Festival-goers […]
He’s got this.
JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has the experience needed to manage the fallout from trading losses, and market disruptions haven’t been serious, Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan said today. Trading didn’t freeze and markets behaved “reasonably well” given the circumstances after Dimon disclosed at least $2 billion in trading losses at JPMorgan’s chief investment office, Moynihan said today at a Manhattan investor conference. Dimon has shown he’s got the skills to handle the affair, said Moynihan, whose Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank ranks second by assets behind New York-based JPMorgan.
The Facebook IPO left some investors seething. For Jared White, it left him feeling very […]
How do the world’s leading hedge fund managers go about assembling their teams? While some choose the standard head hunter and “pitch me a stock” route with candidates who’ve had at least a few years of business experience and proven track records, others prefer a more outside the box approach. Bridgewater Associates, for instance, has said that instead of going after veterans of Wall Street, it prefers to hire people straight out of college, when their minds are still malleable. Founder Ray Dalio has stated: “Interest in the subject matter is a minor consideration…We are first interested in people’s values, second interested in their abilities, and least interested in their precise skills. We want independent thinkers who are willing to put aside their egos to find out what is true.”
Similarly, Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman, who has never been one to follow the crowd, eschews the typical hiring process in identifying talent. Instead, Ackman relies on gut instincts when it comes to making personnel calls, many of which occur outside the confines of the investing world. For example, a former analyst named Oliver White was hired after serving as Ackman’s guide on a fishing expedition in Tierra del Fuego. (Per Christine Harpers’s Confidence Game: “For six days, Ackman and White, a philosophy graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, talked and fished. White explained technical details to Ackman about fly selection, casting the line, and luring the fish. Meanwhile, Ackman spotted the next member of Pershing Square’s investment team. “At the end of his stay, he asked me– no, he told me– I should come to New York and work for him.”) While Ackman was obviously impressed with White’s talent, it seems the offer was made on the basis of spending six days peering into the guy’s soul and seeing something special he knew in his plums would carry over into the investing world, rather than as a barter deal for more fishing lessons. In other cases, people have been asked to join the Pershing team after dazzling Ackman with a skill he wanted to acquire.
Days after Bill Ackman won control of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP), the nation’s second-largest railway, he was at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center trying to control his backhand against Wall Street’s biggest hitters. “My groundstrokes were actually pretty good,” the 46- year-old chief of Pershing Square Capital Management said toward the end of play at the R Baby Foundation doubles tournament. The event was a fundraiser to aid emergency pediatric care. “I had too many unforced errors.”
On Saturday, his partner was Elena Piliptchak of Tiger Europe Management, who played for Kansas State University and was the lone female competing. Ackman’s partner was 25-year-old Mariusz Adamski, a business major and No. 1 doubles player at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. After they were introduced three years ago by Jeffrey Appel, an investment banker, Ackman hired Adamski at Pershing.
Where will Bill find his next super star? Let us be the first to suggest the ranks of street magicians, as they have have all the classic BA lures including the possession of a skill he most likely doesn’t have and would like to learn and natural stage presence.
Harvard, Princeton Bankers Seek Net Glory In Tennis Match [Bloomberg]
Confidence Game [Christine Harper]
The past couple of weeks, some might argue, have been the worst of Jamie Dimon’s professional career. Although being fired by Sandy Weill in 1998 was obviously a distressing time in Dimon’s life, a JPMorgan trader’s multi-billion dollar (and counting) loss appears to be even more painful for the CEO, who now has a reputation (and a title: “America’s Least Hated Banker”) to defend. While it’s unlikely that the blunder will cost him his job, every article written questioning Dimon’s judgment, suggesting that he is in fact fallible, and wondering aloud if he is simply a pretty face (that is about to get the regulation it has vociferously argued against rammed down its throat) clearly hurts. So far, Dimon has chosen to frame the situation, at least publicly, as a group fuck-up, one for which the responsibility is shared among himself, The Whale, The Whale’s bosses, and The Whale’s bosses’ bosses. Over the weekend, though, a heretofore unmentioned character, whose actions set in motion the events that served to tarnish JD’s halo, was added to story. And now, Dimon has a place to channel his anger: on a bloodsucking vermin whose days are numbered.
Ever since JPMorgan Chase disclosed a multibillion-dollar trading loss this month, the central mystery has been how a bank known for its skill at risk management could err so badly. As early as 2010, the senior banker who has been blamed for the debacle, Ina Drew, began to lose her grip on the bank’s chief investment office, according to current and former traders. She had guided the bank through some of the most rugged moments of the 2008 financial crisis, earning the trust of Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chief executive, in the process. But after contracting Lyme disease in 2010, she was frequently out of the office for a critical period, when her unit was making riskier bets, and her absences allowed long-simmering internal divisions and clashing egos to come to the fore, the traders said. The morning conference calls Ms. Drew had presided over devolved into shouting matches between her deputies in New York and London, the traders said. That discord in 2010 and 2011 contributed to the chief investment office’s losing trades in 2012, the current and former bankers said.
“When Ina was there, things ran smoothly,” one former trader there said. But Ms. Drew’s firm hand began to weaken after she contracted Lyme disease. Her absences opened the door for tensions among her deputies to flare into the open…Most significant, her deputy in New York was increasingly at loggerheads with her deputy in London who spearheaded the strategy behind the losing bet, Achilles Macris, the current and former traders said. But there was only so much she could do when she was away.
So, first off, the tick that bit Drew is a dead man (though probably a woman, as “the female adult is usually the one causing the most bites as males usually die after mating”). If people thought Dimon was mad after being informed of the losses, just wait. He’s going to find that bitch tick and shoot her with a cannon. Next, it’s time to put some safeguards in place to protect his bank from anymore “surprises.” Effective immediately, JPMorgan employees are banned from venturing into the forest, for any reason whatsoever. Same goes for grasslands, marshes, and anywhere tall grass grows. Anyone planning on prancing through the meadows in slow motion to meet up with and embrace a loved one in some kind of romantic gesture can forget it. The JMPorgan Outdoor Club is officially disband. Contact with children who are cub scouts is forbidden. Any girl scouts who attempt to set foot on the premises in order to sell cookies will be shot on sight. (These people are breeding grounds for ticks, what with their expeditions into the woods for merit badges and whatnot. He’s going first derivative here, while at the same time trying to not enact mandates that make him look ridiculous.)
JPMorgan CIO Risk Chief Said To Have Trading-Loss History (Bloomberg)
Irvin Goldman, who oversaw risks in the JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) unit that suffered more than $2 billion in trading losses, was fired by another Wall Street firm in 2007 for money-losing bets that prompted a regulatory sanction at the firm, Cantor Fitzgerald LP, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said. JPMorgan appointed Goldman in February as the top risk official in its chief investment office while the unit was managing trades that later spiraled into what Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon called “egregious,” self-inflicted mistakes. The bank knew when it picked Goldman that his earlier work at Cantor led regulators to penalize that company, according to a person briefed on the situation.
Risk Manager’s Past Scrutinized (WSJ)
Mr. Goldman joined J.P. Morgan’s CIO in January 2008 as a trader. The bank placed him on leave in September 2008 after it learned that NYSE Arca had opened a regulatory inquiry tied to his trading activities at Cantor Fitzgerald, people familiar with the matter said. After J.P. Morgan placed him on leave, Mr. Goldman founded a consulting firm based in New York called IJG Advisors LLC. He rejoined J.P. Morgan in September 2010 in the Chief Investment Office, this time focusing on strategy. Current J.P. Morgan Chase Chief Risk Officer John Hogan chose Mr. Goldman to serve as CRO of the office, a position that had been filled by Peter Weiland, who remains with J.P. Morgan’s CIO. Mr. Hogan wasn’t aware of the Cantor Fitzgerald incident or the earlier trading losses at J.P. Morgan Chase, said a person close to the bank.
Eurobonds To Be Discussed At EU Summit (Reuters)
Merkel has said she is not opposed to jointly underwritten euro area bonds per se, but believes it can only be discussed once the conditions are right, including much closer economic integration and coordination across the euro zone, including on fiscal matters. That remains a long way off.
Will Greece Be Able to Print Drachma in a Rush? (Reuters)
If or when policymakers finally decide Greece should leave the euro, the exit could happen so quickly that “new drachma” currency notes might not be printed in time. “It would be chaos,” says Marios Efthymiopoulos, a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University Center for Advanced International Studies and president of Thessaloniki-based think tank Global Strategy. “The banks would collapse and you would have to nationalize them. You wouldn’t be able to pay anyone except in coupons. There is only one (currency) printing press in Greece. It is in the museum in Athens and it doesn’t work any more.”
Ryanair CEO: ‘No’ Campaigners in Irish Vote Are Crazy (CNBC)
“I think Ireland will vote yes in the referendum and Ireland should vote yes. We have no alternative. People who are borrowing $15 billion a year to keep the lights turned on don’t have the wherewithal to vote no to the people that are lending them the money. There is no argument for voting no,” Michael O’Leary, CEO of budget airline Ryanair said. He described “no” campaigners as a “bunch of idiots and lunatics.”
Barclays To Sell Entire BlackRock Stake (WSJ)
Barclays said BlackRock agreed to repurchase $1 billion worth of the 19.6% stake that the bank holds in the asset-management company. The remainder of the stake will then be listed on a stock exchange. The decision to sell comes as the bank faces pressure from investors to boost its return on equity and prepares to mitigate the effects of regulation that will force the lender to hold a bigger capital buffer.
Mark Zuckerberg Gets Married (AP)
The couple met at Harvard and have been together for more than nine years, a guest who insisted on anonymity said. The ceremony took place in Zuckerberg’s backyard before fewer than 100 guests, including Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. The guests all thought they were coming to celebrate Chan’s graduation but were told after they arrived that the event was in fact a wedding. “Everybody was shocked,” the guest said. The two had been planning the marriage for months but were waiting until Chan had graduated from medical school to hold the wedding. The timing wasn’t tied to the IPO, since the date the company planned to go public was a “moving target,” the guest said. Zuckerberg designed the ring featuring “a very simple ruby.”
Hedge Funds Rebuild Euro Bear Bets On Greek Exit Banks Weigh (Bloomberg)
Hedge funds and other large speculators, which pared trades that would profit from a drop in the euro to the lowest levels since November, rebuilt them to a record high last week, figures released May 18 by the Washington-based Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. The premium for options that grant the right to sell the euro has more than doubled since March.
Nasdaq CEO Blames Software Design For Delayed Facebook Trading (Bloomberg)
Nasdaq OMX Group, under scrutiny after shares of Facebook Inc. were plagued by delays and mishandled orders on its first day of trading, blamed “poor design” in the software it uses for driving auctions in initial public offerings.
Fed Proves More Bullish Than Wall Street Forecasting U.S. Growth (Bloomberg)
Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC, has derided the Federal Reserve for downplaying improvement in the U.S. economy. Yet his 2.6 percent forecast for growth this year is below the midpoint in the central bank’s projection of 2.4 percent to 2.9 percent…“I’ve been banging my head against the wall,” said Stanley in Stamford, Connecticut, a former researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, who had predicted an interest- rate increase as early as last year and now says the Fed probably will tighten in the middle of next year. “They’re willing to let things run for longer and let inflation accelerate more than historically.”
Judge mulls suit vs. woman sending messages to driving boyfriend (NYP)
In a case believed to be the first of its kind in the country, a New Jersey college student could be held liable this week for texting her boyfriend — knowing he was behind the wheel — and allegedly causing him to crash into a couple riding a motorcycle. “She texts. Instantly, he texts back, and, bang, the accident occurs,” said Skippy Weinstein, attorney for motorcycle enthusiasts David and Linda Kubert, both 59, who lost their left legs in the horrific 2009 accident in Mine Hill. It’s now up to a Superior Court judge in Morristown, NJ, to decide whether Shannon Colonna can be added to the suit against driver Kyle Best.
$$$ JPMorgan Returned $168M To MF Global, Trustee Says [Bloomberg]
$$$ Chesapeake Cuts Board Compensation [WSJ]
$$$ Ben Horowitz: MBAs aren’t as bad as everyone thinks [PandoDaily]
$$$ Bloomberg TV’s Matt Miller vents about Nasdaq FB glitches to NYSE traders [Bloomberg TV]
$$$ Boston radio talk show host Howie Carr released evidence that appears to confirm [Elizabeth] Warren may have plagiarized at least three of the five recipes she submitted to the 1984 Pow Wow Chow cookbook edited by her cousin Candy Rowsey. Two of the possibly plagiarized recipes, said in the Pow Wow Chow cookbook to have been passed down through generations of Oklahoma Native American members of the Cherokee tribe, are described in a New York Times News Service story as originating at Le Pavilion, a fabulously expensive French restaurant in Manhattan. The dishes were said to be particular favorites of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Cole Porter. The two recipes, “Cold Omelets with Crab Meat” and “Crab with Tomato Mayonnaise Dressing,” appear in an article titled “Cold Omelets with Crab Meat,” written by Pierre Franey of the New York Times News Service that was published in the August 22, 1979 edition of the Virgin Islands Daily News … [Breitbart via DI]
$$$ Morgan Stanley is looking for a VP in Global Regulatory Policy in New York [DBCC]
$$$ JPMorgan to be haunted by change in risk model [Reuters]
For every Facebook millionaire, there is someone who missed out. Ali Fedotowsky gave it up […]
When you’ve made the executive decision to turn your business channel into the Facebook IPO Show, it can get difficult figuring out how to fill every second of airtime. Obviously there will be breathless coverage from every conceivable angle, a countdown clock, and segments on “the evolution of social media,” “advice for Mark Zuckerberg,” the emotions surrounding a delay in trading, venture capital’s feelings about Facebook, “what’s the deal with Facebook’s private shares,” how “Facebook makes its employees happy,” “networking Facebook’s ecosystem,” Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook profile, and whether Facebook is “your friend or foe.” But with the tech analyst who agreed weeks in advance to have Mark Zuckerberg’s face tattooed to his ass live on-air while network anchors discussed the significance it might have on how Facebook would close on its first day of trading backed out at the eleventh hour, CNBC found itself with a gaping hole in programming. Luckily, an unnamed producer who should win an Emmy for his or her work had the bright idea for this:
In the above clip, CNBC travels to Mackay Elementary school in Tenafly, NJ to pick a bunch of 8 year-old analysts’ minds on FB. Questions include:
* “Is Facebook cool? If so, how long will it be cool for?”
* “Would you rate Facebook a buy or a sell?”
* “How much would you spend on one share of Facebook” (Answers include $150 and $1,000)
* “Is it appropriate for a CEO to wear a hoodie? Would you take a guy in a suit more seriously?”
Last year, Petra Ecclestone, daughter of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, gave the California housing market a boost when she bought 90210 widow Candy Spelling’s 57,000 square foot mansion for $85 million, as a crash pad for when she’s in Los Angeles (she also owns a six-story house in London’s Chelsea neighborhood purchased for £56 million). Around the same time, Petra’s sister, Tamara, paid $70 million for “a 16,000-square-foot historic brick home across the road from Kensington Palace.” And while some would simply write the Sisters Ecclestone off as spoiled rich girls whose parents have footed the bill for these places (mom is Slavica Radic, a former Croatian model who lent Petra $82.4 million for the LA house), the Wall Street Journal sees what the haters will not: a couple of savvy investors who you might consider asking to manage your money.
In an interview with the paper, which dubbed the Sisters Ecclestone “The First New Family of Real Estate,” Tamara explained her investment thesis:
Wearing Lululemon yoga pants and a fitted hoodie, Ms. Ecclestone sat in her living room, overlooking an outdoor lap pool, and explained that she sees their real estate holdings as smart purchases. “I think London [property] is a really good investment,” she said. “There’s no bank in the world that can give you that return.”
Ecclestone also shared some pearls of wisdom re: dealing with critics looking to bring you down, of which her fellow billionaires, newly minted or old, should take note.
Last year Ms. Ecclestone starred in a reality program about her life called “Billion $$ Girl.” One episode depicted her taking her dogs to Harrod’s for facials and pedicures. Another shows her debating cancelling a meeting because she woke up with a pimple on her face. Her participation in the show, in the midst of a recession, drew criticism from many, including her father. Mr. Ecclestone said he could barely make it through one episode. “I spoke to her before and said… ‘They’re never going to show you in a good light,’ ” he said. “She was stupid to do it.” Ms. Ecclestone took the criticisms in stride. “It’s like water off a duck’s back,” she said.
Facebook Employees Spend All Night Programming (DJ)
Tech geeks across the Facebook empire — including the New York office — celebrated the company’s IPO and their newfound millions by slugging back energy drinks at all-night code-writing parties. Legions of the social network’s employees, who will be worth an average of $2.9 million apiece on paper when the stock opens trading this morning, dressed for the occasion with matching “Hackathon” T-shirts. They kicked off the party at their Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, just hours after the company’s 420 million available shares were priced at $38 each. The festivities were expected to rage through the night until founder Mark Zuckerberg rings the Nasdaq opening bell via video feed at 9:30 a.m.
Inside JPMorgan’s Blunder (WSJ)
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Dimon had just committed the most expensive blunder of his 30-year career, failing to detect the risk of trades that had begun to generate huge losses at the bank. On April 30, associates who were gathered in a conference room handed Mr. Dimon summaries and analyses of the losses. But there were no details about the trades themselves. “I want to see the positions!” he barked, throwing down the papers, according to attendees. “Now! I want to see everything!” When Mr. Dimon saw the numbers, these people say, he couldn’t breathe…Mr. Dimon publicly disclosed the losses in a conference call on May 10. Afterward, he told Mr. Lee: “Maybe I can sleep tonight,” according to a person familiar with the conversation…Late that Friday night, several executives gathered in Mr. Dimon’s office. Messrs. Dimon and Cavanagh drank vodka. Others had wine. They told their boss how they had let down the firm, attendees say. “We all did,” Mr. Dimon replied, according to attendees. “Put on your JPM jerseys and get ready. We are going to take a lot of hits. We’ll draft our best team and get through this.”
Defiant Message From Greece (WSJ)
“Our first choice is to convince our European partners that, in their own interest, financing must not be stopped,” Mr. Tsipras said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. He said Greece doesn’t intend to take any unilateral action, “but if they proceed with unilateral action on their side, in other words they cut off our funding, then we will be forced to stop paying our creditors, to go to a suspension in payments to our creditors.”
Groupon Stock Spike Probed (WSJ)
A Wall Street regulator is examining trading in Groupon that sent its stock price soaring hours before a favorable earnings announcement Monday, according to a person familiar with the matter. The review by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra, is at an early stage, the person said. It follows unusually heavy trading in shares of the online-coupon company in the run-up to its release of strong financial results.
Ex-ECB Chief Trichet Unveils Bold Plan to Save Euro (Reuters)
Europe could strengthen its monetary union by giving European politicians the power to declare a sovereign state bankrupt and take over its fiscal policy, the former head of the European Central Bank said on Thursday in unveiling a bold proposal to salvage the euro.
Russian man gets stuck in building’s garbage chute while trying to hide from girlfriend (NYDN)
A Russian man went to great lengths to hide from his girlfriend on Wednesday night when he jumped into a garbage chute on the eighth floor of his apartment building. The unidentified man slid down the chute until he became stuck on the fifth floor of the building in Tyumen, Siberia. Authorities confirmed that they were told of the situation after people in the building heard the man’s cries for help. Rescuers used a Jaws-of-Life tool to free the man, according to reports.
Santander Among 16 Spanish Banks Downgraded By Moody’s (Bloomberg)
“Banks will continue to face highly adverse operating and market funding conditions that pose a threat to their creditworthiness,” the ratings firm said. “The Spanish economy has fallen back into recession in first-quarter 2012, and Moody’s does not expect conditions to improve” this year.
Marc Faber: China Biggest Threat To Global Economy (CNBC)
“I think the biggest risk is actually China because if you look at Greece, it’s an insignificant economy,” Faber said on CNBC Asia’s “Capital Connection.” “Yes, they owe money, but the market knows that it’s bankrupt.”
German Finance Minister Sees Two Years Of Turmoil (Bloomberg)
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that turmoil in the financial markets caused by Europe’s debt crisis may last another two years, as Group of Eight leaders prepared to discuss Greece and its impact on the global economy. More than 2 1/2 years after Greece revealed its bloated budget deficit, Europe has “known a lot of crisis,” Schaeuble said in a recorded interview broadcast today on France’s Europe 1 radio. “It’s practically normal.” Even so, “in 12 to 24 months we’ll see a calming of financial markets,” he said.
$$$ Santander, BBVA Among Spanish Banks Downgraded By Moody’s [Bloomberg]
$$$ Spain denies bank run reports [FT]
$$$ Icahn Takeover of CVR Gets Support From 55% of Holders [Bloomberg]
$$$ JPMorgan’s Dimon says will testify before Congress [Reuters]
$$$ At CME, an Uproar Over Trading Hours [WSJ]
$$$ SEC Probes Role of Hedge Fund in CDOs [WSJ]
$$$ Floyd Norris: “For market makers, who may buy unwanted securities that customers want to sell, hedging may be wise and prudent. But it will also be short term, until the bank trades out of whatever position it took on in the course of making the market. But if banks hedge long-term investments, as JPMorgan evidently did, the hedge is also likely to be long term. It will consist of buying something that, in normal times, should move in the opposite direction of their investment. The result is that they will be making convergence trades that are indistinguishable from what Long Term Capital Management did. Given the size of the big banks, they will have to do so in huge volumes that can come back to haunt them if markets move the wrong way.” [NYT]
$$$ The Boldface Names on the Witness List for Gupta’s Trial includes Lloyd Blankfein, Gary Cohn, Ken Chenault, Raj Rajaratnam, James Barnacle, and Adam Smith [DealBook]
As you may have heard, earlier this afternoon, Facebook priced its initial public offering at $38/share, valuing co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s stake at approximately $2.9 billion. Since Saverin conveniently renounced his US citizenship last week, he will avoid paying millions in capital gains taxes and hang on to an estimated $67-$100 million that would have otherwise gone to the government, news that did not sit right with Chuck Schumer. Did the Senator from New York call the guy a “piece of shit miscreant“? No. Did he send him an email that included the line, “fuck with me and you will have a huge asshole“? No. But Schumer was inspired to create draft legislation aimed at tax-dodging ex-pats like Saverin and to let the kid know he makes him sick.
Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Bob Casey (Pa.), who called Saverin’s decision “despicable,” said the Facebook co-founder stands to save $67 to $100 million in taxes by renouncing his citizenship. “Senator Casey and I have a status update for him: pay your taxes in full,” Schumer said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. Their so-called “Ex-PATRIOT Act” would impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on American investments for those who renounce their citizenship and would also prohibit individuals like Saverin from re-entering the country. The law — which only applies to individuals with a net worth of over $2 million or an average income tax liability of at least $148,000 — would not apply to non-American investments by former citizens. Under the proposed legislation, the IRS would decide soon after an individual relinquishes his or her citizenship if the renouncement was motivated by tax avoidance. The individual would then have the opportunity to provide reasons for the renouncement, but there would be a “strong presumption” the move was for tax purposes. “Mr. Saverin has decided to ‘defriend’ the United States of America just to avoid paying his taxes,” Schumer said, showing his familiarity with Facebook’s lingo.
“Make banking boring again” is a favorite reaction to news that JPMorgan was screwing up […]
Back in the day, Eric Kelly was a four-time National Amateur Boxing champion, who won […]
White House Steps Up Push To Toughen Rules On Banks (WSJ)
White House officials have intensified their talks with the Treasury Department in the days since J.P. Morgan’s losses came to light, these people say—representing the first tangible political impact from a trading mess that has cost one of the nation’s most prominent banks more than $2 billion…White House and Treasury officials are still determining whether the Volcker rule would have prevented the losses at J.P. Morgan, people familiar with the discussions said. Some of the president’s political advisers are concerned that the J.P. Morgan trades, even if determined to violate the spirit of the rule, might slip through the regulatory net.
From ‘Caveman’ To ‘Whale’ (WSJ)
Even after Dynegy’s holding company filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 7, the trade seemed like it still would be a loser for Mr. Iksil and J.P. Morgan. Only about six weeks remained until the trade was set to expire, and another company needed to default for J.P. Morgan to make money and the bullish hedge funds to lose out. Some traders took to calling Mr. Iksil a “caveman” for stubbornly pursing the trade. Mr. Iksil continued to bet against the index, however, and it soon weakened, causing a buzz among unhappy rivals, these traders say. “We called the trade the ‘pain trade’ and the ‘widow maker'; it kept going down for no reason,” said a trader at another firm, who called his broker and says he was told it was Mr. Iksil who was doing all the bearish trading. “It felt like Bruno was trying to wipe everyone out.” Then on Nov. 29, in something of a shock, AMR Corp., American Airlines’ parent company and one of the companies in the index, filed for bankruptcy protection. “People freaked out,” recalls a hedge-fund trader. The index weakened significantly, allowing J.P. Morgan to rack up about $450 million in total profits from the trade, according to traders. Rival firms suffered similar-size losses. It capped a successful year for Mr. Iksil and his group, though the profits would be more than offset this year when they shifted to a more bullish tack on corporate credit, losing $2 billion-plus in the process.
Goldman to Cash Out $1 Billion of Facebook Holding in IPO (Bloomberg)
The investment bank and its funds will sell 28.7 million of the 65.9 million shares they own, more than twice the amount initially planned, Menlo Park, California-based Facebook said yesterday in a filing. The shares are being offered in a range of $34 to $38 apiece, meaning the stock being sold in this week’s IPO is valued between $975 million and $1.09 billion.
SEC Probes Roles Of Hedge Fund In CDOs (WSJ)
U.S. securities regulators are investigating hedge-fund firm Magnetar Capital LLC, which bet on several mortgage-bond deals that wound up imploding during the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter. While Magnetar has faced scrutiny over its role in various collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, the Illinois firm itself now is a target of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, these people said.
ECB Bars Access to Four Greek Banks (FT)
The move raises the pressure on Greece to stick to its international bailout by highlighting the risk that eurozone central bankers could pull the plug on its financial system. It reflected ECB fears that a planned recapitalisation of Greece’s banks could be delayed.
Greek Euro Exit Would Risk Asia Crisis-Style Rout, Zeti Says (Bloomberg)
A Greek exit from the euro could cause contagion comparable to the Asian financial crisis, according to Malaysia’s central bank Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who had first-hand experience of that turmoil. “The worst-case scenario is what we saw in Asia,” Zeti, 64, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Istanbul yesterday. “When one economy collapses, then the market usually moves on to focus on the next one, then there will be a contagion that will affect different countries that probably don’t deserve those kinds of consequences.”
Strippers in Paris Go on Strike, Say Wages ‘Miserable’ (Reuters)
The Crazy Horse, one of the most popular establishments of its kind in the world, said it was forced to cancel performances this week for the first time since the cabaret was created in 1951. The night club, which declined to give details on salary demands or current wages, said in a statement that it had always taken the wellbeing of its artists very seriously and that talks were continuing to resolve the dispute. “It’s an exceptional place which has the specialty of presenting a fully naked show,” Suzanne, one of the dancers, told RTL radio. “What’s wrong is that we are asked to work 24 days per month for a pay that is worse than miserable,” she said.
JPMorgan’s Trading Loss Is Said to Rise at Least 50% (NYT)
The trading losses suffered by JPMorgan Chase have surged in recent days, surpassing the bank’s initial $2 billion estimate by at least $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the losses. When Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chief executive, announced the losses last Thursday, he indicated they could double within the next few quarters. But that process has been compressed into four trading days as hedge funds and other investors take advantage of JPMorgan’s distress, fueling faster deterioration in the underlying credit market positions held by the bank. A spokeswoman for the bank declined to comment, although Mr. Dimon has said the total paper trading losses will be volatile depending on day-to-day market fluctuations.
Several on FOMC Said Easing May Be Needed on Faltering (Bloomberg)
The Federal Reserve signaled further monetary easing remains an option to protect the U.S. economy from the danger that lawmakers will fail to reach agreement on the budget or Europe’s debt woes worsen. Several members of the Federal Open Market Committee said new actions could be necessary if the economy loses momentum or “downside risks to the forecast became great enough,” according to minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s April meeting released yesterday in Washington.
Judge Denies Gupta’s Wiretap Motion (NYP)
Ex-Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta lost his bid to get three key wiretaps tossed as evidence in his upcoming insider-trading trial. Manhattan federal judge Jed Rakoff gave tentative approval yesterday for the jury to hear the wiretaps, which are crucial to the government’s case against Gupta. A former head of McKinsey & Co., who also sat on Procter & Gamble’s board, Gupta is accused of feeding tips to ex-hedge funder Raj Rajaratnam, who began an 11-year prison term last October for insider trading. The taped conversations between Rajaratnam and his traders have him talking about tips from a unnamed leaker on Goldman’s board.
Man protests restaurant’s all-you-can-eat policy (TMJ4)
A disturbance at a local restaurant when one man got upset that an all-you-can-eat fish fry didn’t live up to its name. At 6’6″ and 350 lbs, Bill Wisth admits he’s a big guy who can pack it away more than most. And he wants one restaurant to make all-you-can-eat, all he can eat too. “It’s false advertising,” said Wisth to TODAY’S TMJ4. He was there Friday when the restaurant cut him off after he ate a dozen pieces. “Well, we asked for more fish and they refused to give us any more fish,” recalled Wisth. The restaurant says it was running out of fish and patience; arguing Bill has been a problem customer before. They sent him on his way with another eight pieces, but that still wasn’t enough. He was so fired up, he called the police. “I think that people have to stand up for consumers,” said Wisth. Elizabeth Roeming is a waitress there and says they’ve tried to work with Bill over the years — like letting him have a tab he still hasn’t paid off. Bill isn’t backing down, saying his fish fry fight isn’t over. But in the end, even he had something nice to say. “They do have like some of the best pizza in town if you like deep dish pizza,” said Wisth. He says he will picket every Sunday until the restaurant rethinks what happened.