Archive for May 2012

Lorenzana, a buxom beauty who was axed from her job at Citigroup in 2010, said she fought the bank by herself in arbitration after lawyer Gloria Allred dropped her as a client. “If I could turn back time, I would have not chosen Gloria Allred as my lawyer,” she said. The 35-year-old knockout sued her former employer for allegedly canning her over her killer curves. Lorenzana said she sympathizes with Lauren Odes, the latest pink-slipped stunner to retain Allred. Odes says that her employer tried to get her to “tape her breasts down” and wear a bathrobe at work because her outfits showed too much skin. “Nobody should be fired because of their physical appearance,” Lorenzana said. “I feel sorry for the girl.” But Odes could be in for a rude awakening, Lorenzana said, charging that Allred worked her case more like a photo-op than a lawsuit — a charge the big-name attorney disputed. “The only times I saw her (Allred) was when the media was there,” she said. Lorenzana said that Allred dumped her after the celebrity lawyer pushed for a settlement, but she wanted to press on. [NYDN, earlier]

This weekend the New York Times published an amazing, front-page-of-Sunday-business article about … well, there was this guy, see, and he was annoyed because he thought some people had access to his personal opinions that he had formed based on public information before some other people had access to those personal opinions, and he decided that that was “insider trading” even though he had no inside information about any public company, and he spent seven years complaining about it to a bunch of people, and they all pretty much ignored him because they knew what insider trading is, and then at the end of the seven years he complained to Gretchen Morgenson, who had the advantage, from his perspective, of not knowing what insider trading is, and so she wrote a huge article that was like “HERE IS CRAZY NEWS FROM 2005.” Life is too short etc., and others admirably debunked the bunk, so, y’know, moving on.*

Except did Gretchen Morgenson have inside information that this old story would become relevant again? Because here is a thing that happened lo this very decade: Read more »

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. Read more »

Opening Bell: 05.22.12

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.” Read more »

Write-Offs: 05.21.12

$$$ J.P. Morgan Suspends Share Buyback [WSJ]

$$$ Bank of America’s CEO ‘Comfortable’ With Investments [CNBC]

$$$ Gupta ‘Threw Away His Duties,’ Prosecutor Says In Opening [Bloomberg]

$$$ France, Germany Fail to Resolve Differences Over Euro Bonds [WSJ]

$$$ 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]
Read more »

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  • 21 May 2012 at 6:22 PM

Have We Identified The Next Food Eating Challenge?

The Montana State Society’s Testicle Festival in Virginia Square was a rousing success this year. Festival-goers consumed 110 pounds of bull and bison testicles, 84 liters of Crown Royal and 1,500 cans of beer this year, according to event organizer and Society president Jed Link. All three were records for the event, now in its eighth year. Organizers estimate that nearly 600 people attended the Testicle Festival, which was held at the American Legion post at 3445 Washington Boulevard. Even though the event didn’t start until 6:00 on Saturday evening, Link said a line started to form at 4:30 p.m. [ARL]

  • 21 May 2012 at 5:57 PM

Brian Moynihan Has Total Confidence In Jamie Dimon

He’s got this. Read more »

  • 21 May 2012 at 5:48 PM

This Is A Post About Greenshoes

Why don’t we talk abstractly about greenshoes for a while, because for some reason some people want to talk about them and hey, why not, they’re a thing. In talking about greenshoes, though, we are not going to use the F-word, because I swore to myself that last week was the end of that. We’re just going to talk about greenshoes. Greenshoes.*

Let’s start with a very basic thing about greenshoes, which is that they make no sense! If you are a company, or an executive or investor or whatever in a company, and you want to raise money and/or sell your shares, here are things that you could want:
(1) to raise $100 million
(2) to sell 5mm of your shares

Here are things you are unlikely to want:
(1) to raise $100 or $115 million
(2) to sell 5mm or 5.75mm of your shares

Obvs, no? Keep in mind that, when you launch the deal, you don’t know exactly what price you’ll get – you’ll just have a range – which is an annoying enough uncertainty. Throwing in the additional binary that you’ll get either an uncertain $X or 115% of $X seems a bit much. So here is what happens when a naive company comes to an underwriter: Read more »