June 2012

  • News

    Think You Can Anticipate “The Needs And Desires” Of Lynn Tilton?

    Unhappy in your current position and desperate to make a move? Completely content but looking for opportunities for professional growth? Today’s your lucky day. Patriarch Partners founder and CEO Lynn Tilton, she of Christmas card, jello shots, whipped cream off her breasts, and “I won’t come in your mouth” fame is looking for a personal assistant.

    Job Description:
    Want to learn the private equity business from one of the most successful female business owners in the country? If so, Patriarch Partners may be just the ticket. Yale and Columbia Business School Graduate, Lynn Tilton owns the largest woman-owned business in the country and is seeking an Executive Assistant to work by her side as she endeavors to save American jobs by rescuing and turning around iconic American companies. Her current portfolio consists of 75 companies representing more than $8 billion of revenues including MD Helicopters, Rand McNally, Dura Automotive, Spiegel Catalogs and Stila Cosmetics.

    Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to the following:

    Manage Ms. Tilton’s business and personal life in the manner of a
    Congressional/Senatorial Chief of Staff

    • Liaise with the portfolio company executives
    • Manage Ms. Tilton’s travel and be available to travel at a moment’s notice
    • Provide briefs on all meetings and handle follow-up from high level meetings
    • Work closely with finance, credit, human resources and communications departments to make certain Ms. Tilton is knowledgeable at all times about the state of business at the holding company level
    • Meet and greet all clients, guests and visitors in a warm & friendly manner
    • Travel with Ms. Tilton and top executives making certain all meetings and activities run smoothly, efficiently and effectively
    • Have working knowledge of all companies in Patriarch’s portfolio
    • Be able to manage real estate properties owned by Ms. Tilton
    • Provide back-up support to the Executive Assistant when necessary; run personal errands, personal shopping, and coordinate/interact with
    household staff and vendors
    Manage daily health and well being of Ms. Tilton
    • Maintain discretion with confidential information and documents at all times

    • Bachelors Degree from top 10 college
    Have a hands on, no job too big, no job too small sensibility
    • Intelligent, warm and friendly personality with a positive attitude
    and etiquette
    • Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal skills
    • High energy personality and healthy lifestyle belief system
    • Extremely organized and proactive with impeccable attention to detail
    • Professional appearance, polished and thick skinned
    • Ability to stay calm under pressure
    • Ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic and collaborative
    environment, flexible and adaptable to change
    • Strong work ethic, self-directed with ability to multi-task and communicate effectively with individuals at all levels of the organization
    Forward thinking always anticipating the needs and desires of Ms. Tilton
    • A sense of humor
    • Consummate computer skills: Outlook, Word, Excel, etc.
    A “do whatever it takes” mentality

    Related: This Is A Story About Lynn Tilton’s Employees Doing Jello Shots Off Her Rack
    Lynn Tilton Accused Of Physically, Verbally Assaulting Employees, ‘Barely Restraining’ Her Breasts
    Lynn Tilton: “There are three universal lies: Margins are weak, but we’ll make it up in volume; the check’s in the mail; and I won’t come in your mouth.”

    / Jun 18, 2012 at 3:23 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Old Lane Partners Rises!

    Kind of! Remember Old Lane? That hedge fund Citigroup had to buy to get its […]

    / Jun 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM
  • FaceBook

    Morgan Stanley Won Its Lead Role On The Facebook IPO By Showing Mark Zuckerberg A Picture Of A Pretty Pretty Sports Car

    Here is a detail from the Wall Street Journal’s article today about how Morgan Stanley […]

    / Jun 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM
  • News

    Morgan Stanley’s Lead Tech Banker Put A Now-Awkward Clause In His Facebook IPO Contract

    In snaring the most coveted investment-banking assignment of the year, Morgan Stanley’s Michael Grimes insisted […]

    / Jun 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM
  • Opening Bell

    Opening Bell: 06.18.12

    Greece’s Conservatives Start Coalition Talks (WSJ)
    Greece’s conservative leader Antonis Samaras, whose New Democracy party came first in a crucial election Sunday, is set to meet the main opposition leader, radical left Syriza’s Alexis Tsipras, to start the formal process of coalition-building talks. Mr. Samaras saw the Greek president of the republic earlier Monday and received the formal mandate to start coalition-building talks, as his party is 21 seats shy of an absolute majority in the 300-seat parliament. The talks with Mr. Tsipras are purely a formality, as the radical left leader made it plain Sunday night that he wouldn’t join a coalition with New Democracy. “Don’t expect any surprises, this is a formal procedure. Mr. Samaras has to see the leader of the second party first, that’s the protocol,” Syriza’s spokesman said.

    Greek Election Defuses One Crisis, but More Lurk (NYT)
    “Unless they make a radical change, we will be back with another Greek cliffhanger in three or four months’ time,” said Darren Williams, a European economist at AllianceBernstein in London.

    Wilbur Ross: Real Question For Greece Is What Now (CNBC)
    Ross also said the government has to improve tax collection for a more permanent solution to the country’s debt problems and said higher revenues would allow the country to ease up on austerity measures. “The tax avoidance in Greece — including by government officials — is ridiculous. The black economy is a ridiculously high percentage,” he said. “Those are the problems they have to deal with and if they can deal with those than more limited austerity is what’s needed.”

    Europe Gets Emerging Market Crisis Ultimatum As G-20 Meet (Bloomberg)
    As elections in Greece reduced the immediate risk of the euro area’s breakup, China and Indonesia signaled growing exasperation with more than two years of European crisis- fighting that has failed to stem the threat of global contagion. World Bank President Robert Zoellick said that policy makers bungled their attempt to rescue Spain’s banks.

    CUNY biz school fixed Wall Streeters’ GPAs to keep receiving tuition (NYP)
    An internal CUNY probe found the course grades of “approximately 15 students” were falsified to keep their GPAs high enough to stay in the programs, Baruch officials acknowledged. The trickery prevented enrollees, including many mid-level Wall Streeters whose firms picked up their tabs, from flunking out — and kept their tuition checks flowing in. The accelerated “executive programs” in business and finance allow students to earn a master’s degree in 10 to 22 months while working full-time. The tuition: $45,000 to $75,000. Baruch has referred the matter to law-enforcement agencies, the college said in a statement. Spokeswoman Christina Latouf would not say if students knew their grades were being changed or were complicit in the scheme. But Baruch has started calling some recent graduates with disturbing news: Their sheepskins are invalid. “What do you mean? My diploma’s on my wall. How can you tell me I don’t have a degree?” one grad said, according to a source…Zicklin officials gave a sales pitch for prospective students last week, but directors and professors made no mention of the problems. Instead, they promised “respected and well-recognized” degrees that would put grads on the path to become chief executives and financial officers. “This is a master’s program on steroids,” one said.

    Pressure Mounts On Credit Suisse Chief (FT)
    Investors and analysts have already grown impatient in the past 12 months over Mr Dougan’s efforts to improve the bank’s profitability and cost base, which are lagging behind rivals in Europe. Although they do not question Mr. Dougan’s credentials as a bank manager, they say that a capital raising now would make it difficult for him to stay in his job. Not only would shareholders resent the dilution, but the change of tack would undermine his strategy in recent years of making generous dividend payouts, in contrast to rivals, which have used a larger share of profits to boost capital.

    Dollar Shortage Seen In $2 Trillion Gap Says Morgan Stanley (Bloomberg)
    After falling to an all-time low of 60.5 percent in the second quarter of last year, the dollar’s share of global reserves rose 1.6 percentage points to 62.1 percent in December, the latest International Monetary Fund figures show. The buying has left the private sector with $2 trillion less than it needs, according to investment-flow data by Morgan Stanley, which sees the dollar gaining 8.2 percent in 2012, the most in seven years.

    App Developers Too Young To Drive (WSJ)
    Paul Dunahoo went on a business trip to San Francisco last week, where he attended technical sessions at Apple Inc.’s AAPL +0.45% developer conference, networked with other programmers and received feedback from Apple engineers on his six productivity apps. Then, Mr. Dunahoo, chief executive of Bread and Butter Software LLC, returned to Connecticut to get ready for the eighth grade. “It’s a very rare opportunity” to be at Apple’s conference, said Mr. Dunahoo, who is 13 years old and wears red braces. Mr. Dunahoo is one of a growing number of teens joining the app-making frenzy. Apple, the app industry’s ringleader, is encouraging the trend.

    Fitch Cuts India Credit Rating To Outlook Negative (Reuters)
    “A significant loosening of fiscal policy, which leads to an increase in the gross general government debt /GDP ratio, would result in a downgrade of India’s sovereign ratings,” Fitch said in a statement on Monday.

    Woman claims Southwest wouldn’t let her board plane because of her cleavage: report (NYDN)
    Southwest Airlines was forced to apologize to a woman who was told she couldn’t board her flight because her cleavage was “inappropriate.” Jezebel reports that the woman, Avital — she only gave her first name — was boarding a 6 a.m. flight from Las Vegas to New York on June 5 when a ticket agent remarked that she couldn’t fly unless she covered her breasts. Clad in a comfy cotton dress, a baggy flannel shirt and bright scarf, Avital ignored the warning and marched aboard anyway. “I didn’t want to let the representative’s Big Feelings about my breasts change the way I intended to board my flight,” she told Jezebel. “And lo and behold, the plane didn’t fall out of the sky… my cleavage did not interfere with the plane’s ability to function properly.” Avital slammed the Southwest for “slut shaming,” and said a man on her flight had on a provocative piece of clothing, but wasn’t hassled. “The guy sitting in front of me on the plane was wearing a shirt with an actual Trojan condom embedded behind a clear plastic applique and had no trouble getting on his flight,” she said.

    / Jun 18, 2012 at 9:15 AM
  • Write-Offs

    Write-Offs: 06.15.12

    $$$ Hopes for central bank action mount [FT]

    $$$ Mohamed El-Erian: “There is only so much central banks can do” [FT]

    $$$ Got Cash in Greek Banks? Don’t Pull It! [NetNet]

    $$$ Hedge fund closures hit 2-year high in 1st quarter [Reuters]

    $$$ A “driven, even obsessive entrepreneur with a proclivity for micromanagement” who is unlikely to take his company public [NYTM]

    $$$ Also, bath salts [Spin]

    $$$ “Looking like Jesus can have a very powerful effect on people. When I appeared on stage as Jesus for the first time, a man saw me and collapsed into tears. Looking like this in daily life can be interesting. When I go into bars, for example, I always see people nudging each other. Invariably someone will come up to me with a bottle of water and ask me to turn it into wine. That happens a lot. I was on a date once in a wine bar, and we ended up with three tables joined together with everyone wanting to re-enact the Last Supper using the wine and the bread. It was strange, but fortunately the girl I was with thought it was fun.” [FT]

    $$$ MetLife is looking for an associate director level credit derivatives trader in New Jersey [DBCC]

    $$$ In Motion, Facebook Lays Out Defense and Highlights Nasdaq’s Missteps [DealBook]

    $$$ Gupta Jurors Saw American Dream and Convicted [Bloomberg]

    $$$ The JPMorgan Whale’s regulatory motive [FTAV]

    $$$ “Can We Watch Some European Football Please?” asks Jim O’Neill [GSAM]

    $$$ The NFL will let fans pay for All-22 footage [WSJ]

    $$$ For one protester, ‘Occupy’ becomes a way of life [Reuters]

    / Jun 15, 2012 at 6:09 PM
  • News

    Mike Bloomberg’s Given Some Thought To How He’d Dress If He Were A Young Woman

    He’d keep it conservative at the office but come ladies’ night you’d better believe he’d […]

    / Jun 15, 2012 at 4:59 PM
  • News

    Rajat Gupta Wishes His “Friend” Raj Had Been A Little Less Profitable

    Well that was fast – and a bit strange. What do you make of the […]

    / Jun 15, 2012 at 2:19 PM
  • News

    Caption Contest Friday: John Thain, Excited On The Inside, Accepts Father Of The Year Award

    [Mark_Shriver via BI] Earlier: John Thain Awarded The One Bonus That Can *Never* Be Clawed […]

    / Jun 15, 2012 at 2:11 PM
  • News

    Dartmouth Grads Still Into Wall Street, Despite One Man’s Campaign Against “A Field That Sanitizes The Intellect And Offers Almost Nothing To Human Society”

    Back in August, a Dartmouth student named Andrew Lohse made a simple request of his peers: to stop being whores for Wall Street. “Should landing jobs prestigious 16-hour-a-day jobs at some faceless hedge fund, where they’ll learn about manipulating capital instead of imagining a freer and more just world be the goal of the valedictorians of Ivy League institutions,” Lohse asked and then answered, “No matter how hard I try, I cannot think of more pathetic ambitions.” Lohse charged the undergraduates to “do better” and by better he meant  resist being “pulled into what is essentially a vulgar and extortionate system of lending and predatory capitalism which is increasingly underwritten by what remains of the public’s coffers.” Was Lohse’s argument a persuasive one? Did the image of him “vomiting in my mouth” at the idea of his peers becoming financial services employees cause anyone to reconsider?

    Apparently, not so much.

    Wall Street’s allure may have dimmed for some of America’s sharpest young minds in recent years, but a quick look at the top of Dartmouth College’s class of 2012 shows that the appeal seems to remain strong. At its commencement on Sunday, Dartmouth recognized four valedictorians who graduated with perfect 4.0 grade-point averages. Three are headed to work on Wall Street at major investment banks, and one will go to the giant business consulting firm that advises them. “Certain people have the view where finance is perceived in a more negative light,” said David Rogg, one of the valedictorians, noting that there was an active chapter of the Occupy movement on Dartmouth’s campus. “But a lot of people still find it to be a very positive industry.”

    He has a job lined up at Goldman Sachs, as does another of the valedictorians, Jie Zhong; a third, Wills Begor, will go to Morgan Stanley. The other valedictorian, Glynnis Kearney, will work at McKinsey & Company. Mr. Begor said some of his peers’ interest in Wall Street had diminished, “but for me, it’s an extension of the academic challenges at Dartmouth, to learn about finance, which is something we don’t get exposed to at a liberal arts college.”

    Begor did add that his gig is “just for two years” and “has been accepted to Harvard Business School, starting in 2014,” so perhaps Andy got under his skin a little.

    Finance Jobs Still Appeal To Graduates At Darmouth [NYT]
    Related: Bridgewater Accuser/Dartmouth Fraternity Brother-Cum-Reformer Surprised Find Himself Not Covered By Whistleblowing Protection Laws

    / Jun 15, 2012 at 1:42 PM
  • News

    The Universe Has Good News And Less Good News For Rajat Gupta

    The less good news is that a jury found the former McKinsey executive guilty on three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy for passing material non-public information to his friend*, convicted insider trader Raj Rajaratnam. The good news:

    1. Rajat could go to jail for twenty years but probably won’t (“Gupta faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the fraud charges and up to five years for the conspiracy charge. But his sentence is likely to be significantly lower under federal guidelines.”)
    2. Sentencing is scheduled for October 18 so he’s got the whole summer and then some into a Zen place about going to prison. Also! Plenty of time to do all those things he was too busy for when he was working. This is gonna be his time. Time to taste the fruits and let the juices drip down his chin. The summer of Rajat!

    Gupta Found Guilty Of Insider Trading [WSJ]

    *Friend Rajat’s ass.

    / Jun 15, 2012 at 12:22 PM
  • News

    Analyst: If Greece Beats Russia On Saturday, It Will Mean…Something In The Context Of Sticking With The Euro Or Not

    An unusually large numbers of voters are still wavering, pollsters say. With the traditional Greek […]

    / Jun 15, 2012 at 11:53 AM
  • Opening Bell

    Opening Bell: 06.15.12

    Forthcoming Facebook Motion Said to Discuss Nasdaq’s Role in I.P.O. (NYT)
    Facebook is preparing for battle. One month after its botched initial public offering, the social network is set to file a motion to consolidate all the shareholder lawsuits against the company, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The lead underwriters, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase, are expected to join the motion, which could be filed in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York as early as Friday. The motion will represent the first time Facebook has publicly addressed the lawsuits and the performance of its highly anticipated, but ultimately lackluster, IPO on May 18.

    Facebook Is Not The Worst IPO (Deal Journal)
    Thursday marked the 4-week anniversary of the pricing of the IPO at $38 and today marks the anniversary of the innocuous opening and subsequent turmoil. Through Thursday’s close the stock was down about 26%, losing some $27 billion in market capitalization. That is ugly, but not as bad as the Halloween 2007 debut of Giant Interactive Group. The Chinese online-gaming company raised just over $1 billion in an IPO that started out well, rising about 18% on day one, but then promptly tumbled 30% through its first month, according to Dealogic.

    Draghi Hints ECB Is Ready To Act (WSJ)
    Providing liquidity “is what we have done throughout the crisis, faithful to our mandate of maintaining price stability over the medium term, and this is what we will continue to do,” Mr. Draghi said. The Eurosystem, the ECB and the 17 national central banks that use the single currency “will continue to supply liquidity to solvent banks where needed,” he added.

    Greeks Return To Ballot Box As Crisis Nears Decisive Moment (Bloomberg)
    The June 17 vote will turn on whether Greeks, in a fifth year of recession, accept open-ended austerity to stay in the euro or reject the conditions of a bailout and risk the turmoil of becoming the first to exit the 17-member currency. World leaders have said they’d prefer a pro-euro result, underscoring concern over global repercussions.

    Moody’s Downgrades Dutch Banks (WSJ)
    In a statement, Moody’s said it had cut the ratings by two notches each of ABN Amro Bank NV and ING Bank NV to A2, LeasePlan Corp. NV to Baa2 and Rabobank Nederland to Aa2. It also cut the rating of SNS Bank NV by one notch to Baa2.

    Giselle Is World’s Highest Paid Model (Forbes)
    Just like last year, the Brazilian bombshell Bündchen leads the pack with a stunning $45 million in earnings (all estimates from May 1st, 2011 to May 1st, 2012). Even in her early thirties, Bündchen remains an unparalleled force within the fashion world. As the world’s most powerful supermodel, she racks up modeling gigs, spokesperson deals, and independent licensing ventures at every turn…Bündchen’s success combining business with modeling is influencing young, ascendant models. “The ones that are coming up, their model for excellence is Gisele. They’re looking at her and saying ‘that’s what I want to shoot for,’” Razek said.

    Fed Loans Backing AIG, Bear Repaid (WSJ)
    On Thursday, the regional Federal Reserve bank said it has been repaid, with interest, on $53.1 billion in loans it made to two crisis-era vehicles that held complex subprime mortgage bonds, home loans, commercial-property loans and other unwanted assets from Bear and AIG. The New York Fed earlier recouped a separate $19.5 billion loan that financed the purchase of mortgage-backed securities from AIG.

    Warren Buffett fired Benjamin Moore CEO after Bermuda cruise (NYP)
    “[Abrams] kept asking what he’d done wrong,” according to an insider briefed on the ouster. “[Berkshire officials] told him to clear his stuff out while they stood and watched every move he made.”

    Gupta Hopes Family Guy Image Will Help (NYP)
    The 63-year-old former Goldman Sachs director — facing 25 years in prison on charges of leaking inside information to his hedge fund pal Raj Rajaratnam — has surrounded himself with family and friends throughout the four-week trial. Gupta’s four Ivy League-educated daughters, his wife, Anita, and sister, Kumkum, in-laws and colleagues — roughly a dozen daily attendees — were in the courtroom each day, taking up the first two rows of the gallery. As the jury today starts its second day of deliberations, the fallen Wall Street star hopes the family vibe helps push the panel toward an acquittal.

    In the Facebook Era, Reminders of Loss if Families Fracture (NYT)
    The Times just found out that one of the weird things about Facebook is that you can find out things about people you haven’t spoken to in years: Not long ago, estrangements between family members, for all the anguish they can cause, could mean a fairly clean break. People would cut off contact, never to be heard from again unless they reconciled. But in a social network world, estrangement is being redefined, with new complications. Relatives can get vivid glimpses of one another’s lives through Facebook updates, Twitter feeds and Instagram pictures of a grandchild or a wedding rehearsal dinner. And those glimpses are often painful reminders of what they have lost.

    / Jun 15, 2012 at 9:30 AM
  • Write-Offs

    Write-Offs: 06.14.12

    $$$ Central banks ready to combat Greek market storm [Reuters]

    $$$ Things to know about the London Whale and capital models [DEM]

    $$$ Things to know about TARGET2 balances [Felix Salmon]

    $$$ Things to know about EFSF and ESM leverage and guarantees [TF]

    $$$ Here is a behavioral economics paper with the keywords “anti-social behaviour, nastiness, money-burning” [Universitat Jaume via Robin Hanson]

    $$$ “I have been a judge in the Miss Universe pageant three times, and I assure you it is not fixed. Even though Donald Trump made it very clear to us whom he would vote for, I always voted my conscience. … I voted for the contestant I thought was the most beautiful.” [The Daily]

    $$$ You should really think about becoming a credit analyst for BNP Paribas in New York [DBCC]

    $$$ Quest Software Brings in Competing Bid Using Clever Corporate Engineering [Dealpolitik]

    $$$ Maiden Lane Loans Repaid, but Assets Still Need to Be Sold [DealBook]

    $$$ Ray Dalio Is Building a Baseball Card Collection [NYM]

    $$$ The Nobel Foundation lost some money in the stock market [Fortune]

    $$$ Man Who Saved Mouse from Being Eaten By Cat Catches Black Plague [Gawker]

    / Jun 14, 2012 at 7:32 PM
  • curtains made out of...burlap?

    Sublet Bret Easton Ellis’s No-Bedroom Studio For $5,000 / Month Or He’ll Kill You

    In fairness, we don’t know that the American Psycho writer actually has plans to murder […]

    / Jun 14, 2012 at 7:26 PM
  • News

    Jack Welch’s Advice For Summer Interns: Show Human Emotion

    “Be likable. Just that. Fun, upbeat, friendly, authentic, filled with positive energy, happy, agreeable, chit-chatty […]

    / Jun 14, 2012 at 6:25 PM
  • News

    Swiss National Bank Is On To This “Swiss Banks Are So Great” Scam

    The Swiss National Bank is not particularly thrilled with the state of the Swiss Not-Quite-National […]

    / Jun 14, 2012 at 6:01 PM
  • News

    Nasdaq Officials Would Just Like To Point Out That Anyone Who Lost Money As A Result Of The Exchange’s Incompetence Have Little To No Legal Recourse

    Oh you can try a lawsuit but, historically speaking, it won’t do shit.

    Nasdaq is sending a message to firms weighing lawsuits related to trading losses in Facebook’s initial public offering: winning won’t be easy. The exchange operator believes it is protected by its contracts with members and by its unusual legal status, which is rooted in its dual role as a regulatory body as well as a business that makes money running markets. Exchange officials in recent weeks have pointed out to analysts that Nasdaq has never been successfully sued over a trading error. “When you look at member agreements that people sign, it’s quite explicit that they’re bound by that accommodation policy,” Robert Greifeld, Nasdaq’s chief executive, said last week at a Sandler O’Neill + Partners conference, referring to legal agreements capping the exchange’s payouts linked to system problems…Banks and brokers have estimated they lost hundreds of millions of dollars due to technical problems during Facebook’s May 18 debut.

    The glitches forced Nasdaq to delay Facebook’s opening, and left trades involving millions of shares unconfirmed for hours. Amid the chaos, traders were forced to guess their positions and place additional orders based on those estimates. When Nasdaq delivered the results of the trading Friday afternoon, many firms were caught off guard and scrambled to reposition.

    According to Greifeld, the last guy who tried to get his money back “trades on the pink sheets now” but take your best shot.

    Nasdaq Claims Strong Defense [WSJ]
    Related: UBS Not Sweating The Small Stuff

    / Jun 14, 2012 at 4:03 PM
  • agree to disagree

    Allen Stanford Has No Idea What You’re Talking About

    “I didn’t run a Ponzi scheme, I didn’t defraud anybody, and there was never any […]

    / Jun 14, 2012 at 2:46 PM
  • News

    Bernie Madoff Is Still The King

    Though it looked like Sir Allen Stanford might dethrone him with a recommended sentence of […]

    / Jun 14, 2012 at 1:28 PM
  • News

    If a Whale Flaps His Flippers in London, It Causes a Tiny Increase in McDonald’s CDS Spreads

    Reuters had a neat article today about how JPMorgan’s CIO embarrassment increased credit spreads for […]

    / Jun 14, 2012 at 1:20 PM
  • How do you like us now?

    Getting Into Bed With One Spanish Bank Now A Risk-Free Proposition

    Spain, as you may have heard, does not have a lot going for it at the moment. Its bond yields have crossed 7 percent, unemployment is at something like 70 percent, and on Monday, it announced a rather poorly received bailout of the country’s banks. Investors don’t want to touch their financial institutions with a 100 foot pole. One bank that knew this rejection all too well? Banco Santander, probably on account of the open sores. Today, though, that’s all about to change.

    / Jun 14, 2012 at 12:17 PM
  • Opening Bell

    Opening Bell: 06.14.12

    Geithner Seeks More Euro-Zone Measures (WSJ)
    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called the bailout of Spain’s banking system “a good, concrete signal” of the euro-zone commitment to financial integration, but said the currency union must act quickly with more measures to quell its crisis. “This is a very challenging crisis for them still,” he said Wednesday in a discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations. “They recognize they’re going to have to do a bunch more to…restore a bit of calm and to convince people they’re going to do what’s necessary to make this work.”

    Spanish Crisis Deepens (WSJ)
    The financial crisis threatening the Spanish government deepened Thursday as Spain’s borrowing costs surpassed their euro-zone record, touching levels that previously forced other euro-zone countries to seek sovereign debt bailouts. The move followed yet another sovereign credit downgrade and coincided with fresh evidence Thursday of economic and financial stress as the decline of Spanish housing prices accelerated to a 12.6% annual rate in the first quarter and Spanish banks increased their reliance on European Central Bank funding.

    Spain Credit Rating Slashed by Moody’s, Egan-Jones (Reuters)
    Moody’s Investors Service cut its rating on Spanish government debt by three notches on Wednesday From A-3 to to Baa-3, saying the newly approved euro zone plan to help the country’s banks will increase the country’s debt burden. Moody’s, which said it could lower Spain’s rating further, also cited the Spanish government’s “very limited” access to international debt markets and the weakness of the country’s economy.

    Greek Banks Under Pressure (WSJ)
    In a sign of heightened nervousness within the country, depositors have been steadily increasing their withdrawals from Greek banks. The withdrawals, according to senior bankers in Athens, approach the level of deposit flight seen when government coalition talks collapsed after inconclusive elections on May 6, forcing the new vote.

    “Why I’m Betting Big On Europe” (Fortune)
    David Herro seems awfully relaxed for a man who has more than $1 billion invested in European banks. It’s a sunny morning in late May, and I’m sitting across from the boyish 51-year-old fund manager in his downtown Chicago office. He’s giving me his full attention, but I can’t stop glancing at the headlines blinking on the Bloomberg terminal behind him. The euro is about to hit a two-year low. Greece is on the brink of disaster. Spain’s real estate market is in shambles, and Italian sovereign debt is as fragile as stained glass. The global economy is roiling, and Herro is positively beatific. “Eventually they’re going to get these problems solved,” he says. “If you look at the economic history of the world, problems come and problems go. There are problems, and they do have to be dealt with. And our view is that all these problems are manageable.”

    Large Institutions Discuss New Marketplace for Bonds (WSJ)
    In recent weeks, senior traders at investment managers and big Wall Street banks have been discussing how the financial industry can set up a centralized electronic market that would let all participants trade bonds freely with one another, according to people involved in the talks.

    BofA Beating JPMorgan As BNP Leads French Lenders Retreat (Bloomberg)
    Bank of America overtook JPMorgan Chase as the biggest lender to the commodities industry in the first five months as French lenders led by BNP Paribas retreated amid the debt crisis. Commodity loans arranged by Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America totaled $14.71 billion, and New York-based JPMorgan’s $14.41 billion ranked it second, according to syndicated-loan data compiled by Bloomberg. Citigroup was the third biggest with $13.68 billion of financing, rising from fourth last year. BNP Paribas slipped to 17th from second.

    Lazard elects former Citigroup chairman Richard Parsons to board (NYP)
    Financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard Ltd. said Wednesday that it elected former Citigroup chairman Richard Parsons to its board, effective immediately. Parsons served as chairman of Citigroup Inc. from February 2009 until his retirement in April 2012. He had served as a director on its board since 1996. Before that, he was chairman and chief executive of the media and entertainment company Time Warner Inc.

    Montreal teacher suspended with pay for showing students ‘Canadian Cannibal’ Luke Magnotta murder video (NYDN)
    A Canadian teacher was fighting for his job after he was suspended for showing students a gory video allegedly showing Maple Leaf man-eater Luke Magnotta killing his Chinese lover. The Cavelier-De LaSalle High School 10th grade teacher appeared before a labor board on Wednesday to explain himself, and Montreal police were mulling whether to slap him with criminal charges, The Canadian Press reported. School officials said the teacher, who is in his 20s, polled students about whether they wanted to watch the grisly snuff video during class on June 4. The yays outweighed the nays, according to the Press. In the 11-minute video, Magnotta, a porn actor and sometime escort, allegedly tortured Jun Lin, 33 — beheading and dismembering his body, eating his flesh with a knife and fork and performing sex acts on the corpse.

    / Jun 14, 2012 at 9:30 AM
  • News

    Bonus Watch ’13 & Beyond Will Be Pretty Predictable In Europe

    You would think that European regulators have a lot to worry about with their banks […]

    / Jun 13, 2012 at 7:08 PM
  • News

    So This Is Jim Cramer Talking About Jamie Dimon’s Capitol Hill Appearance

    “He didn’t win. He’s a loser. How? You lose when you go in front of Congress and you lose when you go out. Anyone that declares him a winner is wrong…He walked in a loser. Testified. Walked out a loser. And by the way, he agrees with me. He knows he’s a loser with no control and doesn’t even know what happened in his own bank…A loser. Crisis PR is psychiatry. You go in there as a guy who is stupid, you don’t come out being smarter. You don’t. You come out just as stupid…He’s a loser…This is not Michael Corleone with Frank Pentangeli in the back of the room. This is not Nevada gaming licenses…He’s a loser. It’s okay, man. He’s a loser. Maybe next year he’ll be a winner but he is a loser. Okay.”

    / Jun 13, 2012 at 5:39 PM
  • News

    Bonus Watch ’12: First Year Bank Robbers

    Bonus expectations got ya down? Thinking about robbing a bank? You might want to reconsider. Not because it could be dangerous or you might go to jail or your disguise sucks but because, statistically speaking, it’s not really worth your time. In terms of work put in you’d be much better off giving out hand jobs in the alley between 200 West and Shake Shack.

    In what’s billed as the first cost-benefit analysis of such crimes, three economists note that Britain saw 106 attempted or successful robberies of 10,500 branch banks in 2007. The average haul was $31,600, including the one-third of attempts that came up empty. The average “successful” heist landed about $46,600 — but about 20% of those successes were later tarnished, to say the least, when the raiders were arrested. Each incident involved an average of 1.6 people, resulting in a per-person take of $19,750: a mere half-years’ worth of wages for the average Britisher. (In the U.S., the authors say, the average total bank-robbery take, per incident, is even smaller, just over $4,000.) Think a half-year’s salary isn’t bad for one day’s work, plus a little planning? A “career” bank robber would more likely than not be arrested after only four attempts…“The return on an average bank robbery is, frankly, rubbish,” they write.

    Bank Robbery Doesn’t Pay (Much) [Ideas Market/WSJ]

    / Jun 13, 2012 at 5:16 PM
  • News

    Which Goldman Sachs CEO “Was Known To Challenge Subordinates To Impromptu Wrestling Matches”?

    Was it:

    a) Lloyd Blankfein
    b) Hank Paulson
    c) Jon Corzine
    d) Stephen Friedman
    e) Gus Levy
    f) John Whitehead
    g) John Weinberg
    h) Sidney Weinberg
    i) Marcus Goldman
    j) other

    Hopefully you answered D, Stephen Friedman, as that was the answer we were looking for, per a New York Observer piece on financial services employees who feel more comfortable in a onesie than a suit.

    “I wrestled as well as I could wrestle, and if I lost, that was my own fault,” KKR’s Henry Kravis once told an interviewer about what he learned from wrestling. “I had nobody to blame but myself.” Apollo Global Management co-founder Josh Harris wrestled at the University of Pennsylvania before deciding that making his 118-pound weight class didn’t allow either the time or calories for the old “college experience.” Former Goldman Sachs chief executive officer Stephen Friedman, an AAU champion who wrestled at Cornell, was known to challenge subordinates to impromptu matches. Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was a college wrestler, though Mr. Novogratz pointed out that Mr. Thain, now CIT Group CEO, wrestled at the Division III level.

    Fortress Chieftain Mike Novogratz Wrestles with Olympians, Youth…and Wall Street [NYO]

    / Jun 13, 2012 at 3:17 PM