Deutsche Bank creates new post to tighten controls (Reuters)
Deutsche Bank on Monday named 43-year-old Thomas Poppensieker as head of a new effort to tighten controls at Germany’s flagship lender, reporting directly to co-Chief Executives Juergen Fitschen and Anshu Jain. The move comes as Deutsche Bank pursues an ambitious cultural transformation plan led by Fitschen and Jain, and as it works through a long list of scandals, investigations and fines that came in the wake of the financial crisis.
Paulson Extends Comeback With Merger Bets as Stocks Rally (Bloomberg)
After wrong-way bets on the U.S. recovery, the euro crisis and gold had helped cut assets by about half from the 2011 peak, his main hedge funds are posting double-digit returns. The New York-based firm’s Advantage strategy, which suffered record losses in 2011, is up 30 percent this year through November, and the Recovery fund surged 55 percent, according to two people briefed on the returns, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
Big Investors Change U.S. Trading (WSJ)
Some of the world’s biggest investors are changing the way they trade in U.S. markets in response to what they say are rising risks for institutions of their size. The strategies include conducting more “upstairs trades,” in which deals are executed among big institutions, bypassing the broader market, as well as other sophisticated order-routing techniques designed to avoid pitfalls that have become increasingly apparent to investment managers. Investors say such measures are increasingly necessary because the proliferation of algorithmic trading and other structural issues, including thefragmentation of the market, are hurting their ability to get the best prices and execute large trades quickly.
My Interview With Madoff (WSJ0
The 75-year-old, dressed in beige polyester pants and shirt with a matching canvas belt, showed no signs of stress. He told the occasional joke and said he was lucky to be in Butner, as it had a reputation of being “very laid back” and is kind of like a “camp.” “This is as good as it gets,” said Mr. Madoff.
Domestic Battery Rap Dropped In Water Pistol Case (TSG)
Giovanna Borge was busted in September following a confrontation with her beau in a Port St. Lucie apartment. Borge told officers that her boyfriend “said something to her that she did not like,” so she “took a water pistol and squirted him with water.” Following the pistol dripping, the pair tussled, with Borge claiming that her boyfriend struck her with a pillow and dumped a container of water on her head. But since Port St. Lucie Police Department officers decided that Borge was the “primary aggressor” during the September 27 incident, she was collared for “squirting water” on the victim to “antagonize and agitate him against his wishes.”
Circuit Court records show that Florida prosecutors opted not to pursue the misdemeanor charge against Borge, who had been ordered to not come closer than 50 feet to her boyfriend, whom she had dated for a year.
Budget Deal in U.S. Would Reduce Automatic Spending Cuts (Bloomberg)
U.S. budget negotiators are nearing a deal to trim automatic spending cuts that might break a three-year cycle of failed fiscal talks in Washington…The deal being crafted doesn’t slow the growth of the national debt and doesn’t rein in the corporate tax breaks Democrats targeted for elimination. The accord also wouldn’t fully replace the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.
Hedge Funds May Rebound and Spoil Buffett’s Bet (WSJ)
Six years ago, Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., made a $1 million bet with hedge-fund manager Protégé Partners that a simple stock-index fund would beat their handpicked stable of five funds of hedge funds over a decade. Then 2008 happened and the funds, though they declined, lived up to their names and trounced the market. Having reached the halfway point at the end of 2012, though, Mr. Buffett had a substantial lead, with a total return of 8.69% to just 0.13% for the masters of the universe. That looks set to widen further in 2013: Through November, a weighted index maintained by Hedge Fund Research Inc. was up by just 8.31% compared with nearly 29% for the S&P 500…The upshot of all this is that the correlation pendulum eventually will swing back with a vengeance. Whereas today a rising tide of central-bank bond buying is lifting nearly all boats in the stock market, some of those vessels aren’t particularly seaworthy. Index funds can’t distinguish a rotten hull from a solid one. The Oracle of Omaha has a good lead, but hedge funds may yet give him a run for his money.
Watchdog warns of chaos in competing derivatives rules (Reuters)
Failure to thrash out a common supervision of the $640 trillion global financial derivatives industry will split markets and bump up costs for end users, a top regulator said on Monday. Banks who trade interest rate swaps, credit default swaps and other derivatives are looking to the United States and the European Union to harmonize their approach to new rules aimed at making markets more transparent. Banks worry that rule clashes and overlaps will create legal uncertainties and extra compliance costs. David Wright, secretary general of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), an umbrella group for regulators from across the world, warned it was a “recipe for chaos” that could get messy and anti-competitive.
Kirstie Alley rants against former Scientologist Leah Remini: ‘You are my enemy’ (NYDN)
Alley, 62, blasted Remini over the “King of Queens” actress’ comments about Scientology. “First of all, I just want everyone to know I have hundreds of friends who have come into Scientology and left Scientology,” Alley said on “The Howard Stern Show” Wednesday. “You’re not shunned, you’re not chased. All that stuff’s bulls-t.” “When you’re generalizing and when your goal is to malign and to say things about an entire group…when you decide to blanket statement that Scientology is evil, you are my enemy,” Alley continued. “I have blocked her on Twitter,” Alley concluded.