Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

Over at Dealbook today, you will find a story about how banks like JP Morgan and BofA are “devising low-fee banking especially for customers with troubled finances,” in spite of the fact that such products are “not expected to make the bank[s] any profit.” And while many argue that the sole motivation is to garner some good PR after doing things like foreclosing on someone who wasn’t in default and stealing her parrot, to boot, it’s nevertheless a nice thing to do. Not having much familiarity with how the other other other half lives, it took some time to figure out how to best serve the needs of these new clients, who Bank America started a sociology department to study. Read more »

Yesterday we learned that back in December, the Federal Reserve sent a letter to Deutsche Bank, telling management, in essence, that it ought to set fire to its U.S. operations and collect the insurance money, then get out of the banking business. If the powers that be at DB insisted on sticking with this thing, they’d have a lot of work cut out for themselves, as the Fed’s criticism included the words:

  • “low quality”
  • “inaccurate”
  • “unreliable”
  • “size and breadth of errors”
  • “poor data integrity”
  • “systemic breakdown”
  • “significant operational risk”
  • “misstated regulatory reports”
  • “requires wide-ranging remedial action”

Clearly, this news would be bad enough on its own, but what really tops it off is that, hilariously, Deutsche’s CFO has devoted 100 percent of his efforts to making this operation what it is today. Read more »

Yes, of course it’s theoretically possible that management could go through and fix everything that’s wrong with the firm’s U.S. operations but, really, this is more of a tear down job. Read more »

Next month in Jackson Hole, central bankers and various hangers on will assemble for the social event of the year, if you’re a person who likes to discuss monetary policy over canapés. This time around, though, economists from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other banks won’t be in attendance, because in a fit of oh no they di’nt-ness from the hosts at the Kansas City Fed, they weren’t invited. Read more »

  • 22 Jul 2014 at 2:34 PM

Carmelo Anthony Is A Venture Capitalist Now

Let him know if you’ve got any good apps. Read more »

Yesterday afternoon, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman made a bold statement. A presentation delivered live in midtown Tuesday morning was to be “the most important” one of his career and at the end of it, we would “learn why Herbalife is going to collapse.” On CNBC, he acknowledged that he was “raising expectations,” but assured the public it would not be disappointed. How’d he do? That all depends on what you were hoping for. If it was a PowerPoint that convinced the market that Herbalife, Ackman’s sworn enemy, was going down for the dirt nap, then technically, the hedge fund manager probably disappointed you a little.

Herbalife Ltd.’s shares jumped as much as 14 percent after hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman struggled to convince investors that the seller of weight-loss shakes is guilty of fraud.

On the other hand, if you were hoping for a presentation filled with passion, courage, feeling, and above all, patriotism, your expectations were met and then some. Read more »

In court today, where he pleaded guilty, Frank Perkins Hixon Jr. laid out his thinking:

  • This wasn’t about avarice, it was about love
  • All he was trying to do was set up a nest egg for the woman with whom he had a two year affair, and their love child
  • But because his lady friend would not accept cash, he gave her the next best thing, the proceeds from trades based on material non-public information

Read more »

Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has given many momentous presentations in his day: the unveiling of his Herbalife short, his highly emotional address of Target shareholders, and all matters of MBIA. But believe him when he says such things will absolutely pale in comparison to tomorrow’s event. Forget the thousands of hours he’s already spent publicly lambasting Herbalife’s business practices in the past. THIS is the one you REALLY have to listen to. It will be the final word on diet shakes. Read more »