Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, had a “tin ear” when dealing with regulators before settling probes into mortgage lapses and trading losses, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said. “Our response generally was, ‘We know what we’re doing,’” Dimon wrote today in a letter to the New York-based bank’s investors. “Well, we should have done more self-examination. We need to be better listeners.” [...] The bank missed signals when rivals faced scrutiny and must “do a better job at examining critiques of others so we can learn from other people’s mistakes, too,” he said. [Bloomberg]

Back in October, hedge fund manager Dan Loeb sent a letter William Ruprecht, to the CEO of Sotheby’s, in which he made the following points:

  • Sotheby’s is completely ignorant about contemporary art
  • Ruprecht is overpaid
  • Sotheby’s is a joke compared to Christie’s
  • In spite of all this, Sotheby’s future can be salvaged, but it’ll take firing Ruprecht and adding Loeb and a few directors of Loeb’s choice to the board

Shockingly, Sotheby’s did not appreciate the constructive criticism, and adopted a poison pill to ward off Loeb and Co. Last week, Loeb reiterated his position in an open letter to Sotheby’s shareholders, in which he underscored that, in his professional opinion, the auction house knows nothing about selling art. (He also reminded them to vote Loeb ’14 at the company’s annual meeting in May.)

Team Sotheby’s, apparently sick of Loeb’s shit, did what any corporate entity does when it’s decided its done play Mr. Nice Guy: assembled its top men and women in a conference room and declared that no one could leave until they’d come up with a 53-slide PowerPoint rebuttal.

Said rebuttal can be viewed in its entirety here, but it mostly boils down to: Read more »

Kai Lew was allegedly a little too open with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Read more »

  • 09 Apr 2014 at 12:57 PM

Mandy Drury Starts Her Morning Off Right


With a piping hot cup of coffee out of her Handbridge Capital mug and some Vegemite spread. [BI]

…and that $13.9 million in civil penalties, on top of the two years in prison he’s supposed to serve after being convicted of insider trading, plus the scratch he owes Goldman for sharing its material non-public information with a hedge fund friend, is taking things too far. Read more »

…on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Laura Swain is scheduled to punctuate the firm’s remarkable downfall when she rules on its plea to criminal insider-trading charges. If Judge Swain accepts the plea, as expected, the firm will pay an additional $1.2 billion in penalties, including the largest criminal fine ever in an insider-trading case. Since the guilty plea last November, portfolio managers who oversaw more than 10% of SAC’s capital have either left or announced plans to leave, according to people familiar with the firm’s operations. “How could I tell my kids I stayed at a firm that admitted to insider trading?” said one former employee. [WSJ]

If anyone felt the remarks went too far, well, James Kidney is sorry you feel that way. Read more »

Deutsche Bank AG was ordered to give four traders fired in a rate-rigging investigation their exact jobs back while a court is hearing an appeals bid by the lender over the issue. The lender must pay a penalty equal to the men’s monthly salary unless it reinstates them in their original positions, Frankfurt Labor Appeals Court spokesman Wolfram Henkel said in an interview today…The Frankfurt Labor Court ruled last year the terminations were illegal and the bank must reinstate the employees, who made submissions for Euribor and Swiss Franc Libor. The court found “indications” that the fired staff wrongfully took derivatives trading positions into account when deciding what rates to submit. While it’s against bank rules to fix rates, the lender couldn’t use this as a reason to fire them because it didn’t have sufficient guidelines on rate submissions, didn’t control the process, and had systems in place that fostered the behavior, the court wrote in the judgment. [Bloomberg]