Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

goat7A few weeks ago, the hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel was walking through a wooded area on his 200-acre farm in Northport, Michigan, shouting at goats. “A droite! A droite!” he called, urging the animals to return to a path from which they had strayed in order to nibble on the surrounding brush. When Spitznagel was first launching his goat cheese farm, called Idyll Farms, around 2012, he hired consultants from France– but of course– to come to Michigan and help train him and his staff, and the goats have grown used to hearing commands in French. “A droite! A droite!” Spitznagel shouts, tapping on the ground with a long, hooked walking stick he sometimes uses to gently prod the animals….They seem intelligent, I said to Spitznagel. “They’re herd animals,” he responded. “They’re as smart as any investment manager out there.” [Worth]

  • 10 Dec 2014 at 8:45 AM

Pay Hike Watch ’14: Citigroup

citi07x-large-260x195At long last, the littlest members of Team Citi have gotten word they’ll be receiving raises to base pay, just like their fellow junior mistmakers across Wall Street. Read more »

Lehman BrothersIn fairness, no one has officially measured and reported the size of Jonathan Hoffman’s testicles. But you’d have to figure they’re pretty big to hugely big based on the fact that he’s put forth the argument that:

  • Barclays paid him the $84 million he was owed by Lehman Brothers for his work in 2008, which was quite nice of them…
  • …Having said that, that doesn’t leave Lehman Brothers off the hook…
  • …While Lehman contends that Barclays paid the bonus because it took over all the Lehman employee contracts…
  • …Hoffman delightfully argues that he and Barclays had their own separate contractual agreement because he was hired by the British bank independent of its deal with Lehman1
  • …and therefore the Lehman estate still owes him his god damn money…

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macadamia-nutsMs. Cho, who is in charge of Korean Air’s in-flight services and hotel business and a daughter of Chairman Cho Yang-ho, was seated in the plane’s first-class cabin when a flight attendant served her an unopened bag of macadamia nuts. The problem arose after Ms. Cho said the flight attendant should have first asked her if she wanted the nuts, and then served them on a plate, not in the bag, per Korean Air in-flight service rules, according to a spokesman. Ms. Cho “screamed and scolded” the flight attendant and asked the purser in charge of in-flight administration and supply about the proper procedure for food service in first class, company officials said. Unsatisfied with his response, she demanded that he get off the plane, delaying the flight for about 20 minutes…According to South Korean aviation regulations, a plane preparing for takeoff should return to the ramp only if the pilot determines there is an emergency situation, such as one involving the safety of the aircraft or its passengers. Violators can face up to 10 years in prison. [WSJ]

"Bitch in Charge"It comes via the latest round of business school follies shows, in an entry entitled “Bitch in Business, which includes:

  • The lines “I’m a viper in a boardroom and a tiger in the sack,” “A piss is the only thing I’ll take sitting down,” and “You say babies are for girls, business is for boys, try telling that to my stay-at-home f*cktoy”
  • The starring “bitch” cracking an actual whip
  • A bunch of CBS dudes washing a car shirtless, save for red pleather (?) vests
  • The aforementioned dudes pawing at each other in an inflatable pool while CBS women smoke cigars and throw cash at them
  • What appears to be extremely high production value (and possible use of a green screen)!

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deutsche-bank-logo-on-a-cupcakeFederal prosecutors in Manhattan on Monday sued Deutsche Bank, claiming that it owes the United States government about $190 million in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest. Prosecutors contend the tax liability stems from a transaction that Deutsche Bank undertook 14 years ago. The bank had acquired a company that held three million shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb. The shares appreciated in value and, federal prosecutors say, the bank came up with a “scheme to evade” paying tens of millions of dollars in capital gains taxes on the shares when they were eventually sold. But Deutsche Bank, which has large operations in the United States, contends that it reached a settlement with the I.R.S. over the same tax dispute in 2009. “It is not clear to us why we are being pursued again for the same taxes,” the bank said in a statement. It said it intended to “vigorously” fight the lawsuit. [Dealbook]

a few good menThis is Dennis Lockhart, in a speech from earlier today:

One of my favorite movies is A Few Good Men starring Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise. I’ve seen it five or six times. It’s about the murder of a Marine private down at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and the trial of two young Marines who thought they were roughing up a slacker under orders. At bottom, it’s about a narrative that does not hold up and hang together.

Obviously, he goes on, and while we weren’t there to hear the remarks live, it seems fairly obvious that Lockhart did the “voices” during the pivotal scenes referenced: Read more »

Ben LorelloJust think of all the pearls of wisdom these kids could’ve received! Charlie Gasparino reports: Read more »