Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

ubs1When Christie’s auctioned off Edgar Degas’s “Danseuses” for nearly $11 million in 2009, the catalog noted that the masterpiece was being sold as part of a restitution agreement with the “heirs of Ludwig and Margret Kainer,” German Jews whose vast art collection was seized by the Nazis in the years leading up to World War II. But now a dozen relatives of the Kainers are stepping forward to object. Not only did they fail to benefit from that sale, they say they were never even told about it, or any other auctions of works once owned by the couple, including pieces by Monet and Renoir. It turns out that the Kainer “heir” that has for years collected proceeds from these sales and other restitutions, including war reparations from the German government, is not a family member but a foundation created by Swiss bank officials. In lawsuits filed in New York and Switzerland, the Kainer relatives contend that officers of the bank — now part of the global banking giant UBS — never made a diligent effort to find them, and worse, used the family name to create a “sham” foundation ostensibly organized to support the health and education of Jewish youth but actually formed, they say, to cheat them out of their inheritance. [NYT via Matt]

  • 17 Oct 2014 at 4:33 PM

Compensation Watch ’14: Fed Chairs

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 4.32.03 PMJanet Yellen apparently needs to sit her boss down for a frank talk re: how much she’s valued by this organization. Read more »

  • 17 Oct 2014 at 3:54 PM

All JP Morgan Wants Is One Billion Dollars

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 3.52.13 PMFact: JP Morgan is interested in moving its headquarters from 270 Park Avenue to a yet-to-be constructed “corporate campus” on the west side of Manhattan. Fact: Real estate developers like the idea of this place, which would cost approximately $6.5 billion to build. Rub: JP Morgan needs the city to entice it to head West, and not that you can put a price on these things but $1 billion would probably be enough to get Jamie and Co. to put their hard hats on. Read more »

  • 17 Oct 2014 at 2:58 PM

So This Is Still Happening

gasparino gross

Earlier: Fox Business Senior Boombox Correspondent Infiltrates Pimco Trading Floor

Government auditors are investigating exclusive contracts held by Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to provide financial services inside federal prisons…Bank of America has been paid at least $76.3 million by Treasury to manage inmates’ accounts, money transfers, email service and other technology inside the 121 facilities managed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The contract has been amended 22 times since it was awarded without competitive bidding in 2000. The accounts hold the money inmates earn from prison jobs paying as little as 12 cents an hour and supplemental funds sent by family and friends. Inmates use the money for clothing, phone calls, food and other expenses. Treasury says the payments to Bank of America were reimbursed by the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Prisons’ parent agency. JPMorgan issues debit cards to inmates when they are released that contain the balance remaining in their prison accounts. JPMorgan’s original contract was awarded in 1998 and amended at least 14 times. It was re-upped in 2008 and amended at least four times since then. [Center For Public Integrity]

  • 16 Oct 2014 at 2:36 PM

Steve Cohen Makes Money For Steve Cohen

Point72 Asset Management, AKA the hedge fund formerly known as SAC Capital, whose largest client by far is a guy who answers to the name Steve Cohen, has turned in some pretty decent performance so far this year, despite a series of events that have led it to do stuff like, among other things, monetarily compensate employees for staying on the right side of the law. Read more »

  • 16 Oct 2014 at 12:38 PM

Ill-Gotten Gain Watch ’14: Mrs. Martoma

Rosemary, wife of ex-SAC PM Mathew, wants the Feds to keep their mitts off 50% of the marital assets. Read more »

Chilton’s DLA Piper office is a modern, all-glass affair in central Washington. On a September afternoon he’s sitting behind a glossy oval desk with a red lava lamp on it, its cream-colored orbs undulate from one end to the other. Chilton’s long, white-steel hair flutters in the breeze of a nearby fan, and the lamp’s pinkish light gives him the rosy cast of a romance novel cover model. [BusinessWeek]