Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

stevecohen (1)Also about how he had “no idea” who might’ve been responsible for sideswiping Tim in accounting’s driver side mirror, despite the fact that he was seen peeling out of the parking lot at the time of the incident. This upcoming bout truthiness brought to you by Cohen’s ex-bride, Patricia C. Read more »

The design intends for no one to have an assigned desk and there are only 150 spaces for 200 people. For those who were initially resistant to losing their assigned space, Catalano says, “it was hard to argue with real data that the old space was underutilized.” Employees have a locker where they put their personal belongings, and then they set up in the morning where they want to work. There are sanitized wipes on every desk so that the shared workstations are left clean [HBR via Matt Levine]

Dimitry BravermanIn April 2011, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati employee Matthew Kluger was charged with insider trading with a couple of his buddies, in a scheme that went back some 17-odd years. This spooked a fellow WSG&R employee named Dimitry Braverman, because unbeknownst to the Feds, he was running a little insider trading campaign of his own, separate from Kluger’s. Despite the fact that he probably worried about having gaps in his résumé (2009-2011 Insider Trading Professional, 2011-, ???), Braverman decided to pump the brakes on the material non-public information stuff for a while, the Kluger business likely being a bit too close for comfort. About a year later, though, not too long after Kluger was handed the longest insider trading sentence in U.S. history, Braverman got that familiar itch again, an itch more powerful than any fears of getting caught, which he presumably dismissed with a “Fuck it. I’m getting back in the game.” Read more »

sage-butter-roasted-turkey-with-cider-gravy-646There’s no rush. Read more »

bill grossThe compensation committee keeps the minutes of its meetings private, but considering that Gross far surpassed any expectations parent company Allianz might’ve set in the aforementioned areas, it seems obvious crows1 and alienation figured significantly in his 2013 pay. Read more »

110810_moodys_ap_605Moody’s Corp. doesn’t often give away its thoughts free of charge. But the ratings firm made an exception recently, issuing an unsolicited credit rating to National Penn Bancshares Inc., a small community bank it had never assessed before. Moody’s grade was lower than one issued just weeks earlier by Kroll Bond Rating Agency Inc., which the bank had hired to rate a new bond. Kroll contends Moody’s deliberately lowballed its rating—a move that could have ripple effects through the market for National Penn’s bonds—to scare other small banks into hiring it for future deals. “It seems this was nothing less than intimidation,” said Kroll President Jim Nadler. “Investors and issuers are worried that Moody’s, if it’s not paid their ransom, will continue doing this until they bully their way into the market.” A Moody’s spokesman said the firm’s unsolicited rating for National Penn was due to the relatively large size of the debt deal for a regional bank. “We thought our opinion would be helpful to market participants,” he said. [WSJ]

Strip-steakKnown inside Merrill as the “wellness initiative,” Thiel has been advocating his employees embrace a New Age cultural lifestyle that includes meditation and drinking wheatgrass and cucumber juice during firm gathering…But at the meeting on Tuesday night, without Thiel present, the old Thundering Herd, as Merrill’s brokers are known, was back on display. Speeches from management included testimonials about veteran brokers, and remarks about financial markets. Also noticeably absent: Any trace of wheatgrass or cucumber juice on the menu, or any of the so-called wellness gurus or new age lifestyle experts Thiel featured at past events. Instead, brokers feasted on “meat, potatoes and booze,” according to one person who was present. “It’s the way you’re supposed to feed the Thundering Herd.” [FBN, related, related]

  • 13 Nov 2014 at 4:09 PM

Dan Loeb Channels His Inner Steven Spielberg

danloebthirdpoint-260x195As many of you know, Dan Loeb is something of a pioneer in the activist investing industry. Sure, there were others doing it before him, but he made a name for himself when it came to the art of disemboweling his targets via pen and paper. And while he continues to send various public company CEOs and their boards his trademark letters (all of which include a potent, poetic blend of sarcasm, self-regard, belittling attacks on management competence, and lengthy prescriptions for change), Loeb is not content to sit on his laurels vis-à-vis fucking up the universes of his objects of scorn, or to get left behind in the 20th century of activist investing. In April 2012, he debuted a blog exclusively devoted to his proxy battle against Yahoo– the first of its kind!– and today, he’s unveiled his latest reinvention of the wheel: a short film about Dow Chemical, complete with ominous music that is sure to haunt your dreams and make the Koch brothers proud. The film is a certain finalist for best picture at the Proxies, an annual awards ceremony honoring cinematic achievement in the hedge fund industry. Read more »