Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

… [John Paulson] is wading into a local housing controversy and arguing that a large-scale home proposed for a small-scale historic neighborhood on Hill Street in Southampton poses a “threat to our character” and the “peace and tranquility that makes our village what it is.” Mr. Paulson is one of some 85 area homeowners who penned letters to a local village review board. They object variously to the size, scale, scope and “visual incompatibility” of a speculative home planned on a vacant lot in an area where nearly a dozen nearby residences are more than a century old and roughly half or a third the size. The letter writers—socialites, financiers, artists, developers and the scions of a president and a governor—are opposing current plans for the 5,531-square-foot, single-family home on a 1.2-acre parcel being developed by Joe Farrell, a Hamptons builder whom critics have dubbed the “King of McMansions.” [WSJ via BI, related]

The activist investor won’t beat you up like he did to the kids back in Queens, sayeth eBay CEO John Donahoe. Read more »

  • 10 Apr 2014 at 4:27 PM

Bill Gross Wants El-Erian To Say It To His Face

Gross, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Trish Regan today, said El-Erian’s departure is still a mystery for him and a disappointment for the firm, which manages the world’s biggest bond fund. “I would say, ‘Come on, Mohamed, tell us why’,” Gross said in the interview. [Bloomberg, earlier]

  • 10 Apr 2014 at 3:34 PM

Cheesecake And Kisses: Bill Gross Reflects

Three months ago, Bill Gross thought he knew himself. Thought he knew where his life was headed. Thought he knew how people saw him. He knew that each morning when he woke up he would feed the cats. He knew that he’d eat some eggs and kiss his sleeping wife good-bye. He knew he’d get in his convertible and drive over to the office using his knees to steer the wheel, leaving his hands free to munch on the Special K he’d packed for the ride. He knew he’d sit down at his desk at and work in total silence. He knew that at 9AM PST, he’d sweat things out on the recumbent bike. He knew he’d avoid speaking to employees, or asking how their kids were doing.

In reality, he knew nothing. Read more »

  • 10 Apr 2014 at 12:50 PM

Judge Shows Mercy On SAC Capital

$1.8 billion fine and not a penny more, probably. Read more »

Surprise, surprise: Low-key investment funds that diversify their portfolios across asset classes to protect them for the long term are again proving their value. So-called “risk parity” funds—run by prominent investment firms like Bridgewater Associates, AQR Capital Management and Invesco—are up an average of 3.3 percent through March, according to data from Morningstar, easily beating returns for stocks and bonds. That also is better than a classic 60-40 percent stock-bond allocation, which gained 1.87 percent in the first quarter. [NetNet]

Earlier this week, we received a stark reminder that things change. It doesn’t matter if we don’t want them to; it doesn’t matter if we’re not ready. We can’t freeze time1. We can’t pretend things will ever be the same. The old sign is gone. So is the website. Who knows where an email sent to an old address will end up. There are so many questions. There are so few answers. But in the midsts of it all, there is still one thing we can count on: Read more »

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]