Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

Time was, signifiers of wealth in the Hamptons were fairly obvious: an address on Further Lane; a place to land a chopper; a casual ease when buying $30,000 bottles of Dom Pérignon at the Pink Elephant; a checking account balance of $100 million; enough money to hate-buy (and bulldoze) a $50 million house. Now? It’s getting into Club Adopt A Higway, where the line is out the door and a Black Card will only get you so far. Read more »

One of the more unglamorous aspects of being an adult with a job outside the home is the matter of commuting. Whether you’re driving, taking the subway, or being chauffeured, the entire thing is a grind, a time-suck, a nuisance, and an opportunity to catch whatever the breeding grounds for bacteria violating your personal space are spreading, to say nothing of the fact that depending on how far you live from the office, the whole thing can cost a nice chunk of change, money that could be better spent on just about anything.

BlackRock exec Jonathan Burrows knew the evils of the daily commute all too well. He wanted to live outside of London, in East Sussex, but he still had to show his face around the office Monday through Friday, which meant spending an hour on the train each way. He couldn’t get rid of the 2+ hour slog, or the commoners with whom he had to interact en route, but he should, he told himself one day, be able to cut the cost. AND CUT COSTS HE DID. Read more »

  • 05 Aug 2014 at 3:30 PM

David Einhorn Could Use A Hand Here!

“We had a difficult time finding new investments this quarter,” he said today on a conference call discussing results at Greenlight Capital Re Ltd. (GLRE), the Cayman Islands-based reinsurer where he is chairman. “As the market continues to rise in the face of conflicting economic data, global unrest, and looming overdue Fed exit from quantitative easing we remain cautiously positioned.” [Bloomberg]

Far be it for Larry Summers to tell the person who he was passed over for the Fed Chairman gig how to do her job but… Read more »

Judge Rakoff would feel a lot better about this if someone from Citi could be compelled to just admit they engaged in fraud; to have them say, “Guilty, your honor.” Sure, the $285 million they’ll be forking over sort of suggests as much on its own but just for fucking once, it’d be nice to hear someone say it. Read more »

When you think tax inversions, think charming bed and breakfasts, vineyard picnics, freshly churned butter, photo ops in front of sheep pastures, and exchanges of e-mail addresses and promises to stay in touch among fast friends. Read more »

  • 05 Aug 2014 at 12:00 PM

Andrew Ross Sorkin Smells Something Fishy

Late last week, Botox-maker Allergan Inc sued Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Pershing Square, alleging the latter two had engaged in insider trading when Pershing bought $1 billion worth of Allergan shares ahead of a takeover offer by the hedge fund and Valeant. On the suggestion of wrongdoing, Valeant called with charges “baseless,” while Ackman stated in a press release that “This is a shameless attempt by Allergan to delay the shareholders’ fundamental right to call a special meeting and vote their shares. Allergan is threatened by our progress toward calling the special meeting. This scorched-earth approach is further evidence of the board’s and management’s further entrenchment.”

Not entirely convinced? Dealbook‘s Andrew Ross Sorkin, who in his column today says WAIT JUST A SECOND, PEOPLE. Read more »

Early this year, a New York State Lottery winner in Brooklyn approached Morgan Stanley with a problem: he needed to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars before he collected his prize money. The man, a Russian immigrant, wanted money to help move his family to a secure location before he redeemed his ticket and possibly became famous, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He also wanted advice about what to do with his prize money, which was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The bank’s wealth management unit decided to make the loan to win a new customer, a step it is increasingly willing to make as it builds up its brokerage unit…Industry sources said they had never heard of a loan against a lottery ticket, though they cited other examples of atypical collateral that other banks have loaned against, including a client in Texas who borrowed against the future offspring of his prize bulls, and a client who borrowed against future ticket sales of a professional sports team he owned. [Reuters]