Bess Levin

Posts by Bess Levin

Remember LightSquared? Company that “seeks to create connectivity for all” but in doing so might “cost 794 lives in aviation accidents over 10 years with disruptions to satellite-aided navigation”? Filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2012? Passion project of investor Philip Falcone, on which he bet the farm? The thing Falcone said he was thrilled to be able to devote 100% of his energy to after being banned from the securities industry for a few years? He owns a lot less of today than he did yesterday. Read more »

The World Cup match between the U.S. and Belgium looks like a great case of timing the market. Today’s game is scheduled to begin just as regular stock trading ends at 4 p.m. in New York. Compared with the midday start for last week’s U.S.-Germany match, there should be fewer conflicts in the workplace while giving Wall Street watering holes an earlier jump on Happy Hour. “The timing couldn’t be more appropriate,” said Philip Blancato, the chief executive officer of investment adviser Ladenburg Thalmann Funds/USA on Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. “We have a group from the company that’s going to head out at the end of the work day and go watch the game together.” [Bloomberg]

  • 01 Jul 2014 at 12:59 PM

Some World Cup Games More Important Than Others

US-based BNP Paribas employees learned that the hard way. Read more »

During the day, we went to a shooting range where we rode in Soviet-era tanks and shot arrows and machine guns; we also caught a Ukrainian football game and ate a ton of chicken Kiev. At night, we hired hot Ukrainian tour guides — it sounds sketchy but they’re not escorts — to show us around, which was a great idea because none of us knew the language or where to go…I actually think strippers are pretty cliché. The most outrageous requests I get are never from the groom — he just wants to get wasted and have fun — it’s the best man who wants strippers in the room at all times. I like to go for other kinds of shock value: zip lining, tank riding, ATV riding, bungee jumping — basically anything with an adrenaline rush that you probably wouldn’t do at home or with your significant other. But, of course, at night, you have to hit the town. [NYM]

The recently deposed American Apparel founder is hoping to regain control with the help of his fellow shareholders. Read more »

The Wall Street Journal reports that Hillandale residents have a lot of complaints about the Fed Chair’s secret service team (their guns, their security cameras, their trucks, the fluid said trucks apparently spill onto the street), but chief among them appear to be their corpulence. Read more »

October 17, 2012: “In addition to a five-story, 850,000-square-foot office, the campus for Bridgewater Associates calls for a helipad, a floating recreational barge, a restored estuary and a marina…Made up of two long, curved buildings joined in the center by bridges and paths, the structure is poised to become the most striking presence on the Stamford coastline. The project’s goal, according to the coastal site plan application, is ‘to house a corporation in an environment that fosters personal interaction and a strong connection to the living world.’” June 27, 2014: “After careful examination and reflection surrounding the challenges, time, energy, and resources needed to bring the proposed Stamford project to completion, we have decided not to proceed with the move.” [AP]

Serious with colleagues, even a bit remote, Mr. Gorman can be a very demanding boss. “People looking for a John Mack-style slap on the back are not going to get it with James,” said one longtime Wall Streeter. “If you’re looking for regular affirmation, it’s going to be a lonely existence.” [...] When Mr. Gorman is uncomfortable or has bad news to deliver, he often clears his throat, and as a result, throat-clearing has entered the firm’s lexicon as code for trouble, as in: “How was the meeting with James?” “There was a lot of throat-clearing.” “Sorry to hear that.”New York Times, JUNE 28, 2014

For those Morgan Stanley employees who have been summoned to Gorman’s office but are unsure how to interpret the clears, please refer to the following: Read more »