Matt Levine

  • What the office looks like now maybe?


    SAC Puts Ten Days Of Insider Trading Behind It

    So Mathew Martoma: pretty bad investment for SAC, no? He “was unable to generate … winning trades or outsized returns in 2009 and 2010, and did not receive a bonus in either of those years. In a 2010 email suggesting that Martoma’s employment be terminated, an [SAC] officer stated that Martoma had been a ‘one […]

    / Mar 15, 2013 at 3:27 PM
  • I will poke you!


    Senate Subcommittee Feasting On Whale Today

    When I got the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report on the London Whale last night, I did what any sensible human would do: I ctrl-F’ed for my name and the names of my friends and enemies, gloated briefly, and then set to work rationalizing not reading the rest of it. After all, it’s ridiculous […]

    / Mar 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM
  • Opaque

    News, Private Equity

    Supercharged IPOs: Like Regular IPOs, But Slower

    Lynnley Browning has an interesting article in DealBook about “supercharged IPOs” today. The gist is that some private equity portfolio companies go public, but keep in place agreements requiring them to pay over 85% of certain tax benefits that they receive to their former IPO owners. This, or so the argument goes, is both unfairsies […]

    / Mar 14, 2013 at 4:53 PM
  • I feel like he'd be a decent swap unwind negotiator.


    Detroit And Its Banks Both Would Prefer To Forget All About Those Interest Rate Swaps

    Here’s a Bloomberg article about how banks made money by doing interest rate swaps with Detroit, and now Detroit is sad, because like a lot of municipalities Detroit swapped its floating rate bonds to fixed to hedge the risk of rates going up, and rates went down, and now the PV of Detroit’s swap liabilities […]

    / Mar 14, 2013 at 12:03 PM
  • How long do you think this will be the top Google Images result for Bain Capital?

    Private Equity

    Judge Decides LBO Boom Could Have Used A Few More Bidding Wars

    The antitrust lawsuit against all the big private equity firms, accusing them of colluding with each other to drive down prices on LBOs in the 2003-2007 boom, was always a bit of a puzzler. On the one hand, there were lots of emails between private equity firms that they’d probably like back, to the effect […]

    / Mar 13, 2013 at 6:51 PM
  • Obviously it parses Guy Who's Short Herbalife Says {Guy Who's Long Herbalife Saying [Guy Who's Short Herbalife Saying (Herbalife Is A Fraud) Is A Fraud] Is A Fraud}


    Guy Who’s Short Herbalife Says Guy Who’s Long Herbalife Saying Guy Who’s Short Herbalife Saying Herbalife Is A Fraud Is A Fraud Is A Fraud

    One day Herbalife will either be put out of business by consumer-protection regulators or it won’t. If it is then Bill Ackman will make a lot of money and Carl Icahn will lose a lot of money, and if it isn’t Ackman will lose a lot of money and Icahn will make a lot of […]

    / Mar 13, 2013 at 3:53 PM
  • David Rubenstein is always being photographed villainously but doesn't he actually look pretty jolly?

    News, Private Equity

    Carlyle Will Now Manage Your Spare Change For You, Basically

    “Hedge funds and private equity funds are secretive pools of capital blah blah blah,” people always say, and there’s some truth to that. But it’s partly true partly because a certain discretion is required by law. Banging on publicly about how awesome your hedge fund is could be taken as a “general solicitation” for investors, […]

    / Mar 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM
  • Gotta mix the dog and non-dog pics up a bit.


    Hank Greenberg Somehow Encouraged By AIG’s Decision Not To Sue The Government

    Hank Greenberg: still at it! My lord. Remember when AIG was going to sue the government along with him, and everyone freaked out, and then it didn’t, and everyone was all “whew, glad that’s over”? Hahaha yeah. Not over. Greenberg filed his amended complaint in his lawsuit against the government today, and in addition to […]

    / Mar 12, 2013 at 7:08 PM
  • Come back Aubrey! Your company has gotten boring!


    Chesapeake Forgot To Call Some Bonds

    Chesapeake Energy has had lots of scandals over the last year or so, but now they’re embroiled in a new one that is perhaps their most damaging yet. No, I’m kidding, it’s totally trivial, but in my capital-markets-dork mind it’s kind of funny, so now I’m going to talk about it and you’re not going […]

    / Mar 12, 2013 at 2:06 PM
  • I invented RMBS, you think I'm troubled by *this*?


    Your Weekly Reminder Not To Talk About Investments Without A License

    1Q2013 must be I Love The ’80s Quarter at the SEC. Two weeks ago we learned that they were pestering ’80s icon and junk-bond inventor Michael Milken for maybe providing investment advice for money after agreeing not to do that, and today they announced a settlement with “New York-based private equity firm Ranieri Partners, a […]

    / Mar 11, 2013 at 6:14 PM
  • Lions Gate, Mycenae. Have we done this one before? Running out of Greek sites that I've been to that aren't just, like, holes in the ground.


    CDS Market Almost Ready For Another Greek Default

    Last week ISDA, who are in charge of credit default swaps, circulated some proposed changes to CDS to account for all the Greek, Argentine, SNS, everything unpleasantness. This prompted me to try out my one journalistic technique – calling1 ISDA and asking them to send me a copy – but they declined, so we’ll just […]

    / Mar 11, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    IPO, News

    Bankrupt 1990s Internet Toy Company Still Thinks It Was Undervalued

    To get a sense of how old the Goldman Sachs IPO lawsuit-and-maybe-scandal that Joe Nocera and Felix Salmon wrote about this weekend is, consider this: the alleged victim was a company named eToys. With the “e,” and the “Toys,” and the weird capitalization. Also Henry Blodget was the analyst who covered them at Merrill. Different […]

    / Mar 11, 2013 at 10:29 AM
  • What is a lawyer?


    Rise In Merger Lawsuits Helps Shareholders By Giving Them More Stuff Not To Read

    If you own stock in a company that announces it’s being acquired, and you think the acquisition price undervalues the company, there are three things you can do about it: you can vote down the deal, you can find or propose an alternate deal, or you can sue. No I’m kidding of course you can’t […]

    / Mar 8, 2013 at 6:02 PM
  • Bloomberg, MZUSB and WCAUUS indexes


    How Much Of The Stock Market’s Growth Is Caused By Its Shrinking?

    There’s a small cause-and-effect mystery in the interaction between share prices and share buybacks. On the one hand, when a company buys back stock, that should make the remaining shares more valuable, on reasoning both fundamental-ish (EPS is up!) and technical-ish (more buyers than sellers!). On the other hand, issuers seem to view their own […]

    / Mar 8, 2013 at 2:42 PM
  • The illusion of science!


    Fed Kicks Off Awkward Week For Banks

    One of the nice things about last year’s Fed bank stress tests was that they were released, and everyone was like “OMG Citi failed!!,” and then we all calmed down and realized that all that meant was that Citi’s capital return plans had failed, so it couldn’t launch a big share buyback, but it wasn’t […]

    / Mar 7, 2013 at 6:20 PM
  • This means he's bluffing!


    Carl Icahn Thinks That Whatever Company He Bought This Week Is Wildly Underpriced

    My thinking on Carl Icahn changes day to day but my current model is that he is a man who after a long and successful career in money management retired in March of 2011 to spend more time on his hobbies. And that his hobbies are irritating Bill Ackman, hijacking public company M&A deals, and […]

    / Mar 7, 2013 at 3:29 PM
  • Every time I write about BofA I have to Google to check that he's still CEO.


    BofA Traders Criticized For Making Money

    The Journal has an article this morning with the headline “BofA Times an Options Trade Well” that is about how BofA timed an options trade well. Specifically, in June 2012, it bought $60K worth of July $20 calls on Constellation Brands (STZ), and a week later STZ announced it was buying a big beer importer […]

    / Mar 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM
  • Unimpressed

    M&A, News

    Prediction: Tomorrow Bill Ackman Will Announce That Dell Is A Pyramid Scheme

    In a Black-Scholes world you wouldn’t have long tedious arguments about whether an LBO represents a good deal for shareholders. You think Dell is undervalued at $13.65 a share? Hey that’s super. Pay $13.66 for 51% of the shares and vote the deal down.1 The end. There’s a certain class of debates that can be […]

    / Mar 6, 2013 at 5:57 PM

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