Matt Levine

  • From up here, Richmond, CA, seems to be a peaceful town much like any other. But look closer and you will find etc. etc.


    Mortgage Investors Don’t Want Richmond To Take Away Their Mortgages

    The city of Richmond, CA, is trying to use eminent domain to seize and refinance underwater mortgages, and yesterday the trustees of some mortgage bonds holding those mortgages sued to stop them. On its surface the lawsuit is about constitutional law but really it’s about option valuation. To stylize it a bit, the plan is […]

    / Aug 8, 2013 at 1:03 PM
  • Impressed


    Phil Falcone Sues Charles Ergen For Acting Like Phil Falcone

    Presumably someone is working on a book about the LightSquared saga though so far this is all that I can find on Amazon. But the twists and turns of Phil Falcone’s efforts to build a relatively non-plane-crashing wireless communications network, the dizzying highs and subsequent definitive lows of his relationship with the FCC, LightSquared’s bankruptcy, […]

    / Aug 7, 2013 at 3:03 PM
  • Once again Brian Moynihan will have to put on this expression


    Everybody Will Always Be Suing BofA Over Mortgages

    These lawsuits against Bank of America are pretty lame, aren’t they? The SEC and Department of Justice each sued BofA yesterday for fraud in a 2008 prime jumbo mortgage securitization but it doesn’t really feel like fraud. The guns are smoke-free. The DoJ gets itself all excited because someone proposed including some bad mortgages in […]

    / Aug 7, 2013 at 9:40 AM
  • Unfair to put Sergio Ermotti here but whatever, you knew what you were getting into when you took over UBS.


    UBS Ripped Off Some Synthetic CDO Investors Because That’s Just What You Did In 2007

    The SEC settled a little crisis-era CDO fraud case with UBS today and the fraud is pretty entertainingly shitty. Basically UBS provided the warehouse for a synthetic CDO where the notorious ACA was the collateral manager, and the disclosed deal was that, when the CDO closed, it would enter into (as protection seller) any CDS […]

    / Aug 6, 2013 at 4:13 PM
  • This is from, which appears to be ... her blog? I ... don't know.


    JPMorgan Finds A Better Use For Its Commodities Brainpower Than Selling Electricity

    UBS is selling its over-the-counter commodity derivatives portfolio to JPMorgan, prompting John Carney to say this: Here’s a good rule of thumb. When one bank buys a business from another bank, it’s almost always a case of regulatory arbitrage. It’s never really because of synergies or managerial talent or whatever other hokum the media relations […]

    / Aug 6, 2013 at 1:35 PM
  • Still fine in Vegas obvs.


    Poker Is Gambling Again, FYI

    A while back a federal judge in New York decided that poker wasn’t illegal gambling under federal law, and we discussed it here, and so I feel a certain sense of responsibility to all of the Dealbreaker readers who quit their jobs to start poker rooms. So I should tell you that that decision was […]

    / Aug 6, 2013 at 11:40 AM
  • Every time you open your mouth, money laundering, apparently.


    FINRA Reminds Brokers That They’re Not Supposed To Help People Launder Money

    A while back Oppenheimer & Co. let some people trade illegally in some penny stocks and today they got in mild trouble for it, settling with FINRA over charges of selling unregistered securities, inadequate supervision, and inadequate anti-money-laundering compliance programs. Oppenheimer agreed to pay a $1.4mm fine and hire a bunch of stop-doing-that consultants to […]

    / Aug 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM
  • I think that when you first become a public figure in the financial world you should be obligated to sit for a range of photographs that would then be put into the public domain to illustrate future articles about you. I don't know exactly what poses I'd demand of everyone but this "THIS GUY AMIRITE" gesture would definitely be one of them. Actually Ackman has a lot of those.


    Everyone Thinks Everyone Else Is Manipulating Herbalife

    There are puzzling reports that Bill Ackman has been complaining to the SEC about George Soros’s investment in Herbalife, claiming that “Soros’ firm broke insider-trading rules by tipping hedge funds about its purchases” at “idea meetings.” You might remember Bill Ackman as the man who called a big press conference to tell everyone that he […]

    / Aug 5, 2013 at 12:18 PM
  • I mean they probably aren't actually setting up the chairs or anything.


    Dell Pretty Sure That This Time It’s Figured Out This Merger Thing

    Did you fly to Round Rock today to vote on Michael Dell and Silver Lake’s buyout of Dell? No, you did not, even I can’t keep up that fiction any more. By my count this is the third same-day cancellation of the special meeting but everyone’s figured out the game by now. Dell will eventually […]

    / Aug 2, 2013 at 4:27 PM


    A Fine And A Ban On Working In The Securities Industry Don’t Sound That Bad To Sergey Aleynikov

    Poor Fab, but it could be worse. Michael Lewis has a heartbreaking, enraging story in Vanity Fair about poor Sergey Aleynikov, the former Goldman programmer and current Dostoyevskyan holy fool who was sentenced to federal prison for eight years for stealing computer code from Goldman, won a complete victory on appeal, was released, has lost […]

    / Aug 2, 2013 at 11:47 AM
  • Really among the greatest photographs of a human being ever taken.

    M&A, News

    Even Carl Icahn Wants To Wrap Up This Dell Thing

    Carl Icahn’s ideal literary genre may be the press release – or, possibly, the tweet – but sometimes you want to write at length and filing a 25-page complaint in the Delaware Court of Chancery gives you that luxury. Plus I guess some lawyers to write it, but the complaint Icahn filed against Dell today […]

    / Aug 1, 2013 at 5:58 PM
  • We still love you Fab!


    Fabrice Tourre Will Never Sell Synthetic CDOs In This Town Again

    Poor Fab! I, for one, was utterly persuaded that he didn’t commit securities fraud by sending an email that he admitted was “not accurate” but not “false,” but the significance of that distinction seems to have eluded the jury: A federal jury found former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. trader Fabrice Tourre liable for misleading investors […]

    / Aug 1, 2013 at 4:22 PM
  • Here is an obvious visual pun on one ratings agency getting a bit out of line. The cows encourage obviousness.


    Bond Rating Agency Decided To Try To Rate Some Bonds

    What does a AA credit rating mean? The intuitive answer is something like “it means that the rating agency rating the thing thinks it has a probability of default no higher than X% and no lower than Y%,” where X and Y are the boundaries of AA- and AA+ respectively, and sure, that’s about right. […]

    / Aug 1, 2013 at 11:44 AM
  • FACT: The least interesting picture of Carl Icahn is more interesting than the most interesting picture of Michael Dell. If this thing goes to September I'm gonna be using pictures of silver lakes.

    M&A, News

    Dell’s Board Is Having So Much Fun They’re Thinking Of Keeping This Going Until September

    I think we can all agree that the Dell board’s latest proposal to its buyout group – to up the price from $13.65 to $13.75, not change the voting rules, but move the vote to mid-September, with an August record date – is a bad idea. I mean I’m sure we can’t all agree on […]

    / Jul 31, 2013 at 12:57 PM
  • Antony Jenkins one day you might find a place in my heart to rival Bob Diamond but you're not there yet.


    Barclays Asks Shareholders If They’d Mind Terribly Chipping In Just A Bit More Cash

    Barclays today announced a fancy new capital plan that illustrates the subtle cultural differences between US and UK banking. When U.S. regulators want banks to raise more capital, they tell them to do it by 2018, and the banks spend the intervening five years whining about it. When UK regulators want Barclays to raise more […]

    / Jul 30, 2013 at 5:52 PM
  • Obviously Blythe Masters


    Electricity Market Rules Did Not Provide A Worthy Opponent For JPMorgan’s Brainpower

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission fined JPMorgan $410mm today and you can see why JPMorgan would be okay with that. The details are in this marvelously complicated FERC order and settlement agreement,1 but the outlines of the story are simple. FERC built a terrible box, and the box had some buttons that were labeled “push […]

    / Jul 30, 2013 at 11:29 AM
  • Take a tweet:


    Carl Icahn And Michael Dell Will Miss Spending Time With Each Other When This Is All Over

    A fun thing about being rich is that it expands your opportunities for passive-aggressive sniping. Like, if Michael Dell wants to insult Carl Icahn, he can call up the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg and say “hey, I was thinking about insulting Carl Icahn, if I do will you print it?,” and of course the […]

    / Jul 29, 2013 at 6:10 PM
  • You have part of my attention. You have the minimum amount.


    Judge Wouldn’t Mind Reminiscing About The AIG Bailout With Ben Bernanke

    A question that I don’t generally spend a lot of time thinking about is “what if Hank Greenberg wins his $25 billion lawsuit against the government claiming that they unfairly took AIG away from him?,” because come on. Hank Greenberg winning his $25 billion lawsuit against the government always struck me as being about as […]

    / Jul 29, 2013 at 2:59 PM

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