Matt Levine

  • Ordered by increasing percentage of fixed comp. The percentage label is % of total comp that comes from fixed comp.


    Bonus Watch ’11: European Banking Authority Is Keeping An Eye On Everyone

    Europe has big plans to micromanage bankers’ bonuses and the first step of those plans is to figure out how big those bonuses are. And here is the answer! For 2011, anyway, and for bankers who made more than €1mm. It’s a report from the European Banking Authority based on their data collection project, in […]

    / Jul 15, 2013 at 1:12 PM
  • This is a photograph of the opening ceremony of the MoneyShow and I think you'll agree that it's one of the greatest photographs of all time? ENDLESS SEA OF BALD SPOTS.


    Apparently You Can’t Believe Everything You Hear At The MoneyShow In Las Vegas

    Every few days or so the SEC or CFTC brings a lawsuit against some small-time, or I guess medium-time, fraudster and today’s, a joint SEC/CFTC effort, is a representative example. It’s about Kevin G. White, his company KGW Capital, “one of the world’s leading private investment firms,” and its “$1 billion highly specialized currency hedge […]

    / Jul 12, 2013 at 5:05 PM
  • warrants!

    M&A, News

    Carl Icahn Throws Some Warrants Into His Dell Thing Because Really Why Not?

    There are enough absurdities on the surface of Carl Icahn’s pseudo-proposal for Dell that you don’t need to think deeply to find more but I guess you could. One thing that might bother you if you let it is the old slicing-the-pie-to-make-more-pie thing. Why should funding Dell with more debt and less equity, and running […]

    / Jul 12, 2013 at 1:24 PM
  • Fun fact: Bess's Marie Claire interview is the #1 Google hit for "Marianne Lake"


    JPMorgan Talked About Leverage A Lot This Morning

    One of the pleasures of every JPMorgan quarterly earnings call is hearing Jamie Dimon’s, and now Marianne Lake’s, authoritative-sounding pronouncements on proposed regulations. You sometimes get the sense that regulations can’t be adopted without Dimon’s approval, so his views on these calls provide some sort of indicator of which of the proposals might actually happen. […]

    / Jul 12, 2013 at 10:13 AM
  • You probably didn't retweet this. You sicken me.


    For Some Reason Elizabeth Warren Is Not Entertained By The Modern Banking System

    Elizabeth Warren introduced a bill today to split nice old-timey banking (taking deposits, making loans to people and corporates) from investment banking and other assorted eeeeevil activities (trading, derivatives, etc.) and it comes with a poster. It also comes with a throwback name, “The 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act of 2013,” after the guys who last […]

    / Jul 11, 2013 at 5:58 PM
  • Ooh buildings


    Deutsche Bank Did Some Accounting Stuff

    I used to work in a business that, among other things, helped clients get financing against securities. One thing that you learn quickly in that business, and then spend the rest of your career trying to forget, is that the simplest way to get financing against securities is to sell them. You’ve got $100 of […]

    / Jul 11, 2013 at 3:05 PM
  • hedge fund myth lower


    Bloomberg Businessweek Criticizes Hedge Funds For Poor Performance, High Fees, Droopy Dicks

    I guess this Bloomberg Businessweek cover story is very real and we have to talk about it. So, here you go, tell us in the comments how you feel about how Businessweek feels about your manhood. Be sure to reference the fact that the title of the story is “Hedge Funds Are for Suckers.” My […]

    / Jul 11, 2013 at 11:50 AM
  • wsj bk small


    A Lot Of Company Insiders Buy Stock Right Before Filing For Bankruptcy

    That was my takeaway from this chart in the Wall Street Journal this morning. Oh, I mean, sure, their takeaway is that a lot of insiders were selling just before bankruptcy, and that’s also true, but: I can understand that. The company’s going bankrupt! You want to get out of the stock! But some – […]

    / Jul 11, 2013 at 9:20 AM
  • Someone's excited.

    Hedge Funds, News

    SEC Votes 4-1 To Require All Hedge Funds To Advertise On Dealbreaker

    We don’t make the law, folks, we just help you follow it. Comply with your regulatory requirements right here. Or I guess you could read Dan Primack’s summary of the SEC’s vote to allow general solicitations for private placements, but don’t take him too seriously when he says “Issuers do not need to generally solicit. […]

    / Jul 10, 2013 at 2:57 PM
  • This is gonna be my go-to Icahn-as-evil-genius picture.

    M&A, News

    Carl Icahn: If You Like This Dell Buyout, Why Not Vote Against It?

    I’ve made fun of Carl Icahn’s involvement in Dell a few times, because it has been pretty nutty and half-baked, but I hope that doesn’t obscure my fundamental fondness for the man. I sometimes think that we’re a lot alike: we both come to work every day with the goal of being amused by the […]

    / Jul 10, 2013 at 11:42 AM
  • This is an acceptable use of red. Share repo = bad, in context.


    Banks Will Have To Buy Slightly Less Stock, Which They’re Not Very Good At Anyway

    One way to characterize US regulators’ new leverage ratio rules is that they require big banks to raise some $80-odd billion of capital, but that’s perhaps more alarmist than necessary. The banks don’t have to raise that money in the sense of going out and selling $80bn of stock or whatever. They make money every […]

    / Jul 10, 2013 at 9:36 AM
  • I would not look this jolly if I were testifying before Congress.


    SEC Doesn’t Want Fabrice Tourre Telling A Jury That The Guys He Ripped Off Deserved It

    Fabulous Fab Tourre is on his way to trial in the SEC’s securities-fraud lawsuit over the Abacus synthetic CDO he built at Goldman Sachs for John Paulson, and Andrew Ross Sorkin has a column today about all the things that the SEC doesn’t want him to be allowed to say to the jury. You should […]

    / Jul 9, 2013 at 3:34 PM
  • It's Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry!


    New Capital Regulations No Big Deal, Say Regulators

    US banking regulators have released new proposals to require banks to have higher leverage ratios, counterintuitively meaning lower leverage, and you can go read them here, or read about them here or here. Briefly: in addition to regular Basel III risk-based capital requirements, banks are also subject to a backstop equity-divided-by-assets0 leverage test, and internationally […]

    / Jul 9, 2013 at 1:49 PM
  • Libor Man!


    NYSE Wants To Be Responsible For Libor For Some Reason

    The Hogg Tendering Advisory Committee announced today that it’s selling Libor to NYSE Euronext, which immediately raises questions like: the “Hogg Tendering Advisory Committee”? Really? and why would you want to own Libor? So: one, yes, the Hogg Tendering Advisory Committee, my favorite name for a financial thing since the Tick Size Flexibility Act of […]

    / Jul 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM
  • This assumes for no particular reason that everyone should have a 10% capital ratio, and then looks at percentage point changes from that ratio if you normalized the risk weighting.


    Some Banks Think Some Borrowers Are Riskier Than Other Banks Think They Are

    It’s become fashionable to make fun of the Basel risk-based capital rules for being overly complicated and subject to gamesmanship. “Why should we risk-weight assets at all?” people ask, for some reason. “Just look at simple leverage and assume that all assets are equally risky!” Sure okay. The problems with treating all risks the same […]

    / Jul 8, 2013 at 5:38 PM
  • I kind of want to never use anything but his creepy Twitter-bio picture ever again.

    M&A, News

    Who Will Be Saddest About A Successful Dell Buyout?

    With today’s ISS report endorsing the Michael Dell / Silver Lake buyout of Dell, and with the market up on the likelihood that the deal will go through when shareholders vote on July 18, I suppose it’s about time to start the postmortems. How do you see the winners and losers? The opposition, led by […]

    / Jul 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM
  • Aren't trade shows just sort of amazing? Like when I was a kid (also: when I was a banker) I went to the auto show at the Javits Center because, cars, awesome, but they have the same thing for, like, pharmaceuticals. You gotta imagine everyone is walking around being like "hmm, behind the medicine, huh? God I wish there were sweet Lamborghinis here."


    SEC Not Really Big Believers In Luck

    A thing that the SEC sometimes does now is notice when an anonymous foreigner buys a ton of otherwise thinly traded short-dated out-of-the-money call options just before a company announces big merger news that pushes the stock way up and makes those options suddenly hugely valuable, and go to court to take away the anonymous […]

    / Jul 8, 2013 at 11:40 AM
  • okay time for your hooker scandal really


    New York Attorney General Will Supervise When And How News Organization Can Report News

    The Financial Times has an article today called “Greece reaches agreement with ‘troika’ on bailout tranche” and I’m not going to tell you about it but you can go read it if you want. If you’re an FT subscriber just click on this link and there you are. If not, maybe try typing that title […]

    / Jul 8, 2013 at 9:45 AM
  • Dealbreaker Trivia question: whose porch is this?


    Borrowing More Money Now Almost Cheaper Than Borrowing Less Money

    It’s fairly intuitive that lending money to rich people would be a better business than lending money to poor people.1 They have more money, for one thing, which makes it more likely that they’ll be able to pay you back. Their collateral tends to be better too. Administrative costs are lower – your loans are […]

    / Jul 3, 2013 at 12:49 PM
  • I mean, this could have been a picture of like a computer or the Nasdaq CEO or whatever, but LOOKIT THE DOGGIE.


    Nasdaq Screwed Up The Facebook IPO To Preserve The Integrity Of The Capital Markets

    Because Nasdaq messed up the Facebook IPO, a bunch of people lost money, and because this is America those people sued,1 and yesterday Nasdaq defended itself in a motion to dismiss, and I guess they’re probably right, I don’t know, but none of it exactly works as an advertisement for Nasdaq’s services. The main argument […]

    / Jul 3, 2013 at 10:02 AM
  • bitcoin mining



    One of my favorite pastimes is making small but terrible investment decisions so of course I’ve long wanted to buy some bitcoins, the cryptocurrency that comes from your imagination, or at least the imagination of your computer. Unfortunately as far as I can tell actually buying a bitcoin requires a fake passport, a short-wave radio, […]

    / Jul 2, 2013 at 1:28 PM
  • kinder gentler Icahn pic


    Carl Icahn Agreed To Lend Himself Some Money For Dell

    The latest in the Dell saga is that Carl Icahn has announced that he’s got the money to do his $10-to-$14-or-whatever-a-share tender offer, and by “money” of course I mean commitments from lenders that are contingent on the tender offer happening, which itself is contingent on a bunch of other things, including Dell shareholders voting […]

    / Jul 2, 2013 at 10:17 AM
  • EU antitrust czar Joaquin Almunia. I guess they don't call them "czars" in Europe though.


    Banks Preferred Profitable CDS Business Over Less Profitable One

    The thing about antitrust law is that it’s so understandable. Not in the sense that a human can easily understand antitrust law, particularly, just that it’s easy to understand where the people who violate it are coming from.1 This EU antitrust case against 13 banks for “colluding to prevent the lucrative global business of trading […]

    / Jul 1, 2013 at 3:03 PM
  • he'll school ya


    Renaissance Technologies: Buy-And-Hold Investor

    You can think of a margin loan as being like an option on the underlying security: if I lend you $50 (nonrecourse) against a $100 share of stock, and tomorrow the stock is worth $45, then you’ve lost $50 and I’ve lost $5, same as if I wrote you a $50 strike put option on […]

    / Jul 1, 2013 at 10:13 AM
  • From of course.


    Sell-Side Research Analysts Are Destroying America, Apparently

    Here’s sort of a pleasing paper on equity research analysts. The background is basically that there’s this constellation of questions that reduce to “do public markets make companies Bad?,” and one of the main mechanisms by which that might happen would be if markets make companies focus on short-term earnings and shareholder distributions rather than […]

    / Jun 28, 2013 at 3:54 PM
  • Huh. They *record* the phone calls now?


    MF Global Was Bad

    The thing is that when you run a brokerage company and it goes and loses $1bn of customer money, the CFTC really ought to charge you with “fail[ing] to supervise diligently the activities of [your] officers, employees, and agents,” no? At least? There are various views of Jon Corzine’s role in MF Global’s efforts to […]

    / Jun 27, 2013 at 4:25 PM
  • lookit all them pretty prices


    Brokerage Tried To Tell The World It Was Ripping Off Customers But No One Listened

    Securities firms that sell bonds to customers from their own account (and buy bonds from customers from their own account) make money by charging a markup (markdown) on the price that they paid (got) for the bonds on the other side. You buy at 100, sell at 101, you make a point, etc. The metaphysics […]

    / Jun 27, 2013 at 9:57 AM
  • Basel, where these things notionally come from.


    Relatively Simple Basel Leverage Rules Still Pretty Complicated

    If you think bank regulation should be made much simpler it’s probably worth reading today’s Basel Committee document on bank leverage ratios, which the chairman of the Basel Committe described as “a relatively simple measure.” And what could be simpler than regulating leverage ratios?1 It’s just, like: tot up all your assets, including all your […]

    / Jun 26, 2013 at 5:03 PM

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