Matt Levine

  • harvey-schwartz-2


    Goldman Avoided Talking About Leverage A Lot This Morning

    GS had earnings today and I guess they weren’t that good but all anyone ever wants to talk about on earnings calls these days is leverage ratios. That I suppose is a sociologically interesting fact: is banking a business of selling stocks and bonds and loans and whatnot, or is it a business of optimizing […]

    / Jul 16, 2013 at 1:44 PM
  • "A longtime public servant and seasoned trial lawyer, Jordan [Thomas] ..."


    Even Smaller Minority Of Financial Services Employees Greedy Now

    Labaton Sucharow is a law firm whose business consists of getting disgruntled financial industry employees to sue their employees for various bits of naughtiness, and taking a cut of whatever money those disgruntled employees can get from a lawsuit or settlement. One of their clever marketing techniques is to hire a survey firm to identify […]

    / Jul 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM
  • 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

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