Bond Trader

Bond Trader Tapped To Coach Oregon State Basketball

Craig Robinson has gone from trading bonds for Morgan Stanley to coaching basketball at Oregon State, widely considered to be one of the toughest jobs in college basketball. The job was offered to at least three other top coaches before Robinson finally agreed to leave his spot as head coach at Brown.
Robinson graduated from Princeton, where he was a basketball star, and got an MBA in finance from the business school at the University of Chicago. After a stint at playing professional basketball in Europe, Robinson was a bond trader at Continental Bank, Morgan Stanley Dean Whitter and Loop Capital Markets, a minority owned investment banking firm.
Turning around Oregon State’s team will be a challenge for Robinson, perhaps harder than a bond trader trying to dig his way out of a portfolio heavily invested in adjustable-rate mortgages. Robinson, however, comes from a family with grand ambitions. His brother-in-law is Barack Obama.

The Unlikely Candidate

Bond Giant Pimco Sits Out Citadel Sale

citadelgraphic1.jpgThe world’s biggest manager of bonds decided not to buy into a $500 million debt offering by the Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co. told the Tribune that it couldn’t “get [its] hands around” the hedge fund’s business. And that’s likely because Citadel’s business is trading and investing, and it is very secretive about its investment strategies. The memorandum describing the offering revealed very little about Citadel’s strategies (although you can be sure people are still combing through it hoping to turn up something useful).
From the Tribune:

With the tremendous amount of cash looking for new investments, issuers have been able to secure looser terms in bonds than with banks, said Jim Cusser, a portfolio manager at Waddell & Reed in Kansas City, Mo., who isn’t planning on purchasing the Citadel bonds.
“The bond market is a little less prudent than banks are,” Cusser said. He also noted that hedge funds are already highly leveraged. “It looks like we may be piling leverage on leverage.”
The sale shows that “credit markets are pushing limits,” said Mark Kiesel, an executive vice president who oversees $50 billion in corporate bonds at Newport Beach, Calif.-based Pacific Investment Management Co.
Pimco, manager of the world’s biggest bond fund, didn’t buy the Citadel debt, Kiesel said.
“When you don’t like the business, and you can’t get your hands around it, no spread is enough,” he said

Citadel sells $500 million in notes [Chicago Tribune via DealBook]

A Very Bad Good Year

From this review, it’s kind of hard to tell if the new Ridley Scott movie “A Good Year” really sucks or if the Village Voice just hates investment bankers. That’s a trick question. The correct answer is: all of the above.

…Such is the setup of Peter Mayle’s novel A Good Year, the perfect diversion for misogynistic investment bankers whose personal assistants neglected to pack the new issue of Vanity Fair in their Vuitton weekenders. Soon to be ignored at a multiplex near you, the film version arrives courtesy of screenwriter Marc Klein and that unsurpassed master of the effervescent rom-com, Sir Ridley Scott. A third-act intrigue concerning the provenance of an exceptionally rare, hideously expensive wine has been eliminated, with the focus now shifted, aimlessly, on the primitive life lessons learned by Max (Russell Crowe). Will he come to appreciate the simple things in life? You know, like sleeping in, luxuriating on the terrace, and resisting the urge to destroy people? Max will be helped in these matters by the affections of the egregiously named waitress Fanny Chenal (Marion Cotillard), “Pussy Dior” having presumably been trademarked for an upcoming Bond Girl.

Heart Attack [Village Voice]