great ideas

Please Say Norbit II, Please Say Norbit II

ed.jpgNot content to sit idle while their peers at Citadel and Stark Investments lose millions of dollars by backing movies like “Evan Almighty” and “Poseidon,” Elliot Associates has gotten some of that, agreeing to provide at least $1 billion to co-finance 75% of Universal Pictures’ films over the next four years, with Relativity Capital. Relativity is the private equity firm which has gotten some great press lately for convincing defenseless hedge funds to put their green in paper bags and light it on fire via 12-terrible-flicks-at-a-time package deals. Elliot is the firm that, earlier this week, accused Cedar Hill of espionage. Do we smell a craptastic spy film summer 2009, sure to make just as much as “Blond Ambition,” if not a dollar more? Methinks yes.
Earlier: How Katherine Heigl’s Rack Nearly Sank Bridgewater
Relativity, Elliott Hammer Out Movie Deal [FINalternatives]

Immaculate Collection Of Garbage

Great news for the ninety three percent of DealBreaker readers who call themselves “serious” Madonna fans, publically or privately (don’t be ashamed of your shame, Carney’s also in the closet about this). You can now give U.K.-based Marquee Capital at least $19,000 for a minimum of ten years and hope that the Madonna memorabilia they’ve been quietly amassing to create “the world’s largest collection” of Madge crap, including outfits she’s worn and a signed American Express card, are flipped for mucho dinero. The firm’s CEO, Chetan Trivedi, says potential investors should get in now, before Madonna’s 50th birthday, when things like an empty water bottle fished out of the singer’s trash can will go for maybe twice the price of what it cost them to buy the bottle from the bum who dug it out in the first place, and triple what Madge paid for it originally. Marquee will also be selling items that previously belonged to Michael Jackson (his kiddie porn collection) and Elton John (same). Back to the scat play.
Does Madonna-Centered Investment Strategy Have A Prayer? [FINalternatives]

  • 28 Nov 2007 at 1:52 PM
  • Banks

So Uncool

We at my apartment (so me and Marissa) have heard that the invasion of employee privacy by Wall Street firms has taken a bold step forward: hacking into employee Facebook accounts. According to a sometimes reliable, sometimes not source, the human relations department at a certain investment bank has been using creative technology to get into the profiles of current (and prospective) minions, to monitor their off (and on) the clock activities. This is bull shit and I’ll tell you why: it would be one thing, if you and those with the power to get you fired willingly entered into a Facebook friendship, thereby granting them full-access to see what’s a-poppin’ in your personal life whenever they pleased. But this means that someone who doesn’t even have the bedside manner to ask “You wanna do this” first, or worse, someone whose online friendship you’ve formally said no thanks to, can see that you’ve added “Boiler Room” to your favorite movies (sheep) and changed your status from “Billy is working at Bear Stearns” to “Billy is getting a public citation for having relieved himself on the sidewalk in front of Bear Stearns which he wouldn’t have had to do in the first place if those FUCKS hadn’t fired him.” Anyway, try and guess which firm we’re talking about via Facebook message (thereby granting me access to see your profile for one week even if we’re not friends) and I will respond shortly.

ubs.pngA bunch of Harvard students who think UBS is pro-genocide because it underwrote PetroChina’s listing on the Shanghai stock exchange this past month are taking a stand. They’re going to show up at a recruiting event being held by the Swiss bank tomorrow night at the Faculty Club and “get as much information as possible regarding UBS’s complicity in PetroChina’s ties to Sudan” and “rigorously question representatives [on the firm’s] role in securing the Sudanese government’s greatest benefactor such a lucrative deal.” While we encourage subversive demonstrations of any kind, and have in fact been told by sources from within UBS that they plan on giving the kids detailed information, including pie charts, on the various ways in which it is complicit with, nay, in favor of, funding murder, we at DealBreaker can’t help ask—are Harvard students really that dumb?

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Are You Douches Going To Take This Sitting Down?

wasinamoviecalledbabel.jpgReal estate blog Curbed recently sat down with an investor in the field to discuss whether or not Andre Balazs’ High Line-squatting Standard Hotel is symptomatic of a developmentification of Manhattan that’s turning the island into a place where only utterly lame (but sufficiently rich) people will live. A simple ‘yes’ would’ve sufficed, but the expert, perhaps going through some sort of personal problem or maybe having had the unfortunate pleasure of drinking at Joshua Tree last night, took it one step further.

Fuck it, I say. Manhattan is one big joke. I think they should let highrises go up anywhere at this point. What’s the point of communities on the island anymore?
Everyone’s so priced out, does it matter anymore?
If you want a neighborhood/community, move to Brooklyn.
Let Manhattan be just one big bullshit skyscraper. Tower of Motherfuckin’ Babel. But for douchebags.
And the Lord spoke and said, “Let us make sure these douchebags do not understand each other, less they build a Tower of Douchieness. Let one douchebag not understand the other.” And thus the languages of Goldman, Lehman, and Morgan were formed and the Lord saw it and it was good.

First of all, this tower already exists, and its name is Windsor Court (and on the UES, Dormandy). Second of all, and we’re just passing this along, analysts from Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns would like to know, “Hey, why weren’t we included on that list?”
Investor Rant: ‘Manhattan is One Big Joke’ [Curbed]

Did You Know….

That rats flee sinking ships?

Hedge funds outflows hit 7-year high in July
[CNN Money]

thesentinel.bmp(Allegedly.) When we asked yesterday what would be the next proverbial egg on Sentinel’s face, we were anticipating something along the lines of “filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the wrong regulatory body” or “put tinfoil in the microwave,” and not “civil fraud charges of lying to investors and misappropriating their assets” levied by the SEC. But what can you do? Go with it, that’s what.
So: in a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Chicago yesterday, the SEC claimed that Sentinel defrauded its clients by improperly “commingling, misappropriating, and leveraging their securities without their knowledge,” in violation of the Investment Advisers Act (specifically, the Blood Brothers clause). Supposedly, Sentinel relocated $460 million in securities from clients’ accounts into its own using one of those cranes from the arcade games that are impossible to win but you end up spending an obscene amount of quarters on anyway in a vain attempt to prove you can be the first person to beat the system, in order to obtain a $321 million line of credit—for its own selfish gains. (Not to play sides here, and to side with a bunch of criminals at that, but if you’re going to commit a felony, here’s hoping there’s a personal benefit on the horizon).
Shockingly, in its daily account statements to clients, Sentinel did not feel the need to touch on the “improper activities” that were going on at the firm (“Hey guys, we’re stealing your money, what’s new with you?”). And in the letter that was sent out August 13, informing customers that a $1.5 billion fund was being frozen and that they wouldn’t be getting their money back without selling assets at “deep discounts,” like, say as much as 30 percent to market prices, Sentinel opined that “fear has overtaken reason.” Apparently, at the time, no one at the firm “feared” “getting caught.” This would explain why Sentinel blamed everything on the “liquidity crisis” and not themselves.
Perhaps the best part of this whole deal is that Sentinel is now being blamed for (go with me on this) everything bad that happened last week, and the reason the Federal Reserve Board cracked.*
(To be fair, though, it really is common knowledge that you can blame anything on the markets, as they’re mostly a solipsistic construct. Try blaming something on the markets tonight. Seriously—it works.)
U.S. files fraud charges against Sentinel [Reuters]
Sentinel Sued by SEC, Accused of Defrauding Clients [Bloomberg]
NFA Drops Sentinel Ball.. SEC Picks Up Sentinel Ball [Naked Shorts]
*unconfirmed: Cramer has challenged Sentinel to a duel at the Garden to determine who can take the credit.

KKR’s Diabolical Scheme

Those of you lucky enough to receive the private equity edition of Shouts and Murmurs, a gossipy newsletter featuring less than blind items about Apollo’s dirty little IT secrets and Stephen Schwarzman’s Spanish Harlem pied-à-terre are well-aware that KKR has seen better days. And by better days we mean days that don’t include an affiliate saying it wants to suspend payment on $5 billion worth of commercial paper, Blackstonian roadblocks in its quest to go public, crunches in funding for new M&A deals, and horribly unfunny—actually kind of bordering on racist—jokes made by Kravis around the water cooler that everyone has to pretend to laugh at, ‘cause he’s Kravis. Yes, to the untrained eye, things aren’t looking so good for the number 1 P.E. firm. Put on your KKR night vision goggles, though, and you’ll see that, to the contrary, everything is falling into place, exactly as they’ve planned (and also—suspicious stains).
After being unable to say no to the money being thrown at them by the banks, which those who are slightly more judgmental might use as evidence to say that KKR, Blackstone, et al. singlehandedly created the credit market mess, Kravis and his cronies have come up with plan to profit from the chaos. The firm, BusinessWeek reports, is in the process of raising at least $1 billion from investors for one of its existing hedge funds, in order to buy some of the $300 billion of junk bonds and high-yield loans that no one else wants. The plan is to get the debt that—and we know this is kind of touchy—KKR may or may not have created itself, on the cheap and then, when the market recovers, do that thing where you make a profit.

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