News

The executive suiteWhen he woke up on the morning of Oct. 5 — a beautiful fall day when many New Yorkers started raking leaves — Mark Guindi never imagined he would rake in something else: a cool $12,000. “It was the craziest thing,” says the handsome 24-year-old Brooklynite, who scored big in a fantasy football tourney called FanDuel NFL Sunday Million. “I wake up one day, put up a $25 entry fee, and I make 12,000 bucks.” Guindi is now making a name for himself in the upper leagues of daily fantasy football, drafting a team of real-world athletes to pit against other players. In three weeks, he’ll be trading his winter jacket for suntan lotion as he hits Vegas for the ultracompetitive Fantasy Football Championship sponsored by daily fantasy sports league site FanDuel. There, he’ll be vying for a $2 million jackpot, against the country’s top 100 players…Guindi is just one rising star in a constellation of fantasy players in the US and Canada — about 41 million, up 5 million in the last year alone. While only a small percentage is composed of money-hungry DFS players, their numbers are also on the rise. FanDuel expects to pay out more than $500 million in prizes this year and more than $1 billion in 2015. Its active users will likely hit 1 million this year — more than quadruple the previous year. [NYP via Matt]

  • 21 Nov 2014 at 4:30 PM

Deal Judge: We’re Going To Need A New Master of Coin

Elie's idea of an Icelandic prison.

Elie’s idea of an Icelandic prison.

Ed. note: This is a new weekly column by Elie Mystal, Managing Editor of Above the Law Redline, wrapping up the week that was in law and finance. Elie is not a practicing attorney, and anything he says that you listen to can and will be used against you.

Issue #1: How can you get a permit to do a damned illegal thing?

Bitcoins are a “real” commodity, so says the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Commissioner Mark Wetjen “I do believe we have the authority because if you think of any reasonable reading of our statute, bitcoin classifies as a commodity, “I do believe we have the authority because if you think of any reasonable reading of our statute, bitcoin classifies as a commodity.”

Well maybe if Wetjen wishes really, really hard, Tinkerbell will spring to life and sprinkle enough regulatory pixie dust to give the CFTC the authority it believes it should have. Read more »

  • 21 Nov 2014 at 3:12 PM

Mathew Martoma Is In Miami

martomaUnfortunately, this is a business, not pleasure trip: yesterday marked Day 1 of 3,285 of his sentence for orchestrating the largest insider trading scheme ever. Read more »

Britain put in a good faith effort to challenge what it sees as unfair/unrealistic bonus rules from the EU but it’s since been told to sit down and STFU, so: you’re on your own. Read more »

  • 21 Nov 2014 at 12:09 PM

RBS Messed Up But It’s Okay

rbs1-260x175RBS’s full-year 2016 capital ratio under the European Banking Authority’s “Adverse Scenario” is 5.7% versus 6.7% previously reported—meaning the bank just hurdled the minimum 5.5% pass rate. The EBA organized the stress tests, which were aimed to help restore confidence in bank balance sheets. RBS said it erroneously considered around billions of pounds of deferred tax assets as top quality capital. After comparing with other U.K. banks it realized its error and restated the calculation. [WSJ]

  • 20 Nov 2014 at 6:42 PM

Write-Offs: 11.20.14

$$$ Uber’s Massive Fundraising Drive Forges Ahead Despite Scandal [Digits]

$$$ Fed Launches Review of Practices for Supervising Big Banks [WSJ]

$$$ How to Become a Russian Billionaire With No Help from the Kremlin [Bloomberg Markets]

$$$ Your $60K-a-Day Chalet [WSJ]

$$$ Couple Having Sex In Car Causes Traffic Jam: Cops [HP] Read more »

point72 asset management Over the last several years, as nearly a dozen former SAC Capital employees have been convicted of securities violations, the firm has taken many steps to redefine its image, from one of a bastion of insider trading to one where such actions are not only frowned upon but strictly prohibited. Such steps include but are not limited to: paying over $1 billion in fines; changing its name; and turning itself into a family office. Last month, Point72 Asset Management, AKA the hedge fund formerly known as SAC, even went so far as to announce that it would be monetarily compensating employees for “setting a proper tone and example on compliance and doing the right thing.” You’d think that all of these things– including the fact that a whole bunch of ex-SAC employees are doing time– would go far to deter people currently working at the hedge fund from engaging in insider trading. And yet, someone in Stamford apparently thought it was necessary still to take away one final temptation from them. Read more »