Bank of America mortgage servicers, not so much. Read more »
Mohammed El-Erian May Have Left Pimco Because Of A Chronic And Debilitating Condition That Caused Him To Regularly Look People In The EyeBy Bess Levin
Back in January, Mohamed El-Erian announced that he would soon be stepping down from his posts as CIO and co-CEO of Pimco. In the two months since, Bill Gross, his former boss, has promoted six employees to do his job as chief investment officer, and offered at least three reasons why El-Erian actually did the fund a favor by boxing up his things and leaving.
One thing that hasn’t really been discussed all that much, besides in the purely speculative sense, is why El-Erian is leaving. Was it the pull of the academic world? Did he want to spend more time with his mustache? Were the early mornings becoming a grind? Journal reporters Greg Zuckerman and Kirsten Grind spent some time investigating the question and it seems the answer– how to put this?– is that as a boss, Bill Gross has a tendency to act like an insufferable prick. Read more »
Last summer, Adrian Eady, a banker with Royal Bank of Scotland Group, was nearly crushed hauling a crate of feta cheese off a forklift truck in a North London warehouse. A few months earlier, the state-controlled bank sent Mr. Eady to wear an apron and serve cappuccinos in a cafe. Before that, he was selling novelty greeting cards in a shop. Following a political uproar over a lack of bank lending to small businesses, 81%-government-owned RBS created its “Working With You” program. All RBS corporate bankers must spend at least two days a year working for a customer free of charge. “We do anything they ask,” Mr. Eady says. “If they say ‘make the tea,’ then we make the tea.”[RBS]
Total Haul for KKR Co-Founders Is $327 Million for Banner Year in 2013 (WSJ)
The total haul for Mr. Kravis was about $161.4 million, a sum that includes dividends, payouts from the firm’s funds and compensation such as salary and the use of personal assistants, according to KKR’s full-year financial statement filed publicly Monday. Mr. Roberts came away with about $165.5 million in total for last year, according to the filing. Mr. Roberts owns more KKR stock than Mr. Kravis, who has given some of his stake to a charitable trust, according to securities filings.
@GSElevator Tattletale Exposed (He Was Not in the Goldman Elevator) (Dealbook)
The Twitter account, which has an audience of more than 600,000 followers, has been the subject of an internal inquiry at Goldman to find the rogue employee. The tweets, often laced with insider references to deals in the news, appeal to both Wall Street bankers and outsiders who mock the industry. Late last month, the writer sold a book about Wall Street culture based on the tweets for a six-figure sum. There is a good reason Goldman Sachs has been unable to uncover its Twitter-happy employee: He doesn’t work at the firm. And he never did. The author is a 34-year-old former bond executive who lives in Texas. His name is John Lefevre…Upon being contacted late last week after several weeks of reporting uncovered his identity, he confirmed his alter ego. “Frankly, I’m surprised it has taken this long,” he said by phone. “I knew this day would come.” Mr. Lefevre, who worked for Citigroup for seven years, said the Twitter account started as “a joke to entertain myself.”
Six Bitcoin Exchanges Work to Reassure Customers (WSJ)
“This tragic violation of the trust of users of Mt. Gox was the result of one company’s actions and does not reflect the resilience or value of bitcoin and the digital currency industry,” the statement said. “There are hundreds of trustworthy and responsible companies involved in bitcoin. These companies will continue to build the future of money by making bitcoin more secure and easy to use for consumers and merchants. As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today.”
JPMorgan Chase to cut thousands more jobs (FT)
JPMorgan Chase is planning more job cuts in its mortgage business on top of the 13,000-15,000 positions already due to be slashed because of plunging demand for home loans. Several thousand more cuts are planned, according to people familiar with the matter, and could be announced at JPMorgan’s annual investor day on Tuesday. They are part of a new efficiency drive at the largest US bank by assets that also encompasses staffing branches with fewer employees.
Second Madoff aide testifies at trial, denies knowledge of fraud (Reuters)
Longtime Bernard Madoff assistant Annette Bongiorno on Monday testified that she had no idea her boss was operating a vast Ponzi scheme, despite the decades she spent helping run the trading business where it originated. Bongiorno said she recorded backdated trades, sometimes months after the fact, but never suspected there was anything illegal about it. “Did anyone ever suggest to you that there was something wrong with that practice?” her lawyer, Roland Riopelle, asked her. “The only person who ever suggested that to me was you,” she replied.
Madoff secretary thought Ponzi boss was a ‘hero’ (NYP)
She said Madoff used to stutter when she first began working for him, and that on her first day at work he couldn’t complete a sentence when he asked her to order him ham-and-cheese sandwich. Madoff, she recalled, got so frustrated that he blurted out, “Just get me a ham sandwich!”
Dennis Rodman North Korea Mission to Become Fox Movie (THR)
20th Century Fox has bought the comedy pitch Diplomats, inspired by Dennis Rodman’s so-called “hoops diplomacy” mission to North Korea, as a directing vehicle for Ride Along’s Tim Story…The ever eccentric Rodman became a lightning rod last year when he visited North Korea and befriended the country’s dictator, Kim Jong Un. In January, he returned to the secretive country, which has an atrocious human rights record, and organized a basketball game in Pyongyang. He even sang “Happy Birthday” to the despot. Diplomats is described as a two-hander that takes its cues from the antics of the 6-foot-7 former NBA player Rodman, known as “The Worm.” Read more »
$$$ Icahn, eBay trade accusations as fight escalates [Reuters]
$$$ Men’s Wearhouse Messes With Jos. A. Bank’s Plans for Khaki Dominance [BloombergView/Matt]
$$$ In an excerpt of his annual letter to shareholders published online by Fortune on Monday, Buffett used a 1986 purchase of a farm located 50 miles north of Omaha to support his case about simple, diversified and low-cost investing. He had bought the farm because he could weigh how much the property would yield in corn and soybeans against its operating costs – and not to speculate on the value of the land or to sell it as soon as prices rose. “Now, 28 years later, the farm has tripled its earnings and is worth five times or more what I paid,” Buffett wrote in his annual letter to shareholders, adding that he has visited the property only twice. [Reuters]
The ranks of the Bitcoin Foundation’s board are thinning at a less-than-ideal time for the fake-ish currency, as the CEO of Mt. Gox plans to spend a little more time dealing with his own exchange’s problems. Read more »
They’ll be upping everyone’s “allowance” to compensate the EU’s so-called “bonus caps.” Read more »