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“It’s not polite to talk about yourself, but I haven’t seen anything like it,” says Mr. Wash Chief Executive Richard Enning. A few of his 32 other outlets are almost as big. Germans love cars. They also tend to like things tidy. Now they’re building temples to clean cars. The Stuttgart Mr. Wash is probably the world’s busiest and most expensive carwash. It cost roughly $40 million to build five years ago and employs about 40 people on a busy day for cleaning. Drivers can also tank up or get an oil change. Mr. Enning wants Mr. Wash to be the spot for a spotless car in Stuttgart, the hometown of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. From afar, the orange structure with curved silver protrusions resembles a glitzy shopping mall or some sort of spaceship…Inside, classy touches include a man in white gloves who directs drivers to conveyor belts for robotic sudsing. After that, patrons can sip complimentary coffee amid potted plants and the strains of classical music while teams polish and vacuum. Staff are even instructed on how to fold and refold wiping cloths so dirt doesn’t move from one surface to another…Few things make serious German drivers smile like inching through a foam bath and undulating scrubbers, said [branch manager Robert] Kerbler [WSJ]

On Mathew Martoma’s Parents Raise Some Good, Less Good Points

Listen, lady, better nine years in jail than only bringing home half the bonus he’s supposed to!

–Mrs. Salem

[Never forget:]

As you’ve probably heard, yesterday afternoon Mathew Martoma née Thomas was sentenced to 9 years in prison for orchestrating “the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever” during his time at SAC Capital. Understandably upset and perhaps having also read the civil complaint in which their son’s boss was identified as “Portfolio Manager A,” mom and dad had this to say:

Speaking on the sidewalk outside the old federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan, Mr. Martoma’s parents said he had been wrongly convicted. The couple asked why Mr. Martoma’s former boss, Steven A. Cohen, the billionaire investor who founded SAC, was not also charged with insider trading if their son had done something wrong.

And also:

“…the man who made all the money is on a yacht, my son is going to jail.”

While there is obviously a touch of bias involved here, these statements seem relatively reasonable, whereas the arguments offered for why Martoma/Thomas was found guilty… Read more »

Mario Gabelli rewarded himself handsomely for all of that money his firm raised in 2013. Henry-Kravis-and-George-Roberts-put-together kind of handsomely. Four-Lloyd-Blankfeins-stacked-on-top-of-each-other-with-an-extra-$5.4 million-on-the-side kind of handsomely. Read more »

Ken Griffin Is Not Harvard’s Favorite Alumnus Anymore

For a few months, Ken Griffin reigned as Harvard’s greatest fairy godmother, writer of the largest check in the nearly 400-year history of the world’s richest university. No more: A Hong Kong property developer has done the Citadel founder two-and-a-third times better, handing the Harvard School of Public Health $350 million, allowing his father to join John F. Kennedy as the only people to have schools at Harvard named for them, while Griffin has had to settle for the undergraduate financial aid office. Read more »

  • 09 Sep 2014 at 12:35 PM

‘Flash Boys’ Coming To A Courthouse Near You

When Michael Lewis declared that high-frequency trading had rigged the U.S. stock markets, it sounded to three law firms and several pension funds like the kind of thing you could sue over. And so they have. For it stands to reason that if the markets are rigged, someone or thing sue-able has rigged them. And, according to the law firms and pension funds (and, for good measure, Rhode Island’s capital, whose mayor just happens to be running for governor on something of an anti-Wall Street platform), the markets have rigged themselves. Read more »

Opening Bell: 09.09.14

Alibaba Begins Wooing Wall Street (Dealbook)
The day formally began at 6 a.m., when Alibaba executives met with the combined sales teams from its six lead underwriters for a teach-in. Held at Citigroup’s investment banking headquarters in downtown Manhattan, the discussion focused on teaching the sales staff about the company and how to best pitch it to potential investors. But the highlight was the lunch presentation, held on the 18th floor of the Waldorf-Astoria in Midtown Manhattan. Starting midmorning, investors lined up for a half-hour or more simply to take the elevator up to the registration desk. At least one potential buyer criticized the setup — completed last week when company executives finally selected the location — which left a long line of people snaking across the cavernous Waldorf lobby and out the door.

Facebook’s Value Tops $200 Billion on Mobile-Ad OptimismFacebook shares rose 0.8 percent to $77.89 at yesterday’s close in New York, valuing the company at $201.6 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That made it the 22nd-largest company in the world, behind Verizon Communications Inc. and ahead of Toyota Motor Corp.

S&P Faces Squeeze After $1.3 Billion Countrywide Fine (Bloomberg)
Standard & Poor’s (MHFI)’ chances of settling the government’s lawsuit over mortgage-bond ratings for less than $1 billion may have slipped away after Bank of America Corp.’s Countrywide unit was socked with a $1.3 billion fine. The Countrywide ruling was the first to lay out what penalties financial institutions could face under a 1989 bank-fraud law the Obama administration is using against alleged culprits of the subprime mortgage crisis. It has boosted the government’s hand against McGraw Hill Financial Inc.’s S&P, said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University. “If the starting negotiation point for the Justice Department to settle was $1 billion before, that number has just gone up,” Henning said in a phone interview.

Dave & Buster’s Files for IPO (WSJ)
Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc., the arcade and restaurant chain that received buyout interest earlier this year, has filed for an initial public offering. Dave & Buster’s will use proceeds to repay term-loan debt. The Wall Street Journal reported in May that the company, owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners, received an offer worth nearly $1.1 billion from Roark Capital Group. The Journal reported that an IPO launch after Labor Day was also possible. Wellspring Capital Management took the company private in 2006 and sold it to Oak Hill in 2010. A previous IPO plan was called off in late 2012 due to market conditions. Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Dave & Buster’s in July, noting improved operating performance and higher earnings, and same-store sales growth that outpaced peers. Jefferies and Piper Jaffray are joint book-running managers. Dave & Buster’s plans to raise up to $100 million, but that is a placeholder amount used in deciding registration fees and will likely change.

Jimmy Choo Said Near IPO to Value Shoemaker at $1 Billion (Bloomberg)
Jimmy Choo, the luxury shoemaker owned by JAB Holdings, may begin its initial public offering in London as soon as this month amid rising demand for expensive footwear, according to people with knowledge of the situation. JAB could announce plans to sell a 25 percent stake in the maker of $1,995 Lust peep-toe sandals, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The company has hired Bank of America Corp (BAC). to manage the sale and is seeking a valuation of about $1 billion, the people said. HSBC Holdings Plc has also been hired, one of the people said. No final decision has been made and JAB may decide not to proceed with an IPO, they said.

Wall St investor who hoarded designer clothes in a filthy two-bedroom… (DM)
A Wall Street investor who hoarded designer clothes and expensive silverware in his disheveled rent-controlled upper east side apartment left behind a massive $18 million fortune when he died last year. But his widow of 10 years says she still can’t find the documents that detail the fortune’s whereabouts because they’re buried under piles of paperwork and boxes. Lewis David Zagor, who died in December at the age of 77, made millions on Wall Street investing in cash and mutual funds but chose to live modestly in a relatively small, two-bedroom, rent-stabilized apartment on Park Avenue and 96th Street East, for which he paid $1,641 a month…While he saved on flat expenses, Zagor spent the sizable dividend checks he received from his investments going on shopping sprees at Saks Fifth Avenue and traveling around the globe, according to DNAinfo New York. ‘You have no idea the amount of wealth that is in the apartment,’ Valentina Phillips-Zagor, his third wife who was with him for the last 10 years of his life, told the website. ‘The most important are the financial documents.’ Read more »

Write-Offs: 09.08.14

$$$ CFTC Said to Alert Justice Department of Criminal Rate Rigging [Bloomberg]

$$$ Bank Earnings Expected to Rise in 3rd Quarter [WSJ]

$$$ Trump Entertainment Plans to File for Bankruptcy Again [Bloomberg]

$$$ Citigroup Sees Trading Revenue Slump Easing [WSJ]

$$$ $100 Will Get You a Pass to Eat Olive Garden Pasta Until You Explode [Jezebel] Read more »

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