The Latest

  • 30 Jul 2014 at 6:13 PM

Broker Junkets Are Back (But Only 70% As Drunk)

Time was, if you were a successful broker on Wall Street, your company sent you on trips to mingle with other top producing brokers, at which the only planned activities included playing golf, getting drunk, and falling ass-backward into the pool. Then the financial crisis hit and suddenly firms couldn’t afford the bad press associated with a gaggle of their employees passing out naked on the ninth hole at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. Well now they can! Read more »

But Goldman Sachs says it’s okay. Read more »

Was this an act of a judge taking pity on BofA in light of the fact that it basically writes the government 9 figure checks on a weekly basis, and is probably going to write a ten figure one early next month? Unclear, but it calls for a round of celebratory drinks in Charlotte tonight. Read more »

The guy in charge of it, Stefan Krause, said as much yesterday in a conference call with analysts. Well, sort of as much. Basically, he and the rest of Team Deutsche heard what the Federal Reserve had to say re: the U.S. operation being in such bad shape that it ought to be stripped and sold for parts, and in response, said “Hey!” and also “We’re workin’ on things” but to be patient because this thing in its current form is a real joke. Read more »

Dan Loeb Would Like That $1.4 Billion Back

Remember, back in October, when Dan Loeb announced that Third Point would be returning about 10% of the $14 billion it had, to “moderate” its growth or something? Well, that may have moderated things a little too much, and even though Third Point’s fat 6% return has it managing $15 billion seven months later after cutting those checks, Loeb is feeling inspired to write a few more letters, and needs a few more bucks to do so. Read more »

  • 30 Jul 2014 at 12:16 PM
  • Banks

Brian Moynihan Imposing His Own Sanctions On Russia

The amount of money Bank of America stands to lose if Vladimir Putin continues to be Vladimir Putin is getting smaller and smaller every quarter. Read more »

Argentina is lacking in many things: Sufficient reserves to pay its bills, for one. International goodwill, for another. The patience of a certain very important federal judge. Goals in the World Cup.

But Argentina is also a very rich country: Rich in beef, in the fruit of the vine, in natural resources, and, perhaps above all, in unique recalcitrance vis-à-vis hedge funds it owes money. Well, in a last-ditch and almost certainly too-late bid to avert a default that it says is not a default, Argentina has parted with some of that precious recalcitrance, at last deigning to have its people chat with Paul Singer’s people about getting out of this mess with other peoples’ money and rights. Read more »

Opening Bell: 07.30.14

Argentine Bond Standoff Puts U.S. Judge in Focus (WSJ)
As Argentina hurtles toward a second default in 13 years, the local press has lit upon a convenient villain: 83-year-old U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa. Cartoons in Argentine newspapers have shown the judge with a vulture perched behind him, accusing him of cozying up to the bondholders that Argentine government officials call “vulture funds.” A journalist appearing on Argentine television said Judge Griesa is “not right in the head.” A newspaper ad placed by the Argentine government blamed the judge, who has presided over the government’s disputes with bondholders for more than a decade, for pushing the country toward default. Judge Griesa is squarely in the spotlight as Argentina faces a Wednesday deadline for more than $500 million in debt payments. Argentina is seen as unlikely to make the payments, bringing to a head a standoff with holdout hedge funds that have refused the country’s two debt-restructuring offers over the past decade. At the center of the dispute is Judge Griesa’s 2012 ruling that Argentina isn’t allowed to pay its restructured bondholders until it pays the holdouts—a decision that legal analysts call unprecedented and that the Argentine government contends puts it in a costly legal bind. A default could keep Argentina out of international credit markets and dent a struggling economy.

As Talks Falter, Bond Default by Argentina Appears Likely (Dealbook)
On Tuesday, a group of investors of Argentina’s euro-denominated exchange bonds urged the judge to issue an emergency stay on his ruling. But this is unlikely to be granted unless the holdouts request it, analysts said, or the court-appointed mediator, Daniel Pollack, recommends it…last week, Judge Griesa ordered the Argentine delegation and the holdouts to meet with Mr. Pollack and talk “continuously” until an agreement was reached. The response from Argentina was tepid; the delegation met twice with Mr. Pollack last week before returning home to Buenos Aires for the weekend to consult with the government. When a group of lawyers returned to Mr. Pollack’s offices on Tuesday, they arrived more than 15 minutes late. And despite Mr. Pollack’s insistence that they engage in “face-to-face conversations with the bondholders,” as of Tuesday evening, the Argentines had yet to sit down across the table from the holdouts.

Schneiderman probes Credit Suisse’s ‘dark pool’ (NYP)
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into whether Swiss bank giant Credit Suisse misled investors about its “dark pool” trading platform, The Post has learned. The probe comes a month after Schneiderman sued Barclays for allegedly lying about the presence of predatory traders in its dark pool. The British bank denied wrongdoing and has asked a judge to dismiss the suit. Regulators are taking a closer look at dark pools — lightly regulated alternative trading systems — because of concerns that high-frequency traders are leveraging them to their advantage. Credit Suisse is the operator of the largest bank dark pool in the US, accounting for about 14 percent of all trades, according to data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Icahn cuts stake in Family Dollar (Reuters)
Activist investor Carl Icahn cut his stake in Family Dollar Stores Inc (FDO.N), a day after the company agreed to be bought by rival discount chain Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR.O) for $8.5 billion. Icahn said he was “determined” to dispose part of his stake rather than wait for the deal to close or for higher offers to emerge. Icahn, who had threatened a proxy war against the struggling discount chain if it did not put itself up for sale, said on Monday there were “a handful of potential buyers” who could be a better fit to buy Family Dollar.

Wall Street Bids Farewell to Alan Greenberg, Head of Bear Stearns (Dealbook)
The service began on time at 11 a.m. and lasted just about an hour, honoring the no-nonsense style of Mr. Greenberg, who was known as Ace. The mourners recalled his idiosyncratic business advice, his love of big-game hunting and his magic tricks. A representative of the Society of American Magicians, as is customary, snapped Mr. Greenberg’s magic wand in two.

Man Lied About Pen!s Amputation During Circumcision: Doctors’ Lawyer (AP)
An attorney for two Alabama doctors accused in a lawsuit of amputating a man’s penis in what was supposed to have been a routine circumcision filed a motion Tuesday seeking to dismiss the claims. Attorney Mike Florie says his clients, Dr. Michael Bivins and Dr. Alan Aikens, never performed a circumcision on Johnny Lee Banks Jr. that involved the removal of tissue or the amputation of the man’s penis. He said the suit’s claims are false. Banks’ attorney, John Graves, filed the lawsuit on July 22, accusing the doctors and their medical groups of malpractice, negligence and other wrongdoing. It seeks an unspecified amount of money. Graves says he stands firmly by the allegations but would not comment on specifics of the case. “I don’t file frivolous lawsuits,” he said. Read more »