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old homesteadNew York City restaurant Old Homestead Steakhouse is hosting a $35,000 Thanksgiving dinner, according to the Daily Mail. “We know it’s over-the-top expensive, but Thanksgiving comes once a year. If you can splurge for this, you have a lot to be thankful for,” said Old Homestead Steakhouse co-owner Marc Sherry. It features nine-courses including squab stuffed with foie gras soaked in a $5,000 a bottle L’Esprit Cognac, roasted organic turkey stuffed with Japanese Wagyu and gravy made with a $1,750/bottle claret, butternut squash with black truffles, and sweet potatoes topped with three pounds of caviar. For dessert, diners will be served bourbon-soaked pears with pumpkin paste dusted with 24-karat gold. [CNBC]

So how can hedge funds have more than half their money in stocks and still return, at best, about one-tenth the S&P500? It’s simple, really: Read more »

If he had known....The bank’s about to ‘fess up to its profits on the “worthless” (or not so worthless?) derivatives it sold to Libya’s former “Brotherly Leader.” Read more »

carmelo anthonyThe power forward-turned-venture capitalist launched Melo7 Tech Partners earlier this year with partner Stuart Goldfarb and has since disclosed 10 deals ranging from a seed for smart kitchenware startup The Orange Chef to Lyft’s latest $250 million cash bonanza…Jeremy Johnson, founder of ed-tech startup Andela, was initially skeptical when Goldfarb approached him, having heard horror stories from friends who had brought on celebrity investors and come to regret it. “I said to Stuart, ‘I’m happy to chat with you, but if I’m going to take this seriously I’m going to need to meet with Carmelo,’” Johnson says. “[Goldfarb] said, ‘of course, he wouldn’t invest if he didn’t meet you either.’” “They stopped by our office, and to say the least he was really engaged — Carmelo showed up on time and he led the conversation. Even though Stuart obviously has a lot more experience in venture, Carmelo was the one that said, ‘look, we want to be involved,’ and that’s not at all what I was expecting.”…“Carmelo is in this for real,” says Johnson, “he’s very new into it, but he’s taking it seriously.” [TechCrunch]

  • 25 Nov 2014 at 1:59 PM

Christmas Come Early At Casa De Falcone

Phil FalconePhil knew that this was more than just a threat. In all the years they’d been living together, he’d never seen her so mad, not even after she’d discovered he’d been hawking her vintage Hermes scarves for cash last summer. No, she’d really had it with him this time. It’d been more than three years since she’d been able hold her annual Christmas party, the social event of the season that people had done unspeakable things to score an invite to in the past and her patience had long since whittled down to that of a toothpick.

If she wasn’t able to throw it the way she liked– Swarovski-encrusted invitations, go-go dancers dressed as Romans flanking the pool room, ice sculptures done in the family’s likeness, individual raw-bars at dinner, a ‘Maids-a-Milking’ themed after hours– then she wasn’t going to throw it at all. Better to make ‘em wait and come back with a vengeance then serve up a watered down, less hot version of what she was capable of. So they’d agreed on a deadline: Christmas 2014. She’d started working on preliminary plans in August and, yet, as of last month, not one penny had been deposited into her ‘Travel and Entertainment’ fund.

She’d sent emails about it marked ‘high importance,’ pestered his secretary, and finally stormed his office earlier in the week, where she found him doing little more than raking sand back and forth on of those desk trays, rather than hustling to get the money together. She exploded then and she exploded this morning, following him to the front door of the townhouse in her robe and shouting in no uncertain terms that if he didn’t come home with the money that night, he needn’t come home at all. And, honestly? As of lunchtime he was trying to figure out if he had any buddies left who’d let him sleep on the couch, just for a night or two until he’d found something more permanent. And then he remembered something. Page 741 of his employment agreement. Not with Harbinger Capital Partners. Not with HC2. Not with LightSquared. But with the Harbinger Group. Read more »

Opening Bell: 11.25.14

heritage-turkeysFBI Files Say Hedge Fund Analyst Made Millions on Tips From Dell Insider (Bloomberg)
The FBI files spell it out: An analyst at Citadel LLC, the hedge fund with $23 billion in capital invested globally, told agents he made millions of dollars trading on information from a company insider. It was December 2011, and the Justice Department was deep into a seven-year investigation into illegal stock tips. As authorities homed in on people at several other hedge funds over leaks from a Dell Inc. employee, agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation began questioning the Citadel analyst about the friendship he formed with the same Dell insider. In confidential FBI reports summarizing those interviews, agents recounted how the Citadel analyst received market-sensitive information from the Dell employee in 2008 and 2009. In one trade he told agents he made, the analyst bet against Dell after learning it would announce disappointing earnings, bringing in $5 million to $6 million when the company’s shares fell by more than 10 percent. He told agents he later discarded records. The analyst discussed helping the Dell employee hunt for a Wall Street job, the agents wrote. “It became an ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine’” relationship, they wrote in a summary of a Jan. 4, 2012, interview with the Citadel analyst.

Twitter’s CFO misfires with a private tweet (CNBC)
Anthony Noto, who joined the social network as its chief financial officer in July, appears to have posted a public tweet intended to be a private message, presumably intended for a fellow Twitter executive. “I still think we should buy them. He is on your schedule for Dec 15 or 16—we will need to sell him. I have a plan,” Noto tweeted. The post was quickly deleted but not before it was screengrabbed by some his savvy 8,700 followers. It is unclear at this time which company Noto was referring to as a potential Twitter acquisition. For what it’s worth, the last tweet favorited by Noto belongs to Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, who reportedly turned down a $3 billion cash offer from Facebook in 2013. It’s also worth noting that a handful of the accounts recently followed by Noto feature employees from a news startup called Mic.

New Jersey’s richest man plans to give billions back to investors (NYP)
Hedge fund titan David Tepper is having a tough year, but he’s still planning to return billions of dollars to his investors. Tepper, who is the richest person in New Jersey, may give $2 billion to $4 billion back to investors in his $20 billion Short Hills-based Appaloosa Management funds this year, a source close to the firm told The Post. The news was first reported by Institutional Investor’s Alpha. The givebacks are coming as Tepper’s Palomino hedge fund is down 2.3 percent for the year through October. It’s quite a comedown from last year, when Palomino gained 42 percent, making Tepper the highest-paid hedge fund manager in the world for the second year in a row. In 2013, the hedgie had a $3.5 billion payday, putting his net worth at $10 billion.

Citigroup ‘Idea Dinners’ Cited in Finra Fine Over Tips (Bloomberg)
At a July 2011 dinner for Citigroup Inc. (C) clients, a research analyst identified a stock to bet against. In his last research notes before that gathering, he upgraded the shares, advising investors to stick with them. The analyst was among several cited yesterday in an action by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which fined Citigroup $15 million. The employee offered similar tips at six subsequent “idea dinners” on stocks that he had rated as hold or neutral, Finra said.

Russians dumping rubles for… Rolls Royces? (CNBC)
Even as Rolls Royce hits speed bumps in China, the ultra-luxury carmaker is breaking new sales records in Russia as consumers look to diversify away from the beleaguered ruble. “With the weak ruble, people are investing into real assets,” Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of the BMW-owned British car brand told CNBC on Tuesday. “We’ve seen very good business this year; Russia is at new record levels.”

A Thanksgiving Turkey for the .01 Percent (Bloomberg)
Unlike commercial turkeys, which are artificially inseminated, heritage turkeys are left to naturally mate with other heritage birds.

Girlfriend dumped with restraining order after a ‘girls weekend’ (NYP)
A Manhattan fashion consultant says she returned from a girls weekend in California to her boyfriend’s Hamptons mansion — only to be greeted by a process-server who slapped her with an order of protection. “I was 100 percent shocked,” a heartbroken Nicole Raef told The Post. “I was like, ‘I don’t understand, who breaks up with someone this way?’ ” Raef, 28, has been homeless ever since her boyfriend of five years abruptly threw her out of his $1.7 million Long Island summer home and his $6 million Manhattan town house. “Everything was fine when I left,” Raef said, adding that she had to pawn her diamond earrings to afford legal counsel. “We’d been arguing, but we’d worked things out,” the slender brunette said. But court papers filed by her boyfriend, hedge-fund-executive-turned-private-investor Brad Zipper tell a different story. Zipper, 50, former head of Zinc Capital Management, paints his decades-younger ex as an abusive, emotionally unstable stalker. In an application for a temporary restraining order, Zipper says he came home in December 2012 to find his oven on fire and Raef passed out in the guest room. “When she woke up, she was delirious and didn’t even remember driving and getting into an accident with my car that night,” the suit says…Raef’s attorney, Brett Kimmel, denied Zipper’s claims. “The allegations that are set forth in the pleadings are clearly embellished and to a large degree untrue,” he said. “This is a wealthy man breaking up with his girlfriend and doing it in a really untasteful way.” Read more »

Write-Offs: 11.24.14

$$$ David Tepper to return billions to clients [NetNet]

$$$ Credit Suisse’s 35 Firms Ripe for a Spinoff [MoneyBeat]

$$$ Stalled Greek bailout talks to resume in Paris on Tuesday [Reuters]

$$$ Tax-Break Extension Plan in Congress Is Irresponsible, Lew Says [Bloomberg]

$$$ Merrill and Morgan battle in ‘wealth manage’ war [NYP]

$$$Jose Canseco has bigger problems than a blown-off finger” [NYP] Read more »

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Any takers?If Congress really thinks that Bill Dudley is doing such an extraordinarily shitty job of running the New York Fed, as it very clearly does, Bill Dudley would be happy to see them try to find someone better. Or at least stop complaining about how people like Bill Dudley wind up running things like the New York Fed. Read more »