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Now that, you know, certain information has come to light, and given the nature of all this new shit? It has occurred to FINRA that perhaps running fingerprints and politely requesting that member firms poke around a bit deeper into their potential hires’ disciplinary history will not suffice to keep The Wall Street Journal from running extremely embarrassing exposes about its impotence. Read more »

  • 16 Apr 2014 at 9:58 AM

Who Wants To Buy A Las Vegas Resort?

As some of you may recall, Deutsche Bank owns a casino1 (and hotel) in Las Vegas called The Cosmopolitan. If it seems out of character2 for the Germans to be proprietors of an establishment whose motto is “Just the right amount of wrong,” where people lay scantily clad around a pool by day and gorge themselves on food and drink before vomiting while waiting in line to get into a club by night, that’s because Deutsche only meant to get into the business of funding the project, not running it. Unfortunately, in 2008 the original developer, Ian Bruce Eichner, had to go and default on his loans, and when it became apparent that no one else wanted to invest in the place, the bank decided to just finish the thing itself, spending an addition $3 billion that went towards things like “a three-story crystal-strewn bar meant to evoke the inside of a chandelier.” Anyway, the resort has been been making slightly more money than in earlier years (while still “post[ing] net losses of around $100 million every year since opening”) and management has decided that as much fun as its been owning an in-house nightclub called “Rose. Rabbit. Lie.”, it’s time to sell. Read more »

Opening Bell: 04.16.14

Credit Suisse Net Falls on Lower Investment Bank Profit (Bloomberg)
Net income decreased to 859 million francs ($976 million) from 1.3 billion francs in the year-earlier quarter, the Zurich-based company said in a statement today. Credit Suisse tumbled in Swiss trading after earnings missed the 1.09 billion-franc estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Mt. Gox Files for Liquidation (WSJ)
Defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has given up its plan to rebuild under bankruptcy protection and has asked a Tokyo court to allow it to be liquidated, people familiar with the situation said. These people cited as reasons the complexity of the procedure—including the difficulty of holding meetings with creditors spread around the world—as well as the lack of realistic rehabilitation plans for the Tokyo-based exchange. Mt. Gox, at one point the world’s busiest bitcoin exchange, collapsed in February and said as it filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo on Feb. 28 that it had lost 850,000 bitcoin worth around half a billion dollars. Since then, about 200,000 bitcoin have been recovered and are part of the exchange’s assets.

Goldman Moves To Energize Stock Trading (WSJ)
Under pressure from unhappy clients and losing market share to rivals, Goldman Sachs Group is trying to jump-start its stock-trading business. At recent trading conferences with top clients, including Fidelity Investments and BlackRock Inc., and in private conversations, investors have vented their concerns with the way Goldman and other firms trade stocks, people familiar with the matter said. Amid the mounting frustration, Goldman has sought to take a more public role in the debate over the market’s future. The firm has encouraged employees to stress to clients its views on market mechanics, and in March the firm’s president wrote an opinion piece about those ideas in The Wall Street Journal. Goldman’s effort also has included discussions over the future of its Sigma X private stock-trading venue. The Journal reported April 8 that Goldman was considering shutting it down.

Fed should beef up low-rate vows, two officials say (Reuters)
“If you commit to keeping rates low even as the recovery is proceeding, even as we continue to recover, I think people have a sense, the Fed has the recovery’s back,” Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota said at North Dakota State University. “And that’s the message that I think we need to do a better job of promoting.”

Keep Steve Jobs’ personality out of trial – tech companies (Reuters)
Witnesses at an upcoming trial over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley should not be allowed to offer evidence that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was “a bully,” four major tech companies argued in a court filing. Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to avoid competing for each other’s employees in order to avert a salary war. Trial is scheduled to begin at the end of May on behalf of roughly 60,000 workers in the class, and defendants say damages could exceed $9 billion. The case, which is closely watched in Silicon Valley, is largely built on emails among top executives, including late Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. For instance, after a Google recruiter solicited an Apple employee, Schmidt told Jobs that the recruiter would be fired, court documents show. Jobs then forwarded Schmidt’s note to a top Apple human resources executive with a smiley face. In a joint court filing late last week, the companies told U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California that they were not seeking to bar Jobs’ interactions with other witnesses about the no-hire agreements. However, opinions based on other evidence, like Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography about Jobs, should be kept out of trial.

Mobile brothel catches fire at German motorway rest stop (DM)
Police and around 35 fire fighters were called to the scene after the mobile home burst into flames at the lay-by near Horneburg, Germany. The female brothel owner parked up at the site as it was a convenient spot for her to offer erotic services to clients. According to the police, these were mainly lorry drivers or car drivers who were travelling along the B73 motorway near the region of Horneburg, southwest of the city of Hamburg in Lower Saxony. The 32-year-old brothel owner known as ‘Lady Jane’ was fortunately conducting business with a truck driver in his cab when her ‘Love-Mobil’, which had included a bed and various erotic aids, caught fire. Read more »

Write-Offs: 04.15.14

$$$ Yellen Says More Capital Would Help Biggest, Most-Complex Banks [WSJ]

$$$ Loeb Ratchets Up Campaign Against Sotheby’s Board [ValueWalk]

$$$ N.Y. Regulator Sends Subpoena to Credit Suisse in Tax-Evasion Probe [WSJ]

$$$ European Companies See Sales Growth Hit by Exchange Rates [WSJ]

$$$ Outlook for pensions is pretty awful: Bridgewater [NetNet]

$$$ Texan, 23, Headed To State Prison For Urinating On The Alamo [TSG] Read more »

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Sayeth a German academic, contra everything that every hedge fund lobbyist has said (and that everybody believed) since 2007. Read more »

Third-lien notes payable over seven years by a company that just had to borrow $74 million from people (including Charlie Ergen) to stay afloat through June 15 is more than fair for a man (Charlie Ergen) who created the whole mess in the first place, according to said company. Read more »

Unfortunately for said CEO and his cohorts on the board, Loeb took seriously all of that flattery they whispered in his ear when he was lining their pockets with commissions. Read more »

Ex-SAC Capital PM Mike Steinberg seemed pretty surprised when he was found guilty of insider trading.

Ms. Williams recalled the day when Michael S. Steinberg, a portfolio manager at the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, was brought before a Manhattan judge to be read the insider trading charges against him. The police escorted him, in handcuffs, into the Lower Manhattan courthouse through the main elevators rather than the usual back way leading into the courtroom. When Mr. Steinberg emerged from the main elevators, there was a look of utter shock on his face. “Being caught is so out of their wildest dreams,” she said.

Danielle Chiesi was a vision in pink. Read more »