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Bill Ackman’s Boyish Visage To Be Preserved For Posterity

The Pershing Square Capital Management chief will never have to grow a beard to hide his frown lines if he can pull off his latest effort. Read more »

  • 22 Apr 2014 at 3:10 PM

Goldman Sachs Exec Embroiled In Horse Shit Suit

Michael Richman is the chief compliance officer at Goldman Sachs. There, he monitors trading activity, seeks to prevent conflicts of interest, and generally ensures that employees of the bank are following the rules, regulations, and laws that dictate what they can and cannot do on the job. While other compliance officers are happy to leave their work at the office, Richman’s passion for forcing people to comply follows him right out of 200 West Street, all the way up to Bedford, N.Y. later that night. There, it’s his neighbors that do the complying.

The threat of lawsuits from litigious neighbors has prevented a movie starring Glenn Close, Kathy Bates and Danny Glover from filming in the posh town of Bedford. Close, who lives nearby, wanted the happy ending of “The Great Gilly Hopkins” (based on the children’s novel by Katherine Paterson) to be shot at the home of Suzanne and Stefano Galli. But the Gallis have been embroiled for years in a variety of lawsuits brought by their next-door neighbors Ruth Toporoff and husband Michael Richman, the chief of compliance officer at Goldman Sachs. “The production company scouted my house, had multiple meetings and signed a contract, but the town denied the permit,” Suzanne Galli told me. The local Bedford-Pound Ridge Record Review newspaper said the town council acted “due to fear of repercussions . . . the potential for litigation.” The movie scene will now be filmed elsewhere.

Maybe a lesser compliance officer would be swayed by the star power of Close, Bates, and (especially) Glover, but this one is most certainly not. Know what else Richaman’s not gonna stand for? The smell of equine excrement wafting onto his property from his neighbors’ barn. How does he know that the smell in question is not actually coming from his own horses? Obviously Richman and his wife own a special breed of horse that simply do not stink. Read more »

  • 22 Apr 2014 at 2:05 PM

Citigroup Shareholders Throw Senior Executives A Bone

After the embarrassment of failing the Fed’s stress test, everyone got together and decided to approve top execs’ pay packages, which is not something they always do. Chin up, fellas. Read more »

So he or she is buying some protection: $8.3 million worth. Read more »

Larry Fink Expands On His Dislike Of Hedge Funds

The capo dei capi of money managers doesn’t like these young guns (and, in one notable case, not so young) spreading a lot of damned nonsense and nuisance in pursuit of their short-term goals. If this was not made clear enough in his letter to S&P500 CEOs (because Larry’s the kind of guy who writes letters to S&P500 CEOs) last month, allow him to clarify his disdain. Read more »

Opening Bell: 04.22.14

Williams Urges Fed to Avoid Stoking Risk as It Boosts Jobs (Bloomberg)
“We’re exactly on the right track” with current policy, Williams said in an interview yesterday in San Francisco, predicting unemployment will fall to 5.5 percent by the end of next year and inflation will accelerate to about 1.7 percent. Trying to achieve the Fed’s goals sooner “would take policy actions that might have more negative effects,” he said.

Dawn raid makes comeback via activist drone strike (Reuters)
Remember the dawn raid, when a would-be acquirer built up a stake before the target realized it was under attack? Activist investor Bill Ackman has come up with a kind of drone strike version. His Pershing Square Capital Management hedge fund and Valeant Pharmaceuticals have teamed up to grab a potential 9.7 percent stake in Allergan, with a hostile takeover by Valeant ready for deployment. The acquisitive Valeant has reasons to be receptive to such an arrangement. For one thing, it’s essentially the creation of an activist hedge fund, ValueAct Capital, which set it on the path of serial dealmaking. Slashing research and development costs and applying its low tax rate to acquired businesses has served investors well. Its stock is up more than tenfold since it started buying rivals in 2008. The prospect of another deal kicked its shares 10 percent higher after regular market hours on Monday, taking its market capitalization up to $46 billion.

HK regulator reprimands, fines RBS over emerging-markets rates trades (Reuters)
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said on Tuesday it reprimanded Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) for internal control failures, fining the bank HK$6 million ($773,800). The SFC said in a statement RBS failed to detect and prevent unauthorized trades in its emerging markets rates business in the city in 2011, following the discovery of unauthorized trades by former trader Shirlina Tsang. Tsang was sentenced last year to 50 months in jail after pleading guilty to fraud after was she caught falsifying records of her trades, Reuters previously reported.

Worker sends 1,000 ducklings to boss’s home in wages dispute (Metro)
Builder Chiu Xiang arranged for the 1,130 live ducklings to be dropped in the home of his employer, Hung Bin, in a dispute over wages. The 60-year-old, who worked for Bin for three years, said he was owed £300 in unpaid wages after quitting his job in China’s Sichuan province last year, according to the Shanghaiist. ‘It was all he deserved,’ he said. ‘I hope the ducks drove him quackers.’ Xiang organised for a contact who runs a poultry business to drop the ducks off, telling him they would be paid for on delivery. Police were called to the scene after Bin refused to pay for the duck delivery. ‘It was drastic but necessary,’ said Xiang, who has been promised a negotiated settlement with the local labour authorities. Read more »

Write-Offs: 04.21.14

$$$ Argentina Asks Supreme Court to Protect It From ‘Vulture’ Hedge Fund [BusinessWeek]

$$$ Sandals for Men Gain Ground [WSJ]

$$$ The Humane Society’s New Pitch: This Pork Producer Is a Bad Investment [BusinessWeek]

$$$ Singer, Griffin Among Billionaires Funding Rove Super-PAC [Bloomberg]

$$$ The Power Breakfast Spawns the Power Cut [WSJ]

$$$ White House Finally Responds to Petition to Deport Justin Bieber [Gawker] Read more »

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No longer will any old Joe Shmo be allowed in the club. Read more »