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SAC executives have discussed the possibility that it might make sense to return investors’ money if more than half the outside capital was withdrawn, according to people close to the firm. Contingency plans that have been discussed include closing SAC offices outside its Stamford headquarters not deemed crucial to its investment operations, the people say. People close to the firm also say SAC executives estimate they could save millions of dollars a year on compliance and marketing costs if they weren’t catering to external clients. Earlier this year, SAC executives discussed putting the brakes on a project to expand the firm’s cafeteria and gym at its headquarters in Stamford, according to people familiar with the matter. The facilities had been seen as crowded, the people said. The discussions—which took place after employees were aware of the project—stirred speculation inside SAC that more bad news could be coming, the people said. A person close to the firm said the construction is under way. [WSJ]

Who would have guessed that a state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly trading center would not elicit much demand in Cedar Falls, Iowa? Or that said building might have been an indication that something was amiss therein? Read more »

If not for some unnamed hero’s vague recollections of something called the Jones Act—leading to an otherwise unexplained new interest in improving corporate governance—Cap’n Lloyd’s Pleasure Cruisers might still be in drydock. Read more »

If you were designing a new tax regime from scratch, I’m sure it would be great. Because you’re brilliant, of course, but also because, and this is going to sound a bit harsh but isn’t meant that way, your phone isn’t exactly ringing off the hook with powerful people calling to ask for special favors in this tax regime that you are hypothetically designing. Hypothetically. Which is to say you’re not the EU, which you’re probably pretty pleased about:

European countries plan to scale back a proposed financial transactions tax drastically, initially imposing a tiny charge on share deals only and taking much longer than originally intended to achieve a full roll-out. …

Italy and France have expressed concerns about widening the tax beyond shares to government debt as both believe it could discourage investors from buying their bonds.

It’s hard not to enjoy the story of the European financial transactions tax at least a little bit; the EU is basically growing a brand-new tax in a petri dish, and the result of the experiment might inform how you think about the prospects for other potential experiments in taxation. (I mean, at least in Europe.) In that sense it’s a counterpoint to Apple’s travails before Congress last week. Sure, the current web of international corporate taxation has been polished to its current state of extreme perfection by decades of special-interest lobbying and application of highly paid human ingenuity to discovering and building ways to avoid taxation. But modern technology has progressed to the point that you could replicate that whole structure in a few months if you put your mind to it, and Europe did: Read more »

  • 30 May 2013 at 3:01 PM

Bonus Watch ’13: UBS

You get a raise! And you get a raise! And you get a raise! Read more »

Over at the Post this afternoon you will find an excerpt from former trader and Galleon alum Turney Duff’s forthcoming memoir, The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader’s Tale of Spectacular Excess. Whether you read it as an actual non-fiction account of his time at Argus Partners circa summer 2002, the literary pretensions of a financial services employee who thinks he’s the next Jay Mcinerney, or an unintentionally hilarious piece of performance art, we can say confidently it will be the best thing you’ll read today! The highlights, as determined by us: Read more »

The good news is that the Eurozone financial sector is enjoying its most stability since 2011. The bad news is, it doesn’t matter. Read more »