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  • 16 Dec 2014 at 10:00 AM
  • Banks

Layoffs Watch ’14: Citi Mailroom

Lost in the mail.Given all of the shit that Mike Corbat’s had to deal with this year from all corners—Mexico, Argentina, subprime lending, Jed Rakoff, paying lawyers—he really doesn’t need to be cutting $3 million checks because someone forgot to throw a few hundred thousand prospectus in the mail. Read more »

Opening Bell: 12.16.14

Obie and friendsCohen Seeks Law Experts For Fund (Dealbook)
The billionaire investor, who managed to fend off a criminal insider trading investigation of himself, if not of his former hedge fund, is looking for a former prosecutor and several agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to join his new $10 billion investment firm, Point72 Asset Management, said several people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity…So far, none of the F.B.I. agents or former prosecutors approached about taking a job at Point72 have expressed any serious interest despite the promise of hefty salaries, the people briefed on the matter said. One person briefed on the matter said F.B.I. agents have “rebuffed” the overtures.

Asia Hedge Funds Survive in Year of Pain for Global Industry (Bloomberg)
In a punishing year for global hedge funds, those investing in Asia are the survivors. Stung by poor returns and large redemptions, 889 hedge funds worldwide shut in the first 11 months of the year, above the annual average of 810 in the five years since the global financial crisis of 2008, according to figures from research firm Eurekahedge Pte. In contrast, 56 Asia-focused funds had closed by the end of November, less than half the average 135 closures in the previous five years.

Foreign Investors Pile Into Bonds (WSJ)
Foreign investors are snapping up Treasury bonds at the fastest clip in two years, propelling yields to fresh lows even as the U.S. economy gains steam. Purchases by China, Japan, Switzerland and others underscore the broad demand for safe government debt amid global turmoil and uneven economic growth, according to new data from the Federal Reserve and Crédit Agricole.

New Hampshire Businessman Files to Set Up Rare New Bank (WSJ)
Bill Greiner is fed up with banks. But instead of quietly seething or complaining to customer service, the 48-year-old is taking a more radical approach: He is trying to launch his own lender. Mr. Greiner’s proposal, filed with regulators in October, is the first deposit-insurance application for a new bank that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has received all year. If Primary Bank, Mr. Greiner’s proposed firm, wins approval, it would be only the second new bank the FDIC has cleared in the U.S. since 2010. The FDIC declined to comment on Primary Bank. “We’re going against the grain, and we’re OK with that because we see a need,” said Mr. Greiner, a Bedford, N.H., real-estate developer and restaurant owner. Mr. Greiner is taking a gamble: Ever since the financial crisis, banks have been struggling with renewed regulatory scrutiny, competition for a limited pool of loans and low interest rates, which squeeze margins and put pressure on profits.

Carlyle’s Holiday Video, With ‘Rap Star’ David Rubenstein (Dealbook)
Mr. Rubenstein, whose firm generated a handsome profit this year on its investment in Beats Electronics, the headphone maker co-founded by Dr. Dre, lays down some finance-themed rhymes in a corporate holiday video released on Monday night. “You know, Dr. Dre is an incredible businessman and artist, and he even inspired me to write my own rap,” Mr. Rubenstein, in a recording studio, says in the Carlyle video. “Let’s hear it,” Daniel A. D’Aniello, Carlyle’s chairman, gamely replies. What follows is not exactly “Straight Outta Compton” or “The Chronic.” Wearing a pair of Beats headphones, Mr. Rubenstein launches into his composition: “It takes a lot of brains to do what we do, Looking for a way to make some dough for you. Energy, commodity, we do it all, So pick up the phone and give us a call. Corporate mezzanine, private equity, Carlyle Group is the place to be. We’re global, we’re mobile, we’re aiming to please. Only goal in mind: serve the LPs.

Obie the fat fighting daschund shows off his incredible 4st weight loss in ‘inspirational’ dog diet calendar (Telegraph)
An obese daschund who lost almost 4st and had a tummy tuck has released an inspirational calendar for animal weight loss. Two years ago Obie tipped the scales at 5st 7lbs and needed to wear a special harness to prevent injury to his bulging belly. However, after being adopted by former veterinary technician Nora Vanatta in August 2012, he was put on a strict diet and exercise regimen. After two years of hard work and surgery to remove excess skin, the svelte seven-year-old now weighs a healthy 1st 9lbs. Now the previously dumpy daschund’s new owner has released an inspirational calendar for 2015 to help motivate other podgy pets shed their pounds. Ms Vanatta, from Portland, Oregon, said: “I feel blessed to be involved in Obie’s rehab and hope he can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight. Read more »

Write-Offs: 12.15.14

$$$ Jeffrey Gundlach, on his year as new ‘King of Bonds’ [Jennifer Ablan / Reuters]

$$$ Fallout for the S.E.C. and the Justice Dept. From the Insider Trading Ruling [Dealbook]

$$$ Lehman trustee petitions Supreme Court over Barclays dispute [Reuters]

$$$ Why You’re Drinking Champagne All Wrong [Bloomberg]

$$$ George W. Bush Has Some Artistic Advice for You [Daily Intel] Read more »

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Related: What Does Bill Gross Think About On The Can? He’s Happy You Asked

Well-practiced in staring contests.That game of chicken going on between OPEC and American oil producers? Well, it’s not like anyone asked, but rest assured that Janet Yellen won’t be the first to blink. Read more »

Hedge-Fund Manager Wins Divorce, Gets Pat On Head

Catch.Now that he has successfully defended 64% of his assets against his now-officially-ex-wife, if TCI’s Chris Hohn is looking for a new one, he may need look no further than the bench and chief legal admirer Judge Jennifer Roberts. Read more »

herbalife shakesThe conflict being that the buddies have fled to Poland and don’t plan to return any time soon. Read more »