Former Barclays boss Bob Diamond and other past executives at the British bank are set to be called as witnesses next year in a court case relating to the alleged manipulation of Libor interest rates. Barclays is being sued for up to 70 million pounds ($114 million) by Guardian Care Homes, a UK residential care home operator, which alleges the bank mis-sold it interest rate hedging products that were based on Libor…A UK judge on Friday refused Barclays’ attempts to adjourn the trial, which is due to start in April. [Reuters]
Don’t Want To Get On Compliance’s Watch List? Consider Not Going On Endlessly About How Ravenous You Are Or How They’re Expecting You At Chipotle; One “God Damn It I’m Starving” Or “Need Burrito In Mouth, Stat” Should SufficeBy Bess Levin
Too much talk of your “lunch date with a vat of guac” will come back to haunt you. Read more »
Bankers Balk at Bitcoin as Obstacles Mount (Bloomberg)
“Banks are scared to deal with Bitcoin companies, even if they really want to,” said Stephen Pair, co-founder and chief technical officer of BitPay Inc., an Atlanta-based company that processes payments for merchants in Bitcoin. Pair said BitPay has relationships with banks in the U.S., Canada and Europe; he declined to name them at the banks’ request.
Lampert’s Investors Check Out (WSJ)
Mr. Lampert’s hedge fund is returning billions to clients of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. who had invested with ESL Investments Inc. in 2007, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Under that deal, Goldman’s clients, such as corporate pension plans, put roughly $3.5 billion with Mr. Lampert, and they have asked for it back.
Luxury Homeowners Hope to Score Big During Super Bowl (WSJ)
Planning on attending Super Bowl XLVIII in style? Almost every five-star hotel in Manhattan is already booked. But Brian Krauss’s four-bedroom manor in Saddle River, N.J., its fridge stocked with beer, can be yours for $5,000 a night. Located 18 miles from New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium and a half-hour’s drive from New York City, the upscale suburb is home to rap royalty such as Wyclef Jean, Mary J. Blige and Ja Rule, who lives “just around the corner” from Mr. Krauss’s 5,700-square-foot house with its imposing stucco facade, the homeowner says. Mr. Krauss, chief executive of Praxis Footwear and a 49-year-old divorced father of two, has transformed his home into a luxe bachelor pad. There is a professional-grade home gym, a basketball court and a sprawling media room complete with a 70-inch TV, a baby-grand piano and three vintage pinball machines. Daily maid service is included, and you can play his acoustic-electric guitar—all for $35,000, the cost of one week’s minimum stay. “I priced it for what I thought was reasonable. What would it cost for eight people in a nice hotel?” said Mr. Krauss, who purchased the house for $1.375 million in 2011, then spent $300,000 on renovations and landscaping. Renting it out was his business partner’s idea. “At first, I was really against it,” he said. “Then I thought of all the times I’ve been a renter, in St. Barts, Malibu…..Here was an opportunity.”
Key Witness Lying About SAC Facts: Steinberg Lawyer (NYP)
“We think [Jon Horvath] is a witness who will say things either he knows [are] false or says whatever he thinks the government wants to hear,” Steinberg’s lawyer, Barry Berke, in a contentious showdown with prosecutor Antonia Apps, told Judge Richard Sullivan. In an exchange outside earshot of the jury, Berke claimed Horvath, a former SAC research analyst, lied to prosecutors to cut a deal. Horvath, who confessed to being part of a corrupt circle of inside traders on Wall Street, is the government’s main witness against his former boss Steinberg, a portfolio manager at SAC.
SEC browsing JCPenney’s liquidity, debt (NYP)
The SEC is also probing the retailer’s Sept. 26 stock offering that raised $810 million in cash in a bid to ease concerns about its liquidity, according to a Penney regulatory filing.
Mike Tyson says he used a fake penis to pass drug tests (NYDN)
The former heavyweight champion claims he used a prosthetic penis when he had to submit a urine sample before a fight, saying the fake member worked “really effectively” in masking his substance abuse. “You take it out – it has somebody else’s urine in it, of course – you hope it’s not a woman’s urine and they take a pregnancy test,” Tyson said on “Chelsea Lately” while promoting his autobiography, Undisputed Truth. “You just make noise, and normally if you’re a guy and you pull it out in front of them (the drug tester), they’re like, ‘Whoa, whoa,’” he said. “And then you do it.” “It’s connected to a jock strap.” Just in case a drug tester caught a glimpse of the fake penis, Tyson made sure it wasn’t too obvious a disguise. “(It was) Tan, brown, cream-colored.” Read more »
$$$ Poker-playing hedgie may have overplayed hand [NetNet]
$$$ Shareholders, say Icahn, deserve a bigger share. And Cook, he says, has been willing to consider his views. Icahn told TIME: “We’ve discussed a lot of things, and he asked a lot of questions, and really listened.” Icahn says his most recent conversation with Cook was a 20-minute phone call Nov. 21—which Cook’s assistant initially tried to schedule at 5 a.m. Pacific Time. “That’s usually when I go to bed! This guy’s tougher to get than the President,” laughs Icahn. [Time] Read more »
Maybe they will and maybe they won’t. They’re still weighing the risk/reward and YOU’LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE. Read more »
Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart is what you might call a bellwether at the central bank, given his closeness to the Great (Retiring) Beard. That means he’s a winner. It also means he may or may not have any strong opinions of his own. Except this one: It is high time that the Fed made a decision on tapering. Now, he’s not saying what that decision should be, but if someone knows, they should probably tell him. Read more »
Tommy Belesis Will Have To Wait At Least 1 Year Before Threatening To Hit Another Broker With His CarBy Bess Levin
Anastasios “Tommy” Belesis, he of John Thomas Financial, of “Give me just 1% of your trust and confidence and I will earn the other 99%“, of not letting junior brokers sit down, of using Rocky to get pumped up for cold calls, of screening Boiler Room at the office, of sending employees who show up to work sporting stubble to the men’s room to shave, of “f–k you, you’re done in this business, you’re done in this business, get the f–k out of here“, and of threatening to run someone over “in the street“, has been barred from the brokerage industry for 1 year, at which time he’ll have to reapply.
Technically, he could tap on the window of various brokerage shops, gesture for someone, anyone to come over, and then threaten to run them over; he could text brokers he used to work with and tell them they’d better look both ways; but he won’t be doing any of these things in an official capacity. In the meantime, he’ll have to keep his game sharp by threatening to gun it over the waiter who moves at a glacial place bringing him his jack and coke, his neighbor who dares to bring up the matter of Belesis’s toy poodle constantly shitting on everyone else’s lawn, and Oliver Stone, whose movies he’ll now have much more time to appear in but who will make the mistake of asking Belesis to pay for his method acting classes out of his own pocket. Read more »