The 68-page Il Mio Papa (My Pope) will hit Italian newsstands on Ash Wednesday, offering a glossy medley of papal pronouncements and photographs, along with peeks into his personal life. Each weekly issue will also include a pullout centerfold of the pope, accompanied by a quote. “It’s a sort of fanzine, but of course it can’t be like something you’d do for One Direction,” the popular boy band, said the magazine’s editor, Aldo Vitali. “We aim to be more respectful, more noble.” [...] The magazine is a change of pace for the Mondadori publishing house, part of the media empire of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, which publishes the popular celebrity gossip weekly Chi. [NYT via DI]
Back in February, a young man named Mathew Martoma (né Ajai Mathew Thomas) was convicted of securities fraud. In addition to the actual act of using material non-public information about drug companies Elan and Wyeth to help out his employer, SAC Capital, in the P&L department, one thing that did not do wonders for Martoma’s case was the revelation that he had been expelled from Harvard Law School in 1999, as even he will tell you. For everything that Martoma is (a white collar criminal, an accomplished dancer), one thing he isn’t is stupid. That’s why when he was applying to Stanford University’s business school in 2001, he opted not to mention the incident at Harvard, probably figuring it would hurt his chances. One thing Martoma did not have the foresight to anticipate was that he would one day be a convicted felon, and, more importantly, that when it comes down to it? NOBODY MAKES A FOOL OF STANFORD. Which is this just happened:
Mathew Martoma, the SAC Capital Advisors LP employee found guilty last month of insider trading, is no longer a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the school confirmed Tuesday. Administrators at the business school rescinded their offer of admission to Mr. Martoma, a move that nullifies the degree he earned in 2003, according to people familiar with the matter.
Of course, the university is not totally heartless: it gave Martoma a chance to explain, but evidently 4 weeks is not enough time to come up with a credible story. Read more »
How Many Times Will Todd Combs, Ted Weschler Have To Humiliate Warren Buffett To Prove They Can Run Berkshire?By Jon Shazar
But SAC also took steps to keep employees on board in the firm’s new incarnation by sweetening its compensation plan for this year, the people said. Under the new terms, employees who stay through 2014 will be subject to more-relaxed rules about pay that is deferred until later years…SAC typically has held back a quarter of employees’ pay each year, investing it in the firm for the next three years and paying out that 25%, plus any investment gains, over the course of three years, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Under SAC’s old plan, employees choosing to leave the firm would forfeit any deferred compensation that had not vested. For this year, SAC said employees’ deferred compensation would vest immediately instead of over three years, though they still will be paid out over three years, the people said. That means that, even if employees were to leave SAC in January, they would be entitled to collect all the money owed them. [WSJ]
For the last eight years, up until February 3, 2014, Ben Bernanke toiled away in Washington as a public servant. He took a lot of crap for not a lot of money (compared to what he could’ve been making in the private sector) and he’s got the JoS A. Bank suits to prove it. Was he happy to answer the call of duty? Sure. Will he think of his time at the Eccles Building fondly? You betcha. Is he more than ready to open his mouth and make it rain to the tune of $6,250/minute? Ya got that right. Read more »
Ballmer Says Microsoft a ‘Two-Trick Pony,’ Working on Third (Bloomberg)
“You’re pretty genius in our business if you’re a one-trick pony,” Ballmer said. “In our company, I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve done at least two tricks. Tricks are worth billions and billions of dollars.”
Pimco Gets Brush Off Close To Home (WSJ)
When the county pension fund serving cities and towns including Pacific Investment Management Co.’s headquarters of Newport Beach, Calif., met in November to decide how to put $100 million in new funds to work in the bond market, members of the investment committee made a surprising decision: They chose Swiss fund-management firm GAM Holding AG. The choice by the $11 billion Orange County Employees Retirement System shows how smaller fund managers are benefiting from Pimco’s loosening grip on the bond business, said GAM portfolio manager Jack Flaherty. The pension system regularly invests with other asset managers, but Pimco was its largest bond manager in November, public documents show…Until recently, GAM never considered going after customers in Pimco’s backyard, Mr. Flaherty said. But now, the Swiss asset-management firm is using turmoil at Pimco to get in the door with major potential customers.
Lehman Europe creditors in line for extra $8 billion payday (Reuters)
Hedge funds, asset managers and other creditors of Lehman Brothers’ European arm will next month be fully paid out from money recovered from the carcass of the bank and could get an extra 5 billion pounds ($8.4 billion). PwC, the administrator of Lehman Brothers International Europe (LBIE), is paying a fourth dividend of 7.8 pence in the pound to unsecured creditors on April 30, which will lift payouts to 100 percent after three bigger dividends in the past 15 months. PwC estimated another 5 billion pounds of surplus cash could be paid to creditors, but any extra cash cannot be paid until there is agreement on how it is shared.
Moelis IPO Filing Shows Rise of Small Advisers (WSJ)
The planned filing—and indeed Mr. Moelis’s founding of the firm seven years ago—represent a bet that big corporate clients will continue handing more lucrative M&A assignments to firms such as Moelis that have a narrower focus than their larger Wall Street peers and are perceived to be freer of potential conflicts of interest. Last year, 80% of the 10 largest M&A deals had independent advisers, up from 30% just 10 years earlier, the filing said. In Tuesday’s filing, Moelis said it has advised on more than $1 trillion of deals, including three of the 10 biggest announced global mergers in 2013. They include H.J. Heinz Co.’s $23 billion takeover by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital, and the $35.1 billion pending merger of Omnicom Group Inc. and France’s Publicis Groupe SA…Helping encourage Moelis to move on the share sale now, according to people familiar with the firm’s planning: Shares of other small investment banks that already are public have gained sharply over the past year. Evercore Partners Inc. shares, for example, have risen 38% in the past year.
Red Flags Amid Citi Losses (WSJ)
Oceanografía SA, the Mexican oil-services firm that Citigroup Inc. alleges is responsible for duping the bank out of $400 million, was well known in energy and investor circles as being behind on its bills despite a steady stream of contracts with state oil firm Petróleos Mexicanos. Operating out of this oil town on the Gulf of Mexico, Oceanografía had a history of late payments to bondholders, suppliers and even employees, according to workers, investors and legal filings. Investors say Oceanografía frequently leaned on its 30-day grace period to pay bond coupons late. “The traditional emerging market investor didn’t have the best image of the company,” said Jim Harper, director of corporate research at BCP Securities in Greenwich, Conn. Workers claiming they haven’t been paid have been protesting sporadically for more than a year outside the company’s headquarters, but the protests intensified in recent weeks. In a September bond prospectus, Oceanografía said it faced 352 labor disputes, which it estimated would cost less than $3 million to settle.
Prized Corvettes rescued after falling into massive sinkhole (AP)
Two classic Corvettes re-emerged Monday from a giant sinkhole that gobbled up those and six other prized vehicles still trapped beneath the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky. Workers in a cage painstakingly hooked straps around the cars before a crane slowly hoisted them one by one from the enormous pit that opened up last month. Onlookers cheered after each car was rescued, but the joy was more subdued for the second car, which had more extensive damage. The first car hoisted out — a 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil — showed only minor damage that included cracks on lower door panels, a busted window and an oil line rupture that oozed oil, said Chevrolet spokesman Monte Doran. Workers were able to get that car running. Cheers went up as the engine revved at the Bowling Green museum. “It sounded awesome, just like before,” said museum executive director Wendell Strode. Doran said the car was in “remarkably good shape. You could have that car back on the road in a couple of days.” Not so for the other car retrieved Monday, a 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette. The body panels and window glass need replacing, but the vehicle is salvageable, Doran added. Read more »
$$$ Gross Says Central Banks Must Sway Investors for Assets to Rise [Bloomberg]
$$$ Sarbanes-Oxley Whistle-Blower Shield Expanded by Court [Bloomberg]
$$$ Investment Bank Moelis Files IPO [WSJ]
$$$ Touching Boxer Shorts Makes Women Think Differently [Scientific American] Read more »
Uncle Carl thinks that the Netscape founder thinks he’s stupid or lying, re: all of Andreessen’s conflicts of interest as an eBay board member. Marc Andreessen is happy to confirm as much, and to raise him one “hypocrite.” Read more »