The Latest

As many of you may have observed, we’re in the midst of something of a tech bubble, in which two-letter apps have the potential to sell for billions and dick-pic messaging services are king. A lot of people are worried about said bubble and, sure, maybe you should be too, but before it bursts, you might as well take advantage. If you’re stuck at the drawing board and/or don’t currently count yourself among the upper echelons of the tech community, there is an alternative: try landing a last-minute gig as a “Sherpa” to a well-connected million or billionaire at this month’s Burning Man, where peyote-laced ideas apparently abound. Read more »

Bonus Watch ’14: Hedge Fund Cogs

Remember when bonus checks were bigger than your salary? Cling tightly to that memory, because compared to the old days, London’s hedge fund directors will need a microscope to find this year’s, which may, after taxes, cover a month’s rent. Read more »

  • 21 Aug 2014 at 11:49 AM

Pay Hike Watch ’14: Raises For Everyone (Under 25)!

Well, raises for everyone at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America. JP Morgan and Citi are still pondering this one. Read more »

Opening Bell: 08.21.14

BofA to Pay $16.65 Billion to End U.S. Mortgage Probes (Bloomberg)
Bank of America Corp. will pay $16.65 billion to end federal and state probes into mortgage bond sales, the harshest penalty yet related to loans that fueled the 2008 financial crisis, the Justice Department said. The settlement, which includes $7 billion in consumer relief and $9.65 billion in cash, resolves civil investigations by federal and state prosecutors, the U.S. said today. “This constitutes the largest civil settlement with a single entity in history, addressing conduct uncovered in more than a dozen cases and investigations,” Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference in Washington today.

Family Dollar Spurns Dollar General Bid on Antitrust Concern (Bloomberg)
Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO) spurned a $9 billion offer from Dollar General Corp. in favor of a lower bid from Dollar Tree Inc. (DLTR), saying it was concerned the Dollar General deal wouldn’t be able to pass antitrust hurdles. The board rejected the Dollar General proposal and reaffirmed last month’s pact to merge with Dollar Tree, according to a statement today from the Matthews, North Carolina-based company. Dollar Tree has agreed to pay about $8.5 billion, excluding debt. “Our board reviewed, with our advisers, all aspects of Dollar General’s proposal and unanimously concluded that it is not reasonably likely to be completed on the terms proposed,” Chief Executive Officer Howard Levine said in the statement.

Standard Chartered Could Face Legal Action By U.A.E Clients (WSJ)
Standard Chartered may face legal action in the United Arab Emirates brought by clients whose accounts will be closed by the bank after it was slapped with a $300 million fine related to alleged lapses in anti-money-laundering controls, the U.A.E. Central Bank said Thursday. Standard Chartered’s settlement with the New York state regulator, announced Tuesday, required among other things that the bank improve its monitoring of certain small and medium-size business relationships at its U.A.E. locations. The U.A.E. central bank estimates between 1,400 and 8,000 clients could be affected. The central bank said Standard Chartered was liable to legal action because of the “material and moral damage” company owners may suffer as a result of having their accounts closed. It said its consumer protection unit is ready to receive and consider complaints from the bank’s affected customers.

Hipster-hater made 400+ fake 911 calls to get rid of cool kids (NYP)
A Brooklyn curmudgeon so irritated by the noisy hipsters on his trendy Williamsburg block that he called cops more than 400 times will need earplugs where he’s likely headed next — prison. Louis Segna, 53, was convicted Wednesday of faking emergency calls of a subway explosion in the Bedford Avenue station and violence at nearby bars. He could face seven years in prison. “Nine-one-one, what’s your emergency?” a dispatcher asked during one false call from the 6-foot, 300-pound Segna at 1:30 a.m. Dec. 31, 2012. “Uh, yeah, in Brooklyn there’s a bar called Spike Hill. I went in there and they got the music blasting, and I went in there to try to talk to them, and some guy pushed me out and pulled a knife on me,” Segna stuttered. “A white guy, he has a black leather jacket.” Responding police found no knife-wielding customers, court papers state. The day before, Segna told another dispatcher, “There’s a bar called Station, and there were shots there.” “How many shots you heard?’’ the dispatcher asked. “Two or three … There’s a lot of screaming there now. I can see some people running. I’m going to get off the call, I’m getting out of the area now,” Stegna said, lying about the gunfire. Segna was annoyed by the new residents of his increasingly gentrified neighborhood, his lawyer said outside court after Segna was found guilty. Read more »

  • 20 Aug 2014 at 7:28 PM

Write-Offs: 08.20.14

$$$ Countrywide’s Mozilo Said to Face U.S. Suit Over Loans [Bloomberg]

$$$ Nervous Hedge Funds Turn Defensive on Concerns Over Asset Prices [WSJ]

$$$ BofA MBS Accord With U.S. Said Coming as Soon as Today [Bloomberg]

$$$ Could McDonald’s Be the Latest Victim of Russian Retaliation? [BusinessWeek]

$$$ Florida Man Tried To Fight Fire Hydrant Before Arrest: Cops [HP] Read more »

  • 20 Aug 2014 at 7:09 PM

Pimco Not Sweating “Isolated Issue With Insects”

The New York offices of Pimco, the massive asset manager run by Bill Gross, are being fumigated this week because of a bed bug infestation. “Our New York office is addressing an isolated issue with insects, and as a precautionary measure the firm is fumigating certain areas of the office space,” a spokesman said on Wednesday. “During this period, our employees are working remotely, and we expect to resume full on-premises staffing over the coming days.” Pimco’s New York offices, located in the Paramount Plaza on 1633 Broadway, are one of a dozen global locations. Pimco, a unit of Allianz SE, has its headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif. “This is an issue that is far from uncommon in New York City,” the spokesman said, regarding New York City’s battle with the epidemic of tiny blood-sucking insects. [Reuters, earlier]

Acquisitions should be amicable. They should not become an addiction used to hide how crummy your operating margins are, but used sparingly, like when you are trying to stave off the affections of a serial acquirer. And they should definitely not involve Bill Ackman or alleged insider-trading. Behold: Read more »

Goldman Sachs was going to ask a British judge to throw out the Libyan Investment Authority’s lawsuit against it. But, on second thought, no: Give it your best shot, Libya. Lloyd’s boys are not afraid of you and your self-professed limited financial expertise. Read more »