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Write-Offs: 04.15.14

$$$ Yellen Says More Capital Would Help Biggest, Most-Complex Banks [WSJ]

$$$ Loeb Ratchets Up Campaign Against Sotheby’s Board [ValueWalk]

$$$ N.Y. Regulator Sends Subpoena to Credit Suisse in Tax-Evasion Probe [WSJ]

$$$ European Companies See Sales Growth Hit by Exchange Rates [WSJ]

$$$ Outlook for pensions is pretty awful: Bridgewater [NetNet]

$$$ Texan, 23, Headed To State Prison For Urinating On The Alamo [TSG] Read more »

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Sayeth a German academic, contra everything that every hedge fund lobbyist has said (and that everybody believed) since 2007. Read more »

Third-lien notes payable over seven years by a company that just had to borrow $74 million from people (including Charlie Ergen) to stay afloat through June 15 is more than fair for a man (Charlie Ergen) who created the whole mess in the first place, according to said company. Read more »

Unfortunately for said CEO and his cohorts on the board, Loeb took seriously all of that flattery they whispered in his ear when he was lining their pockets with commissions. Read more »

Ex-SAC Capital PM Mike Steinberg seemed pretty surprised when he was found guilty of insider trading.

Ms. Williams recalled the day when Michael S. Steinberg, a portfolio manager at the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, was brought before a Manhattan judge to be read the insider trading charges against him. The police escorted him, in handcuffs, into the Lower Manhattan courthouse through the main elevators rather than the usual back way leading into the courtroom. When Mr. Steinberg emerged from the main elevators, there was a look of utter shock on his face. “Being caught is so out of their wildest dreams,” she said.

Danielle Chiesi was a vision in pink. Read more »

  • 15 Apr 2014 at 1:28 PM

Tax Day Watch ’14: The Travails of The 1%

Sure, the top hundredth earned a bunch of extra money, on average, last year. But did you know that they have to hand some of that over to the federal government so it can buy those 47% ciphers healthcare or teachers or some other bullshit? And that next year, after they earn about $330,000 more this year than they did last year, they’ll have to pay even more? Read more »

Times Square may be a Dantean circle of hell, but it’s Nasdaq’s Dantean circle of hell. It’s also a telegenic Dantean circle of hell, or at least one that media types find conveniently reached from their own Dantean circles of hell. So they’re sprucing the place behind the giant Nasdaq billboard up for the hacks who don’t seem to notice the decreasing importance of what else happens therein. Read more »

Opening Bell: 04.15.14

Citigroup CEO Vows to Fix Regulatory Problems as Bank Logs Higher Profit, Beats Estimates (WSJ)
Speaking after Citigroup reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings Monday, Mr. Corbat faced more than a dozen questions from analysts on the bank’s recent failure to win regulatory approval to return capital to shareholders. “Is the Fed denial a wake-up call for Citi or not?” CLSA analyst Michael Mayo asked. “We’re wide awake,” Mr. Corbat replied after declaring earlier, “I want, and I know shareholders deserve, an industrial-strength, permanent solution that paves the way for sustainable capital return over time.”

Stockbrokers Who Fail Test Have Checkered Records (WSJ)
More than 51,500 stockbrokers failed a basic exam needed to sell securities at least once, according to data that Wall Street regulators don’t disclose to investors, and those who repeatedly failed have on average worse disciplinary records. The more times a broker failed, the higher the average total of black marks was, such as criminal charges and firings, a Wall Street Journal analysis of the data found. Those who failed the test more than twice, for example, were 77% more likely to report a felony or financial-related misdemeanor than brokers who passed the exam on the first try, and about 55% more likely to have been terminated.

Mt. Gox founder won’t appear in U.S. for questions about bankruptcy case (Reuters)
Mark Karpeles, the founder of Mt. Gox, said he would not come to the United States to answer questions about the Japanese bitcoin exchange’s U.S. bankruptcy case, Mt. Gox lawyers told a federal judge on Monday. In the court filing, Mt. Gox lawyers cited a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which has closely monitored virtual currencies like bit coin. “Mr. Karpeles is now in the process of obtaining counsel to represent him with respect to the FinCEN Subpoena. Until such time as counsel is retained and has an opportunity to ‘get up to speed’ and advise Mr. Karpeles, he is not willing to travel to the U.S.”, the filing said.

Regulators Weigh Curbs on Trading Fees (WSJ)
SEC officials, including some commissioners, are considering a trial program to curb fees and rebates they say can make trading overly complex and pose a conflict of interest for brokers handling trades on behalf of big investors such as mutual funds.

NY attorney general probes Herbalife: sources (NYP)
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating Herbalife over claims it is a pyramid scheme, The Post has learned. At least two whistleblowers have come forward and given Schneiderman’s investigators sworn testimony, sources said. The New York lawman has also fielded complaints from former Hispanic Herbalife distributors who say they were defrauded by Herbalife, sources said.

Berlusconi Given Community Service for Tax Fraud (NYT)
Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi must spend at least four hours a week in the service of the elderly to repay society for his tax fraud conviction, the first sentence against him ever confirmed by Italy’s highest court. The one-year assignment, announced by a Milan court on Tuesday, curtails Berlusconi’s ability to participate in the upcoming European election campaign — a point of contention among his political allies…The court stipulated that Berlusconi must spend most of his time in the Lombard region, where he lives, but granted permission to travel to Rome from Tuesday to Thursday each week. He must spend at least four straight hours one day a week at an elderly center, the court said. The document did not identify the center, or specify what Berlusconi would do there. Berlusconi was sentenced to four years for tax fraud, reduced to one year for a general amnesty. The one-year community service order may eventually be reduced by 45 days…The media mogul is on trial for political corruption in Naples and under investigation in Milan for witness tampering in trials relating to sex-fueled parties at his villa near Milan. Read more »