The Latest

  • 21 Aug 2014 at 3:58 PM

Steve Cohen Betting On Steve Cohen

Now, people close to Cohen say he has quietly and methodically launched a multi-pronged effort to eventually make his full return to the hedge fund business, even if many legal experts say the odds are low that he will prevail. “I would say Steven Cohen’s chances are about as good as Michael Milken’s would be” for returning the securities business, said Columbia Law School professor John Coffee, referring to the tarnished junk bond pioneer. Still, Coffee added, “a lifetime ban allows you to reapply five years later for readmission,” meaning it’s not impossible. [FBN]

  • 21 Aug 2014 at 3:50 PM

Dealbreaker Chef de Cuisine Says Cook This Now: Chinese Spare Ribs

Here at Dealbreaker we take food very seriously and so do you. Mostly as it relates to eating, say, 144 oysters in one hour, sheet-cake sized cupcakes in a 30 minutes, the entire contents of a vending machine in a single day, boxes upon boxes of limited edition KFC sandwiches as fast as you can, or a mountain of Starbursts with the camera rolling. Sometimes, though, you want to just eat a normal, if not highly tasty meal. That’s where Dealbreaker’s Chef de Cuisine comes in.

Being Chef de cuisine here at Dealbreaker is a huge responsibility, one I’ve always treated as a privilege rather than a right. We’ll get into how I ended up in this gig at another time, but for now, just know that it’s an opportunity I’ve been dreaming of my whole life: cooking for you, the Dealbreaker people.

I may not be building a wood-burning oven in the lobby of your firm, making your junior analyst my sous chef or hand-feeding you veal croquettes as you short another million Herbalife shares, but I might as well be. Whether it’s a private tasting menu to celebrate your latest 6-figure bonus, a 30-day nutrition plan designed to keep you alert all night to monitor overseas markets, or just my own desire to share with you my childhood favorites, make no mistake: I work for you.

Would it make my year to be informed by Dealbreaker’s maître d that I needed to prepare a menu for Lloyd Blankfein, Steve Cohen, and Lenny Dykstra? Yes. Would it be an honor to find out that my kitchen would be the site of an attempt at reconciliation between George Soros and Adriana Ferreyr? Of course. Would I panic upon hearing from my sommelier that we were out of Charlie Gasparino’s favorite chianti 15 minutes before his reservation, and then send my best men out to make it right, knowing the stakes are so high? I’m human, after all. But at the end of the day, I’d bring the same level of passion to the plate when serving them as I would you. Take Chinese take-out spare ribs, for instance. Read more »

  • 21 Aug 2014 at 2:01 PM

LightSquared Is Back In Business

And that business is making interest payments on its mountain of debt, as creditors, would-be creditors, Phil Falcone and a federal bankruptcy-court judge fiddle. Read more »

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 »