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Alibaba’s not going to say it has zero faith in the Nasdaq following its not so great handling of the Facebook IPO but it’s not not going to say it has zero faith in the Nasdaq following its not so great handling of the Facebook IPO. Read more »

  • 15 Sep 2014 at 3:13 PM

Break Yourself Off A Piece Of Bill Ackman Today

Hedge-fund manager William Ackman aims to raise $2 billion through the initial public offering of one of his funds on Euronext Amsterdam in a move that will provide it with steady capital. Pershing Square Holdings Ltd. said Monday that it plans to float on the Amsterdam stock exchange for $25 a share, giving it a market capitalization of at least $5 billion…The IPO comes as activist investors are embarking on a drive to take advantage of their increasing clout in boardrooms and above-average hedge-fund returns. Mr. Ackman hopes that the IPO will provide him with more permanent capital. [WSJ]

  • 15 Sep 2014 at 2:58 PM

Sex, Shoe Bonuses For Interns NBD At UBS (Update)

Update: A spokesperson for UBS said in a statement: “We do not comment on allegations in pending litigation other than we believe the claims against the firm to be without merit. Collins was terminated after she raised a complaint and the firm investigated the situation. We do not condone this sort of behavior.”

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Like so many sexual harassment cases before this one starts out with:

  • Wealth manager goes to his local bar, hits on bartender, tells her she should be working in corporate sales: “[James C.] Collins first met [Samantha] Lambui in the fall of 2012 at Katie Mc’s Bar in Huntington, NY, where she worked as a bartender, according to the suit. As a frequent customer at the bar, Collins allegedly used to visit during her shifts. ‘Their conversation developed from bartender-patron to friendly but never romantic,’ the suit states. In November 2012, Collins told Lambui of his position at UBS. He persuaded her to apply for a job at the firm, arguing that ‘she could get anyone to do anything she wanted,’ and that ‘she should be doing sales for UBS,’ the suit alleges.”
  • Wealth manager claims it’s totally normal for people working in finance to receive extra bonuses in the form of shoes: “On Jan. 8, 2013, Collins described Lambui’s duties in an email. Her tasks included researching venues for client events, researching initial public offerings, emailing clients with updates on stock prices and stock research and sending newsletters regarding news in the financial markets. In the email he also stated that fashion items would be available as bonus incentives for superior work. ‘Tuesday’s [sic] and Friday’s [sic] are going to be our (and by our I mean you) [sic] day to prospect and most important days. That is the only way to get to the LB’s,’ Collins wrote in a text message to Lambui, the suit alleges. ‘LBs’ is a reference to Christian Louboutin shoes, the complaint explains.”
  • Wealth manager casually mentions that the way to earn the extra shoe bonus is by having sex with him: “In mid-March that year, he sent her to New York City to interview venues for a client event. He also allegedly asked her to purchase new clothing, sending photographs of the outfits for his approval before the purchase. That night, he told her to meet him at a hotel for sex to earn the ‘bonus Louboutins’ the next day, the suit claims. She replied ‘absolutely not’ and that ‘no bonus could be worth that,’ the lawsuit claims.”
  • Wealth manager explains that the sole purpose of hiring interns is so he can have sex with them, and you’re an intern, so…: “In response to sexual comments, Lambui would remind Collins of his wife, to which he allegedly responded: ‘I wish I never met my wife,’ and ‘I didn’t marry the love of my life,’ the suit claims. He also said ‘I sleep with my interns, that is the only reason to hire interns,’ the suit asserts…She resigned on June 22, 2013. Before that she allegedly received a text message from Collins that said: ‘Look I’m at the marina and my buddies just left so either u visit or the internship is over.’”

Except whereas typically an employer would respond to such allegations with a “no comment” or “we do not condone such behavior” or a “this employee is no longer with out firm and by the by, this is totally inappropriate and not the norm,” UBS went with this: Read more »

  • 15 Sep 2014 at 2:15 PM

Phil Falcone Is Thinking Things

Like maybe now that he’s got all this free time on his hands, he should lace up his skates and whip the New York Islanders into shape? With his afternoons unoccupied for the next four years and his old Harvard game plans already dug out of the attic, the three-time Ivy League hockey champion is ready to teach these NHL underachievers a thing or two about working a puck. As for his consigliere Wilbur, she wouldn’t be caught dead in Minneapolis, but is happy to entertain offers to tickle the ivories in Brookklyn as Barclays Center organist. See Phil for dressing room demands. Read more »

Opening Bell: 09.15.14

Bank adviser pay catching up with traders (FT)
Senior advisory bankers’ pay in London has risen almost on to a par with traditionally higher-earning traders, underlining the shifting fortunes of these distinct businesses within investment banks. UK-based managing directors working on deals and capital raisings have seen total pay rise by a fifth to an average of £586,000 last year, according to data compiled for the Financial Times by Emolument, a pay comparison group. By contrast, senior traders have suffered an average 13 per cent cut to £602,000 after a sharp drop in bonuses, the self-reported numbers from hundreds of staff at 10 European and US investment banks show. It puts a spotlight on the resurgent clout of advisory bankers, after a dearth of dealmaking in the wake of the financial crisis placed them squarely in the shadows of profit-churning bond traders. A sharp increase in takeovers as well as debt and equity issuance by companies and other clients since last year has reversed the fortunes of corporate financiers. At the same time, their colleagues on trading floors have seen profit opportunities squeezed by tighter regulation, lower trading volatility, a ban on proprietary trading, the move towards electronic trading and several manipulation scandals.

As Investors Salivate, Alibaba May Raise Price of I.P.O. (Dealbook)
Only five days into the company’s global journey to promote itself to prospective buyers, its underwriters have told their sales staffs that they plan to close orders for the stock sale by Wednesday, people briefed on the matter said on Friday. And with that intense interest — shown by the huge lines of investors who waited to spend even an hour with Alibaba’s senior management — comes the possibility that the company’s bankers may eventually raise the price range for the offering, pushing it past a fund-raising goal of $21.1 billion. That could make Alibaba the biggest initial offering in history, surpassing the $22.1 billion that the Agricultural Bank of China raised four years ago. But the people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, cautioned that no plans had been set and that the price range might remain within the already disclosed $60 to $66 a share, which values the company at roughly $163 billion at the high end. A final decision will be made Thursday, when underwriters are expected to price the offering after examining its order book. Alibaba would then begin trading the next day on the New York Stock Exchange.

Samsung accuses rival LG exec of vandalizing washing machines (Reuters)
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has accused the head of rival LG Electronics Inc’s home appliances business of damaging Samsung washing machines at retail stores in Germany and asked Seoul prosecutors to investigate. Samsung, in a statement on Sunday, said it asked the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office to investigate LG employees who the company says were seen deliberately destroying several of its premium washing machines on display at two stores earlier this month ahead of the IFA electronics show in Berlin. “It is very unfortunate that Samsung had to request that a high-ranking executive be investigated by the nation’s legal authorities, but this was inevitable, as we concluded that we had to get to the bottom of this incident,” Samsung said.

Brazil’s Batista Faces Criminal Charges (WSJ)
When Brazil’s best-known businessman was hit with criminal charges over the weekend involving billions of dollars in soured deals, he didn’t appear to miss a beat. Instead, Eike Batista was roaming the world scouting for business opportunities. “Yesterday he was in Qatar,” said one of Mr. Batista’s lawyers, Sergio Bermudes, in a telephone interview Sunday. “It was a business trip.” The attorney said Mr. Batista had also planned to go to South Korea and would return to Brazil probably by Friday. When the entrepreneur lands, he will be facing one of the biggest challenges of his life. Prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro last week charged Mr. Batista with financial crimes and requested the freezing of 1.5 billion Brazilian reais ($641 million) in assets belonging to the businessman and people close to him, according to documents posted on the public prosecutor’s website on Saturday. Federal officials accuse Mr. Batista of manipulating financial markets and taking advantage of privileged information when selling shares of his distressed oil company, formerly known as OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações SA.

Austrian billionaire Richard Lugner, 81, marries 24-year-old Playboy model (NYDN)
Richard Lugner, 81, tied the knot with fiancee Cathy Schmitz at a palace on Saturday, claiming “hopefully, this time it’s the right thing.” The pair have been dating since February. Prior to the pair getting hitched, Lugner said “apart from the age difference, everything fits,” reported The Local.

Palin’s Camp Weighs In: We Brawled, But Someone Else Started It (TPM)
The website Real Clear Politics spoke to what it described as a “source close to the Palin family” who offered the Palins’ side of the physical, bloody altercation that took place on Sept. 6 at a house in Anchorage. The article said the source’s description “diverge[d] significantly” from what had been reported elsewhere, but the anonymous portrayal essentially confirmed the broad outlines of the fight, including that Sarah Palin herself was present and was shouting as it all went down. On Friday, TPM published a detailed account of the brawl based on reports from several news outlets as well as our own reporting. Two named eyewitnesses reported seeing the former Alaska governor at the party, including one who said he saw Palin’s husband Todd, son Track, and daughter Bristol were involved in multiple melees with other party guests that night. One anonymous source said Sarah Palin was “nearly crawling on top of people” while screaming and shouting profanities. The source who spoke to Real Clear Politics for its article on Saturday said, however, there were a few details the Palin family saw differently, including how the fighting began. The RCP source confirmed that Sarah Palin’s son, Track Palin, was the first family member involved in the fight, and Todd Palin, Sarah’s husband, was the next member to intervene. But the source said Track Palin was not the one who picked a fight with his sister Willow Palin’s ex-boyfriend. The former boyfriend allegedly “tried to get in” the Palin’s stretch Hummer limousine after some “questionable behavior,” leading Track to get involved, according to the source. The source said four men then began fighting with Track, after which Todd Palin intervened and ended up bleeding from the fight. The source also said Track Palin ended up with four cracked ribs. While RCP’s account was vague on some details, previous reports said there were at least two separate fights at the party that involved the Palins. One of the altercations, according to eyewitness Eric Thompson, who spoke to multiple news outlets, involved Sarah Palin’s daughter, Bristol Palin, who was seen punching the host of the party multiple times. Read more »

Write-Offs: 09.12.14

$$$ Puerto Rico Finds It Has New Friends in Hedge Funds [Deablook]

$$$ Enron Buster Is Back at Justice and Taking Aim at Real People [Bloomberg]

$$$ Alibaba’s Banks to Start Closing Order Books [WSJ]

$$$ Why Bitcoins And Apple Can’t Kill Off Cash [Bloomberg]

$$$A ‘Cringeworthy’ Evening With The Real ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ [AboveTheLaw]

$$$ When agents tested the powdery substance Mitchell allegedly sold them, it contained no trace of cocaine. Police they say he later admitted it was the crushed corner of a Pop Tart, which he only sold because he needed the money. He was charged with selling a counterfeit controlled substance and creating a counterfeit controlled substance. [HP] Read more »

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Failure to “adhere to a clear breadstick policy” is one of the many, many things Olive Garden is doing wrong, according to a new presentation by Starboard Value. Read more »

  • 12 Sep 2014 at 3:15 PM

Dealbreaker Chef de Cuisine Says Cook This Now: Nachos Nouriel

I get to do it all as Dealbreaker Chef de Cuisine, and for that I’m obviously grateful. But like anyone, I have unfulfilled dreams. I’m mortal, after all (though anyone who’s eaten my avocado, bacon, egg and cheese on fresh-baked sourdough bread might beg to differ).

If you ask most of my fellow chefs who they most want to cook for, you’d get the expected responses: heads of state, famous authors, maybe the Manning brothers and Archie.

Not me. The thing I dream about most is actually a catering job at a very specific kind of party. A party in the East Village where a man’s – and woman’s – dreams come true. A place with literally wall-to-ceiling vaginas, and I haven’t even mentioned the guests.

Sometimes after a rough day, you know the kind – the one where your now-former sous chef screwed up the seasoning on the pork medallions or the ship carrying the oysters from Japan capsized – I close my eyes and dare to dream about what it would be like.

I picture myself sitting 5 feet away from the honoured host. He’s pregaming with a glass of Prosecco, and two windows open on his computer. In one, he’s frantically refreshing and re-refreshing the Department of Buildings’ website in hopes that his permit for a roof deck jacuzzi gets approved in time for tonight’s bash. In the other he’s having business cards made – the premium stock – with just three words on them: “Maestro of Fucking.”

Obviously, I’m talking about Nouriel Roubini, and the pleasure it would be to come to one of his parties and feed his motley crew of guests. Instead of the typical items they’ve come to expect at parties thrown and attended by the 1%, I’d open their mind to a finger food humble in presentation and explosive in taste: nachos. Read more »