Royal Bank of Scotland

RBS Is Pissed

alexandregraham.jpgBut not in the British sense of the word (oh yeah, bit of a linguist here). At left, we’ve got Alexandre Graham, one of the organizers of last Saturday’s “Circle Line Party,” a soiree held to commemorate the final hours of legal drinking on the Tube before London Mayor Boris Johnson’s alcohol ban on public transportation went into effect. Sadly, we were not in attendance, but judging by the photos of people swinging from poles, passed out under benches, knocking each other unconscious, and puking on one another, it seems like Graham did an exceptional job, and may have a future in the party planning businesses. That talent will serve him well, in the event that his employers at the Royal Bank of Scotland fire him, which the Daily Mail reports the higher ups are considering. Absolute BS, we know.
As it happens, we received an email from someone interested in retaining Graham’s services this morning, wondering if we knew of any interest in “some sort of [similar] day drinking event for every single unemployed financial services employee in New York.” The ad people in this asylum want you to say no, of course I’m not interested because I’m gainfully employeed and pulling down 9 figures. Don’t let them silence you. It would be a great way to kick off your Summer o’ Severance. Plus, the whole NYC vs. London thing, which is always fun to debate. Which one can get the most bankers arrested in a single evening? Now that both cities blow equally re: not being allowed to drink on the subway, it’ll be an even match. At least think about it. If not, we can always float the rumor that Metro North is considering a similar ban on booze. It’s not going to happen but who among us wouldn’t love to see (/take part in) Westchester and CT’s middle-aged commuters losing their shit and erupting into a drunken violent party protest over not being able to drink gigantic Coors out of paper bags on the way home to the wife and kids? The answer is no one.
Need some inspiration? Here’s a clip of Saturday’s festivities, set to Abba, so you know it’s good (bad).

Read more »

  • 22 Oct 2007 at 9:22 AM
  • Banks

Goldman RBS Leads Cheyne Finance Bailout

The news on Friday that a court had issued an order allowing Cheyne Finance, the London based SIV, shiv it’s creditors by ceasing payment on its commercial paper is, somehow, good news. At least, it’s good news for Goldman’s prime brokerage business, according to the Telegraph.
How’s that work? If it’s too early in the day for you to read about the sordid tales of Wall Street conflicts of interest, you may want to skip this item. Here’s how it starts: last month Goldman set up a private equity arm to invest in hedge funds, a move that is widely seen as a way of giving a boost to its already fabulously successful prime brokerage business. If the hedge fund investments earn great returns, they’ll make money. And if they don’t, the fund managers may be grateful enough for the new fund injections that they’ll give Goldman their prime brokerage business. And if that doesn’t work—if the fund managers don’t make Goldman the broker for their funds—well, Goldman can always threaten to send in a couple of redemption notices. They’ll get the message pretty quick.
It’s a standard Goldman move, the kind of thing that makes you slap your forehead in wonder that you hadn’t thought of such an obvious strategy yourself. If only you had a more devious mind.
Now hedge funds that had invested in Cheyne’s commercial paper are panicking at the SIV’s insolvency. And who is riding to their rescue? Well, that very same Goldman Sachs, of course.
Deloitte, which is administering Cheyne, has been holding talks with banks interested in rescuing the fund with new money. According to the Times, Deloitte is expected to narrow these rescue talks down to a single bidder within days. Goldman is widely thought to be the lead bidder, although the Royal Bank of Scotland is also said to be a contender. There’s also talk of a strong third bidder but we have no idea who that might be and the Telegraph isn’t naming them either.
This brings about the mind-boggling possibility that Goldman has invested in hedge funds that have invested in commercial paper issued by an entity which may soon be owned by Goldman Sachs. And you thought that KKR borrowing money from Citigroup to buy Citigroup loans to KKR was spinning things right round like a record baby, right round.
Goldman takes lead in race for Cheyne [Telegraph]
Update, 9:47 AM: It looks like even Goldman couldn’t get around to spinning things that fast. The latest word is that RBS is now in exclusive talks to buy the assets of Cheyne. “If the deal goes ahead, it will mark the first known sale of an SIV’s entire book of assets, and would be an encouraging sign for other troubled SIVs that are trying to refinance or restructure their portfolios,” Market Watch notes.

RBS in exclusive talks on Cheyne SIV assets: sources

The Royal Bank of Scotland got serious in its attempt to awkwardly cut in on the marriage dance of ABN Amro and Barclays Bank today, submitting a $96.4 billion hostile unsolicited takeover offer today and a $24.5 billion offer for LaSalle, its Chicago-based banking unit. And ABN remained adamant in its refusal to take RBS for a swing across the dance floor.
The RBS offers top the deals ABN already has in the works to sell LaSalle to the Bank of America for $21 billion and everything else to Barclays for $87.1 billion. ABN said it would submit both offers to shareholders without endorsing them—in other words, it rejected RBS’s advances. Although the offers were higher, it said that the conditions attached to both offers and uncertainty about financing rendered both “not superior” to the Barclays and Bank of America bids.

Read more »

  • 04 May 2007 at 12:34 PM
  • ABN Amro

ABN Amro Litigation: Now Enter Bank of America

lasalle_bank.jpgMaybe we should start a list of who is not suing ABN Amro. This morning Bank of America filed a lawsuit seeking a court order barring ABN from selling it’s Chicago-based LaSalle unit to any other potential buyer or even from negotiating with anyone else, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Journal explains how this fits in with yesterday’s ruling by a Dutch court halting the sale of La Salle to Bank of America:

The suit follows a ruling Thursday by a Dutch court, ordering ABN to halt the sale of LaSalle until shareholders can vote on it. ABN agreed to the sale to buttress its agreement to be taken over by Britain’s Barclays PLC for $89.9 billion in stock, in what would be the world’s largest banking deal.
The Dutch court’s ruling could benefit a consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, which is planning to make a competing bid for ABN as well as a rival bid for LaSalle, a key asset that RBC wants.

In addition to seeking an injunction against ABN, the suit claims monetary damages.
A legal expert we spoke with (who requested we not use his name since we won’t pay his fees) said that ABN might welcome the Bank of America suit since it could relieve LaSalle of the duty to keep negotiating with other buyers.
Bank of America Sues ABN Amro [Wall Street Journal]