advice

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, had a “tin ear” when dealing with regulators before settling probes into mortgage lapses and trading losses, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said. “Our response generally was, ‘We know what we’re doing,’” Dimon wrote today in a letter to the New York-based bank’s investors. “Well, we should have done more self-examination. We need to be better listeners.” [...] The bank missed signals when rivals faced scrutiny and must “do a better job at examining critiques of others so we can learn from other people’s mistakes, too,” he said. [Bloomberg]

I was at my usual banquette table at Cipriani catching up with my dear friend and fellow gala charity chair, an impossibly blond and glamorous socialite. She looked up, over her grilled salmon and leeks. “Do you have anyone for my friend Leanne? Her divorce just became final.” I recalled a lithe brunette who looked good in Lilly, making the rounds of the Hamptons charity cocktail circuit along with her pint-sized now-ex-husband. “Is she realistic yet?” I asked. “I think so.” “Good.” I sipped my Bellini…Where most rich divorcées fail is in assuming they can replace their husbands with a newer model pretty much like the old one. Sorry to say, this tends not to be the case. Most of the time, the divorced well-to-do male is not looking for his equal, but rather for a sexretary from the Midwest, preferably without an opinion. As one recently divorced hedge funder told me: “Being married to a smart, opinionated woman is work! Now I just want tits on a stick, a blonde wig and someone to tell me I’m great when I get home.” Women who take a tough line often wind up lonelier for it…Far more successful are those who focus on just one wish-list item, for instance sex. Assuming the woman is not completely devastated, pulling a Mrs. Robinson is a popular rebound maneuver once the lawyers have retreated and the paralyzing legal battle becomes a bitter memory. Notable hookups for such divorcées include affairs with French or Italian baristas, a Roman Casanova who preys on the newly divorced (despite good tailoring, he’s over-committed and overdrawn) and the occasional Moroccan rug salesman. More common are the standard-issue service-industry providers: the omnipresent trainer, manny, male or female yoga instructor, Hamptons carpenter, contractor, driver, plumber, beach club attendant (for real Mrs. Robinson cred) and tennis pro. Since trainers are allowed an all-access pass to the family compound, they frequently help their clients lift and separate in different areas during the a.m. and p.m. [NYO]

“You’re a farmer. You can’t control the weather. When you make a Brunello, you have to follow a set of rules. One is no interference with nature. You can’t irrigate in a dry year. I happen to like traditional methods. I’m kind of old school. If you’re someone who balks at following rules, you can still make wine, but you can’t call it a Brunello. You might want a vineyard in Napa Valley instead.” [BusinessWeek]

Speaking to Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, George Soros cast doubt on hedge funds’ future ability to do better than the broader markets. “Since hedge funds are now a dominant force in the market, they can’t, as a group, outperform the market,” Soros said. The 82-year old added that managers’ and investors’ risk aversion will only make things worse. “Outperforming the market with low volatility on a consistent basis is an impossibility,” Soros said. “I outperformed the market for 30-odd years, but not with low volatility.” [FINalternatives, Bloomberg]

  • 23 Jan 2013 at 1:26 PM

John Paulson: Go Out And Get Your Dream House Today

Speaking to an audience at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y Tuesday night, Paulson said the housing market had shown a “strong recovery” with prices up and the number of homes for sale at a decade low. Those factors will likely put pressure on builders to create new product, he noted, creating some of the “most positive change in housing since the Lehman crisis.” Paulson said that for an individual investor, his best piece of advice was to buy a home. “This is probably the best time in our lifetime to consider buying a house,” he said. [CNBC]


[Bloomberg]

“People are angry because they want to blame somebody else. They don’t take responsibility for their own goddamn lives. ‘I’ve never been promoted, because they don’t like me and there were these guys at AIG, look at them they have free lunches and EZ Pass and look at me I don’t get a free lunch.’ These people make me nuts. Get off your goddamn ass and do something. That’s what the people at AIG did, They picked up their asses and went to work.” [Pressler, related]