12:10 Sure, it would’ve been worse to do it on 4/20 but Cinco de Mayo? Still pretty mean.
12:12 This thing is set to get underway in a few minutes. While we wait, I have a ton of items on the “wish-list” but beyond the obvious, I really, really want him to act like a stoned 17 year old who just got busted. “I know my rights, man.” “I’ve read the constitution.”
12:20 LET’S DO THIS. Reading of the prepared statements. Incredibly, CNBC thinks interviewing the CEO of Nike is more important than Big Jim, so you can follow along here.
12:30: Alan Schwartz maintains that Bear was awash– nay, drowning– in liquidity days before it went down for the dirt nap.
12:32: Jim concedes, “in retrospect, in hindsight, leverage was a bit too high.”
12:41: Angelides: Could you have done anything to prevent that weekend in March?
Cayne: Nothing. There was nothing that could have been done. We were taken down by hedge funds. Bear Stearns [and these words seriously just exited JC's mouth] “was a big fat goose walking down the lane that’s about to be eaten up by competitors.”
Angelides: You were in Detroit that weekend, right? At a bridge tournament?
Paul Friedman, a former senior managing director at Bear Stearns, once famously said “we did this to ourselves. . . . It’s our fault for allowing it to get this far, and for not taking any steps to do anything about it.” He told William D. Cohan there was “mismanagement at the top” of the firm.
But now, Freidman is taking back his words. “I was interviewed at a time when I was looking for someone to blame,” he told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. “I’m sure you’ve read things where I blamed people I’ve never even met. It has bothered me for two years” he said. “I am human.” Read more »
Except when I was hot-boxing it. You know how that goes, Mr. Chairman. You really need the area completely sealed off. I find using a towel helps. Anywhoooo….so, other than those times– always open! For example, one time a guy came in and wanted to know why my office smelled like pot, which I explained to him had nothing to do with me getting high at work, but rather the fact that I’d just gotten a new leather couch, and as everyone knows, new leather couches often reek of weed. Read more »
[Photo taken by Roy Welland, a former Bear client and "a long-time Cayne nemesis." Welland was the one who called the cops on Cayne for hot-boxing a DoubleTree men's room at a bridge tournament in Memphis.]
That question came up in the hearing earlier this week in reference to an email sent by Josh Birnbaum, a former MD in Goldman’s structured products group.
The email, sent in July 2007, sought authorization form senior management for the structured products desk to buy put options on a slew of competitors including Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. The email also revealed that Birnbaum had bought put options on MBIA, Ambac and Countrywide. Read more »
It turns out that the next best thing to running a successful bank may well be running a catastrophically unsuccessful one.
At the very least, Dicky Fuld and Jimmy Cayne did very, very well for themselves according to a new report from a bunch of Harvard Law School eggheads. So did their buddies: Executives at the late Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers took home some $2.5 billion in cash over the last nine years of the banks’ all-too-short lives.
The report shows that the top five executives at each firm walked away with $250 million apiece on average from 2000 until last year when both firms ceased to be able to pay huge bonuses or to, you know, function. Everyone’s favorite pothead cashed out a comfortable $388 million, which should keep him well-supplied for some time. Wall Street’s cutest primate, for his part, banked $541 million.
It seems we will have Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin to kick around for a while longer. The two men may have escaped the long arm of the law, winning an acquittal on fraud and insider-trading charges earlier this week, but the SEC isn’t discouraged.
The regulator will proceed with its own case against the two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers, SEC Enforcement Chief Robert Khuzami said. And why not? “We filed a case based on the evidence from our own investigation,” Khuzami noted, politely failing to mention the cock-up of an investigation run by the U.S. Attorney’s office. There’s also the “different standard of proof” for a civil trial, under which even the incompetent prosecutors could probably win a conviction. And finally, there are those incompetent prosecutors, lighting the way to failure.
“We will study the transcript and events at trial,” Khuzami said, then mumbling, “and do the exact opposite.” US SEC expects to proceed with Bear Stearns case [Reuters]
They haven’t said anything yet but I think it’s pretty obvious it’s coming. Yesterday, when the dream team in charge of the two ridiculously named Bear Stearns funds–High Grade Structured Credit Strategies Fund and High Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund– emerged from a Brooklyn courthouse, Matthew Tannin had the shit-eating grin pictured at left on his face. He was happy, of course, that he and his co-conspirator, Ralph Cioffi had gotten off counts of conspiracy, securities and wire fraud, and dodged 20 years each in the big house. Because honestly, even MT didn’t see that coming (you read the e-mails). But mostly, he was psyched to learn that his career as a money manager is not over. People aren’t planning on holding this (apparently baseless) duping of investors stuff against him and his colleague and in fact? Some are pretty impressed with how the dream team conducted their business.
Aram Hong, a juror from Woodside, Queens, said the exchanges between Cioffi and Tannin shown to the jury proved to her that the two men were working “24-7″ to save the funds in the months before they collapsed. She noted a defense exhibit that showed the fund managers were working at 4 a.m.
Update: UBP takes New Castle up on offer to pull money.
The New Castle Funds, once part of Bear Stearns Asset Management, have informed investors that despite the news of president Mark Kurland and “consultant” Danielle Chiesi being arrested for their roles in the Galleon insider trading case, everything is cool. Kurland and Chiesi have been blacklisted and your money in safe. Nevertheless, if you want to take your cash and make a run for it A-sap, everyone here will understand. (All funds provide monthly liquidity with 30 days notice.)
As everyone on the planet knows, Jimmy Cayne loves to get high. For some reason, however, he routinely downplays or outright denies any drug use, even though weed has done so much for him. First off, due to its mind clearing properties, Cayne has come up with some of his best ideas while stoned, which Wall Street Marijuana and Cough Syrup Expert Charlie Gasparino details in his new book, The Sell-Out. Coupla things JC came up with while he was “thinking straight,” which the ex-CEO has never been given adequate credit for are 1) to refer to Goldman as “Goldman Sucks” (which seems like such an obvious nickname but took several hits on the grav-bong to put in rotation) and 2) to bring down an 85 year-old institution for shits and giggles.
Second, Bear Stearns would not have soared to the heights it did (pre-crashing to the ground a burning fiery explosion) if it weren’t for the fact that Cayne regularly brought deals home by offering people some of his stash, which he claimed was the best on the Street and no one could resist, not even “a Jew.” From The Sell-Out: