“Didn’t [Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin] have a responsibility to stop a panic by saying, ‘Look, we think things are going to be okay here’? Can’t you be scared in an internal email but still feel things are going to be okay and say that to investors?”
If one of you had told me last year that the first harrowing tale I wrote about former Bear Stearns chairman Ace Greenberg and a dog wouldn’t be the last (Ace had seriously contemplated leaving BSC on account of depression stemming from his four-legged best friend not placing well in dog shows), I would’ve said, “Jimmy, please.” And right about now, I would’ve been eating those words.
The Post reports that Greenberg’s granddaughter, Allison Frey, pictured here, was struck in a hit and run last night, and despite fracturing both knees and requiring braces and crutches to walk, Little G is most upset about losing her papillon Maltese, Bagel, who ran off during the commotion.
“I don’t even care about my legs. I want my dog,” Allison told reporters. Despite having been flung onto the roof and rolled onto the ground by the cab that hit her on Park Avenue, the first thing she thought of after getting up off the street (“covered in blood from a blow to her head”) was “Where’s Bagel?” Sadly, no one knows, though perhaps someone should look into the fact that an older gentleman smoking a J was spotted lurking at the scene of the crime. There’s more, but I can hardly go on:
Former Bear Stearns CEO Alan Schwartz has resurfaced after what has surely been a fun-filled year or so. After watching 383 Madison fall to the House of Dimon across the street, attending congressional roastings, and taking on a leading role in the books House of Cards and Street Fighters, surely the king of the former Bear empire was going to come out of this rejuvenated and ready to prove that it was Jimmy Cayne’s fault after all. Mr. Schwartz’s new destination is, in the words of the Wall St. Journal, “little known Guggenheim Capital Partners LLC”. Ok- the Journal isn’t too big on Guggenheim. Who cares? Alan Schwartz is surely fired up and ready to go. After non-stop viewing of Miracle and every Rocky movie, he must be as amped as a rodeo bull ready to burst out of the corral. He has probably rehearsed his own Braveheart-inspired war cry for his return thousands of times. So what exactly did the man himself tell the Journal about his return to silence his critics and fire up the troops, “Fate has dealt me an opportunity to start from scratch”. Forget ‘they may take our lives but they’ll never take out freedom’, ‘fate has dealt me an opportunity to start from scratch’ will go down as one of the defining motivational quotes of our time.
National City Drops 52% as Market Wonders Who’s Next [CNBC]
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A lot of people–such as the ones who maybe brought the place down–would probably like it if the name ‘Bear Stearns’ was never mentioned again. Well too bad for them because Charlie Gasparino has a book to write and he’s gone digging–DEEP. And diligent investigating has uncovered some dark shit regarding how things really went down at 383 Madison Avenue. No Sleeves has learned– exclusively– that if JPMorgan–are you ready for this? I mean really ready?–had let Bear fail, the market impact would have been devastating. Talkin’ systemic loss. Talkin’ dominos. Talkin’ OTHER BANKS failing.
We stand by our statement that no one killed Bear and then had a celebratory breakfast at Denny’s afterwards but apparently there is a vague chance someone killed Bear, and then went to a safe house to lay low, count his money and plan an attack on Lehman.* Bloomberg reports that on March 11, *someone* bet $1.7 million that BSC would suffer an unprecedented drop within a matter of days. That *someone* was so confident that Bear was going down that he/she/they used put options that gave purchasers the right to sell 5.7 million shares of the firm for $30 each and 165,000 shares for $25 each nine days later, less than half the $62.97 closing price on March 11.
“Even if I were the most bearish man on Earth, I can’t imagine buying puts 50 percent below the price with just over a week to expiration,” Thomas Haugh, general partner of Chicago-based options trading firm PTI Securities & Futures LP told Bloomberg. “It’s not even on the page of rational behavior, unless you know something.”
Speaking of drugs: saw Pineapple Express last night– AH-MAZING. I highly suggest taking off early this afternoon and seeing it (in related news, synchronize your watches. We’re closing this thing up circa 3 today).
Just on Facebook and not as a movie critic, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. It appears as though he signed up less than a month ago but the former Bear Stearns Asset Management chair is wasting no time. He’s amassed 66 friends*, a marginally impressive number for someone born in 1954, a decent amount of wall posts, and has added the ‘mood’ and ‘drinks’ applications (though, disappointingly has not yet received any beverages. Be the first to buy this deserving man a shot). Oddly, the Pointwalk Solutions Network founder failed to list BSC in his work history but surely that was an oversight to be rectified posthaste. Former Bears– think of this as an opportunity to reconnect! The rest of you– think of this as the first step in a series of escalating dares the conclusion of which will be you losing tons of money!
Earlier: Comebacks: Rich Marin, Bear Stearns Asset Management
*Waiting on our request to be accepted..
Any Wall Street veteran worth his salt knows that the most important weapon with which to line his arsenal is a fall guy. Inevitably he’s going to fuck enough shit up that someone’s going to have to get fired and wouldn’t it be a shame if it were him? Holding senior execs accountable for their own gaffes and pratfalls would be as patently absurd as Goldman’s prop desk just up and deciding to stop front running clients. Luckily, former Bear Stearns CEO Alan Schwartz knows of this rule, and is planning on buddy system’ing it up at his next gig. The Post reports that Schwartz will be taking erstwhile Bear MD Richard Metrick with him upon leaving Bearpont Morgan Chase in August. The duo doesn’t know exactly where it’s going, but is said to be mulling offers from Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Warburg Pincus, and KKR. Other requirements Schwartz rumored to be putting in his next contract are included but not limited to immunity following the takeover of whatever firm he takes down, and peanut butter M&M’s.
Bear’s Schwartz Mulling Job Offers [NYP]
Charlie Gasparino reports that former Bear CEO Alan “We’ve Got Liquidity Coming Out Of Every Orifice” Schwartz will leave Bearpont Morgan Stearns at the end of the summer. Schwartz has apparently been “working on some deals” at Bearpont, but decided–as did senior executives at the firm– that the fit wasn’t quite right. According to Gasparino, Amphibious Al has not yet decided what to do next, though a small boutique firm, major bank (please say Lehman), and private equity shop are all in the hopper.
Earlier: Alan Schwartz Declining Offer From JPMorgan Cayne?
When the history books (by which we mean Charlie Gasparino’s, When Mooks Fail) look back at the fall of Bear Stearns, there will be a lot to lambast BSC management over. A lot. A whole lot. There will be one thing we can thank them and Jimmy Cayne’s thrice daily caramel macchiato habit for, however, and that is three less purveyors of vanilla bullshit latte cappa things. Last Friday, Starbucks officially issued a list of the 600 stores it will be closing over the next several months. Half of six Manhattan locations scheduled to be shuttered are located within two blocks of the dearly departed Bear Stearns 383 Madison Avenue headquarters. Will the oft patronized head shops, Frito distributors and providers of the Magic Eye posters in the area be affected as well? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Starbucks Closes 600 Stores. Will US Economy Survive? [American Madness]