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 »
Hint: the one he hasn’t been trading emails with is the guy who tried to sell you some schwag in the alley behind 383 yesterday during lunch. Also, for the animal lovers in the group.
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.
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.
New Castle: We Got Rid Of The Galleon Groupies, Nothing Is F*cked, But We Understand If You Want To Run For The ExitsBy Bess Levin
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:
“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?”