“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.
We understand that the word “billion” has lost a good deal of meaning around here lately. Be that as it may, some statistics that contain the word are still useful (at least for entertainment value). To wit:
The Federal Reserve took on more than $74 billion in subprime mortgages, depreciating commercial leases and other assets after Bear Stearns Cos. and American International Group Inc. collapsed.
In its biggest disclosure of the securities accepted to stabilize capital markets, the Fed said yesterday it had unrealized losses of $9.6 billion on the assets as of Dec. 31. The bonds, swaps and notes were taken in from Bear Stearns, once the fifth-biggest Wall Street firm by capitalization, and AIG, which had been the world’s largest insurer.
Oh, and don’t worry about the 13% in losses the Fed has racked up in just over three months. Those are unrealized.
Bear, AIG Dumped $74 Billion in Subprime, CDOs on Fed [Bloomberg]
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).