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]
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]