Revel, the Atlantic City Casino Morgan Stanley poured $1.2 billion into and then booked a $1 billion loss on when the bank washed its hands of the place, which still haunts some senior executives’ dreams and is the word James Gorman whispers to employees with a knowing glance when it looks like they’re about to get in over their heads on something, is shutting its doors. Read more »

Given everything else that’s gone wrong with Atlantic City’s flashy, unpopular new gambling paradise—and everything else that’s gone wrong in New Jersey recently—why shouldn’t a hedge fund that invests some of the Garden State’s pension cash own a casino? Read more »

My point about pigskin offense and defense is the perfect metaphor for the world of investing as well. Offensively minded risk takers in the markets have historically been the ones who have dominated the headlines and won the hearts of that beautiful gal (or handsome guy). Aside from the rare examples of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, however, the secret to getting rich since the early 1980s has been to borrow someone else’s money, throw some Hail Mary passes and spike the ball in the end zone as if you had some particular genius that deserved monetary rewards 210 times more than a Doctor, Lawyer or an Indian Chief. Nah, I take that back about the Indian Chief. The Chiefs, at least, have done pretty well with casinos these past few decades. [PIMCO Investment Outlook]

  • 16 Feb 2012 at 4:25 PM

Football? Yep. Oscars? OK. The VIX? Really?

I was scoring up the Super Bowl (small loss) when Ocean called. Ocean is a good customer. He had a couple questions, and I told him fire away.

First he wanted to know if we were doing the Oscars again this year. Of course we are. I’m not thrilled about it –I’m half paranoid about inside information bubbling on the Internet, but I’m learning to embrace the inside mis-information. Most importantly, we do it as a service, so the customers won’t start betting online with bookies in Costa Rica.

Ocean was pleased. For what it’s worth, he likes The Artist at very short odds. He watches rom-coms. With his wife, he says. His favourite movie though is Love Story, and he cries shamelessly every time he watches it: he truly believes that love means never having to say you’re sorry. I’ve never figured that out. I’m forever apologizing to my wife for doing boneheaded things and saying stupid shit. And apologizing is a necessity But whatever. A happy customer is a beautiful thing. And I thought the phone call was over. And then Ocean said it.

“What do you have on the VIX for this summer?” Read more »

As you may have heard, Deutsche Bank owns a casino (/hotel) in Vegas, called the Cosmopolitan. The Germans never intended to run the joint, originally merely funding the project by developer Ian Bruce Eichner but in 2008 Eichner had to go and default on his loans. No one else wanted to invest in the place, so DB decided to man up and finish the job itself, laying out an additional $3 billion of its own money. Allowing themselves to get momentarily excited, Deutsche scrapped Eichner’s plans and hired its own team of gambling and real estate experts, architects and interior designers. The Cosmpolitan now includes “a three-story crystal-strewn bar meant to evoke the inside of a chandelier” and guests in its hotel reportedly love the massive rooms that typically sell-out. Unfortunately, the bank is nowhere near close to breaking even on its investment (and lost $139.5 million in 2010), which might have something to do with the fact that no one is gambling there. Instead, visitors think of it more as a place to eat dinner, get drunk, and then vomit while waiting to get into a club. Read more »

  • 17 Nov 2010 at 11:39 AM

Has Deutsche Bank Made A Terrible Mistake?

The bank claims it wants its new casino, The Cosmpolitan, to be a success and yet… Read more »

If you haven’t read the document yet (and only one person has so don’t feel bad), have a looksee at the clip above, produced by the White House, which explains the impetus for the bill (“the careless risk-taking by Wall Street had to be stopped”), makes some references to banks playing craps with other people’s money, confidently states with the passing of Dodd-Frank, “you can rest a little easier knowing your home and family will be protected from the irresponsibility of others,” and never once mentions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Perhaps most genius, however, was having the whole thing narrated by the soothing voice of Kal Penn, though if I had my preference, would rather listen to in this. Read more »