May 2010, Structured Portfolio Management founder Don Brownstein is said to “walk around [a] crowded conference room table while slapping the palm of his hand with a baseball bat, stopping behind [a trader] while stating, ‘I’ll kill you if you leave. The only way you can leave this firm is in a body bag.’” January 2012, Millenium Laboratories really cranks things up a notch re: suggestion of what fate will befall people who attempt to leave their company: Read more »
Sleeping with prostitutes is legal in France if the girls are over 18 but some warn Mr Strauss-Kahn could face charges if the case expands to cover graft or procuring. The 10 French or Belgian women to whom police traced calls to Mr Strauss-Kahn, all claim to have had paid sex with him while he was IMF chief right up to his arrest last May on charges he tried to rape a New York hotel chambermaid. But in an intriguing line of defence, Mr Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer Henri Leclerc said his client could have been “totally unaware” that the women he met in swinger sessions were prostitutes. “At these parties, people were not necessarily dressed, and I defy you to tell the difference between a naked prostitute and any other naked woman,” he said. [Telegraph]
This Europe Crap Is Throwing A Wrench In Josef Ackermann’s Plans To Be Out Of The Office Every Day By 5 This YearBy Bess Levin
Deutsche Bank said Monday that the bank’s Chief Executive Josef Ackermann won’t take over as chairman of the supervisory board when he steps down in May, and it is proposing Allianz SE financial chief Paul Achleitner for the position instead. Citing “extremely challenging” conditions on the international financial markets and in the political-regulatory environment,” Mr. Ackermann said he must focus on his tasks as CEO right now, according to a statement from the bank. This means he can’t spend time seeking the support of shareholders for his bid to be supervisory board chairman. Supervisory board candidates need the support of 25% of the shareholders to be elected. A person familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires that Mr. Ackermann didn’t have the time do the necessary lobbying and couldn’t win their backing. Another person familiar with the matter said: “It became obvious that Ackermann couldn’t secure this.” [WSJ]
In a few short weeks, many financial services employees will begin the soul-crushing, life-sucking process of studying for Level I CFA exam given in December. So you that you don’t look back and realize you wasted 4+ months of your time on earth, most of you are probably hoping to pass. And sure, that’s a good goal. Cute, even. But if you want to really make a name for yourself and not be had by a would-be lawyer, you’re going to have to do better than that. Like going into labor during the exam better. Read more »
Warren “I’m going to be the Osama bin Laden of capitalism” Buffett Extends Challenge To Goldman SachsBy Bess Levin
Last Friday, the Federal Reserve gave Goldman Sachs the greenlight to buy back the $5 billion of preferred stock Berkshire Hathaway bought when things got dicey in 2008. Though he knew the day was coming, Buffett was not looking forward to the news, as the terms of the investment were highly favorable for the Oracle of O, netting him more than $15 dollars a second. Over the weekend Buffett confirmed his displeasure and sent a message to Lloyd and Co that if they want their preferred shares back they’re gonna have to find him first, which will prove difficult, as he’s decided to take a page from from Osama bin Laden’s playbook. Read more »
Have you or your colleagues packed on some extra inches lately? Do you inject each other with hourly doses of corn syrup? Can you no longer see your dick over your stomach? Do the fat finger jokes hit a little too close to home? Great news. Read more »
The Question Isn’t ‘Is This Based On Something A Hedge Fund Manager Actually Did,’ It’s ‘Which One’?By Bess Levin
It’s no secret that hedge fund professionals are typically Wall Street’s oddest ducks, which is something I mean in the best possible way (and is probably the reason they and I have such electric chemistry). Whereas investment bankers are generally cookie cutter little drones, afraid to break from the mold, alternative asset managers—and in many cases, their employees—let it all hang out. They range from “slightly quirky” to “total whack jobs,” and their level of freak can generally be positively correlated to their funds’ returns. That’s why I’m putting it out there, with confidence, that the premise for the new Paul Rudd, Steve Carell movie, Dinner For Schmucks, is based on something that actually went down.**
Jay Roach’s newest film, Dinner for Schmucks, stars Paul Rudd as Tim, a corporate executive at a hedge fund who is invited to a dinner party with one strange caveat: Each invited guest must bring the biggest idiot they can find along with them — and the winner will earn accolades and admiration from their boss.
Goldman Sachs Forces Employees To Come Up With New And Inventive Ways To Describe Not So Great CDOs Sold To ClientsBy Bess Levin
As you may have heard, Goldman Sachs has “banned the use of profanity” in emails. Some are heralding the move as the end of Goldman, where describing the various ways in which clients are screwed (I kid the Sachsians) is part of the daily grind. And at another bank, staffed by unimaginitive fucks* whose lack of creativity is bested only by their mediocre grasp of the English language, this would be a paralyzing edict. At Goldman Sachs, it’s a mere challenge. Read more »
Make This The Follow-Up To A Serious Double Down Contest And Then Maybe We’ve Got Ourselves A ChallengeBy Bess Levin
So it being a 3.5 day weekend and all, I’m not sticking around much past 1PM but it’s been asked that I share the following, going down at a hedge fund that shall remain nameless. Will post updates until I have to leave.
10:30: Slow day on the desk…new guy is attempting 500 pushups during market hours. So far he has done 50 with 450 to go. The last ten were kind of tough. He’s not in very good shape. We are starting to take bets on when he breaks. Thinking around the 250-300 range.
Last week we mentioned that Goldman Sachs, in spite of the assumption it was immune from taking part in peasant-like drinking games, had played host to at least one confirmed icing on its premises at 200 West Street. For the uninformed, “Icing” is the new game the kids are playing these days, wherein you surprise a “bro” with a bottle of Smirnoff Ice, any time, any place and he has to get down on one knee and chug it, unless he happens to whip out his own bottle, in which case, you got owned and have to drink both. Naturally we assumed that such events were taking place on Wall Street, but at places where it wouldn’t be such a huge deal if you got caught by someone much more senior than yourself, such as Citi, where they’re practically daring their employees to pull this kind of shit. It wasn’t that we imagined Goldman Sachs had more important things to do– front-running clients is really not as difficult as people would you have you think, seriously, try it some time– but that they’d have more sophisticated drinking games to play. The same thinking went into our answer to the question, “Do you think there’ve been any icings at DE Shaw,” which meant that for only the second time ever, we were proved wrong.
Fortune has learned of icings at Florida-based investment bank Raymond James (RJF) and New York City hedge fund D.E. Shaw.