A potential silver lining to finally being arrested Saturday in Florence, if Florian Homm is trying to look on the bright side. Read more »
Most individuals working on Wall Street are good, honest people. But, as with every industry, you will always have your bad seeds. And should you perhaps wake up one morning to find the Feds outside your door, because your best friend sold you out by recording your explicit instructions re: how to dispose of evidence you committed securities fraud, or you were (allegedly) part of a “criminal club” that met regularly to share material non-public information with each other, or you bribed people with lobsters to do your bidding for you, and prison life is not the life for you and you need to come up with a hiding place they’ll never find you, STAT, sand and a cardboard box are a good place to start. Read more »
Ben Bernanke gave another Augustinian give-us-QEn-but-not-yet* speech at Jackson Hole today and you could go read it but honestly why would you, you know what it says, which is “everything is bad, but not as bad as it could be, and we want to make it a bit better, but only once it’s gotten a bit worse.” Moving right along.
To Andrew Haldane’s speech, which is a treat! It is here and its title is “The dog and the frisbee,” so obviously he had Dealbreaker on his side right there. Haldane, the Bank of England’s financial-stability guy, basically argues that while the financial system is complex, it should be regulated simply – “As you do not fight fire with fire, you do not fight complexity with complexity” – just as a dog uses only elementary trigonometry and differential calculus to solve the complex and multivariate problem of catching a frisbee.**
Haldane’s main example of overcomplexity in regulation is risk-based capital regulation, in which the Basel accords have moved from simple leverage tests – common equity divided by total assets – to complicated tests where the numerator is made up of different tiers of capital and the denominator uses risk-weights that are largely driven by the bank’s own models of riskiness. One thing you could do is compare the performance of those measures in the recent crisis, so he did. Here is how Basel risk-based capital did:
That looks bad and also is bad, with no statistically significant difference between banks that blew up and banks that did not. This is just boring leverage: Read more »
There were also a wife, kids, and dog on board. Read more »
Hey, look, we’re down over 400 points. Think we’ll hit 1,000 or will a shirtless and face-painted Bob Pisani spark a rally? Read more »
Back in June, the lawyer for Winifred Jiau, expert network empress and accused insider trader, made a simple plea: “Put an end to this misguided prosecution,” Joanna Hendon said. “Send Ms. Jiau back to California, and to her dog.”
While the request might’ve played well with golden retriever lovers, the presiding judge didn’t care. He dragged things out another month, finding Jiau guilty over the summer and later on denying a request for acquittal or a new trial. Was Winifred the person you wanted to work with if you held an elastic view of securities laws and most certainly guilty of insider trading? Unquestionably: yes. Was she an individual who commanded sympathy, leniency or to whom you’d want to throw a bone? Those who benefited from her tips would be the first to tell you hell no.
In fact, she was bossy, she would cancel meetings at the last second, she would demand $300 gift certificates to the Cheesecake factory in one breath and a dozen Thanksgiving lobsters in the next, she would meet you for a pass off of material non-public information and tell you the shellfish you sent were Maine lobsters and she’d specifically request South African lobsters (even though she hadn’t) and then spit in your face and walk away and yes, sometimes you’d sit at your desk after she’d reamed you out over the phone for not giving her “the sugar” and fantasize about various ways you could kill her and make it look like an accident but having said all that: there’s a dog waiting for this lady and judge? She knows people who can make certain that these will be the first words you hear when you wake up and the last one’s you hear before you go to bed, for the rest of your life: Read more »
One major focus of the Feds’ insider trading cases du jour is the use of expert networks by hedge fund managers, and whether or not the information is “too” good (the government is of the opinion that it is). While a whole bunch of employees with various expert networks have been charged, one stands out as the leader in the field- Primary Global’s Winifred Jiau, who is the woman you wanted to get in good with if you were looking to (allegedly) trade on material non-public information. Jiau seems to have worked with everyone who’s been accused of insider trading (Donald Longueuil, Noah Freeman, the Goffer brothers and so on and so forth) and presumably had a waiting list for her tips. According to Assistant US Attorney David Leibowitz’s opening statement yesterday, Jiau’s information was “precise to the decimal point,” and even created her own code to discuss such info so that no one would ever catch on to what she and her clients were discussing, should their conversations be tapped.
Leibowitz said Jiau spoke in code, demanding payments for the information, which she called “sugar,” and describing her sources as “cooks” and referring to tips as “recipes.”
For example, if you’d been reading over Jiau’s shoulder on June 3, 2008, you would’ve seen the following IM and while perhaps felt a pang of hunger, been none the wiser: Read more »
Thinking about getting divorced (for a first, second or third time)? When it comes time to divide assets, which are you more willing to take your ex to court over- kids or dog? According to a new study- by the people who brought you the statistic that 87% of adulterous financial services employees cheat with colleagues- the majority of divorcing bankers could take the kids or leave them but really want that damn dog. Read more »
Once upon a time, there were two Brits named Gabriel Radzikowski and Sara Lilly living in flats in Bath. Lilly was a ‘local director’ at Barclays and Radzikowski…dabbled in various areas. At one point, Radzikowski could no longer afford to pay the rent and knowing his neighbor worked at a bank, figured he’d easily be able to secure a loan, no questions asked. Unfortunately and much to Gabe’s surprise, Lilly did not vouch for him and “use her position” to get him the money. Lacking the necessary funds the landlord required each month, Radzikowski was forced to move out of his flat and was “taken in by a local Polish couple.” And it’s while he was staying with Robert and Maria Jurczak that Gabe realized he had a choice to make. He could either a) take the bank’s rejection of his application for the loan, which probably had less to do with Ms. Lilly than it did his lack of a job in the traditional sense, in stride and move on or b) he could do what anyone else in such a position would do and say “Fuck this shit; you refuse my loan? I kidnap your dog and put him on ice, bitch.”
Radzikowski choose the latter and got to work with a plan that went something like this:
Step 1: Steal dog (a Yorkshire Terrier named Bilbo Baggins) in the middle of the night. Read more »
In September 2009, Deutsche Bank employee Victoria Huxter’s colleague, Ian Whittaker, asked her if she’d like to adopt his family’s dog, a lab named Bailey. Whittaker and his wife, an apparently irresponsible woman named Leslye, hadn’t realized having two dogs (plus a horse) would be a lot of work and wanted to get rid of one, like yesterday’s trash. Huxter accepted and immediately fell in love with the pup, who she renamed Bella, finding it “more suitable for a female.” About two seconds later, Mrs. Whittaker realized she’d made a terrible mistake in abandoning her fur baby and demanded the dog back, thinking things work that way. When the Huxter declined, Leslye called the cops, who told her she was crazy and the dog was no longer hers. Still pissed about the situation nearly two years later, the couple recently proceeded with a rationale course of action that involved hiring a pet detective, who lured Bella’s walker to a park, where he stole the dog and had a camera crew film the entire thing. Read more »