Sheila Bair, who served as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp during the crisis and its aftermath, levelled fresh attacks at Mr Geithner, the Obama administration, fellow financial regulators and bankers such as Vikram Pandit, Citi’s chief executive, in a new book that has laid bare policy disagreements of the past few years…Ms Bair criticises Mr Pandit for a lack of commercial banking experience and says she tried to force him out. Ms Bair was “pushing hard” for Jerry Grundhofer, former chief executive of US Bancorp, to replace Mr Pandit. Citi’s board “could have done so much better than Pandit,”  Ms Bair wrote…Taxpayers were unnecessarily put at risk and Citi, despite its weakness at the time, was allowed to avert nationalisation, a forced reorganisation or meaningful restrictions on its activities, Ms Bair alleges. “The public justifiably wanted retribution. Citi should have been led to the pillory,” Ms Bair writes. [FT via Heidi Moore]

“For most traders, we don’t really care that much how they’re going to fix the economy and how they’re going to fix the whole situation [in Europe]…Personally, I have been dreaming of this moment for three years. And I have a confession to make- I go to bed every night and I dream of another recession. I dream of another moment like this. Why? People don’t really seem to remember but the 30′s depression wasn’t just about the market crash. There were some people who were prepared to make money from that crash…And anyone can do that. It isn’t just for some people in the elite. Anyone can make money. When the market crashes, when the Euro and the stock markets crash…if you know what to do…if you have the right plan set up, you can make a lot of money off of this. For example, hedging strategies is one.” Read more »

Trying not to get carried away here, or sound boastful, or crazy, but this idea has a whiff of genius to it; I have a feeling you’re really going to like it. Had I proposed it to you a couple of weeks ago, or even around 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, you would have laughed in my face, but right now it feels like irresistible, beautiful destiny, and you’re totally going to want to see it for yourself. The Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills are going to play in the Super Bowl…Lions. Bills. XLVI. [WSJ]

  • 08 Apr 2011 at 3:43 PM

Bernie Madoff Has A Dream

The Legitimate Years, Part 2. Read more »


Derek Peterson spent nearly a decade working as an investment banker, most recently at Morgan Stanely. Peterson “always wanted to take a company public” but never found the right one. Then one day it hit him, like the sort of epiphany one gets when they’re really, really stoned– he would get into the business of getting people high. “The few dispensaries in my neighborhood — I started talking to them and found out they were doing $10 million to $14 million in business a year,” Peterson said. “I just started to see the economics.” Read more »

  • 14 Jan 2011 at 9:30 AM

Vikram Pandit’s Birthday Will Be One For The Books

For those of you who failed to mark it down on your calendars, please be advised that today is Vikram Pandit’s birthday (his 54th to be exact). Normally we’d tell you to drop what you’re doing and pick up something for him A-SAP but this year we’d advise you to go the no presents route. Not because Vickles is one of those faux modest jerks who says “no gifts, just your company” while not really meaning it but because we can say with absolute certainty that you will not top the gift to end all gifts Vikula is already poised to receive. Dick Parsons, if you’ll do the honors. Read more »

Until early September of this year, Solomon Lederer rode the B train from his apartment in Brooklyn up to Morgan Stanley’s offices in midtown without interacting with his fellow commuters. But he wanted to. Underneath his blue shirt and black pants beat the heart of a guy with a dream. Namely, to “make the commute more interesting and productive.” His idea was to link up riders who needed favors with other riders willing to perform them (for example, Lederer needed someone to help him with “a fun little script-writing project” and in exchange offered anything from dog watching, closet organizing; a woman needed her soiled guinea pig cages cleaned, and in return she was offering to do anything “within reason and the confines of legality”). Mostly though, he was just about the people connection. Mixing things up. That kind of stuff. So he printed up some flyers, stuffed them in his man satchel and set out to do just that. Read more »