Deutsche Bank co-CEO Jürgen Fitschen, already the subject of a German tax-fraud probe, has come under further pressure after political leaders accused him of trying to influence the investigation by calling a senior German politician to protest a police raid on the bank’s headquarters last week. On Thursday, a day after the surprise search, Mr. Fitschen contacted Volker Bouffier, governor of the state of Hesse, where Deutsche Bank is based, to complain about the action. Mr. Bouffier declined to intervene, according to his spokesman. The state government has ultimate authority over the prosecutor’s office…The Deutsche Bank CEO faced criticism from senior German lawmakers on Monday who accused him of trying to undermine the judicial process. The call has left the impression that Deutsche Bank thinks it is “above the law,” said Michael Meister, a senior official in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party. “The prosecutor’s investigation must be supported,” he said. “Deutsche Bank has to send a clear signal.” Other political leaders were less polite. “A fish rots from the head down. That also applies to Deutsche Bank’s boardroom,” the Handelsblatt newspaper quoted Green party co-chief Jürgen Trittin as saying. [WSJ]
Charlie Gasparino: Rumors Government Is Planning To Nail Four On Wall Street Probably Only Rumors But Listen Up AnywayBy Bess Levin
Point: “The latest urban legend to spread on trading desks and through the executive suites on Wall Street goes something like this: coming this fall, as President Obama makes his final push for a second term, his Justice Department will finally give the public what it wants in the form of an arrest of a major Wall Street figure for his role in the financial crisis. The men at the top of this “October Surprise” list are two of the more infamous figures in the banking business: former Lehman Brothers chief executive Dick Fuld and current Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein. Using the Justice Department for political purposes is, of course, pretty sleazy.”
Counterpoint: “…But after speaking to my law enforcement sources — and you can throw people who work at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department in this category — I give low probability for this urban legend coming to fruition.”
Regardless: Read more »
Dominique Strauss-Kahn Enjoyed A Light Lunch Of Fish And White Wine After (Allegedly) Assaulting Hotel MaidBy Bess Levin
Both the defense and prosecution would like to use the meal to make their cases. Read more »
Attorney Defending Mark and Andy Madoff Offers Interesting Theory For Why Suit Against Them Should Be Thrown OutBy Bess Levin
Hey remember Mark and Andy Madoff, the spawns of Bernie whose lives were shook to the core when their father and former boss admitted to not exactly playing by the “rules” when it came to investing? Many assumed they had to have been in on the crime, given that they were the number two and three employees at the firm (though our personal conclusion was that given the photographic evidence that M&A spent 90% of their time fishing and posing, and the the himbo-esque looks on their faces) and for a while there it seemed like they were probably going to go downtown themselves. On the contrary, however, they’ve managed to keep themselves out of prison. They are currently facing a $200 million lawsuit but that’ll be probably be thrown out given the flawless logic offered by their attorney for why the boys are innocent. Read more »
A few months ago there was a tear-jerker of a story about unemployed Americans having difficulty finding new jobs. It highlighted two in particular, who’d been out of work for over a year, due to the shuttering of their company. Their names were Mark and Andy Madoff and they were having a real tough go of it lately. Nobody wanted to hire them out of fear they’d stink up the place with the smell of fish. And, you know, the taint of their former employer. It was depressing as shit, and Mark had taken to crying during interviews. Recently, Andy, along with his girlfriend Catherine Hooper, started a ‘disaster recovery firm,’ the goal of which is to help people get their affairs in order in the event of a crisis, be it natural or the kind that comes at the hands of a small dick, like losing everything to a Ponzi scheme (just a for instance!). Then there was Mark, who had all but given up asking people to keep him in mind for jobs on a trading desk or in trading technology. By this point even the fish were gently suggesting he pack it in– but the little Madoff that could would not be defeated. And finally, his persistence has been rewarded! Read more »
Irving Picard promised Sunday that he would bankrupt Andy and Mark Madoff and he was not kidding! The spawn of Satan, along with their cousin Shana and uncle Peter, have been sued for $199 million. The good news is that they’re not being accused of actually taking part in the Ponzi scheme, but only for being possibly so fucking stupid that they had no idea it was going on right under their noses. I can’t speak for Peter and Shana but in M&A’s defense? They were never there! They literally spent 4 days of every work week on a boat fishing and posing for pictures. (They do strike me as himbos, however, so it’s possible they wouldn’t have caught this thing even if they did have more regular attendance at the office.)
The complaint does not accuse the family members of participating in the Ponzi scheme — indeed, lawyers for all four have repeatedly insisted that their clients had no inkling about the fraud until Mr. Madoff confessed to his sons in December, prompting them to turn him in to the federal authorities.
Rather, the trustee’s complaint describes the relatives as “completely derelict” in carrying out their professional duties at the federally regulated brokerage firm.
This is a huge shipment so he’s going to need a couple of able bodied guys to come with and hijack the goods. For those of you trying to score some brownie points, meet in the parking lot in ten for further instructions and ski masks– van’s leaving promptly at 3.
The New York Aquarium is moving ahead with a $100 million plan to renovate its building in Coney Island and create two massive tanks for more than 30 sharks — about four times as many as now ply the aquarium’s waters.
Under the aquarium’s plan, the sharks, whose streamlined forms simultaneously scare and fascinate visitors, will have a lot more room to move. The aquarium’s single 90,000-gallon tank — where eight tiger, nurse and reef sharks now make their home — is to be replaced by two glass-walled tanks with a total capacity of 600,000 gallons.
The coked up kind? But seriously: we’re ten minutes into the Frontline documentary on the Bank of Amerillwide deal (which you should watch if you’ve got an hour in the middle of the day to spare, and who doesn’t). Andrew Ross Sorkin has just described Bank of America (pre-MER ingestion) thusly: “They’re sharks…but they’re not Wall Street sharks…it’s a different type of uh, of…of sea these people are swimming in.” Somebody help me out here.
Update: We called up Charlie Gasparino, who’s also featured in the documentary, to see if he knew what kind of shark a Bank of America shark would be. Sayeth CG: “I love Andrew Sorkin, I think he’s a great reporter, but I didn’t get the shark comment. Sharks don’t get bullied into doing one day of due diligence. Sharks don’t assume billions of dollar of losses on their books. Sharks don’t agree to outlandish executive pay.” (Chaz also told us, when asked if he had an other issues with the show, “I thought they softpedalled John Thain’s statements on Merrill’s finances over the year, and what they did to the market.”)
Page Six notes the following anecdote from an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair:
Andrew recently “lamented” to an African-American friend, “I’m unemployed, I don’t have any money, and I’m just trying to stay out of jail — my name is mud,” to which the friend replied, “Well, now you’re just like every black man in America.”
The words you’re searching for here are: so anyway. What else is a’ poppin’ for Team Flyfishing? Besides getting into slapfests outside of Chinese restaurants, Andrew’s fiancée, Catherine Hooper, seems to be keeping busy being kind of a bitch! Hoops apparently gave her betrothed a birthday card in April that read “Hope you have a fun day doing all the things people in prison wish they could do” to which Andy-boy, playing the part of the man-boy/bitch responded, “I wish I had my parents back,” (before presumably locking himself in his room and shouting “I hate you!” and “I’m never coming out!”). Cathy then hissed, “Yeah, they were a really nice idea,” and then, we’re guessing, started mentally running through a list of people she might be able to stay with after extricating herself from Ponzi Nation.* Love (complicated by massive fraud), it’s a motherfucker.
Other strained relationships are the mother-son ones between Ruth and Andy/Mark. Apparently the boys aren’t speaking to her “not because they think she was involved [they don't] but because they believe her tendency to side with [Bernie], no matter what, when they complained to her about him, enabled his dirty deeds.”
Oh, and the parents of Andrew’s daughters’ friends at Dalton are supposedly worried about letting their kids play at the Madoff residence out of fear that “assassins are crouching in vestibules.”
There’s mucho dinero to be made in this mortgage meltdown situation, but instead of jumping in your time machine, traveling back to last summer and shorting subprime, why not get creative about it? According to the Journal, anyone interested in getting rich should dive into the fish fucking business, stat. Michael Corkery reports that the Gambusia affinis, i.e. the “mosquito fish,” is making a name for itself in California, Arizona, Florida and anywhere else you might find a ton of foreclosed homes con swimming pools. Apparently the abandoned estate’s water-based recreational facilities are becoming infested by mosquitoes, and causing worry about the spread of diseases like West Nile. Instead of using humans to spray pesticides, the fish are increasingly being deployed to the areas of concern, where they eat up to 500 larvae a day. “They are the real heroes,” said Josefa Cabadad, a technician with the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District. “I’ve never seen a mosquito in a pool with mosquito fish.” Start breeding.
For Mortgages Underwater, Help Swims In [WSJ]
Destroyer of all worlds/marine life/investor capital Brian Hunter has finally touched something that didn’t turn to shit (yet…as you know, his genius needs time to percolate). The Peak Ridge Commodity Volatility Fund, which Hunter has been advising since last year, gained 6 percent last month and 103 percent since it was started in November. The success of the fund probably has a lot to do with the fact that Peak Ridge brought Hunter on to do what he does best, i.e. suggest the riskiest trades possible, but retains complete control over trading, operations, and BH’s personal favorite, risk management. Hunter has absolutely no decision making authority, though being allowed to speak is apparently a step up from his initial role of potted plant, a pity gig he’s rumored to have scored after Solengo lost all its money over legal fees incurred trying to shut down some pissant blog. Early entries are being accepted now on the exact date Hunter blows the ass out of P. Ridge.
Brian Hunter Helps Deliver 49% Return After Demise of Amaranth [Bloomberg]