Last summer, Adrian Eady, a banker with Royal Bank of Scotland Group, was nearly crushed hauling a crate of feta cheese off a forklift truck in a North London warehouse. A few months earlier, the state-controlled bank sent Mr. Eady to wear an apron and serve cappuccinos in a cafe. Before that, he was selling novelty greeting cards in a shop. Following a political uproar over a lack of bank lending to small businesses, 81%-government-owned RBS created its “Working With You” program. All RBS corporate bankers must spend at least two days a year working for a customer free of charge. “We do anything they ask,” Mr. Eady says. “If they say ‘make the tea,’ then we make the tea.”[RBS]
D.A. Davidson’s Tim Ramey enjoyed shoving his vindication, re: Herbalife, in Bill Ackman’s face—see his post-reaudit victory, pre-trip to Disneyland speech here—to end last year so much that he’s planning on another year of it. Read more »
Now that the Apollo and Metropolous & Co. have officially bought the Twinkie—in an auction that drew precisely one bid, theirs—the private equity firms have figured out how to turn around a company that other private equity firms couldn’t/ran into the ground.
First, they’re not going to rehire everyone. Second, they’re going to outsource distribution. Lastly, and most importantly, they’re going to hire Zach Galifianakis or Will Ferrell. Read more »
Earlier today, the Times reported that former Goldman Sachs employee Greg Smith– he of third place Maccabiah Games finishes and very public breakup letters fame–, along with his newly acquired agent (Paul Fedorko), have been making the rounds at various publishing houses for the last week, pitching a book CNBC’s Kate Kelly says may go for more than $1 million at auction. Read more »
Over the weekend, the LA Times reported that a group headed by Steve Cohen was among those that advanced to the second round of bidding for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mark Cuban, “veteran baseball executive” Dennis Gilbert, and former Dodgers players Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser are out; at the top of Cohen’s elimination list remain Magic Johnson and Joe Torre. Obviously, we have no idea whether or not the SAC Capital manager will emerge victorious. Either way, though, something about all this has been troubling us: namely how acquiring a baseball team figures into SC’s long-term plans. Read more »
Earlier today, we discussed the upcoming bonus season and the fact that, for those who are employed by banks, it’s looking to be something of a disappointment. Numbers are estimated to be down 20-30 percent on average from last year, with fixed-income being hit the hardest. For many, it’s cause for some preemptive JO&C’ing at the desk this morning and some curling up into the fetal position this afternoon. According to Black Swan author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, however, you drying those eyes, picking yourself up off the floor and thanking your lucky stars you’re getting anything ’cause if he were in charge? You’d get no-thing. Read more »
As you may have heard, over the weekend, Denmark introduced a tax on fat. The measure is aimed at “increasing the average life expectancy of Danes” but obviously it’ll make the country a little extra coin, too. Great for them, not so great for hedge fund manager Julian Robertson, who had to sit at home steaming over the fact that his idea had been stolen. For those who supposedly don’t remember what we’re talking about, perhaps this quote will jog your memory?
“I would love to be the Obesity Czar.” Read more »