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 »
In her fascinating 1999 biography of J.P. Morgan,”Morgan: American Financier,” Jean Strouse writes, “He could, he said, do a year’s work in nine months but not in twelve.” Morgan would keep a workaholic’s schedule while in New York but would break for frequent trips to Europe, flopping around its spas to ward off depression and his hypochondriac fears of ill-health. He saw nothing macho about refusing holidays. The current crop of Wall Street CEOs might benefit from a similarly restorative schedule. If Goldman Sachs’s Lloyd Blankfein were to hit Positano and J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon to take the waters in Baden-Baden from May to September, it may not help their image. But following Morgan’s example, it might be better for banks’ general health if their executives didn’t always feel they are in permanent crisis mode. [WSJ]
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 »
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 »
Over the weekend, the UBS board appointed Sergio Ermotti interim CEO, following Oswald Gruebel’s resignation. This was a good start, but not enough, according to Ethos Foundation head Dominique Biedermann, who only owns a 0.1% stake in UBS but feels strongly his opinions are good ones and should be heard. First off, Biedermann wants Chairman Kaspar Villiger and I-bank chief Carsten Kengeter canned. Then, he wants UBS to get rid of the investment bank. As for CEO candidates? While the board has apparently been sitting around with its thumbs up its ass, Biedermann went out and found the perfect guy for the job, who may or may not be his brother-in-law and/or just a guy he owes a favor. Read more »
The answer to BofA's problems?
Earlier today on CBNC, Jim Cramer pitched an idea that he thinks could end Bank of America’s problems: beg a billionaire to vouch for you. Just like Goldman Sachs got Warren Buffett and Citi has Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Bank of America needs someone to get out there and say to the markets, “It’s okay, these guys are cool.” Personally, Cramer likes the idea of Carlos Slim, telling his colleagues “You know we forget he’s the world’s richest man…if the guy wants to make a statement that says America is the place to invest, hey, Bank of America…would that not be an interesting match?” Having said that, Slim may not be into the idea and backups should be considered. The following represents a very rough short list of people, whether they be billionaires or individuals who simply inspire confidence either through charm or fear with whom we think Brian Moynihan should consider taking a lunch. Read more »
“Philosophy, sociology and liberal arts agendas will no longer suffice.” Read more »
Joel Stein is a reporter for Time magazine writing his first book. It’s about “learning, at 39, how to finally become a man.” In addition to “the typical red state stuff” (4 days of basic training in the army; fight Randy Couture from the UFC; hunt; do a shift as a fireman; fix a house; work in the pit crew at a car race), there is a chapter about Wall Street. That’s where you come in. Read more »
As you may have heard, Republicans want to get rid of several housing programs, including the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the Home Affordable Modification Program. Representative Barney Frank does not want them eliminated but understands the other party has issues with federal spending and has therefore proposed a compromise for where the money can come from. Read more »
“Longer-term, AIG shouldn’t exist,” Golub said in an interview airing today on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop with Betty Liu.” [Bloomberg]