Investigations

Earlier today, it was reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission has been “investigating whether bond fund manager Pimco inflated the returns of its Total Return Exchange-Traded Fund run by founder Bill Gross.” The probe is said to have sped up in recent weeks but has been going on for “at least a year.” Which means that it was happening when Mohamed El-Erian announced he was leaving the firm. Which means that it’s possible not all but some of Bill Gross’s behavior surrounding El-Erian’s departure could be attributed to stress related to the look-see by the SEC, a theory we decided to explore further. Our findings:

* Enforcing total silence on the trading floor with the expectation that Pimco employees will neither speak to, look at, or breathe in his general direction: Gross has long been known to run the trading floor at Pimco with a “Before you even think to open your mouth, shut the fuck up” policy. This was not a new development. Survey says: can’t be blamed on the investigation. Read more »

Such as:

1. Is it standard practice at Credit Suisse to tell traders at other banks, “Hey, we might buy this stock”? Because Zoe Henderson has worked in a lot of offices and people do that all the time.

Credit Suisse has accused the trader, Zoe Henderson, of improperly sharing client communications with her husband, a London-based trader at a rival bank, via electronic chat rooms, the people said…At Credit Suisse, the examination of chat-room records revealed that Ms. Henderson, who has been at the bank since 2004, on multiple occasions during the past several years shared Credit Suisse communications with her husband, Toby Henderson, a London-based equities trader at Royal Bank of Canada, according to the people familiar with the probe. Some of the communications described Credit Suisse clients’ interest in buying or selling stocks, price ranges of upcoming public offerings, or updates on corporate mergers or other deals, the people said…Ms. Henderson has told Credit Suisse lawyers that it was normal practice for traders other than her to send messages indicating interest in certain stocks to traders at rival banks, and that the practice didn’t hurt clients, according to a person familiar with the probe.

2. Why were Credit Suisse traders (allegedly!) making viewings of adult videos a group activity?

2a. …in the office? Read more »

One of the more unglamorous aspects of being an adult with a job outside the home is the matter of commuting. Whether you’re driving, taking the subway, or being chauffeured, the entire thing is a grind, a time-suck, a nuisance, and an opportunity to catch whatever the breeding grounds for bacteria violating your personal space are spreading, to say nothing of the fact that depending on how far you live from the office, the whole thing can cost a nice chunk of change, money that could be better spent on just about anything.

BlackRock exec Jonathan Burrows knew the evils of the daily commute all too well. He wanted to live outside of London, in East Sussex, but he still had to show his face around the office Monday through Friday, which meant spending an hour on the train each way. He couldn’t get rid of the 2+ hour slog, or the commoners with whom he had to interact en route, but he should, he told himself one day, be able to cut the cost. AND CUT COSTS HE DID. Read more »

Joe Landes and Bobby de Groot know what we’re talking about. Read more »

Deutsche Bank has concluded co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain is clean after an internal investigation into the role of the bank into the manipulation of global interest rates, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported. Citing supervisory board sources, the paper reported that the internal probe had cleared Jain of involvement in the Libor scandal after scrutinizing bank documents and interviewing hundreds of Deutsche Bank employees. [Reuters]

In its latest corporate confession, the nation’s biggest bank disclosed that it’s facing more than a dozen civil and criminal investigations into its virtually every aspect of its business. Beyond the infamous “London Whale” debacle, the bank is also being investigated over mortgage-bond sales, improper foreclosure practices, interest-rate rigging and power market manipulation, according to JPMorgan’s latest quarterly filing with regulators. Although the bank didn’t reveal any new investigations, taken together they underscore the multitude of legal and regulatory challenges confronting JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon. Indeed, earlier this month JPMorgan took the unusual step of disclosing that it had set aside a whopping $23 billion to tackle potential legal problems…Despite the wide-ranging issues, JPMorgan officials believe the bank is finally making headway on its raft of legal and regulatory woes after years of wrangling, according to sources. [NYP]

Michael Coyne is gonna take off now. Read more »