Bloomberg has this sort of surreal article today about Deutsche Bank basically quoting a bunch of people saying “we are way way too big to fail and it is awesome.” Like:
Banking consolidation “sadly” will be “one of the many potential unintended consequences of regulation,” [co-CEO-in-waiting-whatevs Anshu] Jain said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Jan. 26. When asked about the systemic risks posed by bigger banks, Jain said that “you have the tradeoffs of too-big-to-fail on the one side and the benefits of diversification on the other.”
So on the one side, if we screw up we’ll be saved by diversification, and on the other, if we screw up really bad we’ll be saved by you. Those tradeoffs are not exactly tradeoffs for DB. Or even better:
At the end of 2010, Deutsche Bank was ranked the world’s most systemically important financial institution by Japan’s Financial Services Agency and central bank, based on estimates about the impact a failure would have on the global financial system, according to Mainichi newspaper.
“On the one hand, it made us proud, but on the other hand, of course, we’re aware of the responsibility,” [current lame duck CEO Josef] Ackermann said at an earnings press conference in February 2011 when asked about being deemed the world’s most systemically important bank.
I imagine that Japan’s Financial Services Agency was not ranking “most systemically important financial institution” with the intention of giving them a prize, but I do love that Ackermann took it that way. “Yay we were voted #1 most likely to blow up the Western financial system.” Read more »
The bad news: even if Paulson and Co. turns things around in 2012, they might not get to collect performance fees, on account of potentially still being under water due* to last year’s annus fucking horribilis. The good news: John Paulson’s employees will still get paid, because that’s just the kind of guy he is. Read more »
Remember the Paulson & Co Sino-Forest investment? Turned out to be one of the fund’s less than stellar ideas? Will get you an hour in the office hole for mentioning it? Most people affected by the trade have so far been willing to let it slide, perhaps preferring to focus their energies on bigger beefs with JP (such as why only the Platinum Level P&C Members got a check to cover their 2012 losses), and probably also chalking it up to Paulson having an unfortunate brain freeze for the majority of last year. Hugh F. Culverhouse, not so much. The former investor, who filed suit against the hedge fund today, senses something more nefarious at play, the basis for his reasoning being that he doubts Paulson could be that stupid. Read more »
I think everyone who’s ever worked at an investment bank saw at least a little something of themselves in the Journal’sfat asshole article this morning. My own feelings are mixed since, for me, investment banking was a lifestyle improvement over a previous job that left me partially paralyzed from overwork (true story! I got better). So in a sense I don’t have that much to complain about, but I did, and do, constantly and loudly and now on the internet.
Part of what sucks about banking – that I think the Journal article missed – is the frequent pointlessness of your activity: you get on a plane, go see a guy, tell him about this awesome merger or financing or whatever you’ve got planned for him, shake hands, and fly away never to see him again. And by “never” I mean “not until six months later, after he’s printed a deal away from you, when you go and do the same thing, but this time maybe you don’t shave.” You’d probably still be a fat, stressed, overworked cabbie-puncher if most of your ideas actually got executed, but you’d perhaps be less suffused with metaphysical dread. That’s how I’d feel anyway. Then, I blog now.
Anyway, a thing that I don’t know anything about, and never ever want to know anything about, so don’t tell me, is the proper price-to-book trading multiples of life vs. P&C insurance companies and whether there’s a conglomerate discount for being in both businesses. So with that as a disclaimer I found this pretty damn convincing: Read more »
When you’re hedge fund manager who not too long go scored returns of 590 percent and a personal payday of $3.5 billion in a single year, losing 50 percent while being forced to live off management fees can take a toll on the ego. You start questioning every move. You become plagued by self-doubt. You stop posing for photoshoots with your eyes closed and your collar up. You probably even remain silent during earnings calls, no matter how big your position in the company, for fear of people snickering and asking each other “Why is he still here?” or whispering “Two words: fake trees.” It’s a dark, deeply depressing time, one that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemies. Then you return 5 percent in a single month and BOOM! It is GAME ON. John Paulson, who seems to have regained his sea legs in time for a Q&A with Hartford Financial CEO Liam McGee this morning, knows what we’re talking about.
The short version (with regard to McGee’s apparent inability to give Paulson an answer as to what, exactly, he intends to do about the company’s stock slide): “What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about it, asshole? You’re fucking shit. Where did you learn your trade, you stupid fucking cunt, you idiot? Who ever told you that you could work with men? Oh, I’m gonna have your job, shithead.” The slightly longer version: Read more »
John Paulson, the billionaire money manager who’s vowed to restore his hedge fund to profitability after the worst year of his career, may have to take a cue from rival Ken Griffin. Paulson’s $28 billion firm, Paulson & Co., will need to generate a 104 percent return to recoup a 51 percent drop in one of his largest funds after wagers on a U.S. recovery went awry. Until he hits that mark, Paulson will have to forgo his 20 percent performance fee, and will collect only his 1.5 percent management fee. It has taken Griffin, the billionaire founder of Citadel LLC, three years to recover most of the 55 percent he lost for investors in 2008. “With Paulson’s assets, size and longer-term investing style, it’s going to be difficult for him to make money back,” said Vidak Radonjic, managing partner at Beryl Consulting Group LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey, which advises clients on investing in hedge funds. “He has large, concentrated stock positions and the market isn’t really rewarding those with holdings like that.” [Bloomberg]
Romney will start his tour with a breakfast at Cipriani 42nd Street at $2,500 per head. Among the 80 co-hosts on the bill are Romney’s richest donor, hedge fund billionaire John Paulson, former Goldman Sachs chairman John Whitehead, Forstmann Little chairman Julian Robertson…Then, J.P. Morgan Chase vice chairman Jimmy Lee is hosting a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria. But the bank’s rep tells us J.P. Morgan Chase chairman and former Obama ally Jamie Dimon will not be attending. Later in the evening, Steve Schwarzman, founder of Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm, is hosting a more intimate event at his Park Avenue home with CEO Tom Hill, Third Point founder Dan Loeb, former Chris Christie backer and hedge fund honcho Paul Singer and former SEC chairman Richard Breeden. [NYP]
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