letters

Come people: wake up! Read more »

…per the instructions enclosed in a letter sent out by CEO Richard Handler and Chairman Brian Friedman. The short version: Treat junior level employees like they are humans and not life-sized pieces of garbage. The longer version: Read more »

Bill Gross’s Investment Outlook for May is called “Achoo!” and begins like this:

There’s nothing like a good sneeze; maybe a hot shower or an ice cream sandwich, but no – nothing else even comes close. A sneeze is, to be candid, sort of half erotic, a release of pressure that feels oh so good either before or just after the Achoo! The air, along with 100,000 germs, comes shooting out of your nose faster than a race car at the Indy 500. It feels sooooo good that people used to sneeze on purpose. They’d use snuff and stick it up their nose; the tobacco high and the resultant nasal explosion being the fashion of the times. Healthier than some of the stuff people stick up their nose these days I suppose, but then that’s a generational thing. My generation is closer to the snuff than that other stuff.

For those who only heard of–or began paying attention to– Gross after his series of outbursts following the departure of his CEO and co-CIO Mohammed El-Erian, this latest treatise on sneezing may read like an alarm bell. A signal to everyone that the wheels, which began coming off after Gross called Reuters to complain about an unflattering Wall Street Journal article he insisted was written by El-Erian and not the reporters whose bylines it carried, have really and truly come off.

And to the naked eye, yes, this does seem like the sort of thing that would, at the very least, cause some top lieutenants to walk into Gross’s office, shut the door, and ask gently, “How are you feeling today, Bill? You doing okay?”

Those who know Gross, however, know better. Read more »

  • 04 Apr 2014 at 2:20 PM

Dan Loeb Only Has Two Problems With Sotheby’s

Ahead of the company’s annual meeting on May 6, he would like to remind shareholders what those two problems are: 1. He (still) thinks management sucks and 2. In Loeb’s opinion, Team Sotheby’s knows dick about selling art. Read more »

In person, the FT reports, he’s a sweetheart. Read more »

  • 02 Oct 2013 at 3:28 PM

Dan Loeb Pens His Dan Loeb-iest Letter Yet

As many of you well know, hedge fund manager Dan Loeb is famous for telling people how he really feels, occasionally via Bloomberg header but most often by good old-fashioned letter. Typically, the people on the receiving end of Loeb’s thoughts comprise the management of the companies his firm Third Point has amassed a stake in, and is attempting to oust. Over the years, CEOs and board members from Yahoo! to Sony to Nabi Biopharmaceuticals have received their own personalized missives, all of which have been classic Loeb: that potent, poetic blend of sarcasm, self-regard, belittling attacks on competence and a lengthy list of prescriptions for change. Yesterday, he added a new piece to the canon.

Let’s rewind for a moment.

A few months back, Loeb bought some shares in a company that he knows very well, auction house Sotheby’s, where he sold a large egg not too long ago. Given his long relationship with the company, Loeb thought he’d let that little bombshell sink in for a while, in hopes that the ignorami running Sotheby’s into the ground would come to their senses. Sadly, Team Sotheby’s, led by Chairman and CEO William Ruprecht, did not, and that left Loeb with no choice but to pick up his pen and get down to business. The result is a contemporary masterpiece. Read more »

Yesterday afternoon, former Mainstreet Bank chairman Darryl Lane Woods pleaded guilty to criminal charges stemming from misuse of TARP funds. According to prosecutors, Woods’ crime was two-fold. Part one involved applying for bailout money in November 2008, and then using the $1 million his bank received to purchase a $381,000 vacation home in Ft. Myers, Florida. Part two was responding to a February 2009 inquiry from Sigtarp head Neil Barofsky, who wanted a detailed account of what Mainstreet had done with the their cash with this: Read more »