Tags: Bill Gross, half erotic, letters, PIMCO, sneezing, sooooo good, the stuff people stick up their nose these days
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 »
Tags: advice, Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan, letters, listeners, tin ears
JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, had a “tin ear” when dealing with regulators before settling probes into mortgage lapses and trading losses, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said. “Our response generally was, ‘We know what we’re doing,’” Dimon wrote today in a letter to the New York-based bank’s investors. “Well, we should have done more self-examination. We need to be better listeners.” [...] The bank missed signals when rivals faced scrutiny and must “do a better job at examining critiques of others so we can learn from other people’s mistakes, too,” he said. [Bloomberg]
Tags: Dan Loeb, hedge fund managers, I got a lot of problems with you people-- and now you're gonna hear about them, letters, Sotheby's, Third Point
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 »
Tags: Dan Loeb, extra points awarded for not just writing 'Blue Hill Farm', letters, Sotheby's, Third Point
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 »
Tags: Bailouts, Darryl Layne Woods, Florida, Fort Myers, letters, Mainstreet Bank, specific and quantitative responses, waterfront condos
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 »
Tags: Barclays, Hugh Skip McGee, letters, pep rallies, pom-poms, wigs
Back in May, Barclays named longtime Lehaman Brothers-turned-Barclays employee Hugh “Skip” McGee III Chief Executive Officer of Barclays Americas. Following last summer’s revelations that the bank had been engaging in interest rate manipulation, the resignations of chairman Marcus Agius, CEO Bob Diamond, and COO Jerry del Missier, and the general tarnishing of the Barclays name, the appointment came with the obvious mandate to “improve relations with U.S. regulators,” at a time when the Fed is “preparing to make foreign banks meet higher capital standards” and BARC is writing checks for $488 million to settle charges of energy market manipulation. This, Bloomberg writes today in a profile of HSM3, makes him “a noteworthy choice” as peacemaker. Colleagues “don’t expect contrition or retreat” from the banker (he’s already told the Fed its proposed rules are “not sufficiently nuanced,” “inappropriate,” and “unnecessary”) and, if anything, think he’ll be “an advocate for robust pay and freer capital.”
How do these people know they can count on McGee to 1) get them paid, optics be damned and 2) not roll over and take it from U.S. regulators in an attempt to prove that Barclays is a changed bank? Ol’ Skippy secured their votes four years ago, when he penned his opus to his kid’s school, a sagging institution employing a “gay female coach” and even worse, a history teacher with the audacity to say “hurtful things about bankers” in the presence of his child, not to mention, “humiliating” a group of boys by refusing to allow them to dress in drag for a pep rally (“The Incident”), all clear indications of the fact that the place was going to hell in a handbag. Read more »
Tags: letters, Maurice Taylor, Monsieur Montebourg, Titan
It’s not exactly Hemingway, or even Dan Loeb, but Maurice Taylor, CEO of tire manufacturer Titan, may have achieved a diplomatic incident with his very undiplomatic letter to France’s industry minister.
In his best ugly American, Taylor pulls no punches in disrespectfully declining Monsieur Montebourg’s request that Titan look into buying a tire factory in northern France. The highlights: Read more »