Why Should A Swiss Central Banker’s Wife Get Punished For Being Able To Navigate The FX Market, Unlike *Someone* She Knows?By Bess Levin
As you may have heard, Phillip Hildebrand, the President of the Swiss National Bank, is potentially in a bit of hot water today, on account of some trades made by his wife, Kashya. Apparently the Mrs. made three transactions last year that are being examined, particularly one that “appeared to benefit in part from the central bank’s aggressive move last September to control the rise of the Swiss franc.”
Late Tuesday, Ms. Hildebrand told Swiss television that in August she “was interested in buying dollars because the currency was at a record low, and in fact almost ridiculously cheap.” Ms. Hildebrand added that, having worked in the financial sector between 1984 and 1999, she was “always watching the markets” and “felt confident making this transaction.” She said she made a dollar purchase Aug. 15, when the U.S. currency was close to a record low against the Swiss franc. Two days later, on Aug. 17, the SNB decided to swamp the Swiss franc money market with liquidity, which prompted the franc to weaken. Then on Sept. 6, the SNB introduced a minimum exchange rate of 1.20 francs against the euro, an aggressive move that caused the dollar to gain 13% against the Swiss currency within a week.
According to an inquiry by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the SNB’s auditors, Ms. Hildebrand, who has run a Zurich art gallery since 2001, sold francs and bought about $504,000. Ms. Hildebrand told Swiss television Tuesday that about 70% to 80% of all transactions at her art gallery are conducted in dollars and she therefore wanted to seize on the buying opportunity. The SNB’s general counsel was informed about the transaction around 12 hours later and gave his approval, she added. According to emails gathered during the PWC probe, Mr. Hildebrand learned of the transaction a day after it was conducted.
According to the Journal, Mr. Hildebrand “immediately” got on the horn with his client adviser at Bank Sarasin & Co, where the trades were made, and ordered that in the future, “currency transactions must be made only if he himself ordered them, or if he confirmed such an order.” Which, sure, probably seems like a good idea, in light of Hildebrand’s gig and the desire to not look like he was front-running Switzlerland. Having said that, apparently it was in the couple’s best interest to have Kashya overseeing their household finances. While the two were both hedge fund employees back in the day at Moore Capital (where they met in the ’90s), apparently one of them’s still got it, and one of them don’t. Read more »
Yes, technically elected officials did it but it wouldn’t have happened without said hedge fund managers, who made the case over lunch. Read more »
Have you been suspecting that your husband or wife may have involved him or herself in some insider trading? Are you worried that the Feds may know too? While there’s not much you can do short of getting out of town or finding a safe house and laying low, you can arm yourself with the knowledge of what’s in store and mentally prepare accordingly. Read more »
Howard would come home so stressed out that he’d go ballistic about tricycles in the driveway and toys on the floor, write Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson in “Spousonomics,” a geeky guide to finding marital bliss through economics. His tantrums had to go, as Howard always recognized after he calmed down. So he and his wife Jen, a fellow lawyer, sought ways to check his anger. Counting to 20 didn’t work. Nor did deep breathing. Desperate, they created a game in which Jen called out “Red Flag” whenever he looked ready to explode. “If Howard went three days without a red flag, she’d have sex with him,” the authors write. As puerile as that sounds, the game worked, restoring peace to their home and rekindling their sex life: A classic economic tradeoff, to hear Szuchman and Anderson tell it. Or was it a coup for a manipulative male? [Bloomberg]
Are you looking for love? A wife? A maid you can have sex with? Joseph Weiner is here to help! It’s been fourteen years since the 73 year-old former investment banker and Wharton grad started Hand-in-Hand, a “matchmaking agency” which asks male customers to fork over $2,000 and in exchange offers a “supervised courtship” with a young Eastern European lady of their choice. Has the financial crisis hurt H-in-H’s bottom line? On the contrary- according to Joe (a New Yorker living in London where he manages the “multinational operation”), it’s been great for business. Read more »
Donald Trump Makes His Wife Watch Him Golf At 8AM On Sundays, She Returns The Favor With Her “Imaginative” CookingBy Bess Levin
“Usually I get to the course at 8 in the morning. I will play a round, which will take three to three and a half hours. I will hopefully shoot in the low 70s. Sometimes Melania and Barron will come up to the club and they watch me beat people at golf…I get home at 6 or 7 or 8. I have dinner with Melania and Barron. She’s a good cook. She has a lot of imagination. She makes spaghetti and meat sauce. She makes chef’s salads. She loves salads. Sometimes she makes meatloaf.”
So you’re thinking of running a Ponzi scheme are you? Or perhaps a classic pump and dump? Before you dive right in and start stealing people’s money, there’s probably one thing you haven’t thought of, and it’s the key to your success– adding your wife as a member of the team. I know what you’re thinking– women, not good with numbers and stuff and definitely not good at crime. And that’s exactly the point: no one will ever see them coming. Won’t suspect a thing. The experts are backing me up on this one. Apparently it’s become something of a trend (because it’s genius). Reuters’ Matt Goldstein reports:
“The beauty of these husband and wife cases is that they take advantage of the basic sexism of Wall Street, which is that these women aren’t really smart enough to do this,” said Bill Singer, a securities attorney, who has defended a number of married couples in his day. “But that just isn’t true.”
Regulators, defense lawyers and criminologists suggest the uptick in securities fraud crimes by couples who love to scam may simply reflect the fact that more women work in Wall Street jobs where they get better access to confidential market-moving information. Or it may reflect the natural ability of married couples to better win the confidence of potential victims than a male swindler acting alone or with other men. “It is pretty easy to look at a guy and be suspicious of him for being too slick,” said Michael Benson, a professor at the University of Cincinnati School of Criminal Justice. “But if a guy has his wife involved, for some people I can imagine that would be very reassuring.”
It also works in the event you’re not so much slick but a bit rough around the edges. Not so refined. Have a goatee. Allow the words “We’re not out there pounding 1,000 shares up Uncle Joe’s ass” to exit your mouth while conversing with a reporter. The mere presence a woman can fix all that, and keep your scam going a lot longer than you’d be able to doing it alone, or with another dude. Jeff and Janette Stone (who sometimes goes by the name “Dillerstone) know what we’re talking about. Read more »