Waxing nostalgic for the dearly departed brokerage firm? Don’t have any connection to the place or sentimental feelings for it whatsoever but in need of a new wardrobe? You’re in luck. An online auction of MF Global “memorabilia” is being held through Wednesday and all shit must go! Read more »
As previously mentioned, if one were inclined to relive the fall of Lehman Brothers, one could do so via the bankruptcy documents that were recently made available online. There you’ll find, among other things, countless examples of what has been said so many times since September 15, 2008, which is that it’s amazing how delusional those at the very top were, vis-à-vis the firm’s solvency/what people thought of it/everything. Also worth marveling at? The fact that Lehman lasted as long as it did with what appear to be barely literate troglodytes running the place. Read more »
FOMC Minutes Reveal Little Known Long Time Fed Chair Tradition Of Pulling A Tiny Prank On Your SuccessorBy Bess Levin
As you may have heard, the Federal Reserve is now releasing transcripts of its FOMC meetings, in an effort to be open and honest with the public about what it is they do all day. Out this morning are the minutes from 2006′s get-togethers and one thing that stands out is how much fun these guys are having without us! In fact, they spent most of 2006 in stitches, as evidenced by the amount of material The Economist was able to compile under “comments from the Federal Open Market Committee meetings which resulted in laughter.” They’ve got their beard jokes (Mr. Poole: “Okay. Mr. Chairman, it is a great delight to see a 200 percent increase in the number of beards around this table. [Laughter]“), their penis innuendos (Chairman Bernanke: “Still pretty large. [Laughter]“), and their deep nerd humor (“Again, within the normal errors of Okun’s law—despite its name “law,” it’s a pretty loose empirical relationship [laughter]“). But the biggest laugh riot which still holds up today and unquestionably has Alan Greenspan pissing his pants in laughter as he reads it at home? Read more »
She told clients in London. She also typed up a note. She even emailed it to herself. But she didn’t send it to anyone else, because after seeing how she’d moved markets with her Citi call and the magnificence of her influence, the idea of being responsible for putting Bear out of business made her hesitate. Read more »
Yesterday during Lloyd Blankfein’s testimony at the Raj Rajaratnam insider trading trial, Blankfein noted that, professionally, he prefers using voicemail to email. This is not a Lloyd quirk but something of an institutionalized “thing” at Goldman, where management has, for years now, been known to fill up employees phones with messages, rather than typing them out. The messages can range from morale boosters (LB left one for the staff last April around the time of the SEC investigation into ABACUS), to administrative and everything in between. For example, there was the time Hank Paulson left a firm-wide message, telling the staff he’d said some stuff he didn’t mean.
Mr. Blankfein’s predecessor as chief executive, Henry M. Paulson Jr., was also a fan of the spoken word. Voice mail was his preferred method of communication and in 2002 he famously used voice mail staffwide to apologize for his “80-20″ comment, when he remarked that 20 percent of the staff add 80 percent of the value. “It was glib and totally insensitive response, which is totally at odds with the way I think about the people here,” he told employees in a voice mail.
If that sounds awkward, it doesn’t really compare to the message he left for Jon Corzine one night not too long after pushing him out, telling him “it’s not you it’s me,” in an attempt to bury the hatchet, footage of which we’ve been able to obtain. Read more »
Say what you will about 70 Pine Street– the headquarters of AIG, the most majestic insurance company/hedge fund in all the land, but we’ve all had some good times there, whether directly or as the indirect beneficiaries of stuff that went down. It’s incredibly emotional even just to think about the fact that the company is moving out of the building but in times of great sadness like these, we must put on a brave face, celebrate, and pay homage. To that end, management is throwing a little party next week to mark the end of the era. Refreshments– presumably alcoholic in nature, as is fitting– will be served and while the invite doesn’t say, we’re just going to assume that reenactments of the “best of” moments will take place. Such as:
- The day Hank Greenberg signed off on AIG-FP and Joe Casanno saying by calling him “one of the greats”
- The earnings conference call in May of 2008 when they announced they were raising capital AND raising their dividend
- The time Goldman Sachs sent two dudes over in the middle of the night to shove Ed Liddy’s head in a toilet while the following dialogue took place:
GS Thug: Where’s the money, Liddy? Where’s the fucking money, shithead?
Liddy: It’s uh… uh… it’s down there somewhere, let me take another look. Read more »
As a tribute to Dennis, let’s all share our favorite moments over the last few years. I’ll start. Read more »
“A metal sign — this one commemorating the opening of the London headquarters in 2004 by Gordon Brown, who was the chancellor of the exchequer at the time — was expected to bring up to £1,500. But it sold for £28,750 ($45,466) to another anonymous bidder on the telephone. Also for sale was a sign with Lehman Brothers’ mission statement. It read, “We are one firm defined by our unwavering commitment to our clients, our shareholders and each other.” That, together with another Lehman sign, sold for £13,750, or $21,744.”
When Washington Mutual went down for the dirt nap, we didn’t just lose a savings bank holding company, we lost something so much bigger. We lost a group of people who were really good a changing the lyrics to well-known songs for sport and laughs. And not just any songs, but the classics, such as Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” Thanks to the today’s hearing on the hill, this one is saved in perpetuity. It was first performed at WaMu’s annual “President’s Club Awards Dinner” in 2006, an event attended by Magic Johnson, who was lucky enough to count himself among the speakers that night.
Distressed debt investor Lynn Tilton recently participated in a podcast for NPR. Early in the interview she was asked “What are you wearing?” to which the Patriarch Partners founder responded, “A Cavalli top, a Versace belt, a Gucci skirt and Prada boots– 4 inches. I need to look sufficiently fierce to make sure I garner the respect I deserve,” she explained. Sure, makes sense, and is in fact the tactic used by many of Wall Streets most esteemed investors, though they all like to put their own spin on it (Carl Icahn wears a cat o’ nine tails as a belt, while Julian Robertson used to take all meetings wearing a full Dominatrix Nurse Costume). Later on, when discussing a tassel company she owns, she said her inspiration for a line of “Tassel Me” belts came from “fond memories of what I had once done with tassels.” Some of you may know what she’s talking about! For those not lucky enough to be a Christmas card-receiving client of Lynn’s when she was a salesgirl at AMROC, circa 1989, let’s get you up to speed. Read more »