Alexandra & James, the Lebenthal’s family wealth advisory business, continues to recommend that its clients buy munis. There are some cities and states which the firm avoids, but Lebenthal continues to recommend double-A and triple-A bonds. Investors should not sell, she added, regardless of Whitney’s warnings.”I don’t dispute her knowledge of the investment banks, but she is not a municipal bond expert,” Lebenthal said. “I would put any muni analyst in a room with her — on TV, outside in the school yard — and see who comes out ahead.” [Reuters via BI]
As you may have heard, Meredith Whitney has lately been saying that we’re going to be looking at the scariest environment imaginable when as many as 50 to 100 cities and other municipal issuers will supposedly default on their debt this year. Charlie Gasparino, however, is suspect. No one he knows has seen a copy of Whitney’s report (entitled “State Budgets: The Day of Reckoning”) and until he gets a peak and can evaluate it, Chaz doesn’t think we should be buying what this broad is selling. Read more »
First, though, a story.
One of the common refrains you hear from the critics of Wall Street is that financial services employees don’t build anything or make anything. To them, it means you don’t do anything for society. We know that’s not true but because one can’t reach out and touch your product, they like to say you earn a living by moving money around without ever creating anything real. The same can be said for my line of work. What do I do? I put words out there but it’s not like you can hold them in your hands or see someone walking down the street carrying them. And on some days, you start to wonder if the haters are right. You start to reevaluate. You question things. You wonder if you should quit and become a bricklayer or a shepherd.
Then a moment comes along, like one did today. Wherein you read a story about an employee of a noted analyst dressing up as the alter ego you conceived for her a couple years back on a lark and then proceeded to fill out, giving her all kinds of storylines and accoutrements like a spreader and truss bar and testicle clamps, which you suggested she used on the heads of various banks and it all becomes clear– you can see it before your very eyes– your undeniable impact on the world. Read more »
The other Swiss bank apparently did some bloodletting today and may have plans for more in the future. Read more »
James Gorman Promises Morgan Stanley Employees They Get To Keep Their Jobs For At Least Another 10 WeeksBy Bess Levin
As you may have heard, Morgan Stanley didn’t have the “best” third quarter. Inside the bank employees have been girding their loins for what that will mean for bonuses and in some cases, what it will mean for their jobs, period. At the same time, Meredith Whitney has been on tour saying that everyone is getting fired (she ball parks it at 80,000 “just in the US”). But these fears are apparently unfounded, according to CEO James Gorman, who shared some great news with the group earlier this week. Read more »
Don’t want to jump to any conclusions here, only asking because that seems to be the case with today’s essay entitled “Whitney Falters in Trying to Repeat Success of Citigroup Call.” Read more »
“When was the last time I wore my executioner’s mask on CNBC,” Meredith Whitney asked several of her employees this morning, sitting around a conference table at the MW Advisory Group’s offices in midtown. “It’s been a really long time,” “Oh gosh I don’t know,” “I can’t even remember,” her minions all chimed in at the same time. “What about my ball gag? Surely it hasn’t been so long since I brought that on, no?” she asked, even though she already knew the answer. “My spreader? The testicles clamps? THE TRUSS BAR?” she shouted, running through her list of go-to accoutrements. The minions shook their heads, not wanting to make eye contact, or tell the boss she’d gone soft.
“Ms. Whitney,” a voice on the intercom interrupted. “I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I see where you’re going with this and I just got an email from a producer at CNBC saying not to bring any gear, on the off chance you were planning something.
“Well, shit,” the Dollar Dom said dejectedly. “How are people supposed to know to fear me!?” Then, after composing herself: “Fine. That’s fine,” to no one in particular but more as a pep talk to herself. “I can bring the pain without it.” Read more »
* A grand opening that involve waitresses toting giant trays of ice cream, batons, “dancers sporting vermilion fright wigs parading on stilts,” white balloons embossed with the legend JOIN THE REVOLUTION!
* A pooch-friendly environment
* A disco-themed lobby
* A founder who lives in an “Italianate mansion in New Jersey”
* The Meredith Whitney stamp of approval
Vernon Hill knows. And he’s got just the place for you. Read more »
Charlie Gasparino is apparently going to reveal the winning answer shortly but for those of you whose offices don’t have the TV’s turned to FBN, let’s take some stabs at it. Historically, Meredith Whitney has been the analyst with whom the bank has had the most beef, so she should be the first name that comes to mind. We can confidently cross her name off the list, though, ’cause they don’t have the balls. I suppose it could be Dick Bové but are they really looking for another tear-streamed freak-out? Probably not. So, who then? Mayo? Some bucket shop pissant you’ve never heard of so C can feel like a big man without having a certain dominatrix shove a shiv up their asses?