Just you, PV, a friend you deem worthy to tag along and the open water. You can talk about life, fish, and what banking was like in the fifties. Does that sound like something you’d be interested in? Would you go so far as to call it a dream of yours? Read more »
1. What does he bench?
2. Would it have killed the photographer to get a shot of him wailing on his pecs?
3. Does that polo wick sweat?
4. How does he find the motivation on the days working out is the last thing he wants to do?
5. Will there be a follow-up story and series of photos featuring him going head to head with James D. Robinson III (far left), the former chairman of American Express who “can leg-press 900 pounds, leaving fellow gym members in awe.” (“I wanted to do 1,000, but they wouldn’t let me,” Robinson told the Times.) Read more »
I guess this is a thing? Today is the last day to submit comments on the Volcker Rule so hurry!* No less than Paul Volcker himself was roused from 25 years of slumber to submit his own comment, and while he was up he laid a gleeful smackdown on European governments. You may recall that some clients had some concerns about the Volcker Rule reducing liquidity, with some of those concerns being less sympathetic than others, and foreign sovereigns were among the noisiest complainers. Volcker is having exactly none of it:
There is a certain irony in what I read. In Europe, there are plans to introduce a financial transaction tax, justified in part by officials because it puts “sand in the wheels” of overly liquid, speculation-prone securities markets. … How often have we heard complaints by European governments about speculative trading in their securities, particularly when markets are under pressure?
So, ha, fair. There are other comments ranging from sort of what you’d expect from a guy calling himself Anonymous (“When are you people going to do what is right by your country? You destroy everything thousands of people fought and died for? How dare you counterfeit money for thieves, but NOT for suffering AMERICANS, Oh and for your WARS for PROFIT, prisons for PROFIT when we live in a FREE society??” etc.) to sort of what you’d expect from people calling themselves the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtable and the Clearing House Association (this one is 173 pages long and takes no explicit view on counterfeiting money for thieves though I’m going to guess they’re okay with it). Read more »
interesting choice of words
“You know what I would like to see?” Spitzer asked the crowd. “I’d like to see a petition with a hundred million signatures, submitted to the White House tomorrow morning, saying, ‘Give us a treasury secretary who understands reform.’ Bring Paul Volcker in. Bring in Joe Stiglitz. Bring in Paul Krugman. Bring in Robert Reich…Spitzer, who was booted from the network after the program failed to offset a ratings slump, told Capital on his way out the door that he has no plans to embark on another media venture anytime soon. “Right now I’m having loads of fun,” he said. [Capital NY]
Goldman Sachs Doesn’t See Anything In The Volcker Rule That Prevents The Bank From Making Principal Investments With Its Own MoneyBy Bess Levin
The rest of the market thought otherwise but Goldman has another interpretation. Read more »
The division, called Process Driven Trading and run by (part-time musician) Peter Muller, has generated about $4 billion in profits in the 10 years through 2006. It will be renamed PDT Advisors, run by Muller, allow Morgan Stanley to retain a stake in the new venture and take about 60 MS employees along for the ride. [WSJ]
With the passing of the Dodd-Frank Bill, one pesky thing that banks have had to spent a couple hours getting in line with is the Volcker Rule, and what it means for their proprietary trading desks. Whether to spin them off, send the employees to a farm in the country where they can run around, move them to the basement or just rename the group the ‘troprietary prading’ unit, about which no one will be the wiser, the whole thing has been a bit of a headache. One person who hasn’t lost any sleep over the mandate, however, is Vikram Pandit. Because unlike his counterparts at say, Goldman, who’ve clutched their pearls and felt faint at the thought of a world without prop, Vickles got behind the rule before it was even a twinkle in Volcker’s eye. Read more »
Paul Volcker, President Obama’s special advisor on financial regulatory reform, appears to have endorsed the main bill sponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut. Although details are still being worked out, Congress is moving to pass the bill by the end of the month. Read more »
In his early experiments, Harry Harlow gave infant monkeys a choice between a chicken-wire “mother” who gave milk and a terrycloth “mother” who did not. Finding that the monkeys preferred the terrycloth mother, he concluded, contrary to conventional wisdom at the time, that the relationship of a primate infant with its mother rests more upon comfort than upon food. Dr. Harlow’s early experiments tested a clear hypothesis. They were controlled. They produced interesting results, useful to our understanding of human psychology. The early experiments influenced a generation of research psychologists and arguably changed the way we raise our children today. But Dr. Harlow didn’t stop there. For the next twenty years, he continued experimenting with monkeys. He tested their social development for progressively more abstract traits, under varying conditions of privation, progressively more severe. His later experiments comprised torturing monkeys as an end in itself. Read more »
The Volcker Rule -aka the euthanasia principle- got some fresh backers over the weekend, with five former Treasury secretaries sending a letter to the WSJ to voice their support. While this must be good news (late wedding gift?) for Paul, the former secretaries don’t add much to the initial argument. They’re just reiterating what Paul’s been saying from the start: This is just one component of a much broader picture, banks should not engage in speculative activity unrelated to essential bank services, prop trading is a bad, bad, thing. Right. Doesn’t do much to convince the haters.
In other news, today is National Margarita Day.