predictions

  • 17 Dec 2014 at 3:35 PM

Bill Ackman Just Can’t Help Himself

ackmanBill Ackman sat in the hair and makeup chair at Bloomberg, waiting for his lieutenants to file in for a quick briefing before he went on the air. He knew what they were going to say and what they needed to hear him say before they’d be comfortable with him getting in front of the camera.

“Now what are you going to do when they ask you about Herbalife, Bill?”

“I’m going to speak about it in a measured tone. I’m going to manage expectations.”

“And why are you going to do that?”

“Because even if it’s true the company is a fraud, it doesn’t mean it’s going out of business tomorrow so we shouldn’t tell people to expect it, even though… [mumbles something about how he knows it will]…”

“What was that?”

“Nothing.”

“Okay, and what are you not going to do?”

“I’m not going to give an exact date in the near future when the company is going to explode.”

“And?”

“And I’m not going to use the word ‘explode’.”

“And?”

“And I’m not going to say ‘If Herbalife doesn’t go out of business in the next 365 days, I’ll give up solid food and subsist only on their shakes and supplements for a calendar year.”

The lieutenants looks at each other and nodded. They weren’t 100% sure they could believe him but this was as close as confirmation as they were going to get. And, to be fair, since the incident in July, he’d kept his promise. His promise to them, sure, but also his promise to himself. It’s not like he liked doing this. It’s not like he wanted to build up expectations re: the demise of Herbalife only to have them fail. But every time he got up on that stage, or in front of a camera, or on the phone with CNBC, something inside him took over and made him blurt out stuff like “Call the coroner, ’cause there’s gonna be a murder tomorrow, of the corporate variety” or “Get all the shakes you can now because in a fortnight, they’re gonna be gone” or “If Herbalife doesn’t go out of business by next week, my name’s not William A. Ackman.”

He wanted to dial down the enthusiasm. He really did. Read more »

  • 22 Sep 2014 at 12:52 PM

Bond Lovers Should Run And Hide: Julian Robertson

Julian Robertson, the billionaire founder of Tiger Management LLC, said there’s a bubble in bonds that will end “in a very bad way.” “Bonds are at ridiculous levels,” Robertson said today at the Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit in New York. “It’s a worldwide phenomenon that governments are buying bonds to keep their countries moving along economically.” [Bloomberg]

Cash as a physical entity will virtually cease to exist, with coins and checkbooks consigned to museums. As people conduct their financial transactions on hand-held devices made secure by advanced biometrics, even tipping will be done electronically. Paper currency does not disappear entirely, however. You’ll still need it to buy a beer at a certain dusty bar in the Australian outback, where the proprietor sticks stubbornly to a cash-only policy, ‘because you never know, mate!'” [WSJ]

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has a right to pursue his $1 billion federal lawsuit against the National Basketball Association, but the 80-year-old might not live to see the end result, millionaire businessman Kevin O’Leary told CNBC on Tuesday. “This will not be resolved until Mr. Sterling is dead because this is going to last three to seven years … I don’t think he’s going to outlast the litigation. It’ll get settled after he’s passed,” said O’Leary. [CNBC]

  • 19 May 2014 at 1:39 PM

Bonus Watch ’14: Ex-Cons

According to Jordan Belfort, a former boiler room operator who did 2.5 years for defrauding all of his Stratton Oakmont clients, 2014 is going to be a big year for convicted criminals who don’t appreciate being called convicted criminals. Read more »

  • 23 Apr 2014 at 5:48 PM

Layoffs Watch ’14: Barclays

It’s possible the Brits will be getting rid of a quarter of their investment banking employees and if you ask Sanford Bernstein, those at the top should go first. Read more »

Philip Falcone’s LightSquared Inc. will probably be able to borrow $1 billion to finance its exit from bankruptcy as a standalone company, Credit Suisse Securities LLC said in a letter made public Friday. The Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) unit said it was confident it could arrange the proposed bankruptcy-exit loan as long as LightSquared, a wireless broadband provider, met conditions including obtaining the “cooperation of all parties-at-interest” in the reorganization and “all required regulatory approvals.” Philip Falcone’s LightSquared Inc. will probably be able to borrow $1 billion to finance its exit from bankruptcy as a standalone company, Credit Suisse Securities LLC said. [Bloomberg]

  • 24 Jan 2014 at 1:38 PM

Bitcoin In Jamie Dimon’s 2014 Death Pool

Bitcoin has been tossed into the virtual gutter at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, as top US financial leaders warned the vitrual currency could be used to fund terrorism and predicted that regulation would put it out of business. Jack Lew, US Treasury secretary, said: “From the government’s point of view, we have to make sure it does not become an avenue to funding illegal activities or to funding activities that have malign purposes like terrorist activities. High quality global journalism requires investment. “It is an anonymous form of transaction and it offers places for people to hide,” Mr Lew said in an interview with CNBC at Davos. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan chairman and chief executive, told the same channel: “The question isn’t whether we accept it. The question is do we even participate with people who facilitate Bitcoin?” Ultimately, Mr Dimon said, Bitcoin would be subjected to the same regulatory standards as other payment systems and “that will probably be the end of them”. [FT]