• 09 Dec 2013 at 3:23 PM

Bernie Madoff Has Regrets

Actually, regret, singular. And it’s not that he ruined countless people’s lives, or that he’s going to die in prison, or even that no one cares about the so-called “Legitimate Years.” It’s that he didn’t have a right mind to march into the offices of the Wall Street Journal, scream “You call this a stipple portrait?” and demand a retraction. Read more »

“Will we see Larry Page on the cover of Vogue?” [Charlie] Rose asked. “It wasn’t the cover,” Mayer corrected, clearly embarrassed. She went on to say that the photo was unplanned and “out of necessity.” The photographer Mikael Jansson’s assignment was to capture an unconventional CEO in an unconventional pose โ€” sitting ladylike on the chaise wasn’t going to cut it. When Jansson suggested she lay upside down, she hesitated. He assured her it would “look good” and so she went for it. [Mashable via Fashionista, earlier]

Regrets? John Thain has one. “I wouldn’t have taken the Merrill job,” he said in an interview. “I think that’s probably the single biggest thing.” Mr. Thain’s comments are some of his sharpest yet about life as Merrill Lynch & Co.’s chairman and chief executive. He arrived at the securities firm’s headquarters in lower Manhattan in late 2007 as the financial crisis was brewing. Within a year, Merrill was forced into a shotgun marriage with Bank of America Corp. A few months later, Mr. Thain was out. “I regret having to sell Merrill Lynch to Bank of America,” he said. [WSJ]

In terms of speaking gigs, do you want to hear from the guy who cost UBS a couple billion or the fugitive who brought it to its knees? Read more »

  • 21 Mar 2012 at 4:34 PM

Who Said It?

“Each of us does and says things at one point or another in our lives we regret,” [redacted] told TheWrap. “The costume I wore to the fundraiser [in which I appeared in blackface] was one such thing for me.” Read more »

As previously discussed, CNBC has been running a new series of interviews in which Becky Quick sits down with some financial heavyweight and asks him to discuss the “worst trade” he ever made. While seemingly the stuff of tedious job interviews, wherein applicants are asked to name their worst quality, such as being a workaholic, so far they’ve actually been quite interesting and shined a light on aspects of the subjects’ personalities that have helped shaped their storied careers but may not have been known to the outside world. For instance, Warren Buffett has a love of buxom milkmaids and this morning we learned that Larry Fink would not have gotten to where he is today without a serious stumble that resulted in making the conscious decision to stop second-guessing just how much ass he kicks. Read more »

Over the companies out of his jurisdiction, though he’s closing his eyes and hoping for the best, i.e. that banks which don’t have to do what he says will decide on their own to take an ax to executive pay.

“The biggest disappointment, I think, is that under the statute my jurisdiction is so narrow, and so circumscribed, that I have no real direct mandatory power over other Wall Street or other national companies,” Feinberg said today in an interview with Bloomberg special contributor Judy Woodruff. “I have my fingers crossed that we have developed some guidelines, some compensation prescriptions that will be emulated,” Feinberg said.

Feinberg Says Lack of Pay Authority Is Disappointment [Bloomberg]

  • 04 Jan 2010 at 10:10 AM

Sandy Weill Is Sad About Citi

Talk whatever shit you want about the former Citi chairman, and I’m sure you already have, but the man has feelings. Lots of ‘em, which he unloaded on the Times over the weekend. Sandford looks at his old firm and his heart bleeds for what it’s become, namely a place where no one will take his calls and his name is under a Do Not Admit list at 399 Park Avenue. Once the most majestic bank in all the land, thanks to Weill rolling up his sleeves and cobbling it together from repurposed Monster Truck parts, SDubs aches over the fact that this pile of garbage “will never be same company that it was.” And he acknowledges, from his office on the 46th floor of the General Motors, which he for some reason needs (in addition to “a few” assistants, and pictures of himself all over the walls), that a little bit of that is his fault. Here’s what Sandy Weill did wrong, according to Sandy Weill:
* Recommending Chuck Prince as his successor, who “let Citi’s balance sheet balloon and took on huge risks”
Here’s what Sandy Weill didn’t do wrong, according to Sandy Weill:
* Recruiting Bob Rubin
* The whole Glass-Steagall thing
* Firing Jamie Dimon
* Taking the jet to Cabo shortly after the bank received an asston of money from the government
* Whatever else you’re thinking, and trying to pin on him
As the shit started to hit the fan Weill tried to help, of course, as he is a mensch and the only who can fix this thing, but it was no use. Fools running the place didn’t want to hear from him.

Starting in late 2007, he began approaching some members of Citi’s board about returning to help with its recovery. He tried first when the board was looking to replace Mr. Prince as C.E.O., and later after Vikram Pandit got the job. At the time, Mr. Weill imagined that he would be welcomed. “I had 50 years of experience,” he says. “I think I was a pretty good student of the markets, and the business. I had a good feel of things. I felt that just because I retired didn’t mean my brain went to mush. Maybe I could help.” No one responded to his offers.

You know who would’ve responded to his offers, had he not been fired for catching a BJ on the company jet? Todd Thomson.

Mr. Thomson was forced out in 2007, Mr. Weill was one of his first calls: “I unloaded to Sandy,” Mr. Thomson says.

And while the two are still tossing around the idea to start a fund together with a bunch of ex-Citi employees where no one’s going to give you shit for accepting a blow job, or whatever, from a willing CNBC employee, Toddy-boy doesn’t do Sandy much good vis-a-vis gaining access to the building in order to go down in history as the guy who saved Citigroup, does he? So for now, all Sands can do is reflect. His wife, Joan, is a little bit more angry about the situation and by angry we mean she has an actual list of people she blames for hurting her husband, who she’s planning on murdering.

Read more »