snakes

Two years ago, like a modern day Noah, Nicholas Jacinto arrived at the townhouse of billionaire Phillip Falcone with a menagerie of exotic animals. He carted a sloth, a king snake, a lemur, a marmocet, a hedgehog and a Brazilian aardvark into the hedge fund king’s $50 million Upper East Side home to set up for a birthday party. Jacinto had been hired to provide the entertainment, displaying the rare critters to gawking guests. But before the show could start, city Health Department inspectors swooped in. They ticketed Jacinto, a state and federally licensed wildlife expert, for not having a city permit for the animals, and sent him packing back to his Long Island farm with his tail between his legs. “It was a huge embarrassment what the department did to me,” he recalled. DNAinfo New York, January 21, 2014

Wilbur adjusted the towel around her head. She took a long drag off her Lucky Strike and stared out onto East 67th Street. Phil hated when she smoked in the house, so she’d cracked the bathroom window and had the fan going. But honestly, she didn’t much care what Phil thought right now.

Had she wanted to perform at the children’s birthday? No. Of course not. She wasn’t their monkey and she didn’t do children’s birthdays. But the fact that he’d made the call immediately after their fight felt especially cruel. Things weren’t great with them but she never thought he’d go out of his way to hurt her.

She flicked the rest of her cigarette out the window and stared at her pores in the mirror. Phil used to tease her for spending hours scrutinizing her skin. Lately, though, he hadn’t said anything. Maybe he was no longer paying attention. Maybe he’d noticed the fine lines where things were once smooth, and hoped she would, too. She knew it was ridiculous, but she couldn’t help but feeling like he was trading her in for a new model.

There was a knock at the door. “Wilbur, can I come in?” Phil asked from the other side.

After all of their fights, the big ones and the small ones, no matter what had been said, no matter how many objects were thrown (Wilbur) or how many tears were shed (Phil), they’d always found their way back to each other eventually. Wilbur was still hurting, but she was ready to hear what Phil had to say, ready to move on. In a couple hours the guests would be arriving, and a little while after that they’d sing Happy Birthday and eat cake, and Wilbur would do her standard, “Are you one, are you two, are you three…” In spite of herself, she was actually looking a little bit forward to the animal display.

She opened the door, ready to reconcile. But Phil didn’t come in. He stood at the threshold, without a hint on contrition on his face or in his bearing. There was no sign that he’d been crying at all. Read more »

  • 21 Nov 2012 at 2:39 PM

Argentina Beset By Pirates, Snakes

Let’s check in on Argentina. It’s a lovable mess! You can read some background here or here or here. In brief:

  • Argentina had some Old Bonds, decided not to pay them (in 2005, more or less), got most of their holders to exchange into New Bonds at pennies on the dollar, started paying the New Bonds, stopped paying the Old Bonds, the usual.
  • Elliott Associates bought up lots of Old Bonds at pennies on the dollar, didn’t exchange, travelled the earth suing and capturing warships and stuff.
  • Elliott won a big lawsuit against Argentina, getting a US district court and the Second Circuit to declare that Argentina couldn’t make any interest payments on the New Bonds without ratably paying off the Old Bonds.
  • Argentina doesn’t want to pay off the Old Bonds.
  • But it does want to keep paying the New Bonds.
  • The district court now has to, among other things, clarify its injunction saying that Argentina can’t pay New Bonds without paying Old Bonds.
  • Specifically: how, if at all, will that injunction apply to various people in the “payment snake” – indenture trustee, securities depository, banks and brokers and whatnots – that snakes between Argentina, which has the money, and the New Bondholders, who want it?
  • Simplistically: Elliott thinks that anyone in the snake who takes money from Argentina and passes it on toward New Bondholders is “aiding and abetting” Argentina in violating the injunction. The snake members are more of the opinion that they’re just a snake and can’t be held responsible for what passes through them.

The head of the snake is Bank of New York Mellon, the indenture trustee on the New Bonds, who are in the unfortunate position of getting money from Argentina and dishing it out to New Bondholders. If the injunction applies to BoNY, then they will be in contempt of court if they do their job. They don’t like this, and filed a brief last Friday saying why.1 They are not alone in this; various other bits of the snake and their caretakers – the New York Fed, DTC, the Clearing House Association, etc. – have expressed similar emotions. Read more »

  • 31 Mar 2011 at 4:43 PM

Mandy Drury Is Not Afraid Of Snakes

Earlier this week, a cobra escaped from the Bronx Zoo. With a snake on the loose in NYC, was CNBC anchor Mandy Drury ever “afraid it would make its way” to her apartment? Not in the least, she told a co-worker, who interviewed her at her desk about the situation earlier today. Read more »