The World Cup match between the U.S. and Belgium looks like a great case of timing the market. Today’s game is scheduled to begin just as regular stock trading ends at 4 p.m. in New York. Compared with the midday start for last week’s U.S.-Germany match, there should be fewer conflicts in the workplace while giving Wall Street watering holes an earlier jump on Happy Hour. “The timing couldn’t be more appropriate,” said Philip Blancato, the chief executive officer of investment adviser Ladenburg Thalmann Funds/USA on Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. “We have a group from the company that’s going to head out at the end of the work day and go watch the game together.” [Bloomberg]

  • 01 Jul 2014 at 12:59 PM

Some World Cup Games More Important Than Others

US-based BNP Paribas employees learned that the hard way. Read more »

  • 30 Jul 2012 at 7:24 PM

Are You Having A Better Year Than Wayne Rooney?

Like so many unathletic American males in or near the financial industry, I follow European soccer*, so for me the Manchester United IPO is the most exciting IPO since that other IPO. And that’s not the only connection: United seems to have learned a lot from Facebook about how to conduct a successful IPO, er, an IPO. For instance, there’s its use of a dual-class stock structure, and its efforts to distract investors from daunting yet generally accepted financial metrics that are a bit daunting – e.g. a 50 P/E at the midpoint of the range – with the strategic use of vague happy-feeling metrics. Facebook was valued on Price/Likes, and United is hoping to monetize its “659 million followers,” who seem to have met an even lower standard than clicking a button on a computer screen:

References to our “659 million followers” are based on a survey conducted by Kantar Media (a division of WPP plc) and paid for by us. As in the survey conducted by Kantar Media, we define the term “followers” as those individuals who answered survey questions, unprompted, with the answer that Manchester United was either their favorite football team in the world or a football team that they enjoyed following in addition to their favorite football team. For example, we and Kantar Media included in the definition of “follower” a respondent who either watched live Manchester United matches, followed highlights coverage or read or talked about Manchester United regularly.

If you have read this far you are now a Manchester United follower, so, y’know, 659,000,026.

That fuzziness is actually a bit incongruous because this IPO has some cold hard financial accounting here that you will not see in most public company filings. Imagine working for a company that discloses this: Read more »

An unusually large numbers of voters are still wavering, pollsters say. With the traditional Greek left-right political divide sidelined by the debt crisis, other factors could sway voters. “Nothing is certain, many voters are still undecided and factors such as the soccer match may be a major factor,” said a candidate for New Democracy. Greece play Russia late on Saturday in the European Soccer Championships in Poland. If Greece win, they will progress beyond the group stage and could face Germany on June 22. “Our analysts say a victory may fan nationalist feelings but they are not sure which party would benefit from that,” the candidate said. A second big factor is the weather, he said. Unusually high temperatures may send younger voters to the beach rather than the polling stations. [Reuters]

Critics also felt that [Portland Timbers owner] Merritt Paulson was heavy-handed in his dealings with the financially strapped city, which ultimately agreed to pay for about a third of the cost of the renovating the stadium, using money from ticket taxes and parking receipts at entertainment facilities, like the Rose Garden, home to the N.B.A. Trail Blazers, in Portland. “Why the Paulson family needed public money is beside me,” said Jack Bogdanski, a professor of tax law at Lewis and Clark College. “He came into town highly suspect in my book.” Others say the money was not well spent because, despite the renovation and M.L.S. guidelines for stadiums, the seats are still too narrow, the concourse cramped and the number of bathrooms inadequate. [NYT]

Jamie with the Dimon family sheltie, Chippy. [Last Man Standing via BusinessInsider]

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