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Closing Bell: 11.23.07

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Bear Big's Good Deal (NYP) If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it one billion times—it’s better to be fired by Bear Stearns than employed by it. There are a number of factors that led us to having two hundred t-shirts made up with this proverb printed across the back, the most basic being Carney’s drunken delusion that “it’d be cool,” but there’s also your own sense of self-worth, plus the fact that you can’t read about proxy access on the job to take into consideration. Another important point to think about if you’re a BSC employee on the fence about purposely trying to get yourself escorted from the building for good is that contrary to the writing on the 14th floor men’s room, James Cayne has not (yet) spent all the money set aside for severance packages on weed, and Bear is still keeping up with the Street’s grand tradition of rewarding failure handsomely. Former president Warren Spector, who was fired in August after someone told the firm it should at least pretend to be embarrassed about two collapsed hedge funds, and for being just as much of a bridge enthusiast/proponent of taking personal days during a crisis as Cayne, is being allowed to keep his $23 million vested stock position, $250,000 salary through the year’s end, a $207,000 retirement plan, and an “executive secretary” through December. He’ll also be guaranteed a pro-rated bonus.
Greenspan Has No `Regrets' as Housing Slump Deepens (Bloomberg) Just in case you were wondering, Alan Greenspan has “no particular regrets” (about anything, ever) and said that the deepening slump in the U.S. housing market has nothing to do with his policies, or insistence on undermining every move Ben Bernanke makes (including this morning’s Jamba Juice. To wit: “Wow. Sure you want to do that? I’m sure you’re aware of how much sugar’s in that thing, right?”) He also stands by his previous statement about not giving a shit whether or not rich investors have seen their net worth go from $40 million to $5 million, and encourages everyone to go out and buy his book, on sale today. It makes a great stocking stuffer for those family members you hate but don’t yet have the moxie to kill (more on that later).
Norris Nuggets (Page Six)
FINALLY: “The Truth About Chuck Norris,” comes out next week. Author Ian Spector’s book has all the facts you already knew about CN (“The tears of Chuck Norris would supply enough liquidity to solve the credit crisis. Too bad he never cries.”), plus some new and exciting ones (“The day Citigroup became Shitigroup is the day Chuck Norris got fired from the firm for getting Maria Bartiromo pregnant on the corporate jet just by looking at her. It is not a coincidence.” “When Chuck Norris spends the day working out of Bear Stearns, he’s allowed to read, and use James Cayne's private bathroom on the 14th floor.)
Goldman aims to raise $6bn for hedge fund (Financial Times) Like most perfectionists unable to accept that there might be something they suck at, Goldman Sachs, troubled by some difficulties mastering the money-making component of the hedge fund business of late, has responded to truthful allegations of Global Alpha being down sixty percent not by retreating from the hedges but by raising $4-$6 billion for a brand new fund. The unnamed entity will be run by Raanan Agus, former head of the proprietary trading desk and Kenneth Eberts, former head of the US prop desk. To Goldman’s credit, it has had the sense to realize that it’s not so good with the quantitative methods, and will be focusing on picking shares. Also smart? The two year lock-up.
City Homicides Still Dropping, to Under 500 (NYT) You’re much more likely to get killed by someone you know than a stranger. Like, for instance, a former employee.
Productivity Days Off (CNBC) CNBC Senior Economics Reporter Steve Liesman thinks the day after Thanksgiving should be a national holiday, because we would be more productive and make more money the rest of the year. He takes off his tie and throws it down on the desk just to show how serious he is about this. And yet, there he is, in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, still working. I tried a similar tactic of video taping myself untying my right sneaker and throwing it against the wall, uploading it to a video iPod and sending it to Carney. As you can see, it worked wonders. Next year will be the year Steve and I don't take no shit from anyone. Who's with us?