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The Royal Bank Of Citadel Stearns That Never Was

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Kate Kelly's much anticipated book on the last 72 hours of Bear Stearns, Street Fighters, just arrived at the DBHQ and while there's nary a whisper of our favorite anecdote from those last few days (wherein Bear executives called Jim Chanos Thursday night while he was out to dinner and asked the Kynikos founder/prime brokerage client if he could do them a favor and go on CNBC to vouch for the fact that things were all good in the hood*), it seems like it'll be a good read when we get around to it. Having only skimmed the index so far, we've noticed that in addition to no mentions of Jesus, there are exactly zero name checks of SAC Capital, other than a passing reference to that Vanity Fair article** (which alleged Stevie-B and Ken Griffin "wanted [Bear] to go down, and go down hard," and that after they supposedly spread the rumor that ultimately killed BSC they "celebrated Bear's collapse at a breakfast that following Sunday and planned a similar assault on Lehman the next week.") only to be shot down as unsubstantiated BS-- as it relates SAC. But! Several pages are devoted to Citadel, both for its intent to score some of that hot Bear Stearns ass via acquisition and also for the rumors it was shorting the firm. This has surely caused outrage and cries of "Has the whole world gone mad? Does no one fear us? We could take down a venerable institution or house of hemp in two hours flat if we so chose to, believe you me," up in Stamford, and envious glares in the general direction of Chicago. Which is apparently the only firm fund you don't wanna fuck with. Unlike those lovable, huggable balls of love up North. They wouldn't hurt a fly.

*Which Chanos wisely declined, despite what must've been hilarious promises that BSC would owe him "big time."
** Our thoughts on which have been expressed here.


Bank Of America Briefly Considered Unburdening Itself Of The Drunken Mistake That Was Countrywide

And then decided that sticking with the "worst deal in the history of American finance," which has cost it $40 billion in cleanup so far, made them at least look like responsible adults, facing the consequences of their actions, rather than deadbeats trying to take the easy way out. Long before Sanford Weill suggested last week that big banks should split up, Bank of America executives and directors considered the idea and then decided against it, said people close to the nation's second-biggest bank by assets...Chief Executive Brian Moynihan and his team looked at a possible bankruptcy of Countrywide Financial Corp., the troubled mortgage operation it purchased in 2008. Management also studied whether it made sense to break off Merrill Lynch, the securities firm it purchased in 2009. Mr. Moynihan ultimately recommended to his board that neither action made sense. The company decided Merrill had become too big of a profit center and splitting it off could expose the brokerage firm to the sort of funding problems that killed off other Wall Street firms in 2008. Meanwhile, it felt bankruptcy of Countrywide might invite more legal and reputational troubles for Bank of America while exposing other subsidiaries to problems. Bank Breakups, Not So Fast [WSJ]