Unusual Decisions Set Stage For BP Disaster (WSJ)
BP made choices over the course of the project that rendered this well more vulnerable to the blowout, which unleashed a spew of crude oil that engineers are struggling to stanch. BP, for instance, cut short a procedure involving drilling fluid that is designed to detect gas in the well and remove it before it becomes a problem, according to documents belonging to BP and to the drilling rig's owner and operator, Transocean Ltd. BP also skipped a quality test of the cement around the pipe—another buffer against gas—despite what BP now says were signs of problems with the cement job and despite a warning from cement contractor Halliburton Co.
Lehman Estate Sues JPMorgan (WSJ)
The lawsuit alleges that JPMorgan Chief Executive James Dimon and other top executives used inside knowledge to take advantage of Lehman as its financial state worsened. JPMorgan, the suit alleged, coerced Lehman to turn over $8.6 billion in collateral in September 2008, triggering a liquidity squeeze that contributed to Lehman's collapse. The estate is hoping to recoup billions in collateral the bank demanded, and billions in other damages. JPM spokesman Joe Evangelisti said the lawsuit "is ill-conceived and meritless, and we will vigorously defend it."
Spotlight On Goldman Making Wealth Unit Uneasy (Reuters)
"We are talking to a lot of their advisers. They are all saying that their relationships are strong but that every client is asking about the accusations of conflicts (of interest) . It's a little draining," said Mindy Diamond, whose recruiting firm, Diamond Consultants, has worked with Goldman advisers.
Easy Money, Hard Truths (NYT)
David Einhorn: "Are you worried that we are passing our debt on to future generations? Well, you need not worry. Before this recession it appeared that absent action, the government’s long-term commitments would become a problem in a few decades. I believe the government response to the recession has created budgetary stress sufficient to bring about the crisis much sooner. Our generation — not our grandchildren’s — will have to deal with the consequences."
Ackman Buys 150 Million Shares Of Citi (Reuters)
At the end of his speech at the 15th annual Ira Sohn investment research conference, Ackman said, "And by the way, we bought about 150 million shares of Citigroup, but I don't have time to talk about it."
Harbinger to Expand in Africa as Miners Flock to Last Frontier (Bloomberg)
“Africa is the last untapped resource frontier left on earth,” Harbinger Managing Director Lawrence Clark said in a telephone interview. “Over time we’re going to work towards making more investments, but we’re only going to do so with great caution.”
Ira Sohn Conference Notes: Investment Ideas From Hedge Fund Managers (MarketFolly)
"David Tepper was nonchalant in the outset of his presentation where he mentioned that his firm had lost $1 billion in AUM over the past month, yet he shrugged his shoulders and joked 'what are ya gonna do?' He then shifted to his current investment ideas such as his bet on AIG 8.175 junior subordinated debt. It trades somewhere around 70 cents on the dollar and he thinks this mispricing is due to a misunderstanding of AIG's capital structure."
"Additionally, Tepper likes Bank of America (BAC) and thinks it could see $27 in the next year. Sticking with banking, he also likes Spanish giant Banco Santander (BSBR). We recently saw John Griffin's hedge fund Blue Ridge Capital start a new BSBR position as well. Lastly, Tepper also likes commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS) here. Regarding the economy and a potential turnaround, he is hopeful and thinks we can handle it."
Deutsche Bank's Ackermann Said to Hold `Intensive' Talks on CEO Successor (Bloomberg)
Who wants a job?
Higher Tax on Buyout Firm Managers Would Hit Hedge Fund Sales (Bloomberg)
“This bill would make investment partnerships the only businesses in America whose owners would be ineligible for long- term capital-gains treatment” when they sell their stake in a firm, said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Private Equity Council. The Washington trade group was founded by Blackstone Group LP, KKR & Co. and about a dozen other private-equity firms.