Whitney Whips Up Wall Street As Bear In Heels (Bloomberg)
"Many of Whitney’s critics have a vested interest in tearing her down. They include competing municipal bond analysts, fund managers who run muni portfolios, financial advisers who sell the tax-exempt securities, and above all, the borrowers who depend on munis to finance their whopping deficits. To all of them she is a big-mouthed, larger-than-life nightmare...If she were demure and understated instead of a brassy hustler who markets herself on television with stunning success, fewer people might be hoping for Whitney’s fall. But she’s willing to break a sweat to boost her business and sell herself as a brand."
Lloyd Blankein Didn't Care To Speak With Charlie Gasparino Last Night (Twitter)
"I just made eye contact with Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO at a pre-Super Bowl party in Dallas, he saw me and walked the other way."
Stock-Hedging Lets Bankers Skirt Efforts to Overhaul Pay (Dealbook)
In some cases, executives saved millions of dollars by using these tactics. One prominent Goldman investment banker avoided more than $7 million in losses over a four-month period. Such transactions are at the center of a debate over whether Wall Street executives should be allowed to hedge their stock holdings. The concern with hedging is that executives can easily break the ties between compensation and company performance. Employees who hedge their holdings are less concerned about a falling share price.
Risky Assets Still Lurk At Banks (WSJ)
In part due to those bad assets, the top 10 U.S.-owned banks had $13.8 billion in "unrealized losses" that have lasted at least a year in their investment portfolios as of Sept. 30, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. Such losses are baked into banks' book value, but don't get counted against earnings as long as the banks believe the investments will later rebound. If those losses were assessed against earnings, it would have reduced the banks' pretax income for the first nine months of 2010 by 21%, according to the Journal analysis.
Aguilera apologizes for Super Bowl fumble (ABC)
The singer has apologized for the incident, releasing a statement which reads: "I got so caught up in the moment of the song that I lost my place. I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through."
Gruebel's Rebuilt UBS Trails Credit Suisse in Money From Rich (Bloomberg)
The challenge now: Generate fatter profits from the $1.7 trillion UBS oversees for wealthy clients while elbowing aside Credit Suisse Group AG, which raked in more assets than any Swiss bank since the financial crisis began. As both face an erosion of profitability from an assault on banking secrecy, UBS has to fight that much harder to attract rich clients, who removed 251.6 billion francs in the nine quarters through June.
SEC officials who missed Madoff now in top spots at major law firms (NYP)
At the top of the class of ex-SEC enforcement officials who clawed up the career ladder despite zero-oversight in the Madoff scam is Linda Thomsen, a 14-year veteran at the agency and director of enforcement for three years when the colossal Ponzi scheme burst into the headlines in 2008. She is now a partner at the international law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where Grover Cleveland worked between his two terms as president.Also graduating to better jobs and fatter paychecks are three former deputy directors of enforcement: Peter Bresnan, now at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; George Curtis, now at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; and Walter Ricciardi, now at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. Two former directors of the SEC's New York regional office also moved up and out: Mark Schonfeld, also at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; and Wayne Carlin, now at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. When they worked at the SEC, each was earning about $200,000 to $225,000. In their new gigs, they pull down $2 million a year or more, according to Peter Zeughauser, a California-based consultant who tracks attorney salaries.
A Crisis of Faith in Britain’s Central Banker (NYT)
A central banker need not be loved, but at the least he should command respect — and in Britain these days Mervyn King cannot count on either.
Google Executive Key Figure In Egypt Revolt (WSJ)
Mr. Ghonim, a father of two who is in his 30s, emerged as a central symbol of the antigovernment protests, cast as the face of a movement and hero in the cause of democracy. Protest organizers in Cairo's central Tahrir Square adopted him as a symbolic leader. Suspecting his arrest—but having no proof—they declared in speeches that they wouldn't leave the square until he was freed. Marchers carried homemade signs emblazoned with his name. At the same time, some local media suggested the political activities of Mr. Ghonim, who is Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, make him a traitor to his nation.
A-Rod Eats Popcorn In The Most A-Rod Way Possible (Deadspin)
Without dirtying his hands.