Write-Offs: 07.18.12

$$$ Behind Credit Default Swaps Market, a Cartel Left Open to Collusion [Dealbook] $$$ Jim Chanos: Hewlett Packard Is 'Ultimate Value Trap' [CNBC] $$$ Ackman Takes Activist Stance on P&G [CNBC] $$$ Goldman CEO Blankfein Said To Meet With Obama Adviser Lew [Bloomberg] $$$ Racketeering Charges Filed in Hedge Fund Divorce [NYO] $$$ Banker Tattoos [BuzzFeed] $$$ ...every so often, Ackman and his wife whirl through their Rolodexes and invite their unattached friends to come on over to their place and spend a few hours meeting other singles. In this day and age of internet dating, the Ackmans like to give that stressful process a personal touch. And last night was one of those nights when the man who runs $10 billion Pershing Square Capital Management and his wife Karen, who trained as a landscape architect, threw open the doors and hoped for the best. While no officials statistics have been kept, people who have attended the events say plenty of people have found their mates here. At this week’s event? Roughly 200 people attended, according to someone who was there. [Reuters, earlier] $$$ "Dozens of traffic signs have been destroyed by prostitutes performing pole-dances in the street to attract clients, officials in New Zealand's biggest city have revealed." [Telegraph] $$$ Charlie Gasparino: U.S. Insider Trading Investigation Winding Down (Maybe) [FBN] $$$ Ex-JPMorgan Banker Admits Role in Muni Bid-Rigging Scheme [Reuters] $$$ Paulson, Rubin Warn on Dangers of 'Fiscal Cliff' [CNBC] $$$ WWII Shipwreck Yields $38 Million of Silver From Atlantic [Bloomberg] $$$ High school kid accused of running in a potential $3 million marijuana ring. [CP]
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$$$ Behind Credit Default Swaps Market, a Cartel Left Open to Collusion [Dealbook]

$$$Jim Chanos: Hewlett Packard Is 'Ultimate Value Trap' [CNBC]

$$$Ackman Takes Activist Stance on P&G [CNBC]

$$$ Goldman CEO Blankfein Said To Meet With Obama Adviser Lew [Bloomberg]

$$$Racketeering Charges Filed in Hedge Fund Divorce [NYO]

$$$Banker Tattoos [BuzzFeed]

$$$...every so often, Ackman and his wife whirl through their Rolodexes and invite their unattached friends to come on over to their place and spend a few hours meeting other singles. In this day and age of internet dating, the Ackmans like to give that stressful process a personal touch. And last night was one of those nights when the man who runs $10 billion Pershing Square Capital Management and his wife Karen, who trained as a landscape architect, threw open the doors and hoped for the best. While no officials statistics have been kept, people who have attended the events say plenty of people have found their mates here. At this week’s event? Roughly 200 people attended, according to someone who was there. [Reuters, earlier]

$$$ "Dozens of traffic signs have been destroyed by prostitutes performing pole-dances in the street to attract clients, officials in New Zealand's biggest city have revealed." [Telegraph]

$$$ Charlie Gasparino: U.S. Insider Trading Investigation Winding Down (Maybe) [FBN]

$$$Ex-JPMorgan Banker Admits Role in Muni Bid-Rigging Scheme [Reuters]

$$$ Paulson, Rubin Warn on Dangers of 'Fiscal Cliff' [CNBC]

$$$ WWII Shipwreck Yields $38 Million of Silver From Atlantic [Bloomberg]

$$$ High school kid accused of running in a potential $3 million marijuana ring. [CP]

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Write-Offs: 06.18.12

$$$ Clogged Credit Weighs on Fed Policy Makers [WSJ] $$$ Ex-Expert Network Consultant Pleads Guilty in Insider Case [WSJ] $$$ TCI is trying to guilt the FSA into forcing Lloyds to redeem TCI's holdings of Lloyds contingent capital bonds at above-market prices [FT] $$$ Homeowner Aid Boosts Big Banks [WSJ] $$$ World's population is 17 million tons overweight [MSNBC] $$$ Do you have plans on July 17? Do you fancy yourself a poker player? A really good poker player? Do you think you could beat David Einhorn, even if he’s working the table like it's Lehman Brothers circa 2007/2008? Do you think it would not be so awkward that the two of you could then enjoy a meal together and talk shop after which he picks up the tab? If David's not your thing, do you think you could envision yourself in the same scenario but with Bill Ackman? If you answered yes to most of the above and also consider yourself a fan of humanity, helping others and all that jazz, you should most definitely clear your schedule next Wednesday and sign up for a World Poker Tournament benefiting the Rewarding Achievement (REACH) program, which was co-founded by Bill Ackman and Whitney Tilson and gives inner-city high school students academic support and scholarships for passing AP exams. The event is taking place at Gotham Hall in New York and Einhorn (your competition) will be playing, as will Ackman and Tilson. Prizes for winners include the aforementioned meal (a lunch), with Bill, David or Seth Klarman, five nights at a “world-class private beach home in Lamu, Kenya,” a private poker lesson with 2011 WSOP bracelet winner and 2011 WPT Player of the Year, Andy Frankenberger and more. Alternatively, if you’re not one for cards but still want to help kids, you can also just register for the cocktail hour. $$$ Would you be interested in a job as a credit team director at a distressed-focused private equity firm in New York? What if I told you it's at Patriarch Partners? [DBCC, also available] $$$ Likelihood of Grexit Still 50-75%: Citi [CNBC] $$$ Alvarez Says Fed Hasn’t Seen Other JPMorgan Risk Problems [Bloomberg] $$$ Millionaire Parents Say Their Kids Are Unfit to Inherit [CNBC] $$$ New Jersey Man Allegedly Calls 911 From His Pillow Fort, Demands To Speak To Tim Tebow [DeadSpin]

Write-Offs: 03.11.13

$$$ You can still drink big sodas [NYP] $$$ Bank compensation up in 2012 despite cutback efforts [Reuters] $$$ Morgan Stanley Set to Name Kaminsky Brokerage Vice Chair [FBN] $$$ Mary Schapiro Is Nominated to G.E. Board [DealBook] $$$ The life cycle of the investment banker [TED] $$$ City high-flier 'was called crazy Miss Cokehead by work bullies after she blew whistle on insider dealing' [DM] $$$ Brookfield Investment Management is looking for a global infrastructure securities analyst in Chicago [DBCC] $$$ Europe trading tax would kill repo market -industry official [Reuters] $$$ SAC Capital Manager’s Tipper Deserves Prison, U.S. Says [Bloomberg] $$$ "Long term shareholders are well served by activism" [Aswath Damodaran] $$$ "Callan hardly needs advice from me but I'll offer it anyway. She may want to consider that her lack of satisfaction with her life's direction is not a product of the choices she made. Instead, her choices may have been a product of her lack of satisfaction. In my experience, the kind of people who can rise to the level she did at a relatively early age tend to be filling a hole in their psyche, an indistinguishable yearning for something more that is experienced as a kind of pain." [NetNet / John Carney] $$$ Corey Robin went to school with Bill[y] Ackman [Corey Robin]

Write-Offs: 07.05.12

$$$ Greece drops demand to ease bailout terms [FT] $$$ The NYSE Gets Its Very Own Dark Pool [MarketBeat] $$$ The Strange Takeover Limbo of CVR [DealBook] $$$ Countrywide won influence by giving House members discounts, report says [AP] $$$ Jon Ronson talks to rich people, middle-class people, and poor people [GQ] $$$ The guy who finished ahead of David Einhorn in the $1mm buy-in One Drop poker tournament was beaten up shortly afterwards [Poker News Daily] $$$ A German university is suing a business student for lost income because he finished his bachelors and masters degrees in only 20 months [UPI] $$$ A top institution is looking for a VP level structured credit trader in New York [DBCC] $$$ Euro the big loser after central banks intervene [FT] $$$ Irish Bill Sale Marks End Of Drought As Spain Yields Rise [Bloomberg] $$$ Why not have variable-rate mortgages with fixed payments but variable amortization periods? [American Banker] $$$ Traded assets are more volatile than non-traded assets, NGDP targeting edition [Noahpinion] $$$ Alphonse "Buddy" Fletcher's wife is the Kleiner Perkins partner suing them for gender discrimination [Term Sheet] $$$ An Alternative Living Will for Banks [Paperwell]

Write-Offs: 01.28.13

$$$ Hedge fund scorecard 2012: Mortgage masters win, Paulson on bottom again [Reuters] $$$ Watchdog Says U.S. Treasury Failed to Curb AIG, GM Pay [Bloomberg] $$$ Buffett Said to Have Expressed Interest in Buying NYSE Euronext [DealBook] $$$ Yahoo Profit Drops but Revenue Rises [CNBC] $$$ Henry Blodget got on a plane and the plane went way up in the sky and it was good to be on the plane but then there was pee-pee on the plane and the pee-pee wasn't good [BI, but mostly Twitter] $$$ A global financial firm is looking for a quant in New York [DBCC] $$$ Jana Chides Agrium Over CEO Comments [Deal Journal] $$$ FTC Action Leads Court to Halt Alleged Pyramid Scheme [FTC] $$$ People don't want to kill robots [NPR] $$$ Here is an amazing picture of the Queen of the Netherlands, who quit today [Qz]

Write-Offs: 09.25.12

$$$ Eurozone deal over bank bailout in doubt [FT] $$$ U.K. Bankers Group to Stop Overseeing Libor [WSJ] $$$ The Smith Barney Name Still Lives (Sort of) [Deal Journal] $$$ Mason Capital may lose money on its delightful Telus trade [DealBook] $$$ Actually, business and political leaders aren't that stressed [LAT] $$$ “I’ve had to sit here all night staring at a whale,” [Jes] Staley said last night, a few hours into a gala for the NYU Langone Medical Center’s Hospital for Joint Diseases and Center for Musculoskeletal Care. He was accepting an award for corporate leadership. Staley then suggested the whale could be replaced with the squid in the room, which, he clarified afterward, meant Goldman Sachs Group Inc., represented by his friend Gary D. Cohn, chairman of the dinner and the hospital’s advisory board. Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi called Goldman a “vampire squid.” All this took place about 20 feet from a diorama depicting a battle between a sperm whale and a giant squid. Which creature will triumph is unclear, though squid have been found in whales’ stomachs. [Bloomberg] $$$ Macquarie's Credit Solutions Group, a distressed and special situations financing group, is looking for a 2nd or 3rd-year analyst in New York [DBCC] $$$ Or just be an event coordinator for Breaking Media [Fashionista] $$$ Uber Bear Sees S&P at 800...Just Not Yet [CNBC!] $$$ Eighth Grader Says He Vandalized Congressman’s Office [NYT] $$$ Mitt Romney Stops Supporters from Chanting ‘Ryan’ to Ensure They Say His Name Too [Gawker] $$$ Police launched investigation into the 'suspicious' moon [Telegraph]

Write-Offs: 08.27.12

$$$ M&T To Buy Hudson City In Deal Valued At $3.7 Billion [Bloomberg] $$$ Best Buy Founder Gets Green Light to Pursue Buyout [WSJ] $$$ Don't all M&A processes leak and push up the target stock price? Anyway, Deltek's did [Term Sheet] $$$ Mike Evans heats up Goldman succession speculation by buying an apartment [DealBook] $$$ Americans Think the Rich Are Smarter, But Greedier [CNBC] $$$ Quincy Jones 'knew of alleged plot by Steve Wynn to kill founder of Girls Gone Wild and hide his body in the desert' say court documents [Daily Mail] $$$ Prudential is looking for an associate manager for derivative products [DBCC] $$$ In Dollar Thrifty Deal, Hertz Bets Big on Certainty of Closing [DealBook] $$$ Delaware court affirms $2 bln Southern Copper judgment [Reuters] $$$ Allowing mortgage cramdowns raised mortgage rates by 10-20bps for risky borrowers [Credit Slips] $$$ The Sharapova Effect: you try harder to succeed in sports if you're good-looking enough to get lots of endorsement deals [Freakonomics] $$$ “Remember when McDonald’s used to be called Mickey D’s?” asks Becky Johnson, a senior vice president at Applebee’s. “That was a street slang term, people playing with the name. We found out that ‘the bee’s’ is how the kids are describing Applebee’s.” By “kids,” she means twenty- and thirtysomething singles who may eat at Applebee’s with co-workers or family members, but who generally go elsewhere—like, to an actual bar—at night and on the weekends. “The bee’s is an overt invitation to them,” says Johnson. “We want them back.” [BBW]

Write-Offs: 07.25.12

$$$ Schaeuble Declares Markets Wrong As Europe Heads To Vacation [Bloomberg] $$$ Don't Force Banks Into 'Draconian' Breakups: Whitney [CNBC] $$$ Morgan Stanley Stock May Be Worth $32 In Breakup, Mayo Says [Bloomberg] $$$ The Merkley plan to refinance underwater mortgages sounds pretty good [Reuters / Felix Salmon] $$$ Outspoken Analyst Kinnucan Pleads Guilty in Insider Case [WSJ] $$$ Man who rescued a 17-pound lobster "felt the nearly 100-year-old crustacean did not deserve to die with its parts soaked in butter. 'If he was 100, he saw World War I, World War II, man on the moon,' he said. 'Being in New England, he even saw the Red Sox win the World Series. So, he didn’t deserve the boiling water.'" [CBS] $$$ Due to recent regulatory requirements, a top bank in Charlotte is looking for a counterparty credit risk manager to be a Basel expert [DBCC] $$$ Libor scandal makes it more costly for bankers to get insured [Reuters] $$$ Europe Aims to Make Rate Manipulation a Criminal Offense [DealBook] $$$ Fund managers to lose securities lending profits [FT] $$$ The Securities and Exchange Commission drew sharp criticism from a federal judge who said they have failed to properly oversee a $55 million investor education fund created by a nearly decade-old settlement with Wall Street banks. The fund had been created as part of a roughly $1.5 billion regulatory accord in 2003 with Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and other banks accused of publishing biased analyst research. U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan said the SEC has shown a "lack of oversight" and "indifference" toward how a nonprofit organization charged with distributing the money has been managed. ... Pauley pointed as an example to a two-year, $91,500 grant to the Genesee District Library in Flint, Michigan, that appeared to have resulted in just two events, one of which concerned "spending, sharing, and saving" for children ages two to five. "While there may be benefits to starting investor education early, toddlers seem beyond the pale," the judge wrote in an order issued Wednesday. [Reuters] $$$ Mitt Romney would restore 'Anglo-Saxon' relations between Britain and America [Telegraph]

Write-Offs: 03.23.12

$$$ Morgan Stanley wants all of Citi venture [Reuters] $$$ NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer is not above gloating about BATS [CNBC via BI] $$$ Fannie and Freddie: Slashing Mortgages Is Good Business [ProPublica] $$$ Proposed names for Disney's Seven Dwarfs included Burpy, Hotsy, Shifty, Wistful, Doleful, Woeful, and Biggo-Ego [Lists of Note] $$$ JPMorgan is looking for a credit risk manager to cover banks and broker-dealers [DBCC] $$$ SEC demands Wells Fargo comply with subpoenas [Reuters] $$$ Lehman Ex-Broker Sentenced in Insider Case [WSJ] $$$ Ex-NBA Player Indicted on Ponzi Charges [WSJ] $$$ About forty people got out of their cars along Interstate 270 in Maryland and helped themselves to $5,795 in cash that fell out of an unsecured armored truck. ... Police are offering amnesty to anyone who returns the cash, but only $100 has been handed over so far. Heather Kelly described the scene on 270 to the AP: “It was in the traffic lanes and on the shoulders and just generally kind of like a snow globe of cash." [DI] $$$ Lacrosse players say the sport rewards the kind of determination required to do well on Wall Street. “By and large, lacrosse players aren’t necessarily the best athletes in the country,” says Joe Lizzio, a former Cornell player and co-founder of CapRok Capital. “We don’t have huge vertical leaps or run the 40 [meter dash] in 4.4 seconds.” The best lacrosse players “are smart kids that put in the long hours,” adds Cummings. “The same goes for finance, where you’re going to do well if you can outwork the other guy.” Another common attribute of lacrosse players is the kind of privileged upbringing that might have led them to banking careers even if they had never touched a stick. [BW]