Write-Offs: 11.20.13

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$$$Federal Reserve officials said they might reduce their $85 billion in monthly bond purchases “in coming months” as the economy improves, minutes of their last meeting show. [Bloomberg]

$$$Billionaire Mark Cuban takes on the SEC [WaPo]

$$$How to Pick a Securities Fraud Jury When Everyone Hates Everybody [BusinessWeek / Sheelah Kolhatkar]

$$$ Man Group employees are feeling the squeeze at the struggling hedge fund, with staff at its London headquarters being shunted into just one-and-a-half floors of the nine-storey building it opened to great fanfare in 2011.
One senior executive based at the HQ on the banks of the Thames said: “We are being shoved into a much smaller area, which people aren’t really happy about it. Our fund assets are shrinking and so it seems is our floor space.” [FT]

$$$Man claims Bank of America gave him heart attack, files lawsuit [WSCO]

$$$ George W. Bush appeared on The Tonight Show on Tuesday, ostensibly to promote his new library but also to show off one of his new paintings, which he gave to host Jay Leno. The painting, a portrait of Leno, marks something of an artistic shift for Bush, who has spent the past several months seemingly painting only animals—specifically, cats and dogs. When Leno showed a painting of the former president's recently-deceased dog, Barney, Bush segued into an anecdote about Vladimir Putin's pet snobbery. In short, Putin was not impressed with Barney, a fact he demonstrated during their one meeting with his “body language,” according to Bush; when Bush met Putin's dog—a large hound—a year later, the Russian president boasted that his dog was “bigger, faster, and stronger” than Barney. [Gawker]

$$$Morgan Stanley in talks to sell commodities business [NYP]

$$$Where Does JPMorgan’s $13 Billion Go? [Dealbook]

$$$Neanderthals weren’t picky when it came to sex [NYP]

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Write-Offs: 03.21.13

$$$ Cyprus Plans Bank Restructuring to Save Rescue [WSJ] $$$ S&P Cuts Rating on Cyprus by One Notch to Triple-C [Reuters] $$$ Hedge funds storm back into form [FT] $$$ Lululemon Sheer Yoga Pants Undetected Until Bend-Over Test [Bloomberg] $$$ Former MSNBC Host Dylan Ratigan Quit New York To Work On Hydroponic Organic Farm [TPM] $$$ Once-obese Goldman analyst becomes fitness evangelical, gym CEO [Reuters] $$$ Southeastern had eyed joining Dell buyout group [Reuters] $$$ Gold Giants Shrink to Fit as Paulson Pushes Breakup [Bloomberg] $$$ "And there was this dichotomy, like dumb versus smart money. We're smart money; they're dumb money. We are so smart that we deserve their money. It was essentially kind of an entitlement. And it was really unattractive to me. I spent a lot of time at lunch trying to understand the mindset of, like, how does being good at math give us the right to do this?" [EconTalk] $$$ A Watermelon, a Golf Course, a Horse, and Monstrous Dogs: 12 New Paintings from George W. Bush [Gawker]

Write-Offs: 03.08.13

$$$ Author of the spectacularly wrong ‘Dow 36,000′ has new thoughts on the stock market [Wonkblog] $$$ Fitch Downgrades Italy's Credit Ratings [WSJ] $$$ SEC: Goldman cannot ignore proposal to split chairman, CEO roles [Reuters] $$$ Talk of US high-yield 'bubble' is overdone [Reuters] $$$ "Even as some venture-capital firms have become skittish after the disappointing initial public offerings of Facebook, Groupon Inc. and Zynga Inc. - all of which were venture-backed — a number of hedge funds, private-equity firms and other asset-management firms are pouring money into closely held startups." [WSJ] $$$ George W. Bush’s Art Teacher Says He’s Painted 50 Dogs [Gawker] $$$ A boutique multi-strategy hedge fund in San Francisco is looking for a C++ programmer to help build an HFT platform [DBCC] $$$ AIG to Redeem $1.1 Billion of Debt in Path to Dividend [Bloomberg] $$$ "The Fed said the median loss from commercial and industrial loans across the 18 banks tested would be 6.5 percent under the severely adverse scenario. But Goldman's loss would be a stunning 49.6 percent." [NetNet / John Carney] $$$ Identifying Term Interbank Loans from Fedwire Payments Data [FRBNY] $$$ S&P Ratings Debate Doesn’t Show Fraud, Peterson Says [Bloomberg] $$$ Q. Do you ever throw your weight around during Internet arguments? Like, "I knew you were going to compare me to Hitler because I AM MIKE GODWIN." A. I never do that. [DI]