Sony Hackers Expose Rogen’s Pay Along With Deloitte Salaries (Bloomberg)
Hackers who took over Sony Pictures computers released the budget for “The Interview,” the Seth Rogen comedy about North Korea, adding to a breach that exposed pay at Deloitte Touche and studio head Michael Lynton’s credit-card number. The latest documents, including Rogen’s $8.4 million-plus compensation, were posted on the file-sharing site Pastebin after a purported hacker said more stolen data would be coming...Rogen co-wrote, directed and stars in “The Interview,” a comedy that centers on an attempt to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The budget data released yesterday included details that don’t usually become public. One line item appeared to be props: a “table of weed, coke, pills and panties.” Those were budgeted for $250 and came in at $241, according to the documents. Co-star James Franco received $6.5 million, while Britney Spears-ex Kevin Federline is listed as getting $5,000 for a cameo. The film cost $44 million to make, according to the documents.
Private Equity Is Top Choice of Young Wall St. Bankers (Dealbook)
Nearly 36 percent of junior investment bankers who started two-year jobs in 2012 have now joined private equity firms, according to research by Vettery, a start-up recruiting firm. That level exceeded the 27.5 percent of junior bankers who stayed in the same group at their bank, Vettery said...For the analysts who started in 2012, private equity firms were far more popular than hedge funds, which claimed 9.3 percent of the class, and venture capital firms, which hired 2.2 percent of the young bankers, according to Vettery. The data covers about 1,400 analysts, which Vettery says is virtually the entire class. While many on Wall Street see Silicon Valley as a competitive threat when it comes to hiring, tech start-ups claimed only 3.9 percent of the 2012 analyst class, according to Vettery. More popular, claiming 5.6 percent of the class, were jobs in corporate finance or business development at companies outside Wall Street.
SEC on Lookout for Web-Based Pyramid Schemes (WSJ)
Illustrated by a sack full of dollar bills, the online pitch was simple: an “amazing and irresistible” opportunity to join a global direct-sales travel company, recruit others and enjoy a share of the profits. The company, GoFunPlaces Inc., was going to go viral via Facebook and YouTube, making it easy for “Joe Average [and] Suzy Average” to earn money. “You can win here! You can win!” a 2012 video said. “The longevity is going to be here.” Within a year, GoFunPlaces closed its U.S. operations and faced scrutiny from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission over whether the company was a pyramid scheme or involved in other fraud, according to people close to the probes. The SEC this fall shut down a company that owned half of GoFunPlaces, alleging it was a fraudulent $129 million pyramid scheme...Regulators say the industry is being exploited by Web-savvy con artists who are in fact running pyramid schemes—a fraud where the new money comes mostly from attracting new recruits, rather than legitimate product sales. Once the supply of recruits runs out, the scheme collapses, leaving most of its members nursing losses.
B-Schools Embrace Last-Minute Candidates (WSJ)
Waiting until the last minute to apply to business school used to mean the candidate was disorganized, undesirable or both. That is no longer the case. Now, applying in later rounds of the M.B.A. admissions cycle might signal that a candidate is an offbeat catch. The cycle typically is divided into at least three rounds, with deadlines spaced throughout the fall, winter and spring of an academic year. Some schools have rolling admissions during the cycle or a final rolling round. Schools still make most of their admissions and scholarship offers during the first and second application rounds, but admissions officers at top programs say the later rounds are bringing in a crop of unconventional candidates who liven the mix of an incoming M.B.A. class. “We actually enjoy round three,” said Dee Leopold, managing director of M.B.A. admissions and financial aid at Harvard Business School, referring to the final round. “It takes a certain amount of confidence to apply then. Those applicants march to their own drum, and we would never want to miss them.”
Hot Tub Fight Breaks Out Over Who Is Higher Paid Escort (HP)
A hot tub threesome in Spartanburg, South Carolina got heated with two men scuffling over who is the higher paid escort. The melee happened early Nov. 30 after Austin Adams, 18, and Michael Gordon, 33, met Douglas Tench, 21, at a gay nightclub, and decided to use the hot tub at a home where Gordon was dog-sitting...But the fun ended when Adams and Tench allegedly began discussing their separate careers as escorts, according to The Smoking Gun. Police said when Tench said he was paid more for his services, Adams reportedly became angry and punched and kicked him.
Private-Equity Firms Adapt to Regulatory Clampdown (WSJ)
Deal makers are adjusting to a new landscape in which the ability of banks to arrange loans for buyouts is now under close watch, with U.S. regulators seeking to curb deals they think burden companies with too much debt. Private-equity firms now reach out to more banks when seeking financing, knowing that some may balk if they fear the structure or terms may run afoul of regulators. They are coming up with financial models for deals that are more likely to pass regulatory muster, and they are beginning to bypass banks, going directly to debt investors, executives and their advisers said.
DiCaprio, Diddy and more flock to Miami for Art Basel (NYP)
The world’s top art collectors including Aby Rosen and Steve Cohen, as well as celebrity buyers Leo DiCaprio and Sean “Diddy” Combs descended on the VIP preview of Art Basel Miami Beach Wednesday as $3 billion of art went on sale at the US’ largest contemporary art fair. The Miami extension of the fair held each June in Basel, Switzerland, opened Wednesday to VIP guests before it opens to the public Thursday, with 267 galleries present from 31 countries and pieces from over 4,000 artists. Prize artworks on offer include a Warhol portrait of Mao Zedong for $15-18 million at Acquavella Galleries, while other big names on display throughout the prestigious fair include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, David Hockney and Sigmar Polke.
Asset managers cut oil debt exposure (FT)
Big bond investors are cutting their exposure to energy companies in the $1.3tn US market for junk-rated debt as the year ends with little sign of oil prices stabilising. Bond and equity prices for lower quality gas and oil producers, oil service companies and equipment providers have come under sustained downward pressure in recent months as crude oil has fallen to lows not seen since mid-2010. Speculative grade-rated energy debt has recorded a total return of minus 5.27 per cent so far this year, while the broad Bank of America Merrill Lynch US High Yield Index has gained 3.08 per cent. The deterioration in performance has compelled investment managers to scrutinise their portfolios and lower their energy exposure before their yearly numbers are gauged by investors in January, a practice known as window dressing.
Costolo’s Family Trusts Sell Half Their Twitter Stock (Bloomberg)
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo’s family trusts halved their stake in the social network again, as the executive’s sales accelerate. After the sale, the trusts have a quarter of the Twitter stock they held in early November. The Richard Costolo 2001 Living Trust and Lorin Costolo 2001 Living Trust, named for his wife, sold 141,730 shares in transactions on Dec. 1 for $5.68 million, according to a regulatory filing yesterday. The trusts now own 141,730 shares. On Nov. 3 and Nov. 17, the trusts sold 283,460 shares for $11.6 million, filings showed. Costolo has been taking steps to diversify his investments after holding on to all his shares in the microblogging service’s initial public offering.
Surgeon on probation for removing wrong kidney (UPI)
The California Medical Board ruled Dr. Charles Coonan Streit, a urologist who has had a license to practice for 41 years, committed "an extreme departure from the standard of care" when he relied on his memory and removed a healthy kidney from the 59-year-old federal inmate at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton in 2012. The board said the error put the patient's "future renal function in jeopardy" and forced him to undergo a second surgery to remove the cancer-stricken kidney. The hospital was fined $100,000 by the state Department of Health after an investigation found CT scans showing the affected the kidney had been left in the office of a surgical team doctor on the day of the surgery. Streit was placed on probation for three years and ordered to enroll in a wrong-site surgery class at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine within 60 days.