Who Is Riding Off Into The Sunset With Mets Fans' Hopes And Dreams?

Hint: he might've called you at your office asking if you were looking for a new job.
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For shame.

Today is Opening Day in Major League Baseball. Which is not to be confused with yesterday’s Opening Night, consisting of only a single game that portends a further century of futility on the north side of Chicago. And with Opening Day comes the opening of a new era in New York Mets history. Mets fans hope it is the end of six seasons of losing baseball and the beginning of something called “meaningful games in September,” which have not been seen since the year 2008. But this is not the new era to which we refer. Nor are we talking about the much more important “era of being consistently better than the Yankees,” for whose predecessor you will have to go back more than 20 years, as the year 2000 does not count—for one, eras must last more than one year, unless it is the Bobby Valentine era in Boston, which felt very much longer than its actual 10 months, and, secondly, because superior regular-season records are erased when one loses to the inferior record-holder in the World Series. Nor, sadly, do we refer to the Steve Cohen era, which promised decades of consecutive championships before it was cruelly snuffed out for eternity by Yankees fan Preet Bharara prior to his own recent (and apparently permanent) ruin, precluding him from buying the letters that announced the name of his favorite team’s former home.

No, if it were possible, we refer to an even more tragic turn of events in Mets history. For this season marks the opening of a dark and eternal chapter in the story of the Flushing Metropolitans: the bullpen-cart-is-definitely-never-coming-back era. Because said bullpen cart has been sold, by a hedge-fund recruiter who once saw it sitting around a Long Island body shop, obviously, and probably not to the Mets, although Bartolo Colon could probably use the ride this afternoon in D.C.

A historic New York Mets bullpen cart was purchased for $112,500 at auction on Wednesday night at Sotheby's….

"Immortalized by its dramatic appearance at the monumental 1986 World Series Championship in which it entered the field of play following the culmination of the Game 7 win, it promptly ran out of power, adding further delight to the victory celebration.

Its failure to return home is, like the Cubs’ defeat last night, a dark omen. For while the Mets may return to winning more games than they lose this year, they shall never hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy while the bullpen cart remains exiled to some guy’s garage to be micturated upon by wild dogs.

Mets bullpen cart fetches $112,500 at auction [ESPN]
Mets bullpen cart on auction block [ESPN]

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Convicted Insider Trader Garrett Bauer Hoping College Kids Will Help Him Get Off

Remember Garrett Bauer? For those who need a refresher, GB was a trader (who "mostly worked from home") who was charged last year for running a decades-long insider trading scam with an M&A attorney, Matthew Kluger, that involved stealing information from several law firms. (In April 2011, 20 FBI agents knocked on Bauer's door to arrest him which, while terrifying, didn't come as much of a shock-- the duo had recently become suspicious that the authorities were onto them and, naturally, went about destroying evidence, a process Bauer recounted to a cooperating witness in a conversation he didn't realize was being recorded, telling the CC: "My heart was beating ten thousand miles an hour. I went right up to my apartment and I broke the phone in half and went to McDonald's and put it in two different garabage cans. And someone was watching me. I thought it was an FBI agent. And I asked him, 'Do you know me? You look familiar.' And, like, I was so panicked. I literally didn't sleep that entire night...I can't sleep. I am waiting for the FBI to ride into my apartment. I am on edge all night thinking they are coming in.") Anyway, Bauer ultimately pleaded guilty and is set to be sentenced today. Though he could receive up to 11 years in the big house, a judge will be taking into consideration letters "expressing support or urging leniency" sent on Bauer's behalf, some of which were written by fans he's gained working the college lecture circuit the past few months, explaining to undergrads why they don't want to follow in his footsteps (hint: it involves sleeping on bunk-beds). “I’m here hoping you won’t commit the same crime I committed, insider trading,” Bauer told the students at NYU’s Stern School of Business in February. “I feel remorse. That’s why I’m here. It’s my way of trying to apologize to everyone for what I’ve done and try to make amends.” Bauer said he hopes that his “scared straight” message, delivered in 147 speeches since last fall at business schools, law schools, churches and synagogues, will move the judge to grant him leniency. Sentencing judges can consider whether a defendant has accepted responsibility and shown remorse for his acts. “I’m not blind anymore,” Bauer said in an interview. “I see how wrong it was, how unfair it was to everybody else that’s trading. You get away with it once, and then you think you can get away with it every time. I almost never considered the question of getting caught. It was more a question of let’s figure out a way to make money and not lose money.” Bauer spoke several times a week in person or via Skype at schools including Harvard University, Yale University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Texas, the University of Michigan and Duke University. He booked his own speeches, sometimes called “Confessions of an Inside Trader.” Bauer gave the same basic narrative in two appearances observed at NYU, as well as at Cardozo Law School in New York, Drexel University in Philadelphia and a Rutgers University class in Jersey City, New Jersey. Bauer, lean at 5-foot-11 and 145 pounds, favors button-down shirts and khaki pants. He speaks rapidly in a nasal voice, lacing his account with jokes...In every talk to students, Bauer discussed how 20 FBI agents came to his apartment to arrest him and how they played the tapes for him, as well as his time in the Hudson County Jail. He tried hard to show no emotion to violent criminals. “Saying it’s a scary place kind of understates it,” he said. “It’s the scariest place on earth.” At least one professor believes Bauer's talk scarred his students for life, which should count for something. And according to Sameen Singh, a recent Stern grad who will soon start a job at Morgan Stanley, U.S. District Judge Katharine Hayden ought to go easy on the guy, who is just another bro. “I was impressed by how human he was and how his friendships and relationships played a role in his crimes. My friends were quite taken aback by how similar he was to them. He came from humble beginnings, and he’s not a deviant mastermind criminal. He’s just a regular guy.” Prison-Bound Bauer Reprises ‘Confessions Of An Inside Trader’ [Bloomberg]

Mike Corbat's Wife Is Gal-Pals With The Wife Of One Of The Guys Abruptly Fired The Day He Was Named CEO, And Other Things Making His First 100 Days At The Top Awkward

Over at the Journal today you will find a story called "Awkward Spot For Citi's CEO," which details the various awkwardness encountered by Mike Corbat since he took over as Chief Executive Officer, following Vikram Pandit's awkward ousting. There is also a delightful bonus round of awkwardness that comes as a postscript to the article, but we'll get the that later. First, why are things slightly awk for Corbat? Well, for starters, he knew that Pandit was going to be unexpectedly and unceremoniously fired long before VP did, including the entire time they were on a business trip together. The whole time they were flying over there together, having dinner together, meeting with clients together, taking in shows and doing touristy things when they had downtime from the conference together, he knew Pandit was about to get hit by a truck. No one blames Corbat for Vickles getting canned but, at the same time, there is a feeling by a few at Citi that you'd have to be some kind of monster to look a person in the eye and say "Sure, a trip the the Zen Temples sounds great," and take in the cherry blossoms and drink sake and do karaoke and fight over who is Scarlett Johansson and who is Bill Murray with him all the while knowing what was going to happen when you got home. For Vikram Pandit, a trip to Tokyo for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank conference last month seemed routine. But Michael Corbat, the longtime Citigroup executive who joined Mr. Pandit there, knew better. Unbeknown to Mr. Pandit, Citigroup Chairman Mike O'Neill had told Mr. Corbat that the board could seek Mr. Pandit's resignation as chief executive and hand the job to Mr. Corbat, according to people familiar with the situation. A day after Messrs. Pandit and Corbat returned to New York, that is exactly what happened. A host of financial, competitive and regulatory issues confronts the 52-year-old Mr. Corbat atop the nation's third-biggest bank by assets. But no task is more critical than soothing workers unsettled by the way the board ousted Mr. Pandit and his longtime right-hand man, John Havens, who ran the investment bank and served as president and chief operating officer. The effort is made even more delicate by Mr. Corbat's proximity to Mr. Pandit in the days before the coup. Executives say they don't blame Mr. Corbat for Mr. Pandit's overthrow, though some wondered how Mr. Corbat was able to sit through the IMF meetings knowing what was to unfold. Additionally awkward is the fact that there has been chatter around the office and scrawled on the walls of the men's room that there's only enough room in this Citi for one guy named Mike, and it's not Corbat. Adding to Mr. Corbat's challenges is the perception among some insiders that he is overshadowed by Mr. O'Neill. Employees have privately joked that of the two Mikes, it is Mr. O'Neill who is truly in charge. People close to Mr. O'Neill dispute that notion and say he has spent little time at his Citigroup office in the past month. Finally, you have the awkwardness of Mike not only knowing his colleague Vikram was going to be fired, but that his colleague and friend, John Havens, was getting the boot himself, which may or may not have caused auxiliary awkwardness for Corbat on the home front. Mr. Corbat's position is all the more awkward given his close personal relationship with Mr. Havens. The two men spent time together outside of work, occasionally vacationing with their wives at Mr. Havens' Scotland estate. All good examples of things that could be characterized as awkward to be sure. But! The absolute most wonderful bit of awkwardness to be found in "Awkward Spot For Citi's CEO," is, without question, this:

Financial Advisory Firm Not As Supportive Of Employee's Dream Of Winning Survivor As One Might Have Hoped

Roberta "RC" Saint Amour is a Bear Stearns alum, winner of the 112th Wellesley College "Hoop Rolling" Competition, member of the first inaugural Ladies of Investor Relations list, and a girl with a dream. That dream? Winning the new season of Survivor: The Phillipines. Starting tomorrow, viewers can watch her go head to head with former San Francisco Giants second baseman Jeff Kent and the actress who played Blair on Facts of Life and while RC believes her time on Wall Street has prepared her well ("If I know how to play with the big boys of Wall Street, I can certainly play with the little boys in the Survivor sandbox,"she says), the $1 million prize is not necessarily in the bag. And on the off chance she doesn't emerge victorious, she'll be looking to one of you for gainful employment, as the management at Landmark Ventures was apparently not interested in coming along for the ride. Newsday: You worked for Landmark Ventures before "Survivor" taped. What's the status there? RCSA: They replaced me while I was gone, and I came back to no job, which was a little devastating -- that's the hardest part you go through with this wonderful experience: The sacrifices you make in order to have your dream come true. It's tough sometimes, but I try not to think about it. Cold and, also, yet another instance in which we can say "Jimmy Cayne would've not only held her job open but watched every episode, with a wheelbarrow of Funyons and a childlike sense of wonderment that can only come with burning through his weekly supply of 90210 Kush in one sitting." LI's R.C. Saint-Amour dives into 'Survivor' [Newsday] Survivor: RC [CBS] Roberta Saint-Amour [LinkedIn] Related: Hedge Funds’ Hottest Assets: The Ladies of Investor Relations [NYM]

Woman Who Insider Traded On (Two-Timing) Boyfriend's Behalf Did So In The Hopes Of Taking Relationship To The Next Level

In the summer of 2009, Jessica Mang, far left, met an investment banker named Thomas Ammann at a nightclub in London. Both liked what they saw and started seeing each other "at least once a week," on days he wasn't with his other girlfriend, Christina Weckwerth. Things were going well, but by November, Mang wanted more. So when Ammann said he was going to take her on a romantic getaway to Seychelles, and all she had to do first was use her own money to trade on material non-public information he'd obtained from his job at Mizuho International about Canon’s purchase of OCE NV, she jumped at the chance. Not only did he want to go away with her (huge!) but he was entrusting her with such an important project (huger!); Mang had read all the dating books and knew that when a guy asks you to violate securities laws, it meant things were getting serious. “He basically said that I show him that I trust him -- I invest the money, he still hadn’t specified how -- once that’s done, we’ll go on holiday in the Seychelles,” Mang said today at a London criminal court. “I thought that was a massive leap in commitment.” She said Ammann told her if she didn’t do it, “he didn’t want to be with me anymore.” “I thought, you know, this is a relationship that’s going to go somewhere, I definitely thought we were exclusive as well,” Mang said. “It wasn’t just sleeping together, in my mind we were definitely boyfriend-girlfriend from the start.” Ammann suggested that she should invest so they could build a future together, which she said she thought was a “very sweet and considerate thing he was doing.” Things that are unanswered at time but presumably be cleared up by the time the trial concludes: 1) When Ammann asked Weckworth to insider trade on his behalf (in April 2009), did he dangle a vacation in her face, too? Did she agree to the deal because she also thought it was indication wedding bells weren't far off, or was she just in it for the financial gain? 2) UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES* COULD THIS MISUNDERSTANDING POSSIBLY OCCUR: Mang said she didn’t know what due diligence was and “thought it was just a cute nickname he had for me.” If you have any ideas, we're all ears. Ex-Banker’s Girlfriend Says Trades on Tips Showed Trust [Bloomberg] Earlier: Girlfriend Insider Trading On Two-Timing Boyfriend’s Behalf Found Roommate’s Judgment A Little Uncalled For Related (re: breaking the law for your boyfriend because he promises to take you on vacation): What To Do (Or Not Do) Upon Waking Up In A Car “Driving Through A House,” Part II *Did overhear a phone conversation in which he told someone "I'm spending 80 hours a week doing due diligence," and she assumed he meant her? Because otherwise we've got nothing.

Dick Bové: Wells Fargo Is Managed Great If You Don't Take Into Account The Horrible Customer Service I've Received On Several Occasions, For Which Heads Should Roll

Picture this. You're world-renonwn bank analyst Dick Bové, famous for, among other things, issuing a report in summer 2008 about which banks were "next" to fail, not rolling over and taking it when Citigroup tried to screw you good, and standing by Ken Lewis when literally no one else (including his board) would. When you walk into rooms, people notice. More often than not, they ask you to pose for pictures, kiss their babies, sign their tits. Some have fainted in your presence. You're the fifth Beatle, Justin Bieber, and George Clooney, all wrapped into one devastating little package.  It should go without saying that an appearance by you at your local branch bank, to cash six-figure checks, as you often do, would be call for a red carpet and the crème de la crème of customer service, right? Apparently wrong. The following is an accounting of Dick Bové's experiences as Wells Fargo customer. (Originally he banked with Wachovia, who he had only good things to say about. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the degenerates he's encountered at WFC.) * "Dick Kovacevich, Wells retired CEO, felt strongly that customers should be greeted when they entered the branch and that the visit should be a positive experience. I can honestly state that no one ever greeted me when I entered my local branch. In fact, on one occassion, when I needed to speak with a platform person, I never got the opportunity. The bank officer made me wait a bit; came out of his office and entered the public bathroom; and left the bank." * "On a second occasion, I entered the branch with a low six figure check. I needed some information concerning more than one issue related to the deposit. After searching out an employee, I was told that he could not handle the transactions...It is interesting to note that no one at the branch suggested any investment to me but simply deposited the check. No one ever called me to indicate that there was over six figures sitting in a no interest checking account." * "What my Wells Fargo experience suggests is that a successful bank is one that keeps seeking new customers and selling them more products and not getting bogged down by offering service...My interaction with Wells has been an enlightening experience." Does Dick Bové "rate banks based on one person's anecdotal experience"? No, at this time he does not. If he did though, a bank--if you can call it that-- named Wells Fargo would be up shit's creek right about now. Because in the scenario in which DB did assign ratings based on his own interactions with management, WFC would have a giant red "U" across its chest, for "unacceptable" and caution tape around its buildings which would in turn be condemned and schedule for demolition at 9AM.