For One Breed of Wall Street Bankers, Business Is Booming Again (Bloomberg)
The turnaround expert is in hot demand. With company after company in oil, coal, retail and other industries in distress -- the Bloomberg Bankruptcy Index is at a six-year high -- business is booming. Banks are assembling or expanding teams, with Lazard, Guggenheim Partners, Perella Weinberg Partners and AlixPartners all hiring, often within a circle of familiar faces. Lazard’s global restructuring head, David Kurtz, just tapped Ken Ziman of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom; they worked on Millennium Health’s bankruptcy last year. Durc Savini, who’d headed Peter J. Solomon’s restructuring group, recently joined Guggenheim.
Yellen Says Forces Holding Down Rates May Be Long Lasting (Bloomberg)
Yellen in the past has ascribed the low level of rates mainly to lingering headwinds from the financial crisis -- tight mortgage credit, for instance -- and suggested that they would dissipate over time. On Wednesday, though, she also pointed to more permanent forces that could depress rates for longer, namely, slow productivity growth and aging societies, in the U.S. and throughout much of the world.
Investors Flee Banks in U.K. and Europe, as ‘Brexit’ Jitters Mount (WSJ)
Illustrating investor concern, an index of major U.K. and European financials fell to its lowest price this week since the international market turmoil in February, a sharper drop than the broader European index. On Wednesday, the cost of insuring banks’ debt rose to its highest level in five months.
Airbnb Adds $1 Billion to War Chest for Expansion (Bloomberg)
Airbnb Inc. secured a $1 billion debt facility from some of the largest U.S. banks to help the home-sharing company develop new services and fund growth initiatives, people familiar with the matter said.
Man converts tree stump into tribute to Boston sports teams (UPI)
Green transformed the four stumps into human fingers bearing championship rings for each of Massachusetts major sports teams: The Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins and New England Patriots. According to CBS Boston, Green was born in Massachusetts and studied fine arts at UMass-Dartmouth where he sharpened his chainsaw sculpting skills.
Bypassing Private Equity to Get a Slice of the Big Deal (Dealbook)
...over the last few years, a new group of buyers has sprung up: sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and even private families have flexed their deal-making muscles. As interest rates hover near zero (and in many parts of the world, below zero), these investors, with trillions of dollars in their war chests, have taken it on themselves to buy pieces of companies, or in some cases, the whole thing. Over the last year and a half, these so-called emerging buyers bought about 17 percent of the assets sold by private equity firms, up from 2 percent in 2007, according to data compiled by Goldman Sachs. They were even more active as buyers than private equity firms themselves.
Private equity chief wins suit against Qatari royal family over $106M Picasso sculpture (NYDN)
Private equity big Leon Black will receive the 1931 masterpiece “Bust of a Woman” after a tangled ownership dispute with Qatar's royal family, according to the gallery that sold him the sculpture. Gagosian Gallery in January filed a lawsuit against Pelham Europe LTD — which snaps up art for oil rich country's elite — alleging the company wrongly claimed rights to "Marie-Thérèse." The tony Chelsea gallery claimed in Manhattan federal court papers it purchased the statue of Picasso's mistress from his daughter, Maya Widmaier-Picasso, for $106 million in May 2015. Pelham countered that Widmaier-Picasso had already promised them the statute for $ 42 million — which Gagosian warned was an "inexplicably low price."
Panama Law Firm’s Complaint Spurs Geneva Criminal Probe (Bloomberg)
Swiss authorities have opened a criminal probe following a complaint by Panama’s Mossack Fonseca -- the law firm at the heart of an international scandal over how the ultrawealthy use anonymity to hide their money -- according to Geneva prosecutors. Local police searched the firm’s Geneva office and arrested an information technician, according to press reports Wednesday. It wasn’t clear, however, whether the arrested man had any link to the millions of pages of Mossack Fonseca documents that were leaked to international reporters and fueled months of news reports that lifted the veil on global banking secrecy.
Jailers Discover Contraband During Exploration Deep Into Florida Suspect's "Crevasse" (TSG)
A Florida woman arrested for prowling was hit with additional narcotics charges after jailers retrieved “a glass crack pipe...located deep in the crevasse of her buttocks.” The recovery yesterday of drug paraphernalia from the “crevasse” of Laurie Shank, 53, did not require crampons or axes, according to a criminal complaint. Instead, the crack pipe was discovered by sheriff’s deputies during a "detailed search" of Shank as she was being booked into the Pinellas County jail around 2:45 AM.