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KKR Earnings Rise, as Private-Equity Portfolio Climbs [WSJ]
Helping to drive the gain was a 9% appreciation in KKR’s private-equity portfolio, including an 11% gain in its flagship funds. Both figures easily exceeded the 0.2% gain for the S&P 500 during the period…. The firm reported record fee-related earnings of $529.6 million, or 60 cents a share, versus $324 million, or 38 cents a share a year earlier. Driving that was a $28 billion fundraising haul during the third quarter, over 90% of which came from non-private equity businesses such as credit and real estate.

Apollo Profit Edges Lower, but Distributable Earnings Hit Record [WSJ]
Apollo’s private-equity portfolio appreciated by 4.8% in the quarter, exceeding the 0.2% gain for the S&P 500…. Apollo’s private-equity segment, which accounted for $6.2 billion of those exits, posted its highest quarterly realized performance fees in more than eight years. Notable sales during the quarter included shares of OneMain Holdings Inc.

Lazard Is in Talks to Buy Hedge Fund Brigade in Credit Push [Bloomberg]
Brigade has found itself in prominent distressed-debt situations, leading negotiations for control of companies on the brink of or in bankruptcy, including Guitar Center Inc. and IHeartMedia Inc…. That’s led to thorny brawls in credit markets. As a lender to Ronald Perelman’s makeup giant Revlon Inc., the firm joined a group in opposition to the company’s efforts to rework its debt. It then found itself with a $175 million-dollar mistaken payment sent by Revlon’s bank, Citigroup Inc., which Brigade refused to return. Citigroup sued Brigade in an attempt to recoup its money, but has been blocked from reclaiming its cash.

Yellen says she has discussed Fed chair with Biden, praises Powell for doing a ‘good job’ [CNBC]
The Powell Fed has come under criticism in recent weeks following disclosures that regional presidents — and Powell himself — had been buying and selling securities tied to the stock and bond markets at a time when Fed policy was underpinning Wall Street…. “He responded very admirably to the crisis that we saw after the pandemic, and he’s established with his colleagues a new framework that is very focused on achieving full employment,” she said.

Businesses Lease Trophy Space to Stoke Return to the Office [WSJ]
These new office digs offer custom-built lounges, game rooms with ping-pong tables and foosball, and apps that enable employees to contact building security or order a burger from the company cafeteria. The state-of-the art office towers also emphasize sanitation, outdoor space and sustainability, featuring robust ventilation systems and outside dining areas with fire pits./Many firms are swallowing hard while paying the steeper rents that accompany all these extras. But they believe the costs are necessary to draw employees back into offices and to help recruit and retain talent in a tight labor market.

Dow Crosses 36000—Making a Book’s Prediction Just Two Decades Late [WSJ]
“On the one hand, I’m very happy” about the Dow finally hitting 36000, [author James Glassman] said. “We dared to say this could happen at a time when many people didn’t think it would ever be possible. On the other hand, it’s very clear to me that the thesis at the foundation of the book was faulty. People are afraid of stocks. We need to recognize that….” After years of insisting that the book’s thesis was correct, Mr. Glassman finally wrote in an opinion piece in the Journal in February 2011: “I was wrong.”


carnegie deli

Opening Bell: 8.3.21

KKR had a quarter; Deutsche Bank can start being a real bank again; China tears; and more!

Opening Bell: 5.1.15

Apollo Global goes on charm offensive; T. Rowe Price tries high frequency trading; Greece still Greece; "2 arrested in Florida for stealing hundreds in meat products," stuffing them in pants; and more.

Jay Powell

Opening Bell: 11.22.21

It’s Jay; also it’s Alex; McKinsey mess; sayings of Ray; and more!


Opening Bell: 7.21.21

Will he Jay or will he go?; friends like these; excising Excel; and more!

tiffany ring

Opening Bell: 10.29.20

Economy rebounds; fear, too; Apollo, Credit Suisse fall; and more!

Martin Shkreli

Opening Bell: 5.19.20

Small business Armageddon; does Buffett hate D.J. D-Sol?; Apollo definitely hates Hertz, but not as much as Grimes’ mother hates her new grandson’s dad; the passion of the Son; and more!

Opening Bell: 04.24.12

Dubai Debtors Go on Hunger Strike (FT) About 20 jailed foreign businessmen have gone on hunger strike in Dubai to protest against lengthy sentences for writing checks that bounced, a criminal offence in the United Arab Emirates. “I’ve exhausted every avenue that I can see,” Peter Margetts, 48, a former property developer, told the Financial Times from a prison pay phone. “I’ve exhausted the legal system, the lawyers have their hands tied here and they’re not going to rock the boat.” Mr. Margetts is one of three British prisoners who started a hunger strike on Sunday. Other jailed businessmen come from Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, India and Pakistan. Many of the hunger strikers fell victim to Dubai’s once-thriving real estate market, struggling to meet their payments when boom turned to bust in 2008. Twelve face sentences of more than 20 years because each bounced check can translate into a jail term of up to three years. Wall Street Promotes Junk Bonds as Europe Erupts (Bloomberg) Morgan Stanley said last week that U.S. high-yield obligations were in a “sweet spot” as borrowers cut their debt loads. JPMorgan said junk yields will fall more than half a percentage point by year-end. Bank of America favors debentures rated in the middle tier of speculative grade. Gains on U.S. high-yield, high-risk bonds, which are little changed since the end of February, are set to accelerate as central banks respond more aggressively to contain Europe’s fiscal imbalances, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan said. While forecasting the default rate will rise this year, Moody’s Investors Service says the figure will stay below historic averages. Facebook's Growth Slows (WSJ) In what is likely to be the last snapshot of its financial condition before the expected May IPO, Facebook disclosed Monday that its first-quarter profit and revenue declined from the final quarter of 2011...The company's first-quarter revenue was $1.06 billion, down 6% from the December quarter. In a regulatory filing, the company blamed the decline on "seasonal trends" in the advertising business and user growth in markets where Facebook generates less revenue per user. CIT Group Swings To A Loss (WSJ) CIT Group, the business lender that emerged from bankruptcy more than two years ago, posted a wider-than-expected loss of $446.5 million in the first quarter as costs tied to debt repayments weighed on earnings. CIT's lending activity increased, though, and its profit margins on loans improved from a year earlier, a trend that should continue as its efforts to slash debt helps reduce its funding costs in the long run. "We made further progress this quarter positioning CIT for profitability and growth," John Thain, the long-time Wall Street executive who took the helm of CIT in 2010, said in a statement. Harbinger Pays Early (AP) Phil Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners made a $48 million payment on its $190 million loan from Jefferies Group, avoiding a forced sale of assets of his hedge fund, according to a person familiar with the fund. The payment was made a week early and a half million dollars more than what’s due on April 30. Falcone raised money for the loan by selling some investments, said the person. Father And Son Ran 'Brothel On Wheels' (NYP) A father and son from Queens ran a lucrative — and cruel — brothel on wheels for two decades, using six livery drivers to deliver hookers to hotels and apartments, Manhattan prosecutors said today in announcing the ring’s breakup...Johns on the go could purchase and enjoy a sex act without ever leaving the back seat, officials said of the operation, quoting the price scale at $200 to $500 per customer. Business was good — one woman alone allegedly earned half-a-million dollars for the father and son last year, and the Georges employed five women at the time of the bust, officials said. But as nice as they were to customers, the alleged father and son pimps were nasty to their prostitutes, threatening them, giving them little money so as to keep them helpless and even branding them with tattoos — including a bar code on one woman’s neck, according to officials. At least one of the women had a heart tattoo on her breast with the word “Vee,” which is the dad’s nickname. At least three of the women had tattoos featuring the son’s nickname, “King Koby.” Calpers Scalpers (NYP) The former head of the nation’s biggest pension defrauded funds run by private-equity titan Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management to pay a pal’s placement agencies $20 million, a lawsuit filed yesterday charged. Federico Buenrostro, the CEO of the $235 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System from 2002 to 2008, teamed up with buddy Alfred Villalobos’ Arvco Capital Research on a scheme to pocket the boatload of fees from Apollo, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged in a civil suit filed in a Nevada federal court. Villalobos was the deputy mayor of Los Angeles in 1993. It is charged that the two ginned up fake “disclosure letters” and sent them to Apollo, making it appear that Calpers OK’d the payment when, in fact, it had not. The two used the fake letters four times, the suit alleges. Judge: DA Can Subpoena Occupy Protester Tweets (NBC) A judge says an Occupy Wall Street protester can't stop prosecutors from getting his tweets as part of a case surrounding his arrest at a demonstration. A Manhattan criminal court judge ruled Friday there are reasonable grounds to believe the information is relevant. The judge also says Malcolm Harris can't legally challenge the subpoena sent to Twitter Inc., not him. Harris was among more than 700 demonstrators arrested Oct. 1 on the Brooklyn Bridge. Wal-Mart Said To Be Subject Of US Criminal Probe (Bloomberg) The Justice Department is investigating potential criminal charges under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to the person familiar with the probe who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about it. Wal-Mart is conducting its own review of allegations that its representatives paid local officials in Mexico to get stores opened faster in the early 2000s. Chris Christie Not Happy With NJ Nets Move To Brooklyn (NYDN) As the Nets were preparing their farewell, the Governor of New Jersey was kicking them out the door. “I’m not going to the Nets game tonight and my message to the Nets is ‘Goodbye,’ ” Christie said. “If you don’t want to stay, we don’t want you. Seriously, I’m not going to be in the business of begging people to stay here. That’s one of the most beautiful arenas in America that they’ve had a chance to play in. It’s in one of the country’s most vibrant cities. “They want to leave here and go to Brooklyn? Good riddance. See you later.”


Opening Bell: 6.15.20

The bigotry of Deutsche Bank expectations; banks have lost enough on shale drillers; Apollo making sure Serta Simmons doesn’t sleep easy; and more!