Wall Street: Monday Morning

cityfile · 04/20/09 05:35AM

• Stocks are down in early trading today as investors brace for disappointing earnings as well as signs the recession is getting worse. [WSJ, BN]
• Bank of America reported first quarter profits totaled $4.2 billion and revenues almost doubled, not that any of that will do much to soothe angry investors, who are pushing for a change in management. [NYT, WSJ, [NYT]
• Citigroup's first quarter profit of $1.6 billion last week? That may have been the product of creative accounting more than anything else. [NYT]

Wall Street: Friday Morning

cityfile · 04/17/09 05:54AM

• Citigroup posted its first profit in 18 months today, which made Wall Street very happy and sent Citi shares up to a whopping $4. [WSJ, DB]
• GE's first-quarter profit fell less than expected, dropping 35% compared to a year earlier, results that gave shares a boost in early trading. [BN, WSJ]
• AIG chief Ed Liddy still owns a big stake in Goldman Sachs, info that will be most pleasing to Goldman conspiracy theorists out there. [NYT, NYT]
• Is the banking business showing signs of recovery? [NYT]
Carl Icahn and Kirk Kerkorian are locked in battle over MGM Mirage. [WSJ]
• General Growth Properties's bankruptcy will make hedge funder Bill Ackman a very rich man. And he already happens to be a very rich man. [NYT]
• The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco now says it was a mistake to allow Lehman Brothers to collapse. Now you tell us? [BN]

Wall Street: Thursday Morning

cityfile · 04/16/09 05:48AM

• JPMorgan Chase reported a $2.1 billion profit in the first quarter, exceeding estimates. Unlike Goldman, though, Jamie Dimon says the bank hasn't decided whether to return the $25 billion it's received in bailout money. [DB, WSJ, BN]
• General Growth Properties, the second-largest mall operator, filed Chapter 11 today, making it one of the largest real estate failures in history. [AP, WSJ]
• AIG is close to a deal to sell its auto insurance business for $2 billion. [FT]
• Investors remain concerned about the situation at GE and whether the company will be forced to go out and raise additional capital. [WSJ]
• Foreclosure filings jumped 24 percent in the first quarter. [CNN]
• Blackstone boss Steve Schwarzman says he's really worried about the "decline of capitalism." But he's got $25 billion sitting on the sidelines, and he's ready to pounce at any second assuming the world isn't ending. [Fortune]

Code Pink Finds a Friend in Reverend Billy

cityfile · 04/15/09 02:37PM

The ladies of Code Pink—you remember them, don't you?—protested outside the offices of AIG today. The turnout wasn't anything to brag out, as you can see above. But Reverend Billy did show up with a bullhorn, so at least the day wasn't a total loss! We must admit, though, that we're a little bit concerned to see that the good reverend has been so busy protesting, he clearly hasn't even had time to change his clothes. After the jump, a couple of photos from Billy's "exorcism" of Bank of America ATM machine in Union Square yesterday.

Wall Street: Tuesday Morning Headlines

cityfile · 04/07/09 05:50AM

• A half-dozen bidders have emerged for AIG's asset management unit, although efforts to sell it have been "complicated," not surprisingly. [WSJ]
• Congressman Dennis Kucinich has asked the SEC to determine if Bank of America violated the law by not disclosing Merrill Lynch's bonus plan. [DB]
• GM is speeding up preparations for a possible bankruptcy filing. [BN]
• Quadrangle Group has halted fundraising for its next fund. [Crains]
• The Tokyo office of Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity has been closed. [DB]
• RBS may eliminate an additional 9,000 jobs. [BN]
• It's never been a better time for a hostile takeover. [NYP]
• What's Hank Paulson doing with his money these days? He's backing his son's effort to bring Major League Soccer to Portland, Oregon, that's what. [BN]

The Talks in London, Another Bonus Bill Passes

cityfile · 04/02/09 05:56AM

• Details on what's been discussed—and what's on the agenda—as President Obama meets other world leaders at the G-20 in London. [BN, NYT, WSJ]
• The House has approved yet another bill to restrict bonuses and compensation at financial firms that have received bailout money. [NYT]
• Former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg will give testimony in front of a congressional panel in Washington today. [WSJ, CNN]
• The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits surged to a nearly 26-year high last week. [Reuters]
• The Justice Department has opened about 100 criminal investigations into wealthy Americans who skirted tax laws as clients of UBS. [Dealbook]
• Real estate prices in NYC have taken a big hit thanks to Wall Street. [Reuters]
• Good news: hedge funds are back in the game, it seems. After a lousy 2008, investors are "tentatively returning to the sector," report some. [FT]

The First AIG Arrest?

cityfile · 03/31/09 05:31AM

• The markets were down big yesterday—the Dow shed 254 points—but stocks should do better today as the first quarter of '09 comes to a close. [CNN, WSJ]
• ABC News reports that the FBI and federal prosecutors are "closing in" on AIG's most notorious exec, Joseph Cassano, who made as much as $300 million running the company's disastrous Financial Products Division. [ABC]
• Wondering what Andrew Cuomo has been up to? Here's your answer: He just forced JPMorgan to refund a group of customers $4.4 million. [DJ]
• Morgan Stanley is set to raise $6 billion for a new global property fund. [BN]
• France is now looking to limit executive compensation, too. [WSJ]
• The 15 largest global banks are expected to shrink their balance sheets by about $2 trillion in 2009. [Reuters]
• Google plans to commit $100 million to a new venture capital fund. [WSJ]
• One more victim of the recession: the sanctity of contracts. [NYT]
Carl Icahn is taking a gamble: He's bidding on Atlantic City's Tropicana. [DB]

Welcome to the White House

cityfile · 03/27/09 05:36AM

• President Obama will meet with 15 big banking CEOs in Washington today, including Vikram Pandit of Citigroup, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs. Obama plans to "quiz" them "about developments in the economy and their businesses." Sounds like fun. [CNN]
• Hedge fund managers can expect a lot more oversight in the future, which isn't something they're too excited about, not surprisingly. [Reuters, NYP]
• Andrew Cuomo says he now plans to widen his investigation of AIG. [DB]
• Many of the AIG execs charged with preventing the insurance giant from taking on too much risk still have jobs at the company for some reason. [WSJ]
• The exodus of Merrill bankers from Bank of America continues. [DJ, DB]
• Swiss private banks are banning top execs from traveling abroad for fear they will be detained as part of a crackdown on bank secrecy. [Reuters]
• Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing says it's time to start buying stocks and real estate again. Make of that what you will. [NYT]

Tim Geithner Takes Charge

cityfile · 03/26/09 05:30AM

• Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner plans to ask for greater oversight of financial markets and stricter regulation today; his proposal will also seek more control over hedge funds and private equity firms. [BN, WSJ, NYT]
• The departure of two execs from AIG's Paris office could trigger defaults on $234 billion in derivative contracts, believe it or not. [WSJ]
• Morgan Stanley and Mitsubishi are merging their brokerages in Japan. [DB]
• Some say the insurance biz is the next shoe to drop in the crisis. [NYP]
• Commercial real estate loans are heading south in a hurry. Delinquency rates have more than doubled since September. [WSJ]
• Gross domestic product fell at a 6.3% annual rate during the fourth quarter of 2008; state unemployment claims are up, too. [WSJ, CNN]
• Hope you skipped business school: "The MBA will soon be joining equities and house titles in the museum of formerly overvalued pieces of paper." [TBM]

New Google Design Features AIG

Owen Thomas · 03/26/09 12:19AM

The Googleplex is a place apart. But are the brainiacs of Mountain View, Calif. so cloistered that they haven't heard of AIG's woes? Apparently so, judging by new graphics VP Marissa Mayer unveiled Wednesday.

Obama and Wall Street Make Nice

cityfile · 03/25/09 04:55AM

• Congress's efforts to recoup bonuses at AIG appear to have cooled over the past few days. And President Obama will make an effort to repair relations with Wall Street when he sits down with a dozen bank CEOs on Friday. [WSJ]
• More on Tim Geithner's proposal yesterday that the government be given the authority to take control of troubled financial institutions. [NYT]
• HSBC is planning to lay off 1,200 people in the UK. [DB]
• Hedge funders may see pay drop by as much as 25 percent this year. [BN]
• A Steve Rattner-less Quadrangle Group has decided to temporarily suspend efforts to raise a third private equity fund. [peHUB]
• More big names have decided to leave Merrill Lynch. [FT, WSJ]
• AIG says it sold two of its jets and has cancelled delivery of two more. [ABC]
• An employee with AIG shares his resignation letter: He says he's been "betrayed by AIG" and "unfairly persecuted by elected officials." [NYT]

Cuomo Closes In, Geithner's Power Grab

cityfile · 03/24/09 05:34AM

Andrew Cuomo reports that 15 of the top 20 recipients of the $165 million in AIG bonuses have agreed to give back the cash. As for the other five, Cuomo is still "thinking about" releasing their names. Hint, hint. [NYT]
• Tim Geithner will call for the Treasury to be granted the power to seize troubled financial firms when he goes before a Congressional panel today. [DB]
• More trouble for AIG: The IRS is looking into cushy tax deals that were structured by the same unit that collected those millions in bonuses. [WSJ]
• Goldman Sachs plans to give back its bailout money in the next month. [DB]
• More on the programs unveiled by Tim Geithner yesterday, which created plenty of enthusiasm on Wall Street and sent the Dow up 7 percent. [NYT]
• The trustee overseeing the Madoff mess says he found an additional $75 million laying around, so there's some good news for you. [NYT]
• What a difference a year makes: "The best-performing deal of billionaire Henry Kravis's empire is a deep-discount retailer selling $1 dog treats and $2 bleach to lower-income shoppers." [WSJ]