Cioffi, Tannin Go Free

cityfile · 11/10/09 12:35PM

Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, the former Bear Stearns execs charged with conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud in connection with the collapse of the two hedge funds they managed, were acquitted on all counts in federal court this afternoon. So much for the "first major test of a U.S. effort to obtain convictions tied to the subprime mortgage crisis and subsequent recession"! [Reuters]

Wall Street: Tuesday Morning

cityfile · 06/02/09 05:56AM

• JPMorgan Chase, American Express and Morgan Stanley all announced plans to raise fresh capital today, so they're prepared to repay the taxpayer money they've received as soon as Washington gives them the go-ahead. [WSJ, BN]
• Related: The Federal Reserve says next week it will announce an initial set of banks that have been approved to exit the bailout program. [NYT]
• Citigroup has stopped paying out massive severance payouts to a handful of execs who recently left the company. Is it legal? Not really, but they're betting that it would be too embarrassing for them "to file lawsuits against the struggling, taxpayer-backed company seeking the money." [WSJ]
• Ex-Bear Stearns chief Alan Schwartz is joining Guggenheim Partners. [WSJ]
• After a good day on Monday, stocks are taking a breather today. [NYT]
• GM says it has a deal to sell Hummer, but won't disclose the buyer. If you were buying Hummer, would you want your name publicized? [WSJ]

Bear Stearns Exec Trades Down in Scarsdale

cityfile · 05/12/09 09:06AM

Gary Reback worked at Bear Stearns until the bank crumbled last year and, like thousands of others, he was laid off. Yesterday, Reback filed a lawsuit against the firm and the bank that acquired Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Chase, for denying him the $2 million bonus and $1.1 million severance package he insists he's entitled to. The unusual suit didn't earn him much sympathy from the press. (The first sentence of a Post article called him a "bonus crybaby".) But clearly times are tough for Reback.

Wall Street: Tuesday Morning

cityfile · 05/12/09 05:56AM

• Bank of America sold off a $7.3 billion stake in China Construction Bank as it seeks to raise cash. Good news: only $26.6 billion to go! [DB]
Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce that Hank Morris has pleaded guilty in the pension fund probe and will be cooperating with the investigation. [WSJ]
• Citigroup has lent out the same amount it's taken from Washington ($45 billion), a sign that Vikram may have a heart, after all. [AP, Dealbreaker]
• AIG's Ed Liddy will defend his company's rep in front of a Congressional panel today. At the very least, he can report the busted insurance giant is $1.2 billion richer now that it's sold off its Tokyo headquarters. [WSJ, DB]

Vikram Pandit's Best Quarter Ever!

cityfile · 03/10/09 05:16AM

• Citigroup chief Vikram Pandit says the bank is "having the best quarter since 2007." Good news. Don't pay any attention to the fact regulators are making "contingency plans" in case Citi "takes a sudden turn for the worse." [BN, WSJ]
• Yet another Citi misstep: In addition to $3.5 million in gift cards, the bank gave out $13 million to employees whose vacations were canceled. [BN]
Andrew Cuomo's assault on Bank of America continues: He's sent a new letter to BofA chief Ken Lewis demanding information on bonus payments—and he even had Barney Frank co-sign it. That will definitely do the trick. [NYP]
• Lehman's buyout division is back in business under new ownership. [FT]
• Boutique investment banking is back, in case you didn't hear. [DB]
• A firm that JP Morgan inherited when it took over Bear Stearns was sold to Barclays for $30 million. Bear paid $625 million for it in 2001. [WSJ]
• The jobless rate may reach 9.4% this year, a new survey suggests. [BN]

The Worst Moments of the Panic of '08

Owen Thomas · 12/31/08 11:10AM

Everyone wants a neat explanation of the panic that destroyed the economy and put the government in charge of Wall Street. Good luck with that! Here's a look back on the year money forgot.

Tuesday Morning Headlines

cityfile · 12/09/08 06:31AM

♦ The events of the past few months signal that "there is no more Wall Street," according to Ace Greenberg, the former chief of Bear Stearns. [Bloomberg]
♦ Hedge funds dropped another 2.7 percent last month. [WSJ]
♦ Morgan Stanley's new bonus plan has a "claw-back" provision. [NYT]
♦ The hedge fund Copper River Management has closed its doors. [WSJ]
♦ Cowen Group has rejected an unsolicited takeover offer. [MW]
♦ In corporate layoff news, Sony plans to cut 8,000 full-time workers and the same number of part-timers. Other companies cutting back today: Wyndham Worldwide and Danaher Corp. [Bloomberg, CNN]
♦ Citi may be keeping its high-priced sponsorship of the new Mets stadium, but a holiday toy-train exhibit wasn't quite as lucky. [Bloomberg]

Stock Futures Fall

cityfile · 11/05/08 06:08AM

♦ Stock futures were down on Wednesday morning as investors focused on the challenges facing President-elect Obama. Yesterday's gain, however, was the largest Election Day rally in 24 years. [Reuters, NYT]
♦ The former chief risk officer at Bear Stearns is now a senior official at the Fed where he's part of the division that supervises U.S. banks. [DB]
♦ US companies cut 157,000 jobs in October. [Bloomberg]

AIG Runs Low (Again), Some Hedgies Expand

cityfile · 10/30/08 05:31AM

♦ AIG is already running out of the $123 billion in cash it was provided by the Federal Reserve, which means the authorities are slowly waking up to idea that something else might be going on. [NYT]
♦ The U.S. economy shrank at a 0.3 percent annualized rate in the third quarter as consumer spending declined at the fastest rate in 28 years. [MW]
♦ The Fed's half-point rate cut yesterday? It won't do much to prop up the economy. [NYP]
Andrew Cuomo has asked banks to provide his office with bonus data. [NYT]
♦ Some hedge funds are still raking in cash from investors. Steve Cohen's SAC is down 5.5 percent in 2008 (and he's moved most of his funds into cash), but he's accepting new funds beginning in January. [Bloomberg]

John Howard's New Home

cityfile · 10/28/08 07:57AM

John Howard, the CEO of Bear Stearns Merchant Banking and a ubiquitous presence on the social scene (he's pictured on the left with Michael's owner, Michael McCarty), has a new name for his firm now that Bear Stearns is no more. It's now called Irving Place Capital and happens to be named for the posh four-story townhouse he owns at 80 Irving Place.

Bear Stearns, Facebook escapee set to inflate open-source bubble

Owen Thomas · 10/14/08 01:20PM

A quartet of Valley veterans has started Cloudera. They're pitching it as "Red Hat for Hadoop." Hadoop is an open-source implementation of Google's MapReduce infrastructure software, supposedly useful for Internet-computing projects. Cloudera plans to offer technical support for Hadoop. And yet here I thought the whole point of cloud computing was that someone else ran Hadoop so you didn't have to. Whatever! I'm confident that the founders of Cloudera will make tons of money, if only for this reason: Its data guru, Jeff Hammerbacher, worked on credit derivatives at Bear Stearns before he left and joined Facebook. He joined the social network in time for its notional value to soar to $15 billion. Cloudera's business looks questionable, but I trust Hammerbacher's ability to convince someone else that he's built something so vast and complicated that they buy it before they figure out what it's really worth. (Photo by jakob)

The Rumormongers Who Brought Down Lehman: Heroes?

Moe · 09/16/08 12:16PM

Rumors: did they take down Lehman? This was one of those nagging questions to which we were too overwhelmed to answer yesterday. Now we know: Yes and no! On the one hand, as both rumormonger David Einhorn and pretty stiletto-wearing former Lehman CFO Erin Callan could tell you, that is how capitalism works. You short a stock, you start a word-of-mouth marketing campaign about how, say, "Lehman is the new Bear," which translates roughly to "Lehman is the new venerable investment bank whose demise those terrible short-sellers and their malicious rumormongering will turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy," and, lo and behold, the shit happens. Of course…it doesn't happen if your company has a sane and convincing leader who can go on CNBC and say, "here, look at our books! Our firm has such robust ratios of cash and hard tangible assets to covenants and other accounts payable that it really doesn't matter what our stock price does because, familiar as we are with the pussy nature of Wall Street confidence and the easily-distracted myopic ephemera-addled lemmings who govern such day-to-day fluctuations, we've seen to it to inoculate our business from such attacks by stockpiling enough hard currency and solid — but also liquid! — financial instruments that we can weather a crisis of confidence without having to undermine our case by begging them for money!" Lehman had no such leader. And it had no such assets!

How To Put The "Getting Laid" In "Getting Laid Off"

Moe · 09/15/08 04:30PM

One thing that is difficult about capturing the pathos of this Lehman crisis, aside from the obvious fact that media people are to the prospect of unemployment as Michelle Duggar is to the prospect of having to wet nurse something, is that Lehman employees seem so intent on having a good time. Ten thousand or so bankers (like the photogenic London based couple pictured here) will lose their jobs, and already there are like 296 Craigslist ads up now offering casual sex to be performed on/by them. And none of the ads seem clever enough to be fake! (And we even adjusted our creativity expectations downward in accordance with industry norms; for instance, if this guy asked if you wanted to get licked like, say, a hamburger, we might be suspicious.) Then there are these guys…

Street Talk

cityfile · 09/10/08 05:12AM
  • A battered Lehman Brothers plans to spin off the majority of its real estate investments into a new company and sell more than half its interest in its investment management division. The bank also predicted a third-quarter loss of $3.9 billion. [WSJ, Dealbook]

Street Talk

cityfile · 08/04/08 05:02AM
  • Time Warner is getting ready to sell off its AOL dial-up business and may announce a deal this week. [WSJ]

Street Talk

cityfile · 07/15/08 05:09AM
  • Lehman Brothers is said to be weighing a plan to take the firm private. [NYP]