Happy Birthday

cityfile · 08/28/09 06:07AM

Jack Black turns 40 today. Jason Priestley of Beverly Hills 90210 fame is 40. Actor Ben Gazzara is turning 79. Country singers Shania Twain and LeAnn Rimes are 44 and 27, respectively. Olympic figure skater (and Celebrity Apprentice contestant) Scott Hamilton is 51. Actress Jennifer Coolidge is turning 46. Filmmaker Robert Greenwald is 64. And one of the Osmonds (Wayne) is turning 58. Some of the people celebrating birthdays this weekend—including Warren Buffet, Lisa Ling, and John McCain—are below.

Tensions Run High at Citi's Annual Meeting

cityfile · 04/21/09 10:39AM

Citigroup's annual meeting today was rather tumultuous, not surprisingly. Although the bank's incumbent directors were re-elected by a wide margin, a number of angry people got up to the microphone to vent their frustrations. When Citi's new chairman Dick Parsons took a moment to recognize the directors stepping down from the board—like former chairman Sir Win Bischoff and Bob Rubin—one man in the audience yelled out: "Thank God you've gone!" Gone, perhaps, but certainly not forgotten! [AP]

It's All Harvard's Fault

cityfile · 03/23/09 01:01PM

If you're outraged about the current state of the economy and you need an outlet for your anger, you may want to catch a bus to Boston instead of taking one to visit the homes of AIG executives. Just a few of the names in the press these days who happen to be graduates of Harvard Business School: Former Merrill Lynch chiefs Stan O'Neal and John Thain, former treasury secretaries Bob Rubin and Hank Paulson, General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, and Bernie Madoff enabler Ezra Merkin. [Clusterstock]

The Case Against Fishing

cityfile · 01/13/09 10:48AM

If there's one thing we can learn from the events of the past few months, it's this: If you insist on going fishing, leave your digital camera at home. Because whether you're the son of an admitted con artist, the clueless governor of Alaska, or the "financial genius" at a bank on the verge of going bust, the photo of you holding up your catch will almost certainly be used against you in the court of public opinion. Better yet, give up fishing altogether. When's the last time you saw a photo of a disgraced politician or mogul carrying a squash racquet?

Friday Afternoon Surprise

cityfile · 01/09/09 01:13PM

The Wall Street Journal reports that Bob Rubin is leaving Citigroup and Citi is now in active discussions to unload its Smith Barney unit. Possible bidders include Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan, but there's probably still time to get in on the action if you're interested in picking up a venerated brokerage brand for bargain basement prices. Just shoot a quick email over to [WSJ]

Citi Execs Denied

cityfile · 12/31/08 02:32PM

Citigroup says it won't be paying year-end bonuses to Vikram Pandit, Bob Rubin or chairman Win Bischoff. But we imagine Pandit will still be in good spirits tonight when he celebrates the New Year, particularly since he has that string of lovely holiday lights that he didn't have to pay for. [Bloomberg]

Rescue in Washington, 'Toxic' Bonuses

cityfile · 12/19/08 06:31AM

• President Bush announced a rescue plan for General Motors and Chrysler that will provide $13.4 billion in federal loans. [CNN]
Jamie Dimon and Bob Rubin will go bonus-less this year. [Reuters]
• Not surprisingly, Credit Suisse's plan to pay out bonuses with "toxic" securities has "elicited livid reactions from senior bankers." [WSJ]
• A former Lehman employee has been charged with insider trading. [CNN]
• One person who will profit from the Madoff mess: Bruce Wasserstein. Lazard has been appointed to sell the trading operations of Madoff's company. [WSJ]
• There are two—yes, two—books already in the works about Madoff. [TBS]

Dismal Data, Layoffs at Credit Suisse

cityfile · 12/04/08 06:14AM

♦ Layoff announcements, grim unemployment data, and dismal retail sales figures should lead to another nasty trading session on Wall Street. [CNN]
♦ A group of managers and senior execs from Neuberger Berman won the auction to take over Lehman's money management business. [NYT]
♦ Credit Suisse is laying off 5,300 people. [Reuters]
♦ Citigroup's top execs like Vikram Pandit and Bob Rubin say they're willing to forgo annual bonuses. How generous of them! [FT]
♦ Thomas H. Lee may shut down two hedge funds it launched recently. [WSJ]
♦ Poor Steve Schwarzman is "knocking on more doors and pressing more flesh than ever" to get business done these days. [NYP]
♦ Fortress Investment Group is falling apart fast. [NYT]
♦ Carlyle Group LLC is cutting 10 percent of its staff. [WSJ]

Citigroup Puts Two Jets Up for Sale

cityfile · 12/02/08 09:17AM

It looks like no executive perk is off-limits as an ailing Citigroup slashes costs, lays off employees, and tries to beef up its balance sheet. The banking giant has put two of its corporate jets on the market in recent weeks via a Maryland-based airplane broker called AvPro, we've learned. Both are Dassult Falcon 900 jets (click here for a larger pic) and are owned by Citigroup Corp Aviation in White Plans. Naturally, both also come with top-of-the-line everything, including mahogany woodwork, luxurious leather seating, gold accents, and very spacious bathrooms. Citi's airplane broker didn't put a price tag on either jet—the model begins at $35 million if purchased new—but we're guessing Citi won't be driving a hard bargain. (The full specs are below, just in case you're in the market for a new plane.) And don't feel bad for the likes of Bob Rubin and Vikram Pandit. Citi has several other planes in its fleet, and those have yet to be put up for sale (as far as we can tell) so there's no need to fear that senior execs will be forced to fly commercial in the near future.

Detroit Hopes the Second Time's the Charm

cityfile · 12/01/08 06:28AM

♦ The Big Three automakers are putting finishing touches on new business plans to take to Congress this week, part of a last-ditch effort to secure a federal bailout. [WSJ, Bloomberg, NYT]
♦ Shoppers spent $41 billion over the four-day weekend, up 7.2 percent from the year before. That was better than expected, but retail experts are still pessimistic about the holiday season outlook. [CNNMoney, WSJ]
♦ Hedge funder Paul Tudor Jones has suspended withdrawals as he splits his $10 billion flagship fund into two. [FT]
♦ The bailout has already cost more than World War II, in case you're keeping count at home. [Clusterstock]

Rate Cut in the UK, Falling Bonuses Back Home

cityfile · 11/06/08 06:13AM

♦ The Bank of England slashed its key interest rate to 3 percent. And it may go even lower. [Marketwatch]
♦ The short list for Treasury Secretary: Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Paul Volcker, and Bob Rubin. [WSJ]
Steve Schwarzman's Blackstone Group reported a $502.5 million loss for the third quarter. [DB]
♦ More chatter about falling bonuses: One study says the drop could be 20 and 35 percent on average with a 70 percent fall-off for some top execs. [NYT]

Happy Birthday

cityfile · 08/29/08 06:45AM

Two people who are both a little too told to be doing what they're doing are celebrating birthdays today. John McCain turns 72 today and Michael Jackson is 50. Also celebrating today: Bob Rubin is 70, hedge fund manager Eric Mindich is 41, Hollywood director Joel Schumacher is 69, choreographer Mark Morris is 52, and Robin Leach is 67. Christine Schwarzman, gala staple and wife of Steve Schwarzman, is 56. On Saturday, Warren Buffett will celebrate his 78th, Lewis Black will turn 60, Andy Roddick will be 26, and Cameron Diaz will turn 36. On Sunday: Richard Gere will be 59, Patrick McMullan turns 53, Chris Tucker will be 36, SonyBMG CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz will turn 60, and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin will celebrate his 62nd birthday.

Street Talk

cityfile · 08/26/08 05:10AM
  • The merger market is experiencing its slowest August in 16 years. [Reuters]

Steve Rattner: Hope Springs Eternal

cityfile · 08/04/08 12:31PM

This week's issue of Newsweek features a profile of Steve Rattner, the financier who may have earned plenty of success in the world of high finance (No. 2 at Lazard, founder of the Quadrangle Group, money manager for Mike Bloomberg), but has thus far been unable to land his dream job: running a top Wall Street bank or a Washington cabinet position. (He's 0 for 3, having backed Gore, Kerry and Hillary Clinton.) Even Henry Kravis takes a subtle dig at the journalist-turned-banker: "Ask the average guy if he knows or has heard of Bob [Rubin], chances are he has. But not Rattner." Oh, cheer up, Steve! You're still the only former Times reporter in history who ever got to stamp his initials on a $20 million jet.

Bob Rubin

cityfile · 02/03/08 09:32PM

Rubin served as co-chairman of Goldman Sachs and U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton. Most recently, he served as the chairman of Citigroup's executive committee and as senior counselor to Citi's board of directors.

Island of exile

Gawker · 12/31/02 10:52AM

The Clintons, Bob Rubin and George Stephanopoulos are all in New York, and Al Gore looked surprisingly at ease when in town for Saturday Night Live. With so many Clinton administration veterans, says New York Magazine, it's as if Manhattan were "a glamorous Elba, an outpost of forsaken ideals." Only difference: Napoleon came back from Elba.
Memo to Al (er, Mr. President): Make a brand-new start of it in old New York [New York Magazine]