NBC's Win/Loss, Maxim's New Boss & Bonnie's New Gig

cityfile · 07/17/09 01:55PM

• Bad news for NBC Universal: second-quarter profits dropped by 41%. [MW]
• Good news for NBC News: Susan Boyle's first in-depth TV interview will take place with Meredith Vieira on the Today show next Wednesday. [NYT]
• Alpha Media, the company that owns Maxim (and used to own Blender and Stuff)—and which was sold to Steve Rattner's Quadrangle Group in 2007—has changed hands again: Steve Feinberg's Cerberus now runs the show. [NYP]
• Rumor has it Pamela Fiori may be leaving Town & Country. [P6]
Bonnie Fuller is taking over Hollywood Life, the website controlled by Jay Penske, who owns Movieline and recently bought out Nikki Finke. [NYT]
• More Finke: Days after the LA Times ran an article on Hollywood's most powerful blogger comes pretty much the same piece in the NY Times. [NYT]
• All that bad press for CNBC a few months ago must have refocused the network on the things that matter, right? Nope. [Gawker, Zero Hedge]

Wall Street: Thursday Morning

cityfile · 05/28/09 05:55AM

• Famed hedge fund manager Art Samberg has announced plans to shut down his firm, Pequot Capital Management, after an investigation into possible insider trading at the firm was revived. [NYT, WSJ]
• One person sweating bullets about Pequot's collapse: Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack, who was tied to the mess when it first surfaced in '06. [BI]
• Citigroup is negotiating with the SEC to settle claims it misled investors by not disclosing the extent of its troubled portfolio of mortgage assets. [WSJ]
• Top Obama officials are pushing to create a "banking czar" job. [WSJ]
• The government program designed to help banks get rid of the bad loans on their books "is stalling and may soon be put on hold." [WSJ]

Wall Street: Wednesday Morning

cityfile · 05/13/09 05:41AM

• Disappointing retail sales figures and a surprising rise in the number of foreclosures are sending stocks lower this morning. [CNN, WSJ]
• The Obama administration is looking into ways to change the way people across the financial services industry are compensated and that includes companies that didn't even receive federal bailout money. [WSJ, NYT]
• Ed Liddy may be jobless soon: Trustees overseeing taxpayers' stake in AIG are seeking a CEO to replace Liddy as well as new board members. [WSJ]
• Speaking of AIG, were officials like Tim Geithner aware of the bonus situation at the company months before the news broke? It looks that way. [WaPo]

Grim Job Numbers, More Concern About Detroit

cityfile · 04/01/09 05:41AM

• The private sector lost 742,000 jobs during the month of March, substantially more than analysts had been predicting. [WSJ, CNN]
• President Obama has indicated that he believes a "quick, negotiated bankruptcy" will be the most likely path for General Motors. [BN]
• The not-so-optimistic employment figures and increased concern about the future of GM may lead to a rough day in the markets. [BN]
Mark Carhart and Raymond Iwanowski of Goldman's Alpha hedge fund are retiring. Rumor now has it they may end up at KKR. [Clusterstock]
• A dozen criminal investigations into bailout fraud are now underway. [FT]
• Remember when Cerberus founder Steve Feinberg was "hailed as a hero" who "might save the American car industry"? So much for that idea. [NYT]
• UBS is closing its "art banking" department, not surprisingly. [AP]
• This is a particularly dangerous time to be a CEO, clearly. [NYP]

Another Bailout for Citigroup?

cityfile · 02/23/09 07:29AM

• The government is in talks with Citigroup to raise its stake in the beleaguered bank to between 25 and 40 percent. [WSJ, DB]
• Federal regulators plan to review the financial condition of 20 banks this week as part of a round of "stress tests." [NYT, BN]
• Regulators have seized Allen Stanford's companies in Antigua and Barbuda; Stanford has also surrendered his passport to U.S. authorities. [Reuters]
• Shares in UBS have fallen to an all-time low as the bank continues to reel from allegations of tax fraud. [Reuters, DB]
• Even Dubai needs a bailout these days: The UAE said yesterday it will give the once-highflying emirate $10 billion. [WSJ]
Steve Feinberg's Cerberus is closing down its Hong Kong office. [FT]
• Hedge funder Richard Perry is cutting fees to keep investors happy. [WSJ]
• The SEC is now in hot water over its handling of insider-trading accusations involving former executives at Lehman Brothers. [NYT]

Chrysler Finds a Partner, Feinberg Scales Back

cityfile · 01/20/09 07:47AM

• Fiat will take a 35 percent stake in struggling Chrysler. [WSJ]
Steve Feinberg's Cerberus Capital Management will cut 10 percent of its staff around the world. [WSJ]
• American Express's Ken Chenault plans to sell the company's stake in Chinese bank Industrial & Commercial Bank of China. [NYP]
• Bank of America may need as much as $80 billion to stay afloat. [BN]
• The hunt is still on for Arthur Nadel, the hedge fund manager from Florida who may have made off with as much as $350 million. [DB, NYP]
• Notwithstanding the bailout, top execs on Wall Street have been some of the biggest donors to the Presidential Inauguration Committee. [NYT]

Unemployment Up, Madoff's Victim List Grows

cityfile · 12/24/08 06:23AM

• The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits jumped by 30,000 to a 26-year peak last week. [Reuters]
• AmEx and CIT will get $5.72 billion in bailout money. [Reuters]
• Doubts about Bernie Madoff now appear to date back several decades. [WSJ]
• Liliane Bettencourt, the world's wealthiest woman, is believed to have invested in Bernie Madoff via Thierry Magon de La Villehuchet, the money manager who committed suicide at his office yesterday. [Bloomberg, NYT]
Steve Feinberg's Cerberus, which has suffered several losing months, is now limiting investor redemptions. [Bloomberg]
• Execs at Old Lane, the hedge fund operated by Vikram Pandit before it was acquired by Citigroup, may be leaving the bank to start a new company. [WSJ]
• Hedge funder Larry Robbins is cutting compensation and staff. [NYP]

Steve Feinberg Revealed

cityfile · 12/15/08 01:42PM

Steve Feinberg is the elusive founder of Cerberus Capital, the private equity giant that paid $7.4 billion to acquire 80 percent of Chrysler in 2007. For years Feinberg has done his very best to remain in the shadows: Few photos of him have been published—the ones that have typically been outdated or grainy—and he almost never speaks with the press, preferring to leave those duties to the firm's chairman, former Treasury Secretary John Snow. Until now, that is. Feinberg headed to Washington on Friday to participate in negotiations over the auto industry bailout and soon found himself confronted by reporters on the scene. "When other reporters figured out it was Feinberg—who has rarely been photographed in 20 years on Wall Street—photographers and TV crews swarmed him," reports the Detroit News. A photographer for the AP managed to snap a pic of the elusive billionaire (above) before "he and the other Cerberus executives fled to a tiny room in the Capitol basement." Nice to see one of the most powerful men in finance (and one of the country's most prolific Republican fundraisers) come out of the shadows, isn't it? In honor of his outing, we're pleased to share a couple of other photos of the notoriously secretive billionaire. After the jump, photos of Feinberg holding up his prey from a hunting trip last winter.

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]

Open Hands, Deep Pockets

cityfile · 11/03/08 06:15AM

♦ Treasury officials say as many as 1,800 institutions may apply for government investments in the next few weeks. [WSJ]
♦ GM hasn't been so lucky extracting cash: The Treasury has turned down a request by the automaker for $10 billion to help finance a merger with Chrysler. [NYT]
Henry Kravis's KKR is delaying its plan to go public on the NYSE until 2009. [CNNMoney]

The Worst Month Ever Comes to an End

cityfile · 10/31/08 05:25AM

♦ October will go down as one of the gloomiest months in history. [CNN]
♦ Barclays plans to raise $11.8 billion by selling shares to Abu Dhabi and Qatar in order to meet Britain's new capital requirements. [NYT, WSJ]
♦ The banks benefiting from the bailout also owe $40 billion in compensation to employees, just in case you were wondering where your tax dollars were going. [WSJ]
♦ Meanwhile, banking CEOs may be in talks to cap compensation. Or they may just be paying the idea lip service in this sensitive political climate. [WSJ]

Rate Cut, Bad Loans On the Rise

cityfile · 10/29/08 05:22AM

♦ The Fed is expected to cut interest rates again today, possibly to as low as 1 percent. [WSJ]
♦ The White House is pushing banks to stop hoarding the bailout billions and start making more loans. [AP]
George Soros says the number of hedge funds "will be reduced in size by anywhere between half and two thirds" over the next few years. [Reuters]
♦ GMAC, which is controlled by GM and Steve Feinberg's Cerberus Capital, is now looking to become a bank holding company so it can tap into the $700 billion bailout pool. [WSJ]
♦ Credit card crunch: Lenders wrote off an estimated $21 billion in bad credit card loans in the first half of 2008. [NYT]

Another Bad Day Ahead

cityfile · 10/24/08 04:50AM

♦ This could get messy: Asian and European markets were mauled on Friday, pointing to another monumental beating for the U.S. market today. [MW]
♦ A recap of Alan Greenspan's humiliating day in front of members of a congressional panel yesterday. [NYT, NYP]
♦ One of the very few people who is having an exceptional year: John Paulson, whose three funds are up between 15 and 25 percent. [WSJ]

That's It, Neocons! Big Government Will Pay Off Those Big Loans On Your Big Cars, But No More Big "Ideas"

Moe · 09/30/08 05:53PM

"Not once did we consider asking Washington to bail out the Sun," proclaimed the conservative New York newspaper in a deathbed editorial this morning that cited the importance of adhering to its highminded free-market "principles." But it turns out that they did almost precisely that kind of! See, some of the Sun's capitalist backers had a bunch of money invested in the private equity firm Cerberus, which controls the auto financing firms Chrysler Financial and GMAC. (And also, owns Chrysler itself, which was also a bad idea.) Auto financing firms are sitting on truckloads of car loans gone bad in no small part because people can't get home equity loans to pay them off like they used to, which is (a major reason) why the whole auto industry has gone to shit. So…guess which struggling private equity firm was about to get some major R-O-L-A-I-D-S from that big communist bailout bill all those ideological comrades of the Sun just voted down?Yup! Cerberus! Oh well, that's the free market! Says a source: "[Sun Editor Seth] Lipsky gave up trying to raise money after the bailout failed to pass." So it turns out it is not only middle-class social conservatives in Kansas who will vote Republican against their economic self-interest. Zionist New York plutocrat neoconservatives will too. Even if it means silencing their mouthpiece forever! Don't worry, Seth, Republicans will continue doing the talking (out of both sides of their mouths) for you, as conservative columnist David Brooks did today:

Street Talk: The Battle Over the Bailout

cityfile · 09/25/08 05:26AM

♦ President Bush urged Americans to support the $700 billion bailout during his televised address last night, the first time he's ever devoted a primetime speech to the economy. Meanwhile, thousands of politicians continue to clash over the specifics. [NYT]
♦ Warren Buffet was drinking a cherry coke and eating mixed nuts last Tuesday when he got a call about investing in Goldman Sachs. He hammered out the $5 billion deal in about 15 minutes and then moved on to Cheetos and "licorice pastel candies." [WSJ]
♦ WaMu may not have much time left. [Bloomberg]
♦ Lehman Brothers chief Dick Fuld reached out to GE CEO Jeff Immelt before the firm filed for bankruptcy. [NYP]

Why Are The Sun's Backers Getting Cold Feet?

cityfile · 09/04/08 07:25AM

Last night, word emerged that The Sun, the right-leaning daily founded by Ira Stoll and Seth Lipsky in 2002, may end up shutting down at the end of the month if the company doesn't find additional investors willing to step in. The Sun has had financial problems since day one and it never made much headway in the circulation department. This time, though, it looks like it could be the end of the line: The paper even posted an account of its problems on its website. (Perhaps in the hope that another super-conservative, Jewish billionaire will turn up with his checkbook.) So why are the Sun's current backers—including Bruce Kovner, Tom Tisch, and Michael Steinhardt, left—giving up? They've got plenty of other stuff to worry about, that's why.

Street Talk

cityfile · 09/04/08 05:15AM
  • Steve Feinberg's investments in Chrysler and GMAC haven't gone as expected and now his Cerberus Capital is on the defensive. [NYT]

Street Talk

cityfile · 08/20/08 05:18AM
  • Lehman Brothers' Dick Fuld was near a deal to raise $5 billion from South Korean investors, but negotiations broke down earlier this month. [NYP]

Street Talk

cityfile · 07/22/08 04:50AM
  • An Abu Dhabi investment fund says it has agreed to an $8 billion commercial-finance partnership with General Electric. [WSJ]