The List of Victims Gets Longer

cityfile · 01/07/09 07:21AM

• It wasn't just overly tanned Jews in Palm Beach who were ripped off by Bernie Madoff. London's Evening Standard says Italian fashion designer Valentino may have been a victim as well. [ES]
• Ten days before his arrest, Bernie Madoff convinced elderly Palm Beach entrepreneur and philanthropist Carl Shapiro into giving him an additional $250 million. [WSJ]
• Bank Medici founder Sonja Kohn, who raised $2.1 billion for Madoff from rich Europeans and Russians, is now missing. [NYT]
• Disgraced Madoff pal Ezra Merkin will step down as chair of GMAC. [FT]
• German billionaire Adolf Merckle, who committed suicide earlier this week, was in debt to the tune of $6.7 billion. [BN]
• American companies shed 693,000 jobs in December. [MW]
• Bank of America's Ken Lewis will not be getting a bonus. [BN]
• Ken Griffin's main hedge fund dropped 53 percent in 2008. [CNN]

Auto Bailout Imminent, GMAC in Trouble

cityfile · 12/10/08 06:26AM

♦ Congressional Democrats and the Bush administration are in the final stages of negotiating an auto bailout package. A vote in the House is expected as soon as Wednesday afternoon. [NYT]
♦ Bad news for GMAC: The auto and consumer lender failed to secure additional financial and will not be able to transition to a bank holding company. [CNNMoney]
♦ Yahoo! is expected to hand out 1,500 pink slips today. [CNN]

John Thain's Bonus, Monday Morning Rally

cityfile · 12/08/08 06:19AM

♦ Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain is tangling with the bank's board over a $10 million annual bonus he says he deserves for "saving" the firm and selling it to Bank of America. [Reuters]
♦ Ken Griffin's Citadel is closing up shop in Tokyo. [Bloomberg]
♦ UBS may be planning to shed another 4,500 jobs. [DB]
♦ Sam Zell's Tribune Co. has retained Lazard to assist the company with a possible bankruptcy filing. [WSJ]
♦ The outlook is increasingly grim for Wesley Edens' Fortress Investment Group: Shares have gone down more than 90 percent this year. [NYP]
♦ Plenty of problems also face Leon Black and his Apollo Management. [NYT]
♦ But it's been a good year for hedge fund manager Jim Chanos, despite the whole Ashley Dupre thing. [NYM]
♦ Stocks are expected to gain big today with the news of an auto bailout. [CNN]

November: Worst Month in 34 Years

cityfile · 12/05/08 06:29AM

♦ A bruising day in the markets is expected to follow the scary job news this morning: Employers slashed 533,000 jobs last month, making it the most jobs lost in a single month since December of 1974. [CNN]
♦ Merrill Lynch shareholders will vote on the bank's merger with Bank of America today. [DB]
♦ Things are getting worse for hedge fund king Ken Griffin: His Citadel Investment Group was down another 13% in November. [WSJ]
♦ Neel Kashkari says the TARP is working; he and Hank Paulson may be the only ones. [Bloomberg]
♦ Citi has closed on the sale of its German subsidiary to Credit Mutuel-CIC for $6.6 billion. [MW]

Layoffs, Losses and Grim Employment Numbers

cityfile · 11/07/08 06:14AM

♦ Employers cut 240,000 jobs in October, bringing the year's total job losses to nearly 1.2 million. The unemployment rate is now 6.5%, up from from 6.1% in September. [CNNMoney]
♦ Why has the market been falling sharply in recent days? One reason is that hedge funds have been selling billions of their holdings to meet demands for cash from their investors and their lenders. [WSJ]
♦ Citigroup is reportedly planning another round of layoffs. [DB]
♦ Ken Griffin's Citadel says his fund lost about 22 percent last month. [NYP]
♦ The evidence is largely anecdotal, but it appears there's been an increase in suicides related to the financial crisis. [NYT]

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]

Another Week of Worry

cityfile · 10/27/08 05:03AM

♦ Another bad day ahead? U.S. futures are down sharply after losses in Asia and Europe. [Marketwatch]
♦ The Fed starts making loans to American companies today. [WSJ]
♦ Turns out there were some pretty dark days at Goldman last month: Lloyd Blankfein called Citi chief Vikram Pandit to discuss a merger just after Lehman went bankrupt. [FT, WSJ]
♦ Citadel's Ken Griffin remains in the hot seat after rumors of steep losses led him to hold a rare conference call on Friday evening. [NYP, 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]

Street Talk: Another Day of Anxiety

cityfile · 10/16/08 05:09AM

♦ The Dow's huge drop yesterday led to an massive sell-off overnight in Asia. What will happen today is anybody's guess. [Marketwatch]
♦ Citigroup reported a $2.8 billion loss for the third quarter. [WSJ]
♦ Merrill Lynch did even worse, reporting $5.2 billion in losses for the quarter. [Bloomberg]

Street Talk

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

E-Trade gets hedge-fund bailout

Nicholas Carlson · 11/29/07 04:48PM

Faced with its own little chunk of the subprime mortgage crisis, E-Trade, one of the Internet's oldest brokerage firms, announced today it will take a $2.55 billion cash infusion from Citadel Investment Group. The bailout comes after E-Trade announced $197 million in pretax writedowns on its portfolio of securities and said it set aside another $237.8 million in loan-loss provisions, according to the WSJ. But fret not, this is good news. Citadel made its bet because it feels the mortgage market is at a low point and that E-Trade's mortgage securities retain their intrinsic value. It's a bet that things will go back to normal. No coal in your stockings after all, E-Traders!