Cops Do Something Good for Once, Refuse to Evict 103-Year-Old

Max Read · 11/30/11 11:20AM

Cops managed to not pepper-spray a victim of our country's absurdly creditor-happy finance laws for once in their lives this weekend when they refused to evict a 103-year-old woman and her 83-year-old daughter. Progress!

Wall Street Takes a Hit

cityfile · 01/11/10 11:24AM

It's a good thing many investment bankers are collecting record bonuses. Working on Wall Street just got a lot more expensive! Citigroup raised its cafeteria prices by five percent today, a move that follows UBS's decision last week to begin charging employees ten cents for cardboard lunch trays and Deutsche Bank's recent decree that plastic coffee cups will no longer be available and employees will have to bring a mug of their own to work. [Business Insider]

The Confidence Is Back

cityfile · 12/03/09 09:34AM

Wall Street is feeling flush, clearly. Yesterday afternoon, a "resurgent" Bank of America announced that it plans to repay the $45 billion in government aid it received during the darkest days of the financial crisis last fall. And while you might expect that Goldman Sachs to be on the defensive given all the negative press that's come its way in recent weeks, it's behaving in quite the opposite fashion according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports the bank has been meeting with its investors recently to convince them why its employees are totally entitled to record bonuses this year. And then there's Deutsche Bank:

AIG Is Now an ATM

cityfile · 08/06/09 08:55AM

AIG has been a big disaster the last few months, hasn't it? Not if you happen to work for Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, or BlackRock, or any of the other dozen or so banks and law firms expected to rake in as much as $1 billion breaking apart the insurance giant. But at least one firm involved in the process is making it clear that they see this as a civic mission—not just a convenient way to generate fat fees. The law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell has generously offered up a 10 percent discount on its services, so it's only billing the federal government $950 an hour for legal advice. Thanks, guys! [WSJ]

Wall Street: Wednesday Morning

cityfile · 05/06/09 05:44AM

• Bank of America chief Ken Lewis won't be in a good mood today, that's for sure. Regulators have informed the bank that it will have to come up with $34 billion in new capital if it expects to weather the downturn. [WSJ, NYT]
• For its part, Citigroup may have to come up with $5-$10 billion. [Reuters]
• Remember all the outrage that followed the disclosure that AIG had paid out more than $100 million in bonuses? It seems the bonus pool was four times larger than previously anticipated. Oh, well. [NYP]
• Companies cut an estimated 491,000 workers in April, which is less than previous months and possibly a sign that the worst is over. [BN]

Wall Street: Tuesday Morning

cityfile · 04/28/09 05:25AM

• Not such good news for Bank of America and Citigroup this morning: It looks like both have come up short on the so-called stress tests conducted by regulators and may be forced to raise billions in additional capital. [WSJ]
• Will Ken Lewis hang on as Bank of America's CEO when shareholders meet this week at the bank's annual meeting? It's a toss-up at the moment. [NYT]
• The Justice Department is investigating three AIG execs for committing securities fraud and a range of other financial crimes. [CBS News]
• The SEC is investigating 150 hedge funds, including various "Ponzi schemes and misappropriations," according to the agency's chief Mary Schapiro. [DB]
• Not such a hot idea: Mary Schapiro says she's now Twittering. [LAT]

Toxic Tour

cityfile · 04/07/09 08:19AM

Andrew Luan worked at Deutsche Bank until recently. When he didn't get paid a bonus, he quit his job, but he didn't plan on spending the next six months in the company of his Wii, waiting around for the job market to improve. Luan launched a "financial meltdown tour" this week, "guiding packs of mostly European tourists around the epicenter of the collapse—and explaining his own role in the crisis along the way." (He was a CDO trader at Deutsche Bank where he says he shorted collateralized mortgage-backed securities.) Sounds like time and money well spent: "For only $40, he'll show you the word integrity engraved on the front of the New York Stock Exchange—and tell you about his all-male bond-trading desk's workplace push-up contests." [The Big Money]

Another Gloomy Week Ahead

cityfile · 03/09/09 05:43AM

• It's expected to be a rough week ahead for financial markets. [Reuters, WSJ]
• The world economy is on track to post its worst performance since the Great Depression, according to a report by the World Bank. [CNN]
• The financial crisis seems to be "getting ahead" of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, as if you weren't aware of that already. [NYT]
• The big beneficiaries of the AIG bailout: Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, and a handful of other banks both foreign and domestic. [WSJ]
• After canceling a trip to reward its top brokers, Citigroup gave out $3.5 million worth of gift cards to 2,000 people as a consolation prize. [NYP]
• Credit markets appear to be tightening up once again. [WSJ]
• JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs advised on Merck's $41 billion acquisition of Schering-Plough, which was announced this morning. [DB]
• Expect to see fewer foreign bankers living it up in NYC beginning this summer: Bank of America is withdrawing job offers made to foreign MBA students. [FT]

More Merrill Subpoenas, GE Under Pressure

cityfile · 03/05/09 06:30AM

Andrew Cuomo has issued subpoenas to several of the Merrill Lynch employees who made it on to the highest-paid list for 2008. [WSJ, DB]
• Merrill is now suing Deutsche Bank for "raiding" several top bankers. [BN]
• More Merrill news: Two ex-CEOs say they were victims of Madoff. [Reuters]
• GE seems to be in some serious trouble thanks to losses at GE Capital; shares of the company are at their lowest point since '91. [WSJ, BN, DB]
• UBS execs on Capitol Hill said the bank has no plans to give up the names of clients behind the 52,000 accounts connected to illegal tax shelters. [NYT]
• The good news: The number of new jobless claims dropped last week. The not-so-good news: Worker productivity is down. [NYT, BN]

Pay Caps, Canceled Trips, Defections

cityfile · 02/04/09 06:58AM

• More details about President Obama's plans to limit Wall Street pay are emerging. So is plenty of criticism. "I don't think the president should paint everyone with the same brush," says JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon. [BN, WSJ, BN]
• Wells Fargo has scrapped plans to host a employee conference in Las Vegas after the bank was pummeled with criticism. [WSJ]
• A dozen top bankers from Merrill-BofA have defected to Deutsche Bank. [TD]
• Lazard's fourth-quarter profits dropped by 50 percent. [DB]
Daniel Och is doubling down on his hedge fund, Och-Ziff. [WSJ]
• Both Citigroup and the Mets say they're standing by their stadium plan. [NYP]
• Bloomberg LP is laying off staff. [Clusterstock]
• The House will hear testimony about Bernie Madoff today from Harry Markopolos, the investigator who tried to blow the whistle on him. [NYT]

More Bonus Backlash

cityfile · 02/02/09 07:05AM

• President Obama is expected to push for tight restrictions on executive compensation in order to improve public perception of the bailout. [WSJ]
• A group of angry Bank of America shareholders will demand that Ken Lewis get the boot at the bank's upcoming annual meeting. [NYP]
• Lehman Brothers is still hiring people to help wind down the firm. And it's receiving a ton of resumes from out-of-work Wall Streeters. [WSJ]
• Weill-gate continues: Now it turns out Sandy Weill used a Citi jet to go on a Mexican vacation, although he may reimburse Citi for some expenses. [NYP]
• Deutsche Bank plans to cut bonuses by an average of 60 percent. [BN]
Fortune explains why Merrill had such a disastrous fourth quarter. [Fortune]
• Consumer spending fell in December for a sixth consecutive month. [BN]

Rapidly Shrinking Citi

cityfile · 01/14/09 06:57AM

• Citigroup announced yesterday that it would sell a majority stake in Smith Barney to Morgan Stanley, but more change is on the way: The bank is expected to dump two consumer finance units as well as its "private-label" credit card business, which means now your Save the Whales Mastercard is in jeopardy, too. [WSJ, NYT]
• Deutsche Bank reported a loss of $6.3 billion in the fourth quarter. [BN]
• HSBC may need $30 billion to stay afloat. [DB]
• Nortel Networks has filed for bankruptcy protection. [BN]
• Just in case it wasn't eminently clear by all the bad news above, today is expected to be a pretty bad day in the markets. [WSJ]
• Marcus Schrenker was caught last night, but there's a new financial exec to add to the fugitive list: Ex-UBS exec Raoul Weil is now a wanted man. [NYT]
• Bernie Madoff will be in court in person later today when a judge considers an appear from prosecutors who want to imprison Madoff pending trial. [BN]
• Robert Jaffe, the Madoff middleman who failed to show up to meet with regulators yesterday, says he missed the meeting because he's sick. [WSJ]
• More on Tim Geithner's little tax problem. [NYT]

No Bailout for Detroit Yet, New Lows All Around

cityfile · 11/20/08 06:26AM

♦ The effort by U.S. automakers to secure a bailout hit a major roadblock after execs from the Big Three were sent home by Congress empty-handed. The behind-the-scenes negotiations continue. [WSJ, Bloomberg]
♦ Shares of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America are at multi-year lows as the Dow hovers at a six-year low of its own. [DB, DB]
♦ GMAC, controlled by Steve Feinberg's Cerberus Capital, says it's applied to become a bank holding company so it will be eligible for bailout cash. [DB]
♦ GE has turned to China and Singapore as it looks to raise cash. [Bloomberg]
♦ Harbinger's Phil Falcone is pulling back on his media investments. He's reduced his exposure to the New York Times and Media General, just months after fighting for board representation. [WSJ]
♦ Deutsche Bank plans to cut 900 more jobs. [NYP]
♦ Weekly jobless claims have reached a 16-year high. [MW]

Guess What? Donald Trump Can't Pay His Bills Either

cityfile · 11/12/08 09:27AM

A couple of weeks ago, Donald Trump said the financial crisis would turn out to be totally fantastic (or "huuuge") for his real estate business, and he'd end up doubling his net worth when all was said and done. He was just deflecting the truth, of course: The interview came a couple of days after the Wall Street Journal documented the many troubles at his Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago and suggested he might even lose control of the property if he couldn't buy more time from the bank that had loaned him $640 million. Well, it turns out he couldn't, which is why Trump filed suit today against Deutsche Bank, who provided him the cash to construct the gold-plated monstrosity. Trump argues he was wronged when his lenders denied his request for an extension. Why? Because they're legally obligated to give him more time on account of the financial crisis. That's a clever one! We're totally going to try using that excuse the next time our credit card bill comes in the mail!

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]

Cutting Back on Wall Street

cityfile · 08/22/08 10:17AM

Dozens of perks both large and small have vanished at financial firms in recent months as the recession has deepened. Sadly, Deutsche Bank employees can no longer expect to be reimbursed for "adult entertainment." They're also barred from checking into hotels early. (Those who arrive for a morning meeting are expected to shower and shave at the airport rather than charge an extra day at the hotel.) Many junior UBS staffers are now being forced to fly coach. Goldman Sachs informed employees in London that they'd have to cut back on taxis and and meals; traders at Goldman in New York now have to buy their own beverages. (The bin of free soda and bottled water was removed.) And employees at various firms say the office temperature has gone up as firms try to keep energy costs under control.

Street Talk

cityfile · 08/22/08 05:19AM
  • An analyst suggests Lehman may be a hostile takeover candidate; a WSJ reporter explains why that's unlikely; and another points out the difficulty involved in selling off its asset management business. [NYP, WSJ, WSJ]

Street Talk

cityfile · 07/31/08 04:58AM
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb is offering $4.5 billion for ImClone Systems, the drug maker controlled by Carl Icahn. [Dealbook]

Wall Street Meanies Harsh On Paramount's Summer of Love

STV · 07/15/08 12:20PM

For every blockbuster this summer with Paramount's name attached — from Iron Man to Indy 4 to Kung Fu Panda — there's been a looming crisis to greet it at the studio gate. The latest wake-up call comes from Deutsche Bank, from whom we're learning the 'Mount split recently after the the studio balked at the conditions of a $450 million financing deal. This follows word that unhappy Wall Streeters wanted free-spender Brad Grey's head and that DreamWorks' Indian-funded defection was imminent. Mix The Love Guru in just for fun, and it's enough to almost make you forget Paramount is supposedly on a roll.

Glam Media raising a round — but far less than it hoped for

Owen Thomas · 01/31/08 02:59PM

Samir Arora, the Valley's most talented flim-flam artist, has convinced investors to put in a fresh round of financing into Glam Media, his online-ad network. The deal could be announced as soon as tomorrow. The amount raised: Between $30 million and $100 million, we hear, valuing the company at as much as $400 million. A lofty figure, given Glam's scant sales — but Arora had sought a $200 million round, and a valuation in the range of $800 million to $1 billion. The premise of that valuation: The 25 million monthly visitors to sites in Glam's network, many of them female. But investors likely figured out that Glam doesn't own most of the sites those people visited.