Another Failed CEO Bites the Bullet

cityfile · 05/21/09 01:53PM

Yesterday it was revealed that former Lehman chief Dick Fuld had stepped down as the bankrupt firm's chairman. Now another symbol of the economic collapse is heading off into the sunset. Ed Liddy, the chairman and CEO of AIG, has announced plans to step down from the scandal-plagued insurance giant, although he may be there for a while considering he plans to remain here until the company comes up with a suitable replacement. The good news? There is now a little bit of light at the end of Liddy's dark tunnel, and he should have a chance to trade the self-tanning mist in his office for some real sun in the near future. [NYT]

Wall Street: Thursday Morning

cityfile · 05/14/09 05:41AM

• AIG's Ed Liddy now says the company will need three to five years to carry out its restructuring plan and repay taxpayer bailout money. [NYT]
• Hedge funds actually saw returns rise more than three percent in April. [DB]
• Walter Noel's Fairfield Greenwich hedge fund is no more. The disgraced firm is handing over its remaining $2.5 billion to Sciens Capital. [NYP]
• The rich get richer: As financial firms raise capital and pay back TARP money, it's Goldman, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan that are profiting. [Fortune]

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]

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]

Wall Street: Friday Morning

cityfile · 05/01/09 06:54AM

• Who said the good times are over? On the list of the 10 highest-paid CEOs of 2008: Vikram Pandit, Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and Ken Chenault. [AP]
• Bank of America's board continues to stand by CEO Ken Lewis and has no plans to oust him, says "a person familiar with the deliberations." [WSJ]
• Citigroup is raising some desperately needed cash by selling off its Japanese brokerage and investment units for $5.56 billion. [DB]

Wall Street: Friday Morning

cityfile · 04/17/09 05:54AM

• Citigroup posted its first profit in 18 months today, which made Wall Street very happy and sent Citi shares up to a whopping $4. [WSJ, DB]
• GE's first-quarter profit fell less than expected, dropping 35% compared to a year earlier, results that gave shares a boost in early trading. [BN, WSJ]
• AIG chief Ed Liddy still owns a big stake in Goldman Sachs, info that will be most pleasing to Goldman conspiracy theorists out there. [NYT, NYT]
• Is the banking business showing signs of recovery? [NYT]
Carl Icahn and Kirk Kerkorian are locked in battle over MGM Mirage. [WSJ]
• General Growth Properties's bankruptcy will make hedge funder Bill Ackman a very rich man. And he already happens to be a very rich man. [NYT]
• The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco now says it was a mistake to allow Lehman Brothers to collapse. Now you tell us? [BN]

Cuomo Wins; Geithner, Liddy Play Defense

cityfile · 03/19/09 05:38AM

Andrew Cuomo has won the battle to force Bank of America to turn over the names of the 200 Merrill employees who earned the largest bonuses right before the firm was acquired. He says he'll release the info today. [CNN, NYT]
• As you can probably imagine, it's been "the worst week in a string of bad weeks" for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. [NYT]
• Of course, it's also been a pretty lousy few days for AIG chief Ed Liddy, who walked into this big mess when he took the top job last September. [NYT]
• A record number of hedge funds were forced to close up shop last year: About 1,471 hedge funds were liquidated in 2008. [NYP, DB]
• The Fed plans to buy $300 billion of long-term Treasuries and hundreds of billions of dollars more in mortgage-backed securities. [BN, WSJ]
• JPMorgan reports the bank's CEO, Jamie Dimon, earned about $19.7 million in total compensation for 2008. And how did you do last year? [Reuters]
• Citigroup has canceled its order to buy three new jets. [Dealbreaker]

What You've Been Missing on Capitol Hill Today

cityfile · 03/18/09 10:35AM

A little progress has been made in Washington, believe it or not! In case you haven't spent the last four hours watching testimony in front of the Congressional committee looking into the AIG mess, you may be happy to hear that the insurance company's CEO, Ed Liddy, says he's asked the AIG employees who collected big bonuses to give half the money back. Okay, so it means we're only 50 percent of the way closer to a solution to this saga. But Liddy says that some employees have already agreed to the arrangement. And some really generous ones have even offered to give up all the cash!

Cuomo Launches Assault on AIG

cityfile · 03/16/09 11:45AM

You didn't expect Andrew Cuomo to remain on the sidelines after AIG dropped the bomb this weekend that it plans to go ahead with $165 million in bonus payments, did you? Of course not. Cuomo sent a letter to AIG CEO Ed Liddy earlier today demanding more info on the compensation plan. He set a 4pm deadline and said if he doesn't receive the info by then, he'll issue subpoenas and "potentially seek court enforcement." The letter he sent the company is below.

America's Neediest: Bringing' Back the Sunshine to AIG

cityfile · 11/21/08 11:49AM

One of the crappiest CEO gigs in America right now? That would be the job occupied by Edward Liddy, who took over as AIG's chief executive in September after the ailing insurance giant revealed it would go bankrupt without a jaw-droppingly massive bailout from the federal government. Liddy was supposed to restore order, but things haven't improved much since he arrived on the scene. AIG has since asked Washington for billions more, and the company has been on the defensive over multi-million dollar payouts to former company execs. Then there were the scandals over AIG's all-expenses-paid getaways to lavish hotels: For some strange reason, the idea that taxpayers would foot the bill so that AIG employees could have spa treatments and sip pina coladas struck many as a little bit inappropriate! The downside, of course, is that some AIG execs won't be able to put as much time in the sun this winter, and we wouldn't want any employees to turn sullen and depressed, would we? As part of our continuing effort to cheer up the CEOs who have battered by the financial crisis—so far this week we've sent presents to Lloyd Blankfein (see here) and Vikram Pandit (see here)—we picked up a bottle of "self-tanning mist" for Liddy. If Liddy can't relax in the sun, we'll bring the sun to him. We sent it to his office, though, not his home, because it's a gift we'd really like Liddy to share. Spread it around, Ed. Everyone in the executive suite has the right to pretend they just got back from Aruba. Click here for a larger pic.

Street Talk: A Deal for AIG, Worries About WaMu

cityfile · 09/17/08 05:23AM

♦ Fearing another massive corporate bankruptcy, the Federal Reserve agreed to an $85 billion bailout of the troubled insurance giant AIG. [NYT, WSJ, Fortune, NYP]
♦ AIG's CEO, Robert Willumstad, will be replaced by Edward Liddy, the former CEO of Allstate. [Marketwatch]
♦ AIG's ex-CEO Hank Greenberg is dismayed he wasn't involved in the bailout effort. Considering he's tangled up in about half a dozen lawsuits with his former company, that wasn't so surprising. [WSJ]
♦ Concern now seems to be focused on Washington Mutual: Federal officials have contacted Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, and HSBC to gauge their interest in a possible acquisition of WaMu. [NYP]
John Thain and two of his deputies stand to make $200 million for the year they've spent at Merrill. [Bloomberg]