The Show Goes On For the Robin Hood Foundation

cityfile · 05/13/09 09:41AM

The Robin Hood Foundation's spring fundraiser took place last night at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center and some 3,200 people turned up to munch on grilled shrimp and chicken Milanese, mingle with the likes of Oprah and Anne Hathaway, and open their wallets and give to the non-profit that funnels millions of dollars a year to worthy causes across the city. The mood was a bit subdued this year, which isn't surprising considering Robin Hood remains the charity of choice for a big bunch of Wall Street chiefs and hedge fund titans like Dan Och, Steve Cohen, and Paul Tudor Jones. To reflect the mood, the lavish auction items that were a staple in previous years weren't part of the program this time around. But emcee Jon Stewart managed to keep the crowd laughing with Bernie Madoff jokes, and George Soros gave the evening a big boost by making a $50 million pledge. (The organization collected a total of $72 million last night, up from $56 million last spring.) Coverage of the event can be found here, here, and here. For a slightly more informal take on the evening, a brief dispatch from the wife of a hedge fund manager is below.

Wall Street: Monday Morning

cityfile · 05/11/09 05:41AM

• The market has been up big the last few weeks. But the ride may be over. "The market has gone too far, too fast," as one fund manager puts it. [BN]
• Following the stress tests last week, a number of banks have been busy de-stressing: Both Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo raised billions late last week to satisfy new capital requirements mandated by the Fed. [NYT]
• Meanwhile, Bank of America, which needs to raise $34 billion (down from the $50 billion it could have been forced to raise) is looking to offload its stake in China Construction Bank, although finding takers isn't easy. [WSJ]
• Warning: Turning around AIG may take a bit longer than expected. [WSJ]

Dear Mr. Soros

cityfile · 04/20/09 09:23AM

We occasionally get emails (or actual mail) from people looking to pass a message to one of the people profiled on this site. Normally we'd just delete the message and move on, but we'd really hate to think that George Soros would miss out on a "fantastic" investment opportunity, especially when guaranteed moneymakers are so few and far between these days. If anyone at Soros Fund Management happens to be reading this, you'll find the details on "the ultimate deal" courtesy of a man named "Benny Q." after the jump. If you're intrigued and dying to connect with Benny to hear more, contact us and we'll put y'all in touch.

Naomi Settles

cityfile · 01/15/09 06:31AM

Naomi Campbell has settled a lawsuit by a former maid who alleged the world's most temperamental supermodel threw her phone at her head after she failed to find a pair of misplaced jeans back in 2006. [NYDN]
• Casey Johnson and Courtenay Semel appear to have made up following their violent brawl. They're heading to Sundance together. [P6]
• Guy Ritchie spent time at Madonna's apartment on Tuesday. Not because they're reconciling, but because Madonna's daughter Lourdes insisted on it. [NYDN]
George Soros has a new "friend," a model 50 years his junior named Kate Gibbs. This is what she looks like, just in case you're curious. [P6]
• Book agent and man-about-town Luke Janklow and his wife, Sweetiepie owner Julie Janklow, appear to be headed for divorce. [P6]

Holiday Vacation Hijinks

cityfile · 01/02/09 06:49AM

• Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson got into yet another public spat while heading home to LA after spending New Year's in Miami. Lindsay eventually got so upset a flight attendant suggested LiLo disembark. [TMZ]
George Soros reportedly spent New Year's partying with "two young brunettes" on Paul Allen's yacht, Octopus, off St. Barts. Now at least we know where son Alex gets it from. [P6]
Queen Latifah was robbed of $10,000 worth of jewelry while on vacation in Trinidad and Tobago over Christmas. [Us]
• Kathy Griffin made a dick joke during CNN's live NYE broadcast with Anderson Cooper. The video is here, in case you care. [NYP]

The Friday Party Report

cityfile · 12/12/08 11:23AM

Andrew Saffir's Cinema Society hosted a screening of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at the Tribeca Grand last night. Attendees at the Pamella Roland and Svedka-sponsored screening and after-party at the Soho Grand included Kanye West, Spike Jonze, Olivia Palermo, Richard Meier, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Lauren Bush and David Lauren, Moby, Amy Sacco, Sandy Brant and Ingrid Sischy, Stefano Tonchi, Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Ocleppo, Bettina Zilkha, Charlotte Ronson, Cynthia Rowley and Bill Powers, Chace Crawford, Debbie Harry, Heather Matarazzo and Caroline Murphy, Judith Light, Kelly Bensimon, Karen Duffy, Liya Kebede, Rachel Roy, Liam McMullan, Ciara, and Danny Masterson. [PMc, Wireimage, The Daily]

A Rescue for Citigroup

cityfile · 11/24/08 06:23AM

♦ Following a weekend of non-stop negotiations, a deal is now in place to stabilize Citigroup: The bank will get a $20 billion cash injection from the Treasury Department and the government will guarantee $306 billion worth of toxic assets. [Bloomberg, NYT, WSJ]
♦ The next group in line for a bailout? Home builders, who are now lobbying Congress for a $250 billion stimulus package. [WSJ]
♦ The U.S. economy may need $300 billion and $600 billion more to survive the crisis, says George Soros. [DB]

Dick Parsons, Steve Rattner, and Hedgies to Capitol Hill

cityfile · 11/13/08 06:27AM

Dick Parsons is the frontrunner to replace Sir Win Bischoff as chairman of Citigroup. [Reuters]
Steve Rattner is shutting down the Quadrangle Group's hedge fund amid weak performance and investor redemptions. [WSJ]
Phil Falcone, Ken Griffin, John Paulson, Jim Simons and George Soros will appear in front of a House panel today. [DB]
♦ Hank Paulson is taking a beating following the news that the Treasury will now focus on struggling consumers, instead of financial institutions. Paulson has become "a reduced figure, damaged by the financial-market meltdown that happened on his watch and by the government's struggles to respond to it." [WSJ, DB, Bloomberg]

AmEx Seeks Cash, GM's Prospects Darken

cityfile · 11/12/08 06:28AM

♦ American Express may be looking for as much as $3.5 billion in government assistance as the company struggles with reduced consumer spending and rising defaults. [WSJ]
♦ Hope is fading fast at GM. Shares fell to $2.92 on Tuesday, the lowest level in 65 years, and the company does not expect "to continue as a going concern" without a rescue plan in place by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Democrats are pushing ahead with a plan to save the automaker. [NYT, Bloomberg]
♦ Who doesn't want a piece of the bailout? The line outside the Treasury Department in Washington is a long one. [NYT]

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]

Authors Who Predicted Crash See Royalties Soar

cityfile · 10/13/08 07:33AM

Last month, when Penguin Books spent over $2 million on signing up three books on the Wall Street crisis, it seemed they might have been over-estimating the public's hunger for reading about the financial meltdown. Not any more: As the Wall Street Journal reports today, bookstores can hardly keep up with the demand for financial titles, as people scramble to try to understand what the hell just happened.

Happy Birthday

cityfile · 08/12/08 06:00AM

Billionaire financier George Soros turns 78 today. Hope there's a big party planned (with plenty of champagne on hand for Alex.) Also celebrating today: Evelyn Lauder, philanthropist, socialite, and the wife of Leonard, celebrates her 72nd. Civil rights lawyer Donna Lieberman is 60. Harper's editor Roger Hodge will be 41. Screenwriter William Goldman is 77. Casey Affleck is 33. Football star Plaxico Burress turns 31. Publishing heir Robert Ziff is 42. Jeffrey Beers, the restaurant designer behind China Grill and Japonais, turns 52. Nina Zagat celebrates her 66th today. And both Pete Sampras and actress Rebecca Gayheart are turning 37.

Street Talk

cityfile · 08/01/08 04:51AM
  • The U.S. unemployment rate jumped to a four-year high of 5.7% during the month of July. [WSJ]

The Soros Gravy Train

cityfile · 07/18/08 01:01PM

The Soros family has been very kind to New York State Democrats! More than a million has flowed to the party and various members of the State Senate, contributions made by George, son Robert, daughter-in-law Melissa, other son Jonathan, and other daughter-in-law Jennifer. Alex Soros, however, clearly had better things to do. [NYO]

Alex Soros' Summer in Southampton

cityfile · 07/10/08 12:45PM

Alexander Soros looks like he's having a great summer! The 22-year-old son of billionaire financier George Soros (and his second wife, Susan), Alex graduated from NYU in May, but he certainly hasn't been spending the summer in search of a job. He's been chilling at dad's house in Southampton, drinking 40s while cruising on the family boat, and making out with the babes at places like La Playa and Pink Elephant. He's still listing himself as "unemployed" on his Facebook page (which is open to all!), but we're sure that will change once Daddy gets involved. A job working for Obama? A corner office at his dad's famed hedge fund? Keep your eye on this kid: He's going places!

George Soros

cityfile · 01/25/08 11:29PM

One of the few money managers who truly deserve the label "legendary," Soros presides over the sprawling hedge fund that bears his name. He's also one of the world's leading philanthropists and a vociferous political activist.

George Soros Asks Questions To Which He Knows The Answers

Sheila · 11/08/07 01:45PM

The New York Public Library held a day-long event called "Orwell Comes to America" yesterday, a series of discussions to"diagnose the symptoms of propaganda and misinformation" in media—especially when it comes to politics and the shaping of public thought. I visited the one about the science of manipulation, moderated by Nick Lemann, the dean of Columbia's J-School who also sometimes writes for The New Yorker, though without distinction. Have you heard? War is the new Peace!