Private Equity Firms Don't Want You to Know How Expensive They Are

Hamilton Nolan · 11/05/14 04:06PM

Public employees have public money in their pension funds to save for retirement. Those pension funds invest that public money in private equity firms. Those private equity firms then refuse to say how much they're charging, and why. Hmmm.

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]

Welcome to the Party, Life Insurers

cityfile · 04/08/09 05:38AM

• The Treasury is expected to announce in the next few days that it will be extending bailout funds to a handful of life insurance companies. [WSJ]
• Brian Moynihan, who took over Merrill Lynch after John Thain was ousted, is emerging as a potential successor to Bank of America chief Ken Lewis. [WSJ]
• Not that Lewis necessarily needs to be replaced, at least according to Meredith Whitney, who (bizarrely) says Lewis has "done a great job." [BN]
• Blackstone, KKR, and Carlyle are in the running to acquire the mobile phone operations that Verizon Wireless is selling now that it's acquired Alltel. [BN]
• Looks like Jim Cramer has a new enemy. Nouriel Roubini is calling the CNBC star "a buffoon," and Cramer has since responded in kind, of course. [NYP]

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]

Cuomo Closes In, Geithner's Power Grab

cityfile · 03/24/09 05:34AM

Andrew Cuomo reports that 15 of the top 20 recipients of the $165 million in AIG bonuses have agreed to give back the cash. As for the other five, Cuomo is still "thinking about" releasing their names. Hint, hint. [NYT]
• Tim Geithner will call for the Treasury to be granted the power to seize troubled financial firms when he goes before a Congressional panel today. [DB]
• More trouble for AIG: The IRS is looking into cushy tax deals that were structured by the same unit that collected those millions in bonuses. [WSJ]
• Goldman Sachs plans to give back its bailout money in the next month. [DB]
• More on the programs unveiled by Tim Geithner yesterday, which created plenty of enthusiasm on Wall Street and sent the Dow up 7 percent. [NYT]
• The trustee overseeing the Madoff mess says he found an additional $75 million laying around, so there's some good news for you. [NYT]
• What a difference a year makes: "The best-performing deal of billionaire Henry Kravis's empire is a deep-discount retailer selling $1 dog treats and $2 bleach to lower-income shoppers." [WSJ]

Car Wreck Outside Henry Kravis's Apartment

cityfile · 03/09/09 08:20AM

Last week, Henry Kravis's two publicly-traded investment vehicles reported losses of more than 90 percent "after writedowns on takeovers, mortgages and corporate loans." Now vehicles are plowing into his Park Avenue apartment building. Consider it yet another perfect metaphor for the times. [NYSD]

Wall Street: Tuesday Morning Headlines

cityfile · 03/03/09 06:10AM

• Stocks appear positioned to rise this morning after tumbling to their worst levels in more than a decade during yesterday's trading session. [CNN, MW]
• More on what the government is trying to do with the billions it's been pumping into AIG. Meanwhile, the insurance giant's founder, Hank Greenberg, has filed suit against his former company and accused it of fraud. [NYT, NYP]
• Citigroup is still hoping to shed a handful of "non-core" assets, including its mortgage and insurance operations, Japanese brokerage, and private-label credit card business. [NYP]

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]

Henry Kravis Gets All Nerdy

cityfile · 10/20/08 01:57PM

Heart congrats to Henry Kravis: The billionaire financier unveiled a new website for his private equity giant today. The site is still missing glossy headshots of Kravis himself (and, sadly, he has not yet followed Carl Icahn's lead and started a blog), although the site does now sport slick Chinese and Japanese versions, a useful reminder of just who's keeping the American economy afloat these days. [Dealbook]

Street Talk

cityfile · 09/11/08 05:18AM
  • Lehman CEO Dick Fuld's announcement yesterday about the firm's new strategic direction hasn't changed much, say analysts, and questions about Lehman's ability to weather the storm continue to loom. [NYT, WSJ, FT, NYP]

Street Talk

cityfile · 09/02/08 05:14AM
  • The price of oil has dropped after Hurricane Gustav did less damage than initially feared. [CNNMoney]

Street Talk

cityfile · 08/15/08 05:05AM
  • Phil Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners has taken a 4.9 percent stake in Cablevision. [NYP]

Street Talk

cityfile · 08/05/08 04:59AM
  • Merrill CEO John Thain is responding to critics and disputing "notions that he misled investors about his intentions to raise capital." [NYT]

Henry Kravis Makes Money, Gives Money

cityfile · 07/31/08 09:45AM

Henry Kravis announced this week that his private equity powerhouse, KKR, plans to go public by the end of the year, a move that will probably end up making him substantially richer than he already is. (He was worth $5.5 billion in 2007, according to Forbes.) What does Henry do with his riches? He buys expensive homes for one thing, like the manse in Palm Beach he purchased in 2006 for $50 million (and which didn't even come with an oceanfront view). No, modesty and humility has never Kravis' strong suit. This is, after all, a man who once lived in a house where his chef could pipe the smell of freshly-baked croissants and coffee into the guestrooms to gently wake them up in the morning. (Sure beats that Dream Machine clock-radio you've been using for the past decade!) But Kravis also directs a fair amount of cash to charity with his third wife, Marie-Josee. In 2006, the couple handed out $5.9 million to a long list of art, culture, and educational institutions. The David Saltzman-led Robin Hood Foundation took home $1 million, as did Rockefeller University. The smallest contribution? The $200 the Kravises gave to Project Angel Food, which feeds people homebound by HIV/AIDS. The full list of donations by the Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Foundation after the jump.

Street Talk

cityfile · 07/29/08 04:43AM
  • Merrill Lynch has announced it will take another write-down of $5.7 billion and raise an additional $8.5 billion in new common stock. The bank has announced more than $45 billion in write-downs over the past year. [NYT]

Street Talk

cityfile · 07/28/08 05:01AM
  • Henry Kravis and George Roberts's KKR will become a public company by the end of the year in a complex deal that may ultimately value KKR at $15-20 billion. [Bloomberg]

Street Talk

cityfile · 06/27/08 04:17AM
  • InBev may need to raise its offer for Anheuser-Busch by $7 billion to win over the company's board. [Bloomberg]