• Guy Who Thinks Barclays’ I-Bank Is Governance Failure Thinks The Same About Hiring Jeff Epstein’s Buddy As CEO Link
    dealbreaker Tue 25 Feb 2020 19:13

    “Several months ago we raised our concerns with you about the regulatory issues and the consequences for Barclays of the Epstein imbroglio,” Mr. Bramson wrote in the letter to investors in a Sherborne fund holding Barclays shares, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “This is another example of governance weakness that has led, inevitably, to the recurrent public disappointments and embarrassments which have plagued Barclays for so long….”

    “We are hopeful that the board will treat these matters seriously and that Mr. Higgins will be able to indicate what long-term governance changes the board will make to end this cycle of disruption,” Mr. Bramson wrote.

  • Warren Buffett Distracts Attention From Boring Year By Complaining About Things He Doesn’t Like Link
    dealbreaker Tue 25 Feb 2020 16:53

    “When seeking directors, C.E.O.s don’t look for pit bulls,” Mr. Buffett writes. “It’s the cocker spaniel that gets taken home….” Directors with stakes in the company they serve, paid for with their own money and not as compensation for their role, are better incentivized to give good advice, Mr. Buffett says, even though they are often not considered independent for corporate-governance purposes….

    It would be an interesting exercise for a company to hire two “expert” acquisition advisers, one pro and one con, to deliver his or her views on a proposed deal to the board — with the winning adviser to receive, say, 10 times a token sum paid to the loser.

  • Previously Delightful Neighborly Dispute Takes Inevitable Turn To The Dark And Gross Link
    dealbreaker Tue 25 Feb 2020 15:18

    In late 2015, they hired TekStratex, a new Texas security firm, to push American law enforcement officials to investigate him for sex trafficking…. The F.B.I. looked into Mr. Nygard twice, but only briefly. In April 2016, the Department of Homeland Security dug in…. Despite the Bacons’ efforts, the Homeland Security investigation fizzled after nine months, suspended because of “unforeseen circumstances” and “lack of prosecutorial evidence,” according to an agency email.

  • Opening Bell 02.25.20 Link
    dealbreaker Tue 25 Feb 2020 11:38

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    EVERYONE REMAIN CALM

    Mondays, amirite?

    The markets had quite the day. The Dow dropped over 1k points as coronavirus fears kicked into overdrive. All three major US indexes fell over 3.3%, with the Dow and S&P suffering their biggest single-day point and percentage drops in two years. Only the Nasdaq is still up YTD, with its other two market mates now in the red since New Year’s Day. This is NOT what I had in mind when I said ‘new year, new me’.

    Why now?

    Reports broke that showed an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in countries outside of China. South Korea, which now has the highest number of cases outside of The People's Republic, raised its coronavirus alert to the ‘highest level’, as the total number of civilians impacted eclipsed 800. Italy is...

  • Hedge Fund Fraudster Sentenced To ‘Long Enough For People To Forget The Name You Were Dropping’ Years Link
    dealbreaker Tue 25 Feb 2020 00:08

    In addition to grand larceny and forgery, Nicholas Genovese now also stands convicted of securities fraud, having pleaded guilty to defrauding investors of $11 million in a fake hedge fund. Genovese, of course, recruited his victims by pretending to be the heir to a Long Island pharmacy chain, a tall tale that certainly included no mention of the aforementioned convictions and did include a fake resume full of fake degrees and fake jobs at Goldman Sachs, but also one that also meant a fairly limited number of potential marks: specifically those from the New York area who remembered a drug store that hasn’t existed in 17 years.

  • Ken Griffin Finds Perfect $100 Million Escape From His $240 Million Apartment Link
    dealbreaker Mon 24 Feb 2020 21:27

    Billionaire Ken Griffin is adding a Hamptons house to his growing portfolio of trophy real estate, this time buying the oceanfront property of fashion designer Calvin Klein, according to sources familiar with the transaction.

    The roughly 7-acre property on coveted Meadow Lane in Southampton wasn’t formally on the market. The price couldn't be immediately determined, but an agent familiar with the market said the property could be worth as much as $100 million.… Mr. Griffin was eyeing the property for several years before finally making a deal with Mr. Klein, according to a person familiar with his plans.

  • Phil Falcone Really Knows How To Lever The Hell Out Of A Warhol Link
    dealbreaker Mon 24 Feb 2020 17:02

    The thing is, though, he’d already used the Warhol and some other stuff to raise some quick cash, specifically by putting it and them up as collateral for a loan from Melody Business Finance. This, as you might imagine, is vexing to Melody, but Falcone is allegedly arguing that he doesn’t have to make good on those loans or pony up the collateral because he’s got the aforementioned bigger fish to fry.

  • Opening Bell 2.24.20 Link
    dealbreaker Mon 24 Feb 2020 11:32

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    IT'S FINE-ALLY SETTLED

    Wells, Wells, Wells, look who’s in the news again.

    Wells Fargo will pay $3B to the SEC and DOJ in what might be one of the last chapters of its fake account scandal. Don’t remember what I’m talking about? Well, let’s take a trip down memory lane.

    Look back at it

    From 2002 to 2016, Wells Fargo employees opened up millions of fake accounts for customers without their notice, raking in dough from all of the associated fees. What was once alleged is now a fact, as the nation’s fourth-largest bank has admitted, finally, to setting unrealistic sales expectations, causing thousands of employees to open up these fake accounts or products for unsuspecting customers.

  • Local Retiree Billionaire Says He’s Not Rich, Pretends He Was Ever Not Going To Vote For Trump This Year Link
    dealbreaker Fri 21 Feb 2020 22:45

    I mention that Sanders is now favourite to be the nominee. Blankfein does a mock frown…. “I think I might find it harder to vote for Bernie than for Trump,” he says. “There’s a long time between now and then. The Democrats would be working very hard to find someone who is as divisive as Trump. But with Bernie they would have succeeded….”

    “I don’t like assassination by categorisation. I think it’s un-American. I find that destructive and intemperate. I find that just as subversive of the American character as someone like Trump who denigrates groups of people who he has never met. At least Trump cares about the economy.”

  • Beware NFL Owners Eagerly Bearing $5 Billion In Gifts Link
    dealbreaker Fri 21 Feb 2020 18:05

    We already know why NFL players are against a 17-game regular season, seeing that it is nothing but a gateway to an 18-game season that would represent a 12.5% increase in the amount of regular-season football being played. The reason for the league’s optimism would be the ability to throw mountains of cash at the players.

    As the NFLPA detailed in its memo to players highlighting “key terms” of the proposal, the NFL is offering a “guaranteed 48% share of revenue in 2021, with ability to increase the percentage to 48.5% share through a media kicker which applies in any season the league plays 17 games.” That would represent a “projected increase of ~$5 billion to players during course of a new 10-year deal.”

  • Carl Icahn Needs To Make A Few Things Clear Link
    dealbreaker Fri 21 Feb 2020 17:45

    “I certainly did not offer my stock in Xerox in that discussion or, for that matter, in any discussion,” he said in an interview. “Frankly, I am getting tired of anonymous statements that keep popping up alleging that my stock in Xerox is for sale, which couldn’t be further from the truth, because I believe so strongly in the synergies that exist in a combination between Xerox and HP and I certainly want to own a piece of those synergies.”

  • Wells Fargo May Finally Get To Spend That Rainy Day Fund Link
    dealbreaker Fri 21 Feb 2020 17:05

    Wells Fargo is preparing to settle with federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission over the widespread abuse of customers in its banking, auto lending and mortgage businesses, according to two people familiar with the matter…. The size of the penalties could not immediately be determined, but Wells Fargo has set aside $3.1 billion to pay legal costs related to the sales practice matters.

  • Opening Bell 02.21.20 Link
    dealbreaker Fri 21 Feb 2020 11:39

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    EVERYONE LOVES A DISCOUNT

    Morgan Stanley announced its acquisition of E-Trade yesterday, in what is yet another consolidation in the brokerage industry. Looks like someone wore their deal sleds.

    The $13B deal, which is expected to close in Q4 of this year, has MS paying $58.74 per share. This announcement will bring together a combined $3.1T in client assets, with E.T.’s portion making up a respectable $360B … which is the equivalent of saying Tom Brady and I have a combined net worth of $180.001M and are dating a model.

  • Congratulations To Jim Gorman On Finally Buying Something He’s Wanted To For 20 Years For Some Reason Link
    dealbreaker Thu 20 Feb 2020 17:33

    For nearly two decades, long before he was even at Morgan Stanley, let alone its CEO, James Gorman has coveted one thing above all else. And this thing, for some reason, was E*Trade. And it cannot be said that Gorman only loved the discount brokerage in the good times, and not only because there have not been a ton of good times for E*Trade over that period. He first fell for her in the aftermath of the dot-com collapse, and his hunger for her did not wane in spite of its huge pile of home-equity loans during the subprime mortgage crisis, although it did prevent him from buying her then.

  • Unable To Be A Real Swiss Bank Anymore, UBS Decides To Go Dutch Link
    dealbreaker Thu 20 Feb 2020 16:48

    On Wednesday, it tapped a digital banking specialist, Ralph Hamers, to be its next chief executive from Nov. 1, surprising investors and analysts who expected either an internal candidate or an outsider with experience running a wealth management business…. Mr. Hamers got the job after building a reputation at ING for successfully moving more customers out of branches and onto their phones and computers…. The moves let it cut costs by shutting hundreds of branches and shedding thousands of jobs in Belgium and the Netherlands.

  • Opening Bell 02.20.20 Link
    dealbreaker Thu 20 Feb 2020 11:33

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    HOUSE PARTY

    Grab some Claws and head to the conference room, because Zillow is throwing a party after it crushed earnings in Q4. The online real estate platform grew revenue in its core business (selling your personal information to real estate agents) and saw higher than expected growth in its new home-flipping business.

    Under construction

    Zillow Offers was a big surprise this quarter as the segment topped $603M in revenue, crushing estimates of $463M to $590M. It bought 1.7k houses and sold 1.9k in the quarter, after buying 499 and selling 141 during the previous quarter. How do you like them apples, Tarek and Christina? Within two to four years, the house hawker is looking to buy upwards of 5k per month.

  • Leon Cooperman Says Coronavirus NBD, Fellow Aged New Yorker The Second Coming Of Stalin Link
    dealbreaker Wed 19 Feb 2020 22:03

    “I look at Bernie Sanders as a bigger threat [to the stock market] than the coronavirus,” Cooperman, the billionaire investor and founder of Omega Advisors, told CNBC’s Scott Wapner on the “Halftime Report.” “I don’t have any insight into the coronavirus, but I assume, with all the great minds of the world focused on this problem, that in three or four months this will become resolved.”

  • President Trump Drains The (White Collar Felon) Swamp Link
    dealbreaker Wed 19 Feb 2020 18:12

    Demonstrating that he learned the exact lesson the U.S. Senate taught him by acquitting him, which is to say the same lesson his entire life has taught him—that he can do whatever he wants without consequence—President Trump decided to issue some pardons yesterday. And those getting the slate wiped clean are exactly the sort of people the salt-of-the-earth, white working class Trump voters The New York Times is always writing about: Former New York City Police Commissioner and tax cheat Bernie Kerik; former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was only doing what the president himself might have done if Trump had a U.S. Senate seat to sell and who after all then went on the president’s TV show; former San Francisco 49ers owner and bribe-paying Edward DeBartolo; and, of course, junk bond king Michael Milken, whom the White House called “one of America’s greatest financiers” whose “innovative work greatly expanded access to capital for emerging companies,” which is certainly one...

  • For Once, Guy Claiming Religious Discrimination May Be On To Something Link
    dealbreaker Wed 19 Feb 2020 17:17

    Emmanuel Lemelson has two jobs: as a priest and a short-selling hedge fund manager. These may seem incongruous but are actually connected, insofar as Lemelson claims his success in the former is thanks to the tips he gets from his good buddy God. (To his credit, Lemelson is quick to dismiss the cliché about the humility of those in holy orders, at least in his own case.) Lemelson’s claims to the power of prophecy, however, have been called into question, both by his failure to foresee the SEC investigation into him (going so far as to say “there is now now, nor has there ever been” one, “nor is there basis for one,” going on to sue Bloomberg for saying it two years before the investigation he should have foreseen resulting in an SEC complaint against him) and by the SEC’s allegations that the success had less to do with a hotline to heaven than with Lemelson’s short-and-distort campaign against Ligard Phamaceuticals.

  • Opening Bell 02.19.20 Link
    dealbreaker Wed 19 Feb 2020 11:37

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    BACK TO BASICS

    While most companies are currently looking to get the f*ck out of Asia, HSBC is going all in. The Hong Kong-based bank announced that it is cutting 35k jobs globally as it pulls much of its operations out of the US and Europe. The withdrawal is expected to free up $100B worth of assets to be reinvested in domestic (Asian) growth initiatives.

    Long time coming

    HSBC has had a rough go of it since the financial crisis in 2009, culminating in a 53% drop in net profit in 2019 ($5.97B) vs. 2018. Hong Kong’s biggest bank also began a restructuring effort last fall that is expected to cost at least $7.3B over the next few years. And that my friends, is a textbook example of how to send a stock price down 6% in a day.

  • The Only Thing Standing Between Ken Griffin And Chinese Dominance Is A $100 Million House Link
    dealbreaker Tue 18 Feb 2020 20:22

    Citadel Securities has big expansion plans and has set its sights on prying open the trillion-dollar financial markets in China, the world's second-largest economy. If history is a lesson, working with the Chinese government won't be easy (witness recent U.S.-China trade tension), but it's likely to pay off, given that the Asia-Pacific region is already Citadel Securities' second-biggest market, behind the U.S.

  • Human Smokestack Believes In Electric Cars Link
    dealbreaker Tue 18 Feb 2020 18:37

    Billionaire Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, Viking Global Investors, and Granite Point Capital were among prominent hedge funds placing new bets on electric carmaker Tesla Inc in the fourth quarter, positioning them to gain from its nearly 100% rally over the first six weeks of the year.

  • HSBC Doesn’t Need One In Seven Of You, Especially If You Work In London Or The U.S. Link
    dealbreaker Tue 18 Feb 2020 16:51

    HSBC Holdings PLC said it would cut 35,000 jobs and $100 billion in assets in the next three years as it scales back operations in the U.S. and mainland Europe, as well as its investment bank…. Chief Financial Officer Ewen Stevenson told journalists there would be “meaningful job cuts” in HSBC’s investment bank and headquarters in London.

  • Opening Bell 02.18.20 Link
    dealbreaker Tue 18 Feb 2020 11:36

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    DEAL ME OUT

    It will be a cold day in hell before 21 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington DC accept the $18B settlement offer from drug wholesalers for their contribution to the opioid epidemic. At least, for the time being.

    The states’ attorneys general put together a letter formally rejecting the offer from three drug wholesalers, McKesson Corp, AmerisourceBergen, and CardinalHealth, on the basis that the deal was not enough money, and the payout schedule is too long of a time period. Some states are suggesting a payout between $22B and $32B. And considering what they’ve been through, can you blame them?

  • You’ll Never Guess What Happened To Trump’s Latest Fed Nominee Link
    dealbreaker Fri 14 Feb 2020 22:38

    She appears to be moving into a prime position to become the next Fed chair if Mr. Trump wins re-election, Ms. Smialek adds. The president has openly derided the current chairman, Jay Powell, and could well pick someone more in tune with him ideologically when Mr. Powell’s term is up in 2022.

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