Tag Archive | "governor"

Protestors Looking To ‘Make Banks Pay’

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Apparently this group was downtown earlier today, marching with music and signs that read “make banks pay” and “people before Wall Street, Governor Cuomo.”

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.09.11

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Commodity hedge fund loses $400m in oil slide (FT)
Clive Capital, the world’s largest commodity hedge fund, has been left nursing losses of more than $400m as a result of the collapse in the price of oil last week…Others, including Astenbeck Capital, the Phibro-owned fund run by Andrew Hall, are thought to have taken double-digit percentage point losses to their portfolios, according to investors…In a letter sent to investors on Friday and seen by the Financial Times, Clive said it was down 8.9 per cent on the week after what it called “extraordinary” price movements on Thursday. Clive’s management said it was at a loss to explain what had caused crude oil markets to be “annihilated”.

Silver-Mad Small Investors Fueled an Epic Rise and Fall (WSJ)
Behind silver’s historic collapse is a market that came loose of its moorings, fueled by speculative traders, many of them small investors who may have jumped in at just the wrong moment. “If gold is a Monte Carlo casino, silver is a slot machine in Las Vegas,” says Andy Smith, a senior metals strategist at Bache Commodities.

Euro Nations Divided Over Greek Debt (WSJ)
Finance chiefs from the most important euro nations discussed Greece’s problems—and other issues, including Portugal’s imminent aid package—at informal talks in Luxembourg on Friday. The gathering, one of many informal meetings of select European officials since the financial crisis began, turned into a media circus after Germany’s Spiegel Online reported its existence Friday—and claimed it had been called because Greece was thinking of leaving the euro zone. The report sent the euro tumbling…”We are not discussing the exit of Greece from the euro area. This is a stupid idea and an avenue we would never take,” said the host of Friday’s meeting, Luxembourg Premier Jean-Claude Juncker.

EU eyes lower rates for Greece, Ireland amid chaos (Reuters)
The European Union is looking to lower interest rates on bailout loans to Greece and Ireland and is working on a second rescue for Athens in a chaotic effort to prevent a disorderly debt restructuring. The executive European Commission said on Monday it hoped to see a decision within weeks on reducing the rate charged to Ireland to make Dublin’s debt more sustainable.

Irish to Avoid ‘Doomsday,’ Honohan Says as Rescheduling Mooted (Bloomberg)
Irish central bank Governor Patrick Honohan said the country will avoid economic “doomsday,” as a government minister and prominent professor suggested the nation should reschedule debts from its as much as 85 billion-euro ($121 billion) bailout. Honohan was responding to Morgan Kelly, an economics professor dubbed Ireland’s Doctor Doom, who wrote in the Irish Times newspaper that Ireland faces a “prolonged and chaotic national bankruptcy.”

U.S. Will Urge China to Boost Interest Rates in Washington Talks (Bloomberg)
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will urge China to allow higher interest rates when he meets with Chinese leaders this week, as the U.S. extends its push for a stronger yuan.

Private Equity Has A Horse In This Race (Dealbook)
Carl Pascarella, an executive at TPG, the private equity firm, owns a piece of the the colt that shocked the horse racing world on Saturday with a come-from-behind victory. Animal Kingdom, who had never run on dirt and only had four races under his belt, covered the mile and a quarter in 2:02.04.

AIG Fall Blunts Talk Of Taxpayer Gain (WSJ)
What Treasury chooses to do with its AIG shares “is essentially a political decision,” says Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida. “Government officials and politicians would like to say we broke even and didn’t lose any taxpayer money” in the AIG bailout, he says. “But as a taxpayer, I would be happy if we got out close to whole, and losing a little would ultimately be a good outcome” given the amount that was committed to the AIG bailout, Mr. Ritter says.

Fee Pitched for Fast Firms (WSJ)
Sen. Charles Schumer told regulators that sophisticated electronic traders should bear the cost of monitoring their dealings, with special fees assessed to firms that issue and then rapidly cancel securities orders.

UBS fears missing ambitious targets (FT)
Oswald Grübel, chief executive, surprised analysts last month by maintaining his medium-term goals of SFr20bn (€16bn) in annual revenues and SFr6bn in pre-tax profits for the group’s recovering investment bank. UBS’s performance targets were set in late 2009, before the new Basel III framework was finalised and before regulators in Switzerland proposed their own additional capital requirements for the group…However, according to senior UBS bankers, there is a growing acceptance that the targets are aspirational and will be extremely difficult to achieve over the next two years.

Moody’s: Expiring of US muni backstops going well (Reuters)
An expected flood of expirations of liquidity facilities on U.S. municipal debt this year is so far going well, Moody’s Investors Service reported on Monday.

SEC reform proposal threatens ‘dark pools’ (FT)
The US Securities and Exchange Commission is considering a proposal to move more trading back on to exchanges from alternative venues such as “dark pools”, which has drawn sharp criticism from banks and many trading firms. David Shillman, associate director of the SEC’s division of trading and markets, told the Financial Times that a so-called “trade at” rule is “very much in play. There’s interest in it”. The “trade at” rule, which would require non-exchange venues to improve on the displayed market price, is a response to concerns among some academics and market participants that a rising share of trading happening outside of exchanges is making trading more expensive and difficult.

US Q1 home values see biggest drop since 2008–Zillow (Reuters)
Zillow said its home value index fell 3 percent in the first three months of the year from the previous quarter, and was down 8.2 percent year-over-year.

Seeking Business, States Loosen Insurance Rules (NYT)
Vermont, and a handful of other states including Utah, South Carolina, Delaware and Hawaii, are aggressively remaking themselves as destinations of choice for the kind of complex private insurance transactions once done almost exclusively offshore. Roughly 30 states have passed some type of law to allow companies to set up special insurance subsidiaries called captives, which can conduct Bermuda-style financial wizardry right in a policyholder’s own backyard.

Berkshire Hathaway profit falls on Japan (Reuters)
Berkshire reported a net profit of $1.51 billion, or $917 per Class A share, compared with a profit of $3.63 billion, or $2,272 per Class A share, a year earlier. The company took a provision of $1.7 billion in the first quarter for catastrophe losses, primarily for the Japan earthquake but also from a quake in New Zealand and flooding in Australia…Berkshire also recorded losses of $506 million in the first quarter for stocks where the company’s investment was in a loss position and that loss was not considered temporary. The biggest share of the loss was an impairment on part of Berkshire’s stake in Wells Fargo, and the rest came from an impairment on the stake in Kraft Foods.

HSBC Costs Rise on New Hires and Customer Compensation (Bloomberg)
Costs as a proportion of income rose to 60.9 percent from 49.6 percent, the London-based bank said today in a statement. Net income rose 58 percent to $4.15 billion compared with $2.63 billion in the year-earlier period, the bank said in its first detailed quarterly earnings report. The shares fell.

U.S. gas prices hit $4 a gallon, but may retreat (Reuters)
The national average for self-serve, regular unleaded gas was $4 per gallon on May 6, up 11.98 cents from April 22, according to the nationwide Lundberg Survey. This was still below the all-time high of $4.11 on July, 11, 2008, and last week’s fall in crude oil prices may lead to a 8- to 12-cent drop in prices at the pump over the next few weeks, according to Trilby Lundberg, the survey’s editor.

Sweep is an ugly ending for Lakers and a bittersweet one for Phil Jackson (LA Times)
The Mavericks’ 122-86 blowout victory in Game 4, which completed their 4-0 sweep of the Western Conference semifinal series, perhaps came at the right time for the Lakers. They appeared to be teetering, perhaps because this was the 77th postseason game they had played since 2008, nearly an extra 82-game regular season in a four-year span. “I was talking to Kobe [after the game] and we both agreed it was better to lose now than to get to the [NBA] Finals and lose,” Jackson said. “Going all the way and losing in the Finals, now that’s really tough.”

What was in medicine chests at bin Laden compound? (MSNBC)
Either Osama bin Laden or those who lived with him at the Pakistan compound where he was killed apparently suffered from stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and nerve pain — plus the normal ailments that affect a family with children, according to a pharmacist’s analysis of medications reportedly found at the site. In addition, the medicine cache was said to contain Avena syrup, a botanical product that has at least two uses: as an artificial sweetener often used for a sour stomach and as “natural Viagra” that could be used to increase sexual desire and potency.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Donald Trump Is Not Impressed With Mitt Romney’s Net Worth, Resumé

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As you may have heard, Donald Trump has been mulling a run for president, which he says he’ll make a final decision on by June. For the last several months he’s been putting his credentials out there (unlike our pussy diplomats who went to school to study “how to be nice,” Trump is the “right messenger” to deliver news to people like the Chinese, who fear him and know he means business) and debating the issues (namely China, which we should stop treating to “beautiful five-star meals” and needs to be told “If you don’t stop manipulating your currency, we’re going to put a 25 percent tax on your products that come into the United States”). Over the weekend The Don took on one of his potential competitors for the boss of the US gig, Mitt Romney. Trump says he’s more qualified than the former Governor of Massachusetts for a couple of reasons.

1. He’s richer than Mitt. “I have a much, much bigger net worth. I mean my net worth is many, many, many times Mitt Romney,” Trump told CNN’s Candy Crowley.

2. Whereas Romney was basically a plebe at Bain Capital, which he co-founded, concerned with performance reviews and whether or not he’s get a big bonus, Trump is a real businessman.“Well, Mitt Romney is a basically small-business guy, if you really think about it. He was a hedge fund.** He was a funds guy. He walked away with some money from a very good company that he didn’t create. He worked there. He didn’t create it,” Trump said. Trump claimed that he had created “hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

Donald Trump Says His Net Worth Is Bigger Than Mitt Romney’s [NYP via DI]

**Hedge fund, private equity firm, same diff, no diff.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Eliot Spitzer Wants You To Feel Comfortable Making Jokes About The Time He Got Caught Paying For Hookers

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Former Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer was recently interviewed by Times magazine. On the topic of patronizing prostitutes, which led to his resignation from office, reporter Andrew Goldman asked Ness if he was ready to laugh about the whole thing. Spitzer said that while, personally, he’s not yet at the ha-ha stage, he totally gets that his hooker banging days are something other people often bust a gut over and he wants them to know it’s okay to do so in his presence.

NYT: I was surprised to hear from someone who appeared on your show that there was actually some joking on the set about the prostitution scandal that forced you to resign. Is this something that you’re able to laugh about now?
Spitzer: No. Trust me, I don’t laugh about it. On the other hand, you don’t live in a hermetically sealed container and pretend things didn’t happen. It makes others feel more comfortable, I think, when they can laugh and see that it is not an issue that can never be raised.

Something to remember if you ever run into Spitz in an elevator and have any questions/comments/jokes about the socks– you’re in a safe place!

[NYT via BI]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Memo To Mitt Romney: Larry Summers Never Forgets

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Mitt Romney says that if he runs for president, “I won’t be asking Tim Geithner how the economy works—or Larry Summers how to start a business.” Have you ever talked business strategy with Governor Romney? He was very interested in what Harvard and I could do to help during the time when he was governor of Massachusetts. Are you surprised to hear him attacking your business acumen? No. You shouldn’t work in Washington if you are not prepared to become an object of symbolic attack. My recollection is that in his highly successful business career, Governor Romney did a fair amount of job-destroying at a number of companies that his firm purchased. [Newsweek]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 12.23.10

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Morgan Stanley Overtakes JPMorgan For Equity Sales (Bloomberg)
The 75-year-old securities firm’s global market share rose to 10.4 percent in 2010 on $72.7 billion of initial public offerings, additional sales and convertible bond issues, its first top ranking in six years, according to preliminary data compiled by Bloomberg. JPMorgan was second with $59.7 billion, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. dropped to third after its share of U.S. equity underwriting slumped to the lowest level since at least 1998, the data show. While banks vie for first place in the so-called league tables betting it may lead to more business, Morgan Stanley’s ranking came at a price. It was paid an average 2.3 percent fee, the lowest of the top 10 banks, after underwriting state-backed sales of General Motors Co., Citigroup Inc., Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. and Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

Fitch Downgrades Hungary to BBB-, Outlook Negative (Reuters)
“The reversal of pension reforms and lack of a coherent medium-term fiscal strategy undermines confidence in the long-term sustainability of the public finances,” Fitch said in a statement.

The Gift Of Guns, Courtesy Of Cerberus (Dealbook)
For employees of AlixPartners, finding a last-minute holiday gift may have gotten a little easier. Thanks to some holiday generosity from a client, Cerberus Capital Management’s Remington Arms, staff members at the consultancy can choose from an array of rifles and shotguns — with a 33 percent discount. An attached flier noted that the offer applied to about 91 bolt-action rifles, repeating shotguns and .22 caliber rimfire rifles. Free shipping? Naturally — but, as Mr. Schwarzendahl says, employees still have to pay the federal transfer fee that some dealers charge. The program began on Dec. 8 and runs through Jan. 19.

Tax Cutters Set Up Tomorrow’s Fiscal Crisis (Bloomberg)
Simon Johnson: “The U.S. is steadily losing its global economic and financial predominance. To be sure, we offer the largest amount of government debt on the market, but investors have plenty of choices around the world, both in terms of debt and other assets. The idea that our Treasury market will be buoyed by captive investors, whether the Chinese central bank or anyone else, is quaint and at odds with today’s reality.”

Wall Street poised for earnings hit (FT)
Concern over earnings in fixed income, currency and commodity (FICC) trading has led several analysts to cut their fourth-quarter profit forecasts for Goldman and Morgan Stanley, due to report results next month. “We believe that credit trading businesses across the Street, particularly those with…exposure to European credit markets, may have seen notably poorer results during the fourth quarter,” wrote Roger Freeman at Barclays Capital this week.

ECB’s Kranjec Says Euro Will Survive Despite Problems (Reuters)
“I am sure that the euro will survive …that is in the interest of the European Union and all euro zone members,” Kranjec, who is also the governor of the Slovenian central bank, said in a midnight debate on TV Slovenia. “I see no danger for existence of the euro although there are problems there, but they are being solved,” he said.

Ex-UBS Banker Admits To Coded Fraud (Reuters)
Igor Poteroba was charged in Manhattan federal court in March, when US prosecutors said he used coded e-mail messages referring to securities and money as “frequent flier miles” and “potatoes” in a conspiracy with two traders. At a plea proceeding this week before Judge Paul Crotty, Poteroba, 37, of Darien, Conn., agreed to forfeit $465,000 under an agreement with US prosecutors, according to the court record.

Public Nudity On The Rise In Strait-laced Singapore (Reuters)
Strait-laced Singapore, where chewing-gum sales are restricted and graffiti artists can be caned and jailed, is heading for a record year of public nudity. Police received 105 reports of indecent exposure in the city state of 5 million in the first six months of 2010, or at least one every other day, and the numbers had been on the rise since 2007, police said on Wednesday. The state-run Straits Times newspaper said police received two reports of public nudity last week, one on Sunday when a man in his 20s went naked to buy a coffee at a McDonald’s restaurant and the other on Thursday when a man in his 40s sat naked on a pavement in a suburb.

Auditors’ Role In Crisis Gets Look (WSJ)
Accounting firms were at the center of the last financial crisis, when companies such as Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. collapsed amid scandals. New accounting rules focused on the abuses of the time, but touched on some of the issues in the Ernst/Lehman case, including the relationship between companies and their auditors, the processes companies have in place to prevent fraud or errors in their financial statements, and the way companies value their assets.

‘Grotesque’ Basel Rules May Kill Danish Bonds (Bloomberg)
Denmark’s lenders, which hold more than half the country’s $490 billion of mortgage bonds, would be forced to sell off holdings to comply with Basel’s 40 percent cap on using the securities as liquid assets, Arnth Jensen said. Basel says the ratio will ensure banks have more liquid assets to guard against financial stress and doesn’t limit sovereign-debt holdings. The rule represents a “grotesque notion — it shows the committee doesn’t really understand the Danish mortgage-bond market,” Arnth Jensen said.

Harbinger Sued On Swaps (NYP)
The lawsuit filed in Delaware state court on Tuesday, claims Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners improperly grabbed a 93.3 percent stake in Harbinger Group, Falcone’s holding company, which trades on the NYSE. Alan Kahn, an investor in the holding company, said the complicated transaction came at a time when the holding company’s stock was trading at a 25 percent discount to its liquid assets, thus only benefiting Falcone and his hedge fund.

Actor Adam Pascal On Spiderman Musical: ‘It’s Infuriating’ (Speakeasy)
Pascal, a 40-year-old performer who made his Broadway debut in “Rent,” described falling from a lift during a climactic moment in the pop-rock musical “Aida.” In the scene, the actors were lifted above the stage in a box designed as a tomb. The equipment broke and the actor, with costar Heather Headley, dropped to the stage. Mr. Pascal recalls being wheeled out of the Cadillac Palace Theatre on a stretcher and taken to a hospital with minor injuries. After news broke this week that Christopher Tierney, a 31-year-old primary stunt double for the role of Spider-Man/Peter Parker, sustained injuries to his ribs after falling more than 20 feet from a platform during Monday night’s performance of “Spider-Man,” Pascal turned to his Facebook page to rant against that musical’s director, Julie Taymor of “Lion King” fame. “They should put Julie Taymor in Jail for assault!” he wrote.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

DealBreaker MadLibs: What Kind Of Borrowing Schemes Are Wall Street Bankers Out There Peddling?

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Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch knows.

Wall Street bankers perceive New York’s $9 billion budget deficit as an opportunity to propose financing deals that may worsen the state’s long-term fiscal condition, Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch said. “They are up here peddling the same cockamamie borrowing schemes that helped get us in trouble,” Ravitch said today at a conference sponsored by the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, the state capital.


Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 11.23.10

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Ireland Banks Are All For Sale: Central Banker (Reuters)
Ireland’s banks are effectively up for sale, central bank Governor Patrick Honohan said on Tuesday as Dublin sought aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to prop up its lenders. “They are for sale as far as I am concerned,” Honohan said. “I’ve been an advocate for a number of years for small countries to have foreign owners for their banks.”

North Korea Fires At South (WSJ)
A South Korean military unit on the island, called Yeonpyeong, returned fire, while military officials scrambled fighter jets. In addition to the deaths, at least 16 more were injured, military officials said. Three civilians were injured, and the island’s 1,200 residents were sent scrambling for bomb shelters. “The whole neighborhood is on fire,” island resident Na Young-ok said from a bomb shelter about an hour after the shelling began. “I think countless houses are on fire, but no fire truck is coming. We have a fire station but the shots are intermittently coming.

Greenhill Hired By US Treasury To Help Dispose Of AIG Stake (BW)
The department agreed on Nov. 18 to hire Greenhill for the next 18 months, according to a contract posted on the Treasury’s website yesterday. New York-based Greenhill will collect $500,000 a month for the first year and $175,000 a month thereafter.

Carlos Slim Buys Stake in Money Manager BlackRock (Bloomberg)
Arturo Elias, Slim’s spokesman, said yesterday in a telephone interview that he thinks Slim’s holding is less than the 2 percent figure reported Nov. 21 by the Financial Times, which cited unidentified people familiar with the investment. Elias said he didn’t know the exact amount of the stake or whether Slim holds it directly or through a fund.

DE Shaw Exec To Launch Own Hedge Fund (HFMWeek)
Daniel Posner, managing director at DE Shaw & Co. who heads the firm’s distressed securities group, is departing the firm and expected to start his own hedge fund manager.According to two people briefed on the plans, the new offering will invest in troubled companies. Posner’s plans come shortly after the quantitative hedge fund titan cut approximately 10% of its workforce after it faced a number of investor redemptions.

Bracing For Black Friday (Reuters)
“What I really like is that a lot of stores are opening before Black Friday,” said Gabriella Jones, a 49-year-old from Lake Forest, California, who was in Times Square traveling with her daughter on Wednesday. “It’s almost like Black Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.”

Culinary Masterpiece Was A Turkey (CD)
“When I stuff a turkey, I eschew traditional bread cubes in favor of White Castle hamburgers.”

Barclays Transfers From Lehman May Have Broken Law, SEC Says (Bloomberg)
The U.K. bank got $769 million in securities held in the Lehman brokerage’s reserve bank account, and $507 million in assets listed as a debit item in the brokerage’s customer reserve, when it bought defunct Lehman’s brokerage, Lehman Brothers Inc., the SEC said in a filing yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. The transfers would violate securities law if they increased the deficiency in the accounts, “and LBI would not have sufficient funds to satisfy all claims of the remaining customers,” the SEC said.

Charlie Sheen: Capri Anderson Tried to Extort $1 Million (People)
Charlie Sheen fired back at Capri Anderson in lawsuit that alleges she tried to extort $1 million from him after their “consensual encounter” in a New York hotel room. “This case involves a shakedown and extortion of the internationally known actor and celebrity Charlie Sheen … by an opportunist pornographic film star and publicity-hungry scam artist,” says the lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Foreclosure Detectives Hunt For Lies (WSJ)
In two squat, suburban office-park buildings here, Richard Barrent is digging through loan files that could help decide who pays for the mortgage-paperwork debacle. The former Wells Fargo & Co. quality-assurance manager’s two-year-old company is part of a cottage industry of loan detectives obsessed with detecting fraud, misrepresentations and violations of underwriting guidelines. Such discoveries can be used as ammunition to force banks and other lenders to buy back loans from bond insurers, holders of mortgage-backed securities and other customers of forensic loan-review firms.

IMF: Greece Needs More Reforms (WSJ)
“The program is off to an impressive start, but the program is also at a crossroads,” said Poul Tomsen, head of the IMF team in the delegation. “The ability to make the program sustainable depends on deep structural reforms.”

Dogs Smarter Than Cats, Study Claims (NYP)
Scientists at Oxford University claim canines are smarter than felines, the London Daily Telegraph reported yesterday. And the reason, according to the researchers, is that dogs are more social animals and, therefore, have bigger brains. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, charted the evolutionary history of various mammals’ brains over 60 million years and found a link between the size of an animal’s brain in relation to its body and how socially active it was.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Eliot Spitzer’s Liason To The Hooker World Has New York Hedge Funds’ Backs

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As you may have heard, Kristin Davis, the former madam who supplied Eliot Ness with prostitutes when he was into that sort of thing, is running for governor of New York. She’s previously stated that her qualifications for the job are that she 1) “Was valedictorian of [her] high-school class 2) “Worked 10 years in finance [as] vice president of a hedge fund 3) “Went on to build a multimillion-dollar business from snatchscratch.” Today she elaborated on how her time in the industry helped prepare her for life (her boss was a real slave driver) and what you can expect should you vote Davis on election day.

“Manhattan Madam” Touts Her Hedge Fund Experience In Race For Governor [AR]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Connecticut’s Operation ‘Steal New York Hedge Fund Managers’ A Marginal Success

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They really had nothing much to talk about, given that Albany called off the proposed tax on New York-based hedge fund managers who live out of state, i.e. the impetus for Connecticut governor Jodi Rell’s invitation to an ‘intimate dinner’ in Darien, but damn it, girlfriend was having her night. At 5:30 last evening, Rell came in “through the back door” at The Water’s Edge and stuffed crab cakes, shrimp, fried calamari and filet mignon down the throats of 15 city-based financial firms’ representatives while she made her pitch. It’s unclear on what exactly her talking points were, or what else she’s got up her sleeve**, but at least one guy, perhaps feeling used and abused by Governor Paterson et al, is in the bag.

“It’s nice to be wanted,” said Brett Cohen of JGB Capital, located on Madison Avenue.

In New York, “there’s a hostile atmosphere of continuing to tax the finance firms,” he said. “It’s nice when a governor of a state says welcoming things. It’s like a breath of fresh air.”

**Robert Eick, from the Connecticut Development Authority, said “We are just laying the groundwork now. There are more discussions to be had,” i.e. Rell took our suggestion to Rell “order the state development authority to build a series of office towers around a certain local establishment” seriously or Stevie’s going to start making house calls.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker