Tag Archive | "hotel"

Opening Bell: 06.01.11

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S.E.C. Case Stands Out Because It Stands Alone (NYT)
But [Fabrice] Tourre’s world would soon be turned upside down. In fall 2009, the S.E.C. issued him a Wells notice, a formal warning that he was likely to be named in a civil fraud suit for his role in the mortgage deals. Mr. Egol also received such a notice in 2010. In their Oct. 10 response to the S.E.C., Mr. Tourre’s lawyers, including Pamela Chepiga of Allen & Overy, made an argument that they have not emphasized publicly. They contended that “singling Mr. Tourre out for criticism regarding the content of this clearly collaborative effort is unreasonable.” These legal replies, which are not public, were provided to The New York Times by Nancy Cohen, an artist and filmmaker in New York also known as Nancy Koan, who says she found the materials in a laptop she had been given by a friend in 2006.  The friend told her he had happened upon the laptop discarded in a garbage area in a downtown apartment building. E-mail messages for Mr. Tourre continued streaming into the device, but Ms. Cohen said she had ignored them until she heard Mr. Tourre’s name in news reports about the S.E.C. case.  She then provided the material to The Times. Mr. Tourre’s lawyer did not respond to an inquiry for comment.

Did the NYT hack Fabrice Tourre’s email? (Reuters)
Felix Salmon: “Louise Story and Gretchen Morgenson have a long and rambling story about the court case against Goldman’s Fabrice Tourre, which is mainly interesting for how it was sourced…I’m sure this was extremely carefully formulated, but it does raise a lot of questions without answering them. Tourre’s name was splashed over the newspapers in April 2010, so it stands to reason that the NYT has had some kind of access to Tourre’s private, password-protected email account — not to mention archives going back at least to 2006 — for a good year at this point. I’d also guess that the NYT is going public with its source now because Tourre finally got around to changing his password, and the stream of emails then dried up.”

SAC Faces Probe of Biotech Trading (WSJ)
MedImmune shares jumped 18% on April 23, 2007, the day its takeover was announced. Trading was heavy before the announcement, driving shares up more than 50% over six weeks, suggesting that rumors of a deal may have reached traders ahead of the announcement. SAC significantly increased its holdings of MedImmune during the quarter prior to the one in which the deal was announced, according to public filings. SAC increased its holdings from 151,000 shares in the fourth quarter of 2006 to 796,000 shares in first quarter of 2007. It cut its holdings to 30,000 shares at the end of 2007′s second quarter, then reported that it sold the position completely, according to filings.

Greece nears IMF/EU deal, dismisses drachma talk (Reuters)
Greece should complete talks by the end of the week with inspectors from the EU and IMF on a medium-term budget plan plus a vital next slice of international aid, sources close to the negotiations said on Wednesday.

EU warns US to speed up bank reform (FT)
In a letter sent last week to US Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, Michel Barnier, the European commissioner in charge of financial markets, argued that Brussels was ahead of the US in several areas – including capital requirements for banks and limits on bonuses for financial executives. Mr Barnier urged the US to match European efforts. “The level playing field must be a reality, not an empty slogan,” he wrote in the May 27 letter, which was obtained by the Financial Times.

Irish lenders outline loss plans for bondholders (FT)
Three of Ireland’s lenders revealed plans to impose losses of up to 90 per cent on bondholders in attempts to make them shoulder some of the cost of recapitalising the country’s banks. Bank of Ireland said it would shortly announce a cash offer for €2.6bn ($3.7bn) of its subordinated debt, with discounts of either 80 per cent or 90 per cent depending on the type of bond. Two smaller lenders, Irish Life & Permanent and EBS, planned to impose similar losses on holders of about €1bn of debt.

UBS May Move Stamford Investment Bank to World Trade Center (Businessweek)
UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest lender, may move the staff of its U.S. investment bank from Stamford, Connecticut, to the World Trade Center in Manhattan by 2015, a person with direct knowledge of the plan said.

Attorney General orders more episodes of the “The Wire”, or a movie (Reuters)
“I want to speak directly to Mr. Burns and Mr. Simon: Do another season of ‘The Wire’,” Holder said, drawing laughter and applause from the audience. “That’s actually at a minimum. … If you don’t do a season, do a movie.  We’ve done HBO movies, this is a series that deserves a movie. I want another season or I want a movie. I have a lot of power Mr. Burns and Mr. Simon.”

‘Expert Networker’ Jiau Faces Trial in U.S. Insider-Trading Investigation (Bloomberg)
Winifred Jiau, a former consultant with so-called expert networking firm Primary Global Research LLC, faces jury selection as her insider trading trial begins today, the third tied to a nationwide probe of illegal stock- tipping.

Citigroup Close to China Securities Partnership Deal (WSJ)
Citigroup Inc. is close to an agreement with a partner in China to set up a joint-venture securities business that would give the New York bank a long-sought foothold in China’s domestic capital markets, according to people familiar with the situation. Citigroup is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai-based Orient Securities Company Ltd. as soon as Thursday morning China time.

EIB halts Glencore lending on governance concerns (Reuters)
The EIB, the European Union’s lending institution, provided in 2005 a $50 million loan to Mopani Copper Mines, a Zambian subsidiary of Swiss-based Glencore, to help pay for the modernisation of a copper smelter. But Mopani has since been accused by some non-governmental organisations — most recently by campaign groups in an open letter signed by a group of European parliamentarians — of tax evasion and of causing widespread pollution.

Morgan Stanley Invests in Short-Sale Target Yongye International of China (Bloomberg)
Morgan Stanley agreed to invest $50 million in Yongye International Inc. (YONG), the U.S.-traded producer of plant nutrients in China that is the target of a short seller who says the company has misrepresented its business.

South Korea Probes Foreign Banks (WSJ)
Financial Supervisory Service Deputy Gov. Kim Yung-dae said at a briefing Tuesday that some foreign-bank branches in South Korea were handing over day-to-day trading operations involving money held in local accounts to a larger foreign branch or regional headquarters in places like Hong Kong and Singapore. Such outsourcing is illegal in South Korea…Mr. Kim said HSBC Holdings PLC and Crédit Agricole SA have already been sanctioned for improper outsourcing of operations involving derivatives…A person familiar with the situation said Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC may also be sanctioned for engaging in similar activity, with the FSS likely to decide on the matter in June or July.

Sovereign ratings still relevant – but mostly when they go negative (FT Alphaville)
Bond markets still react to sovereign ratings announcements, though they tend to react more when the rating agencies say something negative. That’s the conclusion of a new working paper from the European Central Bank, which looked at changes in yields and CDS spreads after rating actions from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch on two dozen European Union countries from 1995 on.

Lehman Veteran Is Back in Game (WSJ)
Mark Walsh is best known for the gigantic real-estate deals that backfired on Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. before it collapsed in 2008. As the financial crisis recedes, the 52-year-old Mr. Walsh is mounting a low-key comeback at a new real-estate firm by leaning on connections made before the real-estate bubble burst. “Unfortunately, Mark has to live with the talk of having done a couple of bad deals, rather than people focusing on the overwhelming amount of good ones,” says New York real-estate developer Steven Witkoff.

Accuser was maid to wait (NYP)
A female manager at the ritzy Pierre hotel was suspended yesterday for shrugging off a room attendant who reported that an Egyptian business big shot had just sexually assaulted her in his room, the hotel revealed yesterday. The manager, whose name was not released, merely noted the maid’s shocking claims in a logbook — and never reported them to Pierre security, her own bosses or police, officials said.

Sarah Palin, Donald Trump split a pepperoni pizza at Famous Famiglia in Times Square (NYDN)
“She didn’t ask me (to run with her) but I’ll tell you, she’s a terrific woman,” Trump said as he ushered Palin into a branch of Famous Famiglia pizza on Broadway at 50th St.

ACLU wants porn to be allowed for South Carolina inmates (ABC)
The American Civil Liberties Union is pushing for porn at a detention center in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. The move came after reports surfaced that the facility only allowed inmates to read the Bible. But prison officials said that isn’t true and inmates have a wide variety of reading material at their disposal.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Was A Big Fan Of This- ;)

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If you’ve been keeping up with the Dominque Strauss-Kahn story, you may recently have hit your disgust overload (and if you haven’t, take a gander at Ben Stein’s analysis). The IMF chief, currently bunking at Riker’s and said to be on suicide watch, was been accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid over the weekend; while DSK is of course innocent until proven guilty, the fact that many women have come out of the woodwork to speak not very highly of his character, and, more so, that his defense quickly changed from having lunch with his daughter and not being in the hotel at the time of the allegations to being there but the encounter being “consensual” does not look good. And if, as some conspiracy theorists believe, DSK did not do anything wrong but was set up, that would be pretty vile, too. This morning, however, one thing did emerge that could prove to be a small but bright light in an otherwise very dark story. Naturally, we speak of the case against emoticons.

According to the Times:

Mr. Strauss-Kahn is known to carry two BlackBerrys with him — one encrypted and the other not — to stay in constant touch. Those on the receiving end say his messages often come adorned with two smiley faces.

In the event he is found guilty, those of us who are violently anti-emoticon can be content to have this conclusive evidence tying the use of the skin-crawling symbols to sick fucks and/or criminal activity. QED.

Atop I.M.F., Contradiction and Energy [NYT via Daily Intel]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.18.11

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For States, a Glimmer of Hope on Deficits (NYT)
From stronger-than-expected tax collections in deficit-ridden California to projected surpluses in struggling states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, a growing number of recession-weary states are finally announcing a bit of good budget news for the first time since the downturn began. But it would probably be premature to pop the Champagne, or even the prosecco — or to otherwise declare the fiscal crisis that has hammered states to be over.

Howard Marks’ Oaktree Capital sows seeds for listing on NYSE (FT)
Oaktree Capital Management is planning to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a deal that would value the asset manager at between $8bn and $9bn, people familiar with the matter said. Oaktree, which manages $85bn, mostly in debt investments, listed shares four years ago on a quasi-public exchange set up by Goldman Sachs.

DSK Accuser Is ‘Afraid,’ ‘Overwhelmed’ (WSJ)
Investigators swabbed a sink and removed a section of carpet from the hotel suite where International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn allegedly assaulted a hotel housekeeper, a New York law-enforcement official said Tuesday, as a clearer profile began to emerge of the alleged victim. Her attorney [Jeffrey Shapiro] characterized her as a “simple woman, with little education” who is a single mother from Guinea. Mr. Shapiro said his client, a 32-year-old widowed mother of a 15-year-old girl, was granted asylum in the United States seven years ago from her native country of Guinea.

Fed seeks annual US bank stress tests (FT)
The Federal Reserve wants to subject US banks to annual capital tests, reserving the right to veto dividend pay-outs if they do not pass.

‘Gang of Six’ on verge of collapse as Republican Sen. Coburn withdraws (WaPo)
Since January, six senators have engaged in difficult negotiations and made painful concessions in a politically dangerous quest for something that has long eluded Washington: a bipartisan compromise to control the nation’s mounting debt. By Tuesday evening, however, the “Gang of Six” was on the verge of collapse. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) withdrew from the bipartisan working group, saying the senators simply could not overcome the polarizing political pressure that each faces.

Senate rejects measure to end subsidies for big oil companies (WaPo)
A Democratic measure that would have repealed tax subsidies for the five biggest oil companies failed to clear the Senate on Tuesday, falling short of the 60-vote threshold needed to advance in a near-party-line vote.

Geithner Warns On Debt Ceiling, Talks IMF Crisis (DJ via WSJ)
In his first public comments since International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn was jailed on sexual-assault charges, [Treasury Secretary Timothy] Geithner added that the institution should establish a plan to fill its leadership vacuum on an interim basis, given that the IMF chief was “not in the position” to make decisions during a critical time. In remarks to the Harvard Club here, Geithner cautioned the GOP leadership against tying their budget blueprint to the contentious talks to lift the U.S.’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

Citigroup’s Gain on Mortgage Hedge Fund Jumps as Volcker Trading Ban Looms (Bloomberg)
Citigroup’s Mortgage/Credit Opportunity Fund climbed 16 percent in the first four months of 2011, almost doubling its pace last year, according to internal reports obtained by Bloomberg News. About 90 percent of the $395 million invested in the fund is the bank’s own capital, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Dan Zwirn Seeks Comeback With Alda Three Years After Shutting Hedge Fund (Bloomberg)
Daniel Zwirn, the New York investor forced to shut a $4 billion hedge fund because of client withdrawals, is starting over with a new publicly traded fund that will be safe from redemptions. Zwirn will help manage a closed-end fund for Alda Capital Corp. that will lend to small and medium-sized companies, the Chicago-based firm disclosed in a regulatory filing this month with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Alda plans to raise about $50 million for the fund, according to the filing.

Morgan Stanley Sets Up Yuan Fund (WSJ)
Morgan Stanley said Wednesday it has set up a private-equity joint venture in the affluent eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, launching its first yuan-denominated fund that aims to raise 1.5 billion yuan ($231 million).

Oyster Herpes in France Ravages Harvest (Bloomberg)
A deadly virus is stalking France’s coastline, killing at least 60 percent of the young oysters there since 2008…The virus is not just a blow to France, Europe’s biggest producer. The global industry, worth at least $3.3 billion in 2009, has been plagued by OsHV-1 in Ireland, England and Australia.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.16.11

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Strauss-Kahn Awaits Arraignment in Sex Assault Case (Bloomberg)
International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn awaits his first court appearance on attempted rape charges after giving police permission to examine him for physical evidence of scratches and DNA from his accuser. The alleged attack on a 32-year-old female maid at a Sofitel hotel in midtown Manhattan occurred May 14, according to the New York Police Department. Strauss-Kahn, who was taken into custody aboard an Air France flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport as it prepared to depart, also was charged with unlawful imprisonment and a criminal sex act. He remains in custody until an 11 a.m. hearing in Manhattan criminal court. Strauss- Kahn, 62, has denied the charges and will plead not guilty, his lawyer Benjamin Brafman said. The IMF chief was picked out of a lineup yesterday by the maid, police said. His arraignment, during which bail terms may be set, had been scheduled for yesterday and was delayed after investigators sought a warrant a physical examination of Strauss-Kahn.

I.M.F. Names New Leader (NYT)
Hours after its chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested in connection with the alleged sexual attack of a maid at a Midtown Manhattan hotel, the International Monetary Fund on Sunday named John Lipsky as acting managing director. Mr. Lipsky, the I.M.F.’s first deputy managing director, is a former U.S. Treasury executive and onetime banker at JP Morgan.

Why Lagarde Will Be The Next IMF Managing Director
Felix Salmon: “Christine Lagarde will become the first female managing director of the IMF. She has the political skills and the economic credentials to get the job, and Europe will feel much more comfortable with a European in the role over the next few turbulent years. The US won’t object, and the Asians will go along with the choice since they don’t really have a candidate of their own.”

New Details in IMF Sex Case (WSJ)
According to the narrative [the accuser] gave investigators, Mr. Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom nude and approached her from behind and touched her breast, then threw her on to the bed, the official said. She told police she broke free but was then pushed into a rear hallway of the suite near the bathroom. Mr. Strauss-Kahn allegedly caught up with her and sexually assaulted her, the official said, before allowing her to leave.

IMF head finally agrees to medical exam; set for arraignment today (NYP)
In an ironic twist, Strauss-Kahn may have inadvertently helped cops capture him before he fled the country. After the alleged assault Saturday, Strauss-Kahn was so desperate to flee that he left his cellphone in the hotel room, officials said. He also gave away his location, calling the hotel to tell management that he had left behind his phone and that he was at JFK Airport. So when the incident was reported and cops went looking for Strauss-Kahn, the hotel was able to direct authorities to the airport, where he was pulled off a plane just before it departed for Paris at 4:40 p.m.

Police Seek Evidence From I.M.F. Chief on Sex Attack (NYT)
The authorities said they had moved to obtain a court order granting them a search warrant to examine Mr. Strauss-Kahn for signs of injury that he might have suffered during a struggle or for traces of his accuser’s DNA. “Things like getting things from under the fingernails,” a law enforcement official explained, “the classic things you get in association with a sex assault.”

Strauss-Kahn Arrest Bolsters Push for IMF Changes (Bloomberg)
“This event is likely to put into play the leadership and governance structure of the IMF in a dramatic and unanticipated manner,” said Prasad, a former IMF official.

Soul-Searching in France After Official’s Arrest Jolts Nation (NYT)
Some, including Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s wife, the American-born French television journalist Anne Sinclair, expressed disbelief in the charges and faith in her husband’s innocence. His lawyer has said he would plead not guilty. Others talked darkly of a possible “setup” of Mr. Sarkozy’s most prominent rival.

How’s Strauss-Kahn Doing? (Telegraph)
“He’s tired but he’s fine,” DSK’s lawyer said.

What If the U.S. Treasury Defaults? (WSJ)
“I think technical default would be horrible,” [Stanley Druckenmiller] says from the 24th floor of his midtown Manhattan office, “but I don’t think it’s going to be the end of the world. It’s not going to be catastrophic. What’s going to be catastrophic is if we don’t solve the real problem,” meaning Washington’s spending addiction.

Nasdaq, ICE Pull NYSE Bid, Cite Regulators (Reuters)
“We took the decision to withdraw our offer when it became clear that we would not be successful in securing regulatory approval for our proposal despite offering a variety of substantial remedies, including the sale of the NYSE SRO and related businesses,” Nasdaq OMX CEO Bob Greifeld said in a statement.

Former S.E.C. Official Said to Be Subject of Criminal Inquiry (NYT)
A former Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement official who has been accused of repeatedly blocking efforts to investigate R. Allen Stanford, the Houston financier charged with running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, is the subject of a federal criminal inquiry for having done legal work for Mr. Stanford after leaving the S.E.C., government officials said Friday.

Banks Woo Funds With Private Peeks (WSJ)
Investment banks vie for business from elite hedge funds by offering traders at those funds special access to senior deal makers and corporate executives at dinners and other gatherings. The traders sometimes pick up valuable nuggets of information that aren’t available to other investors, according to people who have attended such gatherings…The funds are prized clients because they collectively pay billions of dollars in fees each year for buying and selling stocks.

US dollar under more pressure as Zimbabwe speaks on its end as global currency (Examiner)
Just two years ago, the nation of Zimbabwe created a hyperinflationary economy that led to the creation of a $100 Trillion note for its citizens to be able to purchase food.  On May 15th however, this African nation is now speaking out on the US dollar, and advocating that its days are numbered as the global reserve currency.

Investors Show Interest in AIG Stock Sale (WSJ)
Underwriters for the $9 billion stock sale by American International Group Inc. and the U.S. Treasury have indications of interest from investors for about half the offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

Angry Birds CEO Plots Media Empire (CNBC)
“When we realized we had a big hit on our hands with Angry Birds, we looked at companies that had gone before us, especially in the mobile gaming sector where we were at that time very firmly,” Hed told CNBC.com. “We saw that most gaming companies had then immediately tried to make another hit game and we realized that had very rarely worked. Rather, we started to look at what we could do around Angry Birds and if there was a way that we could build this into an entertainment franchise,” he added.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

To The Untrained Eye, Donald Trump Might Appear To Be Good With Money, But Wall Street Insiders Are On To Him

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Earlier this evening, I had the opportunity to get the unvarnished thoughts of a former Deutsche Bank employee familiar with Trump from this $640-million deal gone awry on the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago. Trump was sued to collect on a $40-million personal guarantee that was part of the deal. Suffice it to say, the banker held a dim view of the Donald. “[The Chicago deal] was pretty minor given all the other things going on at the time. Real estate developers do default from time to time,” he said. “But this guy has been doing it for 20 years, failing. Remember the Trump Shuttle? That’s why he’ll never run. His finances just won’t hold up to scrutiny. It’s pretty well known in financial circles that this guy is a deadbeat.” [The Atlantic]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Lynn Tilton Bares All

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What do we know about Lynn Tilton? She runs the $8 billion private equity firm Patriarch Partners, and prior to that worked on Wall Street with a slightly lower profile with gigs at Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Amroc. She sports 5-inch heels to “look sufficiently fierce to make sure I garner the respect I deserve.” Her office is decorated with whips, handcuffs, and a portrait of her “stretched across the hood of a black Mercedes.” She only “strips and flips men, not companies.” And she once sent a Christmas card to customers that featured a stuffed tiger, a naughty Santa suit and a whip. But that’s all surface. Until now, we haven’t really gotten to the mystery underneath the Roberto Cavalli miniskirt and a fur-trimmed cape, or determined her motivations and what makes Tilton tick. Luckily, Lynn recently granted audience with New York and let it all out. Every burning question you’ve wanted answered. Like:

Why did she decide to start Patriach, when she’d retired from Wall Street, had “a good-looking man, great sex, a small island, and was still looking good in a thong bikini”? A vision.

One night, on vacation in Costa Rica, she woke suddenly. “I was laying there in this hotel room, and I saw my father and my Mayan teacher very vividly,” she explains. “They said this was not what was planned for me. I said, ‘Why did I go through this path, to empty myself out of any needs or material longings, only to be sent back to New York to be a businessperson?’ And the answer was: You’re not capable of leading until nothing can hold you back. Get your ass back to New York. So I got up in the middle of the night and left.”

Does she see herself as the female George Soros? Yes.

Tilton’s goal is “to be part of the intelligentsia. An enlightened thinker. One of the people who are called together to think through economic issues for America. You know, like how George Soros is called on issues.”

Why is she pissed at Obama, for whom she voted? He hasn’t called her and she highly suspects he’s plagiarised her work.

“Look, I am the largest female business owner in this country,” she says, coming out from behind the rack in a Herve Leger gown. “I own 74 midsize businesses, and Obama has not once called me into the White House on these issues.” More offensive, Tilton claims, as a female stylist reaches into the bodice of the dress to plump up her cleavage, the president has borrowed language from her articles. “I mean actually lifting pieces,” she says. “Literally, I can give you paragraphs. I got like twenty e-mails after his speech, when he was like, ‘We need to be innovators and the makers of things.’ ”

Why doesn’t she cover up her breasts, despite being told “too much boob” will hinder her grand aspirations? They’re part of her total package.

“I think the fact that I look like this hinders me in some ways,” Tilton says between outfit changes. “But that’s also what makes me so much more fascinating, right? I mean, hello. I’m just trying to be someone who provides it all.”

Why did she send out the Christmas card pictured at left (first published here in ’09)to her clients?

By 1998, she had $10 million in the bank, enough to support herself and Carly for life, and she decided it was time to retire. She left her job at the time, as a partner at Amroc, though not before sending clients a Christmas card that has since become legendary: Double-sided, it featured two photographs, one of Tilton in a red lace bodysuit and Santa hat, straddling a stepladder, and the other of her wielding a whip in black lingerie and high vinyl boots. Her clients “were always asking what color underwear I was wearing,” she says. “So that was my farewell gift.”

What kind of grooming does Tilton go for? The full monty.

“I’m all about transparency,” she explains, as the dress falls to the floor. She’s not wearing any underwear. “Where do you get someone who’s worth looking at and listening to?” Stark naked except for her Gucci heels, seamless Brazilian Bronze tan, and diamond necklace, she flicks through the rack of clothes.

What traits does she appreciate in a man? The willingness to get on his knees.

“I think it went well,” she says later that evening, as she is being flown by helicopter back to New York. She’s surprisingly perky for someone whose day started with a slew of 3 A.M. e-mails, though the same cannot be said for her boots, one of which has slouched down around her ankle. John Bourne, a young employee, bends down to pull it up for her. “That’s what I like,” she quips. “A man on his knees.”

What is her go-to joke, used in both the Patriarch offices and during bankruptcy auctions?

“There are three universal lies: Margins are weak, but we’ll make it up in volume; the check’s in the mail; and I won’t come in your mouth.”

Will she be honest about what she thinks of your waistline? Yes.

Once, in front of a roomful of people at another company, she grabbed an overweight executive by his collar and dragged him over to a mirror. “What do you see?” she demanded. “Because I see a lazy, fat fuck.”

Does she believe in playing good cop and bad cop? Both of those, and maybe the cop who will sodomize you a little bit sometimes, too.

“I hug people when they walk into the room, I smack the crap out of them when we’re in there, and I hug them on the way out,” she told me in February. “You have to have that warmth and that fierceness.”

What was she put on earth to do?

Giliotti recalls a conversation he had with Tilton after the takeover of Stila cosmetics in 2009. Tilton was getting her makeup done by an employee, who happened to mention the cuts that Giliotti had made since the takeover: the layoffs, the salary reductions, and the people who had found themselves personally saddled with the bill for their corporate AmEx. Tilton called Giliotti immediately. “Emil, we can’t do this,” she said. “This is not me. I’m not put on this Earth to do this. I was put on this Earth to save jobs and help people.”

What will this be the year of?

“This year,” she says, “is going to be the year of Ruthless.”

And Jell-O shots. It’s always the year of the Jell-O shot.

What Does It Take For A Female Tycoon To Get Noticed Around Here? [NYM]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

John Paulson Taking His Favorite Investors To Vegas

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If you’re an insecure Paulson and Co investor, you’ve probably spent at least several hours if not days or weeks at a time wondering how John felt about you. Would he like you as much if you weren’t a paying client? Does he prefer older investors? Does he play favorites with the gold fund? Well wonder no longer. His feelings have been made clear by this year’s investor conferences. All but one strategy have already had their events in Manhattan. Nice, but not the same as spending a whole weekend with him that potentially includes waking up with Mike Tyson’s tiger in your hotel suite after marrying a stripper named Jade. That opportunity goes to investors in Paulson Advantage, the flagship fund, which will have its meeting in Vegas next week.

Paulson To Host Vegas Jaunt For Advantage Investors [AR Magazine]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Remembering Elizabeth Taylor: Her L.A. Destinations

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[Vanity Fair cover 2010 via] The world lost one of its most famous and prolific leading ladies this morning with the passing of Elizabeth Taylor at age 79. The face of the Hollywood’s Golden Age and an icon of American cinema, Taylor personified Hollywood glamor as much in her career as a screen siren as her personal life, with eight marriages (to seven different men), most outrageous jewelry collection, famous friends including a very special bond with Michael Jackson, charity work, early association with Kabbalah (before Madonna and Demi), and legendary purple eyes. She was a longtime resident of L.A. and fixture of Hollywood society who frequented at all the best spots around the city. Here’s a look at the places around town where Taylor spent her time over the years. Read the full story

Opening Bell: 03.21.11

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Citi Plans Reverse Stock Split (WSJ)
The bank announced a 1-for-10 reverse stock split of its common shares effective after markets close on May 6. Separately, the banking giant said it plans to reinstate a quarterly dividend of a penny a share in the second quarter.

Buffett Won’t Sell Japan Shares As Earthquake Becomes ‘Opportunity’ (Bloomberg)
“If I owned Japanese stocks, I would certainly not be selling them because of the events of the past 10 days or so,” said Buffett, speaking to reporters in the South Korean city of Daegu, where he arrived yesterday to attend a ceremony for a new factory being built by TaeguTec Ltd. “Something out of the blue like this, an extraordinary event, really creates a buying opportunity.”

Buffett: Berkshire Seeks More Deals (WSJ)
“We’re looking at a number of big businesses in Korea, the U.S., the U.K. We hope to find good companies wherever they may be. Basically, it’s the bigger, the better,” he said at a press conference in South Korea.

Kan Sees ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’ as Atomic Crisis Eases (Bloomberg)
In a flurry of announcements today, Kan said progress was being made in restoring power to reactors No. 1 and No. 2, while Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it had connected No. 3 and No 4. Minutes later, state broadcaster NHK said engineers were evacuated as gray smoke was seen billowing from reactor 3. “While we haven’t reached the point where we can say we’ve gotten out of this crisis situation, it can be said that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan said at the beginning of a meeting of his crisis response team at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo.

Swiss Re Estimates Japan Claims At $1.2 Billion (WSJ)
Swiss Re Monday said it expects claims costs of $1.2 billion from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but cautioned that its estimate is subject to a higher than usual degree of uncertainty and may need to be adjusted as the extent of the insured losses becomes clearer.

Hedge Funds Slash Bullish Commodity Bets Most In 8 Months (Bloomberg)
“The situation in Japan prompted a lot of investors to take profits after a fairly good run in commodities,” said Brian Hicks, who helps manage $3 billion at U.S. Global Investors in San Antonio. “This is a short-term headwind for further upside in commodities. We’re still going to see industrialization and urbanization in emerging markets.”

The Beefy Crunch Burrito Incident (SA)
The price of the Beefy Crunch Burrito had gone up from 99 cents to $1.49 and the man at the Rigsby Road Taco Bell drive-thru had just ordered seven. The fast food customer was so disgruntled by the price hike he shot an air gun at the manager, displayed a semiautomatic assault rifle and pistol while in the restaurant’s parking lot, fled as police were called, exchanged gunfire with three officers who pulled him over, then barricaded himself in his hotel room — all over $3.50 plus additional tax.

Bankers See More Deals To Follow AT&T’s Big Bid (WSJ)
Fears of global financial turmoil were put aside Sunday when AT&T Inc., the nation’s second-largest wireless network operator, announced a $39 billion proposal to acquire the fourth-largest player T-Mobile USA Inc. If naturally optimistic bankers are to be believed, that trend is set to continue this year, with companies searching for growth through deals after the recession and the mergers-and-acquisitions market on its way to a healthy recovery.

Hedge Fund CAI Cuts Entire Exposure To Japan (Reuters)
Eddie Tam, whose CAI Global Fund returned 48 percent last year to become one of the top-10 multi-strategy hedge funds in the world, said he about 15 percent of his portfolio was parked in Japan before the country was hit by the massive earthquake.

Morgan Stanley Targets Mid-Market Private Equity To Boost Fees (Bloomberg)
The bank has advised on seven closed or pending deals this year from firms that manage funds of less than $5 billion, said Joe Purcell, managing director of the middle-market advisory group created last year. “It’s often considered lower profile than covering the largest sponsors, but middle-market private equity can be very profitable for us,” Purcell said in an interview this month.

Western Strike Hits Gaddafi Compound, Tripoli Says (Reuters)
Western forces launched a second wave of air strikes on Libya overnight and officials in Tripoli said a missile intended to kill Muammar Gaddafi had destroyed a building in his fortified compound. “It was a barbaric bombing,” said government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim, showing pieces of shrapnel that he said came from the missile. “This contradicts American and Western (statements) … that it is not their target to attack this place.”

The World’s Most Valuable Brands (CNBC)
Google became the world’s most valuable brand this year, while Coca Cola dropped out of the top ten global brands for the first time, according to the 2011 Brand Finance ranking of the most valuable 500 brands across the globe.

Mets Owners Fire Back At Madoff Trustee (WSJ)
Team owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz and their associates issued a 107-page response to the $1 billion lawsuit filed by trustee Irving Picard. They said that, among other distortions, Mr. Picard had falsely accused them of dismissing warnings they had allegedly received about Mr. Madoff from employees at a hedge fund they helped start, Sterling Stamos Capital Management. David Sheehan, a lawyer for Mr. Picard, said “the Katz Wilpon defendants are wrong on the facts and the law.”

How Dumb Are We? (Newsweek)
When Newsweek recently asked 1,000 U.S. citizens to take America’s official citizenship test, 29 percent couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar.



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Opening Bell: 02.02.11

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Mubarak Moves to Regain Streets as Turmoil Hits Yemen (Bloomberg)
“There is no chance Mubarak can last until September, there is too much water under the bridge,” said Rime Allaf, associate fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at London’s Chatham House. “The protests won’t stop until he leaves or is ousted. The opposition is clear that they want the fall of the regime, not just Mubarak.”

Another Rajaratnam Named in Ring (WSJ)
The government’s move emerged in recent days in court filings related to charges against former Galleon trader Michael Cardillo, who pleaded guilty last week in a New York federal court to securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. In filing charges against Mr. Cardillo, prosecutors cite a co-conspirator, or “CC-1,” whom they allege participated in an insider-trading scheme with Messrs. Cardillo, Rajaratnam and others. “CC-1″ is Raj’s brother, Ragakanthan Rajaratnam, a Clorox Co. vice president, according to people familiar with the matter; he worked at Galleon between 2006 and 2009 as a portfolio manager. Prosecutors haven’t disclosed any charges of wrongdoing against Ragakanthan Rajaratnam, 49, in the insider-trading investigation.

Wall Street Pay Hits Record $135 Billion (WSJ)
In 2010, total compensation and benefits at publicly traded Wall Street banks and securities firms hit a record of $135 billion, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal. The total is up 5.7% from $128 billion in combined compensation and benefits by the same companies in 2009.

Nevsky’s Taylor Scales Back With $800 Million Fund (Bloomberg)
Nevsky Capital LLP’s Martin Taylor, who decided a year ago to step away from the “intensity” of running a $3.3 billion hedge fund, is starting a new version one-fourth the size, said two people with knowledge of the plan. Taylor, 41, and partner Nick Barnes, 36, aim to manage a fund with no more than $800 million when they shut their London- based Nevsky Fund Ltd. at month’s end, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Requests by clients to join the new fund, which will invest mainly in global stocks with a focus on emerging markets, have exceeded the amount Taylor and Barnes want to oversee.

Marc Faber: Bernanke, BLS Lie About Inflation (CNBC)
“I guarantee you … the annual cost of living increases are more than 5 percent, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics is lying,” Faber told CNBC at the Russia Forum in Moscow.

Facebook, Twitter Valuations Fuel Trading Surge to $7 Billion (Bloomberg)
Xpert and Gate will be competing with SecondMarket Inc. and SharesPost Inc., which gained popularity last year as investors poured billions of dollars into Facebook, Twitter Inc. and Groupon Inc. The value of the transactions may almost triple to $6.9 billion in 2011 from $2.4 billion in 2009, according to Nyppex LLC, a New York research and advisory services firm.

Sex Tape Sends Pop Star To Prison (WSJ)
The 29-year-old Nazril Irham—lead singer of a popular band in Indonesia called Peterpan and known to his fans and friends by the nickname “Ariel”—was sentenced to 3½ years in jail and fined $28,000 for two blurry, homemade sex videos seen by Internet users across Indonesia, the world’s most-populous Muslim-majority nation. One video shows him and his current girlfriend, a well-known actress. The other shows him with a former girlfriend, also an actress.

Deutsche Bank’s Moscow office raided (FT)
Russian police raided the Moscow offices of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender, on Wednesday, as part of a fraud investigation into one of the bank’s clients. Russia’s Prosecutor-general’s office said the search was part of an investigation into a suspected $87m fraud in the construction of the Hotel Moskva, just off Red Square, one of the most blighted construction projects in Moscow which has been under way since 2003.

Another Huge Winter Storm Disrupts US Flights, Traffic (AP)
Flight tracking service FlightAware has logged almost 6,000 cancellations for Tuesday.

Groundhog Day: Chuck, Phil Agree on Early Spring (NBC)

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