Tag Archive | "wife"

When Having Affairs, Female Bankers Less Paranoid Than Males About Spouses Catching On

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According to a new study, the results of which are somewhat suspect, among the seventy-two percent of bankers who’ve supposedly had an affair, 63 percent of the males “said that they were convinced their wives knew about their affairs,” versus 3% of female bankers who said the same of their husbands. Here are a few other details respondents got off their chests:

87% of affairs involve a work colleague

26% of male bankers had had an affair with their PA / secretary

24% said that they ‘played away’ because their wife now reminded them more of their mother

4% said that they did it in the hope of getting caught

63% of male bankers said that they were convinced their wives knew about their affairs, but said nothing for the sake of the relationship

Just 3% of female bankers said that they were convinced their husbands knew about their affairs

41% said that they weren’t looking for an affair (it just happened)

13% confirmed that they had had an affair with their immediate boss

Male / Female Bankers & Extramarital Affairs – Some Interesting Facts [Hereisthecity via BI]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.24.11

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Strauss-Kahn’s pals bid to pay off woman’s kin (NYP)
Friends of alleged hotel sex fiend Dominique Strauss-Kahn secretly contacted the accusing maid’s impoverished family, offering them money to make the case go away since they can’t reach her in protective custody, The Post has learned.

JPMorgan, UBS, Deutsche Bank to Face N.Y. Probe (Bloomberg)
JPMorgan Chase & Co., UBS AG and Deutsche Bank AG are being investigated as part of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s expanded probe of mortgage securitization, according to a person familiar with the matter. Four bond insurers also were subpoenaed: Ambac Financial Group Inc., MBIA Inc., Syncora Holdings Ltd. and Assured Guaranty Ltd., according to the person, who couldn’t be identified because the probe isn’t public.

Moody’s warns 14 UK banks face downgrade (Telegraph)
“The reassessment is not driven by either a deterioration in the financial strength of the banking system or that of the government,” said Elisabeth Rudman, a Moody’s senior credit officer and lead analyst for a number of UK banks, on Tuesday. “It has been initiated in response to ongoing guidance from the UK authorities (the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority and the Treasury) that banks that fail in the future should not expect capital injections from the public purse.”

Greek default could make others junk: Moody’s (Reuters)
Portugal and Ireland would be at risk of multi-notch credit downgrades, pushing their ratings into junk territory in the event of a default by Greece, Moody’s EMEA chief credit officer told Reuters on Tuesday.

French government says China backs Lagarde for IMF head (Reuters)
French Budget Minister and government spokesman Francois Baroin said on Tuesday that China supports Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as candidate to be the new head of the International Monetary Fund.

Goldman, Morgan Stanley Bullish on Commodities, Predict 20% Return on Oil (Bloomberg)
Goldman…boosted its 12- month prediction for Brent crude to $130 a barrel from $107, analysts led by Jeffrey Currie said in a report today. Morgan Stanley raised its Brent estimate by 20 percent to average $120 a barrel this year and by 24 percent to $130 in 2012, it said.

Steven Rattner: Valley’s euphoria is tech bubble version 1.5 (FT)
“Yet, just as Facebook and Google are viewed today as bullet-proof franchises, so was AOL viewed as impregnable in its day. Its more than 20m customers paid $19.95 a month in steadily recurring revenue for, among other things, early versions of e-mail, chat and networking. With the advent of the worldwide web, those subscribers were essentially paying for nothing more than slow-speed dial-up connections. As broadband access spread, the customers melted away. Today, AOL has a trading value of only $2bn.”

Morgan Stanley In Talks to Fund More Asian Hedge Funds Start-Ups This Year (Bloomberg)
The New York-based bank is helping negotiate several opportunities for investors to give money to new hedge funds for a share of their fee revenue and deals in which they will provide capital to expand assets across Asia, said Hugh Abdullah, its Hong Kong-based head of capital introductions in the region.

Goldman Sachs cuts China, Asia growth forecasts (MarketWatch)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Tuesday cut its growth forecast for China and predicted inflation will accelerate, citing the impact of higher oil prices and supply-side constraints on the world’s second-largest economy. In addition the bank lowered its outlook for the Asia region, excluding Japan.

SEC Deepens Probe of Forex Trading (WSJ)
At issue is whether “custody” banks—which handle securities and back-office tasks for institutional investors—are overcharging public pension funds for trading in the $4 trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market…A whistleblower group led by investor Harry Markopolos has sued BNY Mellon in Virginia and Florida, and rival State Street in California, accusing them of improperly pricing currency trades for state and local pension funds.

Feds diss banks’ lowball $5B offer (NYP)
State attorneys general and federal agencies found an offer of $5 billion from five banks “woefully inadequate,” according to a person familiar with the talks. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup , Wells Fargo and Ally Financial made that offer two weeks ago. The amount was a far cry from the $20 billion the states and federal agencies had been discussing, although not formally proposing.

Call for Lehman creditors to reveal positions (FT)
A group of hedge funds and pension funds opposing the Lehman estate’s bankruptcy plan has asked the court to force many Lehman Brothers creditors – including banks such as Goldman Sachs – to reveal their current holdings of the defunct investment bank’s debts. The so-called Ad Hoc group of creditors, which includes hedge fund Paulson & Co, bond fund Pimco, and the Calpers retirement fund, were themselves compelled by the court, at the behest of Lehman, to disclose their holdings in March after they filed their own plan of organisation.

Goldman Finding Third Time a Charm in Russia (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is making a third attempt in 17 years to crack the Russian market, this time by leveraging a $1 billion private-equity bet to win deals and wooing the Kremlin for roles in asset sales.

Volcanic Ash Forces Flight Cancellations in Europe (NYT)
“About 250 flights have already been canceled, mostly over Scotland” Kyla Evans, a spokeswoman for Eurocontrol, the Brussels-based agency that coordinates air traffic management across the region, said. “We would expect up to 500 flights to be canceled today. But it would very much depend on how the ash cloud moves, it could be many more or less.”

Radio host says Rapture actually coming in October (AP via USA Today)
[California preacher Harold] Camping, who predicted that 200 million Christians would be taken to heaven Saturday before the Earth was destroyed, said he felt so terrible when his doomsday prediction did not come true that he left home and took refuge in a motel with his wife. His independent ministry, Family Radio International, spent millions — some of it from donations made by followers — on more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs plastered with the Judgment Day message. But Camping said that he’s now realized the apocalypse will come five months after May 21, the original date he predicted. He had earlier said Oct. 21 was when the globe would be consumed by a fireball.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.24.11

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Strauss-Kahn’s pals bid to pay off woman’s kin (NYP)
Friends of alleged hotel sex fiend Dominique Strauss-Kahn secretly contacted the accusing maid’s impoverished family, offering them money to make the case go away since they can’t reach her in protective custody, The Post has learned.

JPMorgan, UBS, Deutsche Bank to Face N.Y. Probe (Bloomberg)
JPMorgan Chase & Co., UBS AG and Deutsche Bank AG are being investigated as part of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s expanded probe of mortgage securitization, according to a person familiar with the matter. Four bond insurers also were subpoenaed: Ambac Financial Group Inc., MBIA Inc., Syncora Holdings Ltd. and Assured Guaranty Ltd., according to the person, who couldn’t be identified because the probe isn’t public.

Moody’s warns 14 UK banks face downgrade (Telegraph)
“The reassessment is not driven by either a deterioration in the financial strength of the banking system or that of the government,” said Elisabeth Rudman, a Moody’s senior credit officer and lead analyst for a number of UK banks, on Tuesday. “It has been initiated in response to ongoing guidance from the UK authorities (the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority and the Treasury) that banks that fail in the future should not expect capital injections from the public purse.”

Greek default could make others junk: Moody’s (Reuters)
Portugal and Ireland would be at risk of multi-notch credit downgrades, pushing their ratings into junk territory in the event of a default by Greece, Moody’s EMEA chief credit officer told Reuters on Tuesday.

French government says China backs Lagarde for IMF head (Reuters)
French Budget Minister and government spokesman Francois Baroin said on Tuesday that China supports Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as candidate to be the new head of the International Monetary Fund.

Goldman, Morgan Stanley Bullish on Commodities, Predict 20% Return on Oil (Bloomberg)
Goldman…boosted its 12- month prediction for Brent crude to $130 a barrel from $107, analysts led by Jeffrey Currie said in a report today. Morgan Stanley raised its Brent estimate by 20 percent to average $120 a barrel this year and by 24 percent to $130 in 2012, it said.

Steven Rattner: Valley’s euphoria is tech bubble version 1.5 (FT)
“Yet, just as Facebook and Google are viewed today as bullet-proof franchises, so was AOL viewed as impregnable in its day. Its more than 20m customers paid $19.95 a month in steadily recurring revenue for, among other things, early versions of e-mail, chat and networking. With the advent of the worldwide web, those subscribers were essentially paying for nothing more than slow-speed dial-up connections. As broadband access spread, the customers melted away. Today, AOL has a trading value of only $2bn.”

Morgan Stanley In Talks to Fund More Asian Hedge Funds Start-Ups This Year (Bloomberg)
The New York-based bank is helping negotiate several opportunities for investors to give money to new hedge funds for a share of their fee revenue and deals in which they will provide capital to expand assets across Asia, said Hugh Abdullah, its Hong Kong-based head of capital introductions in the region.

Goldman Sachs cuts China, Asia growth forecasts (MarketWatch)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Tuesday cut its growth forecast for China and predicted inflation will accelerate, citing the impact of higher oil prices and supply-side constraints on the world’s second-largest economy. In addition the bank lowered its outlook for the Asia region, excluding Japan.

SEC Deepens Probe of Forex Trading (WSJ)
At issue is whether “custody” banks—which handle securities and back-office tasks for institutional investors—are overcharging public pension funds for trading in the $4 trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market…A whistleblower group led by investor Harry Markopolos has sued BNY Mellon in Virginia and Florida, and rival State Street in California, accusing them of improperly pricing currency trades for state and local pension funds.

Feds diss banks’ lowball $5B offer (NYP)
State attorneys general and federal agencies found an offer of $5 billion from five banks “woefully inadequate,” according to a person familiar with the talks. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup , Wells Fargo and Ally Financial made that offer two weeks ago. The amount was a far cry from the $20 billion the states and federal agencies had been discussing, although not formally proposing.

Call for Lehman creditors to reveal positions (FT)
A group of hedge funds and pension funds opposing the Lehman estate’s bankruptcy plan has asked the court to force many Lehman Brothers creditors – including banks such as Goldman Sachs – to reveal their current holdings of the defunct investment bank’s debts. The so-called Ad Hoc group of creditors, which includes hedge fund Paulson & Co, bond fund Pimco, and the Calpers retirement fund, were themselves compelled by the court, at the behest of Lehman, to disclose their holdings in March after they filed their own plan of organisation.

Goldman Finding Third Time a Charm in Russia (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is making a third attempt in 17 years to crack the Russian market, this time by leveraging a $1 billion private-equity bet to win deals and wooing the Kremlin for roles in asset sales.

Volcanic Ash Forces Flight Cancellations in Europe (NYT)
“About 250 flights have already been canceled, mostly over Scotland” Kyla Evans, a spokeswoman for Eurocontrol, the Brussels-based agency that coordinates air traffic management across the region, said. “We would expect up to 500 flights to be canceled today. But it would very much depend on how the ash cloud moves, it could be many more or less.”

Radio host says Rapture actually coming in October (AP via USA Today)
[California preacher Harold] Camping, who predicted that 200 million Christians would be taken to heaven Saturday before the Earth was destroyed, said he felt so terrible when his doomsday prediction did not come true that he left home and took refuge in a motel with his wife. His independent ministry, Family Radio International, spent millions — some of it from donations made by followers — on more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs plastered with the Judgment Day message. But Camping said that he’s now realized the apocalypse will come five months after May 21, the original date he predicted. He had earlier said Oct. 21 was when the globe would be consumed by a fireball.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.24.11

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Strauss-Kahn’s pals bid to pay off woman’s kin (NYP)
Friends of alleged hotel sex fiend Dominique Strauss-Kahn secretly contacted the accusing maid’s impoverished family, offering them money to make the case go away since they can’t reach her in protective custody, The Post has learned.

JPMorgan, UBS, Deutsche Bank to Face N.Y. Probe (Bloomberg)
JPMorgan Chase & Co., UBS AG and Deutsche Bank AG are being investigated as part of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s expanded probe of mortgage securitization, according to a person familiar with the matter. Four bond insurers also were subpoenaed: Ambac Financial Group Inc., MBIA Inc., Syncora Holdings Ltd. and Assured Guaranty Ltd., according to the person, who couldn’t be identified because the probe isn’t public.

Moody’s warns 14 UK banks face downgrade (Telegraph)
“The reassessment is not driven by either a deterioration in the financial strength of the banking system or that of the government,” said Elisabeth Rudman, a Moody’s senior credit officer and lead analyst for a number of UK banks, on Tuesday. “It has been initiated in response to ongoing guidance from the UK authorities (the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority and the Treasury) that banks that fail in the future should not expect capital injections from the public purse.”

Greek default could make others junk: Moody’s (Reuters)
Portugal and Ireland would be at risk of multi-notch credit downgrades, pushing their ratings into junk territory in the event of a default by Greece, Moody’s EMEA chief credit officer told Reuters on Tuesday.

French government says China backs Lagarde for IMF head (Reuters)
French Budget Minister and government spokesman Francois Baroin said on Tuesday that China supports Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as candidate to be the new head of the International Monetary Fund.

Goldman, Morgan Stanley Bullish on Commodities, Predict 20% Return on Oil (Bloomberg)
Goldman…boosted its 12- month prediction for Brent crude to $130 a barrel from $107, analysts led by Jeffrey Currie said in a report today. Morgan Stanley raised its Brent estimate by 20 percent to average $120 a barrel this year and by 24 percent to $130 in 2012, it said.

Steven Rattner: Valley’s euphoria is tech bubble version 1.5 (FT)
“Yet, just as Facebook and Google are viewed today as bullet-proof franchises, so was AOL viewed as impregnable in its day. Its more than 20m customers paid $19.95 a month in steadily recurring revenue for, among other things, early versions of e-mail, chat and networking. With the advent of the worldwide web, those subscribers were essentially paying for nothing more than slow-speed dial-up connections. As broadband access spread, the customers melted away. Today, AOL has a trading value of only $2bn.”

Morgan Stanley In Talks to Fund More Asian Hedge Funds Start-Ups This Year (Bloomberg)
The New York-based bank is helping negotiate several opportunities for investors to give money to new hedge funds for a share of their fee revenue and deals in which they will provide capital to expand assets across Asia, said Hugh Abdullah, its Hong Kong-based head of capital introductions in the region.

Goldman Sachs cuts China, Asia growth forecasts (MarketWatch)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Tuesday cut its growth forecast for China and predicted inflation will accelerate, citing the impact of higher oil prices and supply-side constraints on the world’s second-largest economy. In addition the bank lowered its outlook for the Asia region, excluding Japan.

SEC Deepens Probe of Forex Trading (WSJ)
At issue is whether “custody” banks—which handle securities and back-office tasks for institutional investors—are overcharging public pension funds for trading in the $4 trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market…A whistleblower group led by investor Harry Markopolos has sued BNY Mellon in Virginia and Florida, and rival State Street in California, accusing them of improperly pricing currency trades for state and local pension funds.

Feds diss banks’ lowball $5B offer (NYP)
State attorneys general and federal agencies found an offer of $5 billion from five banks “woefully inadequate,” according to a person familiar with the talks. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup , Wells Fargo and Ally Financial made that offer two weeks ago. The amount was a far cry from the $20 billion the states and federal agencies had been discussing, although not formally proposing.

Call for Lehman creditors to reveal positions (FT)
A group of hedge funds and pension funds opposing the Lehman estate’s bankruptcy plan has asked the court to force many Lehman Brothers creditors – including banks such as Goldman Sachs – to reveal their current holdings of the defunct investment bank’s debts. The so-called Ad Hoc group of creditors, which includes hedge fund Paulson & Co, bond fund Pimco, and the Calpers retirement fund, were themselves compelled by the court, at the behest of Lehman, to disclose their holdings in March after they filed their own plan of organisation.

Goldman Finding Third Time a Charm in Russia (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is making a third attempt in 17 years to crack the Russian market, this time by leveraging a $1 billion private-equity bet to win deals and wooing the Kremlin for roles in asset sales.

Volcanic Ash Forces Flight Cancellations in Europe (NYT)
“About 250 flights have already been canceled, mostly over Scotland” Kyla Evans, a spokeswoman for Eurocontrol, the Brussels-based agency that coordinates air traffic management across the region, said. “We would expect up to 500 flights to be canceled today. But it would very much depend on how the ash cloud moves, it could be many more or less.”

Radio host says Rapture actually coming in October (AP via USA Today)
[California preacher Harold] Camping, who predicted that 200 million Christians would be taken to heaven Saturday before the Earth was destroyed, said he felt so terrible when his doomsday prediction did not come true that he left home and took refuge in a motel with his wife. His independent ministry, Family Radio International, spent millions — some of it from donations made by followers — on more than 5,000 billboards and 20 RVs plastered with the Judgment Day message. But Camping said that he’s now realized the apocalypse will come five months after May 21, the original date he predicted. He had earlier said Oct. 21 was when the globe would be consumed by a fireball.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Anyone Have A Couch For Dominique Strauss-Kahn To Crash On?

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He’s no longer welcome at the Bristol Plaza, where his wife had rented an apartment that was said to be “better than a hotel” for them to stay while awaiting trial for sexual assault. If he doesn’t find a place to stay, he might have to continue bunking at Riker’s. [TAW]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Gets Bail

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According to CNBC’s Mary Thompson, DSK’s bail has been set at $1 million, he must surrender all travel documents and he must agree to “home detention monitoring” in the apartment he and his wife will rent in New York. If anyone’s building has any openings, do be sure to let him know! In related news:

Not that we’re suggesting anything but care to hazard a guess as to whether or not the man of the hour will try and make a run for it?

a) yes
b) no
c) wildcard



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.19.11

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I.M.F. Chief Quits in Wake of Charges of Sexual Attack (NYT)
“It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of managing director of the I.M.F.,” he said in a statement dated Wednesday and released early Thursday by the I.M.F. “I think at this time first of my wife — whom I love more than anything — of my children, of my family, of my friends.”

Most French People ‘Think DSK Was Set Up’ (Sky News)
The survey, taken before the 62-year-old’s first court appearance on Monday, showed that 57% of respondents believe the Socialist presidential hopeful has been set up.

Lagarde May Stake Claim as First Female IMF Chief (Bloomberg)
A lawyer who became the first female chairman of Chicago- based firm Baker & McKenzie LLP, Lagarde was appointed as finance minister by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, just before the onset of the financial crisis. Lagarde’s negotiating abilities helped clinch agreement on the euro area’s sovereign bailout fund announced in the early hours of May 10 last year, according to a person who was there…A fluent speaker of English, Lagarde attended a year of high school as an exchange student at Holton Arms, a private girls’ school in Bethesda, Maryland. An avid swimmer, young Christine was selected for the French national synchronized swim team when she was 15 and competed internationally for two years.

J.P. Morgan, Fund Investors Rebut Meredith Whitney (MarketBeat)
J.P. Morgan Asset Management chucked a note over the transom in response to Meredith Whitney’s latest hate letter to the muni market.Their take is that Ms. Whitney makes some points they sort of agree with, but that she seriously overstates the default risk.

Levin sees ‘real hope’ of fresh Goldman probe (FT)
The senator said Goldman’s payment of $550m to settle fraud allegations from the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the marketing of one structured debt product did not preclude other allegations. He said Goldman executives misled his committee but suggested they might have stopped short of lies with “wiggle words”. “They obviously spent a lot of time parsing words,” he said, adding he was “not going to judge whether they committed perjury”. He said even large settlements were not satisfactory without admissions of guilt.

Goldman Sachs Back at No. 1 (Deal Journal)
According to figures from Dealogic, Goldman popped to the No. 1 spot for the first time this year in the league tables, the closely watched listing of M&A advisers ranked by the value of deals on which they advise. J.P. Morgan had held the crown for global deal advisers since Jan. 18.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s two sons born days apart (CNN)
A son fathered by Arnold Schwarzenegger with his housekeeper was born less than a week after Maria Shriver gave birth to another Schwarzenegger son, according to birth records obtained Wednesday by CNN.

SEC probes electronic platform failures (FT)
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating computer system failures at electronic marketplaces including Nasdaq to determine whether internal controls are sufficient, according to people familiar with the matter. The investigation is being handled by the enforcement division’s market abuse unit and is part of a broader regulatory review of stock exchanges following last year’s “flash crash”, recent hacking attempts and trading glitches

Perella Weinberg to Fork Over $11.5 Million in Dreier Fraud (Deal Journal)
Under the deal, [Chapter 11 trustee Sheila M.] Gowan will drop a lawsuit in which she sought the return of $24.1 million in payments she says Perella Weinberg and an affiliated fund received on the approximately $60 million they spent on the promissory notes that Dreier was hawking to investors such as themselves.

Smith Barney Deal Still On (WSJ)
In its first-quarter report, Morgan Stanley posted a $655 million pretax loss related to the Mitsubishi joint venture. After reports surfaced about the loss, Mitsubishi agreed to convert $7.8 billion in preferred stock for 385 million shares of the company. That conversion boosted Morgan Stanley’s Tier 1 ratio and presumably will give it added capital for the planned buyout of Citigroup’s stake in the Smith Barney venture. Morgan Stanley can begin buying that stake next year under its agreement with Citi. Mr. Gorman said reports of Morgan Stanley asking Citi to alter the terms of that deal weren’t true.

Nominations Submitted for the SEC (WSJ)
The White House on Wednesday submitted to the Senate a pair of nominees for the Securities and Exchange Commission, requesting a second term for Democrat Luis Aguilar and naming former SEC staffer Dan Gallagher Jr. for a Republican seat that is due to become vacant in June…The SEC is an independent federal agency with five commissioners.

LinkedIn prices IPO at $45 a share (MarketWatch)
LinkedIn had raised its IPO pricing range earlier this week to between $42 and $45 a share, from $32 to $35 a share — thanks to strong demand. The public offering is expected to raise roughly $217 million for the company.

Yen falls as Japan enters recession (FT)
Gross domestic product fell by an annualised 3.7 per cent in the first three months, after a revised fall of 3 per cent in last quarter of 2010. Analysts had expected the economy to contract by just 1.9 per cent. A further contraction is expected in the second quarter before the economy rebounds as reconstruction spending kicks in, although the Japanese economy has suffered more than a decade of low growth and weak consumer spending.

Obama imposes sanctions on Syrian leader, 6 aides (WaPo)
The Obama administration ramped up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday with economic sanctions that targeted his personal finances and linked him explicitly to human rights abuses in his government’s brutal, two-month-old crackdown on demonstrators. The sanctions, which named six other top Syrian officials, represented a significant escalation in the administration’s public criticism of the Assad regime, marking the first time the ruler was penalized for the ongoing clashes that have left more than 900 people dead and thousands in prison.

Zombie Apocalypse? The CDC Describes How To Be Prepared (HuffPo)
The U.S. government wants to make sure that in the event of a zombie invasion, you know what to do. That’s right. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shocked us all with their post on how to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. The CDC post, “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse,” came out Monday and has been gaining media traction since — the link has been down for much of the day, presumingly due to over-traffic.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.17.11

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IMF chief claims consent in hotel ‘attack’ (NY Post)
“The evidence, we believe, will not be consistent with a forcible encounter,” said Ben Brafman, the high-powered lawyer of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, at the suspect’s sensational arraignment in a packed criminal courtroom. A source close to the defense later told The Post, “There may well have been consent.”

New York Investigates Banks’ Role in Fiscal Crisis (NYT)
The New York attorney general has requested information and documents in recent weeks from three major Wall Street banks about their mortgage securities operations during the credit boom, indicating the existence of a new investigation into practices that contributed to billions in mortgage losses. Officials in Eric T. Schneiderman’s, office have also requested meetings with representatives from Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, according to people briefed on the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly.

How Big Investors Are Betting (WSJ)
Mr. Cohen, whose SAC Capital reported a 9.3% increase in securities holdings in the quarter ended March 31, increased a stake in consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co. to 2.3 million shares from 53,306 at the end of the previous quarter. SAC also more than doubled its stake in BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. to 2.8 million shares from 1.1 million.

John Paulson Loves Hewlett-Packard (Deal Journal)
The $5 Billion Man, hedge fund manager John Paulson, reported plowing $1 billion into Hewlett-Packard, pared his stake in Citigroup and is standing pat with his big investment in a gold ETF…Paulson & Co. also disclosed owning 123.6 million shares of Bank of America, down by 226,522 from the end of 2010. And one interesting new holding showing up on Paulson’s radar: Lubrizol.

Soros Fund Cuts Gold, BofA, J.P. Morgan Stakes; Adds to Citi, Wells (Deal Journal)
Soros decreased his holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, a gold-backed exchanged-traded fund, by 4.7 million shares to 49,400 shares, valued at $6.9 million at March 31…The fund lowered its Bank of America holding by 1.2 million shares and now owns 29,400 shares. Soros sold 378,050 shares of J.P. Morgan, leaving him with 624,600 shares. In contrast, his firm tripled its stake in Citigroup to 29.4 million shares. Soros’ stake in Wells Fargo climbed six-fold to 3.5 million shares.

Bill Ackman Throws in the Towel on Target (Deal Journal)
Pershing Square reported owning 7.4 million Target shares as of Dec. 31, but there is no whisper of the Target investment in Pershing’s latest snapshot of its stock holdings as of March 31.

David Einhorn Buys…General Motors (DJ)
David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital investment fund reported new ownership stakes in two newly public companies, hospital operator HCA Holdings and General Motors, a.k.a. Government Motors.

Falcone’s Harbinger Holdings Adds Bunge Shares, Trims Gold Stake (Bloomberg)
Harbinger Holdings LLC, the hedge fund run by Philip Falcone, bought shares of food company Bunge Ltd. (BG) in the first quarter and sold shares of SPDR Gold Trust, according to a regulatory filing.

Schwarzenegger fathered a child with longtime member of household staff (LA Times)
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, separated after she learned he had fathered a child more than a decade ago — before his first run for office — with a longtime member of their household staff.

Jump in Revenue Helps Halve California Deficit (NYT)
After months of doomsday scenarios and apocalyptic warnings about cuts to California schools, parks and the police, the news from Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday was nothing short of startling: California is now expected to see $6.6 billion more in revenue over the next two years than had been expected.

U.K. Inflation Quickens More Than Forecast (Bloomberg)l
Consumer prices rose 4.5 percent in April after a 4 percent increase in March, data today showed. The median forecast of 32 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was 4.1 percent. Core inflation quickened to the fastest in at least 14 years. King said in a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne that the surge is being driven by higher sales tax and increases in energy and import prices.

London Finance Job Openings Climbed 15% in April (Bloomberg)
The number of openings in the City, London’s main financial district, and elsewhere in the capital rose to 6,426 last month from 5,569 in April 2010, executive search firm Morgan McKinley said today. The figure was flat compared with the previous month.

President, first lady’s assets valued at $1.8 million to nearly $12 million (WaPo)
Financial disclosure documents released Monday showed the assets for last year…Assets are listed in wide ranges on the disclosure forms — for example, between $1 million and $5 million — making it difficult to determine their value with precision. Royalties from Obama’s books, “Dreams From My Father” and “Audacity of Hope,” totaled between about $1 million and $6 million.

Man To Eat 25,000th Big Mac (HP)
Wisconsin-based Don Gorske plans to eat his 25,000th Big Mac on May 17, 2011, 39 years after his first Big Mac bite on May 17, 1972. He averages two Big Macs per day and has 10,000 Big Mac cartons still in his possession. He keeps two Big Macs in his luggage in case he cannot find a McDonald’s when he travels. Gorske believes he has drank over 200,000 Cokes along with his burgers.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Casting The Raj Rajaratnam Movie

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Earlier this morning, Raj Rajaratnam was found guilty on 9 counts on insider trading and 5 counts of conspiracy. He is probably not in the best of moods right now, as he may be going away to a place that doesn’t give you extra mayo on the side of your tuna sandwich, for nearly 20 years. But there is some good news, which is that someone will most likely make a movie about this whole thing. To give producers a jump start, we will start the casting process now.

The following roles need to be filled:

* Raj Rajaratnam- The Guy

* Danielle Chiesi- The Girl who reels in tips with her fishnet stockings

* Anil Kumar- The McKinsey guy who faithfully provided Raj with inside info

* Rajat Gupta- The Goldman board member

* Bob Moffat- The IBM exec who cried over Danielle Chiesi in public at least three time, and then promised to never open his heart to a woman other than his wife again

* The Dwarf- The little person who was hired by Raj as an April Fool’s Day joke, and introduced to employees as a new analyst brought on to cover “small-cap” stocks

* Keryn Limmer- The Galleon analyst who Raj paid $5,000 to be tased when execs from stun-gun maker Taser International came to make a pitch in 2005 (“Employees gathered around as two people propped up trader Keryn Limmer at the elbows and another person fired the weapon. Ms. Limmer’s legs buckled beneath her from the shock”)

* The Idiot Analyst- The Galleon Group analyst who was called an ‘idiot’ by Raj for questioning the hedge fund manager’s inside information about Goldman Sachs, given to him by a board member

* The Spandex Analyst- The Galleon junior female analyst Raj told to buy a spandex outfit from Lululemon, wear it to the firm’s morning meeting and “walk back and forth on top of the conference table” while Raj commented that “few consumers would pay so much money for the expensive outfit in a recession”



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

What’s cooler than a million dollars? Changing a million lives

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Impact investingHenry Ford once said that a business takes makes nothing but money is a poor business. Impact investing takes that thought to a new level.

Impact investors look for businesses which have a positive social or environmental impact as well as a giving a financial return. These enterprises can be anything from schools to mobile carriers serving the poor. Can profit-led companies solve social problems? Impact investors think they can.

One of the pioneers in the field is the Omidyar network, created by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, and his wife Pam. Amy Klement, who leads Omidyar Network’s Access to Capital initiative (and previously headed up payments at PayPal) told me that Omidyar’s approach to philanthropy was formed by eBay. “By providing tools and a platform he saw what people could do with opportunities. Ebay created more than 1 million new entrepreneurs” Klement said.

The Omidyar’s initially created a non-profit, family foundation but quickly realised that this imposed a lot of restrictions on what they could do. It was very difficult to make for-profit investments in social enterprises. “According to the tax laws if something is a business it can’t be for good.” explained Klement. ”Through eBay the Omidyars had seen that businesses can have social impact and lasting social impact. They are sustainable, they are scalable in a way that non-profits generally aren’t.”

So the Omidyars created a new organisation which could invest. The network uses a range of tools including non-profit grants, direct equity investments, debt investments and also invests in funds like the Ignia venture capital fund (of which more later). It has made grants to, or invested in companies like Wikipedia and P2P microfinance lenders Kiva.

Profit and loss is easy to measure but how do you measure social impact? Klement explains. “We look at reach and engagement. Reach you can think of as breadth; the number of lives touched and and there we look for scale. We want to touch hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives. Engagement is depth. To what extent are we touching those lives. How deep is the impact?”

One of the network’s current investments is in Bridge International Acadamies, a chain of schools based in Nairobi, Kenya and founded by an ex-technology entrepreneur. “He founded this school in a box model. It’s a highly replicable franchise model where he can scale these schools quite quickly. The education system in Kenya is completely broken. Teachers show up about 50 percent of the time. Even when they do show up the average teaching time per day is about 90 minutes. The free government schools are not really free by the time people pay for uniforms and supplies and often bribes to the teachers” said Klement.

The Bridge International schools cost less than $4 per pupil per month which is in line with the costs of the government schools. There are now 25 schools making Bridge international the largest chain of schools on the African continent, and that will expand to 100 by the end of the year. Within 5 years the schools will serve a million children.

Another investment is D.light which makes solar lanterns to replace kerosene lamps. Kerosene causes millions of burns a year and serious respiratory system problems. One use is equivalent to smoking 2 packs of cigarettes. D.light has shipped more than a million lanterns to India, Africa, Haiti and is poised for exponential growth.

Klement told me that once you screen for social impact, this type of investing is similar to traditional VC investing but “We are prepared to take more risk because we are entering markets that are less developed” like India and sub-saharn Africa. The network invests in the range of 1 to 3 million per deal. The Omidyar Network is also one of the investors in the $100 million Ignia fund, a VC fund based in Mexico which invests in businesses which provide products and services to bottom of the pyramid (BOP) people, the poorest sector of society, but expects venture capital-level returns.

I asked founder Álvaro Rodríguez Arregui why he started the fund. “There is tremendous lack of access to basic, quality products and services in the base of the pyramid.” he said. The poorest people often pay over the odds for goods and services. If you don’t have a credit history you can’t get a post-paid mobile phone plan and pre-paid minutes are a lot more expensive. If you live in an area with no electricity you have to pay someone more to charge your phone.

Ignia’s definition of positive impact is the following: ”If you provide this product or service to the BOP , will it improve their quality of life? The way we define our impact is providing access to basic products and services to as many people as possible as soon as possible. The only way to grow as fast as possible is through returns. The more profitable you are you faster you grow and the faster you deliver on your mission.” Ignia invests in a range of sectors from healthcare to financial services and Telecommunications.

Rodríguez Arregui started fundraising for Ignia in November 2007. It was a challenge. There was the small matter of the financial crisis and Ignia invests in a company for up to 15 years, a longer horizon that most investors are used to. But there was a more fundamental problem. ”We are at the intersection of VC and impact investing. The biggest challenge was definitely fund-raising because not many people believe that intersection exists. Because of the way we have been educated, we believe that it is either impact or returns and that there is a conflict between those two. In that there is an embedded philosophy which is ‘profit is bad’ We don’t believe that is the case.”

“I am a huge believer that businesses with purpose end up being significantly stronger than those that don’t have a purpose. I am convinced that when you wake up in the morning every day to try to address a mission, it’s a much stronger motivator than when you walk into the office every day and just want to make a buck” asserts Rodríguez Arregui.

It’s early days for Ignia but its star investment Finestrella has grown 9-fold in the last year. Finestrella provides affordable, post-paid mobile phone plans to the BOP. 86 percent of people in Mexico have access to a mobile phone but they only take incoming calls. Outgoing calls are made on public pay phones which are much cheaper than pre-paid minutes. People still spend up to 30 percent of their income on mobile services.

Finestrella has defined a set of algorithms which are used to assess the creditworthiness of people who don’t have an official employment history, bank account or credit rating. If they meet the criteria, customers are offered a post-paid mobile phone plan at much lower rates than pre-paid.

Finestrella started in 2010 and will have 35,000 customers by the end of this year. It already has $8 million in revenue (whichis considerable in a country like Mexico) and is growing exponentially. The target is to have 800,000 customers by 2015.  A couple of Silicon Valley VC funds, one of which is  Storm Ventures, have also invested in Finestrella.

One of Ignia’s investment team Joshua Motta explained why BOP businesses can make excellent returns. “Those activities which have the highest financial returns tend to have the highest social returns. Major corporations and even entrepreneurs have overlooked the BOP segment of the population and dismissed them outright simply because of their low earning power. But aggregated (BOP is 70 percent of the population in Mexico) the BOP actually has a huge amount of disposable income” according to Motta.

Motta maintains that corporations often don’t understand the needs of the BOP and just sell their standard products more cheaply in emerging markets. This strategy is often ineffective. Procter and Gamble discovered this with their detergent. ”In Western markets the quantity sold per unit is quite large. The BOP can’t afford a gallon of detergent. What P&G discovered was that if they used smaller packet sizes, literally single use tablets, they were able to sell substantially in the BOP.” said Motta.

I asked Klement and Rodríguez Arregui what trends they see in impact investing. Both see momentum picking up and more money coming into the sector. Companies like Wells Fargo and J P Morgan are putting money into this new asset class. Rodríguez Arregui thinks that a lot of the talent in the social investing world comes from the non-profit sector rather than business and more business expertise is needed.

Finally, Rodríguez Arregui explains that people need to think hard about why they want to get into impact investing. ”Do you want to do good or do you want to feel good? You need to be extremely clear on what you want to do. It’s much easier to feel good by giving away meals to starving kids in Sudan but you are not going to solve any systemic problem in the world by doing that. The outcomes of impact investing are much more long-term. This is business and business is messy and you have to make hard decisions. When your only purpose is to feel good you are not willing to make those hard decisions” he concludes.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals