Tag Archive | "work"

Do’s And Don’ts: Dim Mak Sunday Summer Swim Parties

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Go HERE for more photos by Ardy Ala and tag yourself and your friends!

Aren’t you glad Sunday is a party day again? I’m a Jew, so when it’s not football season, Sunday literally has nothing to offer except long lines at Trader Joe’s and suffering through my friends complaining about the upcoming work week. That is, unless some generous souls offer to throw a weekly pool party blowout. Luckily for us, the Dim Mak fellows are those generous souls, and their Sunday Summer Night Swim Parties are putting our Sundays back on the right track. It’s just, some people aren’t exactly used to partying on God’s Day, so they make rookie mistakes. Here, then, are a few little tips and tricks to look like an old pro. Read the full story

Bernie Madoff Is Fairly Confident His Friends/Investors Will Forgive Him, If They Can Get Over Themselves

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For the latest issue of the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin explores the relationship between Bernie Madoff and Fred Wilpon, chairman and chief executive of the Mets and a victim of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which resulted in Wilpon (and the baseball team) getting, how to put this? Fucked. As his new project while in the joint is getting people to remember his legacy and talk about all the great stuff he did prior to one blip on an otherwise tremendous career, Berns picked up where he left off with New York reporter Steve Fishman, to whom he griped in February:

“Does anybody want to hear that I had a successful business and did all these wonderful things for the industry? And got all these awards? And so did my family? I did all of this during the legitimate years. No. You don’t read any of that.”

Here’s what he had to say this time around:

*On his net worth during the legitimate years: “I was worth a billion dollars before any of this nonsense started.”

*On needing a CFA to understand the complexities of his work, the legitimacy of which is still an open-ended question in his mind: Still, he speaks about his financial acumen with unmistakable pride. “The strategy that I was using for them, whether it was real or not,** was not something that anyone would understand if you were not an expert,” he said. As he put it in an e-mail, “Fred was not [at] all stock market savvy and Saul was not really either. They were strictly Real Estate people. Although I explained the Strategy to them they were not sophisticated enough to evaluate it properly, nor were most of my other individual clients. They were not in a position to perform the necessary due diligence and did not have access to necessary financial info or records.”

*On people who really need to put themselves in his shoes, and get over it: “[Wilpon] must feel that I betrayed him, as do most of my friends who were involved. Hopefully, they will understand the pressures I was under. I made money for them legitimately to start, but then I got trapped and was not able to work my way out of it.”

*On the pretty prestigious work he’s up to now: The first time Bernie Madoff called me, the grinding sounds of a floor buffer in the background nearly drowned him out. “It’s a prison,” Madoff said. “You wouldn’t think they need to wax the floors every day.” Madoff paused to ask his fellow-inmate to steer the machine elsewhere while he talked on the phone. Madoff would call me collect in the morning, before he started work filling orders and taking inventory at the commissary, a convenience store for the inmates. “It’s probably the best job they have here,” he told me.

**And even if it wasn’t real, it should still impress your tiny brain.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Write-Offs: 04.29.11

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$$$ Bernanke: Economy Needs More Time To Heal [Reuters]

$$$ Treasury Plans to Exempt FX From New Derivatives Rules [WSJ]

$$$The tattoo artist who did Mike Tyson’s face claims Warner Bros. “pirated” his work to advertise its movie, “The Hangover 2.” S. Victor Whitmill wants a federal judge to bar Warner Bros. from using the tattoo in its promotions, and damages for copyright infringement. [CN]

$$$ Fed’s Maiden Lane Holding Bear Stearns-Tied Assets Shrinks [Bloomberg]

$$$ God’s Gift Achiuwa chooses St. John’s [ESPN]

$$$ The Art Market Snaps Back [WSJ]

$$$ Grasso Welcomed Back to NYSE With Open Arms [FBN]

$$$ If you’re feeling charitable this weekend, you should strongly consider donating to PurpleStride2011, which benefits pancreatic cancer research. [PanCan]

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

10 Reasons To Have A Summer BBQ

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With the summer months rapidly approaching and this shorts-appropriate weather already here, it’s time to get serious about how and where you’re going to exercise your undying right to day drink. Ah, yes, the easy breezy summer months when everybody has a fresh new attitude in preparation for reintroducing themselves to the sunlight and extra-long days.

To make this most of your summer, we’re here to provide you with 10 reasons you either need to quickly befriend somebody with a BBQ-friendly house or start considering taking matters into your own hands by offering up your digs to lead the very necessary BBQ fiesta train. So without further ado, we give you 10 Reasons To Have A Summer BBQ: Read the full story

Groupon goes shopping again, buying and retiring Whrrl creator Pelago

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Group shopping site Groupon is continuing its buying spree, today acquiring the parent company of check-in service Whrrl, dubbed Pelago, which the company said in a blog post it would retire on April 30.

Pelago was one of the first companies backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ iFund. In its early days, Whrrl seemed overshadowed by Loopt — now, of course, Foursquare is the king of the check-in startups.

Terms of the deal, including the selling price, were not disclosed.

Calling it “great way to start the work week,” Groupon CEO Andrew Mason said that Pelago CEO and former Amazon executive Jeff Holden will be now be overseeing product development at Groupon.

The rest of the Seattle-based Pelago group will be wrapped into the daily deal site’s “Grouponnovations.”

Its acquisition is a good fit for Groupon, said Mason, because the two companies share the same “anti-search philosophy.

Wrote Mason:

We’ve always liked CEO Jeff Holden, the Whrrl team and the technology they’ve developed. Their obsession with real-world serendipitous discovery, or “Anti-Search,” is core to Groupon’s mission. It’s about discovering what you didn’t know you didn’t know, right in your own backyard. Jeff intimately gets consumer buying behavior and the importance of a great user experience, and his team is this awesome combination of data-driven creatives…the people who create smart products that are really fun to use.

Groupon has made a number of high-profile buy-ups in recent months, including grabbing Indonesia daily couponing company Disdus.

It also launched Groupon Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore through the acquisition of daily deal sites: Beeconomic (Singapore and Philippines), uBuyiBuy (Hong Kong) and Atlaspost (Taiwan).

At the time of its buyout, Pelago had over $22 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins, Reliance, Bezos Expeditions, T-Ventures, DAG Ventures and Trilogy Equity Partners.

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Article courtesy of VentureBeat » deals

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 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

Opening Bell: 03.10.11

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Tokyo Exchange Plans Merger Talks With Osaka, IPO (Bloomberg)
Tokyo Stock Exchange Group Inc., which runs the world’s second-largest equity market, plans to hold merger discussions with Osaka Securities Exchange Co. The 133-year-old exchange is interested in acquiring Osaka Securities, which operates a derivatives trading system with Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures, President Atsushi Saito said in an interview today. The Tokyo Stock Exchange will also start preparing an initial share sale after reporting its earnings for the period ending March, he said.

Lawyers Make First Pitches To Jurors (WSJ)
Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam used a “corrupt network” of consultants, company insiders and associates to obtain inside information, generating tens of millions of dollars in illicit profits, a U.S. prosecutor said. In an opening statement at a packed courtroom in New York federal court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Streeter said the defendant used corrupt insiders to get “tomorrow’s business news today.” Gesturing toward Mr. Rajaratnam, who wore a gray suit and a blue tie, Mr. Streeter said the case centers on “greed and corruption.” John Dowd, a lawyer for Mr. Rajaratnam, said his client did nothing wrong and traded only on publicly available information and research by his hedge-fund firm. The government has it wrong and “failed to do its homework,” Mr. Dowd told jurors.

Moody’s Downgrades Spain (AP)
The agency reduced Spain’s rating by one notch to Aa2 and warned that a further downgrade is possible if indications emerge that Spain’s fiscal targets will be missed, and if the public debt ratio increases more rapidly than currently expected. Moody’s also warned that concerns could rise if funding requirements for Spain’s troubled savings banks end up greater than anticipated.

China Posts Largest Trade Deficit In 7 Years (Reuters)
It was China’s first trade deficit since March last year and its biggest since February 2004. Economists had expected a small surplus of $4.95 billion. “Both imports and exports are lower than expected, and seasonal factors alone can’t explain the sharp monthly drop,” said Xu Biao, economist with China Merchants Bank in Shenzhen. “It is definitely not a good sign. The size of imports is already read as a measure of domestic demand. But now imports have dropped significantly, and it points to a serious weakening in domestic economic activity,” he said.

Fortress Said to Start Asia Macro Hedge Fund Run by Levinson (Bloomberg)
Fortress started an Asia- focused macro hedge fund that it aims to grow to $500 million, three people with knowledge of the plan said. The fund is set to attract more money starting in April, when investors make their allocations, the people said.

China and Russia drive growth in world’s billionaires (Reuters)
Rising steel and oil prices in Russia, more honest disclosure in Brazil and booming economies in China and India have fueled a spike in billionaires in the so-called BRIC countries. Moscow is now home to the most billionaires with 79, followed by New York with 58, Forbes said in its annual list of the world’s richest people.

Charlie Sheen gets more than 74,000 applications for internship (NYP)
Charlie Sheen received more than 74,000 applications from candidates interested in his eight-week social media internship, according to a new report. Earlier this week, Sheen got his first paid Twitter gig — pitching for Internships.com as part of his efforts to cash in on his fast-growing presence on Twitter. His paid message, which appeared Monday, featured a posting for a full-time, summer “social media intern” for the troubled actor. “I’m looking to hire a #Winning INTERN with #TigerBlood,” read Sheen’s tweet.

HCA Holdings Raises $3.79 Billion in Initial Public Offering (BW)
HCA, based in Nashville, Tennessee, sold 126.2 million shares at $30 each, the top of the proposed range, the company said yesterday in a statement. The underwriters may exercise an overallotment option to buy as many as 18.9 million additional shares within 30 days, the company said. HCA sold 87.7 million shares, while existing investors sold 38.5 million.

More Grandmothers Working During US ‘Man-cession’ (CNBC)
4.3 million Americans between the ages of 16 and 54 no longer consider themselves part of the work force. At the same time, nearly 2 million Americans 55-years or older have tuned in and joined the workforce. Inside this latter group, more than half a million women between the ages of 62 and 64 have joined the workforce. Over the time period we looked at (from October, 2008 to February, 2011) this was the fastest growing demographic.

Man cut haircut short to use scissors in stabbing (Stamford Advocate via DI)
A 21-year-old man sitting down for a haircut allegedly grabbed scissors and slashed another in the back Tuesday in the South End, police said. David Davis, pictured above, was arrested shortly after the incident when Stamford patrol officers and a police dog found him in a nearby Henry Street apartment. Officers took him into custody when they initially found he was wanted on a warrant for failing to appear in court and later charged him in the stabbing after an investigation, Stamford Police Capt. Richard Conklin said. The victim, identified as a 21-year-old Stamford man, was taken to Stamford Hospital to receive treatment for his wound. In a statement, police said Davis was getting a haircut at 126 Henry St. when the victim approached in what Davis called an “aggressive manner,” so he picked up scissors to protect himself. Davis slashed the man in the back, police said.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Intel Talks Up Data Center, Networking Prospects

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Most interesting presentation today by Intel’s (INTC) chief of its data center unit, Kirk Skaugen, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Tech, Media and Telecom conference.

Skaugen cites several reasons as to why the server market is a growth driver for the company. Some of these are familiar, such as the still ongoing move from RISC-based processors to Intel processors in a server market emerging from years of dominance by architectures and operating systems specific to individual hardware vendors like IBM (IBM).

Another is the fact that Intel has been able to add higher priced chips to its price list. In part that’s because, as Skaugen puts, one of today’s processors with two or four cores can do the work of fifteen individual server computers that used a single-core chip in years past.

But other factors are more intriguing: the tremendous surge in mobile and online computing is crating more connected devices and more servers to run all those devices.

He offered some colorful tidbits:

So we have 1,000 plus Atom design wins now in embedded where if it’s consuming electricity it’s connected to the Internet. And these machines are doing service calls back to the Internet, etc. But also things like smart signs, if you go into the Beijing airport you’ll see they have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of smart signs, so those are all connected to wireless to the Internet now and you’re able to download, manage those things in ways you never could before. And conservatively we’re saying over 1,000 exabytes of data in 2015.

So this is driving for us tremendous cloud growth. We’ve seen a 130% increase in our public cloud volume, that is our processor shipments into the top 10, I could say probably 20 cloud providers, 130% growth since 2008 and the numbers we were quoting from 2009 were obviously higher since there was a dip there.

But another interesting one was Skaugen’s insistence the networking market is going the way of PC microprocessors:

So if you look at an old Cisco [Systems (CSCO) switch or router, it used to be internally developed ASIC from Cisco. If you open up a Nexus 5000 today it’s a Xeon microprocessor next to an ASIC. And I bet you in the future you’re going to just see two Xeon microprocessors there because we’ll put new instructions into the chip that will accelerate things that used to be proprietary.

Since 2005, Intel’s increased its share of the server market for processors from 80% to 92%, he notes and increased its average selling prices by 60%. Intel’s total unit volume of server chips is about the same as in 2005 as a percentage of total company shipment volume, at 5.5%, but those chips now make up 22% of revenue, double what they were five years ago, and a third of Intel’s profit.

Intel shares today are down 37 cents, or 1.4%, at $21.48, reflecting in part some cautious comments from JP Morgan this morning.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Opening Bell: 02.25.11

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Obama Tells Panel US Recovery Harmed By Jobless Rate (Bloomberg)
“The biggest challenge that we’re seeing right now is that unemployment is way too high,” Obama told the 23-member President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness yesterday…In the month since he delivered his State of the Union address, Obama has sought to make the case that investments in education, infrastructure and innovation will help create more jobs. He reiterated that message yesterday, telling members of the panel, “We’re going to have to up our game in this newly competitive world.”

Hedge Funds Wary Of Punts On North African Turmoil (Reuters)
Only a handful are starting to hunt ways to profit with investments, for example, in oil and credit protection. “It’s a little like the financial crisis in 2008. Many managers are saying, ‘how am I supposed to figure this one out?,’” said Morten Spenner, who heads hedge fund of fund manager International Asset Management. “If (Libya’s) Gaddafi said tomorrow, ‘Look, we’ve sorted it all out’, oil prices could fall as much as 5 or 6 dollars a barrel in a day. And you could be really badly hurt.”

Oil Markets Calmer As Libya Supply Fears Ease (WSJ)
“The market is now realizing that there is enough supply to cope with the Libyan disruption,” said Christophe Barrett, a global oil analyst at Crédit Agricole. As much as 75% of Libya’s oil production may have stopped as rebel forces clash with the country’s leader, Moammar Gadhafi. However, European refineries that use Libyan crude are likely to source other oil available in the Mediterranean region, including production from Algeria and Azerbaijan, while members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could also raise production to make up for the short-fall.

Citi: US Will Be The World’s Third Largest Economy (CNBC)
The world is going to become richer and richer as developing economies play catch up over the coming years, according to Willem Buiter, chief economist at Citigroup. “China should overtake the US to become the largest economy in the world by 2020, then be overtaken by India by 2050,” he predicted.

US Economy Grew Slower Than Thought In Fourth Quarter (WSJ)
The U.S. economy sped up slightly at the end of 2010, but the acceleration was slower than previously believed as consumers spent less than first estimated by the government while trade made a smaller contribution to growth. Gross domestic product rose at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 2.8% in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Charlie Sheen Blasts Two And A Half Men Producer (NYDN)
“What does this say about [Chuck Lorre] after he tried to use his words to judge and attempt to degrade me,” Sheen wrote. “I gracefully ignored this folly for 177 shows…I fire back once and this contaminated little maggot can’t handle my power and can’t handle the truth,” he went on. “I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon.” He boasted that he had “defeated this earthworm with my words” and said that Lorre is lucky he didn’t use his “fire breathing fists.” He implored his fans to rally around him. “I urge all my beautiful and loyal fans who embraced this show for almost a decade to walk with me side-by-side as we march up the steps of justice to right this unconscionable wrong,” Sheen wrote.

How to End a Top-Rated TV Sitcom: The Charlie Sheen Interview (The Atlantic)
Sheen on Chuck Lorre (the co-creator of Two and a Half Men): “I embarrassed him in front of his children and the world by healing at a pace that this un-evolved mind cannot process… I’ve spent, I think, close to the last decade, I don’t know, effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold. And the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write.” Sheen on People Who Gossip About Him: “They lay down with their ugly wives and their ugly children and just look at their loser lives and then they look at me and say, ‘I can’t process it.’ Well, no, and you never will! Stop trying! Just sit back and enjoy the show… I’m dealing with fools and trolls. I’m dealing with soft targets, and it’s just strafing runs in my underwear before my first cup of coffee.” Sheen on Alcoholics Anonymous: “I can’t use the word sober because that’s a term from those people, and I have cleansed myself. I have closed my eyes and in a nanosecond I cured myself from this ridiculous model of disease … It’s just the work of sissies. The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning. You know? This bootleg cult arrogantly referred to as Alcoholics Anonymous now supports a 5 percent success rate. My success rate is 100 percent. Do the math!”

Bank of America, Foreclosure Accord, Card Access: Compliance (Bloomberg)
Bank of America Corp. won dismissal of claims by investors that it misled them about the liquidity of its auction-rate securities and manipulated the market for the investments. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco said in an order yesterday that investors could renew market- manipulation claims if they added more information to their complaints.

London Stock Exchange Hit By Technical Glitch (Reuters)
The UK exchange, which has been working hard to update its trading systems in recent years, did not start trading as planned at 0800 GMT and opened instead at 1215 GMT, with the LSE blaming a technical glitch.

Hedge Funds Cut Food-Price Bets as Grains Take `Harrowing’ Fall (Bloomberg)
The 8.6 percent plunge in wheat since Feb. 18 and a decline in corn and soybeans means speculators probably kept cutting positions this week, said Nic Johnson, who helps manage about $30 billion in commodities at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California. Speculators reduced bets on rising wheat prices by 23 percent in the week ended Feb. 15, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Bullish bets on soybeans fell 18 percent and those for corn slid 3.4 percent.

Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Charlie Sheen: "Only Addicted To Winning" + Other Awesome Nuggets From Today’s Radio Rant

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Charlie SheenAre you following the wild adventures of Charlie Sheen? Well here’s the latest: he’s currently holed up in the Bahamas with two floozies and today called into “The Alex Jones Radio Show” to unleash the cray cray, covering such topics as Apocalypse Now, Chuck Lorre, his new tattoo, Vatican assassins, a comparison of himself to an F-18 pilot, and he had this to say about Thomas Jefferson: “he was a pussy.” The nonsensical tirade was like a coked-out tour through the batshit dimension of crazy that probably only Charlie Sheen is privy to, but we’d like to shed a little light on his thoughts about Alcoholics Anonymous. Ready? Okay, here we go… Read the full story